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O.C. BUSINESS PLUS | HEARD ON THE BEAT / TOURISM

Theme Park Changing Its Parade Tune

March 28, 2000|E. Scott Reckard | E. Scott Reckard covers tourism for The Times. He can be reached at (714) 966-7407 and at scott.reckard@latimes.com

As the days get longer, fine-tuning is underway for the busy summer season at the Magic Kingdom.

Park workers expect that the musical theme from the "Believe" fireworks also will be used in the new "45 Years of Magic" parade, replacing the graduation march "Pomp and Circumstance."

"It's not happening overnight. They have to work out the choreography. But by Memorial Day, it should be entirely different," one source at the park said.

At Eisner's direction, "Pomp" was the soundtrack for a segment of Disney's animated feature "Fantasia 2000." Many at the park found it an unusual choice for the parade, however, and backup plans brought in more upbeat music. A park spokesman said patrons' response to the parade overall has been good.

Disney officials, hoping for a strong summer, also have shot footage for ads promoting the FastPass system, which lets patrons bypass long lines by reserving times in advance for popular rides.

The officials hope that FastPass, now available on Space Mountain, Splash Mountain and Roger Rabbit's Car-Toon Spin rides, can be in place on seven or eight attractions this summer. One big snag is congestion when patrons arrive early and wait for the boarding time.

That problem has some park insiders shaking their heads over what will happen if the Jungle Cruise and Indiana Jones rides both get FastPass as planned this summer. The rides are side by side in Adventureland along a passageway that already is among the park's most hard-to-navigate areas.

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