Day 8, Part 2: Backstage at “Finding Nemo: The Musical”!

As you may know from my past reports, I have an aversion to stage shows of any variety. Patrick had been interested in seeing Finding Nemo: The Musical again from a decent seat, so I grudgingly made a reservation for Tusker House Restaurant during that lunchtime window when they give you a ticket for priority seating at the show after you meal. He’d also arranged for us to get a backstage tour through his various puppet connections, which was pretty much the only reason I agreed to go see the show. When Patrick had to leave our vacation early, I’d convinced Jensey to go with me. But then something came up and she couldn’t go either, so off I went to AK on my own to do something that everybody else BUT me wanted to do.

Now-traditional shot of the rental car for posterity

There was a big line at Tusker House, and I was glad I had a reservation! Buffets are right up there with stage shows on my Not To Do list at Disney, but I figured at least this one might have some of the more interesting dishes you find at Boma on it.

Of course I started with dessert first!

Cherry & Apple Cobbler, Warm Banana Cinnamon Bread Pudding, Vanilla Sauce

Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Chocolate Brownies

Coconut Macaroon, Lemon Bars, Pecan Chocolate Tart, Passion Fruit Tart

Chocolate Volcano Cake, Carrot Spice Cake, Baklava, Strawberry Mousse

Apple, Endive & Walnut Salad with Bleu Cheese Crumble; Tossed Caesar Salad; Tomato & Cucumber Salad with Fresh Mint & Yogurt Dressing; Mixed Greens with Ranch, Light Italian, or Balsamic Vinaigrette

Blatjangs (Spicy South African Preserves); "Sambals" (Condiments): Mango Chutney, Mixed Dried-Fruit Chutney; Hummus, Tabouleh

Whole-grain Breads & Rolls, Chocolate Mango Bread, Mealie Cornbread, Lavosh, Cornbread

Sliced Turkey & Ham; American & Swiss Cheeses; Mayonnaise, Mustard, Pickles (a classic African dish!)

Tunisian Couscous Salad, Fresh Green Bean & Red Onion Salad, Curried Rice Salad with Golden Raisins, Seasonal Fresh Fruit

Basmati Rice with Toasted Almond Slivers, Cape Malay Curry Chicken, Orzo Pasta, Seafood Stew with Tamarind Barbecue Sauce

Pearl Couscous with Sweet Basil, Spiced Vegetable & Tofu Tandoori, Jollaf Rice

Peri Peri Marinated Baked Salmon, Saffron-infused Root Vegetables & Cabbage

As they said in the '80s, "Where's the beef?"

"Oh. THERE's the beef!"

Rotisserie Chicken and… samosas?

Spit-roasted Chicken, Sauteed Fresh Green Beans, Mashed Potatoes

I know the point of this buffet is s’posed to be the exotic African fare, but who can resist MINI-CORN DOGS?!!!

Corn Dog Nuggets, Macaroni & Cheese, Corn Medley

More African classics… "Create Your Own PB & J, with your choice of white or whole wheat bread"

You know why else I hate buffets? Cuz you gotta label every dang photo in your trip report!!!

Patrick shot!

Here’s what I came up with for lunch—it only appears that I restrained myself in the mini corn dog department because I didn’t take a picture of the stock pot I’d filled with them!


So I guess my verdict would be “Not as good as Boma, which is not as good as Jiko.” But if you gotta do a buffet, at least this one gives you interesting choices and decent seats at the Nemo show! Plus, the décor is fun. The atmosphere is typically frenetic, though.

Off I went to find Nemo!

Looks like it's gibbon wash day!


It was great to be able to breeze past the huge line at the show with my little seating pass. And the seats were great too—there isn’t really a center section directly in front of the stage cuz it extends out into the audience, but the reserved section is on one side of it.

As for the show, I found it predictably cheesy, but the staging, the puppets and the costumes are A-friggin-MAZING! So I guess I can recommend it just for that. The pictures are kinda blurry—hope you can figure out what’s going on…

OK, remember this ginormous bird puppet for later…


So after the show I waited til the audience cleared out, and then the friend of Patrick’s friend of a friend came out to meet me and give me a backstage tour. I’m not s’posed to say who he is, and now, more than a year later, I don’t even remember! But he was really friendly and so kind to take the time to squire around a non-puppeteer. The bad thing about waiting this long to tell the story is that now I can’t remember any of the cool insider info I got on the tour. Mostly it was just how the puppets worked, though, so you’re not missing too much.

It was super-dark backstage, so if you thought my show pix were bad, wait til you see how bad my backstage pictures are!

The underside of Crush

Change the lighting, and suddenly something cute becomes terrifyingly creepy!

I just know something's up there…


So, the absolute COOLEST part of the whole tour was when my guide let me go up in the rafters where the gargantuan pelican waits for his cue and look out on the stage and the audience!

How he works

Don't remember what this is—maybe what you fall through if the audience doesn't like your jokes!

Up Next: Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party *AND* Tomorrowland Terrace Wishes Dessert Party with the Roots!

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6 Responses
  • Claire
    March 13, 2011

    I’ve never even been to WDW but I love reading about it in your trip reports. I almost feel like an expert by now thanks to you! Thanks for the “exhaustive documentation”!

    • lurkyloo
      March 13, 2011

      Glad to hear it! When you do go, you will be UBER-prepared! 😉

  • Nora
    March 11, 2011

    You’re making me feel not so guilty about not yet posting re: our Holiday D-Lights Tour. I really enjoy your photos and your irreverent commentary. Thank you for all the effort and work that you put into your blog.

    • lurkyloo
      March 12, 2011

      Well, gosh, thanks for taking the time to read this stuff! 🙂

  • Claire
    March 10, 2011

    I think hubby would like Tusker House so must remember to book that next time.

    • lurkyloo
      March 10, 2011

      That’s what I love about WDW—there’s always something to do that you’ve never done before!

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