Disneyland debuts high-tech evening show in April

February 23, 1992|By Dallas Morning News

Disneyland's newest attraction, Fantasmic, will combine magic, music, 51 live performers, a variety of giant props and special effects, including pyrotechnics, lasers, fog and fiber optics. The giant nighttime stage show is slated to open in April.

"Fantasmic is the biggest and most exciting attraction ever produced at a Disney theme park," says Scott Swan. But then he's the marketing producer for Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif.

His enthusiasm is for the production as a whole, but particularly for an unusual technique found in France and used innovatively in Fantasmic -- mist screens.

"Three giant mist screens, each one 30 feet tall by 50 feet wide, are of such density that film images are projected on them," he said.

"This type of show has never been done before. Also, Fantasmic combines a lot of different elements and provides guest interaction."

Mickey Mouse conducts the show as the sorcerer. He uses his imagination to create wonders, but then a string of Disney fairy-tale villains, including Ursula from "The Little Mermaid" and Maleficent from "Sleeping Beauty," turn Mickey's dreams to nightmares. He must overcome them with his own powers of goodness.

"The climax comes when Maleficent turns into a fire-breathing drag on and sets the river on fire," Mr. Swan said.

For all the new attraction's nighttime sorcery and fanfare, daytime park-goers won't even be aware of it. The giant mist screens emerge from the water only at night.

The 25-minute production along the Rivers of America, which flow between Frontierland and Tom Sawyer's Island, will be presented daily after dark -- three times a night during the park's summer season.

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