I don’t know how it happened, but I apparently missed this group when they were performing in Downtown Disney in Anaheim last year at Halloween Time. I probably was busy running back and forth between the Dapper Dans of Disneyland and the Cadaver Dans at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel. Sadly, this year, the Cadaver Dans are not singing publicly, only at Mickey’s Halloween Party itself. That left a Halloween-sized hole in my entertainment-loving heart that needed to be filled, so I went to check out The SCAREolers who are performing in front of the WonderGround Gallery this season.
I spent a full evening earlier in the week watching The SCAREolers. Their performances are half an hour long and they have two different set lists they perform over the course of four shows throughout the night (so: set A, set B, set A, set B). I found the group’s times listed on the daily events schedule on the Disneyland website, so I’d recommend checking there first.
Their backstory is that they are a few of the 999 happy haunts from The Haunted Mansion who have been let out for the evening to entertain the guests.
What I loved: First off, the costumes and the choreography were terrific. And out of all of their songs, I especially thought the Disney villains mash-ups were spectacular! For me those were the absolute highlights of each set. I also really enjoyed the Hercules retrospective (that surprisingly didn’t include the gorgeous “Go the Distance” which I think this group could knock out of the park… so to speak) – as well as their fun performance of the Hocus Pocus songs.
What I liked: the acapella sound and arrangements. The modernized, hip-hop version of the “Monster Mash” was particularly fun. I’m always up for a “Dead Man’s Party” and of course “Thriller” (complete with zombie dancing!) is a definite requirement for the season.
What could use some work: a couple of the song selections were a bit… lesser… for me. At this point, as good as it was, do we REALLY need “Let It Go” to be performed in everything? Yes, it’s a crowd-pleaser, but it’s so overdone, even given this group’s clever multi-lead arrangement. I could also really do without “Heffalumps & Woozles” and “Pink Elephants on Parade”. When this group so wonderfully digs deep into the Disney catalog to pull out awesome, unappreciated gems like “Mine, Mine, Mine”, “Be Prepared” and “Hellfire”, I can gladly go without elephants in any form!
Some standouts amongst this great group of singers included the colonially-dressed bass singer (such an extraordinary voice – his version of “Ghost Riders in the Sky” was so powerful) and Constance the Bride (who utterly killed it on “Mother Knows Best”) – both of whom were real delights to listen to in their solos. Props to the beatboxer, too, because he was an absolute necessity to keep up the rhythm! But really, everyone gets their moment to shine in these shows.
Overall, although there were moments when I felt like I was rather redundantly watching a Halloween Time Dapper Dans or Cadaver Dans set due to some of the song selections (“Trick or Treat”, “The Headless Horseman”, the songs from The Nightmare Before Christmas), the costumes and choreography elevated the level of each performance here to something bigger. Plus it was nice to have the mix of male and female singers to add to the diversity of their sound. And I’m always happy to support more live musical entertainment at the Disney Parks & Resorts. I will definitely be checking this group out again while they’re here during the month of October!
Mousertainment Tip: A scheduling note – this group is only performing on Wednesday nights, Thursday nights and on Halloween itself this month, so you have a limited time to catch them scaring up a good time for guests in the Downtown Disney district!
Check out some of this show’s performances here on the Mousertainment YouTube Channel
Have you caught a performance of the SCAREolers either last year or this year? What was your favorite song that they performed?