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Magical World of Barbie

Magical World of Barbie


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Barbie Epcot VHS video

 Barbie became the "Ambassador of Friendship" at Epcot in 1994.  Epcot and Mattel 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 sponsor of It's a Small World at Magic Kingdom and Toys Fantastic at the Disney Village Marketplace.  This show was 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 located at American Gardens Theater in front of the American Adventure in World Showcase and was performed several times a day, usually Sunday through Thursday.  The amphitheater was remodeled for this show and received a covered stage and viewing area.  

Barbie show in Epcot

Show Versions

 The first version of the show premiered during the Thanksgiving season of 1993 and closed for rewrites the next day.  Some footage from this first version was filmed as inserts for the 1993 Walt Disney World Christmas Parade and for the Mattel video.  The Australia segment originally had a different song about surfing and Wombat Dundee made a joke about "throwing a shrimp on the Barbie" instead of the later joke about Ken having plastic hair.  The revised version of the show appeared in time for Christmas 1993.  

The Revised Show

The show started with a Cast Member talking to the audience about Barbie in front of a display that featured all of the dolls.  In addition to Barbie and Ken, the show cast featured other doll characters such as Skipper, P.J., Todd, Brad, Midge, Stacie and Jazzie.  The theme song lyrics included:

In Barbie's world, there's no limitations.
In Barbie's world, there's nothing you can't do.
In Barbie's world, use your imagination,
and make your dreams come true.
Come with us;  right this way.
Come with us; let's go play.
In Barbie's world.

Epcot Barbie show African safari

 The show featured several moving vehicles, 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 Australia, where Barbie had to stop "Wombat Dundee" from capturing a koala and taking him to the outback, a safari in Africa run by a guide scared of monkeys and a fashion show in Paris where Barbie has to help Pierre put on a fashion show.  The Paris portion of the show would feature a girl chosen from the audience to try on a fashion costume while a song called  The Barbie Touch was sung.  Sample lyrics included:

Barbie:
When you've tried every trick in the book,
and you know you got somehow get a look.
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, take it, take it to the very top.
You've got the touch, the Barbie touch.
All you've got to do is accessorize.
You've got the touch, the Barbie touch.
Just a trick or two, try it on for size.
It's a trend, it's a phase, it's the latest fashion craze.
You've got the Barbie touch today.

Ken:
You've got the touch, the Barbie touch.
All you've got to do is accessorize.
You've got the touch, the Barbie touch.
Just a trick or two, try it on for size.
It's a trend, it's a phase, it's the latest fashion craze.
You've got the Barbie touch today.

(Barbie's friends would come out and walk the runway while wearing fashions from different countries as the cast and Ken continued to sing.)

Chorus and Ken:
You can touch it up, you can touch it down.  Barbie touch it up all around.  
D-R-E-S-S it up.  The Barbie touch.
You can touch it up, you can touch it down.  Barbie touch it up all around.  
The Barbie touch.
You can touch it up, you can touch it down.  Dress up, dress down, all around.  T-O-U-C-H The Barbie touch.
You can touch it up, you can touch it down.  You've got the Barbie touch today.

Epcot Barbie Show 1994

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 of the show was Rhona Counts and the Costume Designer was Lynne Ford.  Interviews with Counts and Ford were in the Mattel  Barbie video.

Cast of Barbie Epcot show

 Mattel made several Walt Disney World Barbie dolls through the years, including at least three different "Disney Fun" Barbies, dolls for the 25th and 30th Anniversaries, a "Four Parks, One World" doll and a Millennium Celebration Barbie.  There was also a safari Barbie doll made for Animal Kingdom.  Not surprisingly, the actors in the show wore outfits inspired by then-current dolls, including "Sun Jewel Barbie" swimsuits.  Barbie and Ken would later be featured prominently in both "Toy Story 2" and "Toy Story 3" films.

Barbie's Cars

Disney Barbie Car Volo Auto Museum

 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.  This is the limo shown in the Barbie Birthday Party video.  The Volo Auto Museum in Volo, IL has a 1970 Cadillac Convertible that it says was used to transport Barbie around Epcot.  The museum says it possesses the registration and permits in Walt Disney World's name and says the car was originally white with black spots and used for Cruella De Vil.  After being used for Barbie, it was supposedly used as a car for Miss Piggy, although not for the Stars and Motor Cars parade.   If you compare the picture of the car on the back of the Barbie video box,  you can see a different paint job.  Perhaps this photo was taken when the car still sported Cruella's colors?

Disney Barbie Car Volo Auto Museum




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See ya real soon!