The Hunchback of Notre Dame: A Musical Adventure was a musical show based on the film that took place at the Backlot Theater at Disney's Hollywood Studios, as part of Walt Disney World's 25th anniversary celebration. It ran from 1996 (in conjunction with the release of the film) to 2002. The theater was then abandoned for many years, only being used for special events.
Disneyland was also had its own version known as The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Festival of Fools that took place in Big Thunder Ranch from 1996 (in conjunction with the release of the film) to 1998, a very different version to Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Following the script of the original animated feature pretty closely, the show traces the life of the orphaned Quasimodo. Despite the efforts of the cold, self-righteous Frollo, the deformed bell ringer eventually finds freedom through his friendship with the beautiful gypsy Esmeralda and the captain of the guard, Phoebus.
The story is told through the use of uplifting musical numbers pulled straight from the film, vibrant costumes, innovative and expressive puppets, and a healthy helping of special effects. However, Frollo's portion of Out There, Hellfire, and The Court of Miracles were the only songs that didn't appear in the show.
Disneyland also features an almost identical castle stage show, named simply The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Festival of Fools. The show began with performers hopping onto the central stage, waving flags and announcing the start of the festival. The jesters began dancing, with Esmeralda performing a solo. One of her gypsy friends impersonated Frollo, scoffing at the event from a throne.
The show officially started with the arrival of Clopin, everyone’s favorite gypsy and storyteller. Clopin retold the story of the film, which included many of the songs and iconic moments, mixed with improv and off-the-cuff jokes. The show came to a dramatic finish with a battle in the bell tower, a final song, and massive confetti streamers raining from the sky.