A No Pictures Show Flashback – Celebrate! Goofy and The Beast

Looking back at the year, there were definitely shows that I wanted to cover – in particular, some no longer with us – but didn’t have any pictures to share and decided I couldn’t do full features on them without proper photo accompaniment.

But today, I’d still like to give some praise to those couple of former shows that I would have featured in more depth individually if I could have.

I’ll start with a short-lived but fun parade at Disneyland Park that ran from 2009-2010:

Celebrate! A Street Party Parade

I may be literally the only person on earth who loved this parade. I credit it to the great musical selections and high energy dancing (no surprise here!) that always made me have to stop and watch and dance along!

Most people seemed to regard it as just a low budget production with very simple floats for the characters to ride upon and accompanying bicycle carts. And pretty much everyone agreed that its replacement, Mickey’s Soundsational Parade (to be spotlighted here at a later date!) was a vast qualitative improvement – and even I can’t argue that.

But there was a joy and a fun to Celebrate! that I dearly loved – whether it was interacting with the DJ-style hosts at the tops of the floats or the performers along Main Street, U.S.A. I can’t recall having a better time at a Disney parade than this one. Just hearing the first strains of “Hey! Get up! Get loud! Start pumpin’ up the party now!” would get me excited and I’d head right for the parade route.

Its counterpart at Walt Disney World Resort would probably be the Move It! Shake It! Parades (I will be doing a flashback at some point on the early incarnation of Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! at a future date). These are both parades designed to invite the guests to join in the fun and I really like that aspect of it. However, I loved the music of Celebrate! at Disneyland Park best. It made me so happy to hear upbeat songs like “The Cup of Life (Ale Ale Ale)” with the accompanying stilt walkers and conga line or “You Can’t Stop the Beat” – possibly one of the most dance-worthy songs ever!

That’s probably why I got teary a few years after it ended when I happened to be at EPCOT at park open and they had a brief opening musical moment that included Celebrate’s signature song “Celebrate You!” This song was also used in the Magic Kingdom’s former parade, Celebrate a Dream Come True (also due for a future flashback feature!). But for me, the energy of it worked best at Celebrate! at Disneyland.

For me, this was closer to a traveling dance show with long choreographed performances and constant cast member costume changes than an actual parade and that’s probably why I loved it and maybe why as a parade it wasn’t so successful!

Instant Concert! … just add water

Another terrific and sadly missed show that lasted for over two years at Disney California Adventure is Goofy’s Instant Concert! … just add water. Continue reading

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Performer Spotlight: Club @ The Mad T Party

“When I just wanna make you smile…”

Since I have not spent nearly enough time praising the dancers at the Resort, I’m well overdue to shine a spotlight toward the amazing dance crew at The Mad T Party in Disney California Adventure. Formerly called The Hottest Deck in Town, they are now referred to as The Most Dazzling Deck in Town at the Diamond Mad T Party.

Each suit of the card deck – Spade, Diamond, Club and Heart – is represented in the crew and they are all a talented group of performers who definitely know how to rock the house! And one of my absolute favorite dancers – not just at T, but in the whole Resort – is this guy!

THAT SMILE!!!

THAT SMILE!!!

Dancing is an art, a craft and a skill.

But it is also a perfect expression of human joy. And this guy not only understands and embraces that, but he embodies it. Every one of his dances is filled with smiles – the joy and pleasure of the dance just radiates outward from him. He is so sublimely happy when he dances, that as a result he makes me just ridiculously happy to watch him!

When people consider the greatest dance numbers of all time, Gene Kelly’s iconic title routine in Singing in the Rain is bound to come up. But while most would focus on Mr. Kelly’s physical talents as a dancer and his work with props and set pieces in the choreography, they may overlook what to me has always made this performance pure magic: his smile. Go back and watch this sequence again and just look at Gene Kelly’s face. To me, the dance and the story and the feeling are entirely conveyed there.

And when I watch this guy dance at T, I am reminded that he, too, knows this special key to the dance: LOVE what you’re doing and LET IT SHOW!

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Now, this is not in any way to diminish his actual incredible abilities as a dancer either! Continue reading

Performer Spotlight: Alice @ The Mad T Party

“Looks like a girl, but she’s a flame – so bright she can burn your eyes…”

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They call her Perf. They call her Barbie.

But really, she’s like Marilyn Monroe, Betty Boop and Elle Woods all rolled into one.

And then some.

The first time you see her, you might be overwhelmed. She does that. But have a second cup of T with this girl at The Mad T Party at Disney California Adventure and you will understand and obey her siren call.

This Alice. That Hatter. Everything.

This Alice. That Hatter. Oh, yes, please.

She simply captivates the audience and all those performing with her, too.

They might as well carve this girl’s name onto the stage because it BELONGS to her. And maybe if you’re very, very good, she’ll share.

Oh and just so you’re forewarned – expect that she’ll quickly own you as a fan, too. I have never seen anyone so completely irresistible as this girl. Continue reading

Performer Spotlight: Mad Hatter @ The Mad T Party

“Don’t need nothin’ but a good time!”

I don’t know why but I think there’s something so “Artful Dodger” about this picture and pose.

I don’t know why but I think there’s something so “Artful Dodger” about this picture and pose.

Maybe it’s because I don’t get to see him often enough at The Mad T Party at Disney California Adventure, but this guy always manages to catch me off-guard at least once a show by doing something unexpected!

Perhaps it’s because he looks really sweet, but there’s a definite streak of naughtiness there, too!

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Behind those dimples one senses a mischievous troublemaker, a boyish cheekiness, with a touch of “who me?” “yeah, you!” Continue reading

The Mad T Party Flashback – Christmas T

“All I want for Christmas is you!”

The very first “special” cup of T at The Mad T Party in Disney California Adventure was back in the winter of 2012, just a few months after the show originally debuted. This was the Christmas version of the show. It would prove to be so well received that the even more popular Halloween Mad T Party would premiere in the fall of 2013.

Sadly, due to the never-changing set list of the current Diamond Mad T Party iteration, we not only lost Halloween T this year, but also Christmas T. This is particularly sad as Christmas T was cut short last year to bring in the temporary unsuccessful Freeze the Night! event.

But while I spend my time thankful that we at least have SOME version of The Mad T Party still playing, I thought it was the perfect occasion to look back at what we are missing at Christmas T time…

Christmas T stage decorations in November 2014.

Christmas T stage decorations in November 2014.

The first and most obvious change for Christmas T was the decorations. Snowflakes and red ribbons wrapped the poles around the main stage, while icicle-like lights adorned the trees in the Hollywood Land area around the T Party.

The second big change was the set list. Fun Christmas songs ranging from “This Christmas” to “Run, Run, Rudolph” to “Let it Snow” added great seasonal cheer and merriment to the show – not to mention some nice musical variety!

I don’t want a lot for Christmas… T is all I’m asking for!

I don’t want a lot for Christmas… T is all I’m asking for!

But the big showstopper was when Alice would take to the front of the stage to just tear it up on “All I Want For Christmas Is You”! Really, my Christmas is no longer complete without this. But this year, I have to settle for watching videos of it from the previous holiday seasons! Continue reading

Show Spotlight: Three Kings’ Day

“Feliz Navidad!”

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What is Three Kings’ Day?

A terrific seasonal discovery near Paradise Gardens in Disney California Adventure during the first week of January this past year was the after-Christmas Three Kings’ Day celebration. An extension of the Viva Navidad! festivities that have been taking place in the same general location, this was a small but absolutely wonderful show that occurred during the week leading up to Three Kings’ Day (Epiphany).

It celebrated and explained the cultural traditions of El Día de los Reyes Magos in a charming musical presentation. The two hosts of the show played guitars and sang songs in Spanish while telling the story (in English) of Three Kings’ Day and how residents of different Latin American countries pay their respects on this day and in the days leading up to it.

Who are the performers?

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Two singers with acoustic guitars perform the show together, each taking turns to share the background of this important cultural and religious day.

When and where can I find it? Continue reading

Performers Spotlight: Carrie and Billy @ The Buena Vista Street Community Bell Ringers

“It’s that time of year when the world falls in love…”

Mousertainment Memorandum: I’d originally intended for this article to feature another talented member of The Buena Vista Street Community Bell Ringers that I’m very fond of – Rich – but in looking back, I can’t find my pictures of him. So suffice it to say there’s another charming Bell Ringer out there, whose bright smile and upbeat attitude always made my day happier when I saw him there during my visits to see the Bell Ringers at Disney California Adventure last year. In fact, his presence guaranteed that I’d have to stop and watch the show! But apologies at not having a photo to share!

So today I’d like to focus on two more of my favorite Bell Ringers from the past few years. And I’ll start with the marvelous Carrie “The Canary”!

Bell Ringers Max and Carrie!

Bell Ringers Max and Carrie!

This gal has a fantastic voice and great big personality, so it’s no wonder her fellow Bell Ringers liked to give her a featured solo during the sets! Now, she’d take a little encouragement… but not too much before she’d take to the front with gusto and sing her heart out! Such a character!

Max and Carrie - so adorable together!

Max and Carrie – so adorable together!

I particularly enjoyed her clear appreciation for another favorite of mine, Bell Ringer Max – they just had a delightful chemistry when performing together! And in my opinion, they were the best duo in the group when they’d team up for songs as they both always looked like they were having so much fun!

But speaking of favorites, let’s not forget about Billy… Continue reading