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Main Street USA Trolley Show

One of the mainstays of the Disney theme parks are the 'shows'.  At various times during the day, and at various locations, mini-musicals are presented for the guests.  Disneyland Paris, for example, has a stage erected near to Sleeping Beauty's Castle where various themed shows are presented.

As my thoughts are focussed, at the moment, on Main Street USA, I thought I'd take a look at Main Street's very own mini-musical - the Trolley Show.

Ten performers, five men and five women trundle into Main Street aboard a turn of the century, horse-drawn trolley car and proceed to entertain the assembled crowd with song and dance.  They proceed through a medley of songs drawn from a variety of musicals including: 'Put on Your Sunday Clothes' from Hello Dolly (and featured prominently in Wall-E); 'the Trolley Song' from Meet Me In St Louis; and 'That's How You Know' from Enchanted.  Usually featured in all incarnations of this show is the original song, 'I'm Walking Right Down the Middle of Main Street USA'.  This was originally part of the Disneyland show, Disneyland is Your Land and subsequently featured in two Sing Along Song home videos.

Throughout the year, modified versions of the show are featured in the parks, usually themed around the appropriate season: Winter/Holidays, Autumn and Spring.  The songs alter accordingly.  The Autumn version, for example, focusses on a song specifically about Autumn and a rendition of Shine on Harvest Moon.  The Spring version has a 'Spring-themed' number.  Interestingly, both these versions only feature their 'season-appropriate' song along with 'The Trolley Song' (which accompanies the move off to the next performance zone).
The winter/Christmas version has, unsurprisingly, a medley of Christmassy songs

The dance moves are jazz and musical theatre inspired.  They are cheesy, but gloriously so in a manner only Disney (and musical theatre) can pull off.

Dressed in colour-coordinated costumes, the dancers reflect the turn of the century theming of Main Street USA: bows, bow-ties, and boaters; petticoats and spats; waistcoats and puffy sleeves.  These costumes change the reflect the season (autumnal colours in Autumn; jackets and fur trims in Winter; flowers on bonnets in Spring).

Before and after the show there is a little bit of meet and greet with the guests which adds a touch of drawing the audience into the performance.

The trolley, with performers aboard, leaves at the end of the sequence to find a different part of Main Street where the routine is repeated for a different group of visitors. (I can only imagine how the performers feel, repeating the routine over and over again!)  

The Disney World version, judging by Youtube videos, starts its journey near the bottom of Main Street, nearest the hub which leads off to the various lands.  It then proceeds 'right down the middle of Main Street USA' stopping about halfway down, before repeating the show a third time in front of the Railroad Station (with performers occasionally going up to the balcony overlooking Town Square.  Sometimes the performers all dance on the same side of the trolley, and in others they split themselves either side of the trolley performing to guests on both sides. 

One question I do have though is, are the performers singing live?  Watching the videos, I get the impression that they are miming to a track.  This is not a criticism, as a live performance would probably be quite tricky, but I just wonder what the truth of the situation is (I presume the speakers are attached to the trolley car).

It must be wonderful to catch this show as you first walk into Town Square when arriving at Disney World and it is a little nugget of quintessential Disneyness. 



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