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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire Review

By Rebekah Coley




Last spring, the curtain officially fell on the long-running Magic Kingdom castle show "Dream Along with Mickey". By early June, this slot had already been filled by the promising newcomer, "Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire". In addition to featuring the updated "faces" for Mickey and Minnie, this new production also showcases brand new music, an impressive ensemble of dancers, and characters from recent, smash-hit films. Check out today's article to learn more about the newest castle show to grace the stage...








Like many, "Dream Along with Mickey" held a special place in my heart, and I was bound to be critical of its replacement. After all, not only was I going to see a different show on the Cinderella Castle stage, but I was going to hear a different soundtrack every time I strolled in the vicinity of Main Street (yes, I'm the type of person who notices these things). Nevertheless, I can say that while "Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire" is still growing on me, I'm confident that I'll be gladly adding this show to my itinerary for many trips to come.








The premise of this show centers around Mickey and his friends (all dressed in renaissance faire attire) as they welcome several "royal" guests to their party. The production has three brief acts that welcome main characters from the following movies in this order: "The Princess and the Frog", "Tangled", and "Frozen". Personally, I was thrilled to see the peppy first act (complete with a set of roaring 20s dancers) for the underrepresented "Princess and the Frog". The "Tangled" portion arguably had the strongest number as the "ruffian" ensemble did an excellent job of recreating the "I Have a Dream" song through on-point comedy and choreography. On a disappointing note, the "Frozen" segment only featured Elsa making sweeping arm motions while Anna and Olaf looked on in awe. Compared to the effort put into the other numbers, this can only come across as lazy and underwhelming at best (all children squeal when they hear "Let It Go").








The entire show is book-ended by the original theme song, "On This Day" and features a dance number during the finale that varies based on the season (I happened to see the "Holiday Overlay" version).








Overall, "Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire" is a worthy successor to "Dream Along with Mickey". The costumes are lavish, the energy is vibrant, and it would appear that the most skilled dancers are still making the castle show their home. As far as its weaknesses, the "Frozen" section is glaringly simple, and the overall story line lacks a cohesive moral. It isn't necessarily a bad idea to reiterate the message of each film, but it does rob the show of claiming its own identity. (Also, the new theme song has yet to make it onto my personal playlist.)








All this being said, I would still highly recommend seeing this production, despite some minor cracks. "Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire" is very likely to win over WDW veterans, while also enchanting Magic Kingdom newcomers.

If you can't bear to wait until your next trip, enjoy listening to the soundtrack...

(For your viewing pleasure, be sure to pause the Disney Avenue Music Player at the top, left-hand corner of the page prior to playing the video below if you are on a desktop computer.)








...or watching a full version of the show below...

(For your viewing pleasure, be sure to pause the Disney Avenue Music Player at the top, left-hand corner of the page prior to playing the video below if you are on a desktop computer.)










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Rebekah Coley is a Pittsburgh native who has been obsessing over Disney films (and the corporation in general) for her entire life. Starting with a childhood of constantly dressing up in princess costumes, memorizing songs, and watching the newest Disney VHS tapes on repeat, her love and passion for Disney magic has not faded over time.

In addition to loving the most popular Disney movies, Rebekah has a soft spot for underrated works that didn’t receive the same fanfare (e.g. A Goofy Movie, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, etc.) It is a passion of hers to remind other fans of their existence and excellence.

By day, Rebekah works in professional development and holds a Bachelors degree in Human Resources Management from Point Park University. By night, she performs in community theater musicals, reads and exercises compulsively, and strives to stay on top of any Disney-related news. As a lover of entertainment, Rebekah’s blogs focus on reviewing Disney’s theme park productions, stage adaptations, films, and books.

You can find additional examples of Rebekah’s work on her personal blog- https://toeachhisownblog.wordpress.com/.

You can find all of Rebekah's articles here.

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