Circle-Vision 360°

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A Circle-Vision 360° camera on display at the Walt Disney Family Museum

Circle-Vision 360° is a film technique, refined by The Walt Disney Company, that uses nine cameras for nine big screens arranged in a circle.[1] The cameras are usually mounted on top of an automobile for scenes through cities and highways, while films such as The Timekeeper (1992 Disney attraction) use a static camera and many CGI effects. The first film was America the Beautiful (1955 version) in the Circarama theater, which had 11 projectors using 16mm film. And would become Circle-Vision in 1967, which has 9 projectors using 35mm film.[2] Both the original 11-lens camera and the subsequent 9-lens camera (developed in 1960), as well as their projection systems, were designed by longtime Disney animator and visual effects pioneer, Ub Iwerks.[3]

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.

Parks that use Circle-Vision technology[edit]

Disneyland Park[edit]

Magic Kingdom[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


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 61 (Turin)[edit]

  • Grand opening: May 1, 1961
  • Closed: October 31, 1961
  • Executive Producer: Roberto de Leonardis (Royfilm)
  • Director: Elio Piccon
  • Location: Fiat Circarama Walt Disney, Expo 61, Turin
  • Formal Name of Attraction
    • "Walt Disney Presenta Italia 1961 In Circarama"[4]
  • Sponsor
  • Notes: The Walt Disney Company rented the camera system to Fiat and worked on post-production. Disney Legend Don Iwerks, son of Ub Iwerks, was sent to Italy to train the film crew, but ultimately stayed on for the duration of the filming.[3]

Expo 64 (Lausanne)[edit]

The film has unseen by the public since 1964, but a digital format is being screened at Museum für Gestaltung Zürich as part of the exhibition "SBB CFF FFS" until 2020-01-05.[5].

  • Grand opening: April 30, 1964
  • Closed: October 25, 1964
  • Designer: Ernst A. Heiniger
  • Location: Transportation Pavilion, Expo 64, Lausanne
  • Formal Name of Attraction
    • "Magic of the rails, magie du rail, Zauber der Schiene"
  • Sponsors

Expo 67 (Montreal)[edit]

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. After the conclusion of Expo '67 several of the site attractions & pavilions continued to operate in the years after the fair ended. Man and His World – after Expo 67 In 1970 the theatre became the USA Pavilion, presenting the film "America the Beautiful", with a post-show exhibit of Americana including a well-guarded Moon rock.

The Expo 67 Bell Canada Telephone Pavilion
  • Grand opening: April 28, 1967
  • Closed: October 29, 1967
  • Designer: Walt Disney Imagineering
  • Location: Bell 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 children to the Enchanted Forest...see exciting new communication services for the future... all in the Telephone Pavilion!"[6]
  • Sponsors
    • The Telephone Association of Canada
  • Notes: The "B-25" airplane was used to film the aerial shots.[7]

Expo 86 (Vancouver)[edit]

Building on the popularity of their pavilion at Expo '67 Telecom Canada recommissioned Disney to create a film. Following the fair, the movie would movie played temporarily at the Canada pavilion at EPCOT Center.

  • 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


French cinematic pioneers toyed with the technology from 1884, leading to Cinéorama. Another system (developed in the 21st century) 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.

See also[edit]


  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. ^ Strodder, Chris (2017). The Disneyland Encyclopedia (3rd ed.). Santa Monica Press. pp. 120–122. ISBN 978-1595800909.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ "Italia 1961 in Circarama".
  5. ^ "SBB CFF FFS".
  6. ^ Official Expo 67 guide book, page 178. Toronto: Maclean-Hunter Publishing Co. Ltd., 1967.
  7. ^ "Expo 67 - Plane used to film "Canada 67" - Disney Circle Vision 360".