The American Adventure at Epcot reopened a few days early from its refurbishment today, offering us a first look (and listen) to the many changes to the classic show.
Among the changes, the entire show’s film portion finally went digital, offering crystal clear, HD projections for the first time ever. Smaller visual upgrades were also made, such as these illuminated backdrops for the Declaration of Independence and Two Brothers audio-animatronic sequences.
The animatronic cast members were all looking refreshed as well, many with costuming and animation adjustments. The most stark improvement has to be the transitions into scenes with film backdrops. What were once rough and jittery film movements now move in perfect synchronization with the raising and lowering figures, as you’ll see as part of the video below highlighting the film upgrades:
The biggest changes come at the end, where the Golden Dream montage has been reworked quite a bit. The classic song has been rearranged and rerecorded, with the montage removing many background sound effects that would play, such as the noises of the equipment during the moon landing sequence. Added to the montage are many more contemporary celebrities and luminaries: Michael Phelps, Michelle and Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Jimmy Carter, Lebron James, Serena and Venus Williams, Beyoncé, Elon Musk, Neil Degrasse Tyson, Mark Zuckerberg, various United States Olympics Teams, and more. More controversial figures such as Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong have been removed, as well as the kids with sparklers (who did nothing wrong and are not controversial, to my knowledge).
I fully expect this Beyonce one to become a meme…
The new score carries through the montage into the ultimate end of the show. I think I prefer the song as it was before, but there certainly isn’t anything wrong with this new version. It’s somewhat less gospel-sounding and that does make the end feel a little less grand perhaps. I’ll give the show a few more tries before I pass any judgment. Either way, check out the entire new montage and rearranged Golden Dream portion of the show below:
The American Adventure looks refreshed and renewed for another generation of guests at Epcot, so be sure to check it out on your next visit.