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Vintage Walt Disney World: Which Attraction Celebrates Valentine’s Day 365 Days Each Year?

Nate Rasmussen

by , Librarian, Walt Disney Archives

There is an attraction at Walt Disney World Resort that celebrates Valentine’s Day every day of the year. Can you think of it? Of course you can. It’s Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress at Magic Kingdom Park.

Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress at Walt Disney World Resort in 1996

My first trip to the Carousel of Progress must have been on my second Walt Disney World vacation in 1996, which means, I was unaware that Valentine’s Day wasn’t in the original storyline. I realized this when looking at pictures in our archives a few weeks ago. Notice the flowers, present and card missing in the picture below from 1978.

Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress at Walt Disney World Resort in 1978

Valentine’s Day was added (along with Fourth of July and Halloween) to the storyline during the 1993 refresh of the attraction weaving in holidays throughout the entire show.

I often wonder if “Patricia” ever made it to the Valentine’s Day dance in time.

Comments

  • I Love this ride. But, are they going to refurb? It could use an update the last scene is not too futuristic like it used to be.

  • I was 7 at the time of the New York’s World Fair and I remember this ride. What was shocking to me at the MK was the pumpkin prop. We used those as our decorations as well, and I still have mine tucked away in the attic!! Thanks for keeping my memories safe and tucked away at the World!

  • “Now is the time, now is the best time, now is the best time of your life…..”

  • One of my absolute favorites! A trip to Disney World isn’t complete without at least 2 spins around Carousel! I use a “There’s A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” ringtone I made as my cell phone alarm to wake up everyday! It’s a ride where you can sense the magic and genius of Walt better than any other!

  • @ Bridgette
    Hair dye was invented by then!:)

    I love this ride!! That’s cool how the pictures look the same except for the Valentine’s Day stuff. I dragged my family to the attraction while we were waiting for our Fastpass timeframe. I didn’t think my sister would like it, and would think it was boring, but it ended up being her favorite ride! Isn’t the scene at the end an outdated view on the future? I had to convince my dad it wasn’t today, just a 90’s future. 🙂
    Any time I start singing that song in my house, someone sings along…

  • I love this attraction. So much. This is one of my “must do’s”–I go out of my way to see it on every single trip to WDW.

    I’d also like to see more vintage pics–especially any from when the “modern day” family was in that fun 1960’s era. (Don’t get me wrong…I love the 1980’s turkey-burning version, too!)

  • This was one of my fave rides. I’ve been singing the song to that ride since I was 4. I miss it! Last time I got to see it I was 10 I think…I’m pretty sure it was already gone when we went back 5 yrs later.

  • Please post more photos of the final scene from the carosel!!! I remember it back in the 1980’s and it had some sort of 1970’s style rope swing in the living room and brown shag carpeting…but that is all I remember…I would love to see it again!!!!

    • I’ll see what I can find, and hopefully post about it in the future.

  • The longest running stage show in American theater! The hidden gem of Tomorrowland, and an absolute must-see on EVERY Magic Kingdom visit! It’s interesting to see how much those little Valentine’s Day touches add to the scene. Also, it appears that with the refurb, the window shades were lowered cutting out half of the sky outside, wonder why?

    P.S. Patricia’s hairstyling is a lifelong habit- by the time she’s all grown up in Horizons, she’s a redhead 😀

  • When the attraction first opened in Walt Disney World, the queue was over 60 minutes long, think of it as the Soarin’ of its day.

    Darren

    • To my Dad, it continues to be better than Soarin’. We see it every time he visits, it’s his favorite.

  • It’s not that unrealistic for Patricia to be blonde as a child and brunette as a teenager. I had very blonde hair as a child and by pre-teens it became very, very brown and it still is very brown

  • There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow….. (8)
    What a song 🙂

    • You can’t help but sing along, right?

  • This has to be my favorite ride of all time! I’ve loved it ever since I was little and make my way back to it whenever I’m there.

  • Okay, this has been bothering me for some time.

    Who is the very young girl in the opening sequence of the Carousel of Progress? It is the scene with the mother doing laundry and the little girl is in the corner working the machine. She has long blonde braids. It cannot be Patricia because in the next scene we see her as a teenager and her hair is very dark.

    Can you or anyone solve this mystery for me?

    Karen

  • I often wonder why Patricia is a brunette at the turn of the century, but becomes a blond for the rest of the time…

  • I Love the Carousel of Progress. I try to put myself back in 1964 when this was first introduced at the Worlds Fair by Walt Disney.

    How ground breaking it must of been.

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