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  1. #1

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    A Live Music TR: One Day with the Bands and Musical Groups of DL and DCA

    A couple weeks ago, I made a mad dash through Friday afternoon rush hour to get to Disneyland. It was August 15 and the last day that the All-American College Band was performing. I really, really enjoy the entertainment offerings in the parks and while watching the All-American College Band perform their last set, a thought struck my head (ouch!).

    Why not spend one day watching all the bands and musical groups at Disneyland perform? And stay to watch them for a full set each...not a short courtesy stop, aka "listen-to-two-songs-and-move-on" kind of thing. Could it be done? After all, it's just a variation of the "ride as many rides in one day" that many guests try to do. It seemed to be a matter of proper planning and scheduling and it could be done. Of course, I'm no good at either planning or scheduling, so the difficulty level just went up from "Pro" to "All-Madden".

    The first places to start were the DL Calendar online and Entertainment Times Guide. However, there are several musical groups NOT listed in either source, and this would prove to be the biggest challenge of the day. When should I go to New Orleans Square to see Queenie and the Jambalaya Jazz Band? When should I go to Coke Corner to see the ragtime pianist? You get the drift. Undeterred, I made a list of groups the day before my trip and planned a rough timeline for the day. I figured I would stop at City Hall and find performance times for all the other groups not listed the Times Guide.

    Saturday, August 23 - Part I
    I woke up a little later than planned (no surprise there) and was running late. I still managed to get to the entry turnstiles right at 10am, just as the Disneyland Band was assembling in front of the Mickey Floral and Main St. Train Station. Woot! This was the first group on my list.

    10:00am - 10:25am > Disneyland Band


    I had seen other trip reports that showed the Mad Hatter and Alice joining the Disneyland Band, but this was the first time I'd managed to see them personally. They were hilarious!!! First up, Mad Hatter was recruiting volunteers for the Synchronized Stroller and Wheelchair Team. Alice had procured an empty stroller and found a lucky guest to partner with.


    Ready, set...


    ...and they're off! The strollers and wheelchairs move forward in a straight line...


    ...but it doesn't take long until they're out of sync.




    Mr. Hatter takes charge and forms a single file line.


    The Synchronized Team performs much better and feeling very satisfied, Mad Hatter dismisses the team. Our attention is brought back to the Disneyland Band.




    After a song, Mad Hatter and Alice take charge again. These two are a bit bossy, huh? LOL! They pull some kids from the audience to form the 2008 Disneyland Dance Ensemble.


    Mr. Hatter gets the dancers in line...


    ...and shows off his "Mad" dance skillz.


    After that rousing dance number (music accompaniment provided by the Disneyland Band, of course), the Hatter joins the percussion section of the band with a multi-purpose silver creamer. I never knew those things could be so handy with a band!


    Can you spot the Mad Hatter?


    Of course, Mr. Hatter was not content to just be with the percussion section. Oh no, he was not. Graciously, the band let him take a stab at conducting. Here is the Mad Hatter conducting the Disneyland Band and what I *think* was the William Tell Overture.






    Afterwards, there was one more bit of audience interaction before the set came to a close. We've had synchronized strollers and wheelchairs and a dance ensemble. What's left? How about the 2008 Disneyland Chorus singing Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah?


    And on that rousing note, the Disneyland Band, with Mad Hatter and Alice in tow, marched back towards Main Street and concluded the first live music set of the day.




    That was a lot of fun! Watching Mad Hatter and Alice getting the audience involved was really entertaining and many guests had big smiles on their faces. What a way to start a Disneyland trip!

    However, I didn't have much time to dawdle, as my next group was coming on stage in just a few minutes. According to the Times Guide, the Dapper Dans would be on Main Street USA at 10:30am. In the next installment, we'll listen to the Dapper Dans sing along the entire length of Main Street USA. Yes, the whole street.

  2. #2

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    Re: A Live Music TR: One Day with the Bands and Musical Groups of DL and DCA

    That's awesome! I would have loved to see the Mad Hatter conduct.


  3. #3

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    Re: A Live Music TR: One Day with the Bands and Musical Groups of DL and DCA

    10:30 - 10:45am > Dapper Dans
    With just a few minutes until 10:30am, I headed up Main Street to Carnation Cafe. The problem with a printed location such as "Main Street USA", is that the Dapper Dans could appear in any number of places. In fact, if I stood at one end of the street, I could miss them entirely if they were singing at the other end. So, I figured Carnation Cafe was mid-way along Main Street and I would hedge my bets on their location.

    At 10:33am, I knew I must be in the wrong spot. I took a quick look up towards the Hub and didn't see any brightly striped costumes. So I started walking briskly back towards Town Square. Sure enough, those costumes were like a beacon in the darkness as I saw the familiar figures at the Horse-Drawn Streetcar stop. Could they really be...?

    OH YES THEY WERE


    I was too late to get on the Streetcar, so I just followed behind it (and off to the sides lest the horse decide to leave a souvenir along the track).




    Although I couldn't make out the songs, the Dapper Dans were singing during the entire trip up Main Street USA for the streetcar passengers.


    When the Streetcar pulled up to the stop along the Hub and dropped off it's passengers, I noticed that the Dans weren't going anywhere. So I asked one of them how long they would be singing for. He said they were just going back down to Town Square and that would be it for the 10:30am appearance. He also asked me if I wanted to go along for the ride. I'm no dummy. Of course I boarded the streetcar!

    After a couple of minutes at the Hub, we were off!


    This was one of the COOLEST things I've ever done at the parks. Having the Dapper Dans sing while you're on Horse-Drawn Streetcar? Two very big thumbs up!!!






    In all my times visiting Disneyland, I've never ridden the Streetcar with the Dapper Dans. It even felt a little "magical", as corny as that may seem. Anyway, I highly recommend everyone trying this at least once in their lifetime.



    This was the end of their 10:30am set and the Dapper Dans told me to stop by Main Street later in the day to see them again. I made note to try, but seeing all the other groups that I wanted to check out, I didn't think it possible. Still, it was such a short set, that I hoped to catch at least a portion of another set later on.

    So far, so good. I saw the first two groups according to plan. And I was even a bit ahead of schedule as I didn't know that the Dapper Dans would have a really short set. My next target was the first Billy Hill show at 11:15am.

    With about 25 minutes to spare, I headed over to Tomorrowland to grab a Space Mountain Fastpass. This would be used at the end of the day as a "reward" if I managed to see all the groups in the parks. I then headed over to Adventureland to watch some Indy stunt action before the Billy Hill show. When I come back, it's time to kick back in the Golden Horseshoe Saloon.

  4. #4

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    Re: A Live Music TR: One Day with the Bands and Musical Groups of DL and DCA

    I love it!! What a great idea! What happened next? Did you get to see everyone?



    The suspense is killing me!

    And what beautiful pictures!

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    Re: A Live Music TR: One Day with the Bands and Musical Groups of DL and DCA

    11:15am - 11:55am > Billy Hill and the Hillbillies
    The Billy Hill show at the Golden Horseshoe Saloon is one of my favorite shows in any of the Disney theme parks. Since it was a Saturday, we'd be seeing the Billy Hill "Gold Team" cast perform--which includes Kirk Wall as Billy Elvis. Woot!

    Since all the seats and tables up front were already spoken for, I headed upstairs and found a good spot on the left side. As I was settling in, I noticed a Dream Winner in Walt's VIP Box. One of the Dream Squad CMs was showing the Saloon Scrapbook to a lucky guest. For a closeup view of the Scrapbook, you can see this thread and pictures by Mad Madame Momba from earlier this summer.


    Soon, the Billies came out to a warm round of applause--plus some hooting and hollering. Thanks to the California Prison Work Release Program, these boys can grace the stage of the Golden Horseshoe.


    Mountain Music Medley


    "Elvis" takes the stage


    Speed Fiddling to "Orange Blossom Special"


    "Hillbilly" teeth help you play like a Hillbilly, and not like some stuffy concert violinist. Now here's an image that might scar you for life.


    And if that one doesn't, this one might.


    The woman at the table next to me was also taking pictures during the show.


    I have a lot of fun watching the Billies. You just can't help but smile after watching one of their shows.

    Leaving the Golden Horseshoe Saloon, I walked over to the Pioneer Mercantile to see if I could find someone who knew when Farley the Fiddler would be around. Unfortunately, none of the Mercantile CMs had any idea. I did stop to watch Woody and Jessie signing autographs and taking pictures nearby.

    Afterwards, it was a short walk over to the Rafts to Tom Sawyer's Island. The Bootstrappers were scheduled to play at 12:15pm.

    12:15pm - 12:45pm > The Bootstrappers
    After a short raft ride over to TSI, it was almost time for the 12:15pm Bootstrapper set. The overcast morning had now turned into a sunny afternoon and it was getting hot. Since I hadn't put on any sunscreen yet, I grabbed a seat in the covered area of Laffitte's Tavern.

    While waiting for our pirate band to appear, I used the time to apply sunscreen and decided to stay in the shade for their set. I noticed that several guests were gathered on the lower stage area facing the Tavern. So when the Bootstrappers finally came out, this was my view...the Backside of the Bootstrappers!


    With photo opportunities lacking from this perspective, I moved out into the sun for a few additional shots.

    The pirate gave me a dirty look and chastised me for "stealing his soul" with my camera. LOL!







    This pirate came close to re-creating Billy Hill's bow-up-the-nostril move.


    From this angle, it seems that Splash Mountain is not too far away.




    After the end of their set, I quickly went back to the Raft landing. I had swung by the French Market before coming over to TSI and noticed a sign for the Royal Street Bachelors that said they would be playing "pert near One". Why not have lunch at the French Market while listening to jazz music and crossing one more band off my list? Perfect.

    So far, the day has gone pretty well. I've seen most of the DL bands that were listed in the Times Guide during daytime hours with little down time between groups. But there were still PLENTY of groups to see and many were NOT in the guide. This was going to get interesting.

    Completed by 1pm:
    Disneyland Band, Dapper Dans, Billy Hill and the Hillbillies, The Bootstrappers

    Groups still to see:
    Royal Street Bachelors, Queenie and the Jambalaya Jazz Band, Farley the Fiddler, The Pearly Band, The Hook and Ladder Co., The Main Street Strawhatters, Coke Corner Ragtime Pianist, Jump Jive Boogie Swing Party, Tomorrowland Terrace Band, Trash Can Trio, Fantasmic Pre-Show Band, DCA: The Miner 49ers, DCA: Mariachi Divas.

  6. #6

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    Cool Re: A Live Music TR: One Day with the Bands and Musical Groups of DL and DCA

    Nice, I should try this one time.

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    Re: A Live Music TR: One Day with the Bands and Musical Groups of DL and DCA

    These shots are just incredible!!! What camera do you use?

  8. #8

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    Re: A Live Music TR: One Day with the Bands and Musical Groups of DL and DCA

    What a wonderful way to spend a day - I'll have to remember this for the future.

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    Re: A Live Music TR: One Day with the Bands and Musical Groups of DL and DCA

    Excellent! Please, may we have more?

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    Re: A Live Music TR: One Day with the Bands and Musical Groups of DL and DCA

    Great idea and report, I hope you got to see them all!
    Check out my page at www.myspace.com/wheresmickey

    Check out my pin collection at www.pinpics.com. User name is WheresMickey




  11. #11

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    Re: A Live Music TR: One Day with the Bands and Musical Groups of DL and DCA

    Quote Originally Posted by dland_lover View Post
    I love it!! What a great idea! What happened next? Did you get to see everyone?

    The suspense is killing me!

    And what beautiful pictures!
    Quote Originally Posted by dland_lover View Post
    These shots are just incredible!!! What camera do you use?
    dland_lover, thanks for the kind words! I'm glad you're enjoying the TR. I shoot with a Canon Digital Rebel XTi, with a Sigma 18-200 lens attached 90% of the time.

    All of these photos are on my Flickr. You can click any photo to go to its Flickr photo page for larger versions and EXIF data, if anyone's interested.

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    Re: A Live Music TR: One Day with the Bands and Musical Groups of DL and DCA

    Can't wait to see more and if you got to ride Space Mountain as a reward.

  13. #13

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    Re: A Live Music TR: One Day with the Bands and Musical Groups of DL and DCA

    Quote Originally Posted by MTNGIRL View Post
    What a wonderful way to spend a day - I'll have to remember this for the future.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dopey's Girl View Post
    Excellent! Please, may we have more?
    Quote Originally Posted by WheresMickey View Post
    Great idea and report, I hope you got to see them all!
    Thank you everyone for stopping by to check out this report!!! I appreciate all of your comments. Unfortunately, I won't be able to update until tomorrow. I'm about to head out to Disneyland in order to catch some shows one more time before they go into refurb for the off-season--e.g. Fantasmic, Aladdin, and the Electrical Parade. But I do promise to return!

  14. #14

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    Re: A Live Music TR: One Day with the Bands and Musical Groups of DL and DCA

    This is really neat. What an expedition! I can't wait to read more of your musical adventures. And the pics, as many ppl before me have already mentioned, are superb. Can't wait for more!







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    Re: A Live Music TR: One Day with the Bands and Musical Groups of DL and DCA

    I absolutely LOVE this TR!

    Amazing photos!

    After seeing this TR, I can't wait to take my Rebel XTi to the park

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