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  1. #1

    • MiceAge Columnist
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    September 10, 2009: Golden Dreams

    Golden Dreams is a 22-minute mini-epic about people who came to California—their dreams, their challenges, and their triumphs.


    Please discuss it here.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  2. #2

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    Smile Re: September 10, 2009: Golden Dreams

    I, for one, spent at least a dozen "go rounds" in that theater. I was impressed with the film and loved the ending song. Few people noticed that the ending montage changed occasionally to reflect more current events. It was an honest and slightly warts and all version of some good, and not so good events that helped shape California. This film was designed to be entertaining AND informational and I think it succeeded on both fronts. The demise of this attraction came about due to uninterested guests and a lack of any measurable Disney "magic". It was a nice pseudo-documentary but eventually had no place in Disney's changing theme park. People knew it was there (just check out the capacity crowds during Halloween Time's "Villians" show that temporarily replaced Golden Dreams during the Halloween season. The theater, queue, and meet-and-greet with the villains after the show were all extremely crowded). They just avoided being subjected to I'm sure was percieved as just a "lesson" in California history. I will miss the film and hope it turns up someday on a dvd set that may showcase films that have been retired from the Disney theme parks (Leonard Maltin, are you listening?). I have no bad memories of this film. The theater was very nice. The seating was comfortable and very clean. The seating afforded everyone a great view of both the film and the bookend statues of Califia. And the presentation was first rate. Still, it failed to find a devoted audience to care for it (eg. Captain Eo). It wasn't hated (HISTA!) but it didn't leave you with the feeling that you had a good time while you were in there either. It was just sort of uh, there. Take it or leave it. I applaud Disney for allowing it to be shown for as long as it was. It afforded me the opportunity to share this film with dozens of friends whom I know would have passed it by had I not encouraged them to at least see it once. Everyone uniformly enjoyed it and had praise for it afterward. But once was almost always enough. A quiet, air conditioned detour between the screams of Paradise Pier and the screams of It's Tough to be a Bug. I look forward to the Little Mermaid attraction and am glad to have been one of the lucky ones (few?) to have seen this DCA original attraction. Thanks to all who made it and where can I find that song? That, and the new Electrical Parade music? Just thought I'd ask.

  3. #3

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    Re: September 10, 2009: Golden Dreams

    I never saw Golden Dreams during my visits to the park. I'm wishing I had sat through the film at least once...I wonder if it will ever be released on disc.

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    Re: September 10, 2009: Golden Dreams

    I never saw it, but every year at Halloween I'd see banners for that Halloween overlay "Villain Screams" show, and I'd ask my mom if we could go see it, but we'd be busy going to other attractions or getting candy at Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party we go to every year, and then when I saw it wasn't there one year, I was really sad. Can you add something about the Villain Screams show in? Was it any good? Also, I had no idea Golden Dreams actually closed to the public last year. That's really interesting!

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    Re: September 10, 2009: Golden Dreams

    Thanks for this, Werner. I always enjoyed this show, although it didn't have much repeatability. I saw it maybe once a year, and that was enough. I would like to see it on dvd, though!

  6. #6

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    Re: September 10, 2009: Golden Dreams

    We would always go see this when we were there just for the ending. I loved the song and the film clips that went along always brought a tear to my eye. Especially the part with the special Olympics.
    I miss Disney World...
    Check out my Disney Cruise Trip Report...lots of photos being added: http://micechat.com/forums/disney-cr...ey-wonder.html

  7. #7

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    Re: September 10, 2009: Golden Dreams

    I had the good fortune of seeing Golden Dreams several times. I was first attracted to it by audio shows on Live365 and, being a huge fan of radio-drama, loved it every time and couldn't wait to see it live. The actual film was everything it was in my mind. Finding the video has been a holy-grail-type quest. I have some from a hand-held camera, but I'd love to have real SOURCE video; I'd totally buy it.

    I'm very sad to see this gem both lambasted and removed. Critics seemed ravenously merciless, but I attribute that response to people who go to Disney for the "Thrill Rides", so the nuance is drowned in their sea of adrenaline. Also, I don't understand why Disney removed it; sure the theater was way too big and the space is now needed for the DCA rebuild, but surely they can find a small theater space and keep it running somewhere! It really can't be that much of a financial drain to keep it running!

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    Re: September 10, 2009: Golden Dreams

    Quote Originally Posted by marclichon View Post
    Also, I don't understand why Disney removed it; sure the theater was way too big and the space is now needed for the DCA rebuild, but surely they can find a small theater space and keep it running somewhere! It really can't be that much of a financial drain to keep it running!

    Thats not a bad idea, where would they put it? I agree that it was a great video and I did enjoy seeing it while it was there, and am sad to see that it's gone. I wonder if they would ever move it to a smaller theater somewhere?
    I miss Disney World...
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  9. #9

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    Re: September 10, 2009: Golden Dreams

    Actually, to be fair, if a show on the scale of American Adventure was put into Golden Dreams, it probably still would have faded. Theater-type shows, no matter how ambitious, somehow do not last at DL, witness Lincoln (which is coming back but has small crowds), Country Bears, Carousel of Progress, America Sings. I think it's because DL caters more to locals than WDW, and frequent visitors grow bored with the theater shows.

  10. #10

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    Re: September 10, 2009: Golden Dreams

    Quote Originally Posted by sassy*tink View Post
    Thats not a bad idea, where would they put it? I agree that it was a great video and I did enjoy seeing it while it was there, and am sad to see that it's gone. I wonder if they would ever move it to a smaller theater somewhere?
    Don't know; I suppose it depends on the 'grand plan' of the new DCA rebuild if it'll fit thematically (is that a word?)(it must be, FireFox fixed the misspelling). I hope they'll find a place as I'd love to see it when DCA reopens.

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    Re: September 10, 2009: Golden Dreams

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneykin Kid View Post
    Actually, to be fair, if a show on the scale of American Adventure was put into Golden Dreams, it probably still would have faded. Theater-type shows, no matter how ambitious, somehow do not last at DL, witness Lincoln (which is coming back but has small crowds), Country Bears, Carousel of Progress, America Sings. I think it's because DL caters more to locals than WDW.

    That's sad, but hard to argue. In the interest of full disclosure, I live on the midwest and go to WDW semi-annually so I'm kinda glad Carousel of Progress didn't work in DL! (Sorry, but it's true!)

  12. #12

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    Re: September 10, 2009: Golden Dreams

    I know exactly where Whoopie is, she's in a display cabinet in my house. I have the original face mask used to make those 2 statues inside the theatre ... a gift from a winner of a private auction.

  13. #13

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    Re: September 10, 2009: Golden Dreams

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneykin Kid View Post
    Actually, to be fair, if a show on the scale of American Adventure was put into Golden Dreams, it probably still would have faded. Theater-type shows, no matter how ambitious, somehow do not last at DL, witness Lincoln (which is coming back but has small crowds), Country Bears, Carousel of Progress, America Sings. I think it's because DL caters more to locals than WDW, and frequent visitors grow bored with the theater shows.
    You hit the nail on the head, that's exactly the problem. The same (mediocre) Beauty & the Beast show has been running at Hollywood Studios at WDW for 20 years; it wouldn't last 5 at Disneyland.

    Quote Originally Posted by marclichon View Post
    ...

    Also, I don't understand why Disney removed it; sure the theater was way too big and the space is now needed for the DCA rebuild, but surely they can find a small theater space and keep it running somewhere! It really can't be that much of a financial drain to keep it running!
    Quote Originally Posted by sassy*tink View Post
    Thats not a bad idea, where would they put it? I agree that it was a great video and I did enjoy seeing it while it was there, and am sad to see that it's gone. I wonder if they would ever move it to a smaller theater somewhere?
    They should put it in the Carthay Circle Theater on the upcoming Buena Vista Street. I don't know why they're not doing that - a guest enters DCA, walks down BVS toward the movie theater, goes into the theater, and watches a movie. And the movie, Golden Dreams, would put the entire rest of the park in perspective before they explore it all. It sounds like they're postponing the Walt Disney Story in there due to cost, but this wouldn't cost much at all - and it's certainly a much better idea than the Club-33 duplicate.

  14. #14

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    Re: September 10, 2009: Golden Dreams

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkTwain View Post
    The same (mediocre) Beauty & the Beast show has been running at Hollywood Studios at WDW for 20 years; it wouldn't last 5 at Disneyland.
    Say what you will - I get a tear in my eye every time I watch that show in the Studios. But I agree - the show wouldn't have legs in DL, where the frequent AP visitor brings on quicker show burnout.

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    Re: September 10, 2009: Golden Dreams

    To clarify, actually when I said theater shows I meant the ones without live performers. I went to DHS years ago and saw the B&B show, and it was inferior to the DL version, which I loved and saw repeatedly. Other live stage shows like Aladdin and Animazement were and are great and I like going again and again, although I guess they eventually need replacing. They're bringing Toy Story the Musical to DCA? I have a question mark on that, I'd rather have Finding Nemo TM, which sounds like a great show.

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