Magic Kingdom Storybook Circus Five Legged Goats

Written by George Taylor. Posted in Disney, Disney Parks, Features, Imaginerding, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World

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Published on March 17, 2014 at 2:00 am with 10 Comments

Fans of Communicore Weekly (the Greatest Online Show™) are familiar with the term Five Legged Goat. We do a weekly segment dedicated to the hidden details of Disney parks; it started with a look at the venerated five legged goat in the Grand Canyon Concourse mural created by Mary Blair at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. I know that Jeff Heimbuch and I spend a lot of time at the parks hunting and researching more five legged goats for the show.

Sometimes you might see it,
Sometimes you don’t.
Hey, look! What’s that?
It’s a Five Legged Goat.

So, let’s take a look at a few of the five legged goats at Pete’s Silly Sideshow and Big Top Treats in the new Storybook Circus area of the Fantasyland expansion at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.

Pete’s Silly Sideshow

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Let’s take a look at some of the hidden and not-so-hidden details at Pete’s Silly Sideshow.

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Not sure if this is a true five legged goat or just an example of some amazing and unnecessary theming from Imagineers. Either way, I love the fact that it’s something that not everyone sees.

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This sign for The Nearly World Famous Pete’s Silly Sideshow is another great example of theming. It’s aged well and adds a lot to the area.

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The calliope near the entrance is a trove of five legged goats. The Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom on the calliope’s marquee refers to the 1953 animated short film of the same title which also won the 1954 Academy Award for Best Short Subject for Cartoons. The words of the title refer to the four sounds that musical instruments make. Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom was directed by Ward Kimball and Charles A. Nicholls. We’ll see another Kimball five legged goat a bit later. (You can find the short on Disney Rarities: Celebrated Shorts, 1920s–1960s and Fantasia 2000.)

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Melody Time Brass Horn band Manufactured by Melody Time Brass Horns Co. is an obvious reference to the 1948 film that featured seven animated shorts. Melody Time includes Pecos Bill and the Legend of Johnny Appleseed.

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As you exit Pete’s Silly Sideshow, you see a little bit of what makes Pete so special. The back of the screens that tell you to enter if you dare also admonish you that there is “No Re-Entry Unless You Buy Another Ticket”.

Silly Pete.

Big Top Treats

Though you might think of it solely as an air-conditioned spot to pick up a souvenir or gigantic candied apple, make sure to spend a little time checking out the many five legged goats strewn throughout this fantastically themed shop. That is if you can pull yourself away from some of the amazing treats that are made right before your very eyes.

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One of the first things that I noticed was the detail on the carpeting (seriously, Disney does some awesome things with carpet). It looked like stitched canvas and painted floor boards.

Casey Jr.’s Cars

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As you make your way around the edge of Big Top Treats, you’ll notice that the merchandise is displayed in various train cars. One of my favorites is the Penguins refrigerated car that hold chilled beverages. Make sure to notice the wheels and detailing on the crest. Also, pay attention to the display racks. The candy dispenser has a fire hose wrapped around the top.

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The Hyenas section is used for displaying home and kitchen wares.

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You can check out in one of the cars set aside for the Camels.

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Boy’s clothing is waiting in the Bears car.

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Gifts and items for the young princess set can be found in the Kangaroos car.

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Cheetahs! I heard they never prosper—or something.

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The Lions car offers another area to pay for your purchases.

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There are paintings spread throughout the shop, usually behind the cash registers, that feature circus animals in their native habitat. This one is Lambert the Sheepish Lion, from the 1952 animated short. I found another reference to Lambert below.

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As I mentioned earlier, don’t forget to check out the stand-alone merchandise displays. There are quite a few of them that have “feeding buckets” underneath then that pay homage to Disney animated characters. This one is obviously meant for Lambert.

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We’ve got one for Hyacinth Hippo from Fantasia. You can also see the great detailing in the carpet.

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A five legged goat dedicate to Clara Cluck! Clara saw her debut in the 1934 Mickey Mouse short, The Orphan’s Benefit.

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One of the last ones is dedicated to the Big Bad Wolf from the 1933 animated short, Three Little Pigs. I wondered why his barrel is the only one right-side up. Any thoughts?

Firehouse Five

A five legged goat theme that you’ll see throughout Storybook Circus is dedicated to the Firehouse Five Plus Two Dixieland Jazz band. The Firehouse Five Plus Two was a band of Walt Disney Studio artists that formed to play during lunch breaks and eventually played at Disneyland, in various television specials and released thirteen albums. In some references, you’ll see an obvious reference to Ward Kimball as a clown with over-sized glasses.

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Do you have a favorite Five Legged Goat from Storybook Circus in the Magic Kingdom?


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ImagiNERDing is written and edited by George Taylor

About George Taylor

George has been obsessed with Disney theme parks since the first time he saw a photo of the Haunted Mansion in the early 70s. He started writing about Disney in 2007 and has amassed one of the world's largest Disney-related libraries.

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  • solarnole

    I’m so happy that Disney honored Walt’s original dream of building a tacky circus caravel inside his park. The walk around clowns and the giant gift shop themed to a big top are that extra Disney magic.

    Hopefully the imagineers will build a Frozen bathroom next or if they go all out it could be an ice cream shop with bathrooms. I definitely want less rides and more places to shop, take pictures or relieve myself.

    I’m also happy that they are paving over all the grass and water in the hub with cement it looked too natural and park like to be an outdoor shopping mall. Magical times at WDW

    • Country Bear

      Big chuckle.

  • michael darling

    These pics were fun….but I tend to agree with a few points of the above review. It’d been nice if this had came out an actual attraction instead of a store. When originally revealed in the plans, I imagined a walk-around tent of individual curtains that opened to reveal various Disney characters doing what they do best….kind of like a Mickey Mouse Review, but in small booths you could randomly visit around the perimeter of the tent.

    Seems to me there is so much more that could be done here. Still, fantastic theming!
    Don’t agree with the comment that it’s a ‘tacky circus carnival’. I think it’s well executed in design, but not content.

  • Country Bear

    Thank you for detailing this area for us. I had always thought this was an interactive games type area while you wait for your Dumbo ride time. It appears that is not the case as I see lots of shops and fun theming, but no games. The details you pointed out are nice to see though. Someone in WDI spent some time researching the company’s history, which is great to see.

    Thanks for the great article.

  • solarnole

    It is sad that the area it replaced toon town fair had a better theme and more activity no one really stays in this area anymore.

    Kids were allowed to play on Donald’s boat instead of being fenced off of it like Casey Jrs train.

    Sorry but Disney and circus should never be accepted in the house of Walt. I fear too that this area will never get updated because it is much harder to place characters in a circus then a town where toons live.

    • Cory Gross

      Walt loved the circus (remember that he made “Dumbo” to begin with) and attempted several times to put a circus into Disneyland. From 1955 to 1956, Fantasyland hosted the Mickey Mouse Club Circus, “A circus arts show featuring actual cast members of the Mickey Mouse Club, live animals with Professor George J. Keller’s Jungle Killers, Bob-O the Disneyland Clown and the talking equine, The Wonder Horse!” In 1956 the “Keller’s Jungle Killers” show remained, and in 1957 the striped circus tent they were in was moved over to Holidayland. What ultimately closed the circus down was the fact that circuses were ubiquitous throughout the United States in the Fifties and nobody wanted to go to Disneyland to see one. Daveland has a good page about Disneyland’s circuses, with photos: http://davelandweb.com/mmcc/

      Today, circuses are not as prevalent and are much smaller in scale than they were in the first 2/3rds of the 20th century. This lends the circus an air of nostalgia that is perfect for a Disney park, especially in connection with Dumbo. I think this area looks very cool, and I enjoy all the references to classic Disney characters.

      • solarnole

        It’s great to theme an area around animal cruelty in the age of blackfish. I still think it was a huge miss

  • WorldLover71

    The theming here is wonderful but I can’t help but feel that each land needs at least one marquee attraction. I love Dumbo but the area needs a small world or Big Thunder. I also continue to marvel at how there is nothing in the entire area about Bongo the Circus Bear. He is a natural fit. I know he’s a minor character in the Disney universe but he is no more obscure than Lambert or Humphrey.

  • Ravjay12

    Thanks for sharing all of the great details of this unique part of Fantasyland! It’s good to see Disney getting back to its roots a bit with all the hidden easter eggs and details. It would have been a great to have some kind of indoor kid’s play environment instead of another merchandise opportunity, though. It does blow away the cheap Toontown they had before. It’s really cool to see Fantasyland split up into sub-lands. Lot of unique photo opportunities.

  • David Hollenbeck

    This is just a guess, but I think the upside-down tubs are ones used by performing animals (though a hippo isn’t usually a circus performer) as stands during the show and possibly as water “bowls” at other times. I can’t explain why the Big Bad Wolf has one there other than all of the huffing and puffing making him thirsty, but like I said, it’s just a guess.

    Dave