“We’re here to entertain you in the Dapper Dan style…”
What are The Dapper Dans of Disneyland?
A staple since the early days of the park, the Dapper Dans of Disneyland are a turn of the century style barbershop quartet who regale their audiences with songs, dances and jokes that help set the tone and era of Main Street, U.S.A. In their matching colorful striped outfits, they sing songs ranging from period pieces like “Sweet Adeline” and “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” to Disney classics like “When I See an Elephant Fly” and “Cruella DeVille”.
Along with their toe-tapping a capella numbers, they also perform routines using the Deagan organ chimes – an instrument created in 1901!
Through the years, the Dapper Dans have helped participate in everything from marriage proposals to prom invitations and anniversary celebrations. They may also pay you special attention if you’re wearing a birthday button (available at City Hall). Some lucky guests have even been picked to become Honorary Members of the Dapper Dans of Disneyland!
On most days, the Dapper Dans also help celebrate America by singing patriotic songs at the flag retreat ceremony in the Town Square of Main Street.
Who are the performers?
There are over a dozen regular Dapper Dans who perform throughout the week in different combinations and there are a few more substitutes who can step in if any of the regulars aren’t available. So you could easily see any of potentially 20 different Dapper Dans at Disneyland depending on when you go!
Usually the same Dapper Dans sing as a group all day long, but sometimes they switch out a performer midday.
Many of the Dapper Dans at Disneyland are cross-trained in several of the four singing roles: Tenor, Lead/Harmony, Bass and Baritone. So while you might find one performer singing lead one day, he may be baritone the next, swapping out colored outfits depending on the role being performed!
For their regular multi-hued outfits, the roles are: Tenor – Yellow/Green, Lead – Purple, Bass – Red, Baritone – Blue. However, seasonally all four Dapper Dans may wear the same colored outfit.
When and where can I find them?
Up and down Main Street all day long!
Sometimes they are riding upon a bicycle built for four. Sometimes they are serenading guests aboard the horse-drawn trolley. And sometimes they can even be found singing from the top deck of the double decker Omnibus. On rainy days, they may be spotted under storefront awnings or even singing inside the Main Street stores!
But the main locations to usually find them during the day are in front of the Firehouse, outside of Market House and at Coke Corner where they perform a rousing set with the Ragtime Piano Player there. They also stroll up and down the parade route singing songs to the guests before some of the afternoon parade showtimes.
Different seasons can feature different song sets for the Dapper Dans. Halloweentime brings a spooky selection of Disney-themed songs such as “This is Halloween” and “Ooogie Boogie’s Song” from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas with fun accompanying choreography.
Christmastime cheer includes such classics as “(There’s No Place Like) Home For the Holidays” and “Frosty the Snowman”.
Somewhat frustratingly, the Dapper Dans have only been on a five day per week schedule lately. Of any performers – along with the Disneyland band – the Dapper Dans really ought to be out seven days a week as they help define the atmosphere and timeframe of Main Street with their presence.
Check your daily Entertainment Times Guide to see when the Dapper Dans are performing as their schedule, like everything Disney does, is subject to change.
Why spotlight them?
One of my most favorite performing groups in the park – the Dapper Dans are part and parcel of the nostalgia of Main Street. And they are wonderful singers, dancers and jokesters too!
As a big fan of the American songbook, I love to sing along with the classic refrains of the Dapper Dans and they always make me laugh at their silly gags. Plus there’s just something so charming and old-fashioned about gentlemen who tip their hats to a lady. The Dapper Dans represent a bygone time that is delightful to revisit every time I’m on Main Street.
For me, a day at Disneyland is simply not complete without seeing the Dapper Dans.
Have you had the chance to see the Dapper Dans perform? What’s your favorite song of theirs?
Update 9/13/16: I’ve uploaded several Dapper Dans of Disneyland videos – Check out some of this group’s performances here on the Mousertainment YouTube Channel