“Toy Story–The Musical!”

Agents often remark that entertainment is nice, but it isn’t the main reason people cruise. But having been onboard Disney Wonder at Port Canaveral, FL, during the introductory event for the new show “Toy Story–The Musical,” we might beg to differ—at least where this new one-hour musical extravaganza is concerned.

toy story the musical

"Toy Story-The Musical!" is now playing onboard Disney Wonder.

Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the rest of the lovable characters from the movie Toy Story are now captivating the hearts of cruisers. “It’s Broadway quality and there’s nothing like it out there on the seas,” says Ed Fouche, Disney Destinations’ senior vice president of travel industry sales and marketing, who chatted with Travel Agent at the rollout event. He said the new show is yet another amenity that will help agents pitch Disney’s “entire package” as a family-focused cruise line.

In addition, “it will be very helpful to repeaters,” Fouche notes. “If you’re a travel agent selling to a guest who has sailed on us before, then I think it becomes a bigger hook, as the agent can say, ‘Oh, you have to go see this!’”

David Griffith, travel consultant, AAA Auto Club South, Melbourne, FL, hasn’t yet seen the show, but concurs with Fouche’s assessment. “Anytime Disney comes out with something new, my clients get really excited, they’re ready to go onboard to check it out and they’re looking for an excuse to go. This is definitely something that will appeal to my repeat customers, no doubt about it.”

What Can Clients Expect?
The American Film Institute judged the 1995 Toy Story movie by Disney-Pixar as one of the Top 100 Movies of All Time. Its sequel, Toy Story 2, was also a huge commercial success. Disney knew the movies would be tough acts to follow. Thus, Disney’s creative team began work on this cruise line musical in 2005 and spent subsequent years fine-tuning every element. Songwriters Brendan Milburn and Valerie Vigoda developed 15 different treatments for just one song before the final version was selected.

So what did we think? “Toy Story—The Musical” delivers the charisma and storyline of the movie, and also brings to life 35 cherished toy characters and two human characters. Best of all, Woody, Buzz and friends now sing and dance. With seamless transitions, the new show utilizes a mix of live action, huge life-like puppets, colorful costumes, original music, captivating sets and a few animated movie clips. Your clients will find:

* Broadway-quality performers: I felt I was watching an original Broadway show, not simply a new ship production.

* Captivating entertainment: From a nine-foot-tall Rex to 75 cute little green “inflatable” aliens, this show is continually engaging, scene after scene.

* Cutting-edge technology: As they watch, guests will wonder, “How did they do that?” For instance, the puppets have interior air conditioning to keep the humans that operate them comfortable. And, Buzz Lightyear’s costume isn’t fabric, but layers of foam imprinted with digital imagery.

* Interesting contrasts: The action continually shifts from the toys’ perspective with gigantic props representing everyday objects to the humans’ perspective using tiny toys, and back again.

For more information about “Toy Story—The Musical” including clips, agents may visit www.disneytravelagents.com. Yes, I’ve enjoyed many musical productions onboard cruise ships, but this production was exceptional. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it on a Broadway stage some day. But for now, your clients can see it on Disney Wonder for the price of a three- or four-day cruise, a good deal considering the cost of Broadway tickets for a family of four.

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