Captain EO Tribute Coverage

by David Yeh on February 23, 2010

02.23.2010, Anaheim, CA.  — It will be a day long remembered for Michael Jackson and Disneyland fans alike.  Captain EO escaped from the limbo of the vast Disney vaults to change the world… again.  Running from 1986 to 1997 in its initial run, Captain EO was then replaced by a favorite at EPCOT, “Honey, I Shrunk the Audience”.  ‘HISTA’ was a decent 3D “micro adventure” in its own right, but didn’t have the repeat value that the 3D space adventure starring Michael Jackson did and ultimately DID end up shrinking the audience.  A lot of reasons could be associated with ‘EO’s’ return, whether it was the film’s loyal cult following, Michael Jackson’s death, the importance of 3D in cinemas today, money, or the fact that the aging ‘Honey, I shrunk the Audience’ isn’t pulling in the numbers that it should.  All of that combined probably created the perfect storm in bringing Captain EO back.

Due to time restrictions, Captain EO isn’t presented the exact same way you remember it from the 80s.  Missing are a few effects such as the star field, laser blasts, and fog.  But Disney did their best to make up for it by incorporating elements installed for “HISTA” for use in Captain EO, most notable is the moving platform underneath the seats.  The film itself is a new print from the 70mm master paired with a new audio mix that is better than ever.

Fans of all ages waited hours before park opening on Tuesday to be the first to experience Captain EO again or for the first time.  Imagineers Tony Baxter and Rick Rothschild were on hand to experience it with Disneyland President George Kalogridis.  Other guests included Debbie Lee Carrington who played Idy (of Idy & Ody), one of Captain EO’s crew and Renee Colette, one of the original cast member dancers on the show.

Of course none of this wouldn’t be a complete Disneyland experience without some merchandise available at multiple locations throughout the resort.  A retro jacket will be available in the coming months.  For those fans who are crying for more merchandise, keep showing your support for EO and who knows, you just might change the world.

Captain EO has multiple show times daily at Disneyland Park in California.

Fans dressed to impress for the opening of Captain EO.

Imagineer Tony Baxter with a few fans.

The assorted merchandise offerings available at The Newsstand, Emporium, and Star Trader.

No longer the Magic Eye Theater, Captain EO Tribute replaces the Imagination Institute’s Inventor of the Year Award.

After waiting for hours, the first group of fans queue up at last.

Disneyland Resort President George Kalogridis in 3D.

Debbie Lee Carrington, “Idy” in “Captain EO” and Renee Colette, Original performer in the “Captain EO” cast

Inside the theater.

The first public audience for Captain EO shuffles into the theater.

Another of our reporters Paul Hruby was able to visit the Park this evening and sent us these photo’s.