It’s no surprise that when you visit the Disney Parks the rides aren’t the only attractions. You’ll more than often see live performances, be it inside a controlled environment or outside on a stage. The shows often differ based on the subject matter. Most usually have a song and dance number while others focus more on action.
Over the years many shows have come and gone but usually aren’t forgotten. Well these ones were forgotten, possibly by most due to how odd and short lived they were. Let’s take a look at five of these oddities that were all once at Walt Disney World and see what we’ve been missing.
1 – Dick Tracy: Diamond Double Cross
In 1990 Disney, under their Touchstone Pictures label, released a live action adaptation of the 1930s detective character Dick Tracy starring Warren Beatty. While not a commercial failure the film isn’t that well remembered today, which is a shame.
Around that time Hollywood Studios was looking for a new stage show. They thought the adventures of Dick Tracy would make for an entertaining spectacle. The show opened in May of 1990 with a Disneyland version also made. But with little interest from guests the show officially closed in early 1991. The strangest part of the show was probably the realistic masks the villains wore to make their mouths move with the actors.
2 – Doug Live!
You all remember Doug! right? That show on Nickelodeon that eventually got bought out by Disney? Well when they acquired this popular 90s cartoon they also made a stage show that lasted from 1999 – 2001. The show sees Doug and friends (all with creepy face paint) as Doug tries to ask his crush Patty on a date.
3 – The Magical World of Barbie
That’s right. The world’s most popular fashion doll had her own show at Disney World in 1994. The show was the result of a partnership between Disney and Mattel who had a healthy working relationship at the time.
The show centered around Barbie and all of the friends she had made all around the world for her 35th Anniversary. The show was held at the World Showcase in EPCOT as Disney was looking for new attractions for EPCOT to attract younger guests.
There was even a VHS special called Barbie Birthday Party at Walt Disney World that acted as a promotion for both EPCOT and Barbie’s 35th Birthday.
The show closed in May of 1995 after the end of the two year deal with Disney and Mattel. Though short lived it definitely brought a lot of smiles to young girls faces.
4 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Probably not one that you would expect. Back in the early 1990s the turtles drove from New York City all the way to Hollywood Studios. They, along with a singing April O’Neil, would come down the street driving in their Party Wagon and would preform a short show followed by a meet and greet.
Though the turtles were in more than just the show, they were also in multiple parades and holiday events, including a TV appearance with Alan Thicke for a Christmas show.
The show ended in 1995 as their popularity began to die down, and whatever licensing agreement they made probably expired as well. Oddly enough when the Power Rangers were at Disney they didn’t have a mini-show like this.
5 – World Championship Wrestling
Disney and Professional Wrestling? What kind of crazy combination is this? So yes, in the early 1990s Disney and Turner owned pro wrestling promotion, WCW, had a partnership to shoot tapings for their television shows at Hollywood Studios (Then called Disney-MGM Studios).
In fact when WCW signed Hulk Hogan to the promotion they had a parade down main street for him to sign his contract.
The relationship ended until late 1997, to which WCW began taping at Universal Studios Orlando. Former WCW head, Eric Bischoff, spoke about the Disney-WCW partnership:
While these shows were rather odd, they are still a part if Disney history. And those who were able to see those shows were really lucky to witness that history.
What were some Disney shows that you thought were odd that you miss?
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.