The Golden Horse Shoe Revue Event
Ape Pen Publishing
The Golden Horseshoe Disney Event
Disneyland Golden Horseshoe Event and Disneyland Golden Horseshoe,
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Disneyland Horseshoe Event Poster
Disneyland / Collectors -Golden Horseshoe Event Ticket - $6.00
Golden Horseshoe Program Event $7.95
Golden Horseshoe DVD Event $8.50
Disneyland's Finest and funniest Golden Horseshoe Comedian Wally Boag
Wally Boag feted at Golden Horseshoe event
It's a lonely business, being the devoted fan of a theme park show that closed 22 years ago.
Or so I thought until last Saturday's Golden Horseshoe Revue Dinner Show and Celebration, presented by the grand folks of Ape Pen Publishing and The Magic Makers.
The evening grew out of the friendship of Ape Pen's founder, Carlene Thie, and the children of GHS star Wally Boag. They felt it was time for a tribute to the people and traditions of Frontierland's Golden Horseshoe ... and they created something as much fun and as touching as the show itself.
Plans for the event were changing right up to the last minute, so I didn't know what to expect when I arrived at the Anaheim Sheraton – maybe a few dozen former Disneyland's and indeed, I spotted some familiar faces. But mainly there were 300+ people I'd never seen before. They had come from all over America out of affection for the Original Golden Horseshoe Revue.The folks at Disneyland Entertainment sent over the Dapper Dans to warm up the crowd with tunes we all heard growing up. Then the show started with a video tribute to Horseshoe History – a collection of vintage clips punctuated by bursts of applause as each beloved performer appeared on screen. Of course, the loudest ovations were inspired by the first sightings of Wally Boag, Fulton Burley and Betty Taylor at work. - There's something about Disney events and anniversaries that you have to experience, like finding a connection with your past. I first learned this in 1980 at Disneyland's 25th Anniversary, surrounded by thousands of people like me who simply wouldn't have thought of missing the party. You can strike up a conversation with anybody, because you're all living with the same passion for one crazy corner of the world.
Then the Golden Horseshoe girls... and I mean THE Golden Horseshoe Girls: Deedee Bozikis, Arlene Dragon, Janice Gilmore and Georgeen Whitney... took the stage in costume, singing and dancing 'Welcome to the Golden Horseshoe' just as they did when I worked thier back in the '80s. Apparently dancers never age.
The current headliners of the Horseshoe stage – Billy Hill & the Hillbillies – were represented by emcee (and fan favorite) John Eaden and Kirk Wall's outrageous Elvis medley. It's nice to know that Frontierland's comic tradition is in such silly, capable hands.
At my table I was delighted to be reunited with Jim Adams, Wally's long-standing sub and co-star. We swapped stories of the old days of working with Fulton and the Band. Jim had to laugh while watching video of he and Wally rehearsing for a 1980 TV Special, because he had no memory of doing it.
Memories came flooding back quickly, though, when Jim took the stage with GHS mascot Claude Dog and his puppet pals. One adorable clown had trouble remembering his own name... until Jim revealed it was 'Wally'; he'd been named years ago in tribute to the evening's guest of honor.
Disney Legends Bob Gurr and Charles Boyer reminisced about Wally and the Horseshoe and Imagineering Ambassador Marty Sklar took us back even further to before the park's opening in '55, when Wally was hired under a 2 week contract.
Wally's son, Lawrence, shared stories of his youth and being raised by his mischievous dad. His sister, Heather, gave us a taste of what it was like to have all of Disneyland as a playground and second home. It was touching to watch Wally taking it all in, his lovely wife Ellen proudly at his side.
Congratulations were read from Disney Legend Art Linkletter. Then author Gene Sands, who has been collaborating with Wally on his autobiography, announced that their book, "The Clown Prince of Disneyland," would see release by Fall, 2008.
As part of the personal tributes, Jim Adams told the crowd he'd been a star struck kid when – on a break from his Disney job – he knocked on Wally's dressing room door in a pair of monkey feet and asked to meet his hero. He said that Wally opening that door and taking him in was a blessing he'd always remember. “I wanted to BE Wally Boag.”
Dana Daniels, star of the 'Golden Horseshoe Talent Show', brought the house down with his comedy magic, ably upstaged by his partner – Luigi, the Psychic Parrot. Dana told the story of his first visit to Wally's room... also on a break from work, but wearing clown shoes. “I ALSO wanted to be Wally Boag!”
Folks who work in themed entertainment may not make the big bucks, and we may toil in relative obscurity – known only as the characters we portray – but we make up for it in volume... the sheer numbers of people whose lives we touch on a daily basis.
The people who were there that night… and millions around the world… have had a Disney day brightened by seeing Wally perform. But for Jim and Dana and Dick Hardwick and myself, Wally Boag was an inspiration.
So by the time it was my turn to speak, the only thing I could open with was, “Stop me if you've heard this before... “
I chose to reminisce about my days as a fan of the Horseshoe, when I would run to the GHS reservations podium, hoping that Wally, Fulton & Betty would be performing that day. I spoke on behalf of all of us who had wanted to 'be Wally Boag', thanking him for his kindness and generosity; and for giving each of us a start in our lives as performers:
“Some of us are here tonight... All of us are here in spirit. And we are so grateful to have been a part of this legacy, and proud of what we brought to this wonderful show created by Walt and Wally.
But it must be said that when it came to Disneyland's Golden Horseshoe – nobody could touch Betty Taylor. And nobody could touch Fulton Burley. And no one can touch Wally Boag.”
said it Saturday night and I'll say it all my days: “Wally, thank you for my life.”
Written by Jim Hill
Disneyland's Finest and funniest Golden Horseshoe Comedian Wally Boag
Disneyland's Golden Horseshoe Saloon in Frontierland
The Golden Horseshoe Stage (referred to as Pecos Bill's Golden Horseshoe Saloon during construction) opened in 1955 with several other original attractions at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California. Over the years the venue has housed multiple stage shows; it currently shows Laughing Stock and Company seven days a week. The "saloon" is located in Frontierland and has a picturesque view of the Rivers of America, New Orleans Square and part of Critter Country.
Disneyland's Golden Horseshoe History
The Golden Horseshoe Stage unofficially opened on July 13, 1955, as the Golden Horseshoe Saloon, when Walt and Lillian Disney, along with dozens of guests, celebrated their 30th anniversary with a private party and the premiere showing of the original Golden Horseshoe Revue.
The Production of Disneyland's Golden Horseshoe Revue Show
Golden Horseshoe Revue
The Golden Horseshoe Revue was the original and longest running show at the saloon, playing from July 17, 1955 until October 12, 1986. Over the years it starred Wally Boag, Betty Taylor, Don Novis, Fulton Burley, Dick Hardwick, Frankie Wylie, Jack Watson, Judy Marsh, Burt Henry, Dana Daniels, Jay Meyer, Kirk Wall, Jimmy Adams, Don Payne, Ron Schneider and many others.
The stage show featured saloon owner Slue Foot Sue and her dance hall girls who welcomed the audience with "Hello Everybody", followed by a flirtatious interactive song like "A Lady Has to Mind Her P’s and Q’s" or "Riverboat Blues". The show's MC introduced various skits featuring a traveling salesmen, played by Wally Boag, and later Dick Hardwick.
The show would be interrupted by Pecos Bill himself, who would sing his self-titled signature song.
Golden Horseshoe Jamboree Show
This show ran from November 1, 1986, until December 18, 1994. Over the years it starred Judi Wallace, Judy Bell, Kellie Wright, Heather Paige Kent, John Eaden, Don Payne, Gil Christner, E. E. Bell, David Holmes, Joe Jacoby, Eric Gunhus, Kerry Giese, Amanda Hudson and many others.
Billy Hill and the Hillbillies
Main article: Billy Hill and the Hillbillies
This show began its run on December 22, 1994 and ended on January 6, 2014. In its last approximately year and a half it was performed on the Big Thunder Ranch stage, before the performers were fired, and then re-hired by Knott's Berry Farm. Over the years it has starred Kirk Wall, Dennis Fetchet, John Marshall, Evan Marshall, John Eaden, Duane Michaels, Rick Storey, Anders Swanson, and many others. It features bluegrass and comedy.
Golden Horseshoe Variety Show
This show featured the comedy and magic talents of Dana Daniels. It ran from June 13, 1995 until October 8, 2003. It starred Dana Daniels, Richard Allen, Hal Ratliff and many others over the years.
This child-friendly show ran from November 21, 1999 until July 17, 2000 and featured characters from the Disney/Pixar movie Toy Story 2.
Frontierland: The Little Town That Could
This comedy/melodrama ran occasionally from 2001 until 2003 and featured a supposed history of the founding of Frontierland. It starred players from Laughing Stock and Company, including John Eaden, Kevin Gregg, Ken Parks, Danny Roque and Cory Rouse.
A Salute to the Golden Horseshoe Revue
In late 2012, Disney announced the limited run of a show titled A Salute to the Golden Horseshoe Revue, described as "an homage to those fun-filled, family-friendly musical variety shows of the past". The show was scheduled for a brief run from January 10 to February 4, 2013, every Thursday through Monday. It featured song and dance numbers from the original Golden Horseshoe Revue, such as "Hello, Everybody", "A Good Man Is Hard to Find", "Belly Up to the Bar" and "Can-Can"
Various other evening entertainments have appeared there over the years, including Alabama, Louis Armstrong, Actor Pat O'Brien, various jazz and gospel groups and special events. It was also used during the 1950s as a venue for dancing couples during Disneyland's 'Date Nite' promotion.
And finally it was the venue for the Annual Tour Guide's Fashion Show, which raised money for various children's charities over the years. Park Managers were often brought up on stage to perform (as in posing with a beach ball) with the tour guides. This fact helped sell tickets and kept the show going for many years until the expanded park hours/days pushed the show out.