Imagineering Awesome: The Magic of the Movies

This post is part of the Imagineering Awesome series

Welcome to the 2015 Imagineering Awesome series on Mouse on the Mind! You can access all of the posts by clicking on the link at right.

Today’s post is from one of my favorite bloggers of all time, Jeff Birou of Lance + Jeff. I think this is the first time anyone has conceived a totally new stage show for this series … and I have to say, this is an awesome idea! It combines some of my favorite things–and there’s a built-in mechanism for keeping it fresh! Check it out: 


I’m going to cheat here because my idea pulls from several different Disney films and existing attractions. So sue me! (Don’t; I have no money.)

Most people (or, at least, the bulk of Disney Twitter) will tell you that Disney Hollywood Studios is a mess of a park in need of some good ol’ TLC. Usually these same people will reference the successful transformation of a similarly-maligned park, Disney California Adventure, after Bob Iger dumped over a billion smackers into that park.

One of my favorite additions to DCA 2.0 is the Red Car Trolley News Boys show at the end of Buena Vista Street. The 15-minute show stars Mickey Mouse as he arrives in California with just a “Suitcase and a Dream”:

Besides being incredibly catchy, the “Suitcase and a Dream” song is a great mission statement for Disney California Adventure and, dare I say, Disney Hollywood Studios.

So here’s my idea:

First, let’s all agree that the aging Beauty and the Beast show should retire, collect its pension and go live on a cruise ship for the rest of its days.

Second, take a pinch of the Red Car Trolley News Boys show–complete with adorably dapper Mickey Mouse–and add a dash of Disneyland’s Mickey and the Magical Map, stir in some elements from Mickey’s PhilharMagic, and voila! You’ve got yourself a brand-new live show celebrating the magic of moviemaking and chasing the Hollywood dream.

Essentially, this show would retain the structure of both Magical Map and PhilharMagic, where Mickey, in this case, sets off on an adventure only to be pulled into different musical numbers from various Disney, Pixar, Lucasfilm and Marvel movies. How about a rousing “Chim Chim Cher-ee” dance number, or a lightsaber duel set to the John Williams score, or a medley of classic songs like “Once Upon A Dream,” “Almost There” and “Part of Your World”?

The great aspect of this sort of structure, though never exploited by Disney in its existing park shows, is that sequences can rotate out to keep the show fresh. Big Hero 6 is a big heaping success? Toss in a training montage with Baymax and Hiro to the tune of Fall Out Boy’s “Immortals.”

A show like this could reinforce the narrative DHS tries to sell: “The Magic of the Movies.” And maybe, at the end of the show, after Mickey has experienced some of the high points of the Disney catalog like a vision from the future, he is further inspired to chase his dream.

The show closes with Mickey donning a cartoonish grey hat and getting behind the wheel of a steamboat–his first major role in Hollywood! And with this famous whistle, the Disney catalog is born:

Also, can I say that after The LEGO Movie, I can’t read “Imagineering Awesome” without singing it to the tune of “Everything Is Awesome”?

“Imaaaagineering Awwwwesome! Everything is awesome when we’re living our dream!”–Walt Disney

Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. Don’t you agree?

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