In the Shadow of the Mouse

Secrets of a theme park obsessed local who lives next door to Mickey, with annual passes to every Central Florida park

Join me behind the scenes at Cirque du Soleil La Nouba (and you can go behind the curtain too)

Cirque du Soleil has featured La Nouba at Downtown Disney since 1998. You can’t miss the distinctive “tent” rising up on the West Side and beckoning tourists and locals alike to come and see the show. As a local, I’ve seen it many times over the years, and I love the fact that they keep it fresh by rotating acts and performers. For example, the clown team of Pablo and Pablo recently took over as the opening act, as well as a bridge between the show scenes. I promise you won’t be able to stifle your laughter as they do their crazy pinata play prior to the show. Just be sure to get to your seats at least 15 minutes ahead of time so you won’t miss out on the fun.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Pablo and Pablo, as well as singer Selloane (another thing I love about all Cirque shows is that they have live music, with a a band and singers), and I also had the privilege of getting a peek behind the scenes. Check out the video below to meet the performers, see part of the trapeze rehearsal, and see some of the backstage areas:

I had to compress the video into three minutes, and it was so hard to pick out the highlights. One was most definitely looking through the grid straight down 70 feet to the stage below. I also enjoyed seeing the lifts that are used extensively throughout the performances and the large costume shop. However, my favorite part was talking to the performers. You only see abbreviated clips in the video with Selloane and the two Pablos, but take it from me, their energy is incredible, and it really shines in the shows.

If you’ve never seen La Nouba or any Cirque du Soleil show, it’s a bit hard to describe. Yes, it’s a circus in the sense that it features clowns, acrobats, and a talented troupe that performs fast-paced eclectic acts, but it has a New Age vibe and the musical score is always as much a part of the show as the actual performance. I recommend seeing it more than once because there’s no much going on that it’s impossible to catch it all in one viewing. Here’s a La Nouba video that Cirque posted a few years back, so some of the acts have changed. However, it will give you some idea of the auditory and visual feast that awaits:

If you’re a backstage fan, the video below, from the Disney Parks Blog, features a behind-the-scenes look at the aerial ballet:

The Disney Parks Blog also featured a quick overview of the show:

If all of these videos have made you wish you could go behind the scenes yourself, you’re in luck. Cirque du Soleil recently added a package called L’Experience that combines front and center seating, refreshments, and a gift bag of Cirque merchandise with a peek behind the curtain. You get to see areas not normally accessible to the general public, and you also meet a performer for a special photo op. My video was taken at a media tour, so your experience will vary, but it’s well worth the $250 per person for this special package and the priceless memories it creates. It’s available on Friday and Saturday nights for the 6 p.m. show. Call 407-939-7328 to book it.

As I mentioned earlier in this article, La Nouba debuted at Downtown Disney in 1998, which means it celebrated its 15th anniversary last year. I’ll leave you with one last video that shows a rarity: Mickey and Minnie Mouse visiting the show. It gets their seal of approval, and most definitely mine too:

Follow me on Twitter via @themeparkwriter and stay tuned for more tips, observations, comments, and rants from someone who lives close enough to Walt Disney World to hear the fireworks from her house every night. I literally write my blog In the Shadow of the Mouse.

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