Alice and the Queen of Hearts – Back to Wonderland : our opinions

On Saturday 18 May, the Disneyland Pass preview and InsidEars event for the new show Alice and the Queen of Hearts – Back to Wonderland took place at the Theatre of the Stars! Our reporters were there, of course, and we’re sharing their opinions with you!

Alice and the Queen of Hearts: A perplexing place…

Alice and the Queen of Hearts – Back to Wonderland is a surprising show in more ways than one, starting with the singular location of this new production in the arena of the former Moteurs… Action! Stunt Show Spectacular. A somewhat puzzling choice, given that the Marvel licence would have been the perfect place to stage a stunt show worthy of the name. At the same time, it drastically increases the Marvel Avengers Campus offer, which is sorely needed. It’s also surprising to have opted for this Disney classic rather than recent blockbusters whose shows at Disneyland Paris are non-existent.

It is also curious to have retained most of the sets from the previous show. This creates various visual intrusions all around the set. And let’s not even mention the rear facades of these elements, made up of metal sheets and structures lining the queue route. One thing is certain, Walt Disney Studios Park still has many visual flaws to correct. In anticipation of its name change to Disney Adventure World. However, we can easily imagine that this is a temporary situation pending better integration into the park’s future extension.

Once these astonishments are over, the discovery of the stage is mind-boggling. It’s big, it’s high (to limit all the visual intrusions mentioned above) and it’s colourful. Some might say it’s garish, but in the grey tones of Walt Disney Studios Park, it’s a pleasant surprise. We now know what happened to the colours promised for A Million Splashes of Colour in the neighbouring park. The integration of the screens is a success. However, the set loses a little of its coherence as you move away from the main stage. The containers didn’t transport me to an ‘urban’ environment in the image of what BMX should be, but rather to a commercial port.

Team we loved …

We discovered a dynamic, colourful, sparkling show that will undoubtedly renew and reinvigorate the Walt Disney Studios Park offer! In my opinion, the choice of theme is quite consistent with the current season at Disneyland Park, where colours are in the limelight and spring is in full swing.We find this consistency again in the choice of costumes and sets. We’re really plunged into a psychedelic atmosphere, and a whirlwind of colours really hits us in the face! The unstructured, slightly industrial feel gives a modern twist to the Alice in Wonderland universe, which is basically very bucolic and classic.

Some will see these choices as a total mockery of Lewis Carrol’s original universe. I see it as a little rejuvenation, but also as a desire to offer something surprising and striking. With this universe, you can allow yourself to do a lot of things, unlike other more conventional Disney universes. There are around 6 pieces of music, and each one matches the character who plays it. The suggestion of trampolines and BMX bikes is, in my opinion, a little light and superfluous.

My expectations were a little more perilous. I don’t know if this adds any real value, but I’d like to salute Disneyland Paris for this offer, which takes them out of their usual routine. We’ve already had some great offers with the acrobats in The Lion King and Rhythms of the Earth. I’m delighted to see that Disneyland Paris is continuing to offer new things. The interaction with the audience at the end of the show is quite nice. Let’s just hope it’s not the Queen of Hearts who wins every time!

The touches of humour are also very welcome throughout the show, with good little puns that directly touch on the universe. I also salute the performance of the Mad Hatter, who really brought the show to life!
Finally, I’d like to conclude by pointing out that Disneyland Paris did a great job with the references made in the sets to the 1951 animated film. Several elements of the décor were reminiscent of certain secondary characters from the animated film (the oysters, the hammer birds, the shovel birds, the lion-headed flowers, etc.). The song sung by Alice is also a nice nod to the animated film.

Alex’s biggest hit is undoubtedly ‘Welcome to Wonderland’. The tune is still stuck in our heads. Lou enjoyed the show because it was partly in English, so he was able to understand what was going on.

Team, we’re stumped …

Although rather simplistic in concept, the show offers a frenetic thirty minutes or so. As for the musical choices, there are some good ones and some not so good. On the whole, I wasn’t too keen on the pop-style song sung by Alice. On the other hand, I fell in love with the Queen and her rock interpretations! A bit like Regina Mills in the sung episode of Once Upon A Time. Rock goes so well with our favourite Disney villains. There’s no doubt that The Queen of Hearts has a bright future ahead of her, and she’s sure to win over audiences time and time again. The pyrotechnic effects are just right.

The open-air stage allows for powerful jets of flame and other special effects. The swirling effect of the pyrotechnics coming off the stage is also very interesting. With the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games just a few months away, we’re guessing that the Games provided some of the inspiration for this new production, with the BMX events taking place on Place de la Concorde in Paris. On the other hand, in terms of stunts in general, the figures on bikes or trampolines remain fairly classic and unspectacular. It’s a far cry from the impressive stunts once performed in this arena.

Team we didn’t like it …

The storyline is light and boils down to ‘a song fight’ between Alice and the Queen of Hearts. The question that remains unanswered for most of ED92 is, ‘But why BMX?’ Because we don’t see what it has to do with the story. With or without, we wouldn’t see any difference.

Others found the new show to be a bit of a mess. There’s too much of everything. With a plethora of BMX performers, trampolinists, rollerskating flowers, percussionists and so on. But there’s little structure to the show. The sets are a bit gaudy, and the costumes don’t sell me any dreams, but to each his own. The song battle seemed a bit long, especially the Alice part with its ‘Golden Afternoon’. I preferred The Queen of Hearts part, which was punchier and rockier. I still don’t understand the point of the BMXs. They were decided by applause, which was a bit cheap, and providing the guests with red or blue pennants (to be returned at the end of the show like the 3D glasses) would have saved some of them losing tenths of an audition (humour).

As for Ammar, he didn’t get the wow factor when he came out of the show, as he did with ‘Together’.