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Robert Niles

2010 Best Theme Park Attraction nominee: Epcot's O Canada!

Published: December 22, 2009 at 11:41 AM

Epcot's O Canada! joins the 2010 Best Theme Park Attraction tournament field as the 15th seed in the Best Movie or Animated Show bracket.

Epcot's Canada pavilion
Epcot's Canada pavilion. Photo courtesy Disney

Named for the Canadian national anthem, this 18-minute, Circle-Vision 360 movie takes visitors on a tour of North America's largest country (by area). Updated in 2007, the new version of the presentation is narrated by Canadian Martin Short. Here's a taste:

Circle-Vision films used to be a staple in Disney parks, but Disney has converted many of its former Circle-Vision theaters to other uses. (Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor at the Magic Kingdom and Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters at Disneyland both used to be Circle-Vision theaters.) IMAX seems to have become the preferred format for immersive visual presentations, leaving Circle-Vision behind. And the standing-room-only theaters used for Circle-Vision shows don't win over many weary theme park visitors.

But still... that's some pretty scenery. Great visuals, good music and a few funny gags - that's the prescription for a winning theme park movie. While O Canada! might not have earned a place in the top half of this year's draw, we'll see if it has enough fans to pull an upset or two. Voting begins in the 2010 Best Theme Park Attraction tournament in March.

Replies (9)

Michael Weissman

Published: December 22, 2009 at 12:06 PM

360 degree screens like this aren't even top of the line though! I go to school at RPI in New York and our experimental media building EMPAC has a 360 degree screen that is fully immersive, 40' tall so your field of vision cannot extend past it, and no breaks in between screens. You walk in and your world gets transformed. If Disney had this it would be incredible to see what stories they could tell with it.
Ryan Sanford

Published: December 22, 2009 at 1:51 PM

This attraction has great music.
Manny Barron

Published: December 22, 2009 at 2:48 PM

Yeah the standing room only part of this attraction has kept me from watching it. Prefer Impressions de France because of the seats but I will one day watch this and the China show at Epcot.
Anthony Murphy

Published: December 22, 2009 at 7:14 PM

My nominee for best theme park song.
James Rao

Published: December 22, 2009 at 8:01 PM

Have not seen this movie since it was upgraded to the Martin Short version, but the original film was underwhelming at best. I am anxious to revisit the attraction this summer as I have heard nothing but good things about the changes.

Any chance that travelogue in Norway will get a similar type of upgrade soon?

Raul Araoz

Published: December 22, 2009 at 11:43 PM

This movie is okay, but it's my least favorite of the World Showcase films. I also agree that, while I enjoy the concept of the Circlevision film, it could definitely use an upgrade. Plus, why can't swivel stools be installed in order to give guests a place to sit?
Anthony Murphy

Published: December 23, 2009 at 11:18 AM

In my opinion, nothing can be worse than the Norway movie!

In regards to circlevision, I really don't have a problem with that and I think that China's circlevision is even better than Canada.

I also think O Canada gets a bad rap, sometimes even from me, is because most of us are Americans and 1. Been to Canada and 2. Many of us live in areas that are very similar to the enviroment of Canada (heck, Chicago looks very similar to Toronto) The new film goes for the more "exotic" Canada, making more of a striking comparison to its US counterparts.

You also can't beat the song!

Joshua Counsil

Published: December 23, 2009 at 3:27 PM

I have to defend this one on behalf of my country, but it's hardly worthy of the title. Martin Short is a natural talent, and they should have let him improvise or write his own material. The jokes are very weak, and there seems to be an emphasis on Canadian celebrities rather than culture.

Still, if it does pull an upset in the first round, I look forward to the rousing choruses of "Blame Canada".

Doug Kelley

Published: December 23, 2009 at 11:33 PM

Just lump all the Epcot World Showcase pavillions into one representative attraction. They're all about the same anyway.

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