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Vintage Walt Disney World: A Carousel Holiday in 1975

Nate Rasmussen

by , Librarian, Walt Disney Archives

No need to look at your calendars, it’s not Christmas time just yet. That is unless you’re inside Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress at Magic Kingdom Park where our Audio-Animatronics family celebrates the holiday everyday.


A few weeks ago, blog reader Amanda asked if I could find a vintage look into the final scene of the Carousel, and after some digging, I found what Christmastime looked like back in May 1975 (Believe it or not, that final scene is actually set on New Years Eve).


And while the message of the Carousel of Progress hasn’t changed after all these years, it looks like Jimmy traded in his plaid pants for some jeans, Patricia opted for ski boots over her guitar, and Rover, well, he hasn’t moved much in almost 37 years.


  • did you know that all the animatronics characters lines are scrolling along on the home computer in the background as they are being said, there is also a note on the bulletin board that says marty called, wants change. 😉 could be cool to take the whole thing retro instead of trying to keep up.

  • Upgrading the Carousel back in 1975 was a great pleasure for me, as I had grown up with the show, and the family was made up of friends I worked with literally. The boy had my boss’s feet, some of the faces of our secretary’s were used, as well as arms and legs. All those great antiques made a trip to the “One of a Kind” shop pleasurable if you could find one like something in the show. My GE oscillating brass bladed fan was a find. Would love to see it return to California’s Disneyland with a 2015 final scene.

  • There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow and tomorrow’s just a dream away! I think I still have a pair of those pants in my closet. I use to travel with singing groups and choirs. Every time we were on Carousel of Progress we would sing along with the attraction. What fun!!!! Great Memories!!! I always got to be Father. Now I am enjoying my favorite job title GRANDPA and we still SING!!!

  • Let’s not forget the Hidden Mickey over the fireplace – it’s a Mickey Mouse nutcracker.

  • ………”right here and now, you’ve got it made, we’re in there forward marching now we’re in the parade”.

  • Definitely a classic.

  • We visited this attraction twice on our vacation to Disney World last year. This attraction has a special place in my heart because my mother saw it at the New York World’s Fair where it originated. Thank you for the vintage photo!

  • I agree on the need for an update, but I still miss the old song from my childhood, “The Best Time of Your Life”, that was replaced in the last update in 1994.

    /~ Now is the time, now is the best time, now is the best time of our lives… ~/

    I know the current song, “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow”, is really the original from Disneyland (and the World’s Fair before it), but I loved the CoP as a child and the song is inextricably tied to it in my head. So I’m always just a little disappointed when I hear the new song and it doesn’t match my memories. Not that I don’t still enjoy it. 😉

  • Favorite ride. Thank you for posting the memory pic and comparison.

  • And, if my little-kid memory serves, didn’t there used to be lines in the dialog something like, “Yessir, those folks over at GE sure have made out lives easier…” ?

  • As I recall, instead of turkey, Dad was making Omelette du fromage avec jambone Now is the time… °o°

  • My family always enjoys CoP, but our 11 yr girl truely LOVES it. I have to agree on the previous comments about the attraction getting the TLC it deserves though- esp the theatre itself… there is something about the smell of “burnt turkey” that just seems to linger forever 😉

  • Christmas 1975 was my First Christmas!!

  • I dig what appears to be a macrame tapestry on the center wall. And I’m supposing that the tree is a bright and shiny aluminum. Maybe with a rainbow light fixture? All that’s missing is are avocado tinted kitchen appliances and a burnt orange counter top.

    • I love the plaid pants the son is wearing. Very fashionable!

  • Great photo, thanks for posting. Agree with Keith: best attraction ever.

  • Nate, thanks for sharing this. I love looking back on Walt’s ideas and how they look today.

    One of my favorites

  • I agree on the long overdue update!! They are all dressed like it’s 1990 still!!

    When was the last update of this attraction anyway?

    • 1994

  • I’m sure mom is hoping for an upgrade on her laptop for Christmas!

    • Hahaha. Yes. She’s missing out, isn’t she?

  • I LOVE this ride!! It is a must to sit & watch it every time we are there. It is a classic, and I hope it stays. Thanks for showing us pictures of it when I was a kid !!

  • What I’d really like to see is the vintage pic, the current pic and an artists drawing showing the long overdue upgrade to this last scene.

  • Best. Attraction. Ever.

    Thank you for the vintage pic!

    • You’re welcome. :)

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