|A new generation of Captain EO fans.|
We arrived at the Disneyland gates at 9 a.m. and the line was surprisingly short. Considering the holy trifecta of popularity here (Disney, Michael Jackson, a post-mortem tribute), only about an estimated 400 fans had started lining up as early as 9 p.m. last night. Men, women and children were in Jackson Tees, some had fedoras, a couple of girls even had the Jim Henson-designed EO
winged creature Fuzzball from the movie perched on their shoulders.
|Amber, 24, arrived at midnight.|
Amber, 24, from Huntington Beach, was the second to arrive at midnight
early this morning, dressed in a white, homemade, rainbow
bedazzled MJ-inspired motorcycle jacket. When asked why she decided to
show up so early she said, "Well, it's Captain EO
, it's Michael
Jackson," she explained, with a smile. "It's just a childhood
attraction that I went to basically when I was born. My mom worked here
and when I was a newborn, she brought me onto the ride. So it's like
from newborn to [when I was] 13 years old, I was here at least two days
a week going on the ride, so I'm going back to that tradition."
Further down the line, we found Keri, 18; Mary, 18; Brian, 18 and Josh, 20, all students from the nearby Chapman University. The four had camped out last night starting at midnight--but decided to sleep in their car in the Disneyland parking lot when they saw the short line. After picking up a free stack of IHOP pancakes
--smart kids--they re-joined the line at 7:30 this morning.
Though all four explained that they didn't receive the opportunity to watch Captain EO
when it was played the first time around at Tomorrowland Theater, they say they have definitely seen the film online via YouTube.
"We're basically fanatics," explained Mary. The four had found out about the rather quiet re-opening of Captain EO via the web, of course--Twitter, MiceChat, forums. "We watched This Is It
in preparation last night, listening to Michael Jackson--it was awesome."
And then the press was ushered gently to the theater, where all signs of Honey, I Shrunk the Audience
have disappeared, that familiar EO
logo in its place.
The Tomorrowland Theater holds about 575 people at max capacity, and the film runs 17 minutes long. We were all handed those familiar yellow 3-D glasses by cast members in futuristic uniforms, the doors opened, and we took our seats.