Over the weekend I had a chance to check out the newly updated Disney Junior - Live on Stage, which officially opens tomorrow. The attraction underwent an update to bring in some new TV shows that have become popular on the network while removing some of the older shows. So what worked and what did not work about the update? (Warning, spoilers are ahead)
The coolest single change/addition to Disney Junior - Live on Stage has to be the snow effect in the Sophia the First segment. Sophia is trying to help Cedric with casting a spell and accidently makes it snow in the theater. This is the same "snow" we are accustomed to seeing during the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights and it's the first time I've seen the snow effect in any Walt Disney World attraction. The audience definetely seemed impressed.
The one thing I always seem to enjoy with these attraction updates are the new puppets. I do not know the style of puppetry design employed, but the new puppets really look like their animated counterparts, which I find intriguing considering how awful some TV to theme park conversions have gone in the past (anyone remember "linebacker Miss Piggy"?). At one time, I had heard the puppets cost tens of thousands of dollars and if that's true, then the end product is well worth it.
My chief complaint about these semi-regular attraction updates is that the overall story always remains the same. The overall story line of Mickey and his friends are trying to surprise Minnie for her birthday party is still the backstory to the show. If you have kids that love this attraction, then you've probably seen this show a lot and it would have been nice to have a completely new story for the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse portion of the show. If they're going to go to the lengths of closing the attraction for 6+ weeks, why not update it all?
I did not expect this to be addressed in this short of an update, but something needs to be done about the viewing angles for the show. The problem is the stage is elevated relative to where the guests sit (on the ground). So anyone sitting close to the stage really has to struggle to see the back of the stage, which is especially problematic for small children. This leads to kids in the front standing up, thus blocking the view of other kids behind them and the line of sight issue trickles back. Again, I know this was not going to be fixed in this update, but it remains an issue for the attraction overall.