Lincoln Preshow... Pre Walt Disney Story


DisneyChris

Member
Ok, here is a toughy. I want to find out exactly what the preshow was at the Disneyland Opera House's (not the world's fair)production of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, before the Walt Disney Story moved in, circa 1965. Was it the same "Illinois Story" that played at the fair, or was it something different. Was it similar to it, but altered. Was there no preshow at all. Can anyone confirm the answer to this. The reason I ask, is because it is curious to me why the "Illinois Story" would be shown in California, as a promotion for Illinois, when the exibit was not then being shown in a pavillion sponsored by the state of Illinois as it was at the fair.

Does anyone else out there want to know this? It has been bugging me a long time.

Also... I have the CD of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. Can anyone explain what segments were part of the main show slide presentation that was shown before the final speech, and which were exclusive to the album. For example, I am pretty sure the Gettysburg segment was not shown in the theater. I could be wrong, but can anyone verify exactly what the show intailed, what segments were used and/or not used, and in what order. Both the 50th anniversary collection and the new World's Fair set does not include this material (disappointing) The sound quality is very poor on the CD of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. It would be great if this could be digitally remastered and sold as a special edition for the upcomming 45th anniverary of the show's Disneyland premeire. (too late for the 45th at the fair, and the 200th anniversary of Lincoln, oh well)
 

X-S Tech

Active Member
Great questions Chris! I love finding these little wrinkles in Disney History, forgotten variations of shows and stuff that falls through the cracks of history. Unfortunately I don't know the answer. There are probably people who could tell you, though I don't know if any of them are on this board. I hate to go the Official route, but you might want to email Dave Smith at the Archives (through the D23 site may be the easiest) and ask him very clearly, yet thouroughly what you want to know. I do notice a tendency for Dave's answers to be overly simplistic, to the point of totally dodging the question. I think his answers are always informative but sometimes for a wider audience, and not always helpful to the person who asked the question. But anyway, if you can be specific with you're question he probably has the resources to answer you. Good luck and let us know if you find anything.
 
The show's lobby had a vastly different arrangement than it does today (partly in fact that the Wonderland Music shop shared a portion of the space) near what recently was the Wise. O Owl display was the original location of the scale model of the sate capitol --it was viewed through a false window with velvet drapes to give the guests the effect that it was an actual building outside across the way. The long screen that recently was showing the DL 50th slide show, and previously the edited Walt Disney Story, was once used to show the pre-show that was identical to the NY World's Fair -complete with the Illinois portion --this was later removed. Remember in 1965 the show was being performed at both Disneyland and the fair simultaneously. A series of metal railings allowed guest to stand to see the Lincoln pre-show. These railings seem to have been cut-up and reused to create the railing around the State Capitol model when it was relocated after Lincoln was brought back as PART of The Walt Disney Story in 1975.

It's interesting to note that guests really were irritated that Lincoln had been removed when the Walt Disney Story opened, and that WED (WDI) brought it back so quickly, because at that time there was serious plans of bringing LIBERTY SQUARE (not Street) to Disneyland to open around the Bicentennial and it would have included the WDW version of the Hall of Presidents. In the early 80's WED again discussed bringing LIBERTY SQUARE to Disneyland to feature the American Adventure WITH Lincoln in this California version. I remember even in the mid 90's parts of a model were still in the offices inside Disneyland's Facilities & Engineering offices that featured a chunk of the 1980's version of Disneyland's Liberty Square. The exterior to the American Adventure (type) show was housed in a facade that looked like Liberty Hall at WDW, but the expanded theater butted up against the DL Operahouse and part of the old administration building. There was two entrances to the DL Liberty Square --the main one on the model was near the Plaza Inn and First Aid (kind where Edison Square was planned) and another side entry thru East side locker arcade (it double opened into Main Street and Liberty Square. (ironically the arcade was the only think built!!) Also there was NO Town Square entry for the 80's Liberty Square like there had been in the 1975 version or the 50's Liberty Street.

I imagine the fact that Space Mountain would have been less than 100 feet away from the entry area to Liberty Hall was probably a thorn in the imagineer's side. One the model there was part of a quarter of a circle showing where Space Mt. was. I wonder what happened to the model after Facilities and Engineering relocated into the newer Team center.



DL FLIGHT 295
DC 88 SPACELINER
 

X-S Tech

Active Member
Fascinating DL Flight 295. Thanks!

I find it incredible that they were debating a project as big as Liberty Square, or the American Adventure for DL, though I have to remind myself that was before the cartoonization of everything and the cost could probably have been somewhat deferred by American Adventure being built simultaneously at Epcot.
 
A version of the American Adventure wasn't the only EPCOT attraction discussed for Disneyland. After certain attractions proved popular after EPCOT's opening, other Disneyland versions were studied. Journey into Imagination was shown at 1985 WDI open house......oddly in Tomorrowland. And there was great interest in World Showcase Pavilions. But some did make it a little........we didn't get a full American Adventure, but parts were included in the 1984 Mr. Lincoln revamp. And Wonder's of China made it to Circle-Vision. And of course the entire EPCOT entry music played throughout Space Mountain Plaza (later mixed with Tomorowland's Greatest Hits) AND Magic Journeys played in the open Space Mountain Stage at night in the 1984-85 period.

Another note about Magic Journey's. The filming began in 1977 long before EPCOT's finalization. It was titled Disneyland 3-D Project. It was filmed over a period of time and later edited together. NOTE that the little blonde haired boy (Johnathan Weidelman -the only actor who is used throughout the whole filming period 1977-1981) actually ages over the course of the film!!! He also was the only kid who had horse riding training. The other kids in the film change completely as the film progresses. The producers like this as it added to the "magical" effect of the film.



-Mike

DL FLIGHT 295
DC 88 SPACELINER
 

DisneyChris

Member
Thanks for the great info DL!!!

Good to know about the Illinois story. Now I can include it in my own Disneyland music mix that i am making without feeling I am cheating :p Do you know how long the Illinois Story played as the preshow? Did it run up until the Walt Disney Story took over, or did another preshow replace it in the interum? Also, do you know what the actual show itself included? ie. which segments on the GMWML album were a part of the actual theatrical presentation. Was the Gettysburg segment part of the show?
 

X-S Tech

Active Member
Thanks for the great info DL!!!

Good to know about the Illinois story. Now I can include it in my own Disneyland music mix that i am making without feeling I am cheating :p Do you know how long the Illinois Story played as the preshow? Did it run up until the Walt Disney Story took over, or did another preshow replace it in the interum? Also, do you know what the actual show itself included? ie. which segments on the GMWML album were a part of the actual theatrical presentation. Was the Gettysburg segment part of the show?

Is there a chance that the version of Lincoln included on the DL 50th Set (the 6CD one) is as accurate as can be?
 

DisneyChris

Member
I am not sure about that. It does not include anything except the autobiography and the final speech, and the autobiography was part of the preshow in the Illinois Story, so not sure if they included that in the main show also.
 

mmmfan

Member
Another note about Magic Journey's. The filming began in 1977 long before EPCOT's finalization. It was titled Disneyland 3-D Project. It was filmed over a period of time and later edited together. NOTE that the little blonde haired boy (Johnathan Weidelman -the only actor who is used throughout the whole filming period 1977-1981) actually ages over the course of the film!!! He also was the only kid who had horse riding training. The other kids in the film change completely as the film progresses. The producers like this as it added to the "magical" effect of the film.



-Mike

DL FLIGHT 295
DC 88 SPACELINER
Thanks for all the info Mike! I loved Magic Journeys.I thought the blonde haired boy was Chad Allen. Am I wrong?
 

X-S Tech

Active Member
I am not sure about that. It does not include anything except the autobiography and the final speech, and the autobiography was part of the preshow in the Illinois Story, so not sure if they included that in the main show also.

Oh sorry. I hadn't listened to it for a long time and sometimes forget which version is on what disc.
 
I am not sure about that. It does not include anything except the autobiography and the final speech, and the autobiography was part of the preshow in the Illinois Story, so not sure if they included that in the main show also.

no.....not Chad Allen. It was Johnathan Weidelman. Now a dental reconstruction surgeon

Mike
 

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