Disney’s Carousel of Progress- What the Final “Future” Scene Actually Got Right

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If you’ve been to Tomorrowland in Walt Disney World, you’ve probably seen Disney’s Carousel of Progress.

If you haven’t it’s the round building next to Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, and behind all the strollers.

This year marks it’s 45th year at Walt Disney World, taking guests from the previous turn of the century (1900’s) into the newest turn of the century (2000’s.)

Sectioned into fifths, there are five stages that take guest through two decade transitions, up until the 40’s, and then it jumps to “the future” as predicted in 1993, and the logo “stage” at the opening and closing of the attraction.

Of course now the future they predicted has come and gone, but they did get some things right now that it’s 27 years later. (Wow! 27 years was the last update, it’s really due for another one.)

What did they get right?

Car Phones– This is yes and no.

Back in the 1990’s there were car phones so that wasn’t too much of a guess, and they didn’t mention cell phones at all. So for that they get it wrong. However, they do mention car phones which were precursors to the cell phones we use today, in that regard, they did get it partially right.

Virtual Reality – Yes

In the final scene there’s that cringy game screen and grandma beating the high score. But almost three decades later, the idea holds up.

There currently are several devices out there that allow players to play in Virtual Reality (VR) in their home. Playstation VR, the Oculus and special VR cell phone adapters are readily available for home use. Disney parks even offer paid VR experiences at The Void in the Disney Springs and the Downtown Disney District.

I just really wish they would make a new video for the screen. Speaking of the screen.

Flat Screen TV – Yes

The final scene in the show offers us a look at a flat screen television. Now, we are all used to them and probably didn’t even really think much of it, but they weren’t readily on the market until about 1997. I know in 1993 we mostly had the large televisions (my parents call them boat anchors) and while some larger models might have been on the market, it would have been quite “futuristic” to guests that visited after the refurbishment was completed in 1993.

Computerized Home Control -Yes

During the final scene we see Sarah telling John that she had finally finished programming the oven. Then she demonstrates making the tree lights “30% brighter.”

Today we have several options for digital home control, Alexa, Google Home, etc.

I remember thinking how amazing it would be to be able to do those things and now, here we are, using those kinds of things. You can even buy computerized appliances that sync to your devices and cell phone.

Even with all these accurate “Future predictions” the scene is mired in what dates it- The fashion and furnishings.

The clothing in the final scene completely dates it to the 90’s. Trish’s socks for example. I remember owning those in the 1990’s. Jim’s shirt and shoes. Grandma’s dress, let’s be honest, was that ever actually “in style?”

The Dining room furniture in the background is very 1990’s “futurism.”

How hard would it be to update it right now?

It really wouldn’t be hard to update this scene periodically. Just change their clothes, change “car phone” to “cell phone,” and “laser disks” to “Blu-ray,” update the furniture, put a new video on a newer television, and add Alexa. Boom, updated.

The future of The Carousel of Progress

The rumor is that we will be getting an updated version of the attraction, but likely not until after the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World in 2021. So we are likely stuck with it all until then.

I just look at it as the rest of the attraction, except it’s a 50-60 year jump from the 40’s and a look at life in the past. Then it fits.

What do you think? Comment and let us know!

Sources: Wikipedia,

 

 


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