The attractions at Disneyland and Walt Disney World are designed to make you feel like you're in another place entirely. Whether you've been taken aboard a First Order Star Destroyer or on board a a runaway mine train, theme park attractions are able to use a multitude of techniques to make you feel like you're part of whatever story is being told. However, one of the most important tools available to attraction designers is darkness, and it turns out that when you turn on the lights, everything changes.
This is what we've learned thanks to the everythingdisney133 TikTok account, which, among it's many videos, includes some of various Disney World attractions with the lights on. From classic rides like Peter Pan's Flight to modern attractions like Rise of the Resistance, some of the magic fades when you can see behind the curtain. At the same time, you can see a lot more of the details surrounding how that magic was created in the first place. But be warned, it's possible that once you see these rides with no lights, you may never see them the same way again.
Seeing the rides with the lights on usually also means seeing them with no other effects running. It tends to happen if there's a ride that breaks down with people on it. The lights come on for safety, and guests are removed from the ride, but as they are, some grab video of what it all looks like with the lights on.
Honestly though, if this video of Rise of the Resistance shows anything, it's just how impressive this attraction really is. Even with the lights on it looks like everybody is walking around inside an actual Star Destroyer. While the attraction includes a lot of special technical effects, much of it is simply constructed on a massive scale, so while things may look a little less "real" with the lights on, it's no less huge.
On the opposite side of the scale, literally, we have Peter Pan's Flight. Seeing that ride with the lights on reveals the models for what they are, but that actually lets you appreciate them a bit more. At the same time it does reveal the rest of the show building, which is maybe not that impressive on its own, but it felt like it was in the dark.
This video of Pirates of the Caribbean with the lights on is a bit on the older side, as it shows the wench auction scene before it was replaced with Redd the pirate. If nothing else the video is worth checking out for the way the ride used to be.
There are some who feel that "seeing behind the curtain" like this ultimately damanges the attraction, that you can't unsee the ride after you've seen the part that is usually hidden. Maybe that's true. Or maybe it gives you simply one more way to appreciate these popular rides.
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CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.