Disney Cruise Line’s newest Broadway-style show, “Tangled: The Musical,” is the first time the 2010 animated movie has been adapted for the stage, and it has been well-received by critics, bloggers and passengers since it debuted aboard the Disney Magic in November 2015.
On Thursday, I was invited to see the show while the Magic was docked at Port Canaveral, Fla., between cruises. Normally, “Tangled: The Musical” is performed twice in one night during each voyage the Disney Magic makes.
The production is a full hour — the longest of any such stage show on a Disney Cruise Line ship — but it does not leave room for even the youngest audience members to get antsy. The pacing of “Tangled: The Musical” keeps the story moving, alternating slower numbers with peppy ones, while still staying true to the animated movie.
Without giving away too many spoilers, here are some of the reasons Disney Magic passengers should make seeing “Tangled: The Musical” a priority when they are on the ship.
** You will fall in love with Rapunzel and Flynn Rider all over again. The actors are so convincing — Rapunzel with her 200 feet of braided blond hair and spunky attitude, and charming Flynn who earnestly confesses his real name is Eugene Fitzherbert while trying to win over the lost princess.
** Rapunzel’s adoptive parent, Mother Gothel, is a master of back-handed compliments, which leave the audience laughing out loud.
** Who can think of Tangled without picturing the beautiful floating lanterns scene? “Tangled: The Musical” has made that scene even more magical, if that’s possible. Let’s just say that audience members throughout the theater will feel as if they, too, are surrounded by the floating luminaries.
** Maximus, the guard horse, steals the show. I couldn’t help but watch the puppeteer every time he came on stage to try to see how he managed to have such perfectly timed reactions. The puppet itself was designed by Michael Curry, whose work can be seen in the Tony Award-winning musical “The Lion King” on Broadway.
** Three new songs were created exclusively for the show by Academy Award-winning composer Alan Menken and Grammy Award-winning lyricist Glenn Slater: “Flower of Gold,” “Wanted Man” and “When She Returns.” Don’t be surprised if you find yourself humming “Wanted Man” after you leave the theater; it’s that catchy!
** Speaking of wanted men, the Thugs take over O’Gill’s pub on the ship on the night “Tangled: The Musical” is performed. Lots of little details, including clever signs (“Slug a Thug and Get a Free Mug — sorry all out of mugs”), projections and special drinks complete the overlay. The takeovers happen at 7:45 and 10:15 p.m. The pub is open to families until 9 p.m., and then guests have to be 18 or older until closing time at midnight.
** Like any great Disney attraction, “Tangled: The Musical” has its own merchandise. There was a blue show T-shirt and a Flynn Rider Wanted T-shirt in one of the gift shops we passed not far from the Walt Disney Theatre.
Disney cruises have always been a fun way to relax and let your hair down. And now there’s even an onboard musical that achieves this feat quite literally.
DISCLAIMER: I was a guest of Disney Cruise Line onboard the Disney Magic for the day to see “Tangled: The Musical” and have lunch. My observations and opinions are my own.