Sunday, April 11, 2010
I can't believe the day we had at Disney's California Adventure today! We spent over 9 hours at the park, enjoying amazing rides like Soaring over California, the Tower of Terror (my knees are still shaking), Toy Story Mania and Mulholland Madness. We're all tired, and I think we'd be absolutely wrecked if we didn't have all the shows to provide a welcome change of pace. We watched A Bug's Life, Muppets in 3D, Talk Time with Crush and Aladdin: a Musical Spectacular, and I must say they were just as fun as the rides.
The Aladdin musical deserves a special mention because it was such a great show. It's aptly billed as a Musical Spectacular, and it's really like a Broadway musical, with all the lighting, costumes, music and special effects -- the only difference is that it's a bit shorter (40 minutes, which is perfect for families with kids) and probably has less people in the cast.
You can get a sense of how big this production is even before you enter the theater; all you have to do is see the big crowds gathering outside. The show runs several times per day (you'll need to check the California Adventure show schedules for the day to see the exact times), and as early as 1 hour before, people start streaming into the waiting area. The theater has 3 levels -- orchestra, mezzanine and balcony -- that the staff fills up in that order (so the earliest to arrive get the best seats). Even though the theater seats 2,000 (yes, that many!!) it can fill up 15 to 20 minutes before showtime.
We arrived at the theater around 30 minutes before showtime and got balcony seats, which gave us a view like this:
They're honestly not bad seats; you do see a lot of the tops of the actor's heads and you do miss a bit of the action (at one point, Aladdin enters the theater on a huge elephant and rides around the orchestra, so the people in the mezzanine and balcony can't see a lot of it), but you do get a great view of the magic carpet when it flies around, and the seats are so steeply laid out that it doesn't matter if your kid sits behind a tall adult. It certainly didn't detract too much from enjoying the show!
And enjoy it we did; I've always loved the Aladdin songs, and the musical numbers were great. The only number I didn't care for was Jasmine's solo (this song wasn't in the animated movie, it was written just for this musical show), and the rest were really entertaining. The genie was an absolute standout (Alfie has never watched the movie, and when it ended he told me, "That genie sounded a lot like Jack Nicholson, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Robin Williams!"). He had some hilarious lines, and we all had a lot of guffaw-out-loud moments. Even though the show has been running for a long time, I really love how they've updated the script to be relevant and fresh (there were references to twitter, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Jenny Craig and Hannah Montana). The whole family loved it!
Aladdin: a Musical Spectacular ends its run on August 15th, so if you are planning to visit Disney's California Adventure before then, I highly recommend seeing it!
Disclosure: I received 4 complimentary media passes to Disney's California Adventure but did not receive any monetary compensation for this post. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.