Hidden Origins of the Golden Horseshoe Revue

The Golden Horseshoe Revue was the first show at Slue Foot Sue’s Golden Horseshoe Saloon at Disneyland. It was a 45 minute show which ran over 50,000 times and so is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest-running musical of all time.

Betty Taylor and Wally Boag are two of the most famous players from the show. But it is Ms. Taylor I am going to focus on with this little piece of origin trivia:

What will she do with that mirror?

The writers of the Golden Horseshoe Revue tried very hard to make the show a good representation of what this kind of entertainment would have looked like back in the day. And they succeeded! Especially with the little gimmick above.

At some point in the show, Ms. Taylor would bring out a hand-held mirror and use it to reflect the footlights into the face of a man in the audience. You can see her play this way with the men in the audience in the Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color TV special (1962) that featured the 10,000th performance of the show. The always gracious Ms. Taylor would feature mostly bald men, to their delight!

Now to the origin part of this post. In 1937, Laurel and Hardy released a movie entitled Way Out West, which opened with an authentic dance hall performance by a lady (Lola) bearing a pretty fair resemblance to Ms. Taylor:

The mirror is smaller, but the bit is the same

A bald man is put in the spotlight!

The fact that Laurel and Hardy included this bit in this scene shows that it must have been an authentic piece of dance hall schtick. Of course, in the movie we see a jealous dance hall floozie upset that her mark is being distracted by her onstage rival. This authentic piece of dance hall behavior was not replicated in the Golden Horseshoe Revue!

Poster for Lola Marcel from Way Out West

I love that the Disney creative teams always do their research to make sure that even the little details are correct to the period and the times being depicted!

Top 5 Things They Should Bring Back to Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World opened in 1971 with a very different footprint than it has today. Certainly a smaller one, anyway! But Walt himself said (of Disneyland) that it would never be finished but would instead be changing and growing over the years. This would naturally apply to his ‘Florida Project’ as well.

So we can’t, or shouldn’t, really complain when one of our favorite rides, shows, or attractions goes M.I.A. on us. We were forewarned! But it’s OK to miss them. And what about those classics that we never got a chance to experience before they too were gone?

With that in mind, here are the Top Five things that are gone that I think they should bring back at Disney World:

Missed No. 5River Country. I’ve seen pictures of this great little Water Park just to the side of Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground. Although it obviously didn’t have the extreme theming of a Blizzard Beach, it had a charm all of its own!


All that’s left now

I’ve often wondered why Disney decided to simply scrap it when Fort Wilderness has such awful and bland swimming pools! Why not make it a special place for FW Guests? From my dream to your ears, Mickey!

Missed No. 4Dreamfinder. Performer Ron Schneider was the first man to take on the persona of Figments handler at EPCOT’s Imagination! Pavilion. Ron wore the purple outfit from Park opening until 1987 and enjoyed thrilling Guests with imaginative interaction 5 days a week!

In its present incarnation, I could do without the Journey Into Imagination With Figment attraction. Apparently the little dragon’s goal is to capture our imagination. OK Figment, you can have it, IF… you bring back the Dreamfinder!

Missed No. 3Fort Wilderness Train. I want more trains! Yes, I’m a steam train fan and never miss an opportunity to ride one, whether at WDW or Greenfield Village, or wherever one can be found! This great little railroad steamed along for a short time and was discontinued after a storm damaged large sections of the track.


What the train might have looked like

Economics and not Guest experience prevailed and we lost another classic perk at the Campground!

Missed No. 2Discovery River. This long-gone boat ride around the river of Disney’s Animal Kingdom was an awesome idea! Just as with the Train at the Magic Kingdom, it gave a beautiful preview of the Park in a relaxing and fun way. Apparently it was discontinued because of long lines and wait times, which should have told Disney just how popular this experience was!

This view… from a boat!

 You could see things on this boat ride that you couldn’t see anywhere else. Now that would have been worth the wait! The only thing left of this ride now is a smoking area.

Missed No. 1The Diamond Horseshoe Revue. It all started with a two-week contract for Wally Boag and others over at The Golden Horseshoe Revue in Disneyland, but it soon whooped its way to Disney World. Thankfully we have archival photographs and video segments of this Guinness Book of Records wonder, and one TV special that never fails to get a laugh!

For the Limited Time Magic promotion at Disneyland they brought back the DL version called The Golden Horseshoe Revue. Now that Billy Hill and the Hillbillies are gone, there are rumors that the Revue may move back into the Saloon. I certainly hope so!


Limited Time Magic: A Salute to The Golden Horseshoe Revue (DL Version)

At least we still have the similar Hoop-De-Do Musical Revue over at Fort Wilderness, so the pangs of separation aren’t quite as strong for this missing show.

Wow! That was a hard Top Five to write. There are so many great rides, shows, and attractions that we’ve had to say goodbye to over the years! Don’t let your favorite go unmentioned. What do you want Disney to bring back into the World?

Some of the pictures in this post are from Disney’s PhotoPass CD