“I’d sacrifice riches beyond measure…”
I’ve been looking forward all year to featuring this – in my opinion, the greatest show ever produced at a Disney park… and ironically the week I scheduled it for comes a week after it was just announced that the show will be closing to be replaced by (of course)… Frozen. That new production will open in Summer 2016.
I was actually in tears at this news. And when someone pointed out that there would be no other place to hear Jasmine sing the song “To Be Free” which was composed especially for this production (since that number is apparently not in the Broadway version), I was doubly devastated.
And unlike the previous attempt by Disney to shut down the show (when they wanted to replace it with a version of the Disney Cruise Line Toy Story Musical) that the vocal fans fought and won – this time I think there will be no reprieve for Genie and his friends despite another loud vocal outcry against this move to close an extremely popular show that continues to play to capacity more than a decade after its original debut.
And while some might feel that the show has worn out its welcome after so long (I’m not one of them), I think the dismay is as much about what is replacing this show as that it is being replaced at all.
Later this week, I’ll discuss in more depth my thoughts on the entertainment changes occurring in the Disney Parks, but for today, let’s celebrate the best Broadway-quality show you can see for free (after park entry cost) at any stateside Disney theme park!
What is Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular?
If you were to visit the Disneyland Resort only once in a lifetime, this is the one show I would say you cannot miss. Nothing else compares to the quality and sheer entertainment value of this show based on the popular Disney animated film, Aladdin.
Wirework, puppeteering, dancing, singing, comedy, panto-style interactions with the audience – this show has it all! It appeals to the entire family no matter your age or gender.
And it has Genie.
And did I mention Genie?
Because really, he makes the show with his range of constantly changing improvised jokes and his ability to tug at anyone’s heartstrings. Can I just say: pinky swear. (You teared up at that, didn’t you? You’re not alone.)
But there’s even more to this wonderful show than Genie.
There’s the “Whole New World” sequence which is too magical and magnificent to spoiler but is always the showstopping moment that makes the audience gasp in surprise and awe. And the Jafar final transformation is spectacular indeed!
Who are the performers?
Well, there’s Genie, Genie, Genie, the Carpet… and everyone else.
Sort of kidding. The cast includes all the beloved characters from the film – from Aladdin to Jasmine and the Sultan to Jafar and Iago. And here the Magic Carpet is a hilarious and adorable character too! There are also assorted dancers, gymnasts, puppeteers and singers. But mostly it’s about Genie.
Mousertainment Tip: Like many shows at the Disneyland Resort, sign language interpreters are available at select performances. Ask at the Chamber of Commerce when such offerings are scheduled. And I will note that having seen a few different shows at the Resort interpreted in sign language (including Minnie’s Fly Girls and Mickey and the Magical Map) it is a beautiful way for even hearing-enabled folks to appreciate the show on a different level through the grace and artistry of the interpreter Cast Members!
When and where can I find it?
Until January 10, 2016 (unless by some miracle of the Mouse, the show gets another well-deserved reprieve), you will find this 45-minute show playing multiple times per week at the Hyperion Theater in Hollywood Land at Disney California Adventure. Check your daily Entertainment Times Guide for the schedule.
Go while you can.
Really. Go. Like right now.
Why spotlight it?
I cannot say enough what a unique, special, emotionally resonant, laugh-out-loud brilliant production this show is and always has been. From top-level vocalists and performers in the lead roles to the GENIUS Genie who makes every adventure into the Cave of Wonders something precious and exciting and new – this is the greatest production I’ve ever seen at a Disney Park and easily matches stage productions I’ve seen of touring Broadway shows.
It’s amazing. It’s funny. It’s heartfelt. If this show doesn’t make you laugh and cry and sing along, nothing will.
While I’m sure the future will bring other great Disney productions to this and other venues, NOTHING will ever touch the magic of this show to anyone lucky enough to have experienced it.
For you Orlando parks fans, the only even slightly comparable quality show there would be the glorious Festival of the Lion King at Animal Kingdom (which I will be featuring here next week!) – and Aladdin is still better. Sorry, but true.
Please do yourself a favor and if there’s any way you can get to Disney California Adventure before this show closes – DO IT! You won’t regret it. Pinky swear.
Have you seen Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectactular? Are you sorry to see it go or glad to see something new coming to the venue?
Update 1/11/16: Last night I attended the final show of Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular. It was brilliant as always but tinged with so much sadness for it being the (unnecessary) end of a spectacular run. I can’t imagine anything ever touching the quality and appeal of this show at a Disney Park, but I’m so glad I could be there for its final curtain call. Thank you to everyone who made this show magical. Genie, you’re free…
Update 9/13/16: I’ve uploaded several Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular videos – Check out some of this show’s performances here on the Mousertainment YouTube Channel