Walt Dated World
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Magical World of Barbie
Barbie became the "Ambassador of Friendship" at Epcot in 1994. Epcot management claimed it was because she has represented many different cultures throughout the years but it probably had something to do with Mattel becoming a corporate sponsor at the parks. This show was actually commemorated by Mattel with a video that could be bought for one cent with the purchase of specially marked Barbie dolls.
The Magical World of Barbie was a 20-minute show at the American Gardens Theater in front of the American Adventure in World Showcase. It was filled with songs with lyrics such as:
In Barbie's world, there's no limitations.
In Barbie's world, use your imagination,
and make your dreams come true.
The show featured sets and props that transformed into other objects. Barbie and her hip-hop dancing friends traveled around the world during the course of the show. Stops included a safari, Australia (where the expected "throw a shrimp on the Barbie" joke was used), and a fashion show in Paris. The Paris portion of the show contained a song about The Barbie Touch with lyrics such as:
When you're not happy with what you wear,
and you know you've gotta do something with your hair.
It's time to take drastic action,
pull out all the stops.
It's a fashion reaction,
you take it to the very top.
You've got the touch, the Barbie touch,
All you've got to do is accessorize.
The Magical World of Barbie ended with doves being released and pyrotechnics being set off. Over 300 women auditioned for the roll of Barbie, who was portrayed by Miss Oregon, Elizabeth Simmons. Ken was played by a Walt Disney World entertainer named Ken Passman and also by Billy Flanigan. The Art Director (in real life, not the show) was Rhona Counts and the Costume Designer was Lynne Ford.
Mickey's LiMOUSEine, which was originally created for his 60th birthday celebration, helped welcome Barbie to Epcot. The car was painted pink with metallic sparkles and featured Barbie memorabilia inside. Fans could meet Barbie and Ken by the limo and pose for pictures. One sales opportunity that Disney missed with this show was not having a food stand tied in with this show. Barbie-Q sandwiches, anyone?
HydraLing had this to say about the show: "Disney was contractually obligated to create a show using Barbie. I've spoken to many people who worked on or in the show (dancers, techs, stage managers, etc.). Almost without fail, they ALL hated it."
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