A Salute To The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Festival of Fools at Disneyland

FOFposter

There was no show like The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Festival of Fools at Disneyland. Instead of a simple retelling of the story of Quasimodo, Esmeralda, Pheobus, Clopin, and the gang from Disney’s popular movie, it took place in and around the audience in an arena based on medieval play structure and brought a new style of entertainment to guests.

Because there was always multiple things going on in the show at the same time it had repeatability. Also, the performers were given a small amount of leeway to juice up their roles with an extra bit of humor here and there. I saw the show well over 600 times, but I guarantee I never had the same experience twice.

I could have watched it many more times, However, it only ran from June 21, 1996 to April 18, 1998. Not nearly long enough in my book. But I do remember it with an essay in my Dispatch from Disneyland book and, through the magic of YouTube, you can watch a recording of that wonderful final show. Hard to believe it’s been 16 years.

Parts 2 & 3 below
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Celebrity Spotting: Elle Fanning, Aurora in Maleficent, at Disneyland

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Time for another celebrity watch. With the Social Media Moms event happening at Disneyland the last few days, there were a host of celebs and internet stars who came by to hang out at the Magic Kingdom. I was just sent these great photos of Elle Fanning who will be staring as Sleeping Beauty in the upcoming Disney release of Maleficent.

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Two more pics below the jump:

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DHS History Lesson: Automobiles are a Big Deal!

(photo courtesy Disney World)

Welcome back to where showbiz takes center stage… Hollywood Studios, of course! It’s time for your 2nd DHS History Lesson. For those just joining us, let me tell you a little bit about myself, I LOVE the movies! (Guess the ride below!) We are doing these lessons for you in honor of the Studios’ upcoming 25th Anniversary on May 1st.

This time around, we are showcasing the simplest parade of all-time, and yet, it is my absolute favorite for that exact reason. The Disney Stars and Motorcars Parade premiered on October 1st, 2001 as part of the 100 Years of Magic campaign the parks were celebrating (That was the same year of the hat…You’re welcome Disney fans). The parade featured 14 or-so decked out motorcars that had the characters riding in style aboard their decked out automobiles.

It was my first Disney parade and my favorite for its fantastic mix of characters. Toy Story, Monsters Inc., Hercules, Mulan, Mary Poppins, Star Wars, and many more were featured in wonderfully decorated cars that led a processional from Star Tours to the front entrance of the park. It also featured, in my opinion, the best parade song ever. The “Curtain Up and on with the Show!” lyrics helped set the mood for the entire park, keeping that glitz and glamor of the old Hollywood ideals alive. And, they utilized some killer sforzandos…just sayin’ (#NerdyChoirTerms)

The neatest part was the ability to easily showcase new characters quickly and efficiently with their Grand Marshall float. They featured Giselle, Chicken Little, and Ratatouille, among others, throughout its 7 year run. Unfortunately, the parade made its last processional through the park in March of 2008. DHS then received Block Party Bash, the crap-tastic Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun!, and now, the parade route remains bare. The Motorcar parade was sent to the Walt Disney Studios in Paris, where it currently resides.

It really is my favorite parade. Its simplistic nature allowed for a more intimate feel, giving guests more interaction opportunities with the characters. It also gave off that regal nature that the park does, as a whole, oh so well. I would love to see it come back in a new form, as DHS yearns for a fun movie-centric parade. Let’s have Frozen, Tangled, and Wreck-It Ralph units added to the eclectic combo of cars from before (KEEP HERCULES!).

Now, I realize that DHS has had some fantastic parades, like the Hercules Zero to Hero Parade or the wonderful Mulan: The Parade, but the down-to-Earth nature of the motorcars was a nice change of pace after the showy parades of the past.

Do you miss this parade? Did you ever get the chance to see this parade in person? Would you like to see this parade return without Hercules? (If your answer to the last question was no, get out). Let me know in the comments below.

We will cover Disney’s Doug Live! In the next lesson. Until next time…That’s a Wrap!

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Agents of SHIELD episode 18 preview – Providence

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When they said that no one can be trusted, they weren’t kidding. Last week, we got not one, but two betrayals. Overall, it was another great episode, though I’m very disappointed with what happened to Agent Hand. She’s a strong character in the comics and they could have translated well on screen later. However, switching the logo at the end and having Garrett do the voice over instead of Coulson was a nice touch.

This week, we’ll be reunited with Raina and Quinn as well as be introduced to General Talbot (played by Adrian Pasdar) and Eric Koenig (played by Patton Oswalt).

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Coulson and his team are on the run as the government is after them in the form of General Talbot to answer for SHIELD’s betrayal. They seek shelter in an underground (or, in this case, in a snowy cave) SHIELD bunker as they try to pick up the pieces and figure out what’s happening.

Meanwhile, Ward and Garrett break Raina and Quinn out of the Fridge where they were being held to move ahead with their plan (which probably still involves whatever happened to Coulson in Tahiti). Looking at some of the photos they’ve released, these guys look like they’re getting ready to raise the stakes (as if they weren’t high enough already) with some more crazy tech and boil-laden cadavers.

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Creepiness aside, I will be interested in seeing if Ward has gone completely rogue or if he still has some trick up his sleeve.

Quick note: this week we actually get two hours of SHIELD with a re-run of last week’s episode at 8 and the new episode at 9.

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Magic Kingdom Central Plaza Improvement Project Update

Black tube is a portable damn. Heard there was some water back in moat now

As announced in February, the Central Plaza, or Hub, at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World is undergoing a major update. The finished version will have more of a park like setting, with ample walking space to navigate around parades and shows, more outdoor dining seating, plus special viewing areas for fireworks and more.

I took a walkabout of the hub area earlier this week and captured a little video to show the progress. Right now they’re concentrating on the section of the hub that is closest to Main Street, where the additional fireworks viewing areas will be. However, lots of little projects are underway around the hub. The video ends with a look at the Rose Garden as it blooms for one last season in its current form.

Can’t watch the video? I have selected photos below the jump in a gallery:

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