Welcome to Disney Extinct Attractions. My name is Cole, and I’ll be your dance captain through today’s attractions.
This past Sunday, Mickey’s 90th Anniversary officially kicked off with a special on ABC that celebrated the main mouse himself. We saw a lot of fun stuff emerge from the show, and I am really excited for the next year as the celebration continues and really hits its full flow.
Mickey is inarguably the character that appears the most in the Disney Parks (especially if you count Hidden Mickeys). He appears in nearly every single parade and countless shows, a few of which we’ll be discussing today.
Our first show of the day, Drawn to the Magic, debuted at Disney California Adventure on May 7, 2004. To be honest, there is not much noteworthy about the show’s history, so we’ll break from our traditional pattern by focusing on the show itself right from the outset.
I vaguely remember watching Drawn to the Magic as a youngster at California Adventure, but luckily YouTube exists, so that I could get a refresher of what the show was all about.
The show primarily took residence on the stage across Monsters Inc. Mike and Sulley to the Rescue, but for a brief period appeared outside of the Art of Animation building instead. This spot was even more fitting as the show revolved around animation, with three “animators” singing songs that somehow brought some Disney characters to life.
I thought the original songs that they added were actually pretty fun to listen to and helped provide a melodic feeling to the entire show. Mixed in with the original songs were medleys of Disney songs that all really blended well together. Plus, they used some songs that you rarely get to hear in the Disney Parks like “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo” and “When She Loved Me.”
Plus, the show wasn’t possible without some lucky guests who got to come on stage, so that they could model for the animators drawing characters like Mickey, Cinderella and Hercules.
After going through all the songs, the real fun began when characters appeared after being drawn by the animators. What was cool about these characters was that they could be substituted out for other characters relatively easily. While the main three was comprised of Mickey, Woody and Cinderella, Hercules and Aurora also made appearances amongst other characters. Not a lot of Disney shows give guests that chance to potentially see something new each time, and it was especially fitting here as guests could meet the different characters after the show, so there were always opportunity to meet some new characters.
As a whole, I enjoyed the medleys in Drawn to the Magic a lot, but other than that it was a pretty run of the mill show. Nothing particularly shined through, but it did the trick as it managed to stay in the park until October 20th, 2010, so a pretty impressive length of a time for a tiny show basically hidden in Hollywoodland.
Drawn to the Magic’s replacement appeared two days later on October 22nd, 2010, called the Disney Dance Crew. Disney Dance Crew was pretty much the farthest experience from Drawn to the Magic in that it shifted from beautiful medleys to dance mixes that completely butchered the song. Before I get into it too far, I recommend checking out at least part of the video below because it will provide a lot of context to what I am about to discuss.
It’s hard to put into words my thoughts on Disney Dance Crew, but “what in the world?” is a pretty good start. This attraction feels nothing like an actual Disney attraction or even really anything that you would find anywhere. It starts out as this dance crew, who suddenly get into a dance off. However, they don’t seem to quite understand what a dance off actually is because half the crew just dances and the other group doesn’t get a chance to dance back because Mickey shows up in a nice suit.
As you sit there, you wonder why is Mickey getting involved in this hip-hop dance crew that is dancing to terrible remixes of Disney songs when suddenly the dancers reveal that Mickey was wearing tearaway clothing and had his dancing clothes on underneath. Mickey starts doing hip hop dances and even breakdancing — and it is just bizarre. I spent pretty much the entire show just wondering who could have possibly thought it was a good idea and approved the show. At one point, there is even line during a remix of “Yo Ho” that repeatedly says “drink up me gangstas yo ho.” Who in their right mind approved that line to be in a Disney show?!
The biggest shame is that this show featured one of the first appearances of the talking Mickey. This costume allowed the performer to move Mickey’s mouse and eyes and has since been used for Mickey and many other characters within Disney shows. It is one of the most innovative technologies we’ve seen in recent years, so it is such a shame that it had to make its Disneyland debut in such a terrible show.
You’ll have to watch the show itself to see what I am talking about, but I genuinely can’t believe that it was approved. It is just so distinctly un-Disney and in the worst way possible. If they were trying to help Mickey feel more modern and up to date, then they failed completely. The show somehow managed to last for a year and a half until April 27, 2012, when it was miraculously closed and to date the stage is rarely used since. Occasionally, you’ll see some kind of actual dance competition there, but for the most part the area is pretty dead.
Well, that brings our journey to a close today, with one show that didn’t particularly shine and they other trying too hard to shine that it utterly failed. Both did feature the main mouse himself, though, so that was fun at the very least. But now let’s take a look at what will be going on next week.
- This mini-land would have featured a mine cart attraction.
- This mini-land did have elements that ended up built.
- This mini-land focused on a certain archaeologist.
Thanks for reading and have a magical day!
Cole Geryak is a college Disney fan making his way through the world. He has ridden every single ride in Disneyland in one day, all while wearing a shirt and tie. Imagination is his middle name, and his heart truly lies in the parks.