Today I wanted to give an update on some of the new songs that have been added to existing shows around the Disneyland Resort.
Starting with The Dapper Dans:
I didn’t catch the official name of the song, but The Dapper Dans have added a new number based on The Sherman Brothers’ “Tencennial Song” created for the 10th Anniversary of Disneyland. But the updated version of course celebrates the Resort’s 60th Diamond Anniversary.
When I saw the number it was simply added into one of the sets and didn’t affect the flow of their singing. I wasn’t a huge fan of the new song, but it didn’t bother me.
However, crossing over to Disney California Adventure, the new songs added for the Diamond Celebration are more disruptive…
The Red Car Trolley News Boys (one of the strongest and most cohesive shows in the Resort) have sadly been forced to remove their powerful rendition of “Seize the Day” in favor of a new song called “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It”.
The song features Mickey Mouse thinking about all of his wildest dreams and the News Boys encouraging him to believe in them and make them come true.
One of these dreams is apparently to have a glamorous girlfriend, as Minnie Mouse appears for half a minute, waves to the crowd and then leaves.
Musically, the number doesn’t do anything for me and storywise it’s far less convincing and stirring than “Seize the Day”.
I’ve seen the new show once so far and I already look forward to the new song going away when the Diamond Celebration is over… though hopefully sooner than that. Or at least I can hope they add back in the full version of “Seize the Day” and shorten the new song instead.
And finally, there’s Five & Dime. As I’ve noted before, this hasn’t necessarily been one of my favorite shows, though I really enjoy a lot of the performers in it. But I never liked the Three Little Pigs’ song as it slowed down the flow of the show, plus if I was a parent hearing my kids being referred to as “little piggies”, I’m not sure I’d appreciate it.
So while I was happy to hear that the pig song went away in order to bring in three new songs for the Diamond Anniversary – I was sad to discover that much of the show seemed to disappear too! It’s now very brief and while I like the three new songs – “Million Dollar Baby”, “I Got Rhythm” and “Sing, Sing, Sing” – not only is the show shorter, but there’s less audience interaction and less actual singing in favor of more instrumentals. But if I just just wanted to hear instruments rather than singers, I could go to New Orleans Square to enjoy the Jambalaya Jazz Band!
With these changes it felt like a lot of the personality and story (and singing!) of this show was removed And that’s a definite loss.
With that said, whoever the clever person was who came up with the idea to have Five & Dime sing “Million Dollar Baby” absolutely needs a promotion. Or at least a Disney gold star. This is the exact song that Oswald the Lucky Rabbit sang in his animated short called… Five and Dime! Brilliant easter egg, Disney entertainment folks! Kudos!
So that’s a quick overview of the songs that have been added to various shows for the Diamond Celebration. As I’m sure you can tell, I’m not a big fan of the results.
The Dapper Dans song is superfluous but innocuous. But the News Boys losing “Seize the Day” for a very mediocre new song even with a (rather pointless) Minnie appearance was very sad. “Seize the Day” is THE signature Newsies song and is what the whole News Boys show builds to – losing it (except in a brief ending version) tapers down the great energy that this show always had as its climax, ending on a much less inspired or optimistic note.
And to truncate Five & Dime’s running time – especially removing the fun audience participation bits where Dime and T-Bone picked a couple out of the crowd to sing to – results in a show that even with added songs feel several minutes shorter. And going heavier on the instrumentals makes it feel more like a short scripted version of Jambalaya Jazz Band than its own unique show. Plus there’s less for Dime and T-Bone to do besides dance and clap along – which is a waste of talented singers.
Overall, while the new Dappers song is okay and doesn’t affect the rest of their sets, I really don’t care for most of the changes for the DCA shows. I think they were to the detriment rather than enhancement of the shows and would rather go back to the original versions – pigs and all!
Have you seen any of the new Diamond Anniversary songs being performed? Do you like any of the show changes or would you rather see the original versions of Five & Dime and The Red Car Trolley News Boys?
Update 7/28/15: Two new Diamond Anniversary musical updates have been added at the Disneyland Park since the entertainment schedule changed with the introduction of the (New) Disneyland Band during the park’s anniversary over a week ago. They now have a mid-day March-Along that starts at Sleeping Beauty Castle and ends up in front of the train station at Town Square on Main Street. At the point the band reaches Town Square, they are joined by the Dapper Dans who perform a fantastic rendition of “Live the Magic”, the new song from the Disneyland Forever fireworks show. I was especially pleased to see the tenor get a featured role in the song – in this case, it was Dapper Peter! It’s a very different style of song for the Dapper Dans, but I thought it was terrific and I definitely look forward to watching this performance repeatedly during the Diamond Anniversary celebration! Thumbs up for this musical addition!
There is also a new nightly Sing-Along with the Dapper Dans which I’ve not yet experienced, but once I do, I will update this feature accordingly!
For the schedule for both of these new offerings, check with the Cast Members at City Hall.
Update 8/9/15: And I’ve now seen the Sing-Along with the Dapper Dans! This is apparently part of their last scheduled performance each night where they encourage the crowd to sing along during the set. And then for the final song of the night, they invite some lucky guests to come up and stand beside them and sing with them! It’s a cute bit and a nice temporary addition to the show.
Update 9/10/16: Happily some great decisions were made with the closing of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration on 9/5/16. The Dapper Dans now have a new March-Along performance (with an old favorite song “Welcome to Our Family Time”), the Red Car Trolley News Boys have dropped their less popular song routine with Minnie Mouse and returned to their original set restoring “Seize the Day”, and Five & Dime have kept a modified version of their Diamond Celebration set (which, although shorter, over time seemed to work better than their original show) with just some updated dialogue that no longer refers to the Hollywood Tower Hotel, since that location will sadly be going away.