PHOTOS, VIDEO: The American Adventure at Epcot Returns with New Golden Dream Song, Digital Projections

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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.

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About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]

13 Comments

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  • Ugh, the new finale is awful. Why did they have to change the glorious last moment of the show? This is really pissing me off.

  • The one thing I need to know – did the fix the synchronization of the rising curtain, with yellow above and blue below, at the beginning? That would make it all worthwhile?

  • Well, my fear came true, they messed with the song and montage a little too much. The new recording really falls flat compared to the old one. Some of the additions to the video montage aren’t great either. I guess the requirements aren’t that intense to get your face on there. haha. But yeah, the new song is pretty awful compared to the old version. Like you Tom, I liked the gospel sounding song a lot more, it made it seem more like a “grand” finale

  • I understand folks have a strong feeling towards this show. I’ve always found the song to be a bit uncomfortable and tends to fall into the trappings of most American patriotism. It tends to blind us from looking both inward and outward and reflecting where we are failing our people. Of course I’m not trying to get overly political here nor do I wish to inject partisanship. You can still tell an American story without being so cringe-worthy.

  • Hmmm…I loved when Eva Avila Canada: You’re a Lifetime Journey, it seemed an improvement on the original, which I liked as a kid. I’m trying to like the new rendition of Golden Dream, but it’s kind of falling flat for me. That prominent drum set in the final moments before the curtain closes seems to spoil the soaring orchestral and choral majesty that was there before. I a huge (and therefore picky) Epcot fan, I will admit. Hoping the next iteration opts to be more symphonic, less rock, in those closing seconds.

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