Disneyland Live Entertainment
If you only visit Disneyland rarely, it’s tempting to spend your time catching up on the newest rides and your old favorites. But one thing that keeps Disney’s parks above the rest is the overall atmosphere: the detailed theming of each area, the beautiful and well-themed landscaping — and the live entertainment.
Because only a few performers (such as the Dapper Dans barbershop quartet and the Disneyland Band) are listed on the park’s Times Guide, you may not be aware of the wealth of entertainment available in every part of the park. Musicians abound, but there are also comedians and some other types of acts.
Here are three tips for finding Disneyland’s live performances:
- Ask a cast member whether there will be any musicians or other entertainers appearing in the area.
- Inquire at City Hall. The cast members there can look up schedules on their computers. This works better if you know the name of the act you want to see.
- Sit down, do some people watching, and wait for something to happen! There’s a good chance that some sort of entertainment will start up within earshot of you.
MAIN STREET, USA
They’ll welcome you to the park in the morning and put a lump in your throat at the late-afternoon flag retreat. In between, look for them in Town Square or marching down Main Street in their classic band outfits. You can see the Disneyland Band’s schedule on the Times Guide.
Refreshment Corner Pianist
That upright piano sitting outside the Refreshment Corner isn’t just there for decoration – ragtime pianists entertain visitors with classic ragtime and Disney tunes – they even take requests. Pianists generally perform daily from early afternoon to park closing or the start of the fireworks, whichever comes first.
The Main Street Strawhatters
This brass and drum group, nattily dressed in turn-of-the-century attire (with straw hats, of course!) performs classic old-time favorites in the area of Town Square. Occasionally they are joined by familiar characters such as Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto who might conduct the band, dance the Charleston, or challenge a member of the audience to a drum or dance competition.
Jump, Jive, Boogie Swing Party
Disneyland provides the swing band, you provide the dancing! This Disneyland tradition takes place every Saturday evening at the Plaza Gardens Stage. The Calendar on the Disneyland web site provides the schedule of the bands who will be performing.
Disneyland often invites musical groups, singers, and dancers from local schools and cultural organizations to perform on the Plaza Gardens Stage. You might see Mexican folklorico dancers one time and a string ensemble the next. Check the board at Plaza Gardens for upcoming performances.
Billy Hill and the Hillbillies
The headline act at the Golden Horseshoe is a bluegrass band entirely composed of brothers named Billy. It’s a good thing the saloon’s food counter doesn’t sell corn on the cob, because combined with the corn coming from these guys, you’d overdose! But don’t let their silliness distract you from noticing that they’re very fine musicians. The Times Guide lists the schedule for this fun group’s 20-minute performances.
Farley the Fiddler
Frontierland’s fiddle master holds forth around the porch of the Pioneer Mercantile. Around Halloween and Christmas, you may also see him performing at Big Thunder Ranch. If he calls for a square dance, join in! He’ll teach you all the simple steps you need to know.
Laughing Stock Company
Whether it’s the mayor trying to find a husband for his suspiciously ugly daughter, or the sheriff chasing inept robbers, the partly scripted, partly improvised skits by this troupe liven up the streets in front of the Golden Horseshoe Saloon. Audience members are recruited to participate in some sketches. Check the Times Guide for their schedule.
NEW ORLEANS SQUARE
Queenie and the Jambalaya Jazz Band
Just the kind of brassy, shout-it-out music you’d expect in New Orleans Square. Clap along with your favorite tunes, and maybe even get into the act when they hand out washboards and tambourines, or collect some of the Mardi Gras beads they throw out to the audience.
Royal Street Bachelors
Get yourself some fried chicken or clam chowder at the French Market, take it to the patio outside, and enjoy your meal as you listen to this fine jazz trio. They also perform on Rue Royale.
This roving band of scurvy pirate musicians perform sea chanteys, Disney favorites, and even a song or two about Captain Jack Sparrow. They can be found in Lafitte’s Tavern on Tom Sawyer Island or in areas around New Orleans Square when the Island is closed.
Disneyland Pearly Band
In the tradition of London’s pearly kings and queens, the members of this band are dressed in natty outfits decorated with mother-of-pearl buttons. Look for them in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle (perhaps with Mary Poppins and Bert joining them) or anywhere between the castle and Dumbo.
On weekends and summer nights, a live band performs on the Tomorrowland Terrace stage. Come and groove to the beat or dance the night away on the dance floor. Check the daily Times Guide or the Calendar page on the Disneyland web site for the schedule of performers.
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