Ten Years since Light Magic

I was reminded over on LaughingPlace.com that the 10th anniversary of the public debut of Light Magic quickly approaches. As the guy who wrote the FAQ on Light Magic it scares me to think that ten years has gone by so quickly, I’m getting old. So what
has ten years of water under the bridge brought? To start with a
complete reset for Team Disney Anaheim. Paul Pressler and his lot are, for the most part, out. 

Paul Pressler was
hired and tasked with the unfortunate job of replacing the Main Street
Electrical Parade. If Pressler had risen organically from within
Disneyland, he would have known how foolish an idea that was. MSEP was
designed to evolve (it started on push carts and grew into great floats
with fiber optics and pyro (see Hercules Float)) and could have kept
right on evolving. Both Pressler and Eisner had tight reins on the
evolution of the parade, down to suggesting the music, the story, the
kids in the video. I’m not sure who came up with the idea for huge
floats with show stops. But that person had obviously never sat through
the early days of the Lion King Celebration when it was impossible to
navigate through Main Street USA, when that show stop was on-going. Had
Pressler had more themepark experience he would have nixed that element
as well.

Finally, after pruning all the bad elements of the show, we
would have been left with a stage show with amazing new fiber optic
effects in a new enclosed fantasyland theatre that featured a story of
Tinker Bell and her pixie friends and their quest to save Disney’s most famous characters from
an evil nightmare.

In the end, despite the valiant efforts of
the cast members who tried their best every night to make some magic
happen for the guests they performed to, Light Magic was a mess for
Disneyland, a fiscal albatross around its neck for many years, and
should be an object lesson for any Disney executive who is asked to
take over a themepark with no themepark experience.