Mr. Lincoln is an intrical part of the Disneyland Story. The creation of the Lincoln figure allowed Walt to create HM, POTC, COP, CBJ and other AA attractions. Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln was the start of the Liberty Street project that blossomed into Liberty Square and the Hall of Presidents.
here is an outline from my Main Street Dossier that I have been working on for 3 years for the Disney Archives:
Secrets from Behind
Ø Set to open 1957 - 1959
Ø Off-shoot of the East side of Town Square
o Two main sections - Liberty Street and Liberty Square dramatizing America’s Revolutionary War era.
Ø Main attraction - “One Nation Under God,” located in a reproduction of Independence Hall.
o Large foyer
§ Dioramas of famous scenes of the establishment of American independence
§ Scale Model of the Capital Building(12 2/3’ X 4 1/2’), sculpted out of French Caen stone by George Lloyd in 1935. Although the attraction was never built, the model was later used in the lobby of the Opera House for Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.
o Twin Auditoriums, each seating 500 guests in pew-like benches.
§ The Hall of the Declaration of Independence
· Three scenes based on famous American Paintings
o The Drafting of the Declaration of Independence by J.L.G. Ferris
o The Signing of the Declaration of Independence by John Trumbull
o Ringing of the Liberty Bell by Henry Mosler
§ The Hall of the Presidents of the United States
· Life-size sculpted and costumed figures of all the nation’s, then, thirty-four presidents, Washington to Eisenhower.
o Backed by a rear-projection of the US Capitol Building and clouds across a twilight sky
· Narration of the trials, decisions, and formation of America’s heritage complimented by excerpts of presidential speeches, some of which was recorded in 1958.
· Although a working figure of Lincoln was created, the full scale project was shelved due to a lack of technology.
· Re-worked into Great Moments of Mr. Lincoln for the State of Illinois pavilion at the 1964-65 World’s Fair in New York and The Hall of Presidents at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom
Ø Became the basis of Liberty Square at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom
I've updated the OP with the new Lincoln and Disney Gallery news (VERY EXCITING! :D)
The Disneyland Story featuring "Great Moment with Mr. Lincoln" - at the Main Street Opera House
Details: On February 25, Disney officially announced the long-promised return of "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln" in a press release. The new show will combine the historical Disneyland exhibits from the "Disneyland: First 50 Magical Years" show with a new theater presentation of "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln." There is no indication of the rumored Barack Obama or George Washington additions.
Project Status: "Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years" will close March 16.
Open Date: Fall 2009.
Details: A new Disney Gallery will replace the Bank of Main Street, as announced in a February 25 press release.
Project Status: To begin mid-summer 2009.
Open Date: Fall 2009.
Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
But, in short the original Lincoln show was called "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln." It was replaced with The Walt Disney Story following Walt's death. Then, following popular demand, Abe was returned and the two attractions merged to form The Walt Disney Story featuring "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln". This combination of both featured the lobby exhibits from the Walt Disney Story attraction with the stage presentation of Mr. Lincoln.
Now we have Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years, which showcases the story and history of Disneyland park. The return of Lincoln will result in the show being called The Disneyland Story featuring "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln" -- the new presentation will combine the 50 First Years lobby exhibits with the new Lincoln stage show.
It makes sense.
Lincoln returning wasn't the issue. Though it was on shaky ground a while back, I think it is moving forward again. My questioning was directed at the Obama/Washington additions, which was a weak rumor to start with and would be EXTREMELY unlikely unless some of the "unclever" at TDA decided that they thought it would be a good idea.
Ive anyone still believes that Obama and Washington are going to be added, think of it this way. The whole reason Lincoln was put off for so long was the cost of bringing back up the figure. Why would WDC/WDI spend over a million dollars to add 2 figures to the stage, and hundreds of thouosands to the maintenance budget for thier upkeep, not to mention the retrofitting of the stage to handle 2 additional figures? all of this on the knowledge that within barely 2 years would become an empty show bringing in only about 10-30 people per showing in a theater that seats over 180.
thats why they are switching the exits, since more people were in the lobby for the exhibits than in the show.
I asked because the initial rumor was so off the wall, and the reports I had heard indicated no such additions (Washington/Obama) would be part of the attraction. So that indicated to me that either the rumor had to come from some really obscure unreliable source or it was one of intentional “misinformation” intended to root out leaks in the company ranks.
It’s still uncertain how it was begun. But beyond the couple of posts here refuting it, there has finally been recent Disney releases indicating that it was false.
And where did the Obama/Washington rumor come from? When Alpoe and I both mentioned that Lincoln was returning, Obama/Washington was never brought up by us. I think the problem is is that people don't read the entire thread and only read the last page or two..so many things are taken out of context. But thats my personal take....
As for sources...I can't reveal who my sources are...but I know some are not going to believe me yet..but I will say that I was the first to mention that Lincoln was returning in January...As for my intentions...I am a Disney fan too and if I find out something significant, I want to share it with my fellow Disney fans.
But the point is... sometimes people really can't reveal sources simply because it would jeopardize the career of the source. So often people say, "I really can't tell you who my source is" and at that point we simply have to say "ok... I understand, thanks for sharing the information you have." Even if you don't believe it for a second, its important to thank them, because it may turn out, as it did in this case, that the person was absolutely correct and really does have a source and really does know things.
All I'm saying is, benefit of the doubt. Innocent until proven guilty... unless someone says something like "I heard the castle is being razed to the ground. I have a reliable source." In that case you can laugh them off the internet :)
I'm really glad that Lincoln is finally returning and without any guests.
I'm re-posting the entire portion of the column (unedited) that deals with the Mr. Lincoln and Disney Gallery project, as it will be good to reference later on, and we never know when Al will yank the old column from the MiceAge mainpage.
MiceAge 11/18: Abe & Barack
For Disneyland's 55th anniversary. it now looks like an old classic attraction will return in a lavish new facility. The animatronic everyone claims to love, but few actually bother to visit, Mr. Lincoln is now planned to return to the Disneyland Opera House in time for the 55th. But the plan isn't to just dust off the old figure and start passing out 3-D headphones again. If Imagineer Tony Baxter gets his way the Disneyland Opera House would literally be flipped around, and Mr. Lincoln would have some new friends join him on the stage.
The proposal now that is quickly gaining traction from Team Disney Anaheim's (TDA) sharp pencil boys would have arriving visitors to the Mr. Lincoln show heading in through what is now the exit (via the green doorway, to the left in the above photo). Visitors would wait in a small lobby area adjacent to the hat shop (shown below) before heading in to a smaller theater with fewer seats.
Even though this new Lincoln presentation will be shorter and more compelling, even Tony Baxter knows that the hundreds of seats installed in 1965 are a bit of overkill regardless of how good the Imagineers make the robotic president. So the show would be presented as a history of Disneyland technology and the importance Walt placed on patriotism and pride in the country for his little park. The curtain would rise on the familiar Abraham Lincoln figure, who would give a stirring speech before introducing the nation's first president, George Washington who would also say a few words.
Piggybacking on the work now going on to eventually revamp Walt Disney World's (WDW) impressive Hall of Presidents animatronic attraction, WDI now wants to create a condensed version of that new show for Disneyland. But instead of going through the entire parade of silent nodding rubber presidents like WDW does, George Washington would then cut to the chase and introduce the current president, which would be Barack Obama when the attraction opens prior to the 55th anniversary. President-elect Obama's animatronic would say a few well-scripted words, and the show would end with the requisite stirring music and gushing patriotic pride.
The Opera House audience would then gather their personal belongings and exit to their left, instead of their right, and enter into a newly expanded Disneyland history exhibit. Much of the displayed items and models from the 50th anniversary show would remain, in addition to some reworked displays on the life of Walt Disney himself, but the old lobby would be reworked a bit physically and would be expanded out to the south.
The current location of the Bank of Main Street (shown below) would be transformed into a new version of the Disney Gallery, which would be accessible from both the Opera House post-show area as well as the sidewalk off of the Town Square.
The new Gallery space would be much larger than it was when it was in New Orleans Square, and the current plan has the shop using both the lower and upper levels of the bank building. The space above the Opera House and Bank of Main Street is currently offices for park management as well as the location of the Disneyland operators who staff the park's private telephone exchange. These offices and facilities would need to be moved, since the proposal for this big new attraction depends on plenty of floor space to sell the expensive collectibles and artwork that well-heeled Disneyland fans crave.
Much like the Japanese "office ladies" who snap up whatever cutesy souvenir the park offers to keep the cash registers humming at Tokyo Disneyland day in and day out, the affluent California collectors have done much to pad the bottom line for Disneyland in the last few years. It's a customer demographic that other established parks like Paris and Orlando lust after, but that really only exists in solid numbers here in Southern California. Those profitable sales are what are giving Tony Baxter's Opera House makeover plan plenty of lift, so thank a collector the next time you see them.
After two years of changing plans for a new Disney Gallery, from the Plaza Pavilion to Downtown Disney, the Disneyland merchandise folks are just happy to have a big new space custom designed for them. The current Annual Passholder (AP) services offered at the bank would be moved semi-permanently to the newly refurbished Plaza Pavilion (shown above).
If this Opera House/Disney Gallery plan gets the final green light (and it was looking very positive earlier this month) it would be a real bonus for Disneyland fans in particular and those who miss Walt Disney's unabashed patriotism. We'll keep you posted.
Walt Disney Imagineering quickly told the LA Times that the President Obama rumors were "patently false"
LA Times 11/18: Barack Obama is going to Disney World — and maybe Disneyland too
President-elect Barack Obama will soon take his place among the 43 previous commanders-in-chief at Walt Disney World and may join Abraham Lincoln and George Washington at Disneyland. (Story updated below.)
Disney hopes to entice Obama to record an address for his animatronic likeness, which will be added to the Hall of Presidents show at the Magic Kingdom by the Fourth of July 2009. Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush lent their voices to their Disney doppelgangers.
The revamped show in Florida will include speaking parts by Washington, Lincoln and Obama, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Mice Age columnist Al Lutz reports that Obama and Washington may join Lincoln at the Disneyland Opera House in time for the Anaheim theme park’s 55th anniversary in 2010.
Disneyland’s “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln” closed in 2005 to make way for the 50th anniversary movie, “Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years.”
Walt Disney Imagineering officials said that while discussions have been ongoing to bring back “Mr. Lincoln” at Disneyland, no such plans are currently in the works.
UPDATE: Walt Disney Imagineering officials now emphatically say a Barack Obama animatronic figure will NOT be added to the “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln” show at Disneyland, calling the Al Lutz story “patently false.”
I've updated some stuff according to info in Al Lutz's 3/3 MiceAge column (except for the Fruit Cart entry, which is based off info from Disneyland.com's calendar). If you see anything I missed, let me know.
The Disneyland Story featuring "Great Moment with Mr. Lincoln" at the Main Street Opera House
Details: On February 25, Disney officially announced the long-promised return of "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln" in a press release. The new show will combine the historical Disneyland exhibits from the "Disneyland: First 50 Magical Years" show with a new theater presentation of "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln." The rumored Barack Obama or George Washington additions will not happen.
Project Status: "Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years" will close March 16.
Open Date: Fall 2009.
Frontierland fruit cart
Details: A new fruit stand will be installed in the former location of the Conestoga Fries wagon.
Project Status: In progress.
Open Date: By late May 2009
Astro Orbitor - Major refurbishment/possible removal
Details: The Astro Orbitor is scheduled for a major refurbishment March-June 2009, which will include repainting the attraction in a blue-and-silver color scheme and maintenance on the broken spinning planets. David "Darkbeer" Michael reported on 2/6 that the attraction may be too costly to repair and Disney is now considering its permanent removal.
Project Status: Originally reported to begin March 2009, but will possibly start later in 2009.
Completion Date: If the project begins in March it will be completed by June 2009
Star Tours 2
Details: Long-rumored, and long-delayed update of Star Tours attraction.
Project Status: Unknown.
Open Date: Previously said to open by 2010, but has been reportedly delayed until summer 2011.