Captain EO Returns to Epcot – Cast and Media Preview

June 30, 2010

Cast Members and Media were invited to a preview of Captain EO’s return to Epcot.

Captain EO - 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.

Captain EO - Epcot

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!

Captain EO - Epcot

As you approach the entrance, a merchandise cart is set up and is currently open. Logo items included various t-shirts, hats, and buttons.

Captain EO - Epcot

In addition to the signage, new carpet has been installed in the area.

Captain EO - Epcot

Captain EO - Epcot

Captain EO - Epcot

Captain EO - Epcot

Captain EO - Epcot

A few Cast Members dressed up for the preview, this one sporting a Captain EO shirt and a Mickey Hand with silver sequins.

Captain EO - Epcot

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!

Captain EO - Epcot

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.

Captain EO - Epcot

After a very brief introduction, the original preshow is shown.

Captain EO - Epcot

Again, the Cast applauded after the preshow and entered the theater cheering.

Captain EO - Epcot

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!”

Captain EO - Epcot

Captain EO - Epcot

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.

Captain EO - Epcot

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!

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32 Replies to “Captain EO Returns to Epcot – Cast and Media Preview”

  1. We saw it on July 1! We’re annual passholders and part of our party are DVC members, but the cast members let everyone in our party come in at the same time. I never saw the original (born in ’82), and I’m so glad we were there to see it this time. My 9 year old son thought it was so awesome, and he danced along during and after. The special effects were a definite surprise, and though I can’t compare it to the original, I thought they added a lot to the presentation.

    I need that sequined Mickey hand above for my husband! He would absolutely die if I brought that home for him.

  2. We went to see it on the second day it opened–July 3. We figured there would be too many people opening day. There was hardly anyone at Epcot that day–no lines! My kids are 8, 6 and 20 months. The 6 year old though it was a little loud, but had a good time. They only had the buttons for Captain EO at the little kiosk when we came out, but we found plenty at The Contemporary Resort. The Cast Member( @ TCR) even added that she knew some of the people that worked the attraction and that M.J.’s kids were there that weekend to see it.

  3. We saw EO at 8:45 pm on 7-12. There was no line. Probably because of the fireworks about to go off. This is classic. Our 6 year old hates loud noises, but she loved the show anyway. Who ever was in charge of bringing this back is definitely a huge asset to WDW.

  4. On July 2, my wife, kids, and I attended the very first showing of EO for regular guests. It was AMAZING how the crowd reacted.

    Several cast members were present, some crying before and after the presentation. There was a ribbon cutting just before we arrived,and Mickey was there in a spaceman outfit!

    The effects are fantastic, but nothing beats the crowd standing, cheering, and shouting when Michael made his first appearance in the film. Plus, it is not so scary. Our 3 year old was laughing and enjoying the presentation.

    In terms of merchandise, I was able to get an EO pin, looking like the poster, but there were very few and I hope more are there now…

    It was fun to be just a small part of Disney History.

  5. Only 1 person seems to be sorry Captain EO is coming back.

    Me – I can’t wait to see it again, way way better than “Honey”!!

  6. I hope they’ll have the tee shirts next January when I am there! Loved it way back when and it will be fun to share it with my adult children this time around as they don’t remember it.

  7. I was forced to see this again because my 14 year old thought i would be cool. This show was bad 24 years ago and still bad today. Disney only brought this back because of his recent death. Trust me this show won’t be on for too long. DON’T waste your time unless its very hot and you want to take a nap.

  8. The 1st time we went to see this my mom had her curly brown hair in a bun on the back of her head. When the little flying fuzzy character flew “out” at the audience a 3 year old girl reached up to grab it. Instead she grabbed my mom’s hair and screeeeamed! Too funny! We are going back to see it and show my kids this summer. I hope that it is as good as I remember it.

  9. My husband and I will be going with 2 small children in September. We both really want to go! Will there be a way to do the whole “parent swap” thing without having to lose our place in line? Is this a movie we should definitely get a Fast Pass for since so many haven’t seen the original? Just trying to think of the fastest way for us to both see it without the kids getting cranky waiting! lol Thanks!

    ALL EARS: FastPass will probably be your best bet. Get them both at the same time. One of you watch the show when your FastPass time comes. The other with the youngsters. When one is finished with the show, the other uses their FastPass to enter (hopefully) the next show.

  10. I saw the original but my son and mother came to the US in 1994 after it stopped being shown. I loved the show, it was better than I remembered but moreover my 16 year old and my 91 year old mom thought it was fantastic
    Well done Disney, please keep it in place it is far better than Honey I shrunk the audience

  11. I love this show my kids remember seeing it when they were little. we will be there in September will it still be there?

    ALL EARS: No end date has been announced yet.

  12. Just saw Captain EO! Wish I read your blog before I saw it. I wasn’t ready for the 4D effects! Ha! It was great. I prepared my kids that they would probably think the movie was lame comparably to new 3D movies, but they said they loved it! Wish they would have had a plush of Fuzzball, my kids wanted one. Hope Disney keeps Captain EO for a while. Honey, I shrunk the audience was a tired attraction which we no longer rode.

  13. Signs say “may be frightening for young children”…I am going on my first post-divorce trip with my two girls (12 and 6) on July 29th. What should I be concerned of in regards to my 6 year old? I am not sure if I should bring her in to see this but I think she would love the music. Any help would be great.

    AllEars: Each child is different so what may scare one may not frighten another. The music is very loud. The Supreme Leader and her “army” are very BORG like (if you ever saw Star Trek Next Generation). The Supreme Leader is all wired up in the air and has very very long finger/nails that extend thru the 3D. The 3D effects (you wear 3D glasses) can make it more realistic to a young child. There are special effects in the theatre (think Honey I Shrunk the Audience) which could also be a potential issue.

  14. I was there when it first came out and I hope it’s still there when I get to Disney in November. I would love to see it again 24 years later! Thanks for the great preview!

  15. I was way older than 6 when I first saw Captain EO and I loved it then. Can hardly wait to see it in September when we come back. I’ve got a feeling this is one of those ones that we go back to again and again.

  16. As a “child of the 80’s” it’s cool to see this show returning! I remember seeing Captain Eo with my family back in ’87 during our first trip when I was 10! Now I’m hoping it will still be running in Oct. so my 10 year old can see it when we go!

  17. Really excited to see this again in 3 weeks–I remember being there the summer the show opened in 1986–I was just turning 6! Thanks so much for the preview. I think its great that they saved the sign from the original run and are using it again!

  18. I´m so glad that Disney is bringing this show back, i can´t wait to see it again. I just wish is still around next year (May 2011). I will definitly see it over and over again. Love MJ and LOve Disney!!!! Ít´s that sequined Mickey hand on sale? Where can i find it?

    DEB: the sequined Mickey hand was made from hand. None on sale that I saw.

  19. I just saw this on June 1st (Passholder/DVC Preview) and thought it was amazing! I was born 1993, and this left before I could remeber. My mom brought me back to see it (when i was 6) and it was Honey ISTA. But she thought it was Captain EO. After that I wouldn’t wear 3D Glasses for a long time. But now she was so happy the brought back! My 91 Year Old Gran had never seen it either. We both really enjoyed the show!

    Note: I now can wear 3D Glasses, not scared
    Note 2: A pin duplicating the poster is avaiable at the Cart on opening day, and preview day. However they are limited. No Pins are avaiable at this time at Pin Station!

  20. I went last night to the Passholder Sneak Peek, and I have to say, if you are a “Child of the 80’s” or ever been a fan of Michael Jackson – you are going to have the most magical feeling when you leave this show. Is it dated? C’mon – we are talking 1986! Is it silly fun? Of course, it’s MJ and Disney! Will memories come flooding back and make you feel like a kid again? Without a doubt! 🙂 What an amazing show!!

  21. I saw this when I was 3 and I actually remember it, that’s how great it is! I cannot WAIT to see it again as an adult in October. Will be a definite highlight of our trip. 🙂

  22. I was one of the Cast Members present on opening day. I have to say, I thought it was wonderful to see the show again. I remember it from when I was about 6 years old. Seeing something from your youth again really brings back memories. I really liked the effects they did with the show. The movie itself is obviously time-dated, but the new technological 4D effects make the time-gap seem less dramatic. I’m not sure what guests will think of this ride who have never done it before. But as an old fan of the show, I thought it was terrific!

  23. hey deb any ideas how long “EO” will be playing ? next trip is mid sept. would hate to miss seeing M. J.

    DEB: No date has been given for Captain EO to end. Cast members would only say Honey I Shrunk the Audience would be back.

  24. Wow Deb! Thanks for all the great photos and article. I never saw the original show so when I go in November…I will definitely take in the show! I know my 12 year old daughter will want to see it and I’m very excited about being able to share that with her. Thanks again! Lisa

  25. Well…Is the first time I hear about Captain EO (my first visit to the world was in 1996)…but Disney + MJ looks great!!
    I love the Mickey hand with silver sequins!!

    I hope Captain EO continues, at least untill next year…:P

  26. I’m glad that they brought Capt EO back. I will be there in October and, with my friend Fuzzball, I will definitely be going to see this again. Actually the first time at Disney World because I saw it at Disneyland before.

  27. I loved reading this; it brought back so many memories of seeing this as a kid. I can’t wait to see it during our August trip.

    I was wondering if there is any additional merchandise being sold other than the cart shown in the picture.

    DEB: There were a couple slightly different shirts. I asked today at the pin station and they had no idea if a pin would be out fornopening or not. There are buttons just like the bones at Disneyland.

  28. I can’t wait to see this show again. The last time I saw it I was 19. Now my kids can enjoy it. Glad they brought it back.