Walt Disney World
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Carousel of Progress
Space Ranger Spin
Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
Stitch's Great Escape
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Walt Disney--The Man
Trip Planning Tips
Laughter is more powerful than Scream
This Monster's Inc. themed comedy show is found in Tomorrowland's Circle-Vision theater. The Laugh Floor show does not use the 9 Circle-Vision screens, instead the theater has been modified to include stepped seating, some Animatronics, and a large central screen at the now, front of the theater. The 9 screens around the circular theater are still in place although some are covered by Laugh Floor show elements and the rest by logo covered drapes; one could surmise then that the theater is capable of reverting back to a Circle-Vision 360 film theater. Laugh Floor is hosted by Mike Wazoiski who's monster friends are going to do a comedy act where the audience is part of the action and the audience's laughs are collected in a giant scream canister. The show uses live cast members to voice the animated monsters on the main screen as they interact with guests--much like Turtle Talk with Crush.
The Circle-Vision theater opened in November 1971; the month after Magic Kingdom's opening. The theater had 9 screens and 9 projectors placed between each screen that shot a projection across the room to one of the 9 screens. The films were shot using cameras designed by WED and KODAK. Nine cameras were arranged in a circle and mounted to something like a car or helicopter. The theater was lined with leaning rails; allowing guests to lean while standing to watch the film--standing of course allowed guests to turn around and see any one of the nine screens. In EPCOT's World Showcase there are still two Circe-Vision presentations: O Canada! and Reflections of China.
The first film in the theater was America the Beautiful. This film was a 1967 Circle-Vision remake (using 9 cameras/screens) of a Circarama film (using 11 cameras/screens) made in the late 1950's that began showing in Disneyland's Tomorrowland circle theater in 1957. Disneyland began showing the remade, Circle-Vision America the Beautiful in 1967 while Magic Kingdom did so upon the theaters opening in 1971. The film chronicled natural wonders in America, famous cities, famous landmarks and everyday life in America. One of the movies closing statements helps to descirbe the film, "This, then, has been our American portrait, a glimpse of a nation's splendor, infinite in its variety, rich in its tradition, and blessed in its heritage."
In 1974 the film Magic Carpet 'Round the World began showing in the Circle-Vision theater, but was then replaced in 1975 with the third version of America the Beautiful, to celebrate the United States' Bicentenial. This third version of the film was just like the 1967 version but with added scenes of Philidelphia. After the Bicentenial year the theater once again began showing Magic Carpet 'Round the World: a film similar to America the Beautiful , but with scenes from--you guessed it--around the world.
For a decade, beginning in 1984, the theater showed the film American Journeys. This film presented guests with an updated tour of America, and included some different landmarks. Some landmarks included: The Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Yosemite, The Rockies, scenes from New England and New Orleans.
The final film shown in the Magic Kingdom's Circle-Vision theater opened in November of 1994 and ran until the end of 2005. Originally this film was titled From Time to Time, and the theater was renamed the Transportarium. But within six months the film's name changed to TheTimekeeper and the theater became known as Tomorrowland Metropolis Science Center. Unlike its predecessors The Timekeeper was a fictional film with a plot and characters, so the attraction had a pre-show to help setup the film. The film featured a cast of European film actors from France, Italy, Belgium, Russia and England. The Time Keeper was an opening day attraction at Euro Disney when it opened in April 1992, and was sponsored there by the car maker Renault--who's cars were featured in the film.
Magic Kingdom's Circle-Vision lobby and theater were re-dressed to include both old and futuristic details to help set the stage for the film. In the attraction pre-show guests were introduced to "Circumvisual PhotoDroid", more commonly known as "9-Eye". Her nine eyes represented the nine cameras used in filming. "The Timekeeper" (voiced by Robin Williams) is the keeper of a time machine and "9-Eye" is his latest development. The pre-show invited guests to be one of the first to witness the newly invented Time Machine. The pre-show also featured some of "9-Eye's" training videos: a plunge over Niagara Falls, a flight into a barn full of dynamite in Topeka, Kansas, and lastly, hitching a ride on a Space shuttle
During the film 9-Eye is sent through time by The Timekeeper--and Animatronic robot in the theater--with the intent that she will send back images to the Time Keeper from each era of time she visits. 9-Eye visits, among other places, the Jurassic where she is nearly eaten by an allosaurus, Leonard Di Vinci's workshop as he paints the Mona Lisa, the building of the Eiffel Tower for the 1889 Exposition Universelle, a meeting between H.G. Wells and Jules Verne where 9-Eye accidentally interacts with Verne who tries to grab 9-Eye and is thus pulled through time with her, despite Time Keeper's attempt to get 9-Eye away from the meeting before Verne can catch her. From here Verne asks to see the present--to him the future--so he and 9-Eye visit modern day Paris where Verne is hit by a train in a tunnel, is nearly hit by a car on the street, and drives a race car in the wrong direction. Verne sees airplanes and submarines, is given a helicopter tour of the European countryside and then goes into space. Eventually Time Keeper sends the two back to 1889. After Verne is back in his time, Time Keeper sends 9-Eye to the future, 300 years after the Exposition Universelle of 1889. As they explore a futuristic Paris aboard a flying car named Reinastella, they see Jules Verne and H.G. Wells appearing in what looks like Wells' Time Machine from 1900. A stunned 9-Eye asks how they got there, to which Verne replies "In the future, anything is possible!".
After the September 11 , 2001, terrorist attacks, the Time Keeper attraction became less and less popular. One possible reason is that the film featured a scene of New York and the World Trade Center Towers. Disney did try to preserve the memory of those events by having The Timekeeper′s clock display the current year as 2000, placing him in a time prior to the attacks.
The attraction was open off and on for the next few years; closing in December of 2005--the Magic Kingdom was the last park to play The Timekeeper. While Magic Kingdom's old Mission to Mars theaters were being remade into Stitch's Great Escape!Time Keeper was frequently open. And on days when the show was not opened, the queue was a meet-and-greet for Disney characters such as Stitch and Pixar characters Buzz Lightyear, Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, and Frozone.
Magic Kingdom is the only park to have a Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor attraction. Some elements added to the Circle-Vision lobby for the Time Keeper attraction are still part of the Laugh Floor's lobby decor (i.e. the water tubes, the window casings). The other Disneyland style parks that once had Circle-Vision presentations no longer have Circle-Vision attractions either. Each of the other Circle-Vision theaters have been turned into Buzz Lightyear attractions: Tokyo Disneyland's Circle-Vision closed in 2002 and was replaced with Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters in 2004; Disneyland Paris' Circle-Vision closed in 2004 and was replaced by Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast in 2006 (although the Paris version of Time Keeper closed mainly because it lost its sponsor, Renault).
The last film shown in Disneyland's Circle-Vision theater was American Journey which closed in 1997 during a New Tomorrowland redo. The theater then became part of the queue for the attraction Rocket Rods, that opened in 1998. Guests in line for Rocket Rods could view parts of previous Circle-Vision films as they played in the theater as guests waited in line. Rocket Rods closed in early 2001. The Circle-Vision lobby was then used for restoration of Fantasyland's King Arthur Carousel. In 2003 construction to turn the theater into the new attraction Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters began. Astro Blasters opened in March 2005.
Next: Stitch's Great Escape