When Swing into Spring debuted in 2014, nobody was too sure what it was to expect. Rumours were strife that the final go-ahead for the season was given just before Christmas in 2013 meaning that the resort had only four months to prepare for the ambitious new offering. The plans were huge, decorations lining the entirety of Main Street USA, this ultimately took a few years to really materialise – but 2014 was the year that Swing into Spring made its loud debut and since then it has grown from strength to strength.
But one show has been left by the wayside, a show that was immensely popular but only had a one season outing. That show is called Welcome to Spring. But hold on, I know what you are thinking. Welcome to Spring is still very much alive, it occurs multiple times a day on the Royal Castle Stage. You would, of course, be correct. Although I am talking about a totally separate show, but I must say the Mary Poppins show is very good indeed. We cannot so much compare this show with the show I am about to discuss, so let us take them as separate shows that simply share the same name. However, for the rest of this article, when I use the show name Welcome to Spring, I refer to the 2014 iteration.
Welcome to Spring was a show that took, as its primary focus, the residents of Main Street USA. Why is this such an important thing to me? Put simply, they enhance the park. When we enter Disneyland Park, everything we see is supposed to be real. Therefore, the intention is to believe that Main Street USA is really a part of a mid-American town at the turn of the twentieth-century. A huge part of that would be the people. Therefore, having people dressed in the period clothing gave the entirety of Town Square a boost. But these character performers also acted as a meet and greet. Each of the characters had a slightly different persona and were entitled to do whatever they pleased. When a performer is essentially told that Town Square is your playground, that offers a lot of scope. I would quite often see these characters browsing the stores, or sitting on a bench and admiring the view of the castle. One of my particular favourite occasions was when I saw a couple of performers say goodbye to their friends and climb the stairs up to Main Street Station on the Disneyland Railroad. It made the area of the park a joyful place to visit. I must have spent a large portion of my 2014 Spring trip in Town Square admiring these characters.
But then eventually, music would begin and a show would take place. The Welcome to Spring show was very short. With the guests walking around Main Street, a musical soundtrack would be timing their every moves, the residents knew exactly when they needed to be at the Gazebo in order to begin their musical spectacular. The dancing is both romantic and fit beautifully with the season of Spring. After a short while, the show moves from the Gazebo area of Town Square and onto Main Street USA as the residents walk right down the middle of Main Street USA. The show was full of glee and joy and this stemmed from the wonderful show choreography.
The music choice is, as usual, picked fantastically by Disneyland Paris. Both the songs themselves and the style in which they are sung fit the show, the season and the setting. The show opens with the beautiful song Spring, Spring, Spring by Bing Crosby before moving to The Fountain in the Park and closing with Walking Right Down the Middle of Main Street USA and the Trolley Song. It was wonderful to hear Walking right down the middle of Main Street USA again in Disneyland Paris, it is one of those iconic Disney Parks songs. When I first viewed the show I couldn’t help grinning from ear to ear when the music began to play. To me, this was Disneyland Paris at its best; that is not to say that I don’t enjoy the other shows in the park, this was something so different from anything else.
This was more than a show, this was Main Street USA being allowed to blossom into a real life town. It was a show, a tableau of Main Street Life and a Character Meet and Greet all rolled into one. It ticked so many of the boxes of something needed to be included in a Disney Park. Recently, Disneyland Paris entertainment has been excellent, and this was another example of that. The highest compliment I can give it is that it felt right.
So my plea to Disneyland Paris is this. Please would you consider bringing back the Main Street USA residents and their show for the 25th anniversary? It is the little events like these that really bring a huge grin on to every guest in the park. Upon entering the park one is immediately transported even deeper into the story of Main Street USA. I would even advocate having a small happening in each area of the park much like this. It may only happen in my dream world, but it’s better than nothing.
For those of you who have not had the opportunity to enjoy the show, here is my own YouTube recording of it. I will admit the recording is not perfect, but I hope it conveys how amazing the show was. And for those who have seen the show before, I hope it brings back fond memories.