We managed to get seats to one of the three sold out July 4th Fireworks Spectacular’s at the Hollywood bowl featuring the Happiest Music on Earth – Celebrating 50 Years of Disneyland Park this past Saturday evening.
Before the show we spent a couple hours at Hollywood and Highland and checking out the new Disney Soda Fountain and Studio store. For those of you not familiar with Hollywood. Within the last 10 years a new shopping, dinning, entertainment center has opened at the corner of Hollywood Blvd and Highland Ave. This center includes quite a few shops, restaurants, the Kodak Theater, the Mann Chineese Theater and across the street is the El Capitan Theater and the new Disney Studio Store and Soda Fountain.
We really enjoyed the new Soda Fountain. The CMs were all energentic, the ice cream was great, and the prices seemed about regular Disneyish.. The only concern I see is that its really small, but they do move guests through at a great rate and we were there on a holiday weekend, a Saturday, around 4pm and waiting only a couple minutes for a table. The Studio Store was extremely disappointing. For one thing it was really small and the selection of merchandise seemed on the “cheap” side (cheap as in not good qaulity, not low cost). The merchandise selection really mirrored the film playing, Herbie, with tons of merchandise available. Also there was your regular assort of Buzz Lightyear, Princess, etc.. merchandise.
A quick run down of the program for the evening:
Disney Classic Overture
Entering Main Street (featuring the Dapper Dans)
Meet Me Down on Main Street
Let Me Call You Sweetheart
Yankee Doodle Dandy
Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln
Alice: The Wonderland Suite
The Haunted Mansion
Presenting Richard M. Sherman (Tiki Room, Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow, Small World)
An EPCOT Overture (Ellen’s Energy Adventure)
Main Street Electrical Parade
Remember When – The Beu Sisters
Ballad of Davy Crockett – Fess Parker
Films from Disney Parks Around the World
Soarin’ Over California (DCA)
From Time to Time (Disneyland Paris)
Stormrider (Tokyo Disneysea)
Reflections of China (EPCOT)
America the Beautiful
Stars and Stripes forever (with fireworks)
Pirates of the Caribbean
When You Wish Upon a Star
The best way to sum of the evening was “Wow”. I have seen a couple other shows at the Bowl, including John Williams and other fireworks displays. This show really topped them all for me. I am guessing its because of the music selected and me being a “disneygeek”. I thought the selection of music was great for the most part. Only a couple of oddities for example why choose Reflections of China to represent WDW instead of Golden Dream. Or why use Ellen’s theme song instead of the original EPCOT entrance medley. But even with these odd choices they sounded great.
It was a great treat to see Richard Sherman and Fess Parker perform live and on the same stage. Our conductor and narrator for the evening John Mauceri seemed to be having a ball and tossed in many interesting tidbits of information. One that sticks out is: Over an hour of music in the show had never been performed live before an audience until this evening. There seemed to be a good mix of performers, films, characters, and suprises to really keep the show moving and the audiences engaged. I really enjoyed hearing the Haunted Mansion score performed live, when I read that in the program I was trying to figure out why.. or how.. but after hearing their rendition and viewing the film it was great! Another highlight of the show for me was hearing Fess Parker read the Lincoln speech from the original Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln. (Just reminded me again at how great this was compared to the special effects ladin show that was running there the past few years).
One note in closing. I was suprised at how quite the audience seemed at the end. For example at the last John Williams concert I went to the audience was near deafening at the end, it was a polite clapping at this performance.
Press Release from the Hollywood Bowl
Any comments? Anyone else attend any of the concerts, what did you think of the show?