Mar 28, 2012

Won't You Join Me in a Cup of T?

All Images Courtesy of Disney
I'm just going to say it... I think this is a wonderful idea and it should be quite a lot of fun. Mad T Party will be the 3rd such street party in DCA and is looking to be the best of them all.

First came Glow Fest. It was nothing but a street party. It's theme was almost non-existent and consisted solely of "bright neon colors. Oh and also monkeys and belly dancers." It was a huge hit. Not because of the theme, but because of the atmosphere it created.

Next up Disney took a crack at creating their own version of this. Being Disney, they really themed this one up and gave us elecTRONica. Instead of recorded music, we got live DJs that rotated out so the music and styles were different each time. They added entertainment CMs throughout. The created a story and show and a place for this party to live in. They brought in dance crews and Laser Man. Created competitions and various areas within the party. It was a huge step forward for the concept. But the TRON theme is kind of dark and heavy. While the music was still awesome and amazing, the overall vibe was heavier and more atmospheric than the very light and bouncy Glow Fest.

Glow Fest was much more for the whole family while elecTRONica was much more geared towards adults.

Hatter, Alice, Cheshire Cat, Dormouse, Caterpillar and
March Hare are the house band
Now Disney is set to unveil the 3rd in this line of night time parties: Mad T Party. With the Mad T Party, Disney is working to combine these a bit. We get the brighter and more psychedelic design of Glow Fest mixed with the atmospheric lighting and street performances and live music of elecTRONica. They are creating a live band (guitar, synths, vocals, etc) composed of the film's characters. We're getting a DJ for when the band isn't on. The playing cards end up in the role of crowd dancers, interacting with the people dancing and keeping crowd energy up. elecTRONica had "programs" in this role but they didn't actually do much beyond play disc frisbee with people while the Go-go programs were isolated from the crowd on podiums. This should prove to be much more interactive and energetic. As gate keepers to the T Party and bouncers we get the Tweedle's, Dee and Dum.

The dancing cards

Seriously, this look has quickly become
my favorite of all the designs.
Most things dealing with the Alice in Wonderland stories allow the psychedelic aspect to creep into architectural details and set design, but costumes stay more or less normal looking. Without much architectural stuff going on for this T Party, it has been incorporated in the costumes. The checkerboard patterns on Tweedle Dee & Dum's boots. Bold stripes and high contrast colors along side solids. Overall it looks like a fusion of the gothic, grunge and lolita styles.

There are elements here that can appeal across demographics. Adults get the darker slightly edgier more club feel of this Alice party compared to Glow Fest. It looks like kids will have the brighter colors of this compared to elecTRONica as well as much more interactive looking walk-around characters. Teenagers get a harder rock, Hot Topic/Spencer's sort of vibe from the costume/character design.

"House of Cards" bar and dance area
This is based on the little we've been shown so far. I guarantee Disney is keeping the best surprises from us, despite appearing to leak quite a bit. One area we know almost nothing about is the lighting design. Given the massive projection mapping undertaking elecTRONica had I can see them combining that with the bold color splashes Glow Fest had as well as the crowd dancing projections. There will be areas that are darker and more subdued such as the house of cards bar area. There will be areas with lots of color and motion, most likely near the dance floors. I expect surprise, impromtu performances throughout each night as well.

Glow Fest was a straight up dance/club party. elecTRONica was more the experience of being pulled into the grid. It suffered from large areas not really being used for more than projection mapping, heavy music and walking through. Glow Fest didn't have enough areas where non-dancing was happening. The Mad T Party looks like it will bring the best aspects of both of these together while dropping out items that didn't work so well all behind a unified, cohesive, well known (so it doesn't need an explanatory pre-show) theme. We even get pretty cool looking merch! No idea why, but I'm loving the Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum art and shirt. It just has a really cool look.

When Glow Fest was announced it was widely worried that this would encourage a drunken orgy of sorts. It didn't. elecTRONica caused this concern to resurface, especially given it's much more adult feel. Again, not really a problem. Concerns and worries about Mad T Party are also surfacing. I don't forsee this being any more of an issue now than it was for the previous two parties. In fact, it will probably be even less of an issue.

I really look forward to visiting the Mad T Party when I'm at the resort this summer. It should have all the energy of Glow Fest and all the atmospheric story-telling of elecTRONica with what looks like some new ideas thrown in for good measure. Clean cup! Move down elecTRONica!

Additional images:
The bank playing for the crowds.

DJ White Rabbit. Kind of a Deadmau5
thing going on with the ears.

Hatter characters as "hosts"

1 comment:

  1. Wow that looks so cool! I can't wait to see it! I love reading your posts they are so fun!