Walt Disney World's crown jewel, the Magic Kingdom, debuted a new castle show on June 17th and I joined the massive crowd of Disney entertainment Cast Members that gathered to celebrate the inaugural performance. Replacing Dream Along with Mickey, Mickey's Friendship Faire seeks to bring newer characters to the park's hub, replacing the Walt-era visiting friends from Snow White, Cinderella, Peter Pan and Sleeping Beauty. The new show focuses on the three most recent princess films from Walt Disney Animation Studios, The Princess and the Frog, Tangled and Frozen.
With music that feels like it was lovingly borrowed from one of Disney's Asian theme parks, the show establishes itself as a royal celebration of visiting friends. Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy and Goofy have each invited friends from neighboring kingdoms to celebrate. After explaining their travels, the festivities begin.
Goofy's guests arrive first as he leads a parade of visitors from New Orleans as they sing "Down in New Orleans." Prince Naveen and Princess Tiana kick things off with a tap dance to an instrumental version of "When We're Human," followed by a lesson for Goofy with "Dig a Little Deeper." With flapper dresses and tambourines, their set is a lot of fun.
Next Donald and Daisy bring their guests from the "Land of the enchanted wood winds," aka some thugs that Donald found at The Snugly Duckling. When the guests start a fight with Donald, Rapunzel and Flynn Rider arrive just in time to help break it up. Rapunzel shows that the ruffians aren't so bad with "I've Got a Dream."
Then Mickey gives Minnie a special surprise by inviting a friend from "The land of the mystic mountains." Olaf crashes the party with a rendition of "In Summer" before Mickey's guests, Anna and Elsa, arrive to find their lost snowman. Minnie is honored to meet the queen and princess of Arendelle as Elsa show Minnie that she's perfect just the way she is. She uses "Let it Go" to make her point, with snow flurries filling the skies above the castle forecourt.
Everyone returns to the stage for a grand dance. Naveen and Tiana dance to "My Belle Evangeline," Rapunzel and Flynn Rider to "I See the Light" and Elsa, Anna and Olaf dance to "Do You Wanna Build a Snowman." Mickey and his friends return to the stage to join them all in a waltz to "With a Smile and a Song" from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, although the original Disney princess does not join in the festivities.
As the Royal Friendship Faire comes to an end, the entire ensemble joins for a reprise of the opening song. To celebrate all of the new friendships, Mickey has one last surprise in the form of a few small fireworks. The ensemble takes their bows as Mickey says goodbye to all of his invited guests.
To best experience the new show, check out our full video of the debut performance.