Thursday, November 25, 2010

Mickey's Month at Disneyland - 1983

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I don't have anymore "Thanksgiving Weekend at Disneyland" items to post, because I posted all of them last year. But since it's still November, here are a few Disneyland items from November of 1983. The park was having another month-long celebration in honor of Mickey's birthday. Last year, I posted a vintage Disneyland trip report from November of 1982 which included photos and souvenir items from "Mickey's Month." The entertainment guide below has the same cover as the guide for 1982, but there are some changes in the entertainment listings.

There wasn't a Mickey's Birthday Parade this year. The "Flights of Fantasy" parade had made it's debut in the summer of '83 along with the opening of the "New Fantasyland." And since Mousercise was the latest rage, kids could join Kellyn from the Disney Channel TV Show for some aerobic fun over by It's A Small World.

The Disney Channel was also making it's debut in 1983. This ad is from the back cover of the guide.

In 1982 and 1983, guests were handed a free gift at the main entrance during Mickey's Month. This year's gift was a headband that could be worn during your Mousercise workout. To see a photo of some kids at Disneyland actually wearing these as they worked out with Kellyn, click here for a great vintage photo from blogger, "Disney On Parole."

Unfortunately, I did not take any pictures during this "Mickey's Month" visit like I had the previous year, but I'm going to include a couple extra items from around the same time to make up for the short post today. This first one is a newspaper ad from 1983 for the Disney Channel.

And this last item is for the California Teachers Association Party that was held at Disneyland in November of 1983. Admission to Disneyland, plus unlimited use of all attractions and shows for only $7.00...and parking was included! What a deal!

Speaking of deals, if anyone plans to go shopping tomorrow on "Black Friday", be safe and watch out for the crazies who will trample you just to get their hands on a Cabbage Patch Doll, a Teddy Ruxpin, or a Tickle Me Elmo.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Captain EO-Land - Tokyo Disneyland

When Captain EO returned to Disneyland back in February of this year, I did a post that I called "Captain EO-Land" which covered Disneyland's Magic Eye Theater and everything that had resided in it's spot dating all the way back to the Flying Saucers attraction. Well, Captain EO has also returned to Tokyo Disneyland, so for today's post we will be taking a look at the history of that attraction space in Tokyo's Magic Kingdom.

Let's begin at the entrance to Tokyo's Tomorrowland, which still resembles Walt Disney World's original Tomorrowland entrance (and I hope Tokyo never alters theirs!) The theater that features Captain EO can be found on the left/north side of Tomorrowland, just inside the entrance way.

When Tokyo Disneyland first opened in April of 1983, the debut attraction in this theater was a film titled, "The Eternal Sea."

This film was shown in a 120° format and explored man's relationship with the sea. "The Eternal Sea" was an attraction that was unique to Tokyo Disneyland.

In January of 1985, "The Eternal Sea" was replaced with the 3-D film, "Magic Journeys."

This film had made it's debut at EPCOT Center on opening day in 1982 and was also shown at night on the Space Stage at Disneyland.

As with Disneyland and EPCOT Center, Magic Journeys at Tokyo Disneyland was replaced by Captain EO. Captain EO opened at TDL in March 1987 and ran until September 1996.

Eventually, all four Disney parks that featured Captain EO (Paris included) replaced it with the very unfunny "Honey I Shrunk The Audience." In Tokyo, this film was given the title, "MICRO ADVENTURE!"

Don't let the change in name or that exclamation point at the end of the title fool you. It was just as boring in Japan as it was here in the U.S. I have never been a fan of this attraction, but because TDL has better versions of many other familiar Disney attractions (like Winnie the Pooh, Monsters Inc., and Indiana Jones, just to name a few), I thought I would check the film out just to see if they had somehow improved upon it. Well, they didn't! It was just as painful as ever to sit through. The film was dubbed in Japanese, but there were phones installed at the seats towards the back of the theater so that guests could listen to the film translated into English or Korean.

Here's the cover of the TDL guidebook from 1997 touting MicroAdventure! as their newest attraction.

More info from inside the guidebook:

Tokyo Disneyland retained their individual ticket system for their attractions much longer than Disneyland or Walt Disney World. The Tomorrowland attraction listing below, shows that MicroAdventure actually required an "E" ticket!

Once individual tickets were elimated, "Fastpass" was added to the attraction. The very first time I visited TDL, Fastpasses were available for MicroAdventure, but I remember being able to just walk right in without one. I probably should have gotten a Fastpass anyway, just to retain as a souvenir because by the next time I visited the park, the Fastpass machines were all covered up. The photo below shows the covers over the machines.....and look, two people are actually entering the attraction. Hey, I recommend using those next 23 minutes of your life to do something else! Go see Country Bear Jamboree or The Mickey Mouse Revue!

This close-up shows the Fastpass sign with the return time turned off.

And now we come to the happy part of this post. MicroAdventure was removed from Tokyo Disneyland earlier this year and replaced with Captain EO! (Actually, they are claiming that MicroAdventure is "on hiatus" right now, but hopefully it won't be coming back.)



Here's what the queue for MicroAdventure looked like in it's last years. The first photo shows the "extended" portion of the queue.....EMPTY! Note the Fastpass sign with the canvas cover over it.

Here's the main part of the queue.....EMPTY!

Now here's a photo that was taken just three weeks ago showing the same section of queue with people waiting to see Captain EO.....and yes, the line did curve around at the end of the building and filled up the "extended" queue area.

The covers are now off of the Fastpass signs!

The covers are also off of the Fastpass machines.

The digital reading on the Fastpass sign doesn't register in the photograph, but I can tell you that the Standby wait time was 80 minutes when I took this picture!

This Captain EO Fastpass was obtained at 1:50 p.m. and the return time was for 6:20 p.m.

Now let's venture on into the waiting area and take a look around.

These four signs feature "three dimensional" images of the cast.

These next two signs contain the lyrics to "Another Part Of Me" and "We Are Here To Change The World" both in English and Japanese.

A row of inverted triangles hangs over the waiting area. The pre-show film is the same "making of" film that is shown at Disneyland in Anaheim.

When the pre-show film concludes, the triangles all change to the colors of the rainbow.

Now it's time to enter the theater....

The film is presented in English and it's pretty much the same as it is here in the U.S. As for the theater "motion" in Tokyo, there was one big difference. The theater did not move as dramtically, or as often as it does at Disneyland. Since Captain EO did not reopen in Tokyo until July and it had already made it's return to Anaheim in February, I am wondering if they listened to the guest complaints about the continuous "thumping" of the theater being annoying.

Anaheim's Captain EO does not have this message at the end of their film.

We'll end with just a few miscellaneous photos. Here's a slightly blurry shot of the theater's exterior at night. The neon triangles in the waiting area can be seen through the windows.

The Captain EO employees all wear this special embroidered patch that hangs from their namebadges. I want one of those!

Planet M, which is the main souvenir store in Tomorrowland, has a variety of Captain EO merchandise....including post cards, stickers, key chains, T-shirts and attraction posters. None of Tokyo's Captain EO merchandise.....or their attraction signage for that matter, includes the word "Tribute" below the title as it does in Anaheim.

That concludes this tour of Tokyo's Captain EO-Land!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Robin Hood Is Alive & Well & Living In Tokyo Disneyland

During my recent trip to Tokyo, I was a little surprised to see the characters from Disney's "Robin Hood" greeting guests just inside the entrance of Tokyo Disneyland.

I had not seen these characters at Tokyo Disneyland before and it had been literally decades since I had seen them at Disneyland in Anaheim.

Friar Tuck had just finished autographing a photo that the guest had taken of him on a previous visit to the park.

Here, the Sheriff of Nottingham joins Friar Tuck in a photo with a park guest.

Next, we have the arrogant Prince John.

This photo shows that same guest holding her stack of amateur photos with a photo of Prince John on top.

These two costumes haven't changed much in the past 35 years. For comparison, this next photo shows the Sheriff of Nottingham at Walt Disney World in 1975.

And this photo from December of 1981, shows Prince John riding in his royal coach in Fantasy on Parade at Disneyland. There was even a "Sir Hiss" poking his head out of the back of the coach. I wish I had a photo of him! This was the year that I was actually a cast member in the parade.

Disney News magazine featured the Robin Hood characters on the cover of their Spring 1982 issue. Prince John and the Sheriff can be seen hiding in the bushes up near the Fantasyland Skyway station, and Little John joins Friar Tuck on that giant rock. We can also see in this photo how the Robin Hood figure has changed more than any of the others. Compare his costume below with the one in the first photo. She isn't pictured here, but there was also a Maid Marion costume.

Inside the magazine, is an article about the first re-release of the film since it's initial theatrical release in 1973.

An ad for the movie was featured on the magazine's back cover.

And since this is an "all Robin Hood" post, I'll throw in this vintage newspaper ad from the Los Angeles Times which was also for the 1982 re-release of the film.