New Disney Cirque Du Soleil Show

Here’s the latest news from up on the tightrope…..the long awaited new Cirque du Soleil show at Disney Springs finally has an opening date, and eager fans  are already snapping up available tickets — even before they know what it’s called!

Cirque’s long-running  “La Nouba,”  closed in December 2017, so this marks the first time Cirque has teamed with Disney in creating a show.

“When given the opportunity to collaborate with an entertainment-industry world leader such as Cirque du Soleil, well, we jumped at the chance,” said David Lightbody, senior vice president of Disney Parks Live Entertainment.

Here’s what we know so far about the new production coming to Disney Springs.

Cirque du Soleil at Disney World: Opening date and all we know | Q&A
 ( / Courtesy photo)

The Name

Cirque’s website describes the show as a “love letter to Disney animation” and lists it only as “Cirque du Soleil at Walt Disney World Resort.” Expect something snappier than that when a title is finally revealed – right now your guess is as good as ours!

Opening Date

 The official debut will be April 17, 2020. But preview performances begin March 20.

The Creator

Cirque du Soleil’s Michel Laprise is writing and directing the new show, and to pull out a Disney cliché, it’s apparently a dream come true.

“This is destiny,” he said at D23. “You know the line of Jiminy Cricket: ‘When you wish upon a star…’”

Laprise said a friend gave him a biography of Walt Disney a few years ago. After reading it, he made a wish: “That one day we would create at Cirque du Soleil a show about the art of animation.” A few days later, Disney came calling.

The Cirque du Soleil website titles this image "The <>." It seems to show aerial stunt work performed on an apparatus resembling a giant pencil -- such as an animator might use.
 ( / Courtesy photo)

The Story

“The Disney characters are central to the life of a young girl and her father, who was a Disney animator,” according to Laprise. “He raised her with those characters. He finds a way to send her on a magical journey of self-discovery in the world of animation.”

Years of research have gone into the project as Laprise and colleagues visited the parks, the Walt Disney Family Museum, the Disney archives and animation studio — where they worked directly with veteran animators such as Eric Goldberg.

“The people at the studio who knew the most about the legacy,” explained Goldberg, “we got to suggest certain iconic moments that will help them tell their story.”


The shadow in this image, from "The creative team's sketchbook" at the Cirque du Soleil website looks like Mickey's lovable pal Goofy. The rendering is titled "The Inner World of Animation."
 ( / Courtesy photo)

The Characters

No one’s giving specifics beyond that “iconic moments” hint. A concept drawing shows a Goofy-like shadow. A casting notice describes the leading role of the young girl as age 12 and says she has a “sparkling” personality with “authentic innocence.”

The notice mentions the performer must have strong acting ability and be Caucasian, though it doesn’t specify why race matters except to note “(creator’s requirement).”

One clue as to how the show’s story line will play out: Goldberg said new animation was being created for the show, and “the animated characters will interact with the live performers.”

The Music

Renowned Cirque composer Benoit Jutras will create the music. Central Floridians already know his work and how well he creates a sense of whimsy or magic; Jutras wrote the catchy tunes for “La Nouba.”

For the new show, we are told he will incorporate familiar Disney melodies and themes into his original compositions.

“The Disney music is very dear to all of us,” Laprise said. “It will trigger the memories in our hearts, and it will make a very strong connection with the audience.”

The Theater

The new Cirque du Soleil show at Disney Springs will be staged in the same huge white tent that housed “La Nouba.”
The new Cirque du Soleil show at Disney Springs will be staged in the same iconic white tent that housed "La Nouba."