All Aboard for "Disney's A Christmas Carol" Train Tour
Inflatable Theater an Integral Part of Cross Country Promotion
Guests enter/exit theater through side doors.
To promote the 2009 holiday release of "Disney's A Christmas Carol", Walt Disney Studios took it's show on the road - or train track , to be more specific. The tour started in Los Angeles on May 22, 2009 and is ending in New York City on November 2, 2009, traveling through 40 cities along the way.
The main exhibit consists of authentic Charles Dickens artifacts, costumes and props from the film, and demonstrations of stop actions technology that are housed in four train cars courtesy of Amtrak.
In addition, Disney wanted to present snippets of the film in 3-D in a big screen format. Since the tour stops at train stations only, and is presented during the daytime, a portable theater that could hold at least 100 people was needed to accompany the exhibits.
With such a tight schedule to keep, the theater had to be able to be set up and taken down quickly, heated or air-conditioned as needed, and able to withstand all but the extremest of weather conditions. It also had to look like a Victorian Theater, in keeping with the theme of the event, and ideally could fit seamlessly into the environment.
It would be impossible to meet the requirements as a hard structure, a tent wouldn't allow for the aesthetics - could the theater be - inflatable ???
Disney turned to CMEANN Productions, Inc. to look at the possibilities. In design and production phases for nearly a year, the theater debuted at Union Station in Los Angeles, and has successfully housed audiences throughout the tour. Comments abound from guests and press on how realistic the building looks. Many cannot decipher it is an inflatable, consisting of only fabric and air, until they are in the queue line next to it !
The theater also boasts breakthrough technology in inflatable structure. The walls are all self-supporting - no outside tether lines are needed in winds less than 50 mph. And the ceiling spans across more than 40' in both directions .
For more information on the Train Tour, including schedule updates, please go to :
"Disney's A Christmas Carol" Train Tour is co-presented by HP Technology and Amtrak, and is free to the public. The movie stars Jim Carrey and is directed by Robert Zemeckis and opens in theatres November 6, 2009.