Disneyland has confirmed that the late Michael Jackson's 3D movie Captain EO will reopen at the park from tomorrow, February 23 - minus some of its original special effects.
Captain EO will return in its original home, Tomorrowland's Magic Eye Theater, for a "limited run" of unspecified duration. It replaces its successor, Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, which is now closed.
Disney has ">revealed that the show will be lacking some of its original special effects, since "it's not possible to replicate some special effects elements from the original presentation." This is likely to include the complex laser beam effects that were part of the original version of Captain EO.
While guests may miss out on the laser beams, they will at least experience improved video and audio quality, thanks to a new 70mm print and "acoustic enhancements" made to the theater. It is not clear from Disney's announcement whether the sound improvements were put in place specifically for Captain EO, or are just a side-effect of upgrades to the theater from the 1997 installation of Honey, I Shrunk the Audience.
Disney is yet to confirm any plans beyond the initial run of Captain EO, and whether Honey, I Shrunk the Audience will return or be permanently replaced.
Captain EO originally opened at Disneyland in 1986, finally closing in 1997. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, and executive-produced by Star Wars creator George Lucas, the movie was produced 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.