If you visited Disneyland in 1996, you might have caught some of these acts. Some are still performing, like the Disneyland Band. You’d still find them giving concerts on Main Street, marching to the castle, or performing on the Mark Twain, though today’s incarnation is a much more hip and edgy high energy group compared to the traditional band of yesterland.
There is also still a ragtime piano player at Coca-Cola Corner. In the 1990s, it was Rod Miller. He was loved by the entire internet.
You might even catch some mobile piano playing before a parade. They say you never forget how to ride a bike, but I wonder how you remember to play ragtime and steer and peddle at the same time!
And I wonder what happened to this contraption…
The Tomorrowland Terrace stage was (and still is?) used for live music, but I think I took this picture because of the security guy that was there keeping an eye on those rowdy teenagers.
The Bayou Brass Band was a longtime favorite of New Orleans Square. You could even buy their CDs in the park.
The song that stood out the most to me was their version of Lowrider by the group War.
They added so much to the atmosphere of the area, and they were apparently an outside band just hired to perform there (unlike other offerings that are created in-house and don’t have official members).
There was also a (thankfully) short-lived fad of percussion groups, likely inspired by the success of the show Stomp around this time. Disneyland had their own mini-version. Percussionists, dressed as custodial staff, would be pushing around trash cans. They would gather and do a short drum performance. I used to see them in Tomorrowland all the time, so I was calling them the “Tomorrowland Trash-It Authority” (in reference to the Tomorrowland Transit Authority at Magic Kingdom in Florida). But, as I look through my old photos, I see they were not restricted to that land. Here they are on Main Street U.S.A.:
And it wasn’t just the lanes that could be alive with entertainment. Did you ever catch the “radio broadcast” from the rooftops in Adventureland?
KNGO radio… Congo! And they were dressed like area cast members.
And lastly, who remembers Lagniappe the mime?
Lagniappe was a fan favorite and you’d find him interacting with guests and riding his unicycle throughout New Orleans Square. Disneyland eventually let him go, and the internet was very sad. If you miss him, you can drop by his page at the Mark Wenzel website. I had plans to interview Mr. Wenzel on my Park Hopping Podcast many years ago, but never got around to it. It would have been fun to hear the mime speak.
Until next time…