Disney World's Captain EO to Close Dec. 6; Disney & Pixar Short Films to Replace

November 13, 2015, 9:32 AM · Visitors noticed a new sign at Epcot's Imagination pavilion this morning, announcing Captain EO's closure on Dec. 6.

Cast members quickly covered the sign, but not before pictures of the poster circulated online. We are awaiting confirmation from Disney (update: got it), but in the meantime, if you really want to see the 1986 Michael Jackson musical in the parks, plan on getting to Epcot before Dec. 6, barring any unexpected return for the show at Disneyland's Tomorrowland Theater, which is booked for the "Star Wars: Path of the Jedi" show through the end of the "Season of the Force" event there. Captain EO closed at Disneyland Paris earlier this year, and closed at Tokyo Disneyland last year.

Captain EO debuted at Disneyland and Epcot in September 1986, starring Jackson and Academy Award-winner Anjelica Huston in a 17-minute science fiction musical directed by Francis Ford Coppola and co-written by Coppola, Rusty Lemorande, and George Lucas. The film closed in the mid-90s at the two parks, but Disney brought it back following Jackson's death in 2009.

Update: Disney has confirmed that Dec. 6 will be the final day for Captain EO. Later in the month, the Magic Eye theater will begin shows of three as-yet-unspecified Disney and Pixar animated short films, in 3D, in a "Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival."

Replies (16)

November 13, 2015 at 11:03 AM · I hope they sell it on iTunes or something. While it is no longer strong enough to continue to be a theme park attraction again, bringing it back was a nice way to honor Jackon and reintroduce it to a new generation. Hard to believe the film cost $36 million to make in today's dollars.
November 13, 2015 at 11:13 AM · Tear down the theatre and use it as a means to expand Journey into Imagination, complete with Inside Out characters if it had to be.
November 13, 2015 at 12:03 PM · So, Twister an Captain EO, two of the worst theme park attractions of all time, even during their heyday, are now closing forever? It's like the theme park gods have blessed us all! Maybe this could be the first step in the DCA-style makeover I've seen you guys begging for in the discussion threads!
November 13, 2015 at 12:16 PM · I hope they have something big planned for the area, apart from the Frozen area of Norway and the third screen for Sorin there really is not much happening at Epcot and it's a shame as the other parks have all had or have planned major expansions to there areas, I for one would like to see something that will draw crowds away from Sorin and Test Track and make Epcot a place to be in the years ahead, maybe something like a Tron roller coaster like the one currently being built overseas or something along those lines, I think it would sit well with Epcots themeing personally and feel Epcot needs some areas redesigned to keep the family entertained.
November 13, 2015 at 1:59 PM · Something "Inside Out" makes a lot of sense to me as a follow-up. Hot IP that feels like it will age well (and yield a sequel), fits the existing theme of the pavilion, could be done as an overlay and not cost gazillions.

Would be another good PIXAR anchor to keep moderate crowds flowing in that area but not an all-points lightning rod like "Test Track." That would make the whole west side of Future World feel pretty healthy.

My biggest hope is that they'll commit to pulling the final plug on Ellen and demolish Universe of Energy, eliminating a huge dead zone on the east side. With the combined footprint of that pavilion and Wonders of Life (I know, I know, but they can find a new home for Food & Wine merch and seminars, maybe in a dead zone inside Communicore West), that's a lot of land for a sexy new E-ticket.

November 13, 2015 at 3:05 PM · I get moving on from this attraction, but at this point EO costs very little to operate/maintain. To remove it and run shorts is absurd to me. I am all for closing EO, but how about they bring us an exciting new attraction? While they are at it, they could refurbish and restore Journey into Imagination to its original glory!
November 13, 2015 at 4:32 PM · It was nostalgic and fun to see again, but it's good to see it go. Still wondering when Ellen's Energy Adventure will be replaced or closed down. It was fun in like 1996 but it's extremely dated now (as is most of Future World).
November 13, 2015 at 8:55 PM · I love the Captain EO soundtrack. I listen to it a lot.
November 13, 2015 at 9:08 PM · I'd love to see something "Inside Out" in EPCOT. In the mean time though I think the shorts are a great idea. I love the Disney and Pixar shorts they have been putting out lately and there are so many that they can rotate them around for quite a while.
November 13, 2015 at 9:47 PM · December 18 is the day of the opening of the new show
November 14, 2015 at 12:46 AM · Glad I got to see it on the big screen one more time, still a great experience.
November 14, 2015 at 3:14 AM · Can't say I'm sorry to see it go. Looking forward to seeing something better replace it.
November 14, 2015 at 12:56 PM · I love the Captain EO!!!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
November 14, 2015 at 8:12 PM · Disney should release a high definition copy on bluray, but I can already see it on YouTube. No one should miss the theme park attraction.
November 15, 2015 at 10:46 PM · No one agrees with me on this one, as I figured lol, but probably one of my favorite things at Epcot, and it makes me really sad. I still love walking out of the theatre hearing Another Part of Me. I understand people not liking Michael Jackson personally but musically he was an awesome talent and I loved being able to go to a show to hear some loud, fun jams In Disney World. I like Pixar a lot so I hope whatever they put in is great, I'll definitely miss Captain Eo very much though.
November 16, 2015 at 2:00 PM · Captain Eo is great, but I don't have an issue with it leaving. I've been surprised by all the vitriol against Disney for the move. I think the big question that bugs people is why put the short films in there. I hope they have something big up their sleeves for the near future. If not, then it's a step backwards into a pure marketing spot.

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