Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Rumor: Nighttime lagoon show testing again for DAK near Everest

A little birdie has warbled a tune in my ear about some recent nighttime testing in the lagoon near Expedition Everest. It's being kept very hush-hush, but has taken a few nights to try out - always in the dead of night. What they're testing is apparently a next-generation waterscreen projection system. No, it's not the same as Universal's "fall from above" system. Something much more grand.

DAK has long had a problem on its hands. It's seen by much of the public as a half-day park, and indeed, the place closes two or three hours before every other park in the WDW roster. Part of this is due to a lack of rides (people can finish the whole park by early evening), and part of it is due to being so animal-dependent, and animals go to bed at night.

Disney has tried to remedy this before. They experimented with Rivers of Light, a nighttime parade in the vein of the Electrical Parade, even going so far as to build out the infrastructure necessary. But the parade never came to being.

They've previously toyed with using the lagoon near Expedition Everest as a platform for a lagoon show. Folks theorize that this was one spot under consideration for an East Coast version of the popular World of Color show from Disney California Adventure. But the viewing was always seen as too limited. And the technology involved always seemed problematic.

One eyewitness account suggests they are looking at a NEW delivery system now for a lagoon show here. The mist screens are reportedly generated using a technology different from the "spray upwards" method we've seen since Fantasmic debuted in 1992 in Disneyland. It's not clear what a water-screen would look like if created by alternate technology, but this is an intriguing rumor we plan to watch carefully.

Kevin Yee is the author of numerous independent Disney books, including the popular Walt Disney World Earbook series and Walt Disney World Hidden History.