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High School Musical – the Party’s over

Thursday, 28th January 2010 at 23:26

High School Musical - the Party's overSorry Wildcats, the party is officially over. No more bopping to the top, no more basketball skills, no more Broadway feather boas. After three years, no High School Musical show will be returning to Walt Disney Studios Park this year.,

For the past three years, since 16th June 2007 to be precise, the streets of the Studios have come alive to the music of Disney’s hit TV movie musicals.

After that first year of High School Musical On Tour, the original show returned in 2008 alongside a new show — High School Musical 2: School’s Out!, more heavily promoted as part of ‘The Celebration Continues… Big Time!‘. Last year, the third show, High School Musical Party!, combined both of those together with new musical numbers from the theatrically-released High School Musical 3.

High School Musical - the Party's over

With that third film becoming but a distant memory and the proposed High School Musical 4: East Meets West (West Side Story rip-off by any chance?) not due until later this year, it seems there’s a lull in the “phenomenon”. Still looking to save money and focus on the New Generation of characters, Disneyland Paris has not renewed the show. No doubt that whole High School Musical overlay of Backlot Express restaurant is seeming like an even better idea now…

Naturally, this is a blow not just for High School Musical fans but for the cast themselves, many having stuck with the show over all three seasons to become recognisable faces at the park. In fact, they’ve launched a Facebook group titled “Save the Wildcats!” to state their cause.

Though ironically in this same week, Disneyland Paris chose to send out a Wildcats-themed email promotion to UK visitors:

High School Musical - the Party's over

Maybe you’re one of those people which didn’t like the ‘HSM’ shows and their overbearing soundtracks trundling through the park — so is this good news for you? Probably not, because there’s no replacement. Given the whole economic crisis shambles we perhaps can’t complain too much, but it is just another area of the Studios’ live entertainment crossed off the programme.

In the time since the first High School Musical show, a lot has changed. Check out our article from back then, proclaiming a “blockbuster” Summer for the park. Besides the opening of Crush’s Coaster and Cars Quatre Roues Rallye, there was Lilo & Stitch Catch the Wave Party on Place des Stars Stage, Disney Cinema Parade on the parade route and — the real star — CinéFolies in Disney Studio 1. Those, of course, became known as “Shooting Live” when they were moved to Place des Stars for Summer 2008, only to be cancelled — rather than moved back to a street-based location — when they didn’t prove quite so successful.

Though Disneyland Park has also lost some big, popular and high quality shows in The Tarzan Encounter and The Legend of The Lion King without replacement, it has at least kept a good array of smaller entertainments — such as Mary Poppins, Sleeping Beauty — not to mention Mickey’s Winter Wonderland and the still-wondrous contender for Best Daytime Parade Ever, Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade.

High School Musical - the Party's over

In 2010, the only new live entertainment over at the second gate appears to be Monsters Inc. Scream Academy, which from the very vague details we’re guessing will be something small along the lines of Merlin’s Sword in the Stone Ceremony. Except, instead of pulling a sword from a stone, we’ll be invited to scream as loud as we can and, of course, dance. Screaming kids? We’ll see you there!

From the time these shows began, it’s disappointing how visibly the “party” has come to a crashing halt. Economic crisis or not, the Studios hasn’t seen the faintest touch of “plussing” for some time — revenue-driven additions like the Production Courtyard kiosk add little to the experience and even Toy Story Playland will be an entirely self-contained addition, not improving the existing park.

Where once Hollywood Boulevard was rising from behind the construction fences, promising a rebuilt, properly-themed Studios, and little details like the Monsters, Inc. photo location itself began to appear, it now seems the park is deemed “good enough”. And with High School Musical no longer partying in the streets, whatever your opinion, the park just lost one thing to distract visitors from the fact that it still really, definitely isn’t.

Images © Disney, DLRP Today.

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  • Poppy the monkey  28th January 2010, 23:58

    the latest we’ve heard is that the Sceam Academy show is now also cancelled!

    The performers were told last week they were being moved to other shows, and the auditions for the live “MC” were cancelled just days before they were due to take place!

  • It is good that high school musical is taking a break in WDS Park but could come back for the next theatrical release in a few years time, but more emphosis needs putting on the WDS Entertainment during the summer and Christmas seasons.

  • So that rumour really is true, Poppy? Oh dear…

  • Let’s hope we will be getting a bigger show instead! For WDS all that’s needed is some street-entertainment I think.
    For the Magic Kingdom, we need to get some new shows very quick! There is no show in the Chapparal Theater in Frontierland, not in Fantasyland and also not in Discoveryland. it’s about time that DLP pumps some more money in the resort: new shows, new E-ticket rides!

  • Totally agree we need new shows in the parks. There have been some very good ones in the past, so why stop now? What a waste of good theatres. I was not a great fan of High School Musical, but it seemed popular enough to warrant changing the decor in the Blockbuster Cafe to HSM and POTC.
    I love Mickeys Winter Wonderland Show, and an ice skating show is a great idea, but could they not change the storyline a bit now for those of us who know it by heart?

  • Good. I hated that parade…

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