Growing up, some of my fondest memories were watching television specials filmed at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Sitcom stars of the day like Harry Anderson or the Golden Girls would often host and guests included performances by The Pointer Sisters, Air Supply, George Burns, and even Gary Shandling.
Thanks to my VCR (which is on life support) and YouTube, I can relive those memories whenever I want since the Disney Parks don’t broadcast anniversary specials anymore. With a new rare exception, the “Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60” will premiere on Sunday, February 21 at 8 p.m. on ABC.
Guests will include Pentatonix, Derek Hough and Witney Carson from Dancing with the Stars and Sir Elton John. More interesting is that viewers at home can download the Disney Applause app, developed by Imagineering, which syncs up with the broadcast’s musical segments. Much like Glow with the Show, Mickey Mouse Ears being sold at Disney Parks change color in sync with various show moments or parade floats. The Applause app will display colorful light shows and unique content on your phone while watching the broadcast.
In addition, you will be able to watch Sir Elton’s performance and various musical acts being performed at Disneyland via a smartphone app known as Jaunt VR. This will give you a 360-view of the park and performances as if you were there.
While I will miss The Pointer Sisters, I am thrilled that Disney is returning to their roots and doing specials based out of the theme parks again. While the smartphone apps may be a bit gimmicky, I look forward to a new generation growing up with these specials just like I did when I was a kid. Your thoughts?
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