New Sunset Showcase Venue at Hollywood Studios Will Open with a Dance Party, but Do We Really Need Another?

HS        A month ago or so, Disney announced they were constructing a new theater in the Sunset Blvd area of Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Speculation instantly began about what the theater would host.  Could the Studios park be getting a new show? Or will an existing show transfer to allow construction for Star Wars Land and/or Toy Story Land to begin next year.  Shortly after, Disney posted a call sheet for actors/actresses who possess similar physical traits to certain Disney villains.  Speculation continued.

      Two weeks ago, Disney announced the theater is named the Sunset Showcase and will open on December 5th of this year at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  It will host a new dance party called Club Disney, which is described as “the hottest spot in town for kids and characters alike.” Guests 12178245_10153646400559437_215503877_nwill be able to join Mickey and friends on the dance floor in this club style environment.  The DJ Club Host will play a mix of favorite Radio Disney Top 40 songs as the floor and walls come alive with vivid images from classic Disney animation.  Since it is located on Sunset Blvd, perhaps we can hope for the characters dressed in their best flapper and swing dance outfits? It’d sure be great to see them tied into the 1930s era present on Sunset Blvd.

12179564_10153646400589437_1702270903_n       The sunset Showcase building will also have a seating area and snack station where Guests can cool off & relax, grab a bite to eat and even charge electronic devices, something that is greatly needed at all Disney parks thanks to My Magic Plus and the My Disney Experience App.

       The new Sunset Showcase venue is located behind Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster and will be accessed through the gateway next to the current entrance of the attraction. It is the same location Darth’s Mall has been placed for Star Wars Weekends in past years.  Club Disney is expected to run in the space through January, when a Villains offering is expected to move in.

Now here’s the kicker.  The announcement of another dance party really comes at no surprise.  Over the past few years, dance parties have almost become a staple for entertainment at the Disney parks.  And why shouldn’t it be? They’re inexpensive, easy to do, and please many Guests as once for hours at a time.  For years, Magic Kingdom has hosted a regular dance party in Tomorrowland on the stage by Space Mountain, formerly known as Club 626, and now with The Incredibles.  It’s a great way to use space that really has limited options for it.  (That stage was built for an outdoor show hosted by Stitch, similar to Turtle Talk with Crush in Epcot, but Guests deemed it too hot to sit outside for, so the show only lasted a couple months.)  But the use of dance parties has gotten out of control! Earlier this year, I attended the 24 hour day at MK.  The event held THREE separate dance parties; the regular one in Tomorrowland, a new location in Frontierland (which I felt really blocked traffic), and a larger one on the Castle stage!

Dance parties aren’t new for special events though.  The Not-So-Scary and 2015-03-18-19.57.30Christmas parties regularly hosts a dance party inside the consistently empty Diamond Horseshoe building with Woody and friends, and of course free candy. But at those events, they also offered specialty shows for entertainment. The Christmas party offers a special stage show in Tomorrowland, and this year debuted the new Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular, which proved Disney does know how to handle their villains.  (Looking at you Villains Unleashed.) Hollywood Studios also has a regular dance party during the Summer event.  For a short period it was themed to Show Your Summer Side, a nice tie in with their marketing commercials of their Show Your Disney Side, but was quickly replaced with the Frozen Summer Fun event last year, which returned again this past Summer.  My point being, do we really need another one?

Don’t get me wrong. Dance parties can be great for families, and it’s not a bad thing to have one in a park.  I’m sure with Animal Kingdom transitioning to a ‘full-day’ park which we’ll see have later hours in 2016, that park will also get a dance party.  But look at is this way.  Disney is pretty much the leader in entertainment. They continuously pump out quality movies, TV series, Broadway shows, etc, but for the parks, they resort to a DJ playing pop music and characters dancing?

It can be argued it is GREAT way for children to interact with the DSCN7853characters.  And it is!  I’ll even admit, watching Guests dance with Pluto, and seeing Goofy break it down is very entertaining.  Hell, let’s mix it up and offer more than just the Fab Five and the Incredibles on a regular basis.  Animal Kingdom would be great for Rafiki and Meeko! DSCN7877But while Disney adds these simple, repetitive entertainment options that come across as filler due to lack of entertianment options more than anything else, down the road, Universal Orlando just added three brand new pop-up shows to its Universal Studios park!  A percussion show using common items as instruments, a break dancing show, and a rap show DSCN7879using the Straight Outta Compton logo.  Universal recently closed Disaster and I’m sure Twister isn’t far behind, two minor attractions at the park that offers many more and Universal decided to add three small shows for extra entertainment.  Meanwhile, what almost seems like half of the attractions at Hollywood Studios (OK, it’s not really half, but for regular Guests, it sure seems that way) have closed to make way for long term construction projects and a new Star Wars walk through attraction & character meet, but all we get is another DJ?  It’s the easy way out!

As stated before, the ‘Club Disney’ dance party is only expected to run for about two months.  A good filler for the busy holiday season. In February, a new ‘attraction’ with Disney villains is rumored to take its place.  I say attraction because it’ll villains-unleashed-hollywood-studiosprobably be one of two things.  It could either be A) another dance party, but this time with Disney villains as the characters, or B) a permanent stage show involving Disney villains.  Option A would be eye-rolling central. But option B could be Disney finally wising up to the popularity of the Disney villains as seen with the two attempts of the Villains Unleashed event at Studios.  They say there is a dance floor, which is why I’m worried it’ll be option A.  If it were a show, the venue needs seating. Yes, they could add seats to the floor, but that would require the venue to close for a minor refurbishment.  Why not just have them installed from the beginning?  Why have a dance party last only two months?  Little has been announced, so until then, we have to continue speculating.  But in the park that has closed multiple attractions in recent months, for the better I might add, it’d be smart of Disney to actually add real attractions back in, such as shows, big and small, even if they are only temporary, instead of throwing a DJ, moving lights & smoke machines, and Disney characters in a small area and trying to pass it off as quality entertainment.

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About Chris DiPaula

Creator of DiPaula on Disney: entertainment website dedicated to Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, other Florida parks and activities, and other adventures. Co-creator and producer of Parks, Brews, and Geek News: an entertainment website dedicated to the Florida theme parks including Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando, movie & geek news, and food and brews. Chris DiPaula has been an avid theme park and amusement park goer since childhood and a die hard Disney fan for as long as he can remember. He is currently an active concierge Cast Member at Walt Disney World Resort and has worked for The Walt Disney Company since 2011. Previously, he worked for Busch Gardens Tampa and SeaWorld Orlando in the entertainment technician field as well.

Posted on October 23, 2015, in My Two Cents, Park News, Walt Disney World and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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