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Princesses on Broadway

I was appalled to learn that the beautiful Broadway actress, Diana Huey, was dealing with disgusting racist comments about being an Asian American cast in the role of my favorite princess in the touring production of The Little Mermaid. The play had a short-lived run on Broadway in 2007 before several songs were cut and a few were added for the tour. Diana is one of many women to portray Ariel, but one of very few women of color to do so. A few days ago, she wrote a beautiful Facebook post highlighting her concerns on the matter, which made me love her even more. I think she makes a beautiful mermaid princess. The Broadway stage is notoriously color blind. It values singing, dancing, and acting skills above all else. Princesses come in all colors, shapes and sizes.

Princess stories have a long history of being portrayed onstage. One of the most famous productions is Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, which debuted as a live TV special starring Julie Andrews in 1957.  The show …

Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade XX

Have you ever wished you could put on a princess dress and fly away to a magical realm where anything is possible? The Labyrinth Masquerade Ball is the closest thing you can get to that, and it just came back to the Millenium Biltmore Hotel here in Los Angeles for its twentieth year! My husband I had the pleasure of being among its may attendees last night. As a bonus, it even gave me a rare excuse to wear my wedding dress again. I was surprised how many compliments I got on it, considering how many elaborate fantasy and faery costumes there were.

Beginning in 1997, the Labyrinth of Jareth was inspired by the masquerade scene featuring the late David Bowie in Jim Henson's 1986 film, Labyrinth. In order to recreate the dreamlike quality of the film, the event requires all attendees to wear either formal attire and masks or elaborate fantasy costumes. People go all out for this each year, donning tons of glittery, enormous wings, face paint, light-up props, and anything else you cou…

Theme Park Princesses

Yesterday, I talked about how much fun it can be to dress up as a princess for a day. Meeting princesses can be just as much fun. In fact, it's my absolute favorite thing to do when I visit the Disney Parks. I have an endless library of photos I've had taken with all of the Disney Princesses. It is the closest thing to being able to hang out with a cartoon character in real life. Disney performers are also not allowed to tell people that they play a character and must instead say that they are "friends" with that character, making the magic of meeting them feel that much more authentic.

I have visited both American Disney parks countless times, and I have also been to Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris. I've seen the parks go through many changes over the years, mostly for the better. Princesses have grown exponentially in popularity, so Walt Disney World and Disneyland have been working hard to accommodate for this by building nicer rooms to meet the princess…

The Little Mermaid Special That's Not Airing Tonight

Earlier this year, ABC made an announcement that they would be airing a special tonight featuring live performances of Disney's The Little Mermaid called The Little Mermaid Live! The special was presumably to follow in the footsteps of a tradition NBC reinstated with Peter Pan LIVE! in 2014 in which they would air a live performance of a well-known musical once a year. Appropriately enough, this tradition started with Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella in 1957 starring Julie Andrews as Cinderella. Julie just celebrated her 82nd birthday two days ago. FOX tried their hand at copying this tradition last year with Grease Live! to underwhelming success. I guess as the parent company of Disney, which is known for their musicals, ABC felt obligated to get the ball rolling on their own version of this.

Unfortunately, someone must have jumped the gun with The Little Mermaid Live! because only a few short months after its commencement, they announced that the project was pulled. The …

The Most Princess Things That Ever Happened at D23

Before we begin, I'd like to wish a very happy birthday to Jodi Benson, the voice of my favorite princess. Jodi is a regular attendee of the D23 Expo, and I was fortunate enough to see her perform there during the Disney Legend Awards ceremony. I've been talking about princess-themed events lately, and there's no bigger Disney Princess fan event out there than D23. It is the official convention for Disney fans that takes place at the Anaheim Convention Center every other year. The expo is the one chance that fans get to interact with the people who worked on their favorite movies and preview ones that are still in production. I have been to three of the five expos that have taken place since 2009. They also have a huge interactive exhibit floor where they sell new merchandise, display artwork, costumes, and props from movies, and hold autograph signings. It is the ultimate experience for any Disney fan.

D23 is the name of the official Disney fan club that the company estab…

New Disney Cruise Lines Beauty and the Beast Show

Earlier today, Disney Cruise Lines shared a sneak preview of their new Beauty and the Beast show on Facebook. Performances of the show started on the Disney Dream ship this past Monday. Beauty and the Beast has already had tons of stage adaptations including a pretty long run on Broadway a few years after the 1991 movie came out. It also had a smaller stage show at the theme park formerly known as MGM Studios in Florida. Considering everything that came before it, the new show runs the risk of coming off as a tired rehash. Fortunately, it introduces a new aesthetic based heavily on the 2017 live-action remake that prevents it from feeling like a copycat of its former incarnations. The new production also uses the aesthetic of cogs and gears from Maurice's music boxes to transition between scenes.

Broadway shows generally have a run time of two and a half hours, while theme park shows are closer to a half-hour or forty-five minutes. Cruise shows lie somewhere in the middle, so this…

November Princess Anniversaries

It's a big month for princess movies. Last week was the 28th anniversary of my favorite movie, The Little Mermaid . As I've  discussed in a previous post , Disney is going all out this month to celebrate the 80th anniversary of their very first movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs . On Monday night, Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City put on a live show to unveil their gorgeous window displays honoring the film. The displays are similar to the ones at the Emporium at the Disney Parks, but much larger in scale. They portray detailed animatronics of every major scene in the movie, from the wishing well to the fated kiss, as well as the new clothing designed specifically for the event. The special, called "Once Upon a Holiday," was streamed live on YouTube and social media. Fans crowded around Fifth Avenue to see the Saks Fifth Avenue president give a moving speech about the film, followed by a choreographed performance from the Seven Dwarfs.  Sofia Carson , who

Review: The Broadway Princess Party

Tonight is the night you've been waiting for. I had (nearly) front row seats for Laura Osnes's Broadway Princess Party at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and I'm here to tell you all about it, as promised. Even though getting to Costa Mesa from Hollywood during rush hour was a bit of a hassle, it was completely worth the wait. Though tonight was the first of three performances only at the Segerstrom, the show has been traveling around in other places for roughly two years. Tonight's concert featured three very prestigious princesses of Broadway. Laura Osnes, the headliner, starred in a revival of Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella. Susan Egan, who needs no introduction but I'll give one anyway, is famous for originating the role of Belle on Broadway and doing the voice of Megara in Disney's animated 1997 feature, Hercules. Last but not least is Courtney Reed, who originated the role of Jasmine in Disney's new Broadway production of Aladdin.

The ven…

Pirate's Dinner Adventure vs. Medieval Times

Happy New Year, princess fans! I took a brief hiatus from Story Saturday over the holidays, but I'm back with more princess updates for you. Did you do anything exciting to celebrate the new year? I attended a dinner show at Medieval Times last night. It was a great way to ring in 2018. Last New Year's Eve, I went to Pirate's Dinner Adventure. While both shows have a princess in them and are set up very similarly, I believe that the Pirate's Dinner Adventure has more to offer to princess fans and in general. Both dinner experiences assign your party a color that determines which section of the room you will be sitting in and which knight or pirate you will be cheering for. Over the course of the show, wait staff in era-appropriate costumes serve food and drink while attempting not to interrupt your enjoyment of the main event.

The reason I think that Pirate's Dinner Adventure is superior to Medieval Times is that it tells more of a story and contains more dazzling …

Disney's Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending one of Walt Disney World's newest character dining experiences, the Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast at Disney's BoardWalk Inn. What makes this breakfast stand out from other theme park princess experiences such as Ariel's Grotto or Cinderella's Royal Table is that the Bon Voyage Breakfast allows you to meet two of the most popular Disney Princesses from their 1989 classic, The Little Mermaid, and their more recent 2010 hit, Tangled,along with their princes. Since romantic interests have become increasingly less popular as of late, opportunities to meet princes at the Disney Parks are extremely rare. That's why I was very excited to learn about the Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast opening up at the Trattoria Al Forno restaurant about a year ago. Finally, I would have a guaranteed opportunity to meet Flynn Rider and Prince Eric alongside Rapunzel and Ariel. I remember how excited I was at the prospect of meeting Prince Eric whe…

Review: Aladdin The Musical

In 2003, an amazing stage show based on the 1992 animated classic opened at Disney's California Adventure park called Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular. Sadly, that show recently closed in 2016 and was replaced with a Frozen stage show. Now the only opportunity to see an official Disney stage production of Aladdin rests in the hands of the 2014 Broadway play, which I saw on tour tonight at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood. This new musical production barely had a chance of winning my favor in my heart because I was already such a huge fan of the retired Disneyland version. My low expectations were barely met. I found the new musical to be inferior to the Disneyland show in every possible way.

I had a pleasant experience with the theater itself. It was my first time at the Pantages, even though I've lived in California for over seven years. The layout is very similar to Disney's El Capitan Theatre, where they screen the latest Disney movies. The theater staff was friendly, an…

Entwined Tales Launch Party on Facebook

I had a very interesting evening, celebrating the release of the Entwined Tales series on Facebook with the six lovely authors of the books from the series. I've never seen a release party quite like this before, but then, I've never seen a book series quite like this either. Each author has her own independent set of fairy tale novels, which brought them together based on their similar story content. They combined their talents to create an original series about a bumbling fairy godfather who goes around granting unwanted gifts to princesses from six different fairy tales. Some of the fairy tales they picked are rather obscure, such as "The Goose Girl" and "East of the Sun, West of the Moon," (which was turned into a live-action movie called The Polar Bear King in 1991, but I wasn't a fan of it). Of course, the one I'm looking forward to the most is inspired by my favorite fairy tale, "The Little Mermaid." On March 5th, A Little Mermaid b…

What Is Happening to the Disney Parks?

Change is not always a good thing. When it came to the Disney Parks of old, Walt only wanted to make changes that would support the advancement of technology, new movies, and the overall enjoyment of his guests. For a very long time after his passing, his philosophy seemed to remain in tact. In 2013, Walt Disney World did a complete redesign of their outdated Fantasyland in Florida. New Fantasyland was everything a modern princess could possibly want from a Disney park, with gorgeous real-life reproductions of locations from The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast along with stunning new rides featuring the latest in animatronic technology. Unfortunately, happy endings last forever, and many of the changes that the parks have made since then have not been for the betterment of the guests. Instead, they came as a result of business partnerships and corporate greed. These changes range from insane price hikes to the recent closing of my favorite restaurant in Disney's California…

The Renaissance Faire Is in Town!

Where can you go to get transported to the time of princesses and knights and have a whole lot of fun too? The Renaissance Faire, of course! If you've never been to a Faire before, you should definitely go at least once. It's a great opportunity to get out of the house and meet other fantasy aficionados while also having fun with history. Today I attended the opening weekend of The Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Irwindale, California. It was my second time attending this particular Faire. They had many of the same booths, activities, and shows that I assume come back every year. This time, instead of wearing my generic Renaissance dress that I made in high school, I decided to cosplay with my husband as the Fairytale Designer versions of Ariel and Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid.

It was particularly fun to cosplay during opening weekend because most people save their character costumes for theme weekends. We got a lot of attention from fans of the movie who recogni…

Beauty and the Beast in Concert: Social Media Recap

As you may or may not be aware, there was a pretty big screening of Disney's Beauty and the Beast at the Hollywood Bowl this past Friday and Saturday. I wasn't there, so I can't give you a direct account of the experience like I did with their Little Mermaid concert, but I can save you a few hours of searching through social media and YouTube videos by summarizing my own findings. If you're wondering why I didn't bother buying tickets this year, it was a combination having already experienced my favorite movie at the Hollywood Bowl and not wanting to see Zooey Deschanel attempting to recreate Belle's soprano. To be honest, I wasn't even aware that she could sing before the casting announcements for this event were made. If they didn't want to cast the original voices from the movie, why couldn't they just get Susan Egan to play Belle? It shouldn't count that she did it on Broadway since Norm Lewis reprised his Broadway role as King Triton at the…

Cosplaying at the Broadway Princess Party

Some of you may recall reading about my experiences at the Broadway Princess Party last December at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. The show has picked up a lot of momentum since then. It now has a pages on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. They have also extended their tour to even more venues across the country than ever. I didn't have a dire need to see the show again, but it was hard to resist when I learned that it was coming a local venue at half the price and encouraging cosplay with the incentive of prizes. Last night, I donned my Sofia the First dress, amulet, and tiara and headed out to Hollywood Improv to meet with a friend and see how the show has changed over the past few months.

The same three princesses were starring in the event as before--Laura Osnes, who headlined the revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella on Broadway, Susan Egan, who originated the role of Belle on Broadway and did the voice of Megara in Disney's Hercules, and

Tangled and Frozen Are Coming to Tokyo DisneySea!

There was a big announcement made earlier today that Tokyo DisneySea, my favorite theme park in the whole world, is getting a big expansion that will include life-sized replicas of locations from Tangled, Frozen, and Peter Pan! This is a huge deal. If you've never been to Tokyo DisneySea, you might not realize the scope of such an announcement. Essentially, Tokyo DisneySea is paradise on Earth. Everything they build looks both natural and magical at the same time. Even the Fantasyland expansion at Walt Disney World from five years ago doesn't compare to this. It was pretty amazing that they built facades of the castles from The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast along with some of Belle's village, but they were still just facades. Tokyo doesn't do facades. They either go big or go home.

This incredible themed port is expected to be completed by 2022. It is reported to be the largest expansion to Tokyo DisneySea ever and will include Arendelle Castle, Rapunzel'…

Medieval Times Has a New Queen!

At the beginning of the year, I made a post comparing Medieval Times to the similarly themed Pirate's Dinner Adventure. Shortly afterward, I learned that the dinner show at Medieval Times was being rewritten with a queen serving as hostess to replace the king and princess who had led the event in the past. The new plot revolved around the king dying in a war and his daughter taking over the kingdom as queen. It replaced the old version of the show little by little throughout the year at the various Medieval Times castles throughout the country. The actors who played the king retired and the actresses who played the princess were promoted to queen. I knew I needed to see this feminist revival of the story that boasted a new script, new costumes, new lighting, and new music, so I made plans to go back for my birthday. Today, I watched Queen Doña Maria Isabella take her place on the throne to assert her power during the traditional jousting tournament.

Most of the changes to the show…

Princesses Are From Disneyland!

"That's From Disneyland!" is a free pop-up exhibit at the Van Eaton Galleries all this month. It's now in its final few days, but you can still pop by for a quick look if you're local to Los Angeles. The display is an impressive collection of park paraphernalia from a man named Richard Kraft, who somehow managed to store wall-sized paintings, ride vehicles, and more in his home before offering it to the gallery for a limited time public display. When I got in the long line to see it, Richard made his way all the way down to the end to greet everyone and welcome them to see his collection. He asked what we were most looking forward to seeing, but no one was prepared to answer that since none of us had been inside yet. So, he gave a pop quiz and asked which of the following three items was not part of his collection: A Dumbo ride vehicle, a Mr. Toad's Wild Ride vehicle, or an Autopia ride vehicle. The lady behind me correctly guessed the Autopia one, and then h…

Mickey's Halloween Party Is a Great Place To Be a Princess!

Yesterday, my husband and I attended Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland to meet up with some friends. It wasn't my first time attending this event, but they had changed a few things since the last time I went. A ticket to Mickey's Halloween Party now grants admission to both Disneyland Park and Disney's California Adventure from three hours before the start time of the party until both parks close. The Florida equivalent of the event is Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, which I've also been to several times. One of the biggest benefits of these events was that they used to cover a half day in the parks including parking for slightly over half the price of a full-day ticket. Thanks to some unfortunate changes Disney has been making, admission is now practically the same as a full-day ticket and no longer includes parking. At least it gets you into both parks. The event itself is just as fun as ever. My husband and I attended dressed up as Fairytale Desi…

Princess Animatronics

There are many ways to find immersive princess experiences at the Disney Parks. The most common way is through meet'n'greets. They let you interact with the princess in real life, allowing you to ask them any question you can think of and learn how they might respond, not to mention the terrific photo ops. Another way is through dark rides, which is the official term for the slower rides at the parks that allow you to travel through movie scenes that are recreated by animatronics, a revolutionary technology that bring sculptures to live with mechanical movement and programming. All of the dark rides at the Disney Parks use animatronics for their constantly moving characters. Until a few years ago, the only Disney Princess dark ride that could be experienced in this way was Snow White's Scary Adventures. This ride was overseen by Walt Disney himself and is one of the few remaining rides that opened with Disneyland's launch in 1955. Even though it feels a little dated n…

Behind the Scenes at the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Finale Concert

Tomorrow night is the series finale of one of my favorite TV shows, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. At surface level, this show might seem to have nothing to do with princess culture, but it is actually a deconstruction of many of the less empowering tropes introduced in some older princess movies and romantic comedies while still embracing the traits of these passionate women that we can all connect with. The show features several princess-inspired music numbers as well as a made-up Disney Princess movie called Slumbered that the main character, Rebecca, supposedly grew up with. Series star and co-creator Rachel Bloom does everything for her fans just like a real-life princess would. That's why the series finale tomorrow night will be followed by a concert special that Rachel cordially invited all her fans in the Los Angeles area to attend as audience members. I just happened to be one of those lucky fans.

As you can see, this event was more than just a concert. Even though many people arri…

Jasmine's Solos Ranked

Another Aladdin production, another Jasmine song. With the recent addition of "Speechless," Jasmine has had a different solo song in every incarnation of the story. Yes, "A Whole New World" is consistently used as the romantic duet, but it is not seen as Jasmine's signature song in the same way that "Part of Your Wold," "Someday My Prince Will Come," or "A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes" is associated with their respective princesses because it is just as much Aladdin's song as it is Jasmine's. While Ariel and Rapunzel have many original solos scattered throughout The Little Mermaid and Tangled series, the Aladdin series sadly did not contain any original songs. As a result, Jasmine's songs are buried within so many different productions of Aladdin that even die-hard fans might have trouble finding them all. That's why I decided to compile this list of my top three Jasmine solos along with a little background on t…

Princesses of the Magic Kingdom

I just got back from Florida, and my trip would not have been complete without a visit to the Magic Kingdom! Ever since the 2013 Fantasyland expansion, Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom has become the ultimate destination for theme park princesses. I noticed some changes to the princess attractions since my last trip. Unlike Disney Springs, these changes were all improvements. Instead of waiting in a long line to meet three princesses at random and hope to get the one you want, the princess meet'n'greets have been streamlined to specific spots for specific princesses, eliminating the guesswork and frustration of learning your favorite princess just got swapped with another one when you reached the front of the line.

As usual, Ariel is in her grotto next to her ride. You can meet her in mermaid form at Walt Disney World, as opposed to Disneyland in California, where she only makes appearances as a human. Belle comes out in the secret library through the magic portal in her …

Five Times Disney Race-Bent a Princess and Nobody Complained

With all the controversy over Halle Bailey getting cast as Ariel , I wondered why nobody made such a big deal out of all other times Disney race-bent a fairy tale princess. This is not intended to be  another post about why we should support Halle  but instead an analysis of all the other times this happened in a Disney production. This is such a hot button issue right now that people are talking about it when they don't even have all the facts. ABC's The View aired an episode in which Whoopi Goldberg claimed that Halle was voicing the character for an animated production, and other people are making videos where they claim that Ariel isn't a princess  or that she had green skin in the original fairy tale . Let's take a moment to get our facts straight while we explore how this is something that Disney has been doing for over 20 years. Cinderella - 1997 This is the one that people remember the most fondly, and for good reason. Whitney Houston 's passion pro

The Little Mermaid 30th Anniversary Celebration and More at the D23 Expo

It has been a long and fruitful day at the D23 Expo in Anaheim. This weekend was the sixth biennial expo where Disney showcases all of their movies and merchandise that they have planned for the next two years. I skipped the previous expo in 2017, but I decided to stop by on the final day for this one to celebrate the 30th anniversary of my favorite movie, The Little Mermaid. I was fortunate enough to get a seat at this morning's anniversary celebration panel hosted by the voice of Ariel herself, Jodi Benson. The panel kicked off with a group of adorable little girls in Ariel costumes singing "Part of Your World" on faux rocks that lined the beautifully lit coral stage. Jodi Benson made a dramatic entrance in the middle of the song and accompanied the tiny Ariels. Then she interacted with a puppet version of Sebastian before introducing several of the people behind the film, including direct Ron Clements and animator Mark Henn, to share their stories.

The panel concluded…

The Princess and the Frog 10th Anniversary Celebration

It's a big year for princess anniversaries. I recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of The Little Mermaid at the D23 Expo with Jodi Benson, where they teased the upcoming live TV special with Auli'i Cravalho. To my delight, another one of my favorite princess movies also celebrated an anniversary last night at the prestigious Samuel Goldwyn Theater, which is used to screen films for Oscar consideration. In honor of the 10th anniversary of The Princess and the Frog, the theater opened to the public for the Marc Davis Celebration of Animation. Countless members of the cast and crew attended the screening, including Anika Noni Rose, who played Tiana, Keith David, who played Dr. Facilier, Jennifer Lewis, who played Mama Odie, composer Randy Newman, and director Ron Clements (John Musker did not attend this screening or The Little Mermaid celebration at D23). Can you believe it's already been ten years? It feels like just yesterday that I drove to my local Florida movie thea…

Review: Frozen Live at the Hyperion

It took me quite a while to get over the fact that Disney's California Adventure shut down their stellar Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular show that contained my absolute favorite Princess Jasmine solo to replace it with more Frozen hype. Frozen is not one of my favorites, but I tried to keep an open mind when I entered the newly renovated Hyperion Theater for Frozen Live. Gone was the beautiful Arabian architecture surrounding the stage in favor of a basic screen setup designed for CGI background projections to transform it into any Arendelle locale. I personally prefer the concrete sets of Aladdin that looked like you could reach right into them and enter the world of Agrabah. Hiding Arendelle behind a CGI mask only served as a reminder that the digital age is taking even more artistry away from us than just traditional animation.

Despite my caveats, I enjoyed the performance I saw yesterday due largely to the performers themselves. The actresses who played Anna and Elsa were on p…

Two More Weeks!

November has always been a big month for princesses. So many princess movies have premiered the week of Thanksgiving to kick of the holiday season. This year's big holiday princess blockbuster is going to be Frozen 2, which will come out on November 22nd. The excitement starts even earlier this year with ABC's upcoming special The Little Mermaid Live! on November 5th. The special was supposed to air on October 3rd, 2017 but got delayed for two years due to vague production issues. This year is the perfect time to revive it with the movie celebrating its 30th anniversary and revealing Auli'i Cravalho as a special guest at the D23 Expo anniversary celebration panel. Auli'i will be starring as Ariel in this made-for-TV special, not to be confused with the live-action theatrical movie starring Halle Bailey, which is still in pre-production. Disney released this fantastic video last week that gives us a sneak peek of what to expect.

The video contains interview snippets th…

The Swan Princess 25th Anniversary Celebration

Princess anniversary celebrations seem to be an ongoing theme this year, but nothing can compare to the one I experienced last night. I was invited to the 25th anniversary celebration of The Swan Princess as a social media influencer. This event was everything a Swan Princess party could be and more. From the sprawling pink carpet outside the W Hollywood Hotel to the ice swan sculpture in the lobby, no stone was left unturned for this massive celebration of the 1994 animated classic. The elegant reception lasted for roughly two hours before moving to the Arclight Hollywood for a 4K Ultra HD remastered screening of the movie preceded by a speech and award ceremony from producer Seldon Young. Cast, crew, and fans from all over the world blended together in their Sunday best to celebrate their love of The Swan Princess.

Reporters, videographers, and cosplayers lined the pink carpet as Seldon conducted interviews for the press. The carpet was pink in honor of lead actress Michelle Nicastr…

Review: Anastasia The Musical

In general, I find that animated movies don't translate well the stage even though they have musical numbers that seem perfect for Broadway. Disney shows such as Aladdin often miss the point of having an additional hour to develop the characters and squander the time on extra dance numbers that are completely unnecessary to the plot. In the case of Anastasia, which was not produced by Disney, they cut a major character from the 1997 Don Bluth masterpiece. Rasputin, the movie's chilling undead villain, was replaced by a more sympathetic antagonist named Gleb, a Russian revolutionary. They most likely did this for the sake of historical accuracy and because it would have been difficult to portray a rotting corpse on stage. "In the Dark of the Night" is one of my favorite villain songs of all time, so Rasputin's absence was very noticeable when I attended the final performance of the Anastasia tour at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood.

Anastasia is one of my favorite…

Review: The Little Mermaid Live!

I can't believe this day finally came! My favorite movie was broadcast on television in front of a studio audience with live-action performers and Broadway-style sets and costumes. The Little Mermaid Live! special was a long time coming. It was supposed to happen in 2017, but it got postponed, leaving only my memories of seeing it performed at the Hollywood Bowl without the fancy costumes or sets. Now that the television production finally happened for real, I am pleased to say that they did it right. The transitions between the animated film and the live-action performances were on point, the songs were entertaining, and the spectacle was pure Disney magic. Of course, nothing is completely perfect, not even The Little Mermaid Live!

The special was introduced by the one and only Jodi Benson, who hosted the movie's 30th-anniversary panel at the D23 Expo earlier this year. It seems like every time there's a Little Mermaid event, Jodi is there to celebrate her love of the cha…

Princess Adventures in Epcot

I went to Epcot at Walt Disney World this weekend for the first time in about seven years. The Future World side of the park is going through a rough patch right now while they work on their huge 2020 expansion that will include a new Moana-themed fountain, interactive city, and more. That meant that most of Future World was walled up for construction, but that wasn't too much of an inconvenience because as every Disney Princess fan knows, the World Showcase is the true princess side of the park. I made lunch reservations at Akershus, went on the new Frozen ride, and attended the new Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along. Shortly before my arrival, I learned that I would be just in time for the tail end of Epcot's Festival of the Arts, a new seasonal event at the park that started three years ago. Similar to the Food and Wine Festival, this event set up stations throughout the world showcase selling sample portions of delicious and unique food items from all around the world. It als…

I Beat the Most Enchanted Escape Room Ever!

Escape rooms have become a huge trend within the last five years or so. In a culture that's becoming increasingly more dependent on technology, it's getting harder to find recreational activities that don't involve staring at a screen. That's probably why escape rooms have gotten so popular. They give people an opportunity to go out with their friends and exercise their critical thinking skills in a more physically active environment than watching a movie or playing a video game. When the escape room craze began, it was usually horror-themed and required the players to escape a zombie or a serial killer or a bomb or something along those lines. While that may be some people's cup of tea, it isn't that much fun for a princess fan like myself. Fortunately, the craze has gotten so popular that it expanded to many other themes that aren't always about avoiding a gruesome demise anymore. After doing a little research, I discovered Maze Rooms, a company with seve…

Can Andrew Lloyd Webber Modernize Cinderella?

This post was inspired by a reader of my blog who informed me of an upcoming new Cinderella musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Modernizing the story of "Cinderella" is more complicated than rebooting a franchise like The Princess Diaries because Cinderella has already been reinvented countless times. Some of these reimaginings are better than others. The most obvious problem with creating a stage musical of "Cinderella" is that the Rodgers and Hammerstein version has evolved into a timeless classic since it was first performed by Julie Andrews on live TV in 1957. The most recent revival of the production added a modern twist by making Cinderella a revolutionary who takes advantage of her close relationship with the prince to help the peasants overcome a housing crisis in their kingdom. Was this element a necessary addition to the story? Not really. Yet, it offered something new to take away from a tale we've already heard hundreds of times. If Andrew Lloyd Webber …

This Little Mermaid Ballet Is a Beautiful Tribute to Hans Christian Andersen

As a result of the virus in Corona, a lot of live experiences that are no longer available to the public are being shared online for free. One such is experience is the lovely Finnish ballet of "The Little Mermaid" produced by Oopera Balleti. Last night, I had the pleasure of watching the show in its entirety and found that it is not only a unique retelling of the fairy tale, but also a beautiful tribute to the story's original author, Hans Christian Andersen. Andersen plays a unique role in this ballet in which he acts as a storyteller as well as a fairy godmother of sorts for the mermaid character. I loved the elegant way that the mermaid ballerinas were portrayed in the show as well as the brief nods to Andersen's other famous works.

Though most of the story is told through dance, there were some short Finnish narrations throughout the show that I was unable to understand, so it's possible that some of my interpretation is wrong. If I'm not mistaken, this …

Everyone Is Singing Princess Songs!

In these tough times, we could all use a smile and a song to cheer ourselves up. Hollywood and Broadway are shut down right now, but the people behind them still want to bring joy to the world. That's why the past few days have been filled with beautiful musical performances for everyone with a computer to stream online from the comfort of their own homes. Various stage shows such as the Disney Cruise Lines adaptation of the live-action Beauty and the Beast movie and weekly recordings of Andrew Lloyd Webber's greatest hits that used to require an expensive ticket and carefully planned trip are now available to watch from the comfort of our own living room for free thanks to the magic of the internet and the generosity of entertainers. Many of the people who performed in these glorious productions still have the urge to entertain people from quarantine, so we were also treated to more recently recorded serenades of various Disney songs that follow the stay-at-home guidelines b…

Love Never Dies: A Tale of Two Musicals

This may seem like an unusual topic for my blog, but it felt appropriate after Andrew Lloyd Webber streamed The Phantom of the Opera for free last weekend followed by its sequel, Love Never Dies, this weekend as part of his The Shows Must Go On series. I had seen Phantom of the Opera twice on stage and watched this recording of Love Never Dies online when it was first released nearly a decade ago. I have strong feelings about both productions and how they demonstrate why making a sequel to a princess story is generally a bad idea. You might try to argue that Phantom is not a princess story, but Christine Daaé is just as much of a musical theater princess as Johanna is in Sweeney Todd. She is a feminine ingenue who is gifted with a beautiful singing voice and coveted for her kindness and gentility by all who are fortunate enough to know her. Phantom of the Opera is a beautiful allegory for love and obsession and the complex psychological effects of physical deformities. Love Never Die…

Disney Princesses Give Kids the World from Quarantine

Yesterday was a big day for Give Kids the World Village, a vacation resort in central Florida for children with critical illnesses. Due to the recent world crisis, the village is temporarily closed, so they have found other ways to support sick children by holding fundraiser events online. Yesterday's event was a virtual Q&A with four famous actresses who played Disney Princesses during the Disney Renaissance era. They include Jodi Benson, who did the voice of Ariel, Paige O'Hara, who did the voice of Belle, Linda Larkin, who did the voice of Jasmine, and Irene Bedard, who did the voice of Pocahontas. You can make a donation under any one of their names by clicking on them above. It was a pleasure to be present for this magical princess reunion on Zoom as these talented actresses discussed their experiences with Give Kids the World Village, Disney theme parks, and working as voice artists.

The event, entitled "A Royal Evening for Give Kids the World," was hosted…

Does Tiana Deserve Better Than a Splash Mountain Revamp?

The internet has been buzzing today with news that the classic Disney Parks ride, Splash Mountain, will replace its animatronic characters from Disney's forgotten 1946 feature Song of the South with new ones from their 2009 classic, The Princess and the Frog. The announcement was made right on the heels of massive civil unrest in the middle of a pandemic that forced closures of Disney parks around the world. It would seem that Disney was keeping this project in their back pocket for over a year as they waited for the right time to announce it to the public. They could not have picked a better time to reveal an attraction dedicated to the first black Disney Princess than this very moment. Yet, the timing seems almost too coincidental after so many complaints masses about a ride featuring a movie that has been virtually deleted from the Disney library for generations. Is this really a tribute to the fantastic reimagining of "The Frog Prince" that Disney released a little o…

Review: Walt and Roy

With all the crazy stuff happening right now, many events that were supposed to happen this year got canceled. One such event was the premiere of a new musical about Walt and Roy Disney that was supposed to open this spring in Los Angeles. Allen and Gray, the two masterminds behind the show, decided not to let a little thing like a pandemic stop them from sharing their vision with the world. They held a virtual Musical Festival this month to showcase four of their shows on YouTube via socially distanced performances and a little digital magic. I purchased a ticket for their show Walt and Roy on Eventbrite and had a front row seat to experience it from home last Thursday. It was an odd way to watch a musical. I found the show pleasant enough, but there were times that the lack of physical interactions between the actors got distracting despite their best efforts.

Walt and Roy takes place from the early 1920s to the 1930s and tells the story of how Walt started the Walt Disney Company wi…

Review: Tangled The Musical

There are many things that we are missing out on these days thanks to the extended lockdown order. For instance, Disney's remake of Mulan has been postponed indefinitely from its last August 21st release date. However, there are other things that the virus in Corona has brought to our towers that we may have never been able to experience otherwise. One of the most exciting is the professional recordings of Broadway shows that we can watch from the comfort of our own home. Disney joined in on this excitement earlier in the month when they released a professional recording of Hamilton on their Disney+ streaming service. They intend to follow up this new trend later in the year with a professional recording of their 2014 Aladdin Broadway musical. Three months ago, Disney shared an abridged "virtual viewing" of the Beauty and the Beast musical they produced for their cruise lines. Disney Cruise Line shows are roughly half the length of their Broadway productions but every bi…

Princess Adventures in Evermore

For my birthday this year, I wanted to go on a fairy tale princess adventure. There's no better place to do that right now than Evermore Park in Utah. While most of the Disney Parks are either closed or under heavy restrictions, Evermore remains open with visually no restrictions. Because of that, I wouldn't recommend visiting at this time if you are immunocompromised. For anyone else looking to escape from the world's problems for a while, it is a wonderful getaway in a secluded area. I learned about Evermore last year from a YouTube review. It was described as a DnD theme park where you become part of the story. I was drawn to it instantly. This weekend, I finally had the opportunity to experience it for myself. It was everything I imagined it would be and more.

As soon as we reached the front gate, we were greeted by several "residents" of Evermore who were ready and willing to answer any questions we had about what we were about to experience. I knew that the …

First Listen to Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cinderella!

When I first heard that Andrew Lloyd Webber was bringing yet another musical based on "Cinderella" into the world, I met the news with a healthy dose of skepticism. Now that there are two full songs from this upcoming show available online, I have never been more pleased to be wrong. Just a few days ago, Webber released the show-stopping number "Bad Cinderella" on both YouTube and Spotify. This song was teased in a very early preview video for the show, but hearing it in full gave deeper clarity into the context of the lyrics and who this new Cinderella is. My growing excitement for the show led me to a Twitter post from last month in which the extraordinarily talented Carrie Hope Fletcher performed another song from the show entitled "Far Too Late," which is a complementary opposite to "Bad Cinderella" in terms of tone. Hearing both of these songs gave me a more complete image of what to expect when the theater doors will open again to audience…

These Videos Will Make You Miss Broadway Like Crazy!

Covid took away many once-in-a-lifetime experiences  from millions of people worldwide. I was content being locked away in my tower binging princess shows , but the one thing I missed the most this year was musical theater . The stage is a place for princesses to shine as they show off their stunning costumes , bell-like voices , and whimsical stories . Throughout the year, I learned about many new princess musicals  that I would have loved to see if the theaters had not shut down. Streaming musicals has become more commonplace than ever, but watching a show on a screen simply cannot compare to the magic of seeing it live . While Hollywood continues to rehash old ideas , Broadway is giving us a fresh perspective on history  with shows like Hamilton  and  Six . In the same way that Hamilton sets American history to contemporary music, Six takes the wives of Henry VIII and turns them into a pop band that performs Spice Girls-inspired numbers about their tragic lives from the middle ag

Review: Disenchanted! The Musical

Disenchanted the Musical is a project that began in 2009 and made its way to off-Broadway theaters in 2012. Not to be confused with  the upcoming Disney+ sequel to  Enchanted , this stage show is a parody  of the Disney Princess brand that is in no way sanctioned by Disney, as proven by the public domain-approved character autographs on the poster. The show contains far too many Disney-specific references to be an interpretative musical about fairy tales in the vein of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods . Disenchanted! is far less sophisticated than Into the Woods with a focus on low-brow humor and an overall lack of plot, which explains why it never could have been a contender for the elite world of Broadway . It must instead settle for off-Broadway and low-budget local productions like the one I streamed over the weekend. The show's childish humor about cartoon princesses might imply that it is meant for very young audiences , but the light swearing and song about boobs imp

Disney Launches the Ultimate Princess Celebration!

Just when I thought Disney Princesses were going out of style , Disney came out and announced a year-long celebration of their beloved heroines! The Global Ultimate Princess Celebration  will roll out the red carpet with music, merchandise, and events devoted to the everlasting Disney Princess brand . I am overwhelmed by all of these announcements and don't even know where to begin. On May 21st, we will have a new Disney Princess anthem called "Starting Now" to replace Auli'i Cravalho's "Live Your Story" music video from 2018. The new song will be performed by Brandy, whose 1997 version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella  was recently revived on Disney Plus. "Starting Now" will also be featured in a Disney Channel special this august called Disney Princess Remixed - An Ultimate Princess Celebration . Does that sound like a royal title or what? The talented ladies  Broadway Princess Party have been licensed by Disney to perform in an

You Can Listen to Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cinderella Right Now!

After a long  series of lockdowns and delays , Andrew Lloyd Webber's new Cinderella musical  finally premiered on June 25th at the Gillian Lynn Theatre in England. Being on the opposite side of the globe, I have no way of seeing this show in person, and I'm sure neither do many of you. It's time shine up your glass slippers because we're in luck! The official cast recording of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cinderella  was released today, and both acts have been uploaded to the official YouTube channel in chronological order! The songs recount the complete story of this new fairy tale adaptation, which is the next best thing to seeing the actual show. I am pleased to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this new version of "Cinderella" and can't wait to tell you all about. There will be a few spoilers in this post, so if you would like to avoid them, you can listen to Act 1 here and Act 2 here before reading it. The story is pretty much how I interpreted it base

Did Disney Just Kick Laura Osnes Out of Her Own Concert?

When Disney announced this year's Ultimate Princess Celebration , they simultaneously teased a touring concert called Disney Princess: The Concert , which had way too many familiar names in it to be just a coincidence. It was later confirmed that this concert was none other than Laura Osnes's Broadway Princess Party , an intimate event that I had seen twice . I had a great deal of respect for the fact that it celebrated all princess musicals, regardless of which studio owned them, which is why I became concerned when I learned that the show had been sold to the mouse. Laura Osnes would not be the first wide-eyed innocent to sign a contract with Disney having no idea how it might affect her future and reputation. At the time, I seemed to be the only person who was skeptical about the possible negative ramifications of selling out. Now, it seems that Laura Osnes has paid the ultimate price for signing away the passion project that she started with music director Benjamin Rauhala

Review: Diana The Musical

Recent events  discourage mass gatherings including live shows . As a result, it has never been easier to access professional recordings online that we would have never otherwise been able to see without an expensive ticket and a potential road trip. One such show is a new Broadway musical about the life of Princess Diana , who died tragically young almost fifteen years ago. This musical dropped on Netflix last Friday, the same streaming service that hosts The Crown , which also covers a major portion of Diana's life in its most recent season. Between the two productions, The Crown gives much deeper insight into Diana's ascension to royalty and subsequent downfall. As a fan of musical theater, I was expecting a lot more from the stage show. It has lackluster songs and a superficial plot that covers only the basics of Diana's relationship with Prince Charles and never delves into the deeper emotions and themes produced by their struggles. Upon watching this musical, I coul

Latest Announcements from the Ultimate Princess Celebration!

Earlier this year, Disney launched the Ultimate Princess Celebration , a year-long event to honor all things princess. In August, the event culminated with World Princess Week , during which they premiered the music video for  "Starting Now,"  the newest Disney Princess anthem. However, the festivities did not end there. To continue the celebration, Disney just released the first doll from their new set of designer princess dolls , the Ultimate Glamorous Collection . Instagram has also been abuzz with upcoming Disney Princess goodies including a sneak peek at Disney Princess: The Concert  and the 30th anniversary of the classic animated Disney version of "Beauty and the Beast."  Let's dive in to explore the latest announcements from the Ultimate Princess Celebration! Princess Jasmine takes the spotlight this month with the first release from the Ultimate Glamorous Collection, the newest set of Disney Princess designer dolls. I was hoping that Disney would relea

What the Heck Is Once Upon a One More Time?

I was going to take a longer hiatus from The Princess Blog while I adjust to life in my new castle and kingdom, but I recently found out about this atrocity and could not resist sharing my thoughts on it. As luck would have it, there is a new  fairy tale parody musical making its rounds to Broadway as if we don't already have enough of those with Into the Woods , Disenchanted The Musical , and Shrek The Musical . However, Into the Woods and Shrek at least put their own spin on the fairy tales of old instead of attempting to profit off the highly successful Disney versions. If the previews for Once Upon a One More Time are any indication, this new musical veers more in the direction of Disenchanted with blatant Party City Disney ripoff costumes mixded with the pop musical stylings of Britney Spears. Fairy tale and princess-themed musicals were once known for their beautiful and original songs performed by talented actresses . As princesses are introduced to the woke era, their m

Review: Disney Princess - The Concert

It's been ten months since Disney launched the Ultimate Princess Celebration  when they announced that they had acquired the Broadway Princess Party  and retooled it into Disney Princess - The Concert . After several cast changes  and  the cancellation of the entire 2021 leg of the tour, I was fortunate enough to attend one of the first successful performances at the Bass Concert Hall . Initially, I was excited to see Anastasia's Christy Altomare , but she was replaced with Disney Channel's Anneliese van der Pol , who played Chelsea Daniels in That's So Raven and Raven's Home. Aisha Jackson , who understudied Anna in the Frozen musical, was replaced by  Syndee Winters , who played Nala in the Broadway version of The Lion King. Finally, Broadway Princess Party alumni Courtney Reed , who originated the role of Princess Jasmine in the Aladdin musical, was replaced by  Arielle Jacobs , the second actress to acquire the role. That leaves  Susan Egan as the only alumni

I Attended a Princess Tea Party at a Local High School!

As  Disney Princess - The Concert continues its national tour, there are smaller venues making their own special magic across the nation. I was pleased to learn via Facebook  that my new castle  is located within driving distance of one such venue.  Cedar Park High School  is performing a show called  Princess Tea  this weekend, which they have apparently been doing for the past fifteen years . What a magical tradition! The show features high school choir students performing as various princesses, princes, and sidekicks from animated movies that are not entirely limited to Disney. This year's cast included Cinderella, Ariel, Belle, Megara, Rapunzel, Anna, Elsa, Anastasia, and Fiona on the girls' side and Prince Charming, Jaq, Gus, Flounder, Prince Adam (the unofficial fan name for the transformed version of the Beast), Flynn Rider, Dimitri, Donkey, and Olaf for the boys. Considering that this was a local show, I was extremely impressed with the production level that the cast a

Princess Parties

One princess experience that I've always been interested in despite being too old to truly enjoy it is princess party entertainment. These children's entertainment companies exist all over the world for the sole purpose of providing children with the joy of spending an afternoon with their favorite cartoon character. They are more accessible than theme park princesses  because they come right to your home without the expense and stress of planning a trip. I wanted to save this topic for when I have a little princess of my own to share this experience with, but when a UK-based group called Snow Princess Parties  requested that I share some of their magic in my blog, I couldn't resist. Here are some examples of the wonderful experiences they have to offer. While I have not personally had the honor of inviting a princess into my home for one of my past birthday parties, I did have a memorable experience assisting Belle at a local party company in Southern California as a favo

Tiana's Bayou Adventure Is Coming!

Two years after Disney announced that they would be revamping their Splash Mountain attraction  to feature The Princess and the Frog ,we finally have an update about it. The newly refurbished ride will be called Tiana's Bayou Adventure  and will be unveiled at both American Disney theme parks in late 2024. The title is reminiscent of another princess ride that opened a little over a decade ago, Ariel's Undersea Adventure . I guess they felt the parks were lacking in rides named after a princess with the word "adventure" in them after Snow White's Scary Adventures  got replaced by Snow White's Enchanted Wish  in Disneyland and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Walt Disney World as well as WDW's renaming of Ariel's Undersea Adventure to Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid . I think it's important to remember that despite the way Disney is marketing this, it is not a new ride. In a press release last Friday , Disney revealed some new details

Beauty and the Beast Live Is Coming!

Even though The Little Mermaid Live!  received quite a bit of what I believe to be undeserved criticism, Disney has decided to try the live treatment again with the next chronological princess movie, Beauty and the Beast . Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration was just announced  to air on Thursday, December 15th at 8PM EST on ABC in honor of the film's 30th anniversary, which was actually last year. The special will likely be presented in the same way as its predecessor with a live screening of the film in a packed theater as a yet-to-be-announced cast of actors will come out in costume to perform each song in person. Like The Little Mermaid , this format was already presented to an audience at the Hollywood Bowl in 2018  where actress Zooey Deschanel  starred as Belle. Who would be your dream casting for this new televised take on the concert? What I preferred about the televised version of The Little Mermaid  to the one at the Hollywood Bowl is that it was filmed at indoor th

The Bizarre Phenomenon of Shrek The Musical

It's pretty bizarre that a musical production exists of Dreamworks' 2001 animated film Shrek . The movie was created as Jeffrey Katzenberg 's revenge on Disney after numerous disputes with other executives at the company . It satirizes common Disney and fairy tale tropes , one of those being the use of musical numbers performed by the characters. I recall reading an early interview about the film (that I can't find anywhere online now) in which one of the filmmakers said that Shrek doesn't sing because they just couldn't see such a tough and emotionally closed-off character belting into song. Instead, Donkey serenades him with well-known radio hits to Shrek's great dismay. Yet, despite his aversion to sinigng, a musical version of the film  in which all of the main characters sang original songs hit Broadway theaters in 2008 and remained there for two years. I was vaguely aware that this show existed but didn't know much about it until a professional rec

The Little Mermaid Sets Sail and a New Belle Is Chosen

There have been a number of Disney Princess -related announcements this week, mostly pertaining to things I have already posted about, so I decided to compile them into a quick update so they don't get buried by another story. First and foremost, the newest Disney cruise ship, the Disney Wish , completed its maiden voyage this week. I was particularly excited about this ship because it contained a new stage show inspired by Disney's The Little Mermaid . While I was hoping someone on the ship would have uploaded footage by now, I have not been able to locate anything substantial as of the time of this post. Please let me know if any of you find anything about this show. There are some new promo images  for it that made the rounds last week, giving us a better idea of the overall look and feel. It is my opinion that this show was meant to premiere after the upcoming live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid , explaining the lead actress's resemblance to Halle Bailey . The

Review: The Alice Cocktail Experience

Experiences targeted toward Millennials are very different from the social gatherings of earlier generations that didn't have social media. Millennials' tastes are usually rooted in nostalgia, resulting in events created for adults that can look quite similar to ones made for children . That's where we get things like The Alice Cocktail Experience , an Alice in Wonderland -themed character dining escape room  without the dining or escaping parts. I had a pretty good idea of what I was getting myself into after reading numerous reviews  and decided to try it out to celebrate my unbirthday/ blogiversary  even though I knew it was overpriced. It also gave me an excuse to wear my old Alice costume from the 2010 live-action Tim Burton remake . This experience is happening in venues all around the world, so if you live close to a big city, there might be one near you. In fact, you may be reading this post just to see if it's worth it. If you decide to go in the hopes of a de

Disney Is Celebrating World Princess Week with a Reunion of 1997's Cinderella!

The prince is giving a ball... again! When Disney announced their Ultimate Princess Celebration last year , I was under the impression that it would be a year-long event culminating in World Princess Week , when they aired the mediocre Disney Princess Remix special on Disney Channel . Instead, it looks like the event will be ongoing until they can find a new way to keep their Disney Princess brand relevant . That means World Princess Week is back for another round! It will take place next week from August 21st through August 27th. Instead of a teenybopper remix of princess classics, however, Disney is doing something a little different this year. Their primary television network, ABC , will air a 25th anniversary reunion special of the 1997 production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella  on their news show,  20/20 , followed by a presentation of the film, airing live for the first time since it debuted on The Wonderful World of Disney. This is a particularly appropriate time

The Comprehensive D23 Expo Princess Announcement Post!

If you're a Disney fan, you are probably aware that this weekend is the D23 Expo , a massive fan convention that happens once every two years where they make the biggest announcements and reveals of upcoming Disney content for the next couple of years. This was the first Expo in three years, so Disney made sure to pull out all the stops to celebrate their upcoming 100-year anniversary. As usual, I am here to fill you in on everything princess that happened at the expo . Get your tiaras ready because this is going to be a big one! Disenchanted Friday afternoon was the biggest panel of the event, and no announcement since then has come close to the level of excitement I felt for these upcoming films. First up was Disenchanted , the sequel to Enchanted  that will launch on Disney+ in November, which dropped not only a new poster but also the movie's very first trailer! I had been curious about this movie for a while as I'm sure many other fans were, and this trailer did not l

Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cinderella Is Coming to Broadway, and I Have Thoughts

After following the West End run of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cinderella  with great anticipation, I was pleased to learn that the show is coming to Broadway  after its controversial closing in the UK . I was a little less pleased when I learned that its title would be changed to Bad Cinderella. Yes, I know "Bad Cinderella" is the headlining song from the show  and that they don't want people to confuse it with Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella , but after Lloyd Webber was booed onstage for calling the production "a costly mistake" in a letter he wrote for its final curtain call, is it really a good idea to promote its revival in America with a derogatory adjective? Maybe if it didn't spark so much controversy in its British run, the title could have been interpreted as a parody along the lines of Disenchanted . At this point, it gives off the impression that Webber is making fun of the show, something that I personally don't think it deserves. H

Review: Beauty and the Beast - A 30th Celebration

Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration  is finally here, and there's a lot to explore. I had been anticipating this production  since it was announced last summer. At the time, it sounded like it would be filmed live like  2019's The Little Mermaid Live! , but it was apparently pre-recorded with a similar format. Both productions played a chopped-up version of the animated classic that was intercut with Broadway-style  performances. The biggest difference is that Beauty and the Beast  paid more tribute to the original animated film by including cameos of people who worked on it, such as Paige O'Hara , the original voice of Belle, who played a librarian in the opening number, and Alan Menken , the composer, who was seen playing the piano in the background in multiple scenes. Broadway veteran Rita Moreno  hosted with tidbits about the original movie while pencil sketches and behind-the-scenes footage were presented in between commercial breaks. The live performances were a

I Attended a Holiday Princess Ball!

Last winter, I attended a charming  local princess event I saw advertised on social media. This holiday season, I had the fortune of learning about another one. The Central Texas Theatre Academy , which put on the performance of Shrek the Musical I saw this past summer, summer, hosts an Annual Holiday Princess Ball , an intimate event in which girls are inspired to dress as their favorite Disney Princess  and hang out with unofficial theme park princesses  in the same vein as the princess party companies . The difference is that this event is much cheaper than hiring a private princess, and it doesn't have to be someone's birthday to attend. The party was primarily for children, but I still had a decent time. The first thing I noticed upon entering the room was that it was set up like a tea party with a handful of round tables containing teapots, plastic teacups on saucers, pink lemonade, and water. Warm apple cider was available on one side of the room. Each table had a tray

Check Out These New Princess Teasers!

After a disappointing Super Bowl Sunday  that did not reveal the promised trailer for the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid , Disney quietly dropped the 30-second TV spot online a couple of days ago. This is a teaser rather than a trailer with even less content than I was hoping for. Half the video shows footage that has already been released at the D23 Expo , while the other half reveals two-second flashes of additional scenes from various points in the movie. They are so quick that you might miss them if you blink. The only way to get a good look at what's going on is through screenshots. One clip features our new Ariel bouncing off a phosphorescent pink cloud of translucent jellyfish. This is a fun little image that gives us a first look at the movie's visual effects in creating the fantasy underwater kingdom of Atlantica from the original film. Her playful movements are reminiscent of the showstopper "Under the Sea" number, which might be where this clip c

Games and Free Books Galore for National Tell a Fairy Tale Day!

National Tell a Fairy Tale Day  is here again, and that means lots of fun freebies and games from Brittany Fichter  and her posse of authors. The first online event I attended for this was the Entwined Tales Launch Party  in 2018. While most of these fairy tale celebrations have been done on Facebook in the past, this year's took place entirely on Brittany's blog, making it less interactive than the previous ones due a lack of live post and comment notifications. Participating authors  included Brittany Fichter (of course), Laura Greenwood , Melanie Cellier , Rachel Rossano , Abigail Manning , Mary Mecham , S.R. Nulton , and Celeste Baxendell . Additional authors who did not contribute to the blog events offered free or deeply discounted editions of their books . I managed to complete all twelve of Andrew Lang's Fairy Books  just in time for this auspicious occasion, but I'll be writing more about that on Sunday. My favorite activity from this year's posts were the

Review: CPHS Princess Tea - Rapunzel's Surprise Birthday Party

Last year, I attended a Princess Tea  that was presented by the  Cedar Park High School Choir  and was pleased to learn that it is an annual event. That year, the theme was A Winter's Ball. This month, the event rolled around again, and I was excited to see more of the beautiful costumes and harmonizing from the talented team behind this show. This year's theme was Rapunzel's Surprise Birthday Party, which sounded super exciting because Rapunzel loves celebrating her birthday! The event is mainly a concert performed by a different group of choir students each year with some light dialogue between songs that form a story to connect them like a play. It's really neat how they're able to come up with a new story each year, but it's mainly just an excuse to sing a bunch of princess songs. The event setup was similar to last year, with student helpers walking around in mouse ears to seat guests at their tables. The entryway to the event was a big castle archway with

Adventures Onboard the Disney Wish

When I heard that Disney was building a new ship called the Disney Wish  with three princess shows, a Frozen restaurant, and princess-themed staterooms, I just knew I had to find a way onboard. Last weekend, my wish came true at last! I embarked on a magical three-night cruise with stops at Port Canaveral in Florida, Nassau in the Bahamas, and Disney's private island, Castaway Cay, and I'm here to tell you everything you need to know about the Disney Wish. Make sure you have plenty of time to read because this will be a long one! For your convenience and mine, I've divided this post into five sections:  The Ship, Shows, Dining, Characters, and the App,  including a new onboard game called Uncharted Adventure . I will not be discussing the ports of call in this post because they did not have any princesses nor did I spend much time at them, but I would be happy to answer any additional questions that I didn't cover in this post in the comments. The Ship The moment I ste

Review: Disney's The Little Mermaid Cruise Show on the Disney Wish

After giving my lengthy overview of the Disney Wish cruise ship yesterday, I wanted to take some additional time to discuss their exclusive stage show entitled Disney's The Little Mermaid . This was one of the things I was most excited about seeing on the Disney Wish. It's brand new, and there is an embarrassingly small amount of content available for it on the internet. One reason for this is that they don't allow recording of any kind in the theater, so all of the pictures I share in this review will be official promo photos from Disney. Disney has done other stage interpretations of The Little Mermaid  including a Broadway show  and a short stage show at Disney's Hollywood Studios called Voyage of The Little Mermaid , but this was a completely new experience that was unlike anything I've seen before. As audiences look for seats in the Walt Disney Theatre, the empty stage contains a giant treasure chest up front and center with projections of moving ripples on t

Here's What I Missed When I Was Away

While I was making my wish come true on the Disney Wish cruise ship , I missed about a week of blog posts. Most weeks, I don't have a lot to write about besides my weekly book review, but last week happened to be a pretty big one for princess fans. Not only did Disneyland After Dark debut a new hard ticket event called Princess Nite, but the long-awaited full-length trailer was finally released for the upcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid  as well. Between those two massive announcements, it looks like I have a lot of catching up to do. Let's get started. Disneyland After Dark is a series of themed hard ticket events at the Disneyland theme park that take place at night after the park closes to regular guests. Attendees of these events must purchase an additional ticket that grants them evening and nighttime access to the park just for the event. I have been to several hard ticket events at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland. The one that has stuck around the

I Attended a Spring Egg-stravaganza That Was Packed With Princesses!

I've been attending a lot of local princess events  since moving into my new castle . One company whose events looked amazing that I kept missing out on was Once Upon a Party , a high-end princess party  and event company based in New Braunfels that shares beautiful photos of its characters on social media  that are on par or better than the Disney theme parks . Yesterday, I was finally able to attend one of their events, and it was everything I was hoping for and more. Hosted at the beautiful San Antonio Botanical Garden , Once Upon a Party's Spring Egg-stravaganza  is a hidden treasure trove of beautiful and talented characters wandering around and interacting with guests of all ages with no lines and no crowds. But that's not all. The event also featured merchandise, games, Easter egg hunts, and a petting zoo presented by Once in a Wild . When we arrived at the Botanical Garden, the Once Upon a Party team had a table set up near the entrance to check in and get a wristba

Review: The Little Mermaid Jr.

When Disney closes a show on Broadway , they usually retain a version of the two-and-half-hour-long script to sell to schools and community theaters for licensing. This was the case for The Little Mermaid musical , which only lasted for a year and a half at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in New York and for good reason. I saw this show in 2007 when it was still in previews and felt that the extra hour of songs and dialogue did very little to enhance the story that was told in the original 1989 feature film . Based on what we know so far, it looks like the live-action adaptation coming out next month is going to add a lot more backstory and worldbuilding to justify its two-hour-and-fifteen-minute runtime, which was recently confirmed by AMC . When Disney sells licensing to their shows, there is sometimes a lesser-known version available that takes the script in the opposite direction by making it even shorter than the original film. These are known as Jr. productions. They are cheaper to l

How Beauty and the Beast Paved the Way for Disney's Broadway Era

Princesses are no strangers to the Broadway stage . With their glamorous gowns and gorgeous singing voices , live theater is the perfect way to showcase these glowing examples of femininity. With the Broadway Princess Party entering its seventh year currently under the guise of Disney Princess: The Concert , it seems like there has always been at least one adaptation of a Disney Princess movie gracing the Broadway stage. However, this tradition did not begin until 1994 when Disney on Broadway premiered their first show, a stage adaptation of the animated masterpiece, Beauty and the Beast . After the success of The Little Mermaid  launching the Disney Renaissance in 1989, Disney movies became known for their Broadway-style soundtracks pioneered by the talent of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman , who came to their animation studio with backgrounds in musical theater. Though this show is no longer running on Broadway, the script is available for other theater groups including  Magnolia Mu

Disney Kicks Off World Princess Week with a LEGO Special!

Today marks Disney's third annual World Princess Week , and it kicked off with a surprise special on Disney+  featuring four of the original voices called LEGO Disney Princess: The Castle Quest . The special featured LEGO versions of Snow White, Ariel, Tiana, Rapunzel, and Moana embarking on a quest to rescue King Triton from Gaston, who used Snow White's Magic Mirror to help him take over an abandoned castle. While his unexpected combination may seem a little reminiscent of Wreck-It Ralph 2 , in which Vanellope got together with a group of all the Disney Princesses, this special takes things to the next level. Since the characters and backgrounds are made of LEGO bricks, it doesn't take itself seriously and goes all out with Easter eggs and references. For instance, Ariel and Moana's quest brings them to a pirate ship where they encounter Smee from Peter Pan , Iago, and the Magic Carpet from Aladdin . The special may have contained an unapologetic amount of fan servic

Review: Six The Musical

There have been quite a few Broadway musicals  about royal ladies over the past few years, but most of them were closed before they truly had a chance to shine . Both Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cinderella  and Britney Spears' Once Upon a One More Time  only lasted a few months on the Great White Way before they went dark . One of the most contemporary shows about female empowerment that has stood the test of time is Six , the British musical about the six wives of King Henry VIII. I recently saw this show six years after its 2017 opening, so it lasted at least as many years as its namesake. What is it that made this show dominate so many other contemporary female-empowering fairy tales? For one thing, Six stands apart because it is not a fairy tale. The six historical queens who are featured in it had miserable lives for different reasons. By encouraging its audience to learn more about history, Six benefits from the success of other historical musicals like Hamilton , which is one

Both This Year's Broadway Musicals Featuring Cinderella Were Flops!

Two new Broadway musicals featured Cinderella as a leading lady this year, and neither of them lasted for even four months on the Great White Way.  The first was Bad Cinderella , adapted from Andrew Lloyd Webber's short-lived Cinderella musical on the West End. The other was the Britney Spears jukebox musical, Once Upon a One More Time , which sounded like a bad idea from its inception. Both shows suffered from poor ticket sales, backstage drama, and criticism over the long-running trend of modernizing old fairy tales . Yet, the problem is not with the character of Cinderella herself , who has been a long-standing icon of fortune, romance, and glamour, but rather with the media's obsession of correcting popular stories to fit a standardized feminist narrative. After all, the most famous Cinderella musical, Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella , has enjoyed great success for many decades with numerous adaptations and revivals, one of which is allegedly still on the way . Be

I Hosted an Event for National Princess Day!

It seems like everything interest has an official holiday each year, but for the longest time, there wasn't any day to celebrate our love of princesses. In 2017, the newly retired Swan Princess series  declared the film's anniversary date of November 18th to be National Princess Day . Since the date was coined by one of the few princess franchises that was not bought out by Disney , the Mouse House does very little to celebrate and instead started its own World Princess Week  at the end of each August beginning in 2021. However, the rest of us can still get together to celebrate our love of princesses for National Princess Day on November 18th. This is a significant time period for not just The Swan Princess , but many other animated princess movies which  historically always come out right before Thanksgiving to generate optimal sales. The next Disney Princess movie to follow this tradition will be Wish , which comes to theaters next Wednesday. In honor of all these princess

These Disney Princesses Are Making a Comeback!

Since the November princess anniversaries are too far away for this year, Disney is setting their sights on other things to celebrate in the coming months. For those of you who read my latest review of a "Sleeping Beauty" retelling yesterday, the timing could not have been more appropriate. Today marks the 65th anniversary of Disney's 1959 animated classic, Sleeping Beauty , and they are celebrating it with some beautiful limited edition merchandise . This year also marks the 30th anniversary of Disney's Beauty and the Beast Broadway musical , which is being celebrated in a big way. Finally, four Disney Princess television shows may or may not still be in production this year, so we will wait with bated breath for updates in the hopes that we can see some of our favorite princesses return on the small screen. Princess Aurora is the featured princess on Shop Disney today , marking the 65th anniversary of her film. There is lots of great merchandise available, but o

National Tell a Fairy Tale Day Is Back!

National Tell a Fairy Tale Day has quickly become one of my favorite days of the year. Once obscure and unknown, February 26th has become the best day to score amazing bargains on fairy tale adaptations from all the best fantasy authors. These annual festivities started as a Facebook party  with many reader interactions. Last year, independent author and fairy tale queen  Brittany Fichter  decided to host the event as a series of linked blog posts  which, though more accessible, creates less opportunity for live interactions with the authors. However, the celebrations continue to include a vast array of fairy tale-related games, activities, and free or discounted ebooks to read throughout the year. This year's fairy tale webring, Once Upon 2024, features 13 authors of various fairy tale adaptation series. Each author made a post introducing herself, sharing some fun fairy tale-related activities, and contributed at least one complimentary ebook from her collection. The authors inc

Review: CPHS Princess Tea - Ariel's Treasure Hunt

The best time of the year is back! Every year, the Cedar Park High School Choir  gets together to write a brand-new show filled with princesses, songs, and games for its annual Princess Tea . This year's show, Ariel's Treasure Hunt , is the third one I attended since moving to the area. Many things remained the same such as the lobby set up with fairy tale photo ops, royal souvenirs, and the castle entryway, but there were plenty of surprises to be found during the performance as well. The female choral group, known as the Seasons, dominated this year's show with a wide array of Disney Princesses, while the male singing group, Pitch Black, cosplayed various Disney heroes, supported the princesses, and performed several group numbers during the intermission. I sat at the Cinderella table, which was adorned with an old storybook, an autographed note, and a clock stuck at midnight. This year's show, which is freshly written by students each year, revolves around Ariel wan

Review: Frozen The Musical

It was inevitable that Disney's biggest cash cow of the last decade or so would get a Broadway run . Almost all of their biggest hits have now toured on Broadway at some point and were followed by  live-action remakes . Though I was excited to see the movie when it came out, I've always thought Disney's  Frozen   was overrated . So when it made its  Broadway debut  back in 2018, I was not particularly eager to see it. Its Disneyland counterpart,  Frozen Live at the Hyperion , relied mostly on screens to tell the story and did not encompass a fulfilling experience onstage. As a result, I was pleasantly surprised to find that while the Broadway version also uses screens to create the full effect of its snowy landscapes, it has some lovely set pieces and entertaining musical numbers, and it is quite possibly Disney's best Broadway adaptation of one of their animated features. Maybe I've been too hard on this franchise. Most Disney on Broadway shows suffer from unneces


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