This year Disney is celebrating 25 years of Disney on Broadway, having welcomed over 160 million theatergoers and been awarded 20 Tony Awards.
To celebrate this wonderful anniversary, I not only put together a list of 25 Disney on Broadway facts that you might not know, but I am also giving away a Disney on Broadway pin set to one lucky fan! Check out the details below on how to enter after reading up on your Disney on Broadway history.
25 Thing You Never Knew About Disney on Broadway
- Disney Theatrical Group Ltd was originally founded for the sole purpose of adapting Beauty and the Beast for the musical stage.
- Since 2018, Disney on Broadway has celebrated “Women’s Day on Broadway: Inspiring Changemakers” in March. Attendees of all genders and backgrounds participate in a day of open and honest dialogue about gender equality in the theater industry. This year’s event was held at the St. James Theatre, where Frozen is currently being performed.
- Hercules will finally be coming to the stage this summer! The musical will conclude the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park 2019 Season, running from August 31 to September 8.
- Lion King won the Tony for Best Musical in 1998.
- Hunchback of Notre Dame made its world premiere in Germany in 1999 and ran through 2002, being the first Disney production to premiere outside of the United States. The production was adapted for US audiences and was performed at the La Jolla Playhouse in 2014 and the Papermill Playhouse in 2015, but has yet to make its way to Broadway.
- Lion King is the top grossing Broadway production of all time, having made $1.6 billion as of December 30, 2018.
- Disney has produced four original productions – King David, Aida, On the Record, and Peter and the Starcatcher. The only one not to make it to Broadway is On the Record.
- In 1995, Disney signed a 49-year revenue based lease for New Amsterdam Theater. After being renovated to its former glory, the theater reopened in 1997.
- King David was the first performance in New Amsterdam Theater in 1997, followed by Lion King.
- Lion King is the 3rd longest playing show; preceded by Phantom of the Opera and Chicago.
- Mary Poppins premiered in the West End in London in 2004 before heading to Broadway. Laura Michelle Kelly received an Olivier award for her role of the main character.
- To swing through the jungle, Tarzan incorporated aerial acrobatics. The production was not as successful as other Disney productions on Broadway, but has run in Germany for over 10 years.
- Adam Jacobs, who originated the role of Aladdin on Broadway, had to audition for Disney’s CEO, Bob Iger.
- When Disney began leasing New Amsterdam Theater it was in complete disrepair. The ceiling had collapsed, over two feet of standing water was in the basement, and mushrooms the size of dinner plates were growing throughout. With the work of over 400 expert engineers, plasterers, painters, and technicians, Disney brought the theater back to its original glory.
- Newsies, based on the 1992 cult classic starring Christian Bale, was originally planned as a Regional run at the Papermill Playhouse, but received such positive reviews that it ran on Broadway from March 15, 2012 to August 24, 2014.
- Disney offers backstage tours throughout New Amsterdam Theater that take you behind the magic.
- Ashley Brown originated the role of Mary Poppins in the show of the same name on Broadway in 2006, but this was not her first role with Disney. She performed in On the Record and Beauty and the Beast before taking on the role of Mary.
- Each January since 2017, guests at Epcot have the opportunity to see some of Disney on Broadway’s biggest stars as part of the Festival of the Arts at no additional cost.
- Disney has created over 30 productions that are available for local high schools, theater troupes, and organizations to produce themselves through Disney Theatrical Licensing.
- New Amsterdam Theater was nicknamed “The House Beautiful” in a 1903 review and the name still holds true today.
- In order to travel under the sea with Ariel in the 2008 production of The Little Mermaid, many cast members wore “heelys” to mirror the look of swimming through water.
- There are 200 different puppets used in Lion King.
- Newsies was filmed in Los Angeles with a limited national release in movie theaters from February 16-18, 2017, with a fourth date in March 2017 added due to high demand. The filmed stage production is available for download.
- The set of Frozen includes several Disney Easter Eggs if you look very closely.
- Jonathan Freeman has been Jafar for over 30 years, voicing the villain in the animated feature length film and bringing the character to life on the Broadway stage of Aladdin.
Want to win a set of Disney on Broadway pins? All you have to do is follow the instructions below to enter:
- Comment on the post below and let me know what your favorite Disney on Broadway show is
- Head over to Instagram and be sure you are following me at @karmankismet
- “Like” the post that has the picture of the giveaway in it
- Tag a friend who you’d love to see your next show with
If you’d like extra entries you can also . . .
- Sign up for the karma&kismet newsletter at the bottom of this page
- Tag more friends on the Instagram post
- Share the Instagram picture in your story of feed and tag me
That’s it! The giveaway will run from May 9, 2019 to May 16, 2019 at 9 PM EST. Please be aware this giveaway is not affiliated with Disney on Broadway or any part of the Walt Disney Company.
Very informative post! I think my favorite Disney Broadway play is probably Mary Poppins simply because I’m a big Mary fan but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all the ones I’ve been fortunate to see. Even bought my own parrot umbrella as a souvenir!
Thank you! Mary Poppins is one of my favorites too and they definitely had some of the best merchandise!
I like Beauty and the Beast.
Loved “On The Record”. Saw it in Philadelphia.
My favourite that I’ve seen so far is Mary Poppins, it was phenomenal
I’ve only seen The Lion King BUT it was amazing !!!!
Beauty and The Beast will always be my favorite musical and one of my favorite movies. How can you not get the music stuck in your head?
Love this post and all the musicals! Disney has some of the best.
Beauty and the Beast is the only one I’ve seen so far (and I loved it!). I’m going to see The Lion King later this month and I’m so excited!!!
Loved this post! I haven’t gone to a Disney on Broadway show yet but I would absolutely love to go see Lion King someday!!