For those who haven’t seen it, Disney’s Believe a father-daughter story in which workaholic Dr. Greenaway struggles with a work-life balance, and dismisses his daughter’s belief in magic as folly while he pursues scientific endeavors. The show is primarily about his journey in learning to believe, which is facilitated via characters from Mary Poppins, Peter Pan, Pocahontas, and other characters.
The outcome is predictable, but it’s the journey that’s compelling. In a story that will likely tug at the heartstrings of parents for whom the story hits close to home, those who are grappling with their kids growing up, and adult Disney fans for whom the story resonates in different ways, it’s emotionally wrought and in some ways introspective.
Disney’s Believe is not perfect, but it wades into waters that are deeper than you’d normally find in a Disney production of this nature. It’s not philosophical, controversial, or anything remotely like that…but it tugs at your heart in a different way, if that makes any sense.
The songs help keep things light, while still supporting the story arc. Beyond that, it’s incredibly well-done, with high production value, excellent choreography, a strong music selection, and some truly impressive special effects. (Disney calls it award-winning, and my guess is that those are technical awards as there are some really cool moments in the show.) All in all, I really enjoyed it, and would definitely watch it again.
Now, I could see how some people might not react quite as positively to Disney’s Believe. If you watched Golden Mickey’s, Villains Tonight, and then this on 3 consecutive nights, you might have “montage song fatigue.” All of these shows are similarly structured with loose narratives that are glorified MacGuffins to progress the show to the next musical number. It becomes a bit redundant.
However, Disney’s Believe is by far the best of these three and montage song fatigue soon won’t be nearly as much of an issue since a Beauty and the Beast musical (which, presumably, will not utilize the same structure) will be wedged in between the two. I think that will make a huge difference in perception, and lead to guests enjoying Disney’s Believe much more…even though the show itself won’t change.
Following the show, we headed to the room a bit to unwind before I opted to head back up to the atrium to watch the ‘See Ya Real Soon’ show. I was a few minutes late to this and only caught the final minute, which then transitioned to an ‘impromptu’ meet and greet.
At this point, I headed back to our stateroom. It seemed like a waste at the time, but it turned out to be a valuable use of 5 minutes.
Our final dinner was at Royal Palace, which is themed to Disney princesses. The atmosphere definitely felt regal, but after seeing the new Tiana’s Place on the Disney Wonder (and even Be Our Guest at Walt Disney World), I wish they’d just focus on a single princess and do a themed environment to that film really well.
That’s personal preference, of course, and I know having an array of princesses represented is likely to placate more kids, but recreating a specific environment from a film is more immersive, and will wow some children, rather than placating all of them.
In any case, wow was this meal incredible. By far my favorite dinner and all of these dinners were really good. The duck confit, lamb, and escargot were all particular standouts for me, but it was all good. I’ll do a full review in a separate post, but here are some photos of what we had:
I’d say this was the closest we had to a Signature (by Walt Disney World standards) dining experience on the Disney Dream. The food was better than many Signature meals we’ve had, but not quite as inventive.
Still, I’d take this meal over many/most we’ve had at Walt Disney World Signatures. It was that good (and ordering multiple appetizers and entrees certainly helped!).
To me, this is really saying something given that a Signature meal at Walt Disney World would’ve cost roughly the same amount per person as what we paid for that day of the cruise. (Granted, we got a steep discount on the cruise.)
Going into it, I was a little worried we’d regret not doing Remy (which we’ve never done), but the goal was to keep costs down. After 3 exceptional dining experiences, I had no regrets. I’m sure Remy would’ve been amazing, but the meals we had were great. Perhaps next time for Remy…
After dinner, we headed to the atrium to watch the live musicians; after a bit of this, there was an announcement that ‘See Ya Real Soon’ would be starting soon. It then dawned on me that this show was probably an excuse for the ‘impromptu’ meet and greet.
I wondered/guessed that it would play out the same way, right down to where the various characters would go afterwards. So, we moved to where I recollected Mickey meeting with by the Admiral Donald figure, and after the show, we were the first guests in line for a photo with Captain Mickey Mouse.
After that, we immediately headed around the corner for Goofy. Mickey was clearly the most popular choice, with his line extending out of the atrium, and not every guest getting to meet him before his set ended. I don’t know if this always happens, but it seems like a fairly safe bet that wherever the characters meet during the first ‘See Ya Real Soon’ on your cruise is where they’ll meet during the second one. So, if you want a chance to meet characters without incredibly long lines (as the on-ship meet & greets did during our cruise), I’d recommend this strategy. On Page 2, we’ll share thoughts on cruising with Disney as adults as well as thoughts on Disney Cruise Line v. Walt Disney World (and more).