Here’s some great news. An updated ‘Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln’ will return to Disneyland later this year. The move comes in conjunction with work to move the Disney Gallery to a new home in the current ‘Bank of Main Street’. If that’s what it takes to get Abe Lincoln back on stage at his rightful place, then so be it.
It will be very nice if Disneyland brings back the Audio-Animatronic Mr. Lincoln during the Bicentennial celebration too. Five years away was just too long. However, there is no date announced for his return, just ‘this year’.
To all of you who sent in letters and comments to Disneyland Guest Relations, thank you.
Update: OC Register quotes Disneyland spokesman who says this will be a significant change from the last version. That version only drew lackluster results from fans of the old show and new audiences alike.
Disneyland’s full press release below the cut:
Hiatus for ‘Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years’
Begins March 16 as Main Street Opera House Prepares
For ‘Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln’ Homecoming
ANAHEIM, Calif. (February 25, 2009) – A longtime favorite of Disneyland guests will return as “The Disneyland Story, featuring Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln,” an enhanced version of the show which appeared, in various forms, in the Main Street Opera House at Disneyland park from 1966 through 2004 . The attraction will reopen later this year in celebration of the 200th anniversary year of Abraham Lincoln’s birth.
The current Opera House presentation, “Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years,” will go on hiatus beginning Monday, March 16, in preparation for the new “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln” show. When the updated “Disneyland Story, featuring Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln” opens later this year, “Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years” will be presented as part of the “Disneyland Story” display of art, models and mementos in the Opera House lobby.
Also planned for fall 2009 is a prominent new home on Main Street, U.S.A., for The Disney Gallery. Formerly located above Pirates of the Caribbean in New Orleans Square, The Disney Gallery houses treasured Disney artwork and collectibles representing creative efforts from throughout The Walt Disney Company. A frequently changing exhibit area often includes never-before-displayed art. The Disney Gallery’s new home will be in the Bank of Main Street building, located next door to the Main Street Opera House and currently serving as the headquarters for Disneyland Resort Annual Passport processing. The Bank will continue to operate as an Annual Passport center until mid-summer 2009. After that, Annual Passport processing will move to the Plaza Pavilion, near the entrance to Adventureland.
The original “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln” was created by Walt Disney and his Imagineers for the State of Illinois Pavilion at the 1964 New York World’s Fair and featured the world’s first fully animated human Audio-Animatronics figure, built by Walt Disney Imagineering. The show, made its Disneyland debut in the Main Street Opera House on July 18, 1965.