Sharing Steve :: New Stuff
Wednesday, May 18, 2005

On Steve's recent Disneyland movie

Copley News Service
May 15, 2005 Sunday
Disneyland rolls out the welcome mat for 'Homecoming'
Christine Huard, Copley News Service

The "Happiest Place On Earth" will be even happier as it celebrates five decades of magic during its "Happiest Homecoming On Earth," an 18-month-long bash to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the place where dreams come true - Disneyland.

Kicking off the global celebration - special events are planned at each theme park around the world, as well as for the Disney Cruise Line - was Mary Poppins herself, Julie Andrews, who hosted a star-studded ceremony May 5 in front of the beautifully updated Sleeping Beauty Castle. With "Welcome Home" as the theme, park guests will relive childhood memories and make new ones as they enjoy plenty of nostalgia along with brand-new attractions.

Carrying the golden-anniversary theme throughout the park, visitors will find that several of the original attractions have received a "Midas touch" - a golden vehicle on "Autopia," a golden tea cup on "Mad Tea Party," a golden boat on "Jungle Boat Cruise," just to name a few.

What else is new? From parades to pyrotechnics, the entertainment is bigger and better than ever. Sleeping Beauty Castle has been reborn in glittery new tones and turrets topped with sparkling crowns fit for a princess. An interactive ride allows guests to blast targets and score points. Space Mountain reopens after a complete overhaul that features brand-new special effects. A heartwarming film hosted by Steve Martin and Donald Duck showcases the park's first 50 years. And everyone's favorite sprite, Tinker Bell, gets an extra sprinkling of pixie dust to perform some new magic.


The landmark castle has undergone a remodel that has transformed it into a shimmering crown jewel. Dressed in swaths of golden fabric, decked out with regal banners and crowned with five bejeweled tiaras that highlight the castles most prominent spires, the majestic centerpiece also serves as a brilliant backdrop for the new "Remember ... Dreams Come True" fireworks show. Disney Imagineers even created its one-of-a-kind paint, which contains copper and prismatic glitter to give it a special sparkle.


Classic songs and iconic characters are the heart of this new daytime parade. The seven elaborate parade units act as stages for the more than 100 performers who don't just dance but do acrobatics as well.

Tinker Bell leads off the parade on the "Gateway to Dreams" float. Lumiere, Cogsworth and Mrs. Potts join other "Beauty And the Beast" characters in inviting everyone to "Be Our Guest" on the "Dream of Enchantment" float. Leaping "marionettes" come to life in Geppetto's workshop to the tune of "I've Got No Strings" on the "Dream of Laughter" float. On "Dream of Another World," Sebastian the Crab takes us under the sea to "The Little Mermaid's" kingdom, where Ariel waves from high atop her perch and the evil Ursula towers over the crowd. On "Dream of Imagination," the crew from "Alice In Wonderland" celebrate at the Mad Hatter's Tea Party. "The Circle of Life" is celebrated atop Pride Rock while cast members representing the creatures of the Pride Lands join Rafiki in dance on "Dream of Adventure." And, finally, the Disney Princesses - along with their Princes - join the royally dressed Mickey and Minnie for a "happily ever after" on "Dreams Come True."

The 30-minute parade is performed twice daily and features three show stops along its route at Small World Mall, Central Plaza and Town Square.


The most elaborate fireworks show in Disneyland history, the 17-minute spectacular was developed by creative director Steven Davison. Along with a new musical score and familiar audio clips, the show tells the story of Disney's past with dramatic pyrotechnics - some of which were developed in China just for Disney - lasers and lights.

Davy Crockett lights up the sky, and a pirate battle rages overhead. The beloved Main Street Electrical Parade is remembered, and there are plenty of surprises to commemorate other favorite attractions.

And Tinker Bell gets a new flight path - she's now able to zip back and forth, and stop in the middle of the sky, though Davison is staying mum on just how she does that. Must be that pixie dust.


In Tomorrowland, park guests will go to "Infinity and beyond" on "Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters," an interactive adventure in which riders become Space Rangers and help Buzz Lightyear defeat the evil Emperor Zurg by using laser guns to shoot targets and score points. Unique to this attraction is its virtual component - online players are paired with riders via Web cam. Players at home help increase the scores of riders by raising the value of targets along the way. Scores and a photo of riders are available at the end of ride, too.


After a two-year renovation, Space Mountain reopens July 15 featuring a whole new generation of special effects. Opened in 1975, the re-"Imagineered" ride now boasts a new rocket design, an onboard audio soundtrack and a lot of new technology that delivers even more "wow." But it's not so different that it's lost its original theme.

"Space Mountain will be the classic attraction that our guests know and love but better than anyone remembers it," says Matt Ouimet, president of Disneyland Resorts.

Ouimet promises a high-speed outer-space adventure that disorients and exhilarates like it did before - only better.


Talk about a magical match - Steve Martin, who as a teenager honed his talents at the Magic Shop on Main Street, hosts this film attraction that gives viewers a humorous overview of the park's history. It features photos of Martin in action as a youngster in the Magic Shop, and he also shows that his prestidigitation skills are as good as ever.

Using archival photographs, newly discovered film footage and familiar music, Martin and co-host Donald Duck present a heartwarming retrospective that features the park's very beginning - an orange grove - and journeys through five decades of moments everyone will recognize.

The attraction temporarily takes the place of "Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln" in the Main Street Opera House. Inside the Opera House is a detailed display of models, concept artwork, layouts and maps the show how Walt Disney turned a dream of place for parents and children to enjoy together into his first theme park.


Next door at Disney's California Adventure Park, a new street parade has been unveiled starring the Pixar Film Pals. Led by the Green Army Men from "Toy Story," this high-energy performance features dance music that will get everyone moving to the beat along with their favorite characters from "Toy Story," "Monsters, Inc.," "A Bug's Life" and "The Incredibles."

The fast-paced parade features young performers who dance, do acrobatics, run around on jumping stilts and zip by on electric scooters. Audience participation is encouraged, with guests being chosen from the crowd to take part in the fun.


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