Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Captain EO Tribute - February 23, 2010

It was a banner day at Disneyland yesterday. Captain EO made his return to the Magic Eye Theater in Tomorrowland and I was able to catch the first showing to the public. Last December Mr. Lincoln made his triumphant return and now Michael Jackson is back at the helm again as Captain EO. Things are certainly looking up at Disneyland!

The show itself was better than I remembered. Yes the special effects are dated, even with the new 70mm print you can see how they are done. However, the sound system is OUTSTANDING – WOW, it never sounded like that before. Looking at this thru the lens of 2010 and with Michael’s passing last year adds a whole new dimension to this attraction.

I arrived at 8:30 to a medium sized crowd, nothing near as crowded as a summer or weekend day. Do you suppose my blogger credentials could get me a media pass? I say that jokingly, but come to think of it, maybe I should write the PR department and see what they can do?

Media and special guests were hanging out on the west side of the Main Gate.

Lots of camera’s and lights everywhere, I felt like a celebrity – until they had me sign a waiver that said I get paid nothing for appearing on film – darn!

There were about 200 people in front of me; some had been there since the night before! There were at least another 200 people behind me by the time we were let thru the gates at 9:30, a ½ hour before the park opened for regular guests.

Disneyland crowd control did a nice job of keeping 400+ people together as we walked up Main Street on our way to see the Captain.

This guy had two people holding the ladder and he still looked like he wanted to get down ASAP!

This way please, don’t even think of sneaking off and hanging out with the “Magic Mornings” guests.

It was nice to see so much activity in the middle of Tomorrowland – I predict this area will see some large crowds over the next few months.

Great new sign out front. It seemed to fit the old Honey I Shrunk the Audience exterior colors better in person, but not so much in this photo.

Last Thursday the former theater occupant still had their poster behind this glass. I read online that EO’s return is permanent, can anyone confirm that?

Hello Lawyers.

Blurry – sorry, but the crowd was moving fast behind me, no time to stop!

The preshow area was more packed than its been in 20 years, which is the last time I saw this show. The buzz and energy were amazing, I’m not big Michael Jackson fan, but it was exciting to be there.

Now for a few short videos, not the show itself, they requested camera’s be turned off and amazingly everyone seemed to comply. You can see great version of EO on YouTube; HD version (link), HD Version in 3D (link).

Once inside the theater the energy in the room was amazing, every seat was full and there were about 50 press people along the sides. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but this was very uplifting. Michael sure has a passionate and caring fan base. No one was rude or out of line, everyone clapped and whistled, a banner day indeed.

Whoops, I think this sign is left over from the previous tenant. Near the exit I had an incredible meeting with a very cool Disneyland Imagineering person (actually it was THE Disneyland Imagineering person) - a double “banner day”!

And in the unrelated and amazing news department, the Gullywhumper Keelboat will be returning the Rivers of America in a few months (link). You won’t be able to sail in her, but she is getting fixed up (you heard it here months ago!!!) and she will be floating properly and parked in front of the settlers (Mike Finks?) cabin on Tom Sawyers Island. It's triple “banner day” at Disneyland! Oh, this photo is not the Gullywhumper, I couldn’t find her, but as you can see the Rafts and Canoes are safe and sound.

Lastly, the guide maps look have the same cover from January, but the map itself has been updated.


  1. Excellent report, Tim - glad to hear about the Gullywhumper, too.

  2. Hey you never know about the media pass idea... I think some podcasters are getting passes, so why not bloggers? Might be worth looking into.

    Meanwhile, thanks for the Captain Eo post; it's hard to believe that some people had been waiting there all night! You got there at 8:30 in the morning and had a perfectly fine time, so the joke's on them.

    Why'd you leave out your "brush with fame" photo?

  3. Yeah, and did you grill him on when the rest of the "brown" Tomorrowland will be going away? Or if the PeopleMover is ever coming back? Or how much longer Innoventions is going to remain in existence?

    Glad to see Catain EO return! I say, if they don't have anything better to put in there....then let it stay for a while. I've heard a rumor about "Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor" from WDW going into the theater after Captain EO has it's run. I hope that rumor is false. I saw that on my last trip to WDW and it was dreadful.....just another "Turtle Talk With Crush" type of attraction. And how does Monsters Inc. fit in to the Tomorrowland theme anyway?

    Am I in a mood this morning or what? LOL. Anyway....great report! Great Pics! Thank you for sharing your experience. Can't wait to see this again myself!

  4. Thanks for the coverage.

    Rumor is that EO is there for 1-2 years until a new unnamed show for the theater arrives.