Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Diamond Horseshoe: A Rootin' Tootin' Good Time!!!

Stepping back in time, once again, we find ourselves at a Magic Kingdom Show that was always a family favorite back in the day, The Diamond Horseshoe Revue.
Situated on your left hand side, as you rush from Liberty Square toward Frontierland's gate-buster attractions, Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain, the Diamond Horseshoe Saloon now sits quietly, often empty, with most Magic Kingdom visitors not even noticing it is there.

That was not always the case, when I was a kid, I can remember Dad rushing ahead to the building on Main Street USA, where The Art of Disney is now situated, to be sure that he was able to get a reservation for the family to attend the show. While tickets were complimentary, popularity demanded that you reserve them early so as not to miss this extravaganza.

The original show was called The Diamond Horseshoe Revue, and while the name (as well as the performers) changed a few times over it's 22 year run, the show was esentially the same. A wild west saloon show, with comedians, Can-can girls and musical performances.

When the Magic Kingdom, in Florida, first opened, Wally Boag, "The Clown Prince of Disneyland", was brought in and performed for the first three years of the show's run. Wally was the star of Disneyland's Golden Horseshoe Revue and while I do not personally remember his performances, his portrayal of Pecos Bill was always once of my parents' favorites.

My family always looked forward to the Revue, as a kid I can remember my youngest brother Jimmy, being brought on the stage be part of the show.

The look on his face as the drummer's rim shot signaled the opening of a trap door beneath his feet (which was just a joke) will be etched in my mind forever. He did, however, get some nice (and highly coveted by his two brothers) parting gifts for being part of the performance. A certificate stating his participation as well as a huge, Mickey head, topped pencil.

This wild west style show, in one or another of it's various forms, ran through February of 2003.
I will always remember it fondly and think about it each and everytime I walk through Frontierland, it was a huge part of my Magic Kingdom experiences as a kid and will be missed.