A huge announcement has just come down the wire from the Walt Disney Corporation, and Uncle Walt’s Insider has the exclusive on this story. One of the beloved live shows at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be going through some major changes, and it involves bringing back a beloved Disney film, the critically-acclaimed Condorman!
Great movies with a shared history
In 1981, Walt Disney Productions released the movie Condorman. Disney did not believe that much marketing was needed, as kids of all ages could identify with artist turned superhero Woodrow “Woody” Wilkins. In that same year, LucasFilm released Raiders of the Lost Ark, the first in a series of blockbuster movies featuring Indiana Jones.
Raiders of the Lost Ark, directed by Steven Spielberg, starred Harrison Ford, who was enjoying success as Han Solo from Star Wars. For Condorman, Disney gambled on hiring well-known British actor Michael Crawford as the star of their movie. The gamble did not pay off, and moviegoers flocked to see Raiders instead of Condorman, despite Condorman being a superior movie in every aspect.
A new generation of fans
While Raiders prospered, Condorman faded away — but with the rise of the internet and streaming video services, a new generation of fans have discovered the magic of Condorman and brought it out of the shadows. Thousands of fan websites, blogs, forums, and YouTube channels featuring their favorite artist-turned-hero, Condorman, can be found on the internet today. Disney has noticed, and they have responded in a big way. We can now confirm that a new live show based on Condorman will be replacing the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Uncle Walt’s Insider found Disney Imagineer Lindy Gore inside of a Starbucks enjoying a Pumpkin Spice Latte and catching up on social media. She agreed to talk to Uncle Walt’s Insider, as long as we didn’t identify her as a source.
Our unnamed source told the story of how this change came to be. “One day I was researching classic Disney movies to find an original idea for a new attraction with original content to submit to my boss. I came across a VCR with an unlabeled video cassette. Usually it is wise to avoid watching these, but I was curious. What I ended up watching was life changing, and I quickly found that I was not alone.”
After taking a few sips and changing a “Like” to “Love” on a Facebook comment, our unnamed source continued, “This video contained two auditions for the lead role in Condorman, Harrison Ford and Michael Crawford. Harrison Ford did a horrible job. It was like he didn’t even want to take on this role. On the other hand, Michael Crawford owned the character. He even took out a sketchbook during the audition, and drew an awesome rendering of Condorman!”
From hit movie to hit attraction
“I originally wanted to put this attraction in Epcot at the France pavilion, and have Condorman fly from the Eiffel Tower.” Lindy said. She continued, “But the stunt safety team pointed out that the Eiffel Tower in Epcot is not as tall as the real one. That really surprised me, as I thought it was just far away, but close enough for Condorman to glide in to start the show.”
Dwindling attendance numbers drove the decision for the change. Ms. Gore told Uncle Walt’s Insider about her find on a recent visit to the park. “I really hate crowds, so I always visit at the lowest attendance times. There were only about 1,000 people watching the show. That is less than half of the show’s capacity, and I thought, we have to make changes! Then I remembered the video tape, and the rest is history!”
Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular will continue to run through the 2017 holiday season. Its closing has not been officially announced, but will likely occur sometime in 2018, with the retooled Condorman show opening the following year.
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Cover photo credit: Theme Park Tourist (Disney’s Hollywood Studios) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons