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Disneyland Article
Disneyland Band Returns With More Live Entertainment Coming Soon
Orange County Register
Brady Macdonald
A Disneyland opening day attraction that was only intended to last two weeks but has stuck around for 66 years has survived the coronavirus pandemic closure of the Anaheim theme park and will make a triumphant return this week marching down Main Street U.S.A.

The Disneyland Band will return on Friday, June 18 after a 15-month absence from the park with performances planned throughout the day.

The band’s return is good news for fans of live entertainment — which has been largely relegated to physically distanced character wave-and-play interactions since Disneyland and Disney California Adventure reopened after a 412-day coronavirus closure on April 30.

The Citizens of Buena Vista Street have returned to DCA while Five & Dime, Pearly Band and the Main Street U.S.A. piano player are expected to be back soon.

Other atmosphere entertainment has remained “temporarily unavailable” since the parks reopened. Live music venues like the Paradise Garden Bandstand have sat idle. Up close character meet-and-greet locations like Mickey’s House, Pixie Hollow and Fantasy Faire Royal Hall have remained shuttered.

Disneyland entertainment will get a boost with the return of “Mickey’s Mix Magic” on July 4 with fireworks, video projections, show lighting and lasers on the facades of Sleeping Beauty Castle, Main Street U.S.A. and It’s a Small World.

Bringing back the Disneyland Band and “Mickey’s Mix Magic” bodes well for the eventual return of the Magic Happens parade and the “Fantasmic” and “World of Color” nighttime spectaculars.

Live theatrical shows will likely take longer to return to Disneyland and DCA. The casts of “Frozen Live” and “Mickey and the Magical Map” have been laid off — leaving both theaters dark. Disneyland’s Royal Theatre and DCA’s Disney Junior Dance Party are expected to return before the Hyperion Theater and Fantasyland Theatre see any action.

Ken Potrock, who became Disneyland resort president during the pandemic closure of the park, caught the Disneyland Band for the first time this week during a midnight rehearsal on Main Street U.S.A.

“Watching them gave me goosebumps,” Potrock wrote on Instagram.

Potrock posted a photo to Instagram of 15 physically distanced band members practicing in street clothes and orange safety vests in front of the Penny Arcade.

Walt Disney asked British bandmaster Vesey Walker to assemble a band for opening day of Disneyland on July 17, 1955, according to Disney’s D23 fan club. The temporary engagement was only supposed to last for two weeks, but the Disneyland Band proved so popular that the musical troupe was held over and has performed at the park ever since.

The Disneyland Band performs a repertoire of marches, polkas, jazz standards and waltzes in parades and brief concerts around the park. The band marches down Main Street U.S.A., plays at the Main Street Train Station and in Tomorrowland and takes part in the daily flag retreat ceremony. Their most requested tune: “Mickey Mouse March,” according to D23.

The Disneyland Band, which ranges from 15 to 20 members, has performed tens of thousands of times — notching its 50,000th performance way back in 1982.

Band members will be physically distanced from each other under continuing state-mandated COVID-19 health and safety guidelines for employees.

Showtimes for the Disneyland Band have not yet been announced, but performances are expected to be posted on the Disneyland mobile app.

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