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LP Lotion: Summer Nightastic! at the Disneyland Resort
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Posted April 27, 2009

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Highlighted Entertainment to Run Through Summer, 2009

New entertainment, enhanced offerings and a special local resident ticket offer were announced at the Disneyland Resort on Friday, April 24. Summer Nightastic! promises bigger, better and brighter Summer events. Returning favorites including Fantasmic!, Disney’s Electrical Parade, and Pixie Hollow, all with special enhancements for Summer 2009. Joining them will be Magical, a new fireworks spectacular, and the TLT Dance Club in Tomorrowland. June 12 is the announced date for Summer Nightastic!

Summer Nightastic! was unveiled at a press event in Disney’s California Adventure. Joining host Russ were Senior Vice President of Marketing for the Disneyland Resort Jill Estorino, Senior Show Director Denny Newell, Show Director for Fantasmic! Carla Carlile, and Steve Davison, Vice President, Parades and Spectaculars, Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment.

Jill Estorino set the stage with a discussion of the importance of Summer nights at Disneyland. She promised that nights would be brighter throughout Disneyland, specifically mentioning the new TLT Dance Club at the Tomorrowland Terrace. Live bands and DJs from local radio stations are scheduled to appear on selected Summer nights.

Estorino then announced the Summer Fun Pass, a three day pass available to Southern California and Northern Baja residents. Available between June 1 and August 23, the $99 pass lets guests enjoy three days admission within a 45 day period. It is for sale at Disneyland.com, Disney Stores, and at the Disneyland Resort box office, as well as local supermarket and retail stores, such as Vons, Albertsons, Ralphs, Stater Brothers, Food 4 Less, Gelsons, Dearden’s, and Toys ‘R Us. The offer is available for guests living in zip codes 90000 through 93599 and 2100 through 22999. Proof of residence is required.

Russ next introduced a look at Disney’s Electrical Parade and Pixie Hollow Enchantment with Senior Show Director Denny Newell. Newell pointed out that much of the Electrical Parade at Disneyland hadn’t been changed since the Parade’s debut in 1972. While the music will be familiar, new arrangements and technology will give it a richer sound. A new float featuring Tinker Bell will lead the parade. After several years’ absence, Snow White’s mine and Pinocchio’s Pleasure Island floats will return. All floats will be enhanced with LED “Pixie Dust,” as well as more highly sculpted details.

Pixie Hollow was up next. For Summer evenings, Pixie Hollow Enchantment will welcome nighttime guests for the first time. Pixie dust will sparkle in the trees, water jets will colorfully perform, and even the pond will glow with iridescent light.

Show Director Carla Carlile, accompanied by a dancing crew of King Louie’s monkeys, next took the stage to discuss Fantasmic! In it’s eighteenth year, Fantasmic! will be enhanced for 2009. During the Peter Pan scene, Captain Hook’s ship will be followed by a new, highly articulated crocodile. Two new cast members, Flotsam and Jetsom, will join Ursula’s sequence. They will glide through the scene, confronting riverside guests as they slither through the fog. The biggest announcement is the newly designed Maleficent dragon. Forty feet tall and weighing in at ten thousand pounds, the new dragon will more closely resemble the memorable dragon from the climax of Sleeping Beauty. HD doesn’t only describe the projection system, explained Carlile; It also stands for Huge Dragon.

Host Russ took a few minutes to share the top five rejected themes for Summer Nightastic! He explained that while Disney’s show writers were the very best, they did sometimes come up with ideas that didn’t make it into the park. The top five rejected themes were:

5. Goofy Gets His Glow On
4. Donald’s Disco Inferno
3. Sweatin’ With Mickey
2. Chip ‘n Dale Review
1. Tinker Bell’s Hot Pixie Nights.

After discussing these “bombs,” Russ turned to things that exploded on purpose, Disneyland fireworks. He then presented Steve Davison, Vice President of Parades and Spectaculars for Walt Disney Imagineering. Davison made an “explosive” entrance, to introduce Disneyland’s newest fireworks spectacular, Magical.

Magical, Davison explained, would be a journey, accompanied by magic makers from our favorite animated films. That journey begins in Neverland, with Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, and the Magic of Childhood. Then we join Pinocchio for the Magic of a Wish. Mary Poppins then shows us the Magic of Imagination. Heartwarming Dumbo next shares the Magic of a Mother’s Love. The journey concludes with the Magic of a Kiss, with Disney’s beloved Princesses and their Princes. Magical, Davison promised, would feature one of the biggest finales in Disneyland fireworks history.

The biggest announcement of the day was the identity of the featured soloist for Magical. There were audible gasps as Davison revealed that it was Eden Espinosa. While Espinosa is well known in musical theater, having played in Wicked in Los Angeles and on Broadway, she got her start in Disneyland.

Davison then expanded on his description of Magical with a spirited presentation. He has been called “The Human Firework,” and as the presentation unfolded, it was plain to see why. Accompanied by excerpts from the original score of Magical, Davison acted out each firework, all the while providing a vivid word description.

More revelations were offered during the presentation. Not only will Tinker Bell fly across the sky (accompanied by The Second Star to the Right), but Dumbo will also fly, during a performance of Baby Mine. Mary Poppins will get an extended sequence. And new searchlights have been added to the castle.

As the Magic of a Kiss reaches its climax, the Good Fairies from Sleeping Beauty enter into their eternal pink or blue argument. But, as veterans of Davison’s fireworks know, this is not the final finale. A reiteration of the new main theme swells as a massive true finale concludes Magical.


Click below to play the video clips. Four of them together make up the entire presentation. The fifth is an interview with Disneyland Ambassador Quinn Shurian and Donald Duck
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