Cheer the might of the Great White North as axe-throwing lumberjacks from Canada’s legendary timber and logging industries chop, saw and toss their way through time-honored games of the forest – taking place daily on the Mill Stage. Timber! (Excerpt from the Walt Disney World website)
As the team here at Magical DIStractions posted in a earlier article, a new show debuted in the Canada Pavilion at the Epcot theme park in October 2014. The Canadian Lumberjack Show takes place on The Mill Stage which was once home of the popular band, Off Kilter.
During our most recent trip to Walt Disney World, my husband, son and I were in the Canada area of the Park when we noticed a show was to start in about 10 minutes. We decided to stop and watch and, boy, were we glad that we did. The approximately 20-minute presentation included lots of action, good old-fashioned competition and was humorous to boot.
As I said earlier, it all takes place on The Mill Stage and, while there is no seating, there is plenty of standing room and it’s wheelchair/ECV accessible.
DIStracted tip: There is a possibility that you might get a little wet during the log rolling portion of the show. If you don’t want to chance it, stand further back from the water tank or near the middle or left side of the stage.
Guests on the left-hand side of the stage are on the blue team and Guests on the right are part of the red team. When the competitions begin, the competitors change the scores on the signs to the left and the right of the stage, so Guests can keep up with how their team is doing. We were on the right side of the stage so we were cheering on the red team. (I apologize for the slight glare in some of the pictures. The sunlight was streaming through the trees and onto my camera lens.)
The emcee introduced the cast to the Guests and did a great job explaining each of the events in which the men would be competing. He also included some good-natured ribbing which made the competition between the crew even more lively. First up was the axe-tossing contest.
After the axe-tossing competition, the red team was in the lead and it was time for the chainsaw log cutting race. You’ll notice that there were clear shields placed in front of the logs. These were put into place as a safety precaution to ensure no chips or pieces went further than the front of the stage. Because the shields are clear, the crowd still had a good view. The cast members were wearing protective chaps as well as ear and eye protection. The blue team was the winner of the chainsaw race and the teams were tied.
While the two men were removing their protective gear, the emcee informed us that, after the shows, the logs are recycled, chipped into small pieces and used as mulch throughout the theme parks. It is nice to hear that Walt Disney World takes its recycling efforts so seriously.
Up next was the crosscut saw event. As the teams were getting their saws ready and into place, the emcee gave us a bit of information on the Canadian tradition of lumberjack competitions. While some may stop to watch the show simply for the action, I appreciated the facts and tidbits of Canadian history. The guys were ready and the fast-paced match was on! The blue team pulled out another win and was now ahead.
The next portion of the show had nothing at all to do with a competition. One of the strapping members of the cast put on a little show for the Guests. He could not only roll the log but he could also jump rope on the log! The emcee once again interacted with the crowd and encouraged us to shout out how many times we thought he could jump the rope without stopping. Lots of numbers were called out and the number 15 was chosen and, by gosh, he did it and even jumped a few more just to prove that he could.
Now that we had gotten a little taste and sample of how log rolling worked, it was time for what most would consider the main event. It was time for a good old-fashioned rolling contest! Again, it was red versus blue and these guys were ready to go at it. Their feet were nimble and quick and it took several minutes before one lost his footing and down he went!
The red team was the clear winner of the first round of log rolling and he was celebrating with the crowd.
The gentlemen got back into place and another tournament of fancy footwork was on. Remember the DIStracted tip that I mentioned earlier? Along with a possible splash from a contestant falling into the water, there’s another reason that you might possibly get wet. Kicking the water at the other challenger was used as a distraction and attempt to throw the other off their game. Having given that warning, I should also state that the majority of water went in the direction of the stage itself. Again, the red team won the challenge and was the winner of the entire competition! Even though the teams were pitted against one another, you could tell that the fellows were great friends and worked well together.
We were so happy that we had stopped to watch this “new-to-Epcot” show and that we had gotten to see a small sampling of time honored traditions of the Canadian lumberjack.
If you and your family would like to see The Canadian Lumberjack Show, and I suggest that you do, you’ll be glad to hear that it takes place several times per day. The showtimes currently listed on the Walt Disney World site are 12:00 p.m., 1:15 p.m., 2:15 p.m., 3:50 p.m., 5:00 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. As with all shows, times are subject to change but this has been the schedule for quite some time.
DIStracted tip: The shows may vary and sometimes feature other lumberjack skills such as wood carving with chainsaws and standing block chopping. So, even if you watch the show once, it’s possible that the next time you see it, it will be different.