Beginning in Los Angeles and traveling to 36 states and making 40 stops across the U.S., the Christmas Carol Train, part of a major promotion by the Walt Disney Studios for its upcoming film Disney’s A Christmas Carol, made its final stop this past weekend in New York City.
The film opens on Friday, November 6, nationwide in Disney Digital 3D™ and in IMAX 3D®. The Christmas Carol Train tour, presented by HP and Amtrak, featured authentic artifacts on loan from the Charles Dickens Museum of London; artwork, costumes and props from the film; demonstrations of performance capture technology; morphing your own face into one of the film’s characters, and holiday carolers in four custom-designed vintage rail cars. There were also street performers throughout the presentation. As a “holiday gift” to those who toured the train Disney also provided a 3-D sneak peek of Disney’s A Christmas Carol in a specially erected, state-of-the-art Disney Digital 3D Theatre.
As you headed towards the exhibit entrance, old-fashioned lampposts adorned with holiday wreathes lined the path. Entering the first car costumes of the characters are located on either side of the car. Glass cases intermittently placed in the first car hold original letters, books, and documents from Charles Dickens time; courtesy of the Charles Dickens Museum.
The second car has additional original artifacts and various atmospheric and scenic images of concept art displays on high-definition screens mounted on the car walls.
Entering the third car, visitors saw scale models of various character models and famous London landmarks used to inspire images in the film.
The next car is a departure from the low lit and imitate feel of the other cars. This car is lined with mirrors showing how the actors were suited up and filmed to bring these animated characters to life. Videos, throughout this car, showed Jim Carey, Colin Firth, and the other actors learning how to work with this new technology and then actually acting each of their characters for the camera.
The fifth car was a darkened space with high-definition screens lining the walls and ceilings. Each of these screens showed videos of computer models, the actors being filmed, or the actual animated scenes in various stages of completion.
The next two cars after the video tunnel held cubicles with touch video screens and cameras where guests could have their face photographed and morphed into one of the A Christmas Carol characters. Guests could choose from Scrooge, Tiny Tim, Jacob Marley, or Belle.
The final car was decorated as a Victorian drawing room or parlor complete with not only holiday carolers, but also a blazing fireplace with decorated mantle and a buffet table with a traditional English Christmas buffet – courtesy of Ebenezer in front of a bow window over looking Dickens’ Old England. On one wall additional video screens showing final images from Disney’s A Christmas Carol.
After touring the cars, guests were directed to the Disney Digital 3-D Theatre where traditional street performers and intermittent snow kept guests entertained before they were escorted into the theatre and treated to an 11-minute sneak peek of this long-awaited film.
As usual, Disney didn’t miss a beat with this presentation and everyone left not only with a smile on their faces, but also the beginnings of the holiday spirit.