Captain EO returns to Disneyland

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

Fans decked out in futuristic garb formed a line early Tuesday to see the return of the Michael Jackson film "Captain EO" to Disneyland after a 13-year hiatus. The film debuted at the height of Jackson’s fame in 1986, featuring director Francis Ford Coppola and executive producer George Lucas. It cost a reported $30 million to make and ran as an attraction at the theme park until 1997.

Read more from The LA Times.

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LostKause's avatar

AWESOME! I've watched it online, and it is really good. I bet it's better in 3-D.

Was at the park on Wednesday, and while an uncrowded day, there was a constant 20-40 minute wait. Space Mountain only had a 20 minute wait at it's peak during the day.
However, one must remember that the show has a 17minute cycle time, so do the math.

The opening "star field" effect was not recreated, nor were the lasers. The star field was the same effect that now exists on Tower of Terror, where the hallway converts to black and then stars. Add to that the stars on the film and the room and it was very cool back in the 80's.

People were wearing Captain EO buttons, and seemed to really enjoy it. Not sure if that was for the campy nostalgia aspect, or whether the show still delivers.

Acoustic Viscosity's avatar

Awesome. I never got to see it in its previous run. Sounds like a fun show.

AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

Jeff's avatar

It did run in Orlando as well, right? I vaguely recall seeing it in 1990.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

ridemcoaster's avatar

Yep.. Was in the Journey Into Imagination Pavilion at Epcot.

it ran at Epcot, and the three other Magic Kingdom parks, with it leaving Florida first, and Paris last.

it really should be viewed in its historical context, debuting in 1986 at the midpoint of the MTV generation, and at the height of Michael Jackson's popularity. At the time it was very cool. It doesn't hold up as well, some 20 years on, both with 80's styles and with advances in theatrical experiences.

To put it in perspective, when it debuted, the "Vari-light" had just come into common usage in concerts. The experience in the Magic Eye Theater was amazing with, lasers, laser "explosions", and for its time, really good 3D effects. Add to that two "new" Michael Jackson songs, over the top dance routines, and it was a real crowd pleaser.

It will be interesting to see how long it runs in its new incarnation.

Jeff's avatar

Vari-Lite fixtures were well into their second and I think third iterations by then, actually, but I get your point. But there was a serious fascination with lasers then, that's for sure. No one really rocked the lasers like Pink Floyd and Def Leppard circa 1988 though. :)

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Fun's avatar

Is their anyone else that is completely uninterested in this attraction like me? I've never had an emotional connection with pop icons, and especially such a controversial one as MJ.

LostKause's avatar

I do have a connection with Pop icons because I see that they are really just normal people with the job of being famous. I try to enjoy the talent that they share, as well, although sometimes that is pretty difficult, because sometimes, they don't have any.

MJ, on the other hand, was probably one of the most talented individuals who ever lived, if only that he could could captivate the majority of people, make them watch him. He was arguably one of the most creative people of our time (top 100 or so).

It seems to me that some people have a problem with him being accused of child abuse. If so, I understand that. What got me past that is that he went to court a few times and came out a free man. I can accept that a jury made the right decision, and give him the benefit of the doubt.

I don't listen to pop music, but I pay attention, because sometimes the pop music world produces someone worth taking a look at, like Lady Gaga, for example.

ridemcoaster's avatar

Jeff said:
No one really rocked the lasers like Pink Floyd and Def Leppard circa 1988 though. :)

Thank the genious of Marc Brickman. He was an amazing lighting designer. When I worked for AVI and Laser Fantasy, I had the privilege in meeting him. His lighting artistry was something I always drooled over.

Last edited by ridemcoaster,
Jeff's avatar

Yeah, I thought it would be a neat career back then, until I realized that like three people in the world did it (well).

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

ridemcoaster's avatar

I was stuck in amusement parks, planetariums and sporting events (just simple graphics at basketball games).

Pay sucked, but I was just out of school.. My degree was in physics with a concentration in optics so I thought this was a perfect match and wanted to work up to concerts. Just took too long at low pay and since I was surrounded with computers anyways, figured I could up my salary and climb the corp ladder much quicker. Yeah I made a good choice..

But boy do I miss those planetarium laser show groupies. Strangely enough, thats how I had met my wife as she was one of them.

Good times....


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