Considering the disaster that is currently known as “Mickey’s Dance Crew”, I approached “Disney Channel Rocks!” (that’s the name, not a personal interjection), with some skepticism. The new show at Disney’s California Adventure opened on November 26th, replacing “High School Musical 3: Senior Year — Right here! Right Now!”, and all I was able to find online were pictures with the news that there was a new show, and a synopsis about what the show was about. Nobody seemed to have an opinion.
“Disney Channel Rocks!” is a seventeen minute musical featuring songs from the Disney Channel stable of hits, including “Camp Rock” and “StarStruck,” and “Cheetah Girls” but retain some “High School Musical” elements as well.
As soon as the show started it had the feel of the Disney Channel. You know; that colorful and uber-happy species of coolness, that usually falls flat on kids sixteen and over, but is a musical sugar rush for the younger ones. And that’s what this is all about.
Young adults and older visitors to DCA may not find this show a time-worthy experience. When approaching shows like this, you have to forget about how cool you think you are. I know that can be tough for young adults, unless they’re there with a younger sibling and don’t hate them, or can watch and text at the same time. It seems to me only parents have a flawless talent for forgetting their image and letting their kids get groovy.
If a show like this is to deliver, you have to see how the kids respond to this show. The “High School Musical 3″ travelling concert was okay, but didn’t really capture the kids full attention judging from the many times I’ve seen it, though I never thought is was a bad show.
Whether or not your child enjoys this kind of program is what makes or breaks a show like this. With that in mind I have to say, this show is exciting, fun, short and sweet.
The singing is decent, the dancing is good and the songs are the Disney Channel’s greatest hits from their biggest stars, so it is the best that they have to offer, which isn’t really great but is far from bad. The words are uplifting and the music has a beat and a happy quality that can induce some head bopping and toe tapping from mommies and daddies in the crowd, and the kind of full-blown, chaotic, jumping, writhing and convulsing type of dance that only young kids are capable of. The older kids were content to sing along to their favorite songs and cheer when the “Disney Channel Rocks!” performers dropped a familiar name, like Hannah Montana.
The performers are all perky and cute with bright eyes, big smiles and a fun-loving disposition, right from the get-go.
The show takes place in front of Paradise Bay Lagoon, right where the “World of Color” takes place during the evenings, and “Disney Channel Rocks!” takes advantage of the water jets, and utilizes some of the “World of Color’s” water tricks in the show.
While we can laugh at Orlando and gloat that we get “Disney Channel Rocks!” with water fountains, it really is a moot point. The use of the fountains doesn’t come close to doing what “World of Color” does and for some people, especially the ones up close to the stage, it can’t really be seen through the backdrop very well. The truth is it doesn’t seem all that necessary though it’s a nice little addition if not an especially impressive one. I anticipate DCA cutting off the water at some point, when it occurs to them that the show is fine without it.
Where “Disney Channel Rocks!” really scores is in the dance, and song department. The kids were jumping up and down, cheering and singing along. At one point close to the beginning of the show, the girls issued a challenge to the boys to see who could get more love from the crowd, which made me cringe and think of “Mickey’s Dance Crew”. Thankfully the Mouse stayed out of this one and allowed the kids to duke it out on their own (the girls won, but the boys were vastly outnumbered in the audience).
Over all, I highly recommend this show to parents and fans of the Disney Channel. I was there by myself and had a blast just watching the kids have fun, and hearing them sing along. So the next time you’re at Disney’s California Adventure, do check it out.
DisGeek gives “Disney Channel Rocks!” an 8.5 out of 10.
Check out the video and get and idea of what the show is all about.