Remember Dreams Come True and Disneyland Forever

Recently it was announced that the 50th Anniversary fireworks show "Remember Dreams Come True" which originally ended back in 2014 would be making a return. Meanwhile, the 60th anniversary show "Disneyland Forever" ended with the conclusion of the Diamond Celebration and as of now appears to be permanently retired (although with the current trend of bringing things back, Forevers return in a limited capacity wouldn't be a surprise).

I don't usually compare shows since I find it to taint ones experience but I felt this had to be done in order to help what I'm talking about here.

To fully appreciate a show, one must be able to understand the shows message and both firework shows actually did a good job in conveying those messages.

Lets take a look at Remember Dreams Come True first. This show is pretty straightforward and easier to know what it was about right off the bat. The show tells the history of Disneyland by going through all the lands in the park and reminding us that the park was all from Walt Disneys dreams of a place where imagination can run free. Although the theme is recycled from Walt Disney Worlds Wishes fireworks show, it actually lends itself pretty well in setting up the "Disneyland" portion of the show which starts with Walts Opening Day speech. With audio played from past and present attractions throughout Disneylands history and very well choreographed fireworks, it had everything you expected from a fireworks show that is all about Disneyland.

Hardly anything to nitpick at but at the fact that the majority of Frontierland was cut in favor of time. But while its a fan favorite, the age factor is still there. The show has been running essentially 10 years (Wishes in Florida has been running for 13 years). But pretty much the reason why both had not been permanently retired is the strong fanbase both have and the fact that both set the bars for Disney Parks fireworks at a high level. Hardly anything can top both right now and as of now, it'd be hard to imagine Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom in Florida without those two.

Disneyland Forever ran during the course of the Diamond Celebration celebrating 60 years. The show while popular with the casual park guests, failed to resonate with the Disney fans who felt that the show did not center around Disneyland like Remember did. The show relied not only fireworks but also through special effects like projection mapping, lasers and fire (Remember also relied on lasers and fire but not to the extent that Forever did and projection mapping was only at Its a Small World)

Just like other fireworks before it, it relied on Disney movies as its main act and the theme of the show as support. So where in Disneyland Forever does it talk about Disneyland? If you asked those that didn't watch it a lot, they say only in the beginning and ending which for the most part is true. But the show as a whole was really all about Disneyland even if it didn't use any music or sound effects from park attractions and other shows. Heres my reasoning:

All movies that are in the show were some of the Disney movies that has had or currently have a presence in Disneyland in any shape and form. And if you've forgotten what those were in the show, they were, in order:

  • Mary Poppins (Meet and Greet opportunities, Soundsational, etc)
  • Tangled (Meet and Greet, Fantasy Faire show, part in Magical Map and Soundsational)
  • Winnie the Pooh (Ride and meet and greet and other show plug-ins)
  • Lion King (part in Soundsatoinal, Parade back in the 90s)
  • Jungle Book (Magical Map, rare meet and greet)
  • Little Mermaid (Ariels Grotto which existed for a time, Soundsational, Magical Map, meet and greet)
  • Finding Nemo (Submarine Ride, Cameo in Paint the Night, Turtle talk in California Adventure)
  • Frozen (Fantasy Faire show which has been discontinued, Musical in DCA, Storybookland, meet and greet in DCA, Christmas Fantasy appearance and in Paint the Night)
And this ties in (though loosely) on what Walt Disney once said "As long as there is imagination left in the world, Disneyland will never be complete." This quote is even heard in the show and Peter Pan reinforces that saying that they got plenty around Disneyland and shows everyone how magical Disneyland can be with the stories it has brought to life in its 60+ year history.

The theme song "Live the Magic" also lends itself to the central part of the show with lines like "Step into the Magic" and "Watch those stories come to life." and "Come on and Live the Magic" 

  • "Step into the Magic"= Entering Disneyland is leaving reality behind into a fantasy world
  • "Watch those Stories come to life"= We've seen these stories come to life on the movie and tv screens. Now we can see them come to life in another way.
  • "Live the Magic"= We can feel young and be immersed in the stories that Walt brought to life.

Both shows were about Disneyland but they were on different sides of the same coin because of how different their approaches are. Remember Dreams Come True focused purely on the history of Disneyland itself. Disneyland Forever was about the heart and soul of the park which is storytelling and imagination. Without all them, Disneyland wouldn't have existed. 

Disneyland Forever went back to the roots of having a central theme with Disney movies but also attempted (kind of poorly in this case) to blend that with the Theme Park history itself. As a result, many felt that the title is misleading despite Walts quote about Disneyland and Orange Groves projected shown in the beginning of the show. 

In short:

Remember Dreams Come True: Showcasing the parks history through attraction and show audio clips while blending some Disney magic

Disneyland Forever: Showcasing Disneylands true essence in its storytelling and magic while giving a quick summary of how Disneyland came from one mans own imagination which would plant the seed for Disneylands growth over the years


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