Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln Triumphantly Returns to Disneyland’s Main Street Opera House

Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland)ANAHEIM, Calif. (Dec. 18, 2009) — President Abraham Lincoln returns to the Main Street Opera House in Disneyland with stunning new Audio-Animatronics technology that makes this the most lifelike and expressive Lincoln figure yet.

Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, a beloved Disneyland attraction for nearly 45 years and a historic landmark in the development of Audio-Animatronics technology, reopens Dec. 18 on Main Street, U.S.A. with the new Lincoln figure and an enriched presentation that combines the best elements of the park’s original 1965 show and the most advanced technical enhancements. (The show first opened at the 1964 New York World’s Fair.)

The new Abraham Lincoln figure represents several major milestones for Audio-Animatronics figures.  The fully electric head – a first for human Disney Audio-Animatronics figures, which are traditionally hydraulically operated – is based on an all-new sculpt that is more lifelike than in previous versions of the show.  With an expanded range of facial movement, Lincoln is more expressive than ever.  He can purse his lips, form an “O” with his lips, smile, grimace and use his eyebrows to enhance his emotions.

Abraham Lincoln. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland)The state-of-the-art figure of the 16th president of the United States will take the stage of the Main Street Opera House to deliver a speech composed of highlights from speeches made by Lincoln during his lifetime.  (Walt Disney himself selected the highlights first included in the attraction.)  The original readings by the late actor Royal Dano, recorded in the early 1960s, have been preserved and made sharper using digital technology, as has the original host narration by Paul Frees (a talented voice actor who also can be heard in the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean attractions).

Frees’ narration includes passages never heard in past Great Moments with Mr. Lincolnpresentations.  Thanks to the latest Audio-Animatronics technology, Lincoln also will appear more lifelike than ever before as he rises from his chair and speaks.

Display inside the Main Street Opera House. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland)Upon entering the Main Street Opera House, guests encounter a redesigned lobby, including both The Disneyland Story – an entertaining display of the past, present and future of Disneyland – and a separate presentation of items relating to Abraham Lincoln’s life and work.  In the auditorium, guests will first view an onscreen program about Lincoln and the Civil War that features digitally enhanced versions of pictures and sound created for past versions of the show along with new material.  Next, Lincoln takes the stage to deliver his speech.  When the 15-minute show concludes, guests exit through a gallery depicting notable Americans who have followed in Lincoln’s footsteps and continue to inspire others in areas such as perseverance, innovation and imagination.

Photos by Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland.

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