Sunday, November 04, 2012

America Sings, March 1981

Here are a few so-so pictures from a beloved "extinct attraction", America Sings! This animatronic extravaganza replaced the Carousel of Progress, and ran from June 1974 until April, 1988. The show was a celebration of the history of American music in four acts, starting in a swampy Deep South, then onto the Old West, then the Gay 90's, and finally the 20th century. Hey, I've been to the 20th century!

Too bad this one is blurry. My favorite thing about this "rock and roll" scene was the way the skinny crane's hair (which might have been a mop) moved. Somehow this little bit of "free animation" added a lot to the scene for me. He also reminds me of a blond Joey Ramone.

Totally unrelated, but from the same lot, is this terrible picture of the Mark Twain's wheelhouse! I've added it to this post at no extra charge to you.


Nanook said...

"Ta-rah-rah-boom-de-ay", etc., etc., etc..... Parts of America Sings were very Disney; but other parts, quite delightful.

Always pondered the reason the Imagineers changed the rotation of the audience "doughnut" section to a counter-clockwise rotation for this show (also true at WDW for CofP), as the Carousel of Progress show rotated clockwise both at DL & the NY World's Fair.

TokyoMagic! said...

"She's only a bird in a gilded cage...."

Nanook, I remember hearing something about the rotation being changed to facilitate having the loading and exit areas both on the ground floor. Remember, when it was COP, the audience exited up a Speedramp inside the theater and came out on the second floor.

Major, it looks like there is a spotlight mounted on top of the Mark Twain wheelhouse. Would this be the light that they used to light things up along the river at night? I wonder if there is still a spotlight up there today? I believe the Mark Twain only runs at night now when Fantasmic is on hiatus which is really a shame.

Snow White Archive said...

Bonus pics are always a good thing...especially when there's "no extra charge" to the viewing public. :)

Nanook said...

TokyoMagic - I always assumed the change of rotation was somehow linked to the revised exit for America Sings.

You bet I remember how the last "theater" for Carousel of Progress positioned the audience, head-on, with a Stephens-Adamson Speedramp, allowing guests to ascend up to Progress City, where they joined 'Mother' & 'Father' who chatted-away about all things Progress (and General Electric, 'natch). "...So, please keep moving. Don't stand in the way of progress-!"

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I didn't recall that "Ta-ra-ra… [etc]" was one of the songs. The finest in American music! The whole "Pop Goes the Weasel" thing drove me bananas.

TokyoMagic!, I have been on the Mark Twain twice at night in the last few years, and they do still shine a spotlight on certain tableaus. I LOVE it when Fantasmic isn't running!

Snow White Archive, everyone will pay for that extra photo… with their SOULS!

Nanook, my great-grandpa worked at Stephens-Adamson (we still have some anodized aluminum cups with "SA" on them). I didn't know that they were involved with the COP!

210Frwy said...

As a kid I always got a kick out of that last section of COP where you actually got out of your seat and walked down into the “theater” area and up the ramp. Hearing the melancholy version of “Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” that they played as you overlooked the fantastic model city now almost makes me cry.

K. Martinez said...

I loved America Sings! After the Enchanted Tiki Room, it was my favorite theatrical audio-animatronic show at Disneyland.

Anonymous said...

Yes..there was a light on top of the my day for emergency purposes.

--former MT operator.

Anonymous said...

"America Sings" never did much for me, I think the transplantation to Splash Mountain is fine.

I do miss the COP, but on listening to the soundtrack now, it is really comically out of date. Not sure how it even could be updated to today's world.

But what an innovative presentation system, and what a shame that it then sat empty for so long, with a whole company of entertainment people, why they couldn't come up with another show? Same applies to Captain EO.

And dont get me started on Innoventions. What a joke. At least it's air conditioned.

I do remember spotlighted tableaux on the River, and a pox on Fantasmic. I have to check carefully to determine when it is not playing, for our next trip, so we can travel to miss it and catch the river at night.

Thank you for letting me rant. I have been concerned for some time that we were paying you too much for this blog, but now I realize what a bargain it is at any price.