June 30, 2010
Cast Members and Media were invited to a preview of Captain EO’s return to Epcot.
Captain EO is vintage Michael Jackson in his prime. The songs are all original Jackson, and bring to life the story of an electronic band of space creatures who undergo a magical transformation and aid Jackson in conquering the evil forces of darkness.
“The colorful new Disney-created musical instrument characters include: Hooter, the little green elephant who sneezes wild musical notes through his flute-like trunk; Fuzzball, the orange-haired space monkey with butterfly wings; Geex, a gold-encased, two-faced personality with two left feet, one right foot and two shaggy heads named Idy and Ody; Major Domo, whose mirrored silver costume becomes a complete set of drums, traps and string bass played by Fuzzball; and Minor Domo, with his sparkling purple torso that turns into an electronic synthesizer played by Hooter.” (From the original Press Release in the ’80s).
Take a good look at the sign shown below. It is the original sign from the first showing of Captain EO, which has been repainted and freshened up. Epcot is the only one of the Disney parks with an original sign at the attraction.
Located in its original home at the Imagination Pavilion, Captain EO replaces Honey I Shrunk the Audience on a temporary basis. (Cast members kept saying temporary and that Honey would return, but no one would give a time frame.)
Captain EO will have FastPass!
As you approach the entrance, a merchandise cart is set up and is currently open. Logo items included various t-shirts, hats, and buttons.
In addition to the signage, new carpet has been installed in the area.
A few Cast Members dressed up for the preview, this one sporting a Captain EO shirt and a Mickey Hand with silver sequins.
As we awaited entrance to the preshow area, Cast Members were buzzing with excitement to see the show. Interestingly, most of those in the first show had never seen the original!
The preshow area is physically the same, but with new carpet and paint. The monitors begin to share wait times at about 9 minutes and they are periodically updated. For those who are hearing impaired, stand to the left side for screens with captions.
After a very brief introduction, the original preshow is shown.
Again, the Cast applauded after the preshow and entered the theater cheering.
Epcot Vice President Dan Cockerell took the podium and gave a short introduction to the show return. He specifically thanked Joe Tankersley, Show Producer and Debbie Peterson, Art Director, both Walt Disney Imagineering. “On July 6th, it will be exactly 16 years since the last time Captain EO was shown at Epcot. Let’s go back to 1986!”
It was then time to put on our 3D glasses and enjoy Captain EO. No photography or video recording was permitted during the actual show.
If you saw the original show, new special effects have been added thanks to the technology enhancements made when Honey I Shrunk the Audience debuted.
Each Disney park showing Captain EO has its own special effects. Having just seen the one in Disneyland I can tell you they are definitely different at Walt Disney World. No spoilers, here, but I thought the Epcot effects were the better of the two.
After the show, several of the Imagineers who worked on Captain EO were available for interviews.
Debbie Peterson, Art Director Epcot, Walt Disney Imagineering.
Debbie was happy with the warm reception of everyone at the show. Her favorite part is when the supreme leader comes down “and when Michael first starts singing and dancing — it’s very exciting. We want guests to have that nostalgic feeling and leave with a huge smile on their faces!” Regarding enhancements she spoke about the new audio system and the ability to see the floor movement from Honey I Shrunk the Audience into Captain EO “With the special effects we want to make this a 4D experience!”
You can take a look at the AllEars® Archives to learn more about Captain EO from its first run in Epcot.
Captain EO opens to all guests on Friday, July 2! Come back and share your thoughts!