|Epcot ~ October 2011
Disneyland Paris is one Disney Park I have always wanted to visit. Being able to walk through the castle and actually see a sleeping Maleficent or experience Phantom Manor are at the top of my list of things to try. As I started looking more into Disneyland Paris to choose the year I wanted to write about for the 20 Days to 20 Years series, there was one show that caught my eye – Pocahontas, le Spectacle. I was excited to see another park had celebrated the wonderful story of Pocahontas.
My girls have been huge fans of Pocahontas since they first watched the movie. Hayley has always been a nature lover, whether it is animals, plants, insects and even gardening. She spends the spring and summer collecting and sorting anything she can find outside. Many times I find her walking around the yard with a caterpillar climbing all over her, or a ladybug on her fingertip, all of which she individually names. So she was immediately drawn to the story of Pocahontas. Add in Emily’s love of music, and there is no doubt Pocahontas is a princess they both love and can relate to. When I was planning our first trip to Walt Disney World, I could not wait to take Hayley to the Pocahontas and Her Forest Friends show in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Unfortunately, it closed the month before we arrived. Though the Disneyland Paris show, Pocahontas, le Spectacle, is also closed, my daughters have discovered and love watching it on You Tube.
In May of 1996, just a year after the opening of Pocahontas in theaters, Disneyland Paris debuted Pocahontas, le Spectacle in the Chaparral Theater in Frontierland. It allowed guests to experience live performances of scenes of the movie. The audience is made to feel as if they were at the live filming of Pocahontas and there to audition to be part of the show as “extras.” Once chosen from the audience, guests audition and are given parts in the live show. Though I have never personally experienced this show, and unfortunately won’t have the opportunity, I can say that this show looked like a lot of fun for the participants and audience! I have always enjoyed the shows that Disney invites guests to participate. The setting of this show is also unbelievable! You would never know from seeing it that it that Chaparral Theater was part of a theme park, of course, being Disney, it isn’t surprising the attention to detail. Pocahontas, le Spectacle closed in 1999 to make room for new shows.
I know that Pocahontas is nearing her 20th anniversary, but I would love to see her make a return to the parks. The music from this story is just beautiful, and of course, I would love my daughters to experience a Pocahontas show someday! Luckily, on this last trip, we stumbled across Pocahontas in Epcot just by chance. My girls were so excited to meet her for the first time, and Hayley even let Pocahontas know how beautiful she was. When we met up with Meeko in the Animal Kingdom just a day later, Hayley could hardly contain herself!
Manda and I thank Beth for sharing her sweet and personal 1996 recap. (Are you sure you’ve never been??) If you have excellent stamina, you can track more of Beth’s work at Growing Up Disney’s Minnie Moms, Jedi Mouseketeer, Cooking With Mickey’s Little Chef Disney Creations, Disney Donna Kay’s Mentoring Mondays and of course, our 40 Days to 40 Years series. (I’m exhausted just typing that lineup!)
Please return tomorrow, when I will take a stab at 1997!