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
On September 25th at the 4:50 pm show of Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular at California Adventure there was a frightening malfunction of the flying carpet effect during the show. Thankfully, redundant safety systems prevented any real injury, but the show was stopped and the audience evacuated while performers on the flying carpet swung upside down above the audience.
This video shows the moments after the carpet flipped over. Both performers can be seen strapped into the carpet, but the Jasmine performer is obviously (and understandably) upset. So don’t watch the video if that bothers you:
Here’s another angle that shows the carpet actually flipping over:
Well, at least it wasn’t anything violent.
I wasn’t going to post about this incident, chalking it up to a freak accident, but it turns out this is not the only time the flying carpet effect has had problems. Spoilers and more details below: