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  • [Idea] Side Show / Freak Show at DCA

    I recall seeing an episode of Wild West Technology on the History Channel about the sideshow / freak shows of the old time carnivals and traveling circuses. Too bad they didn't do something like this at DCA.

    Now I know it is very un-PC to have an actual freak show (I love Zamora the Torture King at Knott's Scary Farm, but maybe watching a man shove needles into his arms and face is a little too much for a Disney crowd). But what about bring back to life Dumbo's Circus, an area that was designed around the time of Discovery Bay and some of the model's were on display in the Opera House during the 50th. I realize that AA type shows (a la Country Bears and America Sings) seem to be a thing on the past at Disneyland, but it would fit the theme.

    Or how about an up dated version. Build a big top style theater. Then hire performers with various talents and skills to do a live stage show. Acrobats, jugglers, stunt men, chinese style acrobats, magicians, contortionists. You could always change the line up to keep the show fresh. There are all sorts of performers with unique and facinating skills and talents that travel the country. Book these people and put on a side show. Then to throw a Disney element, add a couple AAs or life like advanced puppets of Disney characters to add some humor to the show by demonstrating their "special skills" (use some of the characters from Dumbo's circus, like Horace Horse Collar, the Rubberband One Man Band, etc). I remember the high light of the Mulan parade years ago were the Chinese acrobats. They got the loudest cheers. Again, with a constantly revolving line up, this show would always stay fresh.

  • #2
    Re: Side Show / Freak Show at DCA

    With the recent tone of PP posts, I can't say this thread is gonna be pretty. The idea of carnival games ruffled feathers, I'm sure a full-blown circus type attraction will be poorly received (by guests, that is.)

    Personally, I think the suggestion is well thought out, but I don't think it really had a place with the current theme of PP or the direction they're taking it.

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    • #3
      Re: Side Show / Freak Show at DCA

      IMO... since Dumbo is a theme for one of the games, WDI should dust off some of the ideas for Dumbos Circusland and set up the AA sideshow stages... the marquettes of some of these ideas were displayed in the opera house(Reluctant Dragon as the Fire Eater, Horace Horsecollar as the One Man Rubber Band). I personally think that some type of this attraction would fit in perfectly with PP and be relevant to a Victorian-era amusement park.

      The "Tent" wouldnt need to be that big, and you wouldnt need to have many displays 5-7 stages would be sufficient for a walk-through sideshow.
      Known in most other circles as "HauntedOne999"

      "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow!"

      Disneyland CM Dec. 2005 - May 2007

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      • #4
        Re: Side Show / Freak Show at DCA

        Originally posted by SanSooMaster View Post
        I recall seeing an episode of Wild West Technology on the History Channel about the sideshow / freak shows of the old time carnivals and traveling circuses. Too bad they didn't do something like this at DCA.

        Now I know it is very un-PC to have an actual freak show (I love Zamora the Torture King at Knott's Scary Farm, but maybe watching a man shove needles into his arms and face is a little too much for a Disney crowd). But what about bring back to life Dumbo's Circus, an area that was designed around the time of Discovery Bay and some of the model's were on display in the Opera House during the 50th. I realize that AA type shows (a la Country Bears and America Sings) seem to be a thing on the past at Disneyland, but it would fit the theme.

        Or how about an up dated version. Build a big top style theater. Then hire performers with various talents and skills to do a live stage show. Acrobats, jugglers, stunt men, chinese style acrobats, magicians, contortionists. You could always change the line up to keep the show fresh. There are all sorts of performers with unique and facinating skills and talents that travel the country. Book these people and put on a side show. Then to throw a Disney element, add a couple AAs or life like advanced puppets of Disney characters to add some humor to the show by demonstrating their "special skills" (use some of the characters from Dumbo's circus, like Horace Horse Collar, the Rubberband One Man Band, etc). I remember the high light of the Mulan parade years ago were the Chinese acrobats. They got the loudest cheers. Again, with a constantly revolving line up, this show would always stay fresh.
        I love it!

        Dumbo is a very nostalgic film and a proven classic. I'd really like to see them do more with it, and Paradise Pier would be as good a fit.
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        • #5
          Re: Side Show / Freak Show at DCA

          I was thinking a circus train meet and greet show where you could find Minnie Mouse as a fortune teller, Goofy as the Strong Man, Mickey as the Ringmaster, Dumbo, Pinocchio, Baloo or other bear character and they would pull up and dance a bit then people could come and take pictures and meet them. I think that would be pretty fun. I would love to see Dumbo as a Living Character, maybe a puppet or roaming AA.
          _____________________________________
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          • #6
            Re: Side Show / Freak Show at DCA

            One mention of "sideshow" and I immediately flashed on the Pike in Long Beach. Insert <shudder> here.

            As far as the big top goes, there was one at DLand once. Seems to me it was on the west side of the berm. It was used for events of different types. I can remember going there for some kind of a school event in about 1962. All of us kids felt tremendously gyped that we didn't get to go into the actual Disneyland.

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            • #7
              Re: Side Show / Freak Show at DCA

              Originally posted by Dopey's Girl View Post
              One mention of "sideshow" and I immediately flashed on the Pike in Long Beach. Insert <shudder> here.

              As far as the big top goes, there was one at DLand once. Seems to me it was on the west side of the berm. It was used for events of different types. I can remember going there for some kind of a school event in about 1962. All of us kids felt tremendously gyped that we didn't get to go into the actual Disneyland.
              The big top showed up twice at Disneyland... the first being Mickey Mouse Club Circus and then the tent was repurposed into Holidayland in what later became the area for HM POTC and the old Eeyore parking lot
              Known in most other circles as "HauntedOne999"

              "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow!"

              Disneyland CM Dec. 2005 - May 2007

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Side Show / Freak Show at DCA

                Did anyone see that HBO show, Carnivale?

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                • #9
                  Re: Side Show / Freak Show at DCA

                  Mr. Dark and his circus could pay a visit to DCA, maybe at Halloween?

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                  • #10
                    Re: Side Show / Freak Show at DCA

                    I think this is a fabulous idea, but completely unworkable as a sideshow theme (at the DLR). To be a truly thematic and glorious sideshow, it'd have to have that tone that was once seen as pure sensationalism but is now seen as dark, manipulative, and offensive. Very un-PC and not family friendly. I think to remove those elements would be too saccharine and would feel very out of theme and unrealistic, since it's the core of what sideshows were about.

                    The closest we could get at the DLR I think would be performance parts of circus like tightrope, acrobats, the horse rider girls in the tutus, clowns, etc. The more fun and innocent parts of a circus found in a 3 ring under the tent, instead of the actual carnival with various sideshows found alongside many circuses. Not sure we have room for this kind of thing, but could be great for PP!
                    "And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by" (John Masefield)


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                    • #11
                      Re: Side Show / Freak Show at DCA

                      I can almost hear the barker along Paradise Pier now...

                      Come one! Come all! Witness the horror and the spectacle of the wonders that lay inside! What is it? I know you've seen two headed snakes. I know you've seen geeks bite heads off bats. But not since the collapse of South Korea's Mung dynasty in the year 407 B.C. has the world seen the horror.. of the two-hundred pound man eating chicken!



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                      • #12
                        Re: Side Show / Freak Show at DCA

                        Justin, I think your idea has great merit in that in excludes taking advantage of someone disabilities and highlights special skills, especially those abilities that have taken years to master. But, could Disney pull it off?

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                        • #13
                          Re: Side Show / Freak Show at DCA

                          I assume it would just be a matter of booking entertainers through out the year.

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