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Tag Archives: Audio-Animatronic

September 14

September 14, 1980 – The Audio-Animatronic Show Mickey Mouse Revue Closes

On September 14, 1980, the audio-animatronic musical show, Mickey Mouse Revue, closed. Opening when Walt Disney World opened on October 1, 1971, the show was located in Fantasyland of Magic Kingdom Park. It featured audio-animatronic versions of popular Disney characters, such as Winnie the Pooh and Snow White, performing classic Disney songs, conducted by Mickey Mouse. After it was removed from the theater, the location was used for seasonal events and known as the Fantasyland Theater. The attraction was moved to Tokyo Disneyland, where it opened on April 15, 1983, and closed on May 25, 2009.

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June 1

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June 1, 1997 – The Disneyland Parade The Lion King Celebration Ends

“Oh, I just can’t wait to be king!”

On June 1, 1997, the Lion King Celebration parade ended its run in Disneyland. The parade, starting on July 1, 1994, was notable for being the first parade to feature Audio-Animatronic figures outside of stationary attractions. It was also a combination parade and stage show, as the parade would stop at various intervals on the route and perform songs from the film, ending each performance with a version of “Circle of Life” while an Audio-Animatronic Simba let out a roar from the Pride Rock float. The parade also featured actors dressed as birds performing acrobatic stunts and remote-controlled animals.

January 3

January 3, 1994 – The Epcot Audio-Animatronic Show Kitchen Kabaret Closes

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“That’s right, nuts to me! Another excellent source of protein.”

On January 3, 1994, the Audio-Animatronic show Kitchen Kabaret, located in Epcot’s The Land pavilion, closed, having run for a little over 11 years. The show presented nutrition through the use of Audio-Animatronic food groups, led by Bonnie Appetit, singing songs such as “Veggie Veggie Fruit Fruit” and “Boogie Woogie Bakery Boy.” For most of the show’s run, it had a sponsorship by Kraft; company sponsorships were fairly commonplace within many Epcot attractions. The show was replaced by Food Rocks, which opened on March 26, 1994.

August 21

August 21, 2007 – The Muppet Mobile Labs Interactive Audio-Animatronic Premieres at Epcot

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“Now, before we continue this conversation, let me just activate the Hob Knob.”

On August 21, 2007, almost six months after its California debut, the interactive audio-animatronic Muppet Mobile Lab made its debut in Walt Disney World’s Epcot park. Featuring the characters Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and assistant Beaker, the audio-animatronic went around the park freely, interacting with guests as they entertained the crowd with their best Muppet jokes and puns. The new feature was part of a test-run by the Disney Imagineers to create more characters that could interact with the guests as they mill about the various parks.

February 27

February 27, 2007 – Muppet Mobile Lab Has its Test Run in Disney’s California Adventure

Mobile Muppet Lab

“Would you like to help run a battery of tests on all these people?”

On February 27, 2007, the audio-animatronic attraction Muppet Mobile Lab had its first test in front of the public at Disney’s California Adventure. Similar to Push the Talking Trash Can, the audio-animatronic “mobile lab” featuring Muppet characters Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker travel around the park, interacting with guests with the use of special features. Muppet performer Dave Goelz, who created the character of Bunsen, was brought to Glendale to assist with the project, making sure that the Imagineers portrayed the characters correctly. The figure was also tested in Walt Disney World and Hong Kong Disneyland.

July 18

July 18, 1965 – The Audio-Animatronic Attraction Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln Opens in Disneyland

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“Revel in the recitations of President Abraham Lincoln that changed history and helped shape a nation.”

On July 18, 1965, the Audio-Animatronic attraction Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln opened in Disneyland’s Main Street area. The attraction was created for the New York World’s Fair, presented at the State of Illinois pavilion. Lincoln was a hero of Walt Disney’s when he was a boy, and was the perfect pick for a presidential tribute at the time. After the World’s Fair, the popularity of this and the other Disney-created attractions made way for these attractions to be placed within Disneyland. Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln was closed in 1973 to be replaced with The Walt Disney Story, but the popularity of the attraction demanded its return; it was brought back as The Walt Disney Story Featuring Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln in 1975. The original voice of the attraction was actor Royal Dano, who had performed as Lincoln in several films due to his uncanny resemblance. In 2001, the attraction underwent a major restoration effort, with the voice actor changing to Warren Burton, and a few changes made to the story.

 

April 15

April 15, 1962 – The Disneyland Anthology Episode “Disneyland After Dark” Premieres on Television

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“You are all cordially invited to stay and join the fun in Disneyland, after dark.”

On April 15, 1962, the episode of Disneyland anthology series entitled “Disneyland After Dark” premiered on NBC. The show hadn’t been set in Disneyland for a few years at this point, and to generate interest, Walt and his creative team tried to show viewers what the park was like at nighttime, bringing a few special guests along the way. The episode was popular enough that it was shown as a short subject in theaters overseas. Guest stars include the Osmond Brothers (in their first television appearance), teen idol Bobby Rydell, Mouseketeers Bobby Burgess and Annette Funicello, and jazz legends Louis Armstrong, Kid Ory, and Johnny St. Cyr. The episode was written by Larry Clemmons, and was directed by Hamilton S. Luske and William Beaudine.

It’s the end of the day at Disneyland, and the monorail heads back to the Disneyland Hotel, where guests are invited to experience Disneyland, after dark. The guests step out at Tomorrowland station, where Walt is waiting at the Magic Kingdom. He explains how sundown is his favorite time of day at the park, as a new type of magic takes over once it gets dark. He explains a few of the events that will be shown that night, when a girl comes by and asks him for an autograph. He obliges, and a few other people come by for his autograph, until he’s bombarded. He tells the audience to head off without him, and he’ll catch up later. The sky darkens, and the park comes alive with lights and excitement. The Dapper Dans sing on Main Street, surrounded by guests. After the Dapper Dans, the audience meets with Walt again, who introduces Annette, Bobby Burgess, and Bobby Rydell, who are in Tomorrowland, dancing, with Annette and Rydell announced to sing for the audience.

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The fireworks show is held at Sleeping Beauty’s castle, mesmerizing the guests

Everyone is asked to turn towards Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, where a fireworks show is being performed with several characters showing up, including the Three Little Pigs, Alice and the Mad Hatter, and of course, Mickey and Minnie. Tinkerbell starts flying over the park from the Matterhorn, and sets off the celebration. Walt is then seen again, still surrounded by autograph seekers, and he points out a Tahitian floor show being performed with several energetic Tahitian dancers, including a fire knife dancer. They then have a performer do the Tahitian Fire Walk, an important ritual that surprises many an audience member. Afterwards, Walt is seen again, surrounded by autograph hounds, and he introduces the jazz performers on the Mark Twain. The original girl that started off the chain of autograph seekers (and who stole Walt’s popcorn) returns, bringing him back his popcorn. He promises to catch up with the audience later, as two children stop to ask him to sign their maps.

The Mark Twain Riverboat stops by, with jazz music playing merrily from inside. She sails down the river, with guests and enjoying the entertainment, while the waiters dance. Louis Armstrong then sings a song for the crowd, before being given his horn to play. Armstrong reminisces with Kid Ory and Johnny St. Cyr before launching into another tune, much to the audience’s delight. Meanwhile, Walt is still signing, this time at the Plaza Gardens, where the place is “jumping” as he puts it. The main girl comes back with several hats for him to sign, but brings him a hat just for him to wear as thanks. At the Plaza Gardens, the Osmond Brothers are brought to the stage to sing for the audience. After their performance, the audience gets up to dance once again. After dancing, they bring out vocalist Tony Perez and they have the audience sing along with him. Walt greets the audience one last time, wishing them goodnight before leaving to get ready for the morning – his other favorite time of day at Disneyland.