“A very Merry Unbirthday to you!” *clap clap clap*
What is the Mad T Party?
The Mad T Party nighttime dance party (or “T” as it is often referred to by the locals) was introduced in the summer of 2012 and when it opened, consisted of a main stage area with a Tim Burton-inspired Alice in Wonderland-themed band interchanging throughout the night with a White Rabbit DJ. A second stage hosted the caterpillar-like dance act of the Who R U? and the playing-card-costumed dance crew The Hottest Deck in Town. Later, the Who R U? was replaced by the aerialist act The Dueling Queens. There were also larger-than-life puppet “flamingos” and their “riders” wandering through the area.
That second stage was right in front of a Mad Arcade with Wonderland-themed games of skill inside. Around the general area could be found two bars (Drink Me and the House of Cards) serving Wonderland-themed alcoholic beverages as well as a truck serving non-alcoholic Wonderland-themed beverages and a separate face-painting station. Placed about the area were large brightly colored plastic throne chairs to relax in.
But if you ask most of the regular attendees – T is the band.
Who are the performers?
The band consists of two lead singers: the Mad Hatter, host of the party, and Alice. The Dormouse is on guitar, the March Hare on bass, the Caterpillar on keyboard and the Cheshire Cat on drums.
The White Rabbit DJ keeps the music going in between band sets, playing a mix of EDM and pop songs.
And Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum keep the crowd entertained throughout the evening. They are also responsible for starting the Party at the beginning of each night. Sometimes, they even join the band for a song or two!
When and where can I find it?
From Summer 2012 to Winter 2014, the Mad T Party played weekend evenings, as well as holiday weeknights and summer evenings in the Hollywood Backlot area of Disney California Adventure.
However, the Mad T Party is on hiatus at the moment, temporarily replaced with “Freeze the Night: A Family Dance Party” in the “Frozen Fun” overlay of the Hollywood Backlot that happened at the end of December 2014. This overlay is supposedly temporary until May of this year and all T fans are hopeful that their beloved band will return at that time, perhaps in a new “Diamond Anniversary” edition that the entire Disneyland Resort will be celebrating at that time.
Why spotlight this show?
It’s hard to define something that touches the hearts of so many people, but I think what makes the Mad T Party so special is that it managed to pull together the most talented featured park performers (and some talent from outside the parks), mixed with the great cover band pop and rock music style of the Disneyland Tomorrowland Terrace bands, layered with a just-slightly-edgy-but-still-Disney theme to create a unique experience that nothing else in park entertainment can match. It’s also very interactive with the crowd singing and dancing along with the band. And with the set list changed every three months or so, the show is constantly refreshed with new songs and choreography and new energy. The Halloween and Christmas versions of the show are particularly popular.
The music is a mix of 80’s hits to today’s latest pop songs, so there’s something for everyone to recognize and enjoy. It’s a show that appeals to all ages – there are multi-generational families devoted to the show! But it really is most suited to teens and adults as a show that’s fun, has got a rock concert vibe to it, but still is Disney entertainment.
I do hope we can all go down the rabbit hole again soon!
Have you been to the Mad T Party? What’s your favorite moment or memory of the show?
Update 2/13/15: It is a frabjous day for all Mad T Party fans! Disney has announced that the Mad T Party will return in an all new Diamond Celebration version on May 22nd! A very Merry Unbirthday to one and all!
Update 2/17/16: It is ironic and sad that one year later almost to the day (sorry it’s taken me a few days to have the heart to post this), Disney announced that the Diamond Mad T Party will be closing on March 30th. Enjoy those last cups of T while you can, my fellow Wonderland fans…
Update 9/13/16: I’ve uploaded several Mad T Party videos – Check out some of this band’s performances here on the Mousertainment YouTube Channel