Monday, November 1, 2010

No Ordinary Day at Hollywood Studios

So last Wednesday was perhaps the highlight of my College Program experience thus far. I was like a kid in a candy store: I got to tour the Fantasmic island and the Beauty and the Beast stage!

My day started out by meeting the stage manager outside the control booth in the empty Fantasmic amphitheater. It was really weird seeing it empty. Usually it is filled to capacity. We made our way around to the back of the island, and crossed a bridge so we were behind the mountain. It was enormous! We then climbed all the way up to the top, and worked our way from top to bottom.

The backside of the mountain was really cool. There were pyro cannons all over, and a lot of safety cables and such. The stage manager showed me all of the little secrets of the mountain, where certain character stand, and explained where the tech crew are positioned and what they do during the show.

We then passed the dragon. It was really cool to see it up close and personal. It is huge! Then we walked onstage, and she showed me where all the lifts are located. It truly is a massive stage.

From there, we headed into the basement under the stage. Luckily this area is air-conditioned. In the basement, we saw the cauldron, and the various lifts. I actually stood on Maleficent's lift, and saw how the safety pedals work.

We then headed back up and toured the steamboat. She showed me where the driver sits, and we then climbed up to the top where Steamboat Mickey stands.

Then, we headed into the maintenance/workshop area behind the theatre. Located here are costume/scenic storage, light/tech workshops, a rehearsal studio, a green room, a well as offices.

We went through the wig workshop, the light workshop, the rehearsal studio, the green room, and finally the costume room. That was my favorite room: so many character costumes, some of which you never get to see up close because certain characters never appear in meet-and-greets, such as Steamboat Mickey.

Our tour then came to an end, in the stage manager's office. But my day wasn't over yet! The stage manager mentioned that she would be calling the 4:00 show of Beauty and the Beast, and she invited me to sit in the control booth with her during the show, and then to take a backstage tour!

So I met her again inside the theatre and we made our way to the control booth. She actually gave me a headset to wear so I could hear all of the tech communication!

Following the show, we made our way backstage. Everything was already preset for the next show! The tech crew did that really fast!

She showed me all of the costumes, props, and set pieces. We then walked onstage and took a look at the newly-installed backdrops.

The whole time, I was just in awe of the exquisite detail and wonderful theming of everything around me. I was just so impressed with how creative and innovative everything was.

Well after a few more questions for the stage manager, it was time to say goodbye. I am so thankful for her taking the time to treat me to such a wonderful experience. If I don't have one more good day on my Program, it will all have been worth it because of my day touring the theaters at Hollywood Studios!


Abigail Nora said...

I have to say, I am incredibly jealous that you got to tour Fantasmic backstage!

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