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Old 22 Jan 20, 01:25 PM  
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Marceline to Magic Kingdom Tour - Part 2

After exiting the Haunted Mansion and having a quick bathroom break we strolled along in to Fantasyland where we head to 'It's A Small World'.

As we head on to the attraction boat Kaitlyn gives us some detailed history about the development of the attraction and how it was personally overseen by Walt Disney.

Whilst riding through the various countries Kaitlyn keeps us informed of lots of unusual and little known facts about the attraction, such as the attraction was originally going to be named 'Children of the World', That there is at least one Sun depicted in each country and the waterway connecting the different countries signifies the rivers of the world.

Also Kaitlyn tells us how Walt decided he wanted a grand gesture at the opening of the attraction in Disneyland, so he organised for children from each of the countries to bring a bottle of water from their country and pour it into the waterway of the attraction thereby signifying that guests would truly be riding on the rivers of the world.

The attraction was created for the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair in support of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The attraction was extremely popular normally having 2-3 hour queues for it. After 2 seasons 10 million tickets had been sold with the proceeds being donated to UNICEF. Tickets at the time cost 90 cents for Adults and 60 cents for children.

The attraction was eventually moved to the Disneyland park where it opened on 28 May 1966.

The attraction here at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom was one of the parks opening day attractions in 1971.

Now, I like 'It's A Small World' however, I do wish I'd brought my ear plugs so that tune wouldn't be with me for the rest of the day... too late it's in my head

Originally Walt wanted the national anthem of each country to be sung by children from that country in their national language. However it was soon realised that the transition between countries on the boat ride would cause a horrible mis-match of sounds and languages.

Walt asked the Academy Award winning brothers, Richard and Robert Sherman, who were hard at work on Mary Poppins, to create a single song that could be sung by Audio-Animatronics figures in multiple languages.

The song, 'It's a Small World (After All)' is a timeless classic and one of the most well known songs of all time.

We leave 'It's A Small World' and head towards the castle with Kaitlyn giving us various details of Fantasyland and the Castle. Here we are interrupted by an impromptu interaction with the Fantasyland Players which added a nice touch to the tour.

We then head through to Tomorrowland where Kaitlyn regales us with the story of the monorail at Disneyland, how Walt wanted a monorail in the park but didn't like the monorails of the time which had the carriages suspended below the track and were bumpy. He discovered a company in Germany that had carriages levitating above the track using magnets and that they produced a smooth comfortable ride.

Walt agreed a deal with the company to help design a system for the Disneyland park that would work as an attraction looping the park. The design and implementation of this new monorail was plagued with problems. Even up to the night before the debut of the attraction they were still designing and building replacement parts.

Walt had invited Vice President Richard Nixon and his family to cut the ribbon for the attraction. The plan was for the monorail to arrive at the station and stop in front of the ribbon and the television cameras. Where the vice president would cut the ribbon and be seen entering the monorail.

Walt had told the driver to keep the monorail powered up to keep the air conditioning functioning. When the vice president and his family boarded the carriage Walt in his excitement asked if the vice president would like to do a loop of the park.

The engineers couldn't believe what Walt had said as the monorail had never managed a single loop without breaking down. On Walts orders they proceeded, probably with every finger and toe crossed. For the first time everything went smoothly and the monorail made it around the park and back to the station, much to the relief of the engineers. But just as the engineers were starting to breathe again, Walt agreed to do a second loop at the request of Nixon's daughter. luckily the second loop also went without any breakdowns.

Then Walt said, "Want to go again?" Just as they started the third loop the monorail came to a sudden halt and the engineers thought it had eventually broken down. This wasn't the case though, the Secret Service had cut the power. It turns out that when the monorail went for it's ride with the Vice President on board the Secret Service who were tasked with never leaving his side, were actually left on the platform, so in effect Walt had inadvertently kidnapped the vice president!

After that little tit-bit we arrive at the Carousel of Progress.

Whilst waiting to ride this attraction Kaitlyn shows us a copy of the poster advertising the Carousel of Progress at the New York World's Fair.

She also goes in to some detail relating to Walt's personal involvement in the design and how this was his favourite attractions.

We get a theatre to ourselves which allows Kaitlyn to talk to us during the show.

As each scene comes around Kaitlyn quickly points out some hidden secrets as she describes the scene and what Walt was trying to portray.

Carousel of Progress consists of 4 'Acts' Act 1 is representing 1890's, Act 2 is representing 1920's, Act 3 is representing 1940's and Act 4 is representing the 21st Century.

At the New York World's Fair the Carousel of Progress was sponsored by General Electric (GE), when it moved to Walt Disney World in 1975, GE committed to a continued 10 year sponsorship. After the 10 years GE did not renew it's sponsorship so Disney had to remove the logos and references to GE that were in the attraction. If you look carefully you will still see some of the GE logos that were either too hard to remove or just missed. The easiest to spot is on the Refrigerator, but it's also on the Dishwasher, Vacuum Cleaner, Cooling Fan and a couple of other places.

The Family depicted in Carousel of Progress are John the Father, Sarah the Mother, Pattie the Daughter and Jimmy the Son.

In Act 1 there is a little girl that doesn't appear in any of the other scenes, so who is this little girl? it's not Pattie as she appears on the opposite side of the stage. Disney has never explained who this little girl is!

Pattie in Act 1

Did you know that Bugs Bunny appears in the Carousel of Progress? Well not the actual Bugs Bunny but at leat the voice of Bugs Bunny. The late 'Mel Blanc' voice of Bugs Bunny and lots of other characters also voiced Uncle Orville.

Uncle Orville

If you look closely you can find some hidden Mickeys and other references in the scenes. For example take a good look at the final scene, at the foot of the Christmas tree you can see a green hidden mickey, thought to be a stage speaker and also a Mickey soft toy. Look at the mantle above the fireplace and you can see a Soldier Mickey.

On the Kitchen countertop there is a Mickey Salt Grinder

On the Whiteboard to the right of the oven are some flight details, it says Flight #1964 arriving at 10:00, this is a nod to the 1964 New York World's Fair.

In Act 3 Pattie can be seen using an exercising machine whilst chatting on the telephone. Look to her right and on the stool is a hat which if you look closely you can see that it is a tribute to Sorcerer Mickey's hat.

I have been on the Carousel of Progress a many times but it was really interesting being talked through the history of each of the scenes and hearing about Walt's influences and decisions for the attraction.

After the ride the tour came to an end with Kaitlyn staying to answer any further questions that we had.

Overall I feel this tour is one of the best that Disney offer, it is certainly great value for money. The tour is also a nice length, at around 3 hours it gives you a vast amount of information and still leaves you lots of play time in the park after it's finished.
”Change the way you look at things & the things you look at change”

Edited at 02:43 PM.
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Old 22 Jan 20, 02:40 PM  
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Might just have to book this in May. Thanks for the review.
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Old 22 Jan 20, 05:08 PM  
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Thanks Stu - we enjoyed Keys to the Kingdom years ago and tempted to do this in June - will be hot then so 3 hour tour sounds more manageable.
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Old 22 Jan 20, 06:38 PM  
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Thank you for this great review. I am not sure I will ever get to do a tour but I love reading about them! This sounds like it would go to the top of my (hypothetical) list!
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Old 22 Jan 20, 07:01 PM  
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Thank you for posting about this tour. We took The Keys to the Kingdom tour a few years ago and loved it but this looks great and I think we will book for our upcoming trip.
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Old 24 Jan 20, 01:19 AM  
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What a great day and well worth noting this tour accommodates children under 18 , which KTTK does not.

The historical and informative part of this tour is really appealing and at a reasonable price too.
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