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Captain EO: A Tribute at Disneyland

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Published: March 4, 2010 at 10:13 PM

On February 23, 2010, to a tremendous opening day crowd, Disneyland brought Captain EO back to Tomorrowland. After the recent death of Michael Jackson, fans of Captain EO have been begging for its return. Now he is back, in its original format. The main thing about “Captain EO: A Tribute” is that is just that: a tribute. On the Thursday after opening, I was able to make it down to Disneyland.

The print is the same, and though the inn theater effects are slightly altered, it’s just like sitting in the theater 20 years ago. Amazingly, it’s nice to know that a Lucas-produced film has not been modernized with new special effects and alternate scenes.

If you have never seen the film and don’t know the story, Michael Jackson is Captain EO, who with his rag tag band of alien creatures travels across the galaxy to find and alien queen and deliver a gift. This gift is in the form of a song that will change the world, from a dark, gloomy, evil world to one that sings and dances in a 80’s version Munchkinland.

But how long will this attraction last? The film attraction originally played throughout the 80’s and 90’s during the pinnacle of Jackson’s career. But, as with most attractions, the time comes for an update. No other film-based attraction has had such a following as this. However, the excitement for this film may have already diminished. Tuesday’s opening crowd saw a Tomorrowland packed to capacity. The Thursday morning crowd was very light. I was able to get into the first show of the day with only a 2/3 full audience.

I doubt HISTA will return after this run. Disneyphiles have been asking for “Mickey’s Philharmagic” to come to Disneyland, along with “The Laugh Floor”. Personally, I would love to see Philharmagic play in this space.

Captain EO has returned, but his stay may not be that long. After he succeeds in his mission of increasing attendance through the peak of the summer season, I expect to see him leave and the theater to be remodeled to hold one of the two above attractions.

Readers' Opinions

From rick stevens on March 5, 2010 at 1:04 AM
I made the second day crowd...not much of one...wanted to see if I remembered the great EO. The theater effects were a plus. The audience cheered when MJ emerged on screen (I heard that some crowds actually cried). The film is dated, the costumes, hairdos, music, etc. It was as I remembered from when I took my kids way back when. I had forgotten that Francis Ford Coppola directed this effort and I think that Angelica Huston really steals the show. It brings back memories, both good and bad, and I agree it will not be there for the long run.
From Sylvain Comeau on March 5, 2010 at 3:32 AM
They can't replace it with Mickey's PhilharMagic because that movie doesn't fit the theme of Tommorrowland in the slightest. It's time to bring in a new attraction for that theatre, unless they put in a souped up version of MILF; maybe in 3D?
From 76.172.237.107 on March 5, 2010 at 8:42 AM
I was in the first show of the day too on the Thursday after opening. Small world eh?

Philharmagic wouldn't fit in the Magic Eye theater. It is far too small for the 180 degree screens. Laugh floor would probably fit though. Unfortunately, neither is a thematic fit for Tomorrowland, and if there is one thing Tomorrowland needs it is more rides about the future and fewer attempts to just fit a ride from some other park in there.

From Anthony Murphy on March 5, 2010 at 9:13 AM
I think Disney should release it!

Its important in 3D movie and Michael Jackson history.

From Ted Heumann on March 5, 2010 at 10:49 AM
I suspect that EO will stay until they redo ALL of Tomorrowland.
NO one wants HISTA to come back and it's attendance numbers were DISMAL. EO's numbers can't be any worse.
I think that the Laugh Floor is a possiblity, it will really fall to who gets their way. Tony Baxter who wants to do something AWESOME or the sharp pencil boys who don't want to spend any money.
From Manny Barron on March 5, 2010 at 12:30 PM
I belive EO will be there after the Holiday season before it goes down, as for its replacement? PhilharMagic is awesome but the screen and theme dont fit in Tomorrowland. Monsters inc laugh floor isn't a good idea and well there just isn't too much space there to put a ride of any sort. My bet is HISTA returns for a couple more years.
From 96.254.183.2 on March 5, 2010 at 4:36 PM
They should bring this back to Epcot, too. A lot of people, like me, live closer to Disney World. Plus, Philharmagic doesn't belong in Tomorrowland.
From Brandon Mendoza on March 8, 2010 at 11:48 AM
I was disappointed to see that a lot of the Merchandise was out on Monday, March 1st. The only sizes left were XXL... and zero hats.

Either way, I'd say keep the show for at least the rest of the year as I think it's a waste to make that Captain EO Tribute sign for just a few months.

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