Description And Comments

Originally installed as a teen nightspot called Videopolis, this venue has been converted into a sophisticated amphitheater where concerts and elaborate stage shows are performed according to the daily entertainment schedule. Better productions that have played the Fantasyland Theatre stage include Beauty and the Beast Live, Snow White, and The Spirit of Pocahontas, all musical stage adaptations of the respective Disney-animated features.

After a half decade of serving as a shopping center for precocious princesses, the Fantasyland Theatre was returned to service as a stage in 2013. Mickey and the Magical Map, the debut production in the reborn venue, involves apprentice Mickey’s accidental adventure into sorcerer Yen Sid’s mysterious dream-controlling map. This 25-minute musical adventure combines new songs and classic tunes in a newly recorded score that skips from India to Hawaii, with a stopover under the sea. Rapunzel, Pocahontas, Mulan, King Louie, Sebastian, and Stitch are among the Disney icons who appear, along with a platoon of dancing paintpots and brushes, but the show is stolen by a mischievous animated paint splotch (brought to life through high-tech video effects).

The opening number is less than memorable, and the computer-generated animation of Yen Sid is disappointingly chunky. On the whole, however, this is easily the best new musical production that Disneyland’s parks have mounted in a decade. Live singing and energetic choreography influenced by drum corps enliven the somewhat overfamiliar songs, and a gospel-flavored riverboat finale (complete with streamers shot over the audience) brings down the house. Well worth watching once you’ve experienced the headliners, or on your second day at Disneyland.

Touring Tips

Performance schedules are listed in the Times Guide. Arrive at least 15 minutes early for optimal seating. Although it's a stage show, the performances are complimented by three giant video screens, each of which spans almost the entire width of the stage, and form a raised platform on which much of the action takes place. For that reason, the best seats are the ones farther back and slightly raised, in the center of the theater. Avoid the seats up front or too far on the sides, where the images on the slanted screen will look distorted.

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