5 Things To Know About the Michael Jackson Suite at Walt Disney World

Michael Jackson visited the Disney parks often during his life, especially during the early 1980’s. I’ve always been a huge fan of Disney and shared a little bit about my first time in Disneyland a couple weeks ago (here). Walt Disney World has been my “other home” since I was a child and still remains a place that I look forward to visiting as often as possible. 

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Seeing Captain EO at EPCOT!

I went with a good friend of mine to Florida to attend Brad Sundberg's In The Studio with Michael 
Jackson seminar. I have too many thoughts about that seminar, so I will leave my review on that for a different post. Today, I want to take you guys into my experience seeing Captain EO at EPCOT with Brad Sundberg, Matt Forger, and a group of really enthusiastic fans (and now, new friends!).

If you have never seen Captain EO, I first want to say that, it's more than just some cool short that Michael did in the 1980s. Captain EO was the first of it's kind, the first 4D film, complete with surround sound, 3D effects, and laser lights.

 Here's an excerpt of what's on the Disney World webpage about it:

"Executive producer George Lucas and director Francis Ford Coppola changed the world when they released Captain EO in 1986. A revolutionary filming process using twin 70mm polarizing projectors and “4D” in-theater effects made it the most expensive film per minute ever produced at the time, costing an estimated $30 million and clocking in at 17 minutes.

...Screening in the same Imagination! Pavilion Magic Eye Theater where it aired from 1986 to 1994, Captain EO features show-stopping musical numbers, original songs written by Michael Jackson and dazzling choreography that will take a new generation of Guests on a journey to the stars."

And I've got to mention again...  Michael Jackson as the star :-). Even though (as Matt Forger joked)  it was those three that got the credit, it really was the efforts of many that brought Captain EO to life. So grateful to have been there with Brad and Matt and to hear about how much work and team effort it really took.

At the park we listened to stories (and enjoyed a few rides) together. Of course, we also watched the film as a group a few times. I have been to EPCOT before but, this was my first experience watching the film with other fans. Let me say, if you have never had the chance to see Michael up close and personal on the big screen, going to see Captain EO will be awesome for you. One of my favorite things was being able to see Michael interact with Hooter (fix it Hooter!!) and sing the EO version of "Another Part of Me". One of my favorite songs but, even more upbeat and fun on the ride.

Laughs, behind the scenes of Captain EO

My most memorable moment from the trip to EPCOT was hearing a story about Michael's dedication and work ethic. So there was this scene during which he was to be hoisted in the air and singing "We Are Here To Change the World".  The scene just called for him to lip-sync, but unbeknownst to everyone on set, he was singing with all of his might and LOUD. When the director suddenly called "CUT!", Michael kept singing (as anyone would when performing and haven't realized yet that the music is off). The people on set were taken aback when the music shut off and here Michael was, singing his a** off.  So... Why he was singing 100%, when all he had to do was lip-sync?

Well, to Michael- the way the neck looked when fully emoting, compared to just lip-syncing was something that needed to be captured. Otherwise, he was afraid that the singing wouldn't look authentic.

This was a scene that was eventually cut from the final film but, it was touching to hear about how Michael was such a perfectionist. Talk about going the EXTRA MILE!

Anyway, I hope to get back to Disney and see it at least one more time this year but not so sure if I'll be able to save up the money or have the time to make this happen. If you haven't seen Captain EO at Disney, RUN and don't walk to your nearest park (it's still open in Disneyland and in Tokyo Disney too)!

me in my EO outfit
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Have you ever seen Captain EO? What was your favorite part of the movie?

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