Welcome to Extinct Attractions. This week, we’ll be visiting Japan for a special anniversary show.
This past week, Pat Carroll, the voice of Ursula in The Little Mermaid, passed away at the age of 95. She had worked on a few other Disney projects over the years, but nothing with anywhere near the magnitude of that film. But her work in that film has been a part of so many projects over the years from movies to television shows to theme parks.
In the domestic parks, we've mainly just seen a few attractions, but over in Tokyo DisneySea they went all in and built an entire land themed around The Little Mermaid called Mermaid Lagoon.
Mermaid Lagoon has been a part of Tokyo DisneySea since its opening on September 4, 2001, with the ocean setting of the film serving as a perfect land for the park. The land features primarily children’s rides, but on the whole the park has thrills for those of all ages, one of the reasons why it is consistently heralded as the greatest theme park in the world.
One of the other things that helps set the Tokyo parks apart is how seriously they take anniversary celebrations. It feels like every 5th anniversary has a new parade or show (or sometimes both) brought in to help make the festivities more lively. The domestic parks do a good job making the big milestones feel special, but for other ones, there is not as much going on.
Via China Daily
Tokyo DisneySea celebrated its 10th anniversary with the Be Magical! campaign. Tokyo DisneySea is generally seen as a bit more grounded than its Magic Kingdom-style counterpart, so I really loved the idea of bringing more of that idea of magic to the other park, especially with the new show they had created for the event, also called Be Magical!
To go with the theme, this whole show was all about magic, in particular Mickey and friends doing magic all around the park. The show began with Mickey riding in on a cloud float, which literally floated since all of Mickey’s role took place on the water. Mickey was dressed in full magician regalia that had a bit more pizazz than his typical Sorcerer's Mickey outfit.
After Mickey made his way out, Donald and Goofy came out on the DisneySea Transit Steamer Line and Venetian gondola, respectively. The duo were also decked out in their own magician’s garb as they needed to help their buddy Mickey out with some spells around the park (at least that’s what I think was happening because the whole show was in Japanese).
Their spell seemed to work because Mickey’s float expanded to become a sorcerer’s hat and then a bunch of performers, dressed as if they were cast members, all pulled out their own hats which they danced around in the rest of the show. Along with all the cast members, at least 20 different characters came out, with a good handful of them also wearing the magician outfits.
I’ve got to say, the video I posted above does a great job of showcasing how this show truly took over the entire park. It cuts from character to character and even includes some wide shots to really take the entire park in and see how things were going on along the entire lake,
You could just tell how much fun the performers were having in this show as they got to hang out with everyone’s favorite Disney characters and basically parade them around the park. Everything was in constant motion during the show, from characters to floats to basic streetsmosphere. At one point, Mickey even teleported over to a different float with Minnie and Duffy on it. Basically, it freaking rocked.
As great as this show was, it also made me sad in a way because I know we’ll never get something like this in the American parks. They put together this twenty minute show just to celebrate the tenth anniversary, lasting mere months, and yet they put a lot of love into it, with probably fifty different performers and new costumes for a bunch of characters (some of which made their way to Disneyland Paris for its 20th anniversary). Basically, they didn’t have to go as hard as they did, but they did it out of love for the guest experience and because it was cool. What more could a guest ask for?
As always, don’t forget to check out my interactive maps of the Disney Parks throughout the years where you can watch or learn more about all the attractions from every Disney park around the world.
Thanks for reading and have a magical day!