Walt Disney at Disneyland Resort

In Perfect Harmony: The Dapper Dans

posted on June 14th, 2010 by Gene Duncan, Photographer, Walt Disney World Resort


The Dapper Dans on Main Street, U.S.A.

Main Street, U.S.A. is rooted in deep tradition. One of the most soothing traditions one can experience there is the superb four-part harmony of our very own a cappella ensemble – The Dapper Dans. The term “dapper dan” is a turn-of-the century phrase referring to a well-dressed gentleman. Well, our famed barbershop quartet not only looks great, they SOUND great. (that might be due to lots of practice) … Considering the fact that they have been performing at Walt Disney World since 1971, that would add up to around 1,026,208 songs sung, four notes at a time.

The global barbershop music family maintains a core group of a dozen or so “polecat” tunes that everyone learns, but the Dapper Dans possess a song list that numbers around 100. They have performed one of their more popular requests, “Goodbye, My Coney Island Baby” approximately 50,000 times.
The Dapper Dans on Main Street, U.S.A.
Trivia Alert!
While you might enjoy beautiful barbershop music performed by many talented vocal ensembles throughout the world, you will probably never see any of them playing three-octave, antique organ (or shaker) chimes, made in 1901 by the J.C. Deagan & Co. of Chicago. And, without a doubt, you won’t find any group of song-and-dance men anywhere, striding briskly down a sidewalk while playing “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” on hundred year-old instruments. My, oh my, what a wonderful day … (Find the two hidden Mickeys in this image).

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

13 Comments

1

Jason on June 14th, 2010 at 11:36 am

I am such a huge fan of the Dans! Their close harmonies always put a smile on my face.

2

theresa on June 14th, 2010 at 12:06 pm

oh my gosh, they are so cool to watch and listen too! try getting them on video sometime for a lifetime memory! Every time i go it is one of the highlights, as a matter of fact my last trip i even got a picture with them!

3

Jillian on June 14th, 2010 at 12:42 pm

The Dapper Dans are my favorite entertainment at the Magic Kingdom. My dad sings barbershop harmony, so whenever we see them on Main Street they invite him to sing with them!

4

F.J. on June 14th, 2010 at 1:53 pm

We have always loved “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” that is sung two beats off, since we heard it first in 1973. Dapper Dans ROCK!

5

Mary from KY on June 14th, 2010 at 3:12 pm

A friend of mine from college is one of The Dapper Dans of Disneyland!

6

Shawna from BC on June 14th, 2010 at 6:04 pm

hmmm i’m usually good at spotting hidden mickey’s, but I don’t see them!

7

Richard on June 14th, 2010 at 6:12 pm

My dad and I sang with the Providence Chapter Barbershop Chorus, and starting in 2004 we bagan taking yearly “family” vacation trips do Disney World. My dad was content to stick around Main St just to catch the Dapper Dans over and over. I have several videos of the Dapper Dans along with my dad and I singing with them. It was always a thrill for us to perform together with the Dapper Dans. My dad passed away almost 2 years ago, but the memories of those moments, and they were truly very special ones, will remain engrained in my mind for the rest of my life. I’d like to say thank you for making my dad’s day every time we visited!

8

Matthew from PA on June 14th, 2010 at 9:47 pm

I was actually surprised to see the mustache. I thought facial hair was forbidden for cast members unless they were grandfathered in.

9

Hope from AL on June 15th, 2010 at 7:29 am

Absolutely love the Dapper Dans. They are definitely part of Main Street’s magic.

I couldn’t find the hidden mickeys either. Would love to know where they are! :)

10

Gene Duncan on June 15th, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Shawna and Hope- Unless you can view the image in high-res, they are pretty difficult to make out. The first one is on a movie poster which can be seen over the right shoulder of the gentleman in blue. The other is really difficult to make out in this resolution, but is on the (20-year) ring at left. I failed to allow for the screen resolution, sorry about that.

11

Sandra from IN on June 15th, 2010 at 3:27 pm

I was so tickled to see this set of photos today on the Disney Blog! Watching the Dapper Dans is one of my absolute favorite activities to do in the entirety of Walt Disney World… in fact, my family and I have been known to spend a great deal of time on Main Street, USA, catching their various performances throughout the day. (You just never know when you’ll be asked to “take it!” when they sing “Coney Island Washboard Roundelay”!) Oh, and I’m pretty sure we have several thousand digital photos of them, ourselves! ;-)

Gene, you’ve done an absolutely wonderful job capturing the Dappers’ personalities in these two photos! I am so happy to be able to say that we’ve become friends with these gentlemen, so I’m certain they had a wonderful time posing for you!

And Steve’s ring? I literally got chills up and down my spine the first time I saw it up close… it’s a beaut! 8(:-D

Again, Kudos!

12

Hope from AL on June 16th, 2010 at 7:30 am

Thank you, Gene! I figured it had something to do with the amount of detail I could see. Now I can stop driving myself crazy wondering where they are! LOL. Thanks again! :)

13

Skip from FL on June 20th, 2010 at 9:54 pm

Maybe the Voices of Liberty will let me sing along with them too. I’ve wore the cassette out listening to it so much.
Dapper Dans fans will love them too. They can be found in Epcot, World Showcase, The American Adventure.

13 Comments