Archive for the ‘Dream Along with Mickey’ Category

Disney Detours – "Dream Along with Mickey" Show Review

March 10, 2007

Walt Disney World’s newewst stage show is pure Disney magic.

by Blake

Originally posted March 9, 2007.

“Ah, phooey! Nobody believes in dreams anymore!” exclaims the ignorant Donald Duck in Walt Disney World’s newest stage production, Dream Along with Mickey. A magical blend of classic characters, a winning soundtrack, and an enchanting story, it’s a hit for any believer of dreams.

Dream Along with Mickey is performed several times daily in the Cinderella Castle forecourt at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom park. This spot has been previously occupied by countless quality Disney stage shows, usually accompanied by the Kids of the Kingdom (the assortment of Disney background dancers) and a live band providing the shows’ music. As time has evolved, the castle shows seem to have less and less quality as they used to.

The most recent castle shows have been Cinderella’s Surprise Celebration and Cinderellabration. As you can plainly see by their titles, Disney has wanted to incorporate their most successful princess into as many theme park productions as possible these days, especially with the current re-issues the original Cinderella and its subsequent sequels becoming available in stores. So lately, the castle shows have been based on marketing, not quality.

Cinderella’s Surprise Celebration, which ran from October 1, 2001 through February 24, 2005 was the first show in a while to subtract the live band, making for a VERY loud pre-recorded soundtrack that could be heard all the way to the Monorail station outside the front of the Magic Kingdom. The show was also the first in quite some time to lack the Kids of the Kingdom (a.k.a. the Disney dancers), resulting in a stage full of two-dozen furry Disney characters taking up all the room.

Cinderellabration, which began previews on March 17, 2005 before a lavish opening premiere on May 5, 2005, ran through September 16, 2006. The show was imported from Tokyo Disneyland as part of The Happiest Celebration on Earth, honoring 50 years of Disney theme parks worldwide. This show did bring back the Kids of the Kingdom, but they were all dressed in either powdered wigs or poofy dresses, so they weren’t entirely back to their original style and flair. The show also made use of the blaring pre-recorded soundtrack.

Cinderellabration didn’t have much of a plot, other than Cinderella inviting various Disney princesses to her “official” royal coronation. It involved no conflict or even one villain. Not even Cinderella’s evil stepmother showed up!

This, finally, brings us to September 30, 2006 when Dream Along with Mickey debut on the Castle Forecourt Stage. The show had no rehearsal previews for guests to see as with Cinderellabration, nor did it have a lavish world premiere. It just “showed up.” (Though I did read a report of guests being able to hear nighttime rehearsals from the Polynesian resort after the Magic Kingdom had closed.) The show opened in conjunction with the kick-off of Disney’s “Year of a Million Dreams,” debuting just one day before the celebration’s official starting date, October 1, 2006.

I saw the show recently, and it surprisingly was much better than I had anticipated.

For one, the Kids of the Kingdom are back in full swing! Instead of powdered wigs and poofy dresses, they’re in snazzy new blue outfits to match the Disney characters’ new Year of a Million Dreams blue clothing. The dancers are as energetic and upbeat as they were in the 90’s.

Another example of liveliness in the show is its soundtrack, part of which (like the Magic Kingdom’s new Disney Dreams Come True Parade) is straight from Tokyo Disneyland (of course the lyrics aren’t in Japanese, though!). The show’s first song, “Join the Party,” is from Tokyo’s 2003 castle show Mickey’s Gift of Dreams. The rest of the show features classic Disney tunes from animated features and a new score.

Dream Along with Mickey follows Mickey and the gang, who are (once again) throwing a party at the castle. However, Donald doesn’t want to participate in the party – he doesn’t believe in dreams! It’s up to Mickey and the gang to prove to Donald that dreams can come true. Several special party guests soon arrive, including Cinderella and classic Disney princesses (and their princes), Peter Pan, and the unwanted Maleficent, the evil witch from Sleeping Beauty. I won’t spoil the entire show for you, but plenty of fun is sprinkled all throughout the production.

I enjoyed the show not only for its energy and story, but also for its choice of characters. It didn’t have too many characters, as in Cinderella’s Surprise Celebration, but it also didn’t have too little, as with the older castle shows that mainly focused on the dancers. Dream Along with Mickey featured only classic characters – characters the were featured in films during Walt Disney’s lifetime. Although I was disappointed not to see Pluto show up, Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Donald were all present, as were the aforementioned princesses and Peter Pan.

The only “character implement” I thought the show was lacking was the villains. Only Captain Hook and Maleficent showed up. I think they could’ve had a more fascinating villain scene, but still used the classic villains that were there during Walt’s lifetime (such as Cruella DeVil, Queen of Hearts, Cinderella’s stepmother, or the queen from Snow White). However, this is only a minor issue – otherwise I liked how the show sticks to characters from Walt Disney’s time.

Of course, the Dream Along with Mickey is not without faults. The music, though enchanting, still blares loudly through the speakers, to be heard all the way down Main Street, U.S.A. While that’s nice if you’re watching the show from a distance, it can get pretty loud if you’re viewing it up-close near the Castle.

Besides the flaws stated above, Dream Along with Mickey is a wonderful combination of a Disney-fied plot, whimsical music, classic characters, and pure Disney magic.

How would I rank Dream Along with Mickey? (Bolded is my choice.)
Utterly repulsive
Not good
Very good

Dream Along with Mickey will most likely please: Disney Fans – Toddlers (ages 1-2) – Preschoolers (ages 3-4) – Kids (ages 5-8)

By Blake; originally posted on March 9, 2007. All images (C) Disney.