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The battle between Disney and Universal is at the forefront of this edition of Theme Park Bits. Below, read about the following:

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier is coming to Disneyland.
  • A new hint has surfaced at the closing of Captain EO.
  • Last week marked the 27th anniversary of Star Tours.
  • The CEO of Comcast, which owns Universal, says they’re really pushing theme parks.
  • Photos from the Diagon Alley expansion of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter as well as multiple upgrades at Universal Hollywood.
  • A new hotel is opening at Universal Studios Orlando.
  • Maleficent gets a new float in a Walt Disney World parade.

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Captain EODisney Parks has confirmed that the Francis Ford Coppola-directed/George Lucas-produced Michael Jackson sci-fi action 3D musical short film Captain EO will return to Disneyland’s Tomorrowland beginning on Tuesday, February 23rd 2010.

As a tribute to the magic, music and messages of “Captain EO,” the 3-D musical adventure is returning to the Tomorrowland theater in which it debuted. While it’s not possible to replicate some special effects elements from the original presentation, it will boast a new 70mm print of the film, and it will sound better than ever thanks to acoustic enhancements made to the theater since the film last played there in 1997.

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Michael Jackson Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas

Disney Parks has confirmed that Honey I Shrunk The Audience will be closing sometime in the next few weeks to make way for the the return of the Francis Ford Coppola-directed/George Lucas-produced Michael Jackson sci-fi action 3D musical short film Captain EO. The original film will return to Disneyland’s Tomorrowland beginning in February 2010.

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Disney Denies The Return of Captain EO

Michael Jackson Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas

Disney head Bob Iger denies previously reported rumors that Disney will be bringing the Francis Ford Coppola-directed Michael Jackson sci-fi 3D musical Captain EO back to Disney theme parks. A couple weeks ago the rumor showed up online claiming that the film would return to the Southern California theme park in January 2010, as a tribute to Michael Jackson. Here is a quote from reuters:

“There aren’t plans to bring back ‘Captain EO’ at this time,” Iger said at a news conference. “We are looking at it. It’s the kind of thing that, if we did it, would get a fair amount of attention and we’d want to make sure we do it right.”

That isn’t to say there hasn’t been talk or consideration of the idea. Iger admits that he and four Disney executives recently revisited the 17-minute film and noted that the special effects were dated. Could this mean that Disney might be considering remastering the old footage with brand new computer effects and new footage? Never say never. But for now, consider this rumor debunked.

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Captain EO To Return To Disneyland?

Michael Jackson Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas

Miceage is reporting that the Francis Ford Coppola-directed/George Lucas-produced sci-fi action 3D musical short film Captain EO will be returning to Disneyland’s Tomorrowland. Apparently the return of Captain EO will be announced by Jay Rasulo at the D23 Expo, and the film will begin playing again in the Southern California theme park in January 2010, as a tribute to Michael Jackson.

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