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It’s Official: Judi, Judi, Judi…

Tomorrow

Alternate story headline: “DENCH MEETS HENCH”

Well, well, well. Confirming what scurrilous web rumormongers previously reported, Disney announced today via their internal Cast Portal that Dame Judi Dench will be the new voice of Spaceship Earth when it returns from its lengthy rehab. It also confirms the rumor that the ride will open for previews in December. But when Disney, when???

Message board postings suggest that testing and Cast Member training are both underway, hopefully indicating that Disney is well aware of the paramount importance of getting this thing open before I get there next week. The posting, also reported on in the Orlando Sentinel, reads in full:

Glendale, Calif., Nov. 29, 2007 – Ten time Emmy┬«-award winning composer Bruce Broughton conducted a 63-piece orchestra and 24-voice choir for a new musical score for Spaceship Earth at Walt Disney World Resort. Walt Disney Imagineers have been re-imagining the iconic Epcot attraction since earlier this year, and have added new show scenes to the attraction’s story line, along with new lighting effects, costumes, set decoration, and a new narrator – Academy Award┬«-winning, English actress Dame Judi Dench.

For the musical score, each scene was infused with musical styles and instruments appropriate to the time period, which was not an easy task according to Walt Disney Imagineering senior show producer Bob Zalk. “To have that score transition smoothly as vehicles travel from one time period to the next is extremely difficult,” he said. “The first time we rode through the attraction accompanied by that music, we were amazed.”

Spaceship Earth has been on hiatus since earlier this year, and is expected to re-open in December for sneak previews. When it re-opens, Spaceship Earth will combine the magic of the iconic attraction’s time-travel adventure into the past with a new finale and post-show, presented by Siemens, which provides guests the opportunity to imagine their futures. Guests discover how each generation of mankind has invented the future for the next generation, and how the spirit of innovation has moved people from the caves to the cosmos.

I heart Bruce Broughton.

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