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In the end, the exit doors were open but no one wanted to leave.
The full house of 1,800 strong stood in front of their seats for nearly five minutes inside the Hyperion Theater at Disney California Adventure, clapping and chanting “One more time! One More Time!” and “Genie! Genie!”
After the cast had said its final goodbye Sunday night, though, and the curtains remained closed, some audience members walked toward the front of the stage: “Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular” was no more.
With teary eyes, Rovin Jay, 44, of Anaheim, who played a guard for eight years in the beginning of the “Aladdin” run, wanted to grab a photo with his daughter in front of the stage.
“This was a big part of our lives,” Jay said. “There’s a lot of emotions. It’s just a beautiful stage show.”
Nancy White, a 61-year-old retired social worker from Whittier, couldn’t believe this was the last time for “Aladdin.”
“It’s such a good show,” White said. “I hate to see it leave.”
After a nearly 13-year run and 14,565 performances, the Broadway-style musical will be replaced by a musical based on the wildly successful “Frozen” movie; it is to premiere sometime this year. “Aladdin” performers will relocate to other shows in Disney’s Anaheim parks.
The stage adaptation of a 1992 Disney movie starring the late Robin Williams was 45 minutes of music, dancing and comedy that included pop culture references and played four times most days.
“This is one of my favorite Disney memories,” said Lauren Aseo, 25, of Fremont, who has watched the show since she was 13 and waited for more than three hours to get a FastPass ticket for the final performance.
“I have mixed emotions. I love ‘Aladdin,’ but I’m a big ‘Frozen’ fan. I have faith that Disney is taking away a great ‘Aladdin’ show for another great ‘Frozen’ show.”
Irvine residents Gene Ano, 40, and his daughter, Genesis, 10, were regulars. They often saw “Aladdin” at least three times a week.
They made friends with the cast members who worked the door and the performers on the stage. One day, they watched all four performances.
Sunday night, employees gave father and daughter hugs.
“The one thing I loved about this show is that it really helps you believe in life,” Ano said. “Life can be tough, but the show can really transport you into a whole new world.”