Yes, back in those days, Epcot was open till 11pm nightly in the summer.
Surprise was a hard show to produce because you had to use fireworks that had colored smoke. Any other fireworks wouldn't be seen in the day. The giant Jack in the Boxes were used from the old Party Gras Parade if I'm not mistaken. The show was altered during it's run, and eventually lost the larger planes in favor of ultralight planes...
The show was very successful... it brought people to World Showcase during the daytime... which is why the show was created.
The problem is, after they got rid of the show, people would go back and stay in Future World again. And so begin the years of Future World closing at 7.
Oh, but I do (by watching videos)... very similar in the way the shows were done. Yet, the shows had different elements if I remember correctly. Surprise was basically a re-done and re-themed version of Skyleidoscope.
Skyleidoscope was a daytime show in the World Showcase Lagoon. It's original title was "Magical Rainbows." (marketing renamed it)
The show was based around Epcot's staple character, the Dreamfinder. The Dreamfinder would paint the sky with different colored smoke when he rode over the lagoon in his blimp. (Yes, a real flying version of the bicycle blimp was created for the show... sadly, it was taken out early because of wind factors) Anyway, as Dreamfinder would paint the sky, he encountered an evil force... Dragons. Four dragon boats would come out and shoot fire from their nostrils. Dreamfinder then called upon his imagined army of snails and fireflies that would fight the evil dragons. (The snails were on motorized surfboards and hovercrafts, the fireflies on ultralight aircraft that would drop bombs on the dragons.) At the end of the show, an explosion of colored fireworks (that left colored smoke) and the fireflies (which would also leave colored smoke) would take place to show that good won over evil.
Skyleidoscope was the show that used airplanes flying over the American Adventure. Surprise in the Skies used characters on ultra-light hang glider kite things... a change that was needed because of the wind factor. A lot of times Skyleidoscope couldn't even take place because of the wind, and the planes were rare because they were so ultralight and the wind would play a major role in flying out on the lagoon.
Hopefully I answered that in a way that TDLFAN won't be mad at me for stealing his question. Sorry TDLFAN!!
Thanks Bill. Both shows included a wide variety of vehicles. Surprise in the Skies especially packed a lot of punch, in part due to learning from Skyleidoscopes mistakes. Hope to see another show of SITS caliber at EPCOT in the future. Imagine what today's advancements would allow them to do now!
Last edited by Ride Warrior; 02-06-2006 at 11:28 PM.
To Boldly Go Where No MiceChatter Has Gone Before!
Actually, if you've seen both shows. (Even just videos of both shows) Skyleidoscope is the better of the two... had a lot more story and fun to it... it's just that when things didn't work right, well, that's what happens. Skyleidoscope opened in 1985... Surprise in 1991 for the 20th. But yes, I agree. Imagine what they could do now.
During Skaleidoscope, they also had an army of boats on the lagoon... jetskis, small sailing boats and a couple of speed boats dressed to look like dragons or so, that were supposed to be the bad guys.. while Figment sat inthe middle of the lagoon on a floating barge, conducting the whole affair. The highlight was seeing the 5 light planes painting the rainbow over the lagoon at the end. Still... WDW has never been succesful at puttingon huge entertainment like this one on a regular basis... seems to be they do and then realize it takes a lot fo work and they pull the plug on it. Same thing happened to "Splashtacular" in Future World.. They can't handle the production values and then dismiss the whole things as "not fitting with EPCOT's theme" or "We decided to go in a different direction"... meaning it's too much for us since we are not TDR and do not have the budgets or cast necesary to pull HUGE productions on a regular basis... Speaking of... "Splashtacular" was a different version of TDL's 10 anniversary show "It's Magical". Many do not know that.