04 Jun Ode to Mickey and the Magical Map
Oh Mickey and the Magical Map, how I love thee, let me count the ways. Disney is all about entertainment, and to me, the theater shows in the parks really just embody the reason Disney has captured the hearts of so many.
The Fantasyland Theatre at Disneyland has been home to many musical productions over the years. My personal favorite was Beauty and the Beast Live in the early 90’s. (Here is a link to a video I found of it on YouTube in case you want to reminisce with me.) I still remember watching that and thinking “I want to be her.” Not Belle, although that would be pretty cool, too. That Beast did turn out to be quite the handsome fellow, but no. I wanted to be the girl playing the part of Belle. The one who got up and sang and danced in front of thousands of visitors every day. It inspired me to want to pursue a life in the arts. I danced for many years, and although I never became the professional dancer I then dreamed of being, it gave me the passion for the arts that no movie ever could. There is something about seeing it up close and live that makes you appreciate it so much more.
In 2006, the theater became the Princess Fantasy Faire. It was lovely, and all those princess loving little girls and boys enjoyed it. A meet and greet spot for the princesses was something that I think the park needed. However, I always felt that Disneyland was missing out on an opportunity to inspire future performers or even just bring out that appreciation for live musical productions in children as well as adults.
I jumped up and down (not even kidding, not one little bit) when I found out that Disneyland was planning to relocate the princesses to a more fitting location next to the castle and use the theater for a much better purpose: a live, musical production of Mickey and the Magical Map. In May of 2013, the theater once again started stealing visitors from the long lines of other park attractions and dazzled them a 23 minute show that is more than worth the time taken to sit and watch. My girls love that they can see characters from their favorite movies like Tangled, The Princess and the Frog, Mulan, The Jungle Book and Pocahontas come to life on stage while in the park. It really helps give that extra magic to a visit to Disneyland.
Not only does this show inspire a love of the performing arts, but it also sends a great message from a very wise sorcerer. “The map contains never-ending magic. For it will never be completed, for as long as there is imagination in the world.” If that sounds familiar, it should:
“Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” – Walt Disney
Do yourself, and your kids a favor and take the time to see this incredible show next time you head to Disneyland. It is much more than just a shady spot to sit or a way to pass the time while you finish your churro and frozen lemonade slush. (Although it is most definitely those things, too!) It is a beautiful park attraction that is not to be missed.