“Disney Snubs History & Art”: When They Altered An Historic Magic Kingdom Icon

Seth Kubersky, Arts Journalist of the Orlando Weekly, posted a link to an article regarding Disney’s “snub to history and art” by altering an attraction that, not only has been a staple at Walt Disney World since its opening day in 1971, but is over 100 years old and has an historic past in its own right, including being the only WDW attraction Walt Disney saw before his death in 1966. Written by the person who worked on refurbishing the attraction in the mid-1990s to early 2000s, you can read the article if you click on

this link. It was was written by Cameron Meier, film critic for the Orlando Weekly, and posted on MeierMovies.com.

The article discusses the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel (previously known as, and, to be honest, what I’ll always think of as Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel), which was built in 1917 and 1918 and had its debut at Detroit’s Palace Garden Park in 1918. Although much of the carousel was changed/upgraded/added to in its preparation to be part of WDW in 1971, thanks to the writer’s hard work and perseverance while he worked the Disney, he was able to get one of the ride’s original “inner chariots” to be repaired, refurbished and installed circa 1999-2000. It remained on the carousel until 2017, when it was removed in favor of a “bench-type” structure, which was more compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Based on his article, Meier appeared to be both understanding but upset.

CarouselChariot
Sleigh-style chariot as it appeared in the early 2000s (Photo from www.meiermovies.com)
Photo Jun 03, 8 25 27 PM
Modern-day more-A.D.A.-compliant “bench type structure,” with significantly less attention to detail. Photo taken at WDW’s Magic Kingdom June 3, 2017

Personally, I get it, but I’m torn. I worked in health care for 23 years and the plight of people who have physical, cognitive or psychological disabilities is very near and dear to my heart. On the other hand, I deeply respect history and the arts, both of which were represented in that early 20th century era chariot. And, of course, I know an awful lot of Disney fans who bristle when there are changes in the parks, especially regarding things that are “historic.”

I guess I just wish Disney had made some sort of compromise, to allow both the historic chariot AND a more A.D.A.-compliant bench type structure to be on the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel at the same time.

But that’s just me. What do you think?

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