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Magical Moments Launch: Disney Dance Express brings a technicolour new show to Central Plaza

Thursday, 7th April 2011 at 18:16

Disney Dance Express

The fourth repurposing of Disneyland Park’s resident character express train in five years has officially premiered in its new guise: Disney Dance Express. This isn’t a straightforward redecoration or just another chance to meet and greet Disney characters, either — it’s a whole new show happening three times per day at the end of Main Street, U.S.A. and featuring a mix of modernised Disney tunes with well-known pop songs. A cast of 14 dancers is led by a live host, with Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto, Chip and Dale joining in to coax the notoriously composed European audience to dance in the street. And one thing’s for sure: fluorescent is definitely in for 2011.

Photos and two videos of the show here!

As always, the cast is full of energy from start to finish and it’s actually refreshing to see the classic park characters of Donald and co. back in a signature show after a year focused on their newer friends. For one of those (sometimes painfully) “hip” Disney shows based around hip hop styles and modern songs, it’s thankfully more enjoyable than cousins such as California’s Disney Dance Crew.

Having everyday pop songs blasting out in such a central, unavoidable location won’t be to everyone’s taste, of course; especially if you’re forced to push through crowds watching the show to actually get into the park. You could say this is why theatres were built. Wouldn’t the Castle Stage area of the parade route be a much more sensible place for the train to stop? Especially now that it’s been cleared of all its benches, providing plenty of space for dancing. The planned repaving there might put paid to that idea for the time being, but seriously — does a show as loud and overbearing as this need to be pushed up right front and centre? With a giant empty stage behind it, too.

Disney Dance Express

The train itself has seen its most modest redecoration yet. The front banner has been changed to read “Disney Dance Express”, the logos atop each carriage changed to the similarly “hip” graffiti street art-style Disney Dance Express logo and two luggage racks added to the first and last carriages — and that’s it. There are still remnants of the polka-dotted Minnie’s Party Train of 2009 and the general look is almost identical to the All Stars Express of 2010’s New Generation Festival — even WALL-E remains atop the engine’s tender! That Pixar film might have contained the beautiful “Define Dancing” segment but the appearance of a static WALL-E here is now a little superfluous, especially with his permanent photo location in Discoveryland.

Disney Dance Express

Disney Dance Express

Disney Dance Express

Disney Dance Express

Disney Dance Express

Disney Dance Express Disney Dance Express

Disney Dance Express

Disney Dance Express

Disney Dance Express

Disney Dance Express

Disney Dance Express

Disney Dance Express

Disney Dance Express

Disney Dance Express

Disney Dance Express

Finally, here’s a video of the whole show by our friends at Photos Magiques:

Disney Dance Express performs every day at 11:30, 12:30 and 13:30.

What do you think? A little overpowering for Central Plaza or a worthwhile addition to the park?

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  • Get this in a theater or as you said on the castle stage, not in the middle of the park. I seriously doubt the intelligence (or even common sense) of some entertainment directors over at DLP.

  • Austin Kelly  7th April 2011, 22:19

    I think they’ve finally pushed it to far. The plaqe at the entrance says “here you leave today” and thats just what we want to do when we walk underneath Main Street Station. Most of us, when we go to Disney, go to escape for a day or two.
    Having Kesha blasting from speakers all along Main Street while those dancers jump around in there ugly blue bin-bag costumes will do nothing but spoil the park.

    What happened to the DLP of old with it’s charming parades and friendy cast members?
    Is that Disneyland gone?

  • Clearly, it is not gone…

    Once Upon A Dream Parade etc. is all still there but the old Disney wont appeal to everyone. If they where to stick to the ‘classic’ films, the park will become dated quicker than what it has done.

    Some kids haven’t even watched these films and only know the ‘new generation’ and dismissing these films/characters and style of music will cause some people not to return.

    The old has to be mixed with the new!

  • Austin Kelly  7th April 2011, 23:29

    Although your right about appealing to the greater audience, Main street just aint the place to do it. Surely the studios, which looks and feels more suitable for a parade like this- would have been a better option. Main Street is supposed to be quiet and timeless, it’s not going to date that quickly.
    I do think that DLP is going…

  • Totally agree with Austin Kelly. Main Street is definately not the place to do that. It’s a horrible show and I’m not interested in it.

    Put it on a stage, like Graham said, if it is really necessary to have such crap.

  • I totally agree that Main Street surely isn’t the right place for that. BUT: I have to admit that I really like the show!

    It reminds me of the Dance Show with Stitch and the High School Musical Parade from 2009 and I really liked that, too. Because dancing and jumping around with the loved characters to some funky music – isn’t that the coolest thing for our little ones?

    I just can say, my son was really really happy to get to dance with the cool boys and the cute girls from HSM in 2009 and he’ll never forget that.

    I think, interaction like that is what makes DLP magical for the kids.

  • Thank you for posting this video and photos.
    I’m sad to say that I also agree with Austin Kelly. This is not the right location for this show, and I also think it would be better in the Studios, or at least on a stage.
    Personally, I far prefer the timeless traditional Disney atmosphere in the Disneyland Park from Town Square to the Castle. This show lowers the tone IMO, and without the Characters it reminds me of a tacky holiday camp show with its gaudy colours and – God Forbid – the birdy song.
    Who in their right mind put that in there? Even small kids in the UK groan when they hear that music.
    The Disneyland Park should keep its traditional Disney values and theming, because that it what people go to see and experience. I’m glad that this is only on 3 times a day, and will try to avoid it. It would get on my nerves, like Mickey’s Magical Party Time and that awful dancing show they had briefly in Discoveryland,( with Stitch I think ) and the painted ‘ dance ‘ circles on the floor – that flopped miserably.
    The Studios would definitely be a better location.
    Sorry DLP, I don’t like this one.

  • I personally love it! Being 15 myself, i think it definitely appeals to my generation more than adults, and i think Thats what Disney are trying to do, because in my high school, you so much as mention the word “Disney”, you will get the crap kicked out of you, but i think things like this may change all that! Im glad to see DLP are making an effort!

  • That sure is an interesting comment, MattD.
    In my school (I’m also only 16) something like this is what everyone wwould expect from Disneyland, but when we visited as a school back in 07′ everyone was pleasently suprised at the standard and quality of entertainment (Tarzan Encounter, Legend of the Lion King). It’s upsetting to hear that talking about Disney in your school results in violence, it certainly isn’t the same case in mine. If this is what you would classify as reaching out to the younger generation then I am seriously concerned about that generation and their expectation of the quality of a Disney theme park.

  • Austin Kelly  9th April 2011, 23:49

    Just to add, I’m 16 so I can talk abot what appeals to a younger generation. My school annually runs a trip to DLP, and its one of the most popular trips there is. Nobody has ever come back saying “Wow, Disneyland was great, but they really need more Katy Perry on Main St.” Its not why you go to a park.
    I don’t understand what’s Disneys thinking is behind this.

  • This show has slowly grown on me. I didn’t like it at first but the music and energy it has is contagious. Although, I still want to slap the person who thought it a good idea for it to be located at Central Plaza. The Castle stage idea is brilliant.
    I love the travel music though, very catchy – I can hear it going through me head now. But, it’s probably an original creation that won’t get released on CD, like Tous en Train :(

  • siamo appena tornati, e’stato tutto meraviglioso.
    Qualcuno di voi sa il titolo della canzone di questa sfilata ? ( parata express ) quella che fa oooo oooo ooo oo ahah ! capito insomma ahahahah !!

  • I think this is just a bit too much. The colours are far too bright.
    I preferred the way the train used to work, with the mini parade and then the meet and greet. (It’s under meeting the characters in the programme when it is nothing to do with that)
    The music just doesnt fit and its far too lively for Main street
    I did enjoy the show but really its nothing to do with disney apart from the characters involved.

  • Just to inform you guys, the Disney Dance Express was never meant to be on Central Plaza / Main Street like it is now, but the extensive refurb projects are forcing it to perform here. Once the repavement of the floors around the Royal Castle Stage are complete, the whole show will be moved to this location as it was intended. The article is suggesting this as an idea, but Disney already decided that the Royal Castle Stage was the best location long before it debuted. The train will pass through Main Street, but the show will be performed on the streets of the Royal Castle Stage (the removal of the benches is at the request of the entertainment department for view of shows and parades). The refurb of the floors will be completed by the end of may.

  • What planet are some of you people on? Disneyland is mainly for children!!!! My 3 year old (nearly 4) is absolutly obsessed with anything to do with Disney. She would do anything to be able to go to Dineyworld/land but unfortunatly i unable to afford to take her. Yeah ok its expensive for the parents as well as the kids but isnt it all about the children seeing there favorite characters and you watching there little faces light up? That is priceless and somthing you should all be gratfull for is the fact than you can actually afford to go. Lighten up will you the children should be the most important not the bloody background music and were the event was situated!!! Absolutly pathetic….

  • does it really matter where they perform it?
    it is only to put on and interactive show for ALL AGES
    and its to make the experience magical. and its just a show so where they perform doesn’t really mater

  • I thing it doesn’t matter where they perform and though the concept is great, I think is a bit long. I’ve visited the park the 15th of May and saw a lot of people leave after a couple of minutes.. I personnaly liked the show very much, but it was really hard to see that the dancers (non-character) where not enthousiastic at all… they just shuffled a bit and didn’t take notice of their fellow dancers at all, they just did their own thing!

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