Disney debuts a new show at Hollywood Studios, without a single announcement


  • Image via OrlParkPass | Twitter
In a surprise move, Disney World unveiled a new projection show Friday night at Hollywood Studios with only a few hours' notice.

The new show, roughly 10 minutes in length, is a celebration of Disney movies, from Mary Poppins to Guardians of the Galaxy. The odd thing about the surprise premiere of the new projection show is it comes less than 48 hours after a large media event on property where Disney World showcased their summer lineup to dozens of local, national and international media outlets.

On Wednesday, Disney hosted the media to showcase Pandora – The World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom. Then on Thursday night, hotel guests near Hollywood Studios got a notice of a late-night sound test in the park. Many guests reported late Thursday night through early Friday morning hearing the show take place in the park. Friday evening an announcement was made in the park, much to the surprise of many guests, that a new unscheduled pre-show was about to happen before the scheduled Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular.

The move to debut a new show with no formal announcement is extremely rare for Orlando theme parks, which often announce new entertainment offerings months in advance. Known simply as "Disney Movie Magic," the new show is similar to the projection shows at the Magic Kingdom – it’s less of a full show in itself, and more of a short pre-show to the larger show that is scheduled after it.

Using projection mapping, Disney Movie Magic features scenes from various Disney films including Mary Poppins, Pirates of the Caribbean, Beauty and the Beast, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Indiana Jones and Tron.

The majority of the films that have large segments in the show currently have a presence at Disney World, with the exception of Tron. Guardians of the Galaxy currently only has a temporary meet-and-greet at DHS, but Tron and Guardians are both strongly rumored to be getting permanent attractions at Disney World in the coming years. The Beauty and the Beast segment did feature the live action version of the intellectual property, this being one of the first times that popular version of the IP has been used at Disney World.

This is one of the strongest presences of Walt Disney in a DHS show in a very long time. Quotes and video of Walt Disney talking about Disney films are used throughout the show. While the projection mapping is the central focus of the new show, search lights, twinkle lights on trees, and other lighting elements are used sporadically. Unlike "Celebrate the Magic," no pyrotechnics are utilized in this show, though the Star Wars show that follows it uses a significant amount of pyro including massive flame throwers.

Disney has yet to confirm what days the new projection show will be screened or how long we can expect it to last at DHS.

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