I've always thought that the live shows at the Disneyland Resort are one of the best bargains around. For the cost of park admission, you not only get to unlimited rides in the park, you also get admission to some pretty spectacular stage productions! Shows like Disney's Aladdin - A Musical Spectacular, Disney Junior -- Live on Stage or Billy Hill and the Hillbillies might easily cost $20-$60 if they were a touring show appearing in your local theater concert venue. And don't forget all the parades, Fantasmic and World of Color!
This year, the Disneyland Resort has added a new live show to its entertainment schedule: “Mickey and the Magical Map", which opened at Disneyland Park today, May 25. I saw the show during last week's trip to the Disneyland Resort and I couldn't be more impressed. It was magical!
The home of Mickey and The Magical Map is the Fantasyland Theatre, the big tented area beside It's A Small World which used to be the place guests could go to meet the Disney Princesses. Now that the princesses have made their home in Fantasy Faire, the Fantasyland Theatre was refurbished to provide seating for about 1,800 guests, and the stage was completely reimagined.
As the title suggests, the show features two main characters: Mickey and the Map. Mickey puts on his Sorcerer's Apprentice robe and once again lets his curiosity get the better of him as he explores a magical map.
The map is actually a giant LED screen (with over 1 million pixels!) that acts as an animated backdrop, multi-level stage, prop, and character in the story, and it's so amazing that I need to dedicate a separate post to rhapsodizing about its wonders -- so stay tuned for a behind-the-scenes look at Mickey and the Magical Map, including an interview with one of the Imagineers behind the show, VP of Creative Development Michael Jung!
Throughout the show, the map takes Mickey to different places, where guests meet some of their favorite characters from Disney movies, starting with the jungle temple ruins where King Louie
the orangutan sings "I Wan'na Be Like You".
Next, the map takes Mickey to America, China, and the kingdom of Corona, where Pocahontas, Mulan and Rapunzel, respectively, live. They sing a beautiful medley; the songs happen to be 3 of my favorites, "Just Around The River Bend", "Reflection" and "I See The Light".
Then the map takes Mickey to Ariel's world, where Sebastian sings Under The Sea. Bubbles blow into the audience during this number, and two of the dancers somehow insert themselves into giant plastic? rubber? bubbles, something I've never seen before.
As we resurface, we find ourselves in Hawaii, surfing with Lilo and Stitch in a "Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride". This was probably my favorite dance number because I loved how the dancers utilized the surfboard props to launch each other into some serious acrobatic moves.
Mickey's magical journey finally ends in New Orleans, where Tiana leads the grand finale in a rousing rendition of Dig A Little Deeper.
Not only does this number have a cool riverboat float, it has an even cooler trumpet player who makes some serious jazz music.Check it out!
Mickey and the Magical Map will run 5 times per day, 7 days per week during the summer. The show lasts about 22 minutes, but as with all good shows anywhere, I would arrive at least 30 minutes before showtime to get a good seat and settle in. You are allowed to eat inside this theatre; in fact, the Troubador Tavern is located right beside the theatre.
This show really blends the best in technology, set design, dance, song and storytelling. I know it's all too easy to pack your day at Disneyland enjoying rides, but it's definitely worth making time to catch a performance of Mickey and the Magical Map.
Disclosure: I was invited to a press event for a preview of Mickey and the Magical Map. Travel and lodging were provided but I did not receive monetary compensation for this post. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.