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Walt Disney World debuts new castle video show, starring park guests

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Published: January 20, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Walt Disney World's started the nightly photo-projection display on the Magic Kingdom's Cinderella Castle, which it had promised as part of 2011's "Let the Memories Begin" promotional campaign.

Here's a video clip, from Disney:

Perhaps it's because I don't know any of the park visitors featured in the clips. Or perhaps it's because I'm just a cold-hearted tech geek. But the element of the presentation which impressed me most wasn't the images of the children on the castle. It was the spectacular, "Inception"-like video projections that played with the castle's form itself.

The effects color the castle like a kindergartener's crayon picture, crumble the castle's walls in a pixelated dissolve and shoot fireworks streaming across the castle, which then continue as real pyrotechnics in the sky behind. Color me... impressed.

Update: Here's a video of the complete show, sent along by our friend Scott Joseph:

Scott writes: "This is so much more than a slide show on the walls. At times the castle seems to fall into a pile of dust, or go up in flames, or seem to launch one of its turrets into space. I gotta tell you, I'm pretty jaded about this sort of thing, and it blew me away."

Readers' Opinions

From on January 20, 2011 at 10:26 AM
This is true Disney, Would not expect anything less. Just unreal and very cleaver
From on January 20, 2011 at 10:35 AM
I cant wait to see it! So cool!
From Anthony Murphy on January 20, 2011 at 11:17 AM
I saw a video for this a couple of days ago and I will say that I am very impressed. They are taking the castle to new forms and new heights. While this video gives a good general sense of it, check out youtube for a live taping of it. There is a newlady that does theme park videos that are just spectacular and she filmed this! The effects from form to form on the castle are even more impressive without the "cutting out". One great effect is the castle "blasting off" with Buzz Lightyear!

Perhaps this will be Disney's "gift" to WDW in light of the Wonderful World of Color (which I also saw a video for it a couple of days ago WOW!)

From James Koehl on January 20, 2011 at 1:56 PM
I just watched the YouTube of the whole show. If that is how good it looks on YouTube, I can't wait to see it in person this June! Incredible! To me, based solely on the video, it beats World of Color hands down!
From Thomas Caselli on January 20, 2011 at 2:07 PM
I watched a 10 minute video of it on Youtube. It is amazing. I so want to see it in person.
From TH Creative on January 20, 2011 at 4:05 PM
Speechless ... amazed ... WOW!
From Robert Niles on January 20, 2011 at 4:10 PM
If high-def video projection means that Disney never has to *actually* transform the castle into a giant birthday cake again, it will be technology for which I shall forever be thankful.
From Carlo Guardascione on January 20, 2011 at 9:11 PM
I love this stuff. Ralph Lauren did a huge 4D experience on the side of a building. I'm so glad Disney took notice. It will probably only get better and more elaborate.

Here is the Ralph Lauren link. So cool...

From Joshua Counsil on January 21, 2011 at 2:20 AM
Wow. Stunning. Universal took the cake last year for attractions, but Disney still dominates the lighting and pyrotechnics department. Beautiful work.

That being said... I understand the incentive behind covering the castle in photos taken that day, but the show would be much more impressive without the photographs. They make the show seem tacky, almost like a cheaply made PowerPoint presentation with plenty of star wipes.

From Rob P on January 21, 2011 at 10:09 AM
The photos portion is great for the kids involved and their families so it works very well on that level. But overall I don't think it works.
The rest of the show is jaw -dropping good and will appeal to everyone rather than just a lucky few.
So, while I can't knock the imagineers' concept of kids getting to see their pictures on the Castle, I don't believe it has much more than novelty value.

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