Fantastic Pressing Matters! I'm going to have to try and fit in the Walt Disney Winter Sierra Rail trip from Emeryville! Pixar to Reno! Here I come! LOL!
Also, thank you for mentioning the Walt Disney Family Museum Mineral King Program, I can't wait!
I'll be in Disneyland next week, I'll have to stop by the Carnation Cafe too! Amazing, 55 years at Disneyland! Oscar Martinez must be the longest tenured Disneyland Cast Member at this point!
Be sure to double check the LAHTF Tour times. We went on it once expecting lots of visits inside old theaters, and only got inside the Egyptian then walked the streets and then the tourist are of the Kodak theater. This was mainly due to the fact that the theater was having shows etc but a bit disappointing (We had bought tickets in advance).
I was at the El Capitan Tour today and it was awesome. First we got signed in right on time, and since the tour was sold out, they created several groups and we were put into a group. Since I was first in line I went into Group A along with about 9 other people. We then went into the theater and took our seats. As the other groups filed in we got a wonderful Organ Concert but not by the one that Sue mentioned. But he was good and we were seated in the front row so for the first time I really go to see how the organ works.
Then the Manager of the El Capitan came out, and the organ console sunk into the lower depths. We were then treated to the curtain opening ceremony then a slide show on the incredible history of this amazing theater. Then the screen was raised so we could see the flying speaker screen. There are three huge speaker arrangements that are just like those huge rigs you see at live concerts and it was pointed out there are 32 surround speakers around the walls. Then that was lifted along with the special lighting rig and we could see the entire bare stage all the way to the back wall. After some more announcements our group A was directed to take the small steps up to the stage and we were off.
I knew this theater was an amazing place, but this really opened my eyes about every that is beyond your vision when sitting in theater watching a movie. We had 10 flights of stairs to climb during the tour which took us from the stage, to under the stage where we saw dressing rooms galore, the Mickey Lift elevator that is used in some stage shows that is the same kind of lift that is used in Fantasmic to bring Mickey on and off stage at the beginning and end the show. We also saw more dressing rooms and the "Green Room". You must remember that when this theater was first opened it was a legitimate live stage theater. The STAR Dressing room was large, well furnished and we found out that Clark Gable and other major stars of stage and screen had performed in this theater, live on state. It was not until years later that the theater was transformed into a movie theater with the first movie shown being Orson Wells "Citizen Kane".
We saw more rooms before taking a stairway up and up and up to the top of the theater. We saw the "Pipe room for the Orchestra Effect", being the smaller pipes, drums, bells and whistles. Just down from that room were the air pumps and the huge motor that runs the pumps. And in another room we could peek in and see the row of 32 foot base pipes and also see down into the theater from there. It was interesting to see the big Warning signs that were all over these particular rooms that read "Ear Protection must be used in these rooms when the Organ is playing". I can just imagine how loud that could be up there. Then we went downstairs and passed, yup you guessed it, more and more dressing rooms for performers that are now used for offices. This place is a warren of hidden hallways, stairs, rooms and God know what.
We then went outside and down to a side entrance into the Theater and then upstairs to the upper lobby, then downstairs all the way down to the lower lobby which is a presentation room and bathrooms. We than got one last chance to see the main auditorium and the tour was over. It started at 8am and ended at 9:30am because the needed to get the theater ready for the 10am show.
It was the best $12 I have spent and since I am a huge El Capitan Fan, this was a real thrill for me. The only room we were not allowed into was the projection booth as now it has two digital projection systems in a very small space and plus the don't want anyone to see it. I had a great morning and saw things I never even knew about. If they ever do this again, and you can get to the theater by 7:30am on a Saturday morning, it is well worth it.