Disney’s Monsters, Inc. attraction to get more fine-tuning

A comedy club show based on the popular Monsters, Inc. movie apparently isn't quite ready for the big time.

Walt Disney World has confirmed that the opening of its next big attraction — The Monsters, Inc. The Laugh Floor Comedy Club show — will be delayed a few months so that Walt Disney Imagineering can make adjustments now that test audiences got to try it out earlier this month.

The Magic Kingdom attraction draws on characters from the 2001 Pixar Animation movie, Monsters, Inc., and uses new technology to give audiences an interactive, sometimes improvisational, robotic comedy show. The attraction was built into the old Timekeeper location in Tomorrowland.

The Laugh Floor Comedy Club was slated to have passholder previews, then a grand opening, in January. But now those won't happen until sometime in the spring, said Disney spokesman Jacob DiPietre.

The delay will give staff members a chance for more training in the complex technology being used, and writers a chance to re-script parts of the show based on audience feedback, he said.

DiPietre would not elaborate on what script changes would be made or why. However, audiences reportedly have been lukewarm to the humor.

Chris Eliopoulos, who was in one test audience, said he thought the overall structure was sound and the crowd found the technology exciting, but the humor was a bit flat and the jokes didn't hit their marks. However, Eliopoulos, 39, of New Jersey, himself a humor writer and cartoonist, respectfully pointed out that humor is hard work.

"Humor that is funny for all ages is even harder," he conceded.

The Laugh Floor Comedy Club is one of three attractions that Disney World expected to open in short order during the early part of the Year of a Million Dreams promotion that began in October. At Epcot, a ride called The Seas with Nemo and Friends opened in November. At Disney's Animal Kingdom, a stage show called Finding Nemo — The Musical had a soft opening this month and prepares for an official premiere in January.

Scott Powers can be reached at spowers@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-5441.

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