Friday, November 20, 2015

Disneyland's 40th Anniversary & The Magic Kingdom Kabaret

It's hard to believe that Disneyland is celebrating it's 60th anniversary this year. It seems like the park was just celebrating it's 40th anniversary. Where does the time go?

Well twenty years ago, in honor of the 40th anniversary, there was a show that was presented daily on the Tomorrowland Terrace stage. The name of the show was "The Magic Kingdom Kabaret".

At that time, the roof of the Tomorrowland Terrace stage was redressed with a 40th anniversary motif. (Unfortunately, it had already lost it's Rolly Crump-designed spires back in the eighties.) The slogan for the anniverary was "40 Years of Adventure" and was intended to tie-in with the Indiana Jones "Adventure" attraction, which was opening that year.

When the stage raised up for the show, there were four performers that sang and danced while accompanied by a live band. Aladdin, Belle and the Fab Five also made cameo appearances.

The foursome was sort of like a nineties version of The Kids of the Kingdom....uh, minus 5 guys and 7 girls!

Here's an aerial view of the show. I took this from the Rocket Jets while they were in motion (that's why it's slightly blurred!) Gee, if we could only get this view of Tomorrowland today!

I liked the 40th Anniversary show, but I remember that I didn't appreciate the part when "Fact Guy" sings a couple lines from, "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" and "Let's Get Together" and then says to the other performers, "Don't you remember the Carousel of Progress?"......"Don't you remember Hayley Mills in The Parent Trap?", and the others all dismissively respond, "NO!!!" Maybe that was because the Carousel of Progress was my favorite attraction as a kid AND because The Parent Trap was one of my favorite movies. Also, hellooooo....the Sherman Brothers wrote both of those songs! Oh well, I suppose whoever wrote the show back then, thought it was funny.

I really wish they had done a show like this for the 60th anniversary, but I'm guessing there was no way they were going to get rid of the "Jedi Training Academy" which is currently presented on the Tomorrowland Terrace stage. I also wish they would bring back the Kids of the Kingdom. All 16 of them! (This land is your land, this land is my land.... ♪ ♫ ♪)

If you are interested in watching Magic Kingdom Kabaret, here it is in it's entirety. I hope you enjoy it!


K. Martinez said...

They sure did ruin the Tomorrowland Terrace Stage by ridding it of the original Rolly Crump architecture. The new Crump imitation of the stage just doesn’t feel the same to me. It does seem like such a short time ago that Disneyland was celebrating its 40th anniversary and it's hard to believe that Indiana Jones Adventure is already 20 years old. Sometimes I think about Disneyland’s 75th Anniversary and wonder if I’ll be too old to care by then. And I do remember that show. Nice update. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

At least the Carousel of Progress continues to live in WDW. I thoroughly enjoyed re-living it last year. KS

TokyoMagic! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, I agree about the ruining of the Tomorrowland Terrace Stage. I wasn't super crazy about the Crump imitation, but I thought it was better than the 3 or 4 things that had been up there previously. And now, who knows what is going to be on top of the stage when the construction walls that are currently around it come down. Probably a full-sized Millennium Falcon or some nonsense like that. Don't get me wrong, I liked Star Wars...or at least Episodes IV, V, and VI, but I don't think it belongs in Tomorrowland......or anywhere in Disneyland, for that matter.

KS, I'm not crazy about the newer versions of the Carousel of Progress (ever since it went to Florida). I think they ruined the continuity when they got rid of the youngest daughter in that final scene and made the little boy a teenager all of a sudden. Think about it. Through the first three scenes, the kids are a teenage girl, a young boy and a young girl. In the last scene, the kids are a teenage daughter and a teenage son and the youngest daughter is missing. In the World's Fair and Disneyland versions of the attraction, the kids remained consistent throughout the first three scenes and then they were all absent from the final scene because they were supposed to be "Off picking up Grandma and Grandpa." I don't really feel like I'm being too nitpicky about details like that. I wonder how many other people notice it? Anyway, I am glad that it still exists in some form or another and when I go to WDW, I do make sure to see it several times. I sure hope it is safe from the "bean counters"! For years, I've heard rumors that they have wanted to get rid of it. :-(

K. Martinez said...

TokyoMagic!, When Star Tours first opened in 1987 it truly bothered me having a non-Disney IP in Disneyland, but since Indiana Jones and Pixar has been injected into the park and almost three decades have passed since Star Tours opened, Stars War Land doesn't really upset me. There's been too much change at Disneyland that I don't even relate to it on the same level I used to. I still enjoy it, but not the same.

TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, Star Tours bothered me too. I loved the attraction, but I wish they had done an original story and original characters for it like they did for Captain EO. At least they did it for Rex, the pilot of the Star Speeders, but I didn't understand why they had to put R2D2 and C-3PO into a Disneyland attraction. Once again, I loved the characters....I just didn't want to see them in DL. I felt the same way about Indiana Jones and the Muppets. You are right about there being so much change. I thought I was used to it by now, but their upcoming plans of destruction to make way for Star Wars Land have me kind of shocked.

KS, Now that I read my first reply to your comment, I realize I was wrong about something. The youngest daughter in the Carousel of Progress is only present in the first scene/act and disappears after that! They removed her from Act 2 and 3 when they shipped the attraction to WDW. Again, big continuity problem in my book! Why is she helping mother with the laundry in that first act? Who is she and where does she go after that? Is she the neighbor kid? Was she the hired help? And why does the little boy from Act 1, 2 and 3 suddenly become a teenager in Act 4. Or is that not even supposed to be him and if not, who is he and where did the little boy go? Is he with the little girl? It's so confusing! Leave it to Disney to go ruin something that was originally perfect.

K. Martinez said...

@TokyoMagic!, I can see the alteration/reduction of the Rivers of America as kind of shocking but I wasn't really surprised. Jungle Cruise was shortened and altered as well for Indiana Jones Adventure back in 1994. I am curious as to what Disney is going to do with the River and Railroad once the re-routing is completed. I hope they don't just throw in a bunch of trees and be done with it, but also add some new tableaus and bring back some of the original props along the river to lessen the blow. I have heard rumor that they might build a mountain range back there to block the intrusion of Star Wars Land. Time will tell.

Speaking of Captain EO, I never cared for the attraction. I know Michael Jackson loved Disneyland, had a huge fan base and the film was a big draw, but it just didn’t feel Disney to me. It was all about the pop star. And while I appreciate the creation of original characters, they didn't do a thing for me. I viewed it as a glorified MTV video. In addition, I consider the creation of the Magic Eye Theater as responsible for the ruination of the Space Mountain complex with its nice open air Space Stage and Space Place restaurant. That’s just another reason not to like it. Strangest thing is that I have the original EO characters in PVC. I probably bought them from a collectible perspective. They are cheesy though.

TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, I guess we will just have to wait and see exactly what they do. So far, I think they have only confirmed that the River will be "shortened" and the train will be "slightly rerouted."

As for Captain EO, I didn't like it initially, but it slowly grew on me over time. I wasn't crazy about most of those side characters either, but at least they weren't just grabbed from somebody else's movie that wasn't even a Disney property. Funny, when the film returned and replaced "Honey I Shrunk The Audience", I was happy to see it come back! I even did a blog post about it and I mentioned how I hated what they did to the Space Mountain Complex when they built the Magic Eye Theater! A Visit To Captain EO Land

K. Martinez said...

Chris, Thanks for the link. I really enjoyed the article. I agree with your assessment that HISTA was painful to sit through. I experienced it once but found myself wanting to leave the show before it ended. And this is from some who was a fan of the original movie "Honey I Shrunk the Kids". Now if were talking "Magic Journeys", I absolutely loved that 3D film and would've loved to see it return.

TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, I also liked the original "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" movie. I'm glad to hear that I wasn't the only one that found the 3-D HISTA movie at DL painful! Ha, ha! I also LOVED "Magic Journeys".....and of course, the soundtrack was written by none other than the Sherman Brothers! You may or may not be interested in this because it is not about our beloved original Anaheim park, but I did a follow up post to that one on Tokyo Disneyland's theater space which has hosted Magic Journey's, Captain EO, HISTA (which in Japan, is called MICRO ADVENTURE!), the return of Captain EO, and a film titled "The Eternal Sea" that was unique to Tokyo DL and shown in 120 degree format. Just in case you are interested, here is the link to that post: Captain EO-Land - Tokyo Disneyland

Chuck said...

Sorry I'm late to the party, guys. Can I help with cleanup?

Oftentimes, when I hear "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow," I think of this show...and how annoyed I was at how dismissive the script was towards some beloved attractions that were key to Disneyland's history. Yeah, I get that an attraction called "The Bathroom of Tomorrow" would get some sniggers from '90's audiences, but that also belies an ignorance of what Tomorrowland's original concept was. Still, a live show on Disneyland history was better than nothing at all.

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, I agree with you....this show was better than nothing at all. I remember a show in the Plaza/Carnation Gardens for Disneyland's 25th, but I'm not sure if there were shows for any of the other milestone birthdays. And I really don't see them doing anything like this again, unfortunately.