Report from the previews

Sep 15, 2003 in "Mickey's Philharmagic"

Posted: Monday September 15, 2003 by WDWMAGIC Staff
(Thanks HMPPAN)


The theater is decorated with a beautiful gold Proscenium Arch (that surround the stage), on the arch are different instruments and musical notes in gold leaf. (I spy a hidden mickey) The curtains are deep red and the walls a blue velvet giving the whole room a grand style.

The show starts with an audio test done by Goofy. This test shows the seamless audio system that is used. It starts off with Goofy looking for Donald behind the curtain stage right. He cannot find him so Goofy walks around the entire auditorium and chaos ensues. This is similar to the effect in Fantasia 2000 when Mickey goes through the different doors to find Donald. At this point Minnie announces that it is time to start the show. Mickey freaks because Donald has yet to set up the orchestra. In the mayhem, Goofy miss hears to raise the curtain. As the curtain rises we see Donald asleep in a box. He then wakes up, see the audience, freaks and then pulls all the instruments (even a grand piano and the conductors baton) from inside the tiny box. Then he places Mickey’s Sorcerer’s Hat on the podium. With a sly look, Donald puts on the hat. He then taps the stand with the baton, and all at once the instruments let out a loud noise. In disgust, Donald yells for quiet but a very boisterous flute keeps playing. (I think this is a tribute to “The Band Concert” sort) Donald then grabs the flute and starts to jump on it to stop it from playing. Then in outrage the instruments start to play a mincing theme, all at once they start to swirl around Donald (who at this time is looking really worried) All at once Donald is swept up in the whirlwind of instruments and the sorcerer’s hat is blown off of his head. At this time we get a great 3-D effect. Donald gets hooked on a slide trombone and is flung by the neck into the audience and pulled back. Then from the whirlwind Donald pleads to the audience to help him by “reaching out.” All of a sudden the theater goes black. We hear a match strike and we then see Lumere from “Beauty and the Beast.” This starts the be our guest scene and at this time we notice that the Proscenium Arch is completely gone. During this scene we are treated with two in theater effects. We smell the scent of apple pie when Lumere does his flambeau. ( Pie and Puddings au flambeau). You also get air jet blasts when the champagne corks burst. All the while Donald is trying to catch Mickey’s sorcerer hat. Donald finally spots the hat and then proceeds to grab it and ends up mucking up the celebration, and he gets showered with food. Now begins the next scene. Donald is lying on the floor full of food with the hat just a few feet away from him. As he gets up we hear the opening theme to the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. A door in the background opens and in walks the brooms with buckets of water in hand. One can guess where this is headed to. Things start to get wet VERY WET as Donald tries to find the hat the audience gets doused with a few LIBERAL splashes of water. The a smaller broom walks up to Donald, he starts to laugh, but as this happens a HUGE broom starts making his way to him (once again he doesn’t look too brave). He dumps his bucket onto Donald, the audience gets wet again, and this is the segway to the next scene. We are now under the sea with Ariel. She starts to sing “Part of Your World, as Donald swims around in the background trying to catch the hat. (During this scene fog is pumped into the theater and offers a great effect) Ariel then opens a treasure chest during the song and we get treated with another 3-D effect. The contents of the chest; some jewels, a pearl necklace, and even Ursula’s Crown float just out of reach of the audience. She then takes Donald by the hand and gives him a kiss. He starts to pine. (Very cute) The scene ends with the camera panning to the sun above the waves. The sun then changes to the hot sun of the savannah. We here the first few refrains from “The Circle of Life” and then we jump right on into “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King.” This scene is done in stylized “cut outs” of animals swirling in circles on the screen. A stylized version of the hat and Donald also gets put into the mix. Simba also produces a jump factor when he leaps towards the audience. At the end Donald is put on top of the pyramid of animals and he falls as the screen goes to a star-field. The camera pans down to Big Ben as Peter Pan and Tinkerbell land on the minute hand. We then hear Donald screaming as he falls from the sky and land with a thud onto the edge of the hand. Pete gives him a strange look, sprinkles him with Pixie Dust and a chorus begins “We Can Fly.” Donald again sees the hat and gives chase. At the last minute, he and the hat fall out the sky. He falls behind a cloud and instead of falling all the way through he pops out of the top on a magic carpet. We then see Aladdin and Jasmine on carpet with the hat riding in the back as they sing “A Whole New World” (During this scene the scent of jasmine is being pumped in) Donald gives chase through the streets of Agrabah and finally at the end of the song Jasmine gives the hat to Donald. Then the whirlwind reappears and sucks Donald back to the Philharmagic Theater. When this happens the Arch suddenly appears out of nowhere. Mickey runs on stage grabs the hat and baton and puts a stop to the madness by conducting the instruments in a very grand and noble version of “The Mickey Mouse Club March.” Donald falls into a tuba and at then end of the song is blasted toward the audience and is IMPALED into the back wall of the theater. As the curtain lowers we see Donald’s rear end sticking out of the wall as he kicks and screams.

When I saw it I was simply amazed. The show/theater/music/everything was far beyond all my expectations. The only way I could describe it was WOW.

Philharmagic Stage
Be Our Guest
Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Part of Your World
I Just Can’t Wait To Be King
You Can Fly
A Whole New World
Philharmagic Finale

In theater effects:
Air Jets
Scent of Apple Pies
Scent of Jasmines
Lots of Light Effects (to me the light effects are what makes the show so immersing)

Technical effects:
The Proscenium Arch
Donald's Rear End

The screen is made with the 3-D film right in the middle and two 2-D screens on each side. The films are seamless and the the total screen is massive.

Out of all the 3-D shows this one is far more immersing. I absolutely loved the attraction and cannot wait to see it again."