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Top 5 Reasons Disney Fans Should Go See Live-Action Aladdin

Published May 23, 2019 by Disneyways.com

Aladdin basically repeats the exact story line from our animated favorite, yes, it’s true. But stay with me here – because I’m going to give you 5 reasons to go see this in the theater anyway. There are glorious parts that I think you’ll want to see and hear on the big screen if you are a die-hard Disney fan like I am. We are going to discuss rugs, Elsa moments and some other things to note as well. Fair warning, you may or may not find this review to be “spoiler free.” The story has been out since 1992, grossed more than $502 million at the global box office, and led to successful stage productions on Broadway and abroad as well as a North American touring company.  Chances are as a Disney fan – you are familiar with the tale!

“Aladdin” opens in U.S. theaters nationwide May 24, 2019. My future daughter-in-law Kelsey and I attended the media screening on May 21, 2019.

The live-action versions of Mary Poppins, and even Dumbo – switched up the story so it was different from the animated versions. If you go looking for that again, you won’t see it.

Just the same, here is my list of Top 5 Reasons Disney Fans Should Go See Live-Action Aladdin:

#1 The opening song “Arabian Nights” ~ like you’ve never heard it before!

The film opens with a version of the song Arabian Nights – but this time – Will Smith is the singer! YES Will Smith is the Genie. I had trouble wrapping my brain around it before I saw the film. BUT, I think if you had any concerns about live-action Aladdin, especially anything Will Smith-related, they will vanish once that first big song kicks in. As a fan of Will’s work since way back in the day when he was “The Fresh Prince” … it’s safe to say that I have been jamming “Prince Willie Style” for a long time.

For Arabian Nights, I LOVED hearing his voice in full song. Our theater had the volume up pretty loud for the whole film, so it made it extra epic! I got chills hearing Will belt out to the swell of the music:

“Araabiaaan Niiiiiiii-i-i-ghts like Araaabiann Daaaays….”

You can just imagine.

“A Whole New World” and “Friend like Me” won Oscars back in 1992. Why did this one not get one too? “Arabian Nights” is fantastic, so if you enjoyed it in the animated film, I know you are getting me here. By the way, Will Smith as the Genie, did not try to get fancy with the tune or change the arrangement. You’re going to recognize it, it stays true to the classic.

Note how in parts of this film, Genie might remind you a bit of Will’s character in Hitch.

#2 The CAPTIVATING Magic Carpet

Photo Source: Kirsten Acuna from Insider.com and she got it from Disney

I read and saw as little as possible about this film in advance because I wanted to be surprised. I had no idea that the carpet made a splash and was overshadowing all this talk about Will Smith being the Genie – as early as February 2019. But wow, I totally get it now!! Keep your eyes on the carpet – he is CAPTIVATING!! The detail really presents itself on the big screen of a movie theater. I never knew I could get so excited about a rug.

Speaking of “rugs” Mena Massoud who plays Aladdin…bless his heart… what was going on with his hair in this film? Maybe it’s just me and the world that I live in. In case you hadn’t heard, I work with Peter Alden, who is a stunning and talented Elvis Presley Tribute Artist with his own natural and beautiful hair – in a time where even the really young “Elvis guys” wear wigs. I don’t know if Mena was wearing a wig, or if they straightened is hair in an effort to get it to look more like cartoon Aladdin. But the hair was distracting to me. I feel like they could have done better.  Or even just left it alone. His natural hair is gorgeous. Go see this film on the big screen and tell me if you get what I am saying here.

YES!!!

 

Nooooo….

#3 “Speechless” A Princess Anthem: Jasmine has an “Elsa” moment this time around!

I was so glad to hear Genie’s show-stopping familiar songs like”Friend Like Me” and the fantastic “A Whole New World.” The new live action remake of Aladdin brings to life brand new versions of all your favorite songs, but it also adds an all-new tune to the mix.

The courageous and self-determined Princess Jasmine is portrayed by Naomi Scott. Remember her? She used to be a Power Ranger. Go go Princess Jasmine! She has a thick British accent in real life – but she drops it and you totally forget about it during her role as Jasmine. During this film, she sings a new song called “Speechless.”

While watching this in the theater I thought to myself that surely they are trying to recapture the magic of “Let It Go” from Frozen. It really reminded me of that song and the whole Princess Elsa scene. Now that I am researching this whole thing, I have found that there is good reason for that.

The music is by original Aladdin composer, Alan Menken. Jasmine and her storyline with the desire to be free of the constraints of the palace and be recognized for her own abilities was major in the last film – but it’s given even more prominence in this one.  The title of the song, “Speechless,” references the state that that those around Jasmine, like Jafar and her father, seem to want her to remain in. She, instead, wants to be able to speak her mind.

Does that sound a little like “Let It Go” to you?

I am from the (non-feminist) school of thought that Princesses were fine the way they were. But I enjoy seeing the girls shine in the newer films as well. So, to me, it’s mostly just nice for Jasmine to get a song of her own, because she never had one in the original animated film. If you recall, Jasmine’s only opportunity to sing back then – was as part of the “Whole New World” duet. Unlike many of Disney’s animated films, Jasmine is a princess that isn’t technically the main character in Aladdin.  As I mentioned, she’s a bigger deal in this film….and as a Princess fan, that alone was enough to make me happy. Go see Aladdin in the theater just to catch Princess Jasmine on the big screen having her “Elsa” moment! The colors in the film, the music and the thought behind this — are positive —  and fabulous.

#4 Aladdin dances Ballywood Style…On the Big Screen!

I’m going to leave that right there. The colors, the movement, the music…enough said.

#5 Prince Ali – fabulous he – Ali Ababwa…

Here comes the THRILLING and VIBRANT part. WOW, it was so beautiful, I almost cried. I can’t portray how fantastic this scene was to you in words. It was a moment I was happy that animation became live-action. This alone is a reason all Disney fans should go see this film in the theater, just to fully absorb the splendor. Here’s a YouTube video that gives you a couple sneak peeks at what I am talking  about.

It is interesting to note that when Will as the Genie sings the original lyrics “brush off your sunday salaam” he changes them to “brush off your FRIDAY salaam” … all I can think of is that maybe he did that because the film will be released on a Friday? Tell me if you know something about that!

I hope you enjoyed reading my top 5 reasons to see Aladdin in theaters! Send me your list when you go see it!  Here are some links so you can follow the official accounts for more fun!

Like Aladdin on Facebook: HERE

Follow Aladdin Twitter: HERE

Instagram: HERE

YouTube: HERE

**Please note that I was invited to a complimentary viewing of this movie on May 21, 2019 so that I could bring you this review. My guest and I each had to pay $8 for parking. The free admission and the money we shelled out for parking, in no way influenced my review, and all opinions are my own.**

 

Production notes:

Hashtag: #Aladdin

Genre: Action Adventure

U.S. Release date: May 24, 2019

Cast: Will Smith, Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott, Marwan Kenzari, Navid

Negahban, Nasim Pedrad, Billy Magnussen

Directed by: Guy Ritchie

Screenplay by: John August and Guy Ritchie

Animation Screenplay by: Ron Clements & John Musker and Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio

Based on: Disney’s “Aladdin”

Produced by: Dan Lin, p.g.a., Jonathan Eirich, p.g.a.

Executive Producers: Marc Platt, Kevin De La Noy

Songs

Music by: Alan Menken

New Lyrics by: Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

Lyrics by: Howard Ashman and Tim Rice

Score by: Alan Menken

 

 

Top 5 Special Things To Do At Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2015

Published November 14, 2015 by ltdjosh

christmascastleupclosejosh

 

We’ve all seen pictures and video of Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom done up for the holidays…the sights, the sounds, the merriment. But, sometimes the holidays can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you’re a first time visitor. So here are my top 5 special things to do at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in the Magic Kingdom. These are in no particular order, but I hope they help you to get the most out of your Christmas Party trip.

  1. Special Character Interactions – Most of us know that Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party are special times for character interactions, and this year is no different. In addition to all 7 dwarfs (whom you will only see during parties) and the princes with their princesses, you also will have the chance to see Sandy Claws, Reindeer & Elf, and even the jolly man himself, Santa! Obviously these characters are never guaranteed, but it’s a good chance to try to catch them in between parades. You can also catch special character interactions at the Totally Tomorrowland Christmas party at Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland and the Character Dance Party at Club Tinsel (Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe in Tomorrowland). You can also join in the fun at Celebrate The Season – a special holiday stage show held three times an evening in front of Cinderella Castle.
  2. Complimentary Holiday Treats – Don’t say Disney never gives anything away for free! At several locations throughout the Magic Kingdom, you can stop in for complimentary hot cocoa and cookies (there are healthy options available too). These treats make for an extra magical time, especially if you stand on Main Street and enjoy them during the parade (it will snow during parts of the parade to add even more magic).
  3. Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade – this holiday favorite is back and better than ever this year. Join Mickey and Minnie and all the gang as they welcome the holidays in a super festive and fun parade. This is another chance to see some of the more rare characters, such as Clarabelle Cow and Horace. The parade ends, like any good holiday parade, with a special appearance by the man of the hour, Santa Claus!
  4. A Frozen Holiday Wish – Join Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf as they bring in the holidays with a little bit of twinkling ice on Cinderella Castle. Held twice an evening, this special castle lighting ceremony is NOT to be missed.
  5. Celebrate The Magic & Holiday Wishes – Be amazed as Cinderella Castle is transformed into a dazzling display of color and magic, showcasing breath-taking lighting effects and a brilliant musical score incorporating some of your most beloved Disney tunes. Then stick around as the skies above Cinderella Castle come to life with the most magical holiday fireworks presentation ever. You might even catch a glimpse of Jolly Old St. Nicholas and his team of reindeer as they fly high over Magic Kingdom.
  6. BONUS – VoicePlay – new to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party this year is VoicePlay – an amazing and astounding acoustic marvel. Bringing together beautiful harmonies and classic Christmas songs, this a cappella holiday concert is sure to delight guests of all ages.

These are just a few of the many things that you can enjoy during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party this year. For more information, check out the following park maps, which will tell you all of the locations for everything during the party.

mvmcp-map-2016-front

mvmcp-map-2016-back


 

10277448_10152220823381036_4050401386084466142_nJoshua Snyder is an avid Disney fanatic. He recently moved back to Indiana after spending 2 years living his dream in Orlando, FL. When Josh isn’t dreaming about the parks, he’s helping people plan their dream vacations. As a Dream Designer with My Mickey Vacation, Josh loves helping people make their Disney dreams come true. He is also the senior writer and head of the writing team at Living The Dream Podcast. Josh can be reached at joshua.snyder@mymickeyvacation.com for travel agent inquiries, or at joshua.livingthedreampodcast@gmail.com for all other inquiries.

Limited Time Magic: Photos from Day one of True Love Week

Published February 12, 2013 by Disneyways.com

February 11 to February 17, 2013 is True Love Week as part of Disney’s Limited Time Magic Promotion.

True love was in the air on day one at Walt Disney World Resort – as fairytale princesses united with their princes, Cinderella Castle got a romantic nighttime makeover and “happily ever after” became reality.

Ramon Rodriguez of Theme Park Concierges was our on-scene reporter today, and he captured some fantastic, exclusive, Prince and Princess photos. Ramon is great at taking pictures, but his true passion is providing guests with personalized, private and exclusive VIP concierge vacation services for all of Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Universal Studios and Sea World Theme Parks. Thank you for the great photos Ramon!

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What a great way to kick off the week!

Here is more of what we can expect:

Romantic Setting: Feel the romance at every turn, with banners proclaiming True Love, heart-shaped signage and sweetheart-themed décor.

Blushing Castle: At dusk, Cinderella Castle will blush hues of pink, red, lavender and blue with themed lighting that’s paired with musical melodies.

Valentine’s-themed Takeaways: Limited-edition pins, plushes, newly designed apparel and Vinylmations will be available for purchase at select merchandise locations.

Carriage Awaits: New Fantasyland invites lovers to create memories alongside Cinderella’s Glass Coach.

Wishes Come True: Hearts and flowers enhance Cinderella’s Wishing Well, offering a picturesque backdrop for your photos.

Rose Walk: The Rose Garden in Central Plaza will be enhanced with enchanting décor.

Disneyways is headed to the parks again this week for more photos.  Please let us know what are you most interested in seeing. It would be “lovely” to hear from you!

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