Ribab Fusion is jamming now through January at Epcot’s Morocco pavilion. (Video by Seth Kubersky)
During last year’s reshuffling of Epcot’sWorld Showcase shows, long-time fan favorite musical group Mo’Rockin’ was moved out of the Morocco pavilion and replaced by a Berber band called B’net Al Houwariyate. Now, the revolving door of Epcot entertainment has rotated yet turned again: B’net has said goodbye (at least for the time being) and Ribab Fusion has made their debut at Epcot’s Morocco.
Spend Back to the Future Day with Doc Brown at Universal Studios Florida for this Best Week Ever. (Photos & video by Seth Kubersky)
Great Scott, what a Best Week Ever it’s been! As all cinema lovers know, October 21, 2015, was the day that Doctor Emmett Brown and Marty McFly arrived in the futuristic Hill Valley in Back to the Future Part II. As of yesterday, we all officially live in the future! Even though hoverboards and Mr. Fusion machines aren’t yet commonplace, scores of sci-fi fans showed up — many in elaborate costumes — to celebrate Back to the Future Day at Universal Studios Florida.
Drive down the brand new Disney Springs I-4 exit ramp in our exclusive POV video. (Photo/video by Seth Kubersky)
If you’ve visited Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World any time in the last couple of years, you know what a royal pain in the tuchus traffic can be in that area. Now you can rejoice, because Downtown Disney is dead and Disney Springs is here, with a brand new way to arrive. The new Disney Springs I-4 exit ramp is now open, providing a much more stress-free way to drive into the shopping district’s recently completed parking garage.
Bid a final farewell to Mulch, Sweat, and Shears with videos of their last shows at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (photos/video by Seth Kubersky & Len Testa)
It was the mulchiest of times, it was the sweatiest of times. But now the time has come to shed a tear and bid farewell to Mulch, Sweat, and Shears. After just over 11 years of rocking guests faces off as Walt Disney World’s best (and only) landscaping-themed cover band, the popular group played their last shows ever at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on Friday, October 10th. The band may have been given a “big record deal” (read: pink slip) but the Mulch memories can live on forever, thanks to our videos from their final day of performances.
First up, here is a recording of Mulch, Sweat, & Shears’ last 1:30 p.m. set on the Streets of America, as captured by Len Testa:
In only two weeks, I’ll be boarding a plane to Amsterdam and leaving Orlando behind for a month-long European vacation — hopefully not the Chevy Chase kind. While across the pond, I’ll be exploring (and sharing with you, WiFi willing) some of the continent’s best theme parks, including Disneyland Paris. But my impending bon voyage means that my latest Best Week Ever visit to Walt Disney World will likely be my Magic Kingdom farewell until some time in October.
[Note: I realize that to people who don’t live in the Orlando area and only visit WDW every few years, the above sounds a bit ridiculous. But such is the life of a theme park writer, so try to suspend disbelief for the sake of this column.]
With that in mind, I documented this final summer stroll around Florida’s favorite theme park, in which I pulled off the amazing anti-achievement of only experiencing one single attraction during my entire afternoon. What ride or show did I pick for my final taste of the Magic Kingdom before departing the country? Read on and find out!
Chill out with Olaf and friends during the 2015 Frozen Summer Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (photos and video by Seth Kubersky)
Frozen first hit movie theaters in the fall of 2013, but legions of fans (and Disney’s entertainment department) don’t seem ready to “Let It Go” anytime soon, as we enter a second annual season of Frozen Summer Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We were on hand for the the first day of festivities, which will celebrate the CGI snow princess and pals every day through September 7.
Frozen Royal Welcome Parade
The first Frozen Summer Fun attraction I attended was the new Frozen Royal Welcome, which runs twice a day (currently 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.). It isn’t quite a full fledged parade on the scale of Paint the Night, but boasts far better production values than the typical Hollywood Studios motorcade we’re used to seeing at special events.
The original Disneyland Band castle show has taken its final bow, but you can relive it with TouringPlans. (Photo and video by Seth Kubersky)
“Now it’s time to say goodbye” to one of the longest-running entertainment offerings in Disneyland history, as the Disneyland Band has disbanded, at least in it’s original form. Weeks ago, an “end of run” notice was filed with the musicians’ union that represents Disneyland Resort employees, notifying members of the historic 16-member marching band that they would have to reaudition for their roles (some of which they’d held for multiple decades) in a newly reorganized Disneyland Band, which will feature “a new sound” and “high-energy choreography.”
The classic Disneyland Band, which has been performing Americana classics since the park premiered in 1955, was originally expected to perform until the new one debuts at Disneyland’s official 60th birthday on July 17th. But (as reported by the “I Support Walt Disney’s Disneyland Band” Facebook fan page) the final performance of the full band under director Kurt Curtis was held on Monday, June 15.
The new Disneyland Band will be slightly larger, and feature 2 members of the original ensemble, while the rest will be redeployed in smaller musical groups (at least through the Diamond Celebration). That’s why I’m so grateful I stumbled into the band’s midday castle show during my recent Disneyland visit. While the microphones weren’t quite cooperating, this complete video of the Disneyland Band castle show should give you an idea why these performances were popular for generations:
In less than a month, we should have our first look at the all-new Disneyland Band, and if you are a fan of modern-day drum corps choreography, you should probably be looking forward to it. If not, keep an eye out for former Disneyland Band members as they pop up in new spots around the parks.
Sindbad fans out there (both of you) may be wondering what’s changed with what can charitably called Universal’s most problematic production. While the show’s spectacular set has received a sparkly paint job and some new props, nothing has been radically changed on the visual side.
Of course, the scenery was never Sindbad’s big problem. It’s the shallow, self-referential script that was always the source of our issues with the stunt show, and (for better or for worse) the dialogue has remained about 90% unchanged.
Before we get to the main event, one element definitely is all-new. Ten minutes before showtime, an “assistant stage manager” selects a few volunteers from the audience to act out the story. Here’s a complete video of the opening day preshow:
Here’s a look at the ride’s Chinese Theater exterior, which has received subtle new signage and a much-needed cleaning.
The attraction had a 25 minute standby wait in the late afternoon when I visited, but earlier in the day it went up to nearly an hour. Is the refreshed ride really popular, or is there just not much else to ride at DHS?…