Disney is all around us! Although sometimes it feels like you can only find Disney magic when you’re actually in the parks, that is not the case at all! You don’t have to be at Disneyland or Disney World to be surrounded by Disney magic. I somehow manage to find Disney everywhere I go. So here is my first Disney in Different Cities Blog featuring debatably the greatest city in the world, New York City!
I am obsessed with NYC. I have been twice now and both times I was there, not only is there a crazy amount of NYC magic, but there is also a crazy amount of Disney magic! The easiest way to get your fill of Disney magic in NYC is through Broadway. It is no secret that I am ridiculously obsessed with Broadway and musical theatre. I have seen 25 professional musicals and 5 of those were on Broadway in NYC. So needless to say, I am a musical theatre nerd. That is why the first place to start for Disney in NYC in my opinion is on the Great White Way.
I have seen two Disney on Broadway productions: Aladdin and the Lion King.
In addition to these two shows, Disney recently opened Frozen on Broadway. As mentioned before, I love musicals, but there is something extremely magical about a Disney musical production. Obviously the music is great in these two shows and they include the classical tunes that we all know and love from the movies. But they also include new songs and side plots that are fresh and exciting. It is so fun to see how the musicals differ from the movies and how they make the movie magic come to life. For example, I love the featured song in Aladdin, Proud of Your Boy. This song was originally composed by Howard Ashman for the movie, but it got cut from the film. Alan Menken has discussed how Howard Ashman was extremely attached to this song and felt like it reflected his own relationship with his mother. So when Howard Ashman passed away, Alan knew that Proud of Your Boy had to be in the musical version of Aladdin in honor of Howard. If you haven’t heard this song, you have to go listen!! It’s so easy to relate to the feeling of wanting to make your parents proud, and this song is all about that. I love this moment of vulnerability for Aladdin. I also love the Proud of Your Boy Reprises. The first reprise is the Act I finale and it is incredible!! Adam Jacobs (the original Aladdin on Broadway) has the voice of an angel and was born for this role. This song is easily one of my favorite additions to the musical.
In addition to the extra songs in Aladdin, I also love the additional characters: Babkak, Omar, and Kassim. These are 3 of Aladdin’s thief friends who are hilarious! Their song, High Adventure, is a total show-stopper! It was so funny and entertaining and is a great addition to the show. When I saw the show, I saw Major Attaway, the standby for the original Genie, James Monroe Iglehart. At first I was so disappointed because I was dying to see James, but Major was AMAZING!!!! He was definitely one of the best parts of the show. And lucky for me, I got to see James in Hamilton as Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson that next Summer! He was obviously incredible in that role.
Finally, by far THE most magical part of Aladdin was the magic carpet scene for, A Whole New World. IT ACTUALLY LOOKS LIKE THEY ARE FLYING!! I was trying so hard to spot wires holding up the carpet but could never see any. It was the most magical thing I have ever seen in a musical. Seeing them fly through the stars and singing the beautiful song, A Whole New World, brought me to tears. Aladdin is a must see….and it is on its national tour right now starring Adam Jacobs!! So go see it if you get the chance, it is absolutely worth it.
Now moving on to Lion King! Lion King brings sooo much Disney magic to the stage. While you are watching the show, you will completely forget that you are watching people sing and dance because the costumes create visuals for actual animals on the stage. The talent of the actors is unbelievable! Young Nala and Young Simba are the most talented little nuggets ever. I loved how they include the song, He Lives in You, from The Lion King II. That is one of my fav songs in the movie and I love how they incorporated it into the show. Nala also has a bigger role in the musical, which I love. She is a total bas ass! And Rafiki is a complete show stopper. Her voice is like no other. My fav part of the show was the ending scene (which is also my favorite in the movie) during the song, King of Pride Rock. It follows the scene where Simba defeats Scar (and it starts raining in the movie). This is the most beautiful song of the show. Their voices brought me to tears! And then Simba slowly walks up Pride Rock and roars like the king he is! Ugh, so magical! This part still gives me chills just thinking about it! The Lion King on Broadway is the third longest-running musical on Broadway. It is definitely a must-see!
Some people think these two shows are just made for kids since they are Disney shows. But this is not the case at all!! Disney on Broadway appeals to all ages, and while it is great for kids…it is also great for adults! Me and my mom absolutely LOVED both shows! And I’ve gotten my older sister pretty hooked on The Lion King Broadway soundtrack.
Now if Broadway is not your scene or it is out of your price range…you are still in luck. Disney manages to bring its magic to NYC outside of Broadway. If you are on Times Square, you can’t miss the ginormous Disney store!!! It is two-stories tall and massive. Imagine a basic Disney store…times 5. It is sooo magical! It has a Tangled-themed escalator (which is my favorite part!!!) with lanterns and everything. This store is a must-see in NYC, even if you don’t buy anything. But you might not be able to resist all of the adorable NYC-Disney merchandise! I am obsessed with my, I love NYC, Disney mug!
Well, I could write a whole novel on all the things to do in NYC. But if you are making a trip there, make sure to get your dose of Disney magic. Everything is bigger in the big apple, and so is Disney. Whether you go see a Disney show on Broadway or just stop in the Disney store on Times Square, make sure to enjoy all of the magic that Disney has to offer in NYC!
Here are some pics from my trips featuring some of my other favorite stops in NYC 🙂