Carousel of Progress (Magic Kingdom) – Current Version (1994-Present) – Preshow

*Sung lyrics in bold.

(Queue video)

(Music plays over Carousel of Progress logo)

RICHARD SHERMAN, ROBERT SHERMAN, & WALT DISNEY
There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow
Shining at the end of every day.
There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow,
And tomorrow is just a dream away.

RICHARD SHERMAN
Man has a dream, and that’s the start.
He follows his dream with mind and heart.
And when it becomes a reality,
It’s a dream come true for you and me.

RICHARD SHERMAN, ROBERT SHERMAN, & WALT DISNEY
So there’s a great big beautiful tomorrow
Shining at the end of every day
There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow,
Just a dream away.

WALT DISNEY
Well, sounds pretty good—in fact, that’s just the right spirit. Our songwriters, Dick and Bob Sherman of the Walt Disney Studio. The Sherman brothers have written many of the wonderful songs for our motion pictures and television shows, and I think this song—written especially for you—captures the spirit of the General Electric Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair. Thanks boys! Say goodbye to the folks.

RICHARD AND ROBERT SHERMAN (Exiting)
Bye-bye.

WALT DISNEY
Well, “a beautiful tomorrow, just a dream away.” That say’s we’re going places. There’s progress ahead, and that’s just the mood we want for the whole pavilion. Here, for example, is a scale model of the General Electric Carousel Theatre—a theatre in which the audience itself moves in their seats around the stages. The actors? Well, they’re not real people, but they are a talented and interesting cast. We call them audio-animatronic figures, and they talk and act like human beings. The Carousel Theatre will present a warm and entertaining portrayal of how life has changed through electrical energy. The same kind of exciting and unique entertainment is what we’re planning for every area of the General Electric Pavilion. So, see you at the fair, and remember…

RICHARD SHERMAN, ROBERT SHERMAN, & WALT DISNEY (Singing)
There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow…

REX ALLEN (Voiceover)
Hello, I’m Rex Allen. And I had the honor of performing in that original show some 30 years ago. While the show has changed, its spirt of progress is a living tribute to the man who first created it—Walt Disney.

(Music plays over Carousel of Progress logo)

REX ALLEN (Voiceover)
Welcome to Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress. You may not know it, but this show was originally created for the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Designed as part of the Progressland Pavilion, Walt’s idea for this show revolved around the idea of creating a warm and entertaining portrayal of how progress has made our lives better—from the turn of the century to then-modern-day 1960s. Now, since visitors to the World’s Fairs always expect to see the latest innovations, Walt created a revolutionary theatre in the round, where the audience literally moved around the stages and performers. And these were no ordinary performers either. They were the latest innovation in animation from Walt Disney—which he called “audio-animatronics.” Walt and his Imagineers created a cast of 32 talented performers for the show, and what made these actors so unique is that they could perform nonstop all day long without ever taking a break. The whole cast was assembled for a dress rehearsal just two months before Opening Day at the fair. Walt and his crew had to work around the clock to get the show finished on time.

WALT DISNEY
This is the stage for Act I of the Carousel Theatre of Progress. Stages for the other acts are being assembled at other places in the studio for a complete audio-animatronic dress rehearsal. Now this contraption here might look like something from outer space, but it’s actually a control harness for programming the actions and gestures of our audio-animatronic figures. Should we show ’em how it works?

IMAGINEER
Ready, Walt.

WALT DISNEY
This is the Carousel Theatre host. Whatever the man in the harness does, this figure will respond simultaneously in the same manner. Would you care for a light? (Goes to light the FATHER’s pipe) I don’t think we better. (Blows out match) No smoking on stage. He can, oh, read the newspaper. (To FATHER) How about showin’ ’em how you read the newspaper? What’s the date of that thing? (To camera) 1890! The operator of the control harness has to be a bit of a ham actor, as you can see. Now, you know, all of the operator’s actions are recorded on tape. Now let’s hear the theme song of the Carousel Theatre.

FATHER
There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow
Shining at the end of every day.

REX ALLEN (Voiceover)
Since its debut at the 1964 New York World’s Fair, the Carousel of Progress has been seen by more people than any other show in American history. I’m Rex Allen, and I had the honor of performing in that original show over 30 years ago. And while the show has changed over the years, it continues to entertain audiences today. An ongoing tribute to one man, who never stood in the way of progress—Walt Disney.

WALT DISNEY (to ASSISTANT)
Are you tailing me or something?

ASSISTANT
Ooh, yes, you might say so. There’s two things Walt. First, Mrs. Disney called. She wants to know, since you didn’t make it home for Christmas, do you think you can by Easter?

WALT DISNEY
Tell her I doubt it. But I will see her at the fair.

(Guests move into Carousel Theatre.)

NARRATOR
Welcome to Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress. Ah, you’re in for a real treat. The Carousel of Progress was Walt’s own idea from beginning to end—he loved it. He introduced the show at the World’s Fair in New York City in 1964, and it was an immediate smash hit. Millions of people came to see it, and since then, the Carousel of Progress has had more performances than any other stage show in the history of American theatre. You know, Walt loved the idea of progress, and he loved the American family. And he himself was probably as American as anyone could possibly be. He thought it would be fun to watch the American family go through the 20th century, experiencing all new wonders as they came. And he put them together in a show called Carousel of Progress, which we are now about to see. Although our Carousel family has experienced a few changes over the years, our show still revolves around the same theme—and that’s progress. May the century begin.

(Theatre begins rotating and stops in Act I room.)

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