The American Adventure (Epcot)
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|The American Adventure|
The outer facade of the show building
|Attraction type||Theater Show|
|Theme||Colonial American town|
|Audience capacity||1024 per show|
|Hosts||Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain|
The American Adventure is the host pavilion of the World Showcase within Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort. It is also the name of the pavilion's main attraction, an Audio-Animatronics stage show of American history. It is located between the Italy and Japan pavilions.
The pavilion is a single large building designed in the Colonial style. It contains the American Adventure show and the Hall of Flags exhibit, a display of the different flags throughout U.S. history. It also contains the Liberty Inn restaurant which serves American fare, such as cheeseburgers and hot dogs. There is a small gift shop, Heritage Manor Gifts, selling American items. The building uses forced perspective to make a five story building appear to be two and a half stories; there is a large ramp inside the attraction that slopes up, then down.
Attractions and services
The American Adventure takes guests on a trip through America's history. It is narrated by Audio-Animatronic figures of Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain (who lived almost 100 years apart) with the voices of Dallas McKennon as Benjamin Franklin and John Anderson as Mark Twain. The show is presented in a theater-like auditorium, with sets and characters rising out from the stage floor to represent scenes from different historical periods. The characters provide insight into American life of the past through conversations in which they discuss the current events of their time. Periods include the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the Centennial International Exhibition of 1876 (representing American industrialization), and the Great Depression. The presentation culminates with a musical film montage representing famous moments and people in American history from post-World War II to the present.
In 1993, the attraction was updated with all new animatronics and a new version of the theme song. In mid-2007, about 45 seconds of footage were added to the end of the Golden Dreams montage, the first updating of the montage since the 1993 renovation. The most notable addition is the brief footage of NYPD/FDNY rescue crews after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
- "New World Bound" (lyrics by F. X. Atencio and Randy Bright, music by Buddy Baker)
- "In the Days of '76" (traditional)
- "Two Brothers" (lyrics and music by Irving Gordon, vocals by Ali Olmo)
- "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" (lyrics by E. Y. Harburg, music by Jay Gorney)
- "Golden Dream" (lyrics by Randy Bright with additional lyrics by Lynn Hart, music by Robert Moline, vocals by Richard Page and Siedah Garrett)
The theme song for The American Adventure is "Golden Dream". The music was written by Robert Moline and the lyrics were written by show producer Randy Bright. The song gets its biggest push at the end of the attraction, during the Montage sequence of famous Americans. The melody has been heard in Epcot's entrance plaza since opening day.
The original version can be found on these releases:
- The Music of Disneyland, Walt Disney World and Epcot Center (1988)
- The Music of Disney: A Legacy in Song (1992)
- Walt Disney World Resort: The Official Album (1999)
The updated version of the song has different vocals, a longer chorus after the quotes, and a different ending. It can be found on these releases:
- Walt Disney World Resort: Official Album (2000)
- Official Album: Walt Disney World Resort Celebrating 100 Years of Magic (2001)
It is also available on later official albums.
The Voices of Liberty
The Voices of Liberty is an eight-member a cappella group that hosts patriotic choral performances in the pavilion rotunda throughout the day, often as a pre-show to the next scheduled performance of the main presentation. The group also performs in year-round events including the Candlelight Processional and other special events.
When recording or performing outside Epcot, Voices of Liberty go by the name Liberty Voices.
America Gardens Theater
Across from the pavilion is the America Gardens Theatre, an outdoor amphitheater. The America Gardens Theatre hosts concerts, singers, and bands from around the world. Many entertainment acts from around the world perform on this stage.
The America Gardens Theatre has hosted numerous amount of shows since it was built. Over the years some of the more famous shows include Blast! and Barrage. During the park's two major festivals—the International Flower and Garden Festival in the spring, and the International Food and Wine Festival in the fall—musical groups from the 1960s through the 1990s perform as part of each festival's concert series ("Flower Power" in the spring, and "Eat to the Beat" in the fall).
In 1999, a revised version of Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance performed in the theater over the summer. Even though Flatley himself did not perform in the show, its popularity encouraged Epcot to bring the show back in 2000 for another summer run. Originally designed as an open-air theater, partial cover and backstage dressing and show equipment areas were added during a refurbishment that was completed before the inception of the "Magical World of Barbie" stage show.
During the holiday season, the theater hosts the Candlelight Processional. This show follows in the footsteps of the show first performed in Disneyland in 1958, and which was duplicated at the Magic Kingdom in 1971. The show relocated to Epcot's America Gardens Theater in 1994. The show includes an orchestra and massed choir that perform traditional holiday songs while a guest celebrity retells the biblical story of Christmas. Some of the celebrities who have taken part in the Processional over the years include John Stamos, Marlee Matlin, Edward James Olmos, Haley Joel Osment, Susan Lucci, Jim Caviezel, and most recently, Neil Patrick Harris. The Candlelight Processional is a major part of Epcot's Holidays Around the World celebration, running from the Friday after Thanksgiving until December 30 each year. Drew Tablak, a Disneyland performer and a member of The Dapper Dans, was the show's featured vocal performer in 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to The American Adventure.|
- Walt Disney World Resort - American Adventure Pavilion
- Walt Disney World Resort - The American Adventure Attraction
- All Ears Net American Adventure - A comprehensive description of The United States pavilion, including the American Adventure attraction.