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Ruminations - Entertainment Around the Disneyland Resort

Ruminations - Entertainment Around the Disneyland Resort

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Smiles everyone!

In this little effort we will take a look at some of the interesting variety of entertainment out and about the Disneyland Resort. Whether it is a character greeting, a musical group or a bit of a street spectacular, Disney has always managed to keep guests looking for some of the best in theme park entertainment. Over the years there have been some great guest favorites.

One favorite in particular is the Dapper Dans, with Main Street as the home of this "barbershop" quartet. While there have been similar groups performing at Disneyland over the years, such as the Mellomen (with the very popular Thurl Ravenscroft), the Dapper Dan's have tenure with somewhat continuous performances (and almost 100 members of this group) at the Park since 1957, according to this feature from the E-Ticket magazine. It was great to see them out on Main Street entertaining guests of all ages with some classic harmonies as well as accompaniment on the Degnan Organ Chimes. insert image

The Dapper Dans entertaining guests on Main Street.

Another group with a long history at the park is the Royal Street Bachelors, with their home in New Orleans Square. The original trio of Hal Grant, Herb Gordy, and Jack McVea were immortalized in a great painting that Club 33 guests enjoy on each visit (it hangs in the lobby). From the earliest days of New Orleans Square, their music was and is a special part of the atmosphere of this guest favorite area. Their performance of "Swanee River" has been a staple of the Disneyland resort soundtrack on record album, tape cassette and now compact disc for many years. We had the pleasure of enjoying the performance of the current trio twice during this visit. Using a location in front of "L' Ornement Magique", their particular brand of classic New Orleans jazz is always a favorite.

The Royal Street Bachelors and some of their fans.

Frontierland is the location of another long running guest favorite show with the Golden Horseshoe Café. While the show of the same name may have sailed into the sunset, much to the regret of guests and cast members alike, the current occupants,Billy Hill and the Hillbillies, keep the traditions of great entertainment alive here.

And as shocking a revelation as this may be, I had never seen a full show by the "Billy's" before this particular trip. Don't really know why, but now I know what I was missing. It may not be the antics of Wally Boag as the Traveling Salesman, but then again what is? How about the compact disc of a complete performance of "Slue Foot Sue's Golden Horseshoe Review" on sale at the 20th Century Music Company on Main Street? You can add a copy of the Mellomen's "Meet Me Down On Main Street", the Dapper Dan's "Shave and a Haircut" and even Billy's "I Want U 2 Want Me" all at the same time!

All that said, the Billy's do a great job of keeping the audience involved in the show. If you think you're just going in to have a quick snack and sit quietly here, well, think again! Try that here and you just might end up on stage as the fifth fiddler performing the "Orange Blossom Special"!

"Loni" joins the Billy's for her big number!

Loyal readers of this space may recall that on my list of "Disneyland -- 10 Things You Should Not Miss" that another of my musical favorites has always been the piano players (never a pianist here!) at the Coca Cola Refreshment Corner on Main Street. Well, the music hasn't changed, but the location of the piano has. It's moved slightly north, maybe by fifty yards, to a gazebo in front of the Plaza Pavilion. Complete with spiffy new lights (okay, I'm a sucker for those throwback clear glass colored bulbs), this new location seems a bit odd at first, but makes sense in that allows a larger crowd to view and hear the performances. In two evenings here in early March, we enjoyed everything from the classic and traditional ragtime to swing to boogie-woogie to four-hand piano to New Orleans jazz.

It's new and improved! Strands of light from the gazebo...

... where the piano players roam those 88 keys!

That's all for this time... Check back next week for who knows what?
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