Thanks for that trip down memory lane. America Sings was my favorite ride as a child. I was heart broken when they closed it. Innoventions is really nothing more than a space filler that brings in advertising dollars and I think the visitors know that. It was such a shame to go from such a brilliant and original ride to product placement advertising.
Oh my goodness, did this article ever bring back a flood of memories!! I absolutely LOVED America Sings! Thanks so much for listing the actual songs; I sat here reading them and could remember exactly how they sounded back in the day.
Good job, Werner!!
While I enjoyed reading the article and looking at the pics, I have to say that AS was never one of my favorites. I was crushed when they took out the Carousel of Progress, and AS never quite lived up to that for me. The "Pop goes the weasel" joke just seemed to fall flat even the first time. And they could have done much better with the contemporary scene than the tired old Joy To The World.
The 6-cd set of DL music has the entire show track on it. It was fun to listen to once, but I don't think I'll be playing it through any time soon.
As much as I loved that show there is one thing I absolutely hate about it. I have become acquainted with someone who knew the young lady who was crushed to death on that attraction. When Carousel of Progress was there, they had break away safety walls just in case a cast member got to close to the danger area. When America Sings was installed, Disney opted not to put the break away walls in. They thought they were saving mony. It cost the young cast member her life. After the lawsuit was settled, the safety walls were re-installed.
“The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather
My first visit to Disneyland was in 1986 and I loved America Sings so much I rode it several times that visit. I didn't make it back there again until 1989 and was sooo mad America Sings was closed. I was really looking forward to seeing it again. It has to be one of my all-time favorite Disney attractions. I even remember buying a Sam Eagle plush.
When America Sings was installed, Disney opted not to put the break away walls in. They thought they were saving mony. It cost the young cast member her life. After the lawsuit was settled, the safety walls were re-installed.
I chose not to include the tragic death of Debbie Stone as part of my America Sings article.
In the interest of accuracy, please allow me to clarify the information from wec. It's true that there was a sad accident soon after America Sings opened. But it wasn't a case of Disneyland removing breakaway walls to save money.
Carousel of Progress had operated safely for around seven years with stationary walls in the central core (between each stage) which aligned with stationary walls in the moving theaters whenever the theater came to a stop. There was a cast member station in one corner of each of the six theaters. That's where the phone/microphone was located from which the cast member would make announcements.
I like the fact that one of the Star Tour "Goose Droids" sings "I've been working on the same droid" at one point. One of the two geese that went to Star Tours was from the Western Quartet, where the geese sang "I've been working on the railroad." Wanna bet it's the same goose?
Mind you, it's a bit of a stretch that, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away, there'd be a song so similar to an Earth folk song, but the level of suspension of disbelief is worth the price of an America SIngs in-joke.
America Sings was my favorite thing in Disneyland. Before that, Country Bear Jamboree was, and before that, it was Enchanted Tiki Room. I've always been a sucker for A-A shows. And now Tiki is the only one left. Disneyland used to be known for its animatronics (see the original Stepford Wives for an example of that), but they've been moving further and further away from that, it seems.