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Disneyland confirms return of Captain EO in February 2010

Disney has confirmed that Michael Jackson's 3D movie Captain EO will return to Disneyland in February 2010 - for a limited period only.

The move has been rumored since pop superstar Jackson's death in June. It is likely that Captain EO will also return to Epcot at some stage in 2009, but this is yet to be confirmed.

Captain EO originally opened at Disneyland in 1986, finally closing in 1997 to be replaced by Honey, I Shrunk the Audience. It will return in its previous home, the Magic Eye Theater, meaning its replacement will close in the next few weeks to make way. Disney has not confimed whether the interior and exterior of the theater will be re-themed for the Jackson show, but it seems likely that this will be the case.

Disney has not revealed the duration of Captain EO's return, except to say that it will be an "exclusive, limited engagement". Honey, I Shrunk the Audience could be set for replacement at both parks in the next few years, so it is possible that Disney might use Captain EO as a stop-gap while it decides on a new show to take its place in the long-run.

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, and executive-produced by Star Wars creator George Lucas, Captain EO was produced in 1986 when Jackson was at the peak of his fame. The show's story sees the eponymous Captain EO (played by Jackson) and the crew of his spaceship travelling to deliver a message to the wicked Witch Queen.

At just 17 minutes long, the film cost a massive $30 million to produce. It included "4D" elements such as lasers, smoke effects and starfields. At the time it was the most expensive film ever produced if measured per-minute (at $1.76 million), however this has since been topped by Universal's Terminator 2:3D at $5 million per-minute.

Captain EO reached number 7 in Theme Park Tourist's recent list of the 10 most exciting new theme park attractions opening in 2010.

You can keep up to date with the latest confirmed and rumored opening dates for new attractions over at Theme Park Tourist's "New Attraction Watch" section.

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