Today, in 1993, the Backlot Theater opened on New York Street at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This 1,500-seat theater was home to two major productions – The Spirit of Pocahontas and Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame – A Musical Adventure.
The Spirit of Pocahontas explored the film’s love story between Pocahontas and John Smith, and the balance between man and nature. This 28-minute show was the first Broadway-style theatrical production at Walt Disney World Resort and included wind, water and fire effects as part of the dramatic retelling of the story.
Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame – A Musical Adventure closely followed the story of the film. Set in the Court of Miracles (the Gypsy “underworld”), this 30-minute show featured many of the characters from the movie, including 13 Gypsy players who brought the story to life via puppetry and props.
Check out more posts from the “Vintage Walt Disney World” series:
In this video, which we just received from our friends at Walt Disney Imagineering, our Imagineers offer a look at how they designed a new soundtrack for one of the park’s attractions: Test Track Presented by Chevrolet. Check it out – there are definitely some things you’ll want to listen for next time you stop by.
Which Epcot attraction has your favorite soundtrack? Let us know in the “Comments” section below.
One of the cool things about the show is the design of the costumes for the Mapmakers, Yen Sid’s apprentices who are well versed in the ways of the sorcerer’s amazing map. I spoke with Senior Costume Designer Matt Davidson, who shared some of his inspiration behind the designs.
“The costumes needed to have a modern infusion of style and edginess, while still retaining an antique quality that comes with Fantasyland and its older, European roots,” said Matt. “I have always liked the inventiveness of Steampunk, which for those who may not know, comes from the Jules Verne, H.G. Wells world of futuristic-styled technology being possible in the Victorian era. The aesthetic uses lots of copper, antique brass, leather and rivets. It’s kind of a warm, hand-crafted look that fit perfectly.”
Here’s a look at some of those designs, as Matt and Costumer Chris Bermudez were fitting the show’s cast for a recent dress rehearsal. You’ll be able to see the costumes in action, of course, once “Mickey and the Magical Map” opens May 25!
Learn more about “Mickey and the Magical Map” in the posts below:
If you’ve ever cruised with Disney Cruise Line, you know that all of our staterooms are designed with families in mind. We know that traveling families always need more space, so features are included in each room to provide more usable space, like the split-bath feature that Disney introduced to the cruise industry.
It’s almost here! We’re just a few days away from the premiere of “Mickey and the Magical Map” in the newly refurbished Fantasyland Theatre at Disneyland park. Mickey Mouse and his friends have been rehearsing their ears off (see what I did?), and we’ve got the first photos of the star of the show along with some of his friends onstage.
I love staying at a Disney Resort hotel. I’ve stayed at nearly all of them in Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts. The first Disney hotel my family stayed at was Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in summer 1992. There is something magical about staying at a Disney resort (I love that blast of cool air when entering a hotel lobby). My favorite place is Disney’s Polynesian Resort as I like pretending I’m on a tropical island somewhere in the South Pacific (and they have a Dole Whip machine!). New merchandise featuring a few favorite Disney Resort hotels is arriving this summer. I recently gave you a sneak preview of these new items in an article about summer merchandise. This time, I caught up with Disney Design Group artist Tim Whalen who created the artwork for this new Resort logo program.
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks aren’t the only places to have a monstrous time during this Friday’s all-nighter at the Disneyland Resort … the Downtown Disney District is also getting in on the fun with extended hours and more. Check it out:
I started my Disney career as part of the Walt Disney World Resort College Program in the fall of 1997. In those days, my roommates and I spent a lot of time at Downtown Disney, mostly at Pleasure Island. I remember hearing about something new coming to the West Side – a giant five-story building filled with virtual reality games, arcade classics and cool interactive experiences you couldn’t find anywhere else.
When we’re in any of the Disney Parks, it’s hard enough to pass the popcorn wagons with the buttery aromas beckoning. And now it’s twice as hard to walk on by when these adorable popcorn buckets are filled with the fluffy kernels.