Joelle has a school friend named Max (whom Joelle has told us she will marry one day, not sure if we had mentioned that before). Max’s dad called us today at 12:30 telling us that they had an extra pair of Playhouse Disney Live tickets for the 3:30 show (Max’s brother is sick). So, Joelle and I happily accepted their offer and went with them to the show.

Joelle and Max are on the older edge of the target demographic for the show which featured Mickey Mouse, Pooh/Tigger, Little Einsteins and Handy Manny so I had a different perspective than when we took Joelle to the Wiggles when she was 2. At the Wiggles concert we figured she would be amazed that THE WIGGLES were there and SINGING THAT SONG kind of thing. As it turns out she couldn’t really tell what was going on and was more engaged by the toys and people around her. This time we had a completely different outlook – I didn’t expect her to be engrossed and I wasn’t concerned about how the experience would be. It was the first time I had taken her somewhere like this where there wasn’t pressure to make it AN EXPERIENCE for her. I just hoped she would have fun.

While the kids focused on the stage I was able to focus on some of the odd events surrounding us. Some notes from the experience from my point of view:

1. I remember getting excited for Joelle at DisneyWorld when we would see a character we knew. I’m sure I’m just as guilty as any parent in saying something like “OOH, ARIEL” or something like that. But it was pretty funny to hear thousands of adults go “OOOOH!!!” every time a character came out. If you don’t consider why they are doing it, it just seems that all these adults are just amazed that Mickey came out from backstage during the “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” segment.

2. Of all the applause and “shock” (see #1) for each of the characters, Minnie got the greatest reaction. I think it’s because only Mickey came out in Part 1 and they didn’t expect “Mickey’s Friends” to be there in Part 2. Minnie came out after Mickey in Part 2 (followed by Donald and Goofy). I’d guess that if Donald came out second in that part he might have gotten the biggest reaction. I’d like to experiment with that.

3. The show had a 15 minute intermission after a 30 minute first act. The intermission was followed by a 30 minute second act. Just like TV! (with a longer intermission to let people purchase merchandise). Note it took about 40 minutes to get from our house to our seat and another 60 minutes to get from our seat back to our house.

4. When Tigger came out in the first act there was a kid about four rows back who would yell TIGGER! TIGGER! every 45 seconds or so. I’m not sure if he was a heckler-in-training or if he really thought TIGGER might give him a wave even though he was about 50 yards away behind hundreds of other screaming, clapping, crying, laughing, dancing kids.

5. The “uh oh” kid. At one point Mickey admits he forgot to find a song for them to sing since he was so busy planning the party. The second he is chastised by Minnie this kid starts loudly saying “uh oh! uh oh!” and looks to his parents for reassurance. They don’t seem concerned which seems to make him feel like he is the only one in the audience who appreciates the gravity of the situation. “UH OH! UH OH!” Even as Mickey suddenly remembers a song and the crew starts dancing, the kid is still worried.

I don’t notice the kid again until the lights go out on the party and Mickey chuckles “uh oh!” in his “aw shucks” voice. My eyes dart to the kid to see if he has a breakdown. Forgetting the song was one thing but NO LIGHTS? The world might as well be over. He starts an escalating series of “uh oh”s but I again lose track of him as out of the corner of my eye…

6. I see a girl fall down a flight of five or six aluminum steps (like risers at a small football or baseball field) and no one except for the parent or a couple of security guards seem to notice. She’s OK, but at a show with loud music, flashing lights and tons of kids who are already crying anyway just about everyone missed that.

7. Finally, we’ve mentioned the “hot dog song” before. Well it was there again, with a huge hot dog on the big video backdrop that made me hungry…until it split up into about 20 hot dogs and started undulating along to the beat with rotating mustard and ketchup. Then, not so much.

There’s probably more things that I forgot, but for 60 minutes and off the top of my head that’s pretty “busy”. For her part, Joelle said the “Little Einsteins” were her favorite part but the Leo and Quincy characters didn’t look exactly like they do on TV (agreed).

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