Circle-Vision 360°

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A Circarama 360° camera rig, using 16 mm cameras, displayed at the Walt Disney Family Museum.

Circle-Vision 360° is a film format developed by The Walt Disney Company that uses projection screens which encircle the audience.[1]

Circle-Vision 360° developed from the Circarama format, which uses eleven 16 mm projectors.[2][3] The first Circarama film was A Tour of the West (1955).[2][4] For the movie Italia '61, the number of cameras was reduced to nine, and the 16 mm film was shown using 35 mm projectors.[2][3][4] In 1965, Circle-Vision 360° made its official debut, in a nine-camera, 35 mm format.[2][4] At least one reason for the renaming from Circarama was objections by the owners of Cinerama to the similarity between the two names.[5]

In both the Circarama and Circle-Vision 360° formats, the screens are arranged in a circle around the audience, with small gaps between the screens. The number of screens (eleven or nine) being odd results in a gap being opposite of each screen in the circle. The projectors are placed in these gaps, above the heads of the viewers. Railings are sometimes provided to steady the audience members while viewing the film. The cameras and projection systems for both Circarama and Circle-Vision 360° were designed by longtime Disney animator and visual effects pioneer Ub Iwerks.[6] Circle-Vision 360° cameras have been mounted on top of automobiles for travelog scenes. For The Timekeeper (1992), static cameras and CGI effects were used.[7]

At one time, every one of the Disney Resorts then open had at least one Circle-Vision 360° theater.[5] The Epcot theme park has the only two still operating as of 2022.[5][a] Circarama and Circle-Vision 360° films have also been featured at various world's fairs.[4][5]

Circarama and Circle-Vision 360° films[edit]

A Tour of the West and the original 1958 version of America the Beautiful were shot in Circarama. Italia '61 was filmed in 16 mm and billed as a Circarama movie, but was shown using nine 35 mm projectors. All other films in the table were shot in Circle-Vision 360°.

Title Year Premiere location Length (minutes) Contributors Sponsor Notes
A Tour of the West 1955 Disneyland 12 American Motors Aka Circarama U.S.A.
America the Beautiful 1958 Expo 58 16[5] or 18[8] Producer: James Algar
Writer: James Algar
Italia '61 1961 Expo 61 Executive producer: Roberto de Leonardis
Director: Elio Piccon [it]
Fiat Don Iwerks, son of Ub Iwerks, trained the crew, and stayed on to assist throughout the filming.[6]
Magic of the Rails 1964[A] Expo 64 Designer: Ernst A. Heiniger Swiss Federal Railways Aka Magie du rail and Zauber de Schiene.
America the Beautiful 1967 Disneyland 18 Reshot and expanded version of the 1958 film.
Canada '67 1967 Expo 67 18[9] Director: Robert Barclay[10] Telephone Association of Canada
Magic Carpet 'Round the World 1974 Magic Kingdom 21 Monsanto
America the Beautiful 1975 Magic Kingdom Monsanto Version of the 1958 film revised for the United States Bicentennial.
O Canada! 1982 Epcot Center 18 Narrator: Corey Burton
Wonders of China 1982 Epcot Center Director: Jeff Blyth
Narrator: Keye Luke[11]
Magic Carpet 'Round the World 1983 Tokyo Disneyland Revised version of the 1974 film.
American Journeys 1984 Disneyland Pacific Southwest Airlines
Portraits of Canada 1986 Expo 86 Telecom Canada Aka Images du Canada.
Le Visionarium 1992 Disneyland Paris 18[12] Director: Jeff Blyth[12]
Actors include Gérard Depardieu
Renault Aka Un voyage à travers le temps and From Time to Time.
The Timekeeper 1994 Magic Kingdom 18[12] Director: Jeff Blyth[12]
Voice actors: Robin Williams,
Rhea Perlman
Other actors include Jeremy Irons
Renault English version of Le Visionarium. Incorporates parts of Magic Carpet 'Round the World.
Reflections of China 2003 Epcot 12[13] Director: Jeff Blyth
O Canada! 2007 Epcot Narrator: Martin Short
Musical score: Bruce Broughton,
featuring Eva Avila[14]
Revised and updated version of the 1982 film.
Canada Far and Wide 2020 Epcot 12[15] Narrators: Catherine O'Hara,
Eugene Levy
Musical score: Andrew Lockington
Wondrous China TBA Epcot
  1. ^ Year of release is sometimes given as 1965.[2][4]

Sources: [2][4][5]

Circarama and Circle-Vision 360° theaters[edit]

The theaters at Expo 58 and Disneyland were built as Circarama theaters. The latter would be upgraded to the Circle-Vision 360° system. Although the theater at Expo 61 predated the use of the Circle-Vision 360° name, it used nine 35 mm projectors. All other theaters in the tables were built as Circle-Vision 360° theaters.

Disney theme parks[edit]

Years in parentheses after a film title indicate the versions of the movie shown at the theater.

Park Location in park Formal names Opened Closed Films shown Sponsors Replaced by
Disneyland Tomorrowland Circarama
Circle-Vision 360°
World Premiere Circle-Vision
July 17, 1955 September 25, 2000[A] A Tour of the West
America the Beautiful (1958, 1967, 1975)
American Journeys
Wonders of China
American Motors
AT&T/Bell System
Pacific Southwest Airlines
Delta Air Lines
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
Magic Kingdom Tomorrowland Circle-Vision 360°
Metropolis Science Center
November 25, 1971 February 26, 2006 America the Beautiful (1967, 1975)
Magic Carpet 'Round the World (1974)
American Journeys
The Timekeeper
Black & Decker
Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
Epcot World Showcase (Canada Pavilion) October 1, 1982 n/a O Canada! (1982, 2007)
Canada Far and Wide
World Showcase (China Pavilion) October 1, 1982 n/a Wonders of China
Reflections of China
Wondrous China[B]
Tokyo Disneyland Tomorrowland Circle-Vision 360°
April 15, 1983 September 1, 2002 Magic Carpet 'Round the World (1983)
American Journeys
From Time to Time
Fujifilm Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
Disneyland Paris Discoveryland Le Visionarium April 12, 1992 September 6, 2004 Le Visionarium Renault Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast
  1. ^ From 1997 to 2000, the theater was part of the Rocket Rods attraction.
  2. ^ Upcoming.


Expo City Location at Expo Opened Closed Film Sponsor
Expo 58 Brussels, Belgium United States Pavilion April 17, 1958 October 19, 1958 America the Beautiful Ford
Expo 61 Turin, Italy Fiat Circarama Pavilion May 1, 1961 October 31, 1961 Italia '61 Fiat
Expo 64 Lausanne, Switzerland Transportation Pavilion April 30, 1964 October 25, 1964 Magic of the Rails Swiss Federal Railways
Expo 67 Montreal, Canada Telephone Pavilion April 28, 1967 October 29, 1967[A] Canada '67[A] Telephone Association of Canada
Expo 86 Vancouver, Canada Telecom Canada Pavilion May 2, 1986 October 13, 1986 Portraits of Canada Telecom Canada
  1. ^ a b America the Beautiful was shown at the extant theater in 1970.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A third theater at Epcot shows Impressions de France (1982), which was shot using five cameras, and is projected on screens comprising 200° of a circle.[2][5]


  1. ^ Gennawey, Sam (2014). The Disneyland Story: The Unofficial Guide to the Evolution of Walt Disney's Dream. Keen Communications. pp. 108–109. ISBN 978-1-62809-012-3.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Sherlock, Daniel J. "Wide Screen Movies Corrections" (PDF). pp. 19–20. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 9, 2008. Retrieved August 21, 2022.
  3. ^ a b Strodder, Chris (2017). The Disneyland Encyclopedia (3rd ed.). Santa Monica Press. pp. 120–122. ISBN 978-1595800909.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Circle-Vision/Circarama". D23. The Walt Disney Company. Retrieved August 21, 2022.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Circle-Vision 360°". Skyway to Wonderland. August 24, 2020. Retrieved August 21, 2022.
  6. ^ a b Iwerks, Don (December 10, 2019). Walt Disney's ultimate inventor : the genius of Ub Iwerks (First hardcover ed.). Los Angeles. ISBN 978-1-4847-4337-9. OCLC 1133108493.
  7. ^ Strodder, Chris (2017). The Disneyland Encyclopedia (3rd ed.). Santa Monica Press. pp. 120–122. ISBN 978-1595800909.
  8. ^ "America the Beautiful – 1958 Brussels World's Fair". Designing Disney. Retrieved August 21, 2022.
  9. ^ Canada '67 at IMDb Retrieved 21 August 20122.
  10. ^ Official Expo 67 guide book, page 178. Toronto: Maclean-Hunter Publishing Co. Ltd., 1967.
  11. ^ BLYTH, JEFF. (2020). POLISHING THE DRAGONS : making epcot's wonders of china. [S.l.]: BAMBOO FOREST PUBLISHING. ISBN 978-0-9910079-9-8. OCLC 1198720924.
  12. ^ a b c d From Time to Time at IMDb
  13. ^ "Reflections of China". Walt Disney World Resort. Retrieved August 21, 2022.
  14. ^ " - O' Canada! film update in the works". Archived from the original on November 21, 2008. Retrieved February 28, 2010.
  15. ^ Murray, Emily (June 27, 2022). "Canada Far And Wide In Circle-Vision 360 Overview". DVC Shop. Retrieved August 21, 2022.