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In response to Michael Jackson’s death in 2009, Disney brought back his space-themed 3-D musical film Captain EO, which originally ran in Epcot from 1986 to 1994, for a “limited” engagement in its theme parks.
A few years into its second run, however, Unofficial Guide readers were rating Captain EO as the worst attraction in Epcot, and most other park visitors probably felt the same. In early 2015, Disney preempted EO to show previews of upcoming theatrical releases. EO returned for the summer, but its long-term status is tenuous. It’s possible that EO could stick around, the previous film (Honey, I Shrunk the Audience) could make a comeback, or something else entirely could appear. Stay tuned.
We think Captain EO is still worth seeing if it’s playing. It hasn’t aged as well as Jackson’s other long-form video work, notably Thriller, but it’s still one of the ultimate 1980s-era music videos. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, it’s a 3-D space fantasy with lasers, fiber optics, cannons, and other special effects in the theater, plus some audience participation. It remains, as one Unofficial Guide child of the ‘80s says, evocative of a certain time and place.
Shows typically begin on the hour and half-hour. The sound level is earsplitting, frightening some young children. The theater rarely fills when EO is running, making FastPass+ unnecessary.
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