Unless you visit the Disneyland Resort with toddlers in tow, the Disney Junior — Live On Stage! show in Disney California Adventure’s Hollywood Land probably isn’t one of your top in-park destinations. But if you have pint-sized patrons of the popular Disney Junior series in your household, you know that the network’s cartoon characters are like rock stars to the pre-school set.
After many weeks of refurbishment, DCA’s Disney Junior show reopened on Friday, March 22, with the same refreshed production that previously premiered at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios park. This latest version retains the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse framing segments and Jake and the Neverland Pirates vignette, while replacing the Handy Mandy and Little Einsteins sequences with new scenes inspired by Sophia the First and Doc McStuffins. As before, the show uses a mix of live actors and rod puppets manipulated from beneath the stage.
Squarely aimed at the smallest guests, the Disney Junior show largely disregards Walt’s dictum that Disneyland attractions should appeal to the entire family, but it does have positive aspects. It takes place in an indoor, air-conditioned venue where kids can move around without being forced to sit still in a seat, and the show’s simple object lessons about friendship and kindness are well taken. Plus, a few of benches in the parent seating area at the rear of the theatre are near accessible electrical outlets, making this a fine place to recharge your cellphone while taking a rest.
One final word of warning: with this update, we expect a temporary surge in interest for this already popular show. On busy days you’ll want to get in line at least 15 or more minutes before showtime to secure a spot. If the waiting crowd fills the outdoor queue area, ask a cast member if you’ll make it into the next performance.