When Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire was announced earlier this year, reactions were mixed. While there was some excitement for this upcoming show, many fans expressed disappointment at the closing of Dream Along with Mickey, which delighted fans with its classic characters and “Dreams Come True” storyline for over a decade.
However, now that Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire has debuted at the Magic Kingdom, we're happy to say that any fears about this show not living up to its predecessor are unfounded. In fact, we'd say that this is actually the best castle forecourt show yet. And here's why:
1. The show is very different…and that’s OK
Dream Along with Mickey, as well as plenty of other theme park shows, essentially boil down to a single line plot: good defeats evil. It’s a tale as old as time (you’ll forgive the expression), and it is familiar enough to be accessible to guests of all ages. However, Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire dispenses with this familiar plot contrivance, and instead opts for an even simpler storyline: Mickey is planning a big party, and all his friends are invited!
If this sounds familiar to you, it’s essentially the same setup as Festival of the Lion King, and it works just as well. Mickey and Minnie (as well as Daisy, Donald and Goofy) introduce favorite characters from recent Disney animated favorites Princess and the Frog, Tangled, and Frozen, a favorite song is sung from each film, and then there’s a grand finale. The set up and storyline might not be groundbreaking, but it’s exactly what you might want (and expect) from a castle forecourt show, which definitely isn't a bad thing.
While some might lament the fact that there are no villains in this show, the removal of the “good vs. evil” storyline actually gives the individual characters more time to shine, as there are no plot machinations to move through and Mickey, Minnie and all their pals can focus more on singing, dancing and celebrating.
2. It’s the US debut of Mickey and Minnie’s brand new look
Earlier this year we got an advance look at the evolution of Mickey and Minnie’s in-park character design, thanks to the promotion for Shanghai Disneyland’s opening day. And while we knew these new looks were going to eventually make their way to Walt Disney World, we were surprised to find out that we were getting these new looks much earlier than anticipated. Though Mickey and Minnie are still sporting their classic looks in meet and greets around Walt Disney World and during parades, if you want to see the future of what this character will look like, Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire will give you your first peek!
3. The costumes are fantastic
And speaking of new looks, the costumes in this new show are simply amazing. While some characters feature classic looks (Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Flynn Rider, and Rapunzel all wear their most popular getups), Tiana and Naveen in particular have stunning new looks that have not been seen at Walt Disney World before.
However, the real highlight is the costumes for Mickey and his pals. Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Daisy each wear multiple outfits during the show, changing their costume depending on the musical number. For instance, Goofy wears a Mardi Gras-inspired getup during the Princess and the Frog section, while Donald looks like a Viking during a routine with the denizens of Tangled’s Snuggly Duckling. The varied costumes are delightful and definitely help make this show even more of a visual treat.
4. The new original song is going to get stuck in your head instantly
While plenty of guests will be excited to hear their favorite tunes from recent Disney classics, including "Dig a Little Deeper", "I've Got a Dream" and of course "Let it Go", a new song has been composed for Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire as well. “On This Day” by veteran Disney songwriters Brendan Milburn and Valerie Vigoda (“Toy Story: The Musical,” “Tinker Bell: Secret of the Wings”) is a catchy little tune, and is a great fit for this new show (you can listen to the new song here)
5. This is a much more technical production, but you probably won’t notice
On a technical level, Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire is definitely an impressive show. While some may be disappointed to learn that there’s only a teensy tiny amount of pyrotechnics in this show near the end (though the upshot here is there won't be any more puffy smoke wafting through the Magic Kingdom every hour), but lack of firepower notwithstanding the actual show itself has some impressive special effects, including a remarkably subdued “freezing” of Cinderella Castle’s forecourt during Elsa’s Let it Go sequence. The show has also gotten rid of the awkward tent getup from Dream Along With Mickey and now uses a simple gate to get characters on and off stage.
Though you may be tempted to walk by this newest castle forecourt show on your way to your FastPass+ reservations the next time you're in the Magic Kingdom, do yourself a favor and stop by. Though Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire is very different from Dream Along With Mickey and doesn't really have much in the way of a story, this new show features plenty of high energy musical numbers, amazing production values, and will definitely leave you with a smile on your face. And what more could you really ask for a show in the middle of the Magic Kingdom?
You can currently catch Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire performing daily outside Cinderella Castle at 10:30AM, 11:35AM, 1:05PM, 2:05PM, 4:15PM and 5:15PM. Are you planning on stopping by the Magic Kingdom this summer to check out this new show? Let us know in the comments below! And if you've already seen it, feel free to leave your own review below as well!
Source: Theme Park Tourist
Banner Photo Credit: disneylori