Some Imagination Huh?
While everyone is over looking at the new
Preview Center and DCA finally begins its
makeover, Disneyland will have plenty going on
during the off-season. We'd told you about the
upcoming refurbishment for Fantasmic!, and how
the old film projectors will be replaced with
digital projectors. The Entertainment
department has recently been testing those new
projectors after the park closes, and the
results are reported to be stunning. The
difference in clarity and image size has been
compared to watching old blurry home movies on a
bed sheet, and then going and watching the same
movies digitally cleaned up and shown on a 50
inch HD set.
Apparently the old projectors
were really not using the size of the mist
screens to much advantage, and the digital
projectors provide a much larger and
dramatically clearer image. While Fantasmic!
gets the immediate benefit here, this is all
really just a test for a larger system to be
installed for the World of Color show in 2010.
Flotsam, Jetsam and Ursula as seen in the
and on a Fantasmic mist screen (below).
Also coming to Fantasmic! are some new Disney
characters, in the form of the evil Flotsam and
Jetsam zipping around the Rivers of America on jet ski's during the Ursula sequence. While the
Entertainment department had originally wanted
to bring the old Ursula float back, when the
clarity of the new projectors was realized and
they saw how impressive the mist screen segments
like Ursula now could look, it was decided to
not just duplicate the same character on the
water that was already appearing on the mist
So now, illuminated Flotsam and Jetsam
characters that are 7 feet tall and 33 feet long
will be mounted on jet ski's, while two hidden
drivers zip them around the river near the
audience during Ursula's big scene. It should
punch up that segment of the show that has been
lacking something ever since the Ursula float
was removed several years ago.
In January and February, Fantasmic! will be
presented 7 nights a week, even on those very
slow winter weekdays.
Before the Parade Passes By
As we'd told you in an earlier column,
the reason Fantasmic runs nightly this winter is that the Disneyland parade route
will be repaved and the horse drawn streetcar
tracks will be replaced. But when the route returns in March, the new World of Wonder
parade won't have arrived yet. That parade is
still planned for Disneyland, but has now been
pushed back to 2010 instead of 2009.
One of the
biggest reasons for the sudden delay is due
to the problems they've been having with
the Pixar Play Parade. The Worlds of Wonder
parade is planned to have even more moving parts
than the Pixar Play Parade, with big swinging
pirate ships on the Pirates of the Caribbean
float, spinning boulders on the Adventureland
The Disneyland Safety Department, (the same folks
behind the decision to equip the new monorails
with tiny window vents that prevent air flow
into the sauna-like cabins), are behind these
parade changes as well.
The Worlds of Wonder
parade will still be impressive, as it's on a
very large scale with some truly beautiful
artistry backing it up, but as of now it's going
to be folded into the 55th Anniversary offerings
for 2010. And yes, that means the Magic Kingdom
out in Orlando has to soldier on for yet another
year with its very tired Dreams Come True parade
they've had since the 1990's.
Tinker Bell is still planned to take the lead
role from the Blue Fairy in the Electrical
Parade however, and that new float will help
kick off the big push for the new Disney Fairies
brand. The Snow White and Seven Dwarfs mine
float segment is also scheduled to return to the
Electrical Parade lineup in '09. But now with
the parade schedule shuffle and the Worlds of
Wonder problems, the Electrical Parade is slated
to remain in DCA for the time being.
After Ed Grier clumsily told the Orange
County Register that a "new Tinker Bell
attraction" would be opening at Disneyland, we
went ahead and filled you in on the Pixie Hollow
meet n' greet area where Ariel's Grotto is now
behind the Matterhorn.
Soon to be former tenants.
The work there will get
underway in September, and the rather uninspired
shrubbery on that mound of earth will be
replaced with a faux meadow made up of five foot
tall blades of grass and wildflowers. Visitors
to Pixie Hollow will walk along the path through
this meadow as they meet each of the new fairies
that make up this latest Disney franchise.
the end of the path you'll finally get to have
your picture taken with Tinker Bell, before you
exit towards the Disney Fairies merchandise cart,