Three new shows are slated to debut this year, led by a new Cirque du Soleil production at the Walt Disney World Resort. But you can continue to find other major theater productions at theme park resorts around the world, in addition to the many in-park productions they offer as part of their regular admission. Here are some of the biggest:
Blue Man Group, Universal Orlando's CityWalk
Blue Man has become one of the biggest live-theater franchises in the world, growing from its modest start as an off-Broadway production in New York in the early 1990s. (My hipster cred moment: When I was in graduate school, I saw that original Blue Man Group show at the Astor Place Theatre, sitting directly behind Ron Howard.) Today, this performance art spectacle has resident productions in Berlin, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, and New York City, as well as at Universal Orlando. Last year, Cirque du Soleil bought Blue Man Group, which means that Disney World's and Universal Orlando's biggest upcharge productions are now owned by the same company.
Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show with Mickey and Friends, Disneyland Paris' Disney Village
Inspired by the show that toured Europe eight times in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Disneyland Paris' production adds Mickey, Goofy and Chip n' Dale to the mix, along with actors portraying Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley, and Chief Sitting Bull from the original shows. As a dinner theater show, this is more a plussed version of Disney World's Hoop-De-Doo Revue than a traditional Broadway production, but it's still a solid evening of entertainment outside the parks.
Cirque d'Europe, Europa Park
Another dinner show, Cirque d'Europe runs from November through February in Europa Park's Teatro dell'Arte. The most recent production — which, as the name implies, demonstrated a strong Cirque du Soleil influence — featured a nautical theme.
Jaan-E-Jigar, Bollywood Parks Dubai
This Bollywood-inspired musical tells the story of two twins, separated at birth, who eventually team up against the wicked aunt who tried to destroy them and their father's kingdom. Here's a clip from the show's preview in 2016.
Here's a scene from Jaan-e-Jigar, the nightly Bollywood musical at Dubai Parks & Resorts. Amazing. pic.twitter.com/fhv8A6UOYn— Theme Park Insider (@ThemePark) December 17, 2016
In addition to these on-going productions, three other shows will debut at major theme park resorts later this year:
Unnamed Cirque du Soleil production, Walt Disney World's Disney Springs
This new production replaces La Nouba, which closed last year, and will feature inspiration from Disney's deep collection of characters and songs.
Beauty and the Beast, Shanghai Disneyland's Disneytown
This Broadway musical takes over from Disney's original Broadway production, The Lion King, which opened with the resort in 2016.
This new production takes its inspiration from Efteling's 100-year-old Stoomcarrousel and will feature the music, dancing and acrobats in a visually-driven production designed to appeal to an international audience. That's a common theme in many of these productions, which seek to avoid language compatibility issues by focusing on visuals and music instead of dialogue-heavy stories.
Have you seen any of these shows? We'd love to get a review or some thoughts about them from you, in the comments.Tweet
Plus, so many of these shows have similarly styled traveling productions or are staged in locations where theme parks are not the main draw.
Anyway I have just seen the Wild West Show at Disneyland Paris, but as a kid (13 years old) I found it kind of boring.
As a student I tend to spend as little as possible on park visits, and after park shows are never a priority. Still, during a hypothetical WDW trip in the future I would at least consider to watch the Disney-themed Cirque du Soleil show
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