Disneyland is preparing to take the next step toward bringing back live shows and nighttime spectaculars that draw big crowds as part of a phased reopening following the yearlong coronavirus closure that so far hasn’t included large-scale theatrical entertainment.
The “Disney Junior Dance Party” will return Friday, Oct. 15 to its indoor theater in Hollywood Land at Disney California Adventure after a 19-month hiatus due to the extended pandemic closure of the Anaheim theme park and continuing COVID-19 health and safety concerns.
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The “Disney Junior Dance Party” indoor stage show geared toward preschool and grade-school children features songs, dancing and theatrical sketches based on Disney Junior television shows with appearances by characters such as Doc McStuffins, Vampirina, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.
The returning children’s show will be presented in a modified format to allow for physical distancing among visitors and performers. Parents will be seated with their children on the carpeted floor of the indoor theater — a change from previous seating arrangements that had parents sit on bench seats at the back of the theater.
The return of “Disney Junior Dance Party” sets the stage for Disney’s Anaheim theme parks to bring back the Royal Theatre storytelling show in Fantasyland, larger productions in DCA’s Hyperion Theater and Disneyland’s Fantasyland Theatre as well as the “Fantasmic” and “World of Color” nighttime spectaculars that have all remained shuttered out of COVID-19 physical distancing concerns since the parks reopened.
Disneyland and DCA have been slow to bring back live entertainment that attracts large crowds out of continuing social distancing concerns — especially with younger children that are not yet eligible for the COVID-19 vaccines.
DCA used the Disney Junior indoor theater when the park reopened for socially distanced character wave-and-play interactions. The Disney Junior theater is currently hosting the “Mickey’s Trick & Treat” live show during the Oogie Boogie Bash after-hours Halloween events with character performances, video projections and special effects.
State guidelines issued when California theme parks were allowed to reopen in April limited live shows and performances to outdoor settings and restricted indoor rides to 15 minutes out of COVID-19 health and safety concerns. Most COVID-19 restrictions ended in June when state officials fully reopened the California economy after more than a year of pandemic lockdowns.
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure have taken a slow and measured approach to bringing back live entertainment following the pandemic closures.
Socially distanced character wave-and-play interactions throughout the parks replaced traditional up-close meet-and-greets with hugs and high-fives while Disney characters also took part in mini-parade cavalcades along Main Street U.S.A.
Fireworks returned in time for the Fourth of July with “Mickey’s Mix Magic” offering pyrotechnics on weekends and video projections, show lighting and lasers during the week.
Throughout the summer, the Dapper Dans, Bootstrappers, Five & Dime, Pearly Band and other atmosphere entertainment have brought live music back to the parks with smaller acts that attracted smaller crowds.
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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment
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