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(GE's) Carousel of Progress

Magic Kingdom
Orlando, Florida
Feb 10, 2008

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I guess it's been about 35 years between my visits to the Carousel of Progress. GE has, in the interim, dropped its sponsorship of the institution (your loss, Jeff Immelt), and in three of the four scenarios (1900s, 1920s & 1940s) the family hasn't changed or aged -- all's well.

I was braced for change in the "current" showcase, well aware that all of those just-around-the-corner improvements of 1970 (microwave ovens, video-cassette recorders) would no longer impress. But I think they missed the mark with the grandmother in VR goggles shooting down alien ships while the host Dad (who is, of course, my Uncle Bert) shouts cooking instructions at the oven. It's like a bad dream out of a SkyMall catalog. Seems like our "great big beautiful tomorrow" has more to do with communication and media -- The Web, cell phones, Tivo. More realistic might have been the grandmother shooting video on her cell phone and posting it instantly to YouTube, while the dad illegally downloads music.

Or, go in a completely different direction, and have them flying around in zero gravity, eating food out of toothpaste tubes.

For anyone else who hasn't seen it in 35 years, here's a slice including the theme song and a peak at modern times.