Claiming a show is the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) is a bold statement to make but I’m very confident about my position on this one. The show I’m talking about forever changed my viewpoint about what a theme park show could be. It wasn’t just a good theme park show or a good Disney character show. This is just an amazingly enjoyable show featuring talented musicians, dancers and vocalists, some of whom just happen to be Disney characters.
What show am I talking about? I’ll give you a hint. It’s not at a U.S Disney park.
The best show ever is Big Band Beat at Tokyo DisneySea
Our first trip together to Japan was in 2005, and since Big Band Beat didn’t open until 2006, we didn’t get a chance to see it until our next trip in 2009. At the time, doing huge research research on the park, spending the time to get reserved tickets and spending time in a theater to see a show with Disney characters wasn’t very high on our list of things to do. Fortunately, we knew a Disney performer who had just returned from Japan, where she had worked as one of the singers in the show. She basically made us promise we’d go see it when we were there. Since she’s an amazing singer (Sharon jokes that when she grows up she wants to be able to sing like her), we trusted her opinion.
There was only one time we could see the show while we were there, so we stood in line and found seats. This is no bench seats type of theater. It’s nicer than many places in New York so we had hope the show might be worth our time.
The lights dimmed, the band started to play (yes, they had a live band on stage) and the show began. My life was never the same. The beginning of the show was cute and very, well, Japanese. Disney characters doing cute things surrounded by talented singers and dancers. It was nice but not anything spectacular. Then came the finale.
I have no pictures of our show because the Japanese took the no photography thing very seriously. They walked around the audience before the show with signs that included “No Cameras” icons.
The only video I’d been able to find until now was one filmed when the show was on Japanese television. That was, until I found this clip taken in 2016 during a media event for Tokyo DisneySea’s 15th Anniversary. Big Band Beat was given a refresh for its 10th year, which changed the show a bit, apparently for the better. The end of the show is basically what we saw in 2009 and is what made my jaw hit the floor.
I didn’t know Mickey Mouse could do that. It was mind boggling thinking about how difficult that is. A tap number, with THOSE shoes?
This is another video, I’m assuming from the same event.. It shows a little bit more of the entire show but has some jump cuts during the finale.
Incredible, right? It sort of ruined all the other shows for uYou after we saw know, tt. The ones where Mickey just runs onto stage, kisses Minnie, waves to the audience and that’s the end of the show. They just aren’t the same once you see Mickey playing on a drum kit and full on tap dancing.
This is just one of the things that make the Disney parks in Japan so amazing, and DisneySea the best park anywhere, IMHO. Don’t get me started on Journey to the Center of the Earth vs. Test Track or their Winnie the Pooh ride compared to ours.
So if you’re a Disney fan, a trip to Tokyo should be on your bucket list and before you think it’s impossible, here’s how our friends did a trip to every Disney park in Asia using frequent flyer miles.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary