Production Courtyard shows have never been life changing. So when Disneyland Paris announced that, for Mickey’s 90th Birthday, Minnie was going to host yet another “surprise”, no one expected much. But on a sunny Friday morning of November, when Minnie suddenly realized that it was Mickey’s Birthday, he was not the only one to get a wonderful gift.
Spoilers ahead – and if you’d like you can watch the show first below:
So why did this show resonate with Guests? Let’s look at the ingredients:
Story always come first. As much as you’d think Disneyland Paris show producers would know this by now, Guests come to the parks to be told a story, and sadly that is not always the case with shows.Surprise Mickey’s story is simple but effective, it makes sense (albeit the Disney Magic considerations, of course), is easy to follow for young Guests but also has enough twists to keep adults entertained.
Minnie realizes it’s Mickey’s Birthday + she’s not ready + she asks her Friends who turn out to be adorable but unhelpful + so she asks her other friends (Betty and Jimmy) who are (of course!) party experts.. to fix it all.
- Beloved characters
But also new ones – which happen to also be fan favorites. Including Betty Rose and Jimmy Ocean, of Pirates and Princesses Festival fame, may seem like a stretch but the story sort of adds up: they are friends of Minnie who was a Pirate in another life (or.. season..) and obviously Minnie is hanging out with them on the regular and has them on speed dial. The addition surprised and delighted the fans who were longing to see their besties again, and never dreamed of seeing them in a different setting. Could Betty and Jimmy become the regular MC’s of Disneyland Paris shows? We hope so!
Will Minnie manage to throw this party? Even after watching the show many times, oh boy are we still worried! Even with a Jimmy, then a Betty solo, the show moves along at a pace fast enough to literally glue everyone on their feet in front of the stage.
Where do we begin… did Minnie really hang up on Mickey? Yes she did! Around Minnie, Disney Friends seem to have been given a free pass to jump around the stage and be hilarious, on top of their cute lines. And of course, Betty and Jimmy bring the over the top sass they are known and loved for.
Now, every Disney Parks show claims to have “one more surprise” for everyone, but did you expect the Guest Flow and Attractions Cast Members managing the stage to suddenly become possessed by Disney Magic and jump on stage to turn into Minnie’s dancers? I think not.
Our cold hearts can’t help but fill up with love when everyone on stage is so happy and excited to see Mickey happy. It doesn’t feel forced (or stupid) and everyone can relate to the feeling.
- Staging and effects
Surprise Mickey debuted on a brand new Production Courtyard stage, triple in size. The new set up now includes stairs down to the audience level (an issue with the former stage which was too high and only allowed front row Guests to see characters from the waist up) and 3 beautiful HD LED screens. The show also includes daytime fireworks, matching projections on Tower of Terror at night, and streamers (the new Disneyland Paris favorite thing) that inevitably bring the “woooooo’s” in the audience.
- Connection to the Park
Including “fake” Guest Flow and Attractions Cast Members into the show takes the concept of “everyone’s helping to celebrate” to the next level. The audience makes the connection between the Cast Members they have been seeing all day in the Park and the show, adding this feeling that truly everyone is involved to help Minnie, and therefore the audience ought to do its part and join in.
Surprise Mickey is not your traditional Disney Parks show music, in the sense that it does not reprise many song Guests may have heard in Disney movies. Instead, the show uses a series of true bangers created for Mickey’s Birthday Celebrations around the world such as “What we Got” and “Good Time”, performed live by best friends in our heads Betty and Jimmy. It’s impossible not to at least bop your head even if you’re having a tough day. The producers even threw in a Bruno Mars-ish remix of the Mickey Mouse Club which could sound weird on paper but works in practice.
While American Disney Parks seem to have delayed their Mickey 90 offerings into 2019, Disneyland Paris manages to launch the show early November, just before Mickey’s Birthday on November 18. It also appears to be the only specific Mickey 90 show to be running every day, 6 times a day in a Disney Parks, making it possibly the best, most timely celebration of the occasion.
“Surprise Mickey” ends it run on January 6, 2019 to make way for Star Wars: Legends of the Force offering. While the Mickey 90 celebrations are also winding up, we don’t despair to see the show – or an adapted version of it – come back to the stage later in 2019. Congratulations to the Cast and Crew, and thank you for such a.. Surprise!