Sunday, March 21, 2010

Introduction and The Golden Mickeys


Welcome to my blog. I have created this blog to post my Disney photos from my trip to Hong Kong Disneyland and the Tokyo Disney Resort. It may ultimately evolve or devolve into my thoughts on other various Disney things and even showcase my photos from Trips to Walt Disney World and Disneyland.

I will be posting lots of pictures because I took lots of pictures but the large majority of them were taken with my crappy iPhone camera and with my crappy picture taking ability. I apologize in advance for my bad pictures. I will also on occasion (like in this very post) post blurry photos just because they are of the attraction. Hope they don't deter your enjoyment too much.

I've named it "The Golden Mickeys" after the attraction unique to Hong Kong Disneyland which is an award show parody. The ultimate prize is the Golden Mickey. It's a well done show that starts with our host, Bebe, wearing a ridiculous wig. After an opening number with Mickey and the gang in their black tie best, Mickey and Minnie invite Bebe to join in on the fun.

It occurred to me during this opening song, called The Golden Mickeys, that the genius of the Sherman Brothers was being able to create great songs for attractions that were catchy and would be sought after years later. Rather than songs like this one which is instantly forgettable. After this first song There are a series of dance and song numbers from classic and not so classic Disney films. They are divided into categories like Adventure, Romance, Friendship and Heroes!

The Friendship category which comes first begins with characters from Toy Story: Woody and Jessie along with a few other cowboys and cowgirls singing You've Got A Friend in Me. Then towards the end of the number Mickey and Minnie join dressed in cowboy/girl outfits with Bebe. Then the building blocks littering the stage are pushed together to spell friendship. Ultimately a flawed presentation as it doesn't show the two characters who the song is really about, Woody and Buzz. Thinking about the emotional arc of Toy Story during this number got me involved, but the routine could've been strengthened by using Woody and Buzz while playing the cowboy themes against Buzz's impending space invasion.

In between each category there are rather mundane segments where Bebe, Mickey and Minnie interact. I will not bore you with that content.

The Heroes segment begins with Quasimodo climbing around a Notre Dame inspired set with strong columns, it much like the original film is extremely forgettable. Then Jane begins singing a number from Tarzan and the man himself comes out swinging and then some fun acrobatics are attempted mostly with our title character spinning around and around with his body held horizontal. While plagued by another forgettable song this scene varies the action which is appreciated.

The third and final number in the Heroes part of the show is "I'll make a man out of you" from Mulan. While I find Mulan a thoroughly underwhelming movie this song I can't help but love. The energy is contagious even if the lyrics are slightly corny and campy. Another reason this song is works so well is the strength of the montage and Mulan's success of reaching the top of the pole with the two large weights. Sadly the choreography here just leaves in the more banal fighting with sticks and doesn't emulate the the film's strong points. I believe the Golden Mickey went to Mulan, hometown favorite and best of the bunch.

The next category was Adventure, which was started by Lilo & Stitch singing Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride. While I really enjoyed this movie and it was certainly a breath of fresh air compared to the other Disney Feature Animation films of this period I have a severe reaction to Stitch in any of the theme parks. So while I enjoyed this song and there wasn't much offensive about the staging I didn't like it.

Sebastian and Ariel, who comes down from the ceiling and "swims" around stage, bring in Under the Sea, the Academy Award winning song from Howard Ashman and Alan Menken. I'm not really sure that either of those films are particularly adventurous, but they are better films and songs than those in the Heroes section. Also Ariel does some aerial acrobatics which are mildly amusing. I found the Sebastian puppet to be a little too realistic and similar in style to those in the Finding Nemo musical at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

The next set of songs are bound by the term "Romance," which Minnie exuberantly professes her love for and swoons excessively. Something about it struck me as awkward and uncomfortable and surprised we still needed to do this in 2010. Anyway the medley starts off strong with "Something There" from Beauty and the Beast, absolutely the quintessential Ashman-Menken song and one of their strongest. But rather than letting this already short song play to its end the title song is brought in. While "Something There" is playing we see the snowy courtyard projected on screen with some pieces of animation from the film and an actress playing Belle in her snow outfit illuminated behind the screen. As Beauty and the Beast begins the famous ballroom scene is recreated. There is a fun transformation between Beast and prince during this number.  The next song in this medley is "When you Wish Upon a Star"sung by our host Bebe in a stunning (?) gown. After her solo all the characters we've seen in the show come out through the large Golden Mickey set.

Overall The Golden Mickeys is a successful show with talented performers who actually sang and danced competently. While I wasn't on board with all the film and song choices I had a fun time and sung along throughout. But it seems as though my party was the only one engaged as the rest of the crowd was lacking any outward enthusiasm at all. I have no idea if that is cultural or if most of the visitors did not know the films in question. If anyone has answers to these questions feel free to comment.

The whole show is available on YouTube, but I would highly recommend you avoid that as it does not have the english translation and no YouTube video could be commensurate to actually experiencing any attraction.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @mfeige

Picture Captions:
1. Just a welcome photo!

2. The Side of the Hong Kong Disneyland Bus that travels to the two hotels and to the park although you can walk.

3. The Poster for The Golden Mickeys

4. This is a Sign outside the exit for the Golden Mickeys. The logo is the Golden Mickey and the theater that houses the show is called the Story Book Theater

5. This a banner that hangs along the corridor that leads to the Story Book Theater, there is one for each of the movies represented in the show.

6. & 7. Blurry shots of Stitch and Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride

8. A Blurry shot of Under the Sea and yes that blurry thing in the center is Ariel hanging from the ceiling.

9. This is a random picture of the walkway down towards the theater exit and entrance

10. This is a random shot of the overhead lamps used at the theater.


  1. Of course you would have a Disney blog! That's great that you have already voyaged to so much of the Disney World. I love your honest opinions, even though you see the world through Disney colored glasses! I look forward to many more of your Disney adventures.

  2. i'm more intrigued by the flight. which airline did u fly?

  3. Izzy, I flew Cathay Pacific on the way out it was spectacular. On the way back I flew Korean Air and it was fine.

    Thanks Roger! I hope I can deliver!