Circle-Vision 360°

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Circle-Vision 360° is a film technique, refined by The Walt Disney Company, that uses nine cameras for nine huge screens arranged in a circle. The cameras are usually mounted on top of an automobile for scenes through cities and highways, while films such as The Timekeeper use a static camera and many CGI effects. The first film was America the Beautiful (1955 version) in the Circarama theater, which would eventually become Circle-Vision theater in 1967.

It is used for a few attractions at Disney theme parks, such as Epcot's O Canada!, Reflections of China, and Disneyland's defunct America the Beautiful (1967 version), Wonders of China, and American Journeys, which were housed in the Circle-Vision theater in Tomorrowland. At the 2011 D23 Expo, Disneyland Resort President George Kalogridis announced that CircleVision would be making a return to Disneyland Park with a new presentation of America the Beautiful in CircleVision 360, though it is not currently known where the film will be presented (as the original theater was replaced with another attraction), and whether this will be a version of the original film or a new film with the same name and concept.

By using an odd number of screens, and a small space between them, a projector may be placed in each gap, projecting across the space to a screen. The screens and projectors are arranged above head level, and lean rails may be provided for viewers to hold or to lean against while standing and viewing the film.

Earlier systems[edit]

For an early development (1900) of this method using ten cameras, see Cinéorama.

Krugovaya Kinopanorama – started in Moscow in 1959. Using 11 cameras with anamorphic lens.

Circlorama [1] had started in London in 1963 using eleven cameras. Copy from Russian Krugovaya Kinopanorama. Close in 1965.

Parks that use Circle-Vision technology[edit]

Magic Kingdom at Disneyland Park[edit]

Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort[edit]

  • Grand opening: November 25, 1971 (America The Beautiful)
  • Closing Date: February 26, 2006 (The Timekeeper)
  • Designer: Walt Disney Imagineering
  • Location: Tomorrowland
  • Formal Names of Attraction
    • "Circle-Vision 360"
    • "Metropolis Science Center"
  • List of Films Shown
    • "America the Beautiful" (1971-1974, 1975-1979)
    • "Magic Carpet ‘Round the World" (1974-1975, 1979-1984)
    • "American Journeys" (September 15, 1984 – January 9, 1994)
    • "The Timekeeper" (November 21, 1994 – February 26, 2006)
  • Former Sponsors
    • Monsanto (Carpets)
    • Black & Decker
  • Followed by

Epcot[edit]

  • Grand opening: October 1, 1982
  • Designer: Walt Disney Imagineering
  • Location: World Showcase
  • List of Films Shown
    • "Wonders of China"
    • "O Canada!" (1982 version)
  • Current Films
    • "Reflections of China"
    • O Canada! (2007 – an updated version with 50% new footage, new soundtrack and narration)

Tokyo Disneyland[edit]

  • Grand opening: April 15, 1983
  • Closed: September 1, 2002
  • Designer: Walt Disney Imagineering
  • Location: Tomorrowland
  • Formal Names of Attraction
    • "Circle-Vision 360"
    • "Visionarium"
  • List of Films Shown
    • "Magic Carpet ‘Round the World"
    • "American Journeys"
    • "Visionarium" (From Time to Time)
  • Sponsors
    • Fujifilm

Disneyland Paris[edit]

  • Grand opening: April 12, 1992
  • Closed: September 2004
  • Designer: Walt Disney Imagineering
  • Location: Discoveryland
  • Formal Name of Attraction
    • "Le Visionarium"
  • List of Films Shown
    • "Le Visionarium"
  • Sponsors

Other uses[edit]

Expo 67[edit]

  • Grand opening: April 28, 1967
  • Closed: October 29, 1967
  • Designer: Walt Disney Imagineering
  • Location: Telephone Pavilion, Expo 67, Montreal
  • Formal Name of Attraction
    • "Canada 67"
  • List of Films Shown
    • "Canada 67" – Directed by Robert Barclay. Description from the Expo'67 Guide book: "You're on centre stage for the RCMP Musical Ride... on centre ice for hockey... on the track at the Stampede! CIRCLE-VISION 360° surrounds you with all the fun and excitement of Canada's most thrilling events and its scenic beauty. And then, take your chldren to the Enchanted Forest...see exciting new communication services for the future... all in the Telephone Pavilion!" [1]
  • Sponsors
    • The Telephone Association of Canada
  • Notes: The "B-25" airplane was used to film the aerial shots.[2]

This is one of the rarest Circle-Vision movies, for except for a brief appearance in January 1974 at Magic Kingdom during their "Salute to Canada", it has been unseen since 1967. The film was the inspiration for the original "O Canada!" film that played at Epcot from 1982-2007.

  • Man and His World – after Expo 67 In 1970 this theater became the USA Pavilion, presenting the film "America the Beautiful", with a post-show exhibit of Americana including a well-guarded Moon rock.

Expo 86[edit]

  • Grand opening: May 2, 1986
  • Closed: October 13, 1986
  • Designer: ??
  • Location: Telecom Canada Pavilion, Expo 86, Vancouver
  • Formal Name of Attraction
    • "Telecom Canada"
  • Film Shown
    • "Portraits of Canada/Images du Canada"
  • Sponsors
  • Notes – Following Expo, the movie played temporarily at the Canada pavilion at EPCOT Center.

Other[edit]

A system substantially similar is in use at the site of the Terracotta Army exhibit at Xian, China.

The Badaling Great Wall near Beijing, China has a Circle-Vision theater featuring scenes from the Great Wall of China.

The narrator of Wonders of China is the famous Chinese actor Keye Luke (1904-1991), most remembered for his role as Master Po in the television program "Kung Fu".

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Official Expo 67 guide book, page 178. Toronto: Maclean-Hunter Publishing Co. Ltd., 1967.
  2. ^ http://expo67.ncf.ca/expo_67_Circle_Vision_360_Walt_Disney_p1.html