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Expansion Coming?

Comped

Well-Known Member
I remember talking privately back in 2017 about this. It was assumed that it would have been for Disney Springs until they announced the Main Street Theater that ultimately got cancelled in MK. At the time, it was expected to be along the lines of an Open-ended run of Beauty and the Beast, since when I had initially talked about these plans, was a month after the movie came out. It was expected that the cost of the building would have been in the tune of 70 Million.

There was some ideas that admittedly sound far-fetched but one was that Disney Theatrical Productions was reportedly going around the notion of two casts and shows running concurrently. The idea that I knew of at the time would be that you had a stage being shared with one or two productions at one time with one show being a matinee and the other being the evening show. One idea that was also among the people I talked with was about workshopping shows here, but that would make sense in the form of early workshopping given that Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New Jersey are where they usually try out shows. For example, the Hercules musical that's in development had it's first public performance in 2019 at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park in New York City whereas in the case of the The Hunchback of Notre Dame where they had first ran at the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego and then the Papermill Playhouse in New Jersey.

I honestly thought this was still on ice, so I was joking with CMs I know about submitting it to ITM as clickbait back in April.


One location that I talked about with some on it, and where it would make most sense.

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Lines up with what I know. BATB was supposed to essentially be slightly reworked and given a trial run until it moved to Broadway (which will likely happen soon anyway). Main Street Theatre would have served a similar purpose, but probably would have had its own original show (not one from Broadway or West End) in the evenings, and probably a daytime show to reduce crowds. The workshop idea makes sense (especially with the number of shows DTP is working on atm), although I'm not sold on the logistics of two different large scale shows sharing the same building, especially if they're set heavy, without major works.

As for taking out Cirque, well, that was discussed up until they signed the deal for Drawn To Life, and is still on the backburner because of the show's rather poor performance financially. You'd essentially need to tear it all down and start again, but it could very well work. The domestic parks need theatres like they have in Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, and they need ones badly. Even just at Downtown Disney/Disney Springs.
 

Gringrinngghost

Well-Known Member
I'm not sold on the logistics of two different large scale shows sharing the same building, especially if they're set heavy, without major works.
I was not sold the idea of two separate productions sharing the same stage then and I am really not sold now. A lot of the apparent consideration into this belief was that you could run a show like Frozen where while it was moderate for set pieces, it was for the most part thin enough that you could easily place it in another location, outside of what the cast would be on such as the ice bridge and the factor at most of the entire background for the show was a LED Wall. That being said, I couldn't see them being able to do it, if they we're to run for example Hunchback of Notre Dame. Hunchback is definitely a heavier production in terms for the set.

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As for taking out Cirque, well, that was discussed up until they signed the deal for Drawn To Life, and is still on the backburner because of the show's rather poor performance financially. You'd essentially need to tear it all down and start again, but it could very well work.

Around the same time with La Nouba closed and before Drawn to Life was going to open, that there was going to be a temporary show akin to Algeria that would have been run sous le chapiteau, while the main theatre was under refurbishment. But that never did happen.
 
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SaucyBoy

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
As for taking out Cirque, well, that was discussed up until they signed the deal for Drawn To Life, and is still on the backburner because of the show's rather poor performance financially.
Are there any indications as to why Drawn to Life is underperforming? In its waning years, La Nouba was also struggling to bring in the crowds it once did. I'm seeing DtL on July 5th (after originally having tix to the opening night) and there were a ton of seats available for booking.
 

Comped

Well-Known Member
I was not sold the idea of two separate productions sharing the same stage then and I am really not sold now. A lot of the apparent consideration into this belief was that you could run a show like Frozen where while it was moderate for set pieces, it was for the most part thin enough that you could easily place it in another location, outside of what the cast would be on such as the ice bridge and the factor at most of the entire background for the show was a LED Wall. That being said, I couldn't see them being able to do it, if they we're to run for example Hunchback of Notre Dame. Hunchback is definitely a heavier production in terms for the set.

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LED walls are no substitute for actual sets - you can maybe use it for a daytime show (and have the set-heavy show on at night), but a $90/ticket show should have a physical set. The overuse of a video wall is my biggest issue with Mickey and the Wondrous Book and its similar shows - too much video, not enough set, which makes the entire experience feel more like a castle show, and less like a theatre show. The two have to feel distinct as different types of entertainment - as someone who's written multiple papers on entertainment, and who's writing a book on the development of Disney's live entertainment from a historical perspective, many in ops (post WDE being forced shut) see the two as similar, and try and plan for very similar shows, particularly recently, to save on costs. Which never works out. As for matinees being viable multiple times a week, I don't know if even Disney could turn around two completely different casts that fast, at least enough for it to be optimal (without starting the first show around 2-3 in the afternoon, as opposed to the more standard 3-4 PM for a normal matinee for a singular production, and the 2nd close to 7-8 in the evening), at least with closer to traditional slows. Too logistically difficult for everyone involved. But that's just my opinion!

Are there any indications as to why Drawn to Life is underperforming? In its waning years, La Nouba was also struggling to bring in the crowds it once did. I'm seeing DtL on July 5th (after originally having tix to the opening night) and there were a ton of seats available for booking.
From my understanding, it's not Disney on Broadway enough for the tourists who don't know cirque, too much Disney for the Cirque fans, and too expansive for the locals. Combine that with higher ticket prices than many would be willing to pay (especially in Orlando, a city not exactly known for its theatre or performances), and it doesn't sell out like Cirque usually does in Vegas (or elsewhere.)
 

SaucyBoy

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
From my understanding, it's not Disney on Broadway enough for the tourists who don't know cirque, too much Disney for the Cirque fans, and too expansive for the locals. Combine that with higher ticket prices than many would be willing to pay (especially in Orlando, a city not exactly known for its theatre or performances), and it doesn't sell out like Cirque usually does in Vegas (or elsewhere.)
I’m a seasoned Cirque fan (14 shows and counting) so the overuse of Disney is definitely a concern of mine. But to me, it’s no different than LOVE or MJ. I will say I was shocked at how expensive Drawn to Life is compared to La Nouba. I paid close to $200 for my tickets back center, which was insane to me. I’ve sat front row for La Nouba way less.

I have to admit I’m surprised Cirque opted to return back to Orlando a city, as you said, that has a pretty unremarkable live theatre scene. They could never crack NYC or even LA, so the fact they were willing to risk it again was interesting.
 

Jrb1979

Well-Known Member
I’m a seasoned Cirque fan (14 shows and counting) so the overuse of Disney is definitely a concern of mine. But to me, it’s no different than LOVE or MJ. I will say I was shocked at how expensive Drawn to Life is compared to La Nouba. I paid close to $200 for my tickets back center, which was insane to me. I’ve sat front row for La Nouba way less.

I have to admit I’m surprised Cirque opted to return back to Orlando a city, as you said, that has a pretty unremarkable live theatre scene. They could never crack NYC or even LA, so the fact they were willing to risk it again was interesting.
I'm surprised too. It says a lot when Blue Man group leaves Universal.
 

Comped

Well-Known Member
I’m a seasoned Cirque fan (14 shows and counting) so the overuse of Disney is definitely a concern of mine. But to me, it’s no different than LOVE or MJ. I will say I was shocked at how expensive Drawn to Life is compared to La Nouba. I paid close to $200 for my tickets back center, which was insane to me. I’ve sat front row for La Nouba way less.

I have to admit I’m surprised Cirque opted to return back to Orlando a city, as you said, that has a pretty unremarkable live theatre scene. They could never crack NYC or even LA, so the fact they were willing to risk it again was interesting.
LOVE, at least, was much more a blend of the two. At least in my opinion - helps that Beatles music is a lot easier to translate to Cirque than the rather, in my opinion, hamfisted way they translated Disney in this show. Not really knowledgeable on MJ's show, so I won't comment. La Nouba was priced when this was a real experiment, and nobody knew if it would work - especially as it didn't have the "Disney tax" added to it, as it was much more of a Cirque show than a Disney show.

As for Orlando itself, I suppose it's very similar to Vegas. A tourist city with massive tourist potential that may be familiar enough with Cirque from their other shows to see it. Orlando really only has 1 major theatre, and even it is ungodly expensive (for the price of most shows, or even a season ticket for their touring Broadway calendar, I can fly from MCO or NYC and see several shows in amazing seats with a full Equity cast, and usually major actors as well). Local theatres beyond that are somewhat scattered, and we don't even have many big dinner shows on I-Drive now.
I'm surprised too. It says a lot when Blue Man group leaves Universal.
It's my opinion that it was so under-performing enough by the end that Universal decided they could better use the space for other things, and BMG didn't object. BMG being able to make Boston work, but not Orlando, is a bit odd - though it may have to do with theatre space and costs more than anything else. BMG, like Cirque, has steadily retreated to the American market as their primary driver of residential productions - both have steadily retreated since 2008 from their international productions, particularly in Europe and Asia. We could see those kinds of productions return, especially as resident productions are, all in all, more profitable than tours for a number of reasons.
 

IMDREW

Well-Known Member
For me and my family, Drawn To Life is just too expensive. We really wanted to see it this trip, but 100+ is just too much. And the discounts available are not doing it. We tried walking up the box office an hour before for a better discount, but they wouldnt give us any.
 

Anteater

Well-Known Member
For me and my family, Drawn To Life is just too expensive. We really wanted to see it this trip, but 100+ is just too much. And the discounts available are not doing it. We tried walking up the box office an hour before for a better discount, but they wouldnt give us any.

Can’t be doing too well as I’m sure UK bookings for WDW now come with free tickets to ‘Drawn to life’
Kinda ironic that they're giving the Brits freebies. Yet, the theatre doesn't sell out and they offer no last minute discounts. Seems a discounted seat would be more valuable than an empty one -- or even the free one.
 

Cmdr_Crimson

Well-Known Member
Lines up with what I know. BATB was supposed to essentially be slightly reworked and given a trial run until it moved to Broadway (which will likely happen soon anyway). Main Street Theatre would have served a similar purpose, but probably would have had its own original show (not one from Broadway or West End) in the evenings, and probably a daytime show to reduce crowds. The workshop idea makes sense (especially with the number of shows DTP is working on atm), although I'm not sold on the logistics of two different large scale shows sharing the same building, especially if they're set heavy, without major works.

As for taking out Cirque, well, that was discussed up until they signed the deal for Drawn To Life, and is still on the backburner because of the show's rather poor performance financially. You'd essentially need to tear it all down and start again, but it could very well work. The domestic parks need theatres like they have in Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, and they need ones badly. Even just at Downtown Disney/Disney Springs.
Around the same time with La Nouba closed and before Drawn to Life was going to open, that there was going to be a temporary show akin to Algeria that would have been run sous le chapiteau, while the main theatre was under refurbishment. But that never did happen.

There were plans for a Disney Entertainment Theater for DTD several years ago. It was briefly mentioned in the WDW Explorer CD..As being a performing arts theater for visiting entertainers.

My guess this is that when Cirque came in and took over that plot of land is where it should have been...
 
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Grumpy4196

Well-Known Member
I wonder if Disney has any plans for escape rooms in the Springs area now that Uni has announced 2 for Citywalk. A Star Wars or Alien escape room would be awesome IMO.
 

MisterPenguin

🐧🐧Pfizer x2 🐧🐧🐧Moderna 2+bi🐧
Premium Member
I wonder if Disney has any plans for escape rooms in the Springs area now that Uni has announced 2 for Citywalk. A Star Wars or Alien escape room would be awesome IMO.
There was a poll from a while ago that asked about escape/challenge rooms, and family camps, and massive interactive installations like Meow Wolf. But that was all pre-pandemic.

Insiders indicated escape/challenge rooms were being investigated, but then dropped. Haven't heard anything since then.

Of course, the Halcyon is sorta in that territory...
 

tanc

Premium Member
The expansion should bring back the Adventure's Club. The gimping of the candy cauldron sign, the new warehouse look of world of Disney, and overall the fact that Disney Springs looks like a strip mall really makes me feel like DS just isn't special anymore.
 

SaucyBoy

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
The expansion should bring back the Adventure's Club. The gimping of the candy cauldron sign, the new warehouse look of world of Disney, and overall the fact that Disney Springs looks like a strip mall really makes me feel like DS just isn't special anymore.
Disney Springs, in all it’s incarnations, has always looked like a strip mall. You’re being willfully ignorant if you believe the previous Downtown Disney was anything spectacular. It was a literal dump. The remodel is one of the best things to happen outside of the parks in the last decade.
 

DisneyDebRob

Well-Known Member
Disney Springs, in all it’s incarnations, has always looked like a strip mall. You’re being willfully ignorant if you believe the previous Downtown Disney was anything spectacular. It was a literal dump. The remodel is one of the best things to happen outside of the parks in the last decade.
The Lake Buena Vista shopping village.. ill even go as far to say the Walt Disney Workd village that followed never looked like a strip mall. They were unique in its offerings and a beautiful area. It went downhill after that in the 90’s and 2000’s. The latest update, i agree is the best thing to happen to that are in the ladt 25-30 years.
 

SaucyBoy

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
The Lake Buena Vista shopping village.. ill even go as far to say the Walt Disney Workd village that followed never looked like a strip mall. They were unique in its offerings and a beautiful area. It went downhill after that in the 90’s and 2000’s. The latest update, i agree is the best thing to happen to that are in the ladt 25-30 years.
Makes sense. I'm only 30, so my experiences growing up were the abysmal Downtown Disney; though my parents loved PI.
 

eddie104

Well-Known Member
It’s simple it started to look outdated like a lot of things from that time period.

I mean have you seen DL’s Downtown Disney ?

They are finally updating it when it clearly needed help a long time ago.

So personally to me Disney Springs was a well thought out project.
 

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