Skip to main content

Great Moments with Mr Lincoln

In Town Square at Disneyland, California, is an attraction not featured in any of the other parks.  Great Moments with Mr Lincoln is closely tied to Walt Disney himself.  He was a great admirer of the 16th US President and wanted this attraction to share with visitors important times from Lincoln's life.  

Entering the attraction and turning to the right, visitors will find a selection of exhibits illustrating the development of Disneyland itself.  This is, as I understand it, a remnant of an attraction which was hosted in the same venue for a while, The Disney Story.  The current attraction is actually called The Disney Story Presenting Great Moments with Mr Lincoln and therefore combines elements of the two attractions that have occupied this spot (the Mr. Lincoln attraction predating The Disney Story, before the 16th President was eventually reinstated).

There are models, paintings and audio/video exhibits detailing Fantasyland, Adventureland, Tomorrowland and more.  Moving around to the left and there is a scale model of the White House and a bust of Lincoln.  This is the 'lobby area' prior to entrance to the main part of the attraction.

In this lobby plays a pre-show film detailing Walt's vision of this attraction including information about the actor chosen to give voice to Lincoln and the creation of the audio-animatronic figure of the president.

When the doors open, guests walk into a large theatre lined with plush, red chairs facing a stage adorned with a deep blue curtain.  A sihouette of Lincoln in profile is projected on to the curtain.

With a fanfare, the lights go down and the curtain rises.  Guests then watch an audio/visual show of static, painted images along with a voiceover of Lincoln's own words.  This patriotic story leads us through his youth, his rise in politics and the American Civil War.  One part of the presentation is accompanied by the song, Two Brothers (which also, as I understand it features in the America Pavilion in Epcot).  Eventually, the impact of Lincoln on American history is commented on and we find ourselves in the company of an animatronic Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln proceeds to address the guests.  The animatronics are simply amazing.  Although it isn't quite lifelike, it is an amazing attempt.  There are subtle movement in his head and hands, including his fingers.  The mechanics and computer coding that must be involved in making this figure work prove the skill and immense talent of the Disney Imagineers.  Even the way Lincoln goes from sitting to standing at the start of the speech is incredible (even if a little, marionette-like).

A rousing hymn ends the show as Lincoln returns to his chair.

As a Brit, I'm am definitely not going to appreciate this attraction in the way Americans probably do but it is a prime example of the talent of Disney Imagineers and the importance, to the USA, of their country's history.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Dumbo

A Disney Tale: A baby elephant is delivered to a circus elephant.  The baby, nicknamed Dumbo, has huge ears and is mocked by the other circus elephants and visitors to the circus.  When his mother tries to defendhim, she is separated from Dumbo and imprisoned.  Dumbo ends up working with the clowns but, after a drunken night with his new friend Timothy Mouse, Dumbo discovers he can fly with the aid of his massive ears.  At the circus, he becomes a sensation and is reunited with his mother.


Disney Heroine: Dumbo lacks significant human characters so the role of Disney Heroine for this film really falls to Dumbo's mother, Mrs Jumbo.  Her actions protecting Dumbo from the mean children at the circus are the catalyst for many of the film's later events.  The sorrow she feels when imprisoned in solitary confinement and separated from her only child is palpable as is her joy when reunited and travelling in the Jumbo family's private carriage at the back of Casey Jnr.  Interesting…

Pinocchio Miscellaneous

Pinocchio also appears in two other attractions at Disney parks.


Firstly the film has a large presence in Disneyland California's Storybook Land Canal Boats.  The beginning of the ride sees boats pass through the mouth of Monstro the Whale (possibly why this isn't a feature of the dark ride) and then on to see various miniature scenes of Disney films, one of which is Geppetto's village.


I will review Storybook Land Canal Boats - and its Disneyland Paris equivalent - in more detail in the future as it is a ride themed around a number of different films rather than being Pinocchio-centric.

I do like the idea of travelling through Monstro's mouth, though (in Paris it is the opening to the Cave of Wonders instead).

Pinocchio also has a presence in Fantasmic! with both Pinocchio and Monstro the Whale appearing at various points in all three versions of the show (at Walt Disney Hollywood Studios; Disneyland California and Tokyo DisneySea).


I have seen the Hollywood Studios versi…

Dumbo Miscellaneous

For such an iconic character, the one thing missing from the world of Dumbo is a character meet and greet around the parks.  However, at a Disneyland fireworks display around 2009, Dumbo was seen to fly around the castle (as seen in the image above).  Videos of the show suggest this was quite an awesome sight.  He seems to be a moving puppet (I'm assuming there isn't anyone inside him).


Dumbo also features in a number of Disney computer games.  He is a 'summon' in the Kingdom Hearts series of role play games (a character who the player 'summons' to aid them in battle) and also features in a segment of Disney's Villain's Revenge game.  This is slightly odd because, as I pointed out in my review of the film, there is no real clear villain in Dumbo.   In the game, the Ringmaster - the closest the film gets to a traditional villain - is forcing Dumbo to perform in his circus in a much more sadistic way than is ever presented in the film.  The player has to r…