Golden Horseshoe Revue returns as Big Thunder Mountain closes for refurbishment at Disneyland

Written by Andy Castro. Posted in Dateline Disneyland, Disneyland Resort

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Published on January 14, 2013 at 5:05 am with 38 Comments

About Andy Castro

Andy is a Southern California native, raised with Disneyland and a life-long fan of Disney theme parks and animation. Andy wrote the long-running weekly Dateline Disneyland photo, news and opinion blog here on MiceChat from 2007-2016. Andy continues to make occasional special guest contributions on MiceChat.

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  • Trumpet

    Great Update Andy

    Love the refurbishments happening at the moment. Should help prepare the park for the summer trade.

    They need to declutter the shop windows, as they are taking away the time and place of Buena Vista Stree.

    Finally, the Gloden Horseshoe show looks good. Sadly it is temporay, but maybe it will be returned in the future…

    Thanks Again Andy


  • WheresMickey

    Great update!

  • mickeyandme

    Great update as always.
    The main street station is down for refurbishment but there is no timeline for it’s reopening, i know the other stations are running but my family has a tradition of riding the train from the main street station as our very first ride of the trip and then we ride it as our last ride of our trip (kind of a way to say hello to all of Disneyland and then say goodbye to all of it). Any idea if it’s reopening soon?

  • jcruise86

    Thanks for another excellent update, Andy.

    I hope that both Disneyland and WDW decide to have the Horseshoe Revue shows move back in permanently, and that the entertainers are open to improving them. (Pecos Bill returns!) If you miss them, Knott’s has can-can dancers in its saloon show during the summer.

  • Tinkbelle

    We won’t be able to see the Revue in person due to it’s limited run. Thanks for sharing pictures and video.

    Those new popcorn buckets with the Jungle Cruise are so cute! If they still have them in March we will have to get one.

  • Saw the show over the weekend at one of the $35 pass holder dinner shows.

    The show was a lot of fun, and perfect for the theater. However, it isn’t the Golden Horseshoe Revue. In fact, it’s much closer in style to the Golden Horseshoe Jamboree, which replaced the Revue. It’s also a very short 20 minutes. Which may be the optimal length for a theme park show these days, but not long enough for a $35 dinner show.

    My thoughts: they should keep this show around after it’s limited run and give it a new name. They should remove the monologue about Walt and the longhorns and replace it with a song or comedy bit. They should also continue to offer dinners here, but for the dinner show, they should add in an additional 20 minutes worth of numbers. That would encourage folks to pay the extra $35 and not have them feeling shortchanged.

    All in all, it is VERY nice to have a revue of this type back in the theater. It feels right.

    One final comment: they need a Pecos Bill type character in the show.

    • Sparky

      I completely agree. The show is more like the Golden Horseshoe Jamboree than the Revue. And, it’s a shame that, since they’re calling it a “salute” that it doesn’t contain a performance based homage to either Wally Boag or Fulton Burley. Regarding Andy’s comment, ” The show also features a “Five and Dime”-style (from California Adventure) crowd interaction bit where Miss Lilly sings to a gentleman in the audience. It draws laughs from the audience, but is perhaps a bit unnecessary.”, that bit that Miss Lilly does is actually what Betty Taylor used to do in the Revue. It does kind of interupt the flow of the show since there is no other comedy in the show like the Golden Horseshoe Revue had. Finally, the show definitely is too short. I felt like it was just getting started and it was over. Especially for the AP dinner showings, it needs to be longer to create more value for the ticket cost. I grew up with the fun saloon shows at Six Flags Over Texas and Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri and often enjoyed both the Golden Horseshoe Revue and Jamboree shows after I moved to California. I’ve really missed having a “saloon show” in Disneyland and hope that they’ll bring a good one back on a longer term basis.

      • JMazz

        Thx for explaining why Miss Lilly’s shtick was being reported as possibly “unnecessary”. That comment left me wondering.

        Reporters/Editors: Another incomplete report was the last comment about the monorail. Did the audio go back to the way it was? Did the audio become updated to reflect that CL is open? If so, what are the differences?

        As always, great pics!
        And as usual, I will be looking at comments here and reports elsewhere to fill in the holes.

  • HeeHee

    I can’t help but wonder what someone does when the make the trek to the park during these off-peak times in hopes of short lines-or none-and also finds half the park under wraps, and the gates closing at 6 or 8, the prices are high for sure, but especially considering that! As far as the windows on Buena Vista Street, what a shame that merchandising just can’t get it right. Those obtrusive (and dare I say ugly!) 2013 merch simply wrecks the look and feel of the very (very) time period oriented place that Buena Vista Street is-why even build it if you are just going to junk it up with non-period articles? It looks like a mash up of ideas, it looks like Universal, or worse-a mall, it looks cheap and it’s embarrassing and flat out-bad show. I am sure most folks go into a store on BVS to see what’s inside and not due to what is in the window (I shop in a specific store due to knowing the brand-not because their window has a particular thing in it-pretty sure we all know the Disney brand)…as it is Main Street in Disneyland has lost that small town charm and diminished their period displays to have more (cheap looking and same) merchandise in many of the windows. I go to the parks for the very idea that it feels as though you’ve stepped back in time, that feeling is slowly going to the wayside, I feel like I am being “sold” and that’s a shame because my gut instinct is to specifically not purchase something when I am made to feel that way. If Disneyland is a show, then please create a “set” that compliments it!

    • MrOCT31

      We were there yesterday and this is exactly how we felt. If this was your first time or you made the mistake of not checking things out before you planned that big Disneyland vacation before you can and this is what you got…what a let down! For us, it’s just another day at the park so things being closed was no big deal other than there seems to be an awful lot of stuff closed at one time right now and with the walkway between Frontierland and Fantasyland being closed, it really disrupts the flow of the park and we spent very little time in DL while we were there. Also with temps in the 40’s no need to go to Splash Mountain either so that whole side of the park was pretty much empty.

      • TodAZ1

        I believe Disneyland still posts at the entrance to the park all of the attractions that are not operating that day.

        But, even beyond that, I didn’t buy people claiming ignorance that an attraction would be closed before the internet, when Disneyland only had a telephone number you could call to get the latest info at the park, and I sure as heck don’t buy it now. From the time you’re even thinking about a big family trip to DL (and, honestly, if it is the BIG family trip, you wouldn’t do a little, even 5 minutes worth, of investigation about what you want to do and when you want to do it and make sure that it’s available to you?), literally to the moment you step into Main Street, USA, you can obtain information. Access to Disneyland daily operating hours and refurb schedules has never been easier to get, even for the average vacationing guest.

  • StevenW

    I saw the Golden Horseshoe Revue many times in the past. I always thought it was overrated then, yet I still went. The show was too short, it didn’t feature enough performers. There needs to be more Can Can dancers, more songs, more jokes, and more side acts. The concert hall is awfully small. They should try to fit more customers into the seating area. But I did enjoy the nice change of pace when compared to the other shows in the park.

  • eicarr

    What happened to the finger scanners they were supposed to put in like at WDW? When I go yearly I get a 5 day and go in & out at least once per day. So I pay good money to have to deal with people bugging me with handheld devices in line (like at Costco) 10x each visit? If they’re worried they’ll be finger scanning protests in california then there should be special photo lines for paranoid people, but the rest can use finger scanners like I use every day at the gym.

    Every other visit I’d escape the crowds and splurge on a golden horseshoe or Tahitian Terrace dinner show. In Hawaii, a Tahitian Terrace dinner type shows go for $85-$150. The Hollywood and silicon valley regulars would love to splurge on intamate dinning shows(with cool merch.) at DL.

  • Fantastic weekly review of the Parks, thank you Andy!

  • Disneykin Kid

    I saw the STTGHR, I think it only has one song from the original revue, the ‘Welcome’ song. All the rest is from the Jamboree version, you could see it coming when they introduce Miss Lilly, instead of Slue Foot Sue. They should really call it ‘Salute to the Golden Horseshoe Jamboree’. The vamping bit always gets laughs, and the can can girls are sorely missed, but the show needs comedy, namely a return of the Wally Boag character. The four singers are kind of unnecessary, I’d rather have the Wally Boag character, and maybe lose the Belly Up to the Bar number. They should definitely keep the show on permanently, I don’t want to lose Billy Hill, but having can can dancers is a much better fit for the ambience of Frontierland.

  • MarkILIS

    Nice update. Thanks. Couple of questions:

    How can it take a month and six days for It’s a Small World to remove the holiday overlay? That seems excessive.

    Will the Fantasmic! shows from Feb 15 – March 28 have the characters on the stage instead of the Mark Twain?

    • JMazz

      I believe they are not only pulling down the overlay, but they are tweeking the ride (a small refurb).

  • Algernon

    The Golden Horseshoe needs to return permanently.

    Fantasmic needs it’s own separate theater area (with it’s own lagoon), set up like Waterworld at Universal Studios Hollywood, where everybody has a good seat, and nobody’s head is in the way. Then the walkways by the Rivers of America will no longer be crowded and people can go on the Mark Twain at night.

    What a shame that they can’t figure out ways other than to put safety railings on the rides (Is Big Thunder next?). But what can you expect from a company with so little imagination that they had to buy out Muppets, LucasFilm and Marvel to come up with new ideas. It is the equivalent of Walt Disney in the 1950’s buying out Popeye the Sailor Man, The Flintstones and Betty Boop; and making movies based on Coney IsIand rides, with Tommy Sands instead of Johnny Depp.

    • TodAZ1

      Where would this Fantasmic theater with its own lagoon go, exactly?

      And don’t blame Disney for the safety railings on the attractions. That’s Cal OSHA and the blood sucking lawyers (to quote John Hammond).

      But I do have to hand it to you. You go from the villainy of safety railings to Walt buying Popeye and Betty Boop in one paragraph. That aint easy.

      • Algernon

        I’m not sure where the new Fantasmic! would go, but I’m sure it would be possible with a little out of the box thinking, such as a train that took the guests maybe across the street or just outside the park for the show, or the lagoon could be at a backstage location and the seating area built out over the street.

        The lawyers want the safety railings, but you’ll notice that big buildings don’t have them for their window washers. The washers have found other ways to provide for their safety without ruining the look of the building. The ride workers could push or drive out modified ride vehicles with booms and tethers on them that they could attach safety lines to, so they couldn’t fall off the track they were working on (like the leaves on Alice), and safety railings would no longer ruin the look and fun of the rides.

  • CasaFamilia

    Thank you for all of the interesting photos from all of the rehabs around both parks. Also thanks for the updated rehab schedule, it helps me plan the weekly family visits. I’m glad that Alice has not gone down yet because one of my twin daughters favorite rides include Alice, Small World and Big Thunder; it would be a less happy place if all three were down at once.

  • Spongeocto4

    Thanks for the update.

  • JesterMn

    I do not understand the disdain for the Buena Vista store displays. They are a STORE. Of course they have to display their merchandise. What store in their right mind doesn’t? At least they mix it in with some character; we should be thankful for that.

    • Mostly because Imagineering delivered Buena Vista Street with stunning period-appropriate window displays and now we have windows which just look like the local mall. It is sort of a bait and switch sort of a thing.

      • SoarinMatt

        Being a former CM, I can tell you that they probably had guests that were asking about the decor in the front windows and they probably complained to Guest Relations that they couldn’t purchase that stuff, so they had to put merchandise there because it advertises what they actually sell. Seriously, people are like that.

    • JMazz

      Did anyone notice the error on the book “Wind in the the Willows”? That’s TWO “The”!!!
      I am shocked that Disney hasn’t replaced the faux books that have this error. Scroll back and check it out.

      • Lynzer Torte

        Oh, that’s bad….

  • Ravjay12

    Thanks for the great update! The details from the Fantasy Faire are emerging and looking great. Hopefully, Disney will see value in bringing Golden Horseshoe back for good and plus the show. They may even be able to offer a dinner show in the evening. I think they put merchandise in the windows so people would know what’s inside that store. I don’t think it bothers the majority of people walking by them! Let’s not forget what was there before!

  • SFDisneyfan

    Thanks for the update!!!!

    It always boggles my mind how inept the Disney merchandise team is.

    Frankly, they need some new blood and new thinking in that department.

    We have been going to Disneyland religiously the last 6 years now and a lot of the product remains the same. And it wasn’t that great to begin with, in particular, the kitchen stuff.

    I will say their clothing has improved measurably in recent years. Though I am not a fan of much of the DCA branded shirts.

    The area they do a pretty good job on is the higher end collectible items, and that store is a favorite.

    When we first saw those books on Main Street in DCA I was super excited and wanted to buy some from my goddaughters as presents. Yes, kids still read books and people want to buy unique gifts – how come they still are not being sold defies logic.

    And why they don’t have more of the classic cartoon characters from Disney’s early days continues to seem odd. As evidenced by Oswald items, there is strong demand there it seems.

    On a different topic:
    Very jealous about not getting to see the Golden Horseshoe show.

    My hope would be that Disney sees how popular these shows are that they bring them back as maybe sit-down dinners and a show in the future. The place could remain a quick service spot for lunch but have a better menu and take RSVPs for dinner, with the show included in the price.

  • OriginalMousekteer

    To add to the previous comments about the Salute show being more like GHJamboree than GHRevue: There’s also a cost issue involved. This show appears to have a cast of six onstage including one principal (Miss Lilly), whereas GHR had seven, with three principals (Sluefoot Sue, Irish Tenor, and Travelling Salesman/Pecos Bill). Many of the GHR numbers would require more sets and costumes (Police Gazette, especially) and LOTS more rehearsal time (comedy ain’t easy, and timing is key).

    I do think it’s misleading to actually call it a Salute to the GH REVUE, specifically when it is mostly taken from GH Jamboree. And I miss the classic bits from the Revue (Nobody sleeps while I’m on!).

    • SpectroMan

      I think this is spot on: it’s a budgetary decision. Why recreate all those props and backgrounds for just one month? Plus, to get the best talent and only employ them for said month is not easy to do – these people need steady work. A shame, but the truth.

  • Fukai

    There was always audience interaction during the original Golden Horseshoe Revue show, with actors out in the audience. The show is really missing someone doing the Wally Boag part.

  • brianpinsky

    hold on Mater’s South half is down right now. With its north half going down in a few days.

  • disney4me2001

    Another great update! I completely agree with everything you said about the books in the Buena Vista Street windows. I think Disney needs to get permission to print actual copies of the books the covers are portraying and then sell them to guests, or put together a “Disney” version of the story that can go inside. I want those covers for my collection! If the merchandise team isn’t going to proudly display that artwork then I would be happy to!

    • Jafar00

      I would love to have those book covers as nice board posters or tin posters. They would look lovely framed and hung in a home library. Hell i’ll even take the Little Mermaid and Toad designs on a coffee mug. Come on Disney Merch team, pull it together. That 2013 crap is hideous.

  • Marko50

    Thanks for the update. So, how was the food at the Salute dinner show?

  • RodeToad

    Nice spotlight on the book covers

  • Freddie Freelance

    I’m none too crazy about the Kandy Kolored roofing treatment at the Princess Fantasy Faire.