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We’ve Got Magic To Do…

What to say…

Twenty years. Yeesh.

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7 comments to We’ve Got Magic To Do…

  • Little To Behold

    Buisness in the front and party in the rear, eh Jon?

  • This has to be my favorite introductions to a Disney Park opening TV Special. I wonder why they stopped making specials. Animal Kingdom never had one, nor did DCA.

  • Little: That’s just how he rolled. Bless’em.

    Mike: Animal Kingdom did actually have one, but you didn’t miss anything – it was atrocious. I missed it at the time but caught it online a few years ago. Hosted by Drew Carey and basically just a commercial for various ABC properties, it’s more like the awful modern Christmas parades that barely mention the parks themselves but just shill for Disney Channel tween stars.

  • I should add, lest I fall too far into the “modern Disney sucks” trap, that the original WDW opening special in 1971 is pretty dire. They really lost the touch on those after Walt died… look at “Disneyland After Dark” vs. “Christmas at Walt Disney World”. Those specials from the 1970s were truly terrible. C-list celebrities doing hoary, unfunny routines (Phyllis Diller & sidekick routine might actually be classified as a war crime) that were unrelated to the actual parks. In that way they’re similar to the more modern specials.

    The sweet spot, to his credit, came in the Eisner era. It was around this time, in fact. The MGM opening, Disneyland’s 35th, Mickey’s 60th, The Muppets at WDW… I think that they were all produced by NBC. Sure they were pretty corny, but they were well-made and actually showed the parks some. Not as high-reaching as the EPCOT opening, which was a real celebration of WDI at times, but something more than silly music numbers. And who can hate on John Ritter, after all…

  • philphoggs

    I’m not sure if those videos age like wine after time~ but when looked at critically they can seem pretty silly. Maybe what I like about the older ones is that they reflect more of a personal interest about the Disney Parks than the latter videos (as said the older ones often stress the actual park). As far as John Ritter, who can hate him~ not only with Threes Company, but didn’t I read somewhere he helped bail out Disney’s Foray into network TV back then? Okay, I guess Mr. Roper had it in for him.

  • It’s true – if you look with a detached eye they’re pretty silly. I grew up on a steady diet of these, so they just seemed natural. In recent years, however, I’ve thought about how strange a phenomenon they actually are – if I wasn’t a Disney fan, I’d wonder why in the world they were on TV. As a kid, though, each one was greeted with fanatic anticipation. The Christmas parades were always great because there was a chance you’d get a glimpse of something new and previously unannounced.

    The Walt-era specials were meant to showcase the parks, of course, and the celebrities were only gravy. There were celebrities, though – Bobby Rydell! Sing Volare! I think they tended to show the parks more as well in the late 1980/early 1990s – those NBC specials I mentioned. But in the 70s it was pure corn, and nearly unwatchable today even as camp or nostalgia. Jonathan Winters abusing his wife at Fort Wilderness? Pablo Cruise? Shields & Yarnell?!? I think the modern specials will prove just as unwatchable in the future, although instead of long, boring bits they’re edited frantically. I thought about doing a story when last year’s Christmas Parade was so awful, but when I tried to count how many cuts they used in a short period of time I literally couldn’t keep count because they happened so fast.

  • philphoggs

    Yes oh yes to all my electronic friend! What will this Christmas have in store for us, I don’t want hurry summer, thank goodness for Youtube. The reply is short because I have spent a chunk of time tonight figuring out what I want to enter on the RFID post, spell checking it, and then saying bleep good enough.

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