10 Years of “Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular”

A post of Facebook, highlighting a story on the Disney Parks Blog, alerted me that one of the Broadway musicals I mentioned in our latest podcast celebrated its 10th anniversary yesterday.  “Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular” opened in the Hyperion Theater at Disney California Adventure January 16, 2003.  The show has been seen by more than 12 million park guests during that time.

Some of the more interesting things about this particular show is that an original song was written and included in the performance that wasn’t in the movie.  “To Be Free” is sung by Princess Jasmine that describes her life like one of a bird living in a gilded cage.  It is a real showcase for the actress playing the part and always draws a loud ovation from the crowd upon its completion.

Secondly, the show continuously changes as the Genie is given fairly ample free reign to ad lib with various current events during his frequent joke sessions.  Jokes often skewer celebrities in the news or even timely Disney-related happenings.  The jokes are generally very funny, rather unexpected during a Disney production and can really keep each performance from feeling like something you’ve seen before even if you’ve seen the show multiple times.

Below are a few photos I snapped during a performance that you might like.  As always, click each one for a larger view …

AladdinJasmineAladdin and Jasmine take a spin on the Magic Carpet during the “A Whole New World” segment of the show.

GenieThe Genie is often the highlight of the performance.  Though his jokes are often zingers, they are also always appropriate for a theme park audience.  The actor playing the Genie usually gets the loudest applause during the curtain call.

JafarJafar is a bit more of straight-man villain in the production than the slightly comedic performance found at times during the film.  Of interest, as with much of the cast, the characters are often performed by a variety of actors of different races and abilities.  For instance, Jafar might be played by a black actor during one performance and a white actor during another.  Many performances feature a wheelchair-bound performer in the chorus.  It’s a nice way of featuring talented performers without strictly adhering to what otherwise might be traditional casting requirements.

“Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular” is a nice way to spend 45 minutes at a theme park.  It truly is a high-caliber Broadway-style show and one that everyone should try to catch at least once during a visit to the Disneyland Resort.

-Matt

Christmas Photos from Disneyland

Steve recently posted images of holiday decor around the Walt Disney World Resort and I thought that I would follow suit by adding some images of holiday happenings through the years at the Disneyland Resort.  All images are clickable for larger views.  Enjoy!

Sleeping Beauty Castle adorned with snow and other seasonal decor is a focal point for Disneyland's holidays.

Sleeping Beauty Castle adorned with snow and other seasonal decor is a focal point for Disneyland’s holidays.

At night, Sleeping Beauty Castle glimmers in thousands of sparkling light designed to look like icicles.

At night, Sleeping Beauty Castle glimmers in thousands of sparkling light designed to look like icicles.

A look from the Hub towards the entrance shows the Disneyland Christmas tree in Town Square and holiday garland strung between the shops of Main Street.

A look from the Hub towards the entrance shows the Disneyland Christmas tree in Town Square and holiday garland strung between the shops of Main Street.

it's a small world gets a holiday makeover every year including a Santa hat on the iconic clock face.

it’s a small world gets a holiday makeover every year including a Santa hat on the iconic clock face.

Another attraction that receives a holiday makeover is the Haunted Mansion.  Jack Skellington dressed as Sandy Claws welcomes guests.

Another attraction that receives a holiday makeover is the Haunted Mansion. Jack Skellington dressed as Sandy Claws welcomes guests.

Mickey's Toontown gets a healthy dose of holiday decor in both the residential and downtown areas.  Here a toon tree bends from the weight of an overly heavy tree topper.

Mickey’s Toontown gets a healthy dose of holiday decor in both the residential and downtown areas. Here a toon tree bends from the weight of an overly heavy tree topper.

The Christmas parade is an annual favorite.  This is a photo of one of the gingerbread men who parade from it's a small world to Town Square on Main Street.

The Christmas parade is an annual favorite. This is a photo of one of the gingerbread men who parade from it’s a small world to Town Square on Main Street.

Santa Claus heads up the anchor float of the Christmas Fantasy Parade, complete with plush Mickey and Minnie dolls in his sack of toys.

Santa Claus heads up the anchor float of the Christmas Fantasy Parade, complete with plush Mickey and Minnie dolls in his sack of toys.

Disney's California Adventure used to have a beach theme to its holiday decor.  Here they carted in tons of sand for local artists to make sculptures from.

Disney’s California Adventure used to have a beach theme to its holiday decor. Here they carted in tons of sand for local artists to make sculptures from.

The water tower in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot section of Disney's California Adventure sported an oversized Santa hat.

The water tower in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot section of Disney’s California Adventure sported an oversized Santa hat.

Tinker Bell served as a tree topper for the massive Christmas tree at Paradise Pier in Disney's California Adventure.

Tinker Bell served as a tree topper for the massive Christmas tree at Paradise Pier in Disney’s California Adventure.

This is the first year that Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure is able to be dressed for the holiday season.  The Carthay Circle Theater Restaurant looks festive with a wreath attached to its tower.

This is the first year that Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure is able to be dressed for the holiday season. The Carthay Circle Theater Restaurant looks festive with a wreath attached to its tower.

Cars Land, too, is celebrating its first holiday season.  They had to bring in telephone poles on one side of the street in order to string automotive-themed garland across the Route 66 thoroughfare.

Cars Land, too, is celebrating its first holiday season. They had to bring in telephone poles on one side of the street in order to string automotive-themed garland across the Route 66 thoroughfare.

The Welcome to Cars Land signage in front of the new land has been updated to reflect a holiday theme, including a snow car to welcome visitors.

The Welcome to Cars Land signage in front of the new land has been updated to reflect a holiday theme, including a snow car to welcome visitors.