I’ve never been on the Carousel of Progress, though goodness knows I get the theme song stuck in my head easily enough. In fact, I’ve just done it to myself. I did go on America Sings, quite a few times in my childhood. I liked it and was disappointed when it closed. Then for years, that building stood mostly empty—except the Futuristic World of TRON in its upper story, of course. It was taking up valuable real estate, and Disneyland is a surprisingly small park. This would not last forever.
Innoventions was already in place at Walt Disney World by 1998, which is when the Disneyland version opened. The name is a portmanteau of “innovations” and “inventions.” At Disneyland, the mayor was Tom Morrow, voiced by Nathan Lane, who introduced you to a wide array of sponsored products. Over the years, sponsors ranged from Honeywell to Microsoft to St. Joseph Hospital. For a while, you could see a fifteen-minute show featuring ASIMO, a robot built by Honda who also guested briefly on QI once, where it danced with Jo Brand.
Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m struggling to find anything to say about Innoventions, and I have been there. I saw the ASIMO show. I definitely saw other things. I know that a teacher from high school of mine went there with her family years ago, and her son’s BMI claimed he had an eating disorder. In fact he was going through puberty and was growing faster than he could put on weight. And that’s all I can remember about the attraction.
I could, I suppose, ask my mother about the House of the Future, a Monsanto attraction that she doubtless saw in her youth. (My favourite story about it is that it was nearly impossible to demolish, because it was made of plastic and the wrecking ball bounced off.) Perhaps she remembers more of it than I do about Innoventions. However, the problem with this sort of thing is that the futuristic rapidly becomes either commonplace or laughable. I can’t find specifics about what exactly was in Innoventions, but I’ve no doubt at least some of it is in my house right now.
My partner doesn’t remember anything but the robot, either. (And the air conditioning. It was hot when we were there.) It’s an inevitable problem with this sort of attraction. Especially at a Disney park, if you want my opinion. We went in because we were there long enough to take the time, but if you’re going to Disneyland, you want something a little more fun. A little more memorable. Innoventions, at least at Disneyland, felt more like a way to use the building than anything else. In conclusion, Innoventions is definitely an attraction that I visited.