Tonight at a special media-only event, Disney premiered their new “Magic, Memories, and You!” show on Cinderella Castle. That’s right, it takes place ON the castle. That is, the entire show is projected onto the castle’s surface.
Months ago, Disney digitally mapped the nooks and crannies of the famous Cinderella Castle to produce this new nightly show that makes each and every castle “brick” come alive with movement, color, and character, all to the tune of peppy music. And as part of Disney’s new Let the Memories Begin campaign, the new show features 500 pictures taken of Disney guests using PhotoPass throughout each day.
I can best describe “Magic, Memories, and You!” as hyper-real kinetic entertainment. While it’s entirely a 2-dimensional show, there are many occasions when items (bricks, springs, balloons) seem to burst out from the castle, though nothing is actually moving. It’s all an impressive trick that must be seen in person to appreciate.
But… if you can’t make it to the Magic Kingdom any time soon, I bring you a full high-definition video of “Magic, Memories, and You!” Just hit play:
The video is considerably darker than the show appears in real life, with vibrant colors popping off the castle at a frenetic pace. This high-resolution photo does a much better job at showing just how bright the show is:
(Click to enlarge)
It’s hard to keep up with the show, as you can see, as the scenes change rapidly. The projections look fantastic and my only gripe would be with the photos, which are somewhat blurry, and often too small to even make out who is in them. If my photo ever did appear on the castle, I would likely not know it unless it happened to be one of the larger ones to show up in the middle. I’m tempted to say the show suffers for the inclusion of the photos and I’d rather see only the animated projections zip around the castle, minus guests’ pictures.
Highlights of “Magic, Memories, and You!” for me include bricks seemingly popping out of the castle, projected fireworks lining up perfectly with real fireworks, and a sequence that simulates the sun passing by the castle, creating animated time lapse-style shadows - but in real life. The technology is fantastic and should be quite incredible as it is utilized in future shows. (Here’s hoping for a new fireworks show!)
“Magic, Memories, and You!” is certainly a show worth waiting around for and worth nabbing a good spot close up to the castle. Distance viewers will find themselves squinting to see what all the fuss is about. In addition to the “Wishes” fireworks show and glowing parade, this new show makes the Magic Kingdom the best place to be at night at Walt Disney World and will do the same for Disneyland’s It’s a Small World in California attraction when a similar show appears projected onto its facade in the coming weeks.
The final moment of “Magic, Memories, and You!” shows the arched opening of Cinderella Castle seeming to breath a sigh of relief, as if exhausted from the colorful commotion that exploded on to its surface. And viewers will likely leave feeling the same way, overwhelmed but also overjoyed.