“But there’ll be no new tunes on this old piano…”
What is the Main Street Ragtime Piano?
The Disneyland Main Street Ragtime Piano Player helps provide a wonderful ambiance and adds to the theming and place-setting of the area by playing regular half-hour-long sets of cheerful, upbeat music.
These performers play anything from classic Disney tunes to period pieces to numbers from famous musicals or may even take requests from the crowd!
Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom also has a pianist at Casey’s Corner – the sister location on their Main Street, U.S.A. But one of the differences I definitely noticed between the two was that the Casey’s Corner pianist plays with his back to the crowd so folks can see the music being played. Whereas at Disneyland, the musicians play facing the crowd so they can interact with them better – although you have to walk around beside them to watch the piano being played! I’ll admit, I prefer the Disneyland setup – it also makes more sense for the other performances that happen there!
Who are the performers?
There are roughly half a dozen regular piano players who rotate daily. If you look at the side of the piano each day, you’ll usually see a sign with the name of that day’s musical performer along with the times he will be performing next.
But if you don’t happen to catch his name, you could always just call him “Ragtime Joe”… Sorry, Dapper Dans reference. Happily, worlds combine here on a daily basis as the Dapper Dans of Disneyland generally perform one set each day in combination with the Ragtime Piano Player!
Mousertainment Tip: It’s best to ask either the piano player or the Dapper Dans when their shared performance will happen on any given day as it is not specifically called out in the Entertainment Times Guide.
And for fans of Alice in Wonderland, this is also a great location to catch a game of musical chairs with Alice and the Mad Hatter (a fun interactive opportunity to be spotlighted at a later date!) – along with help from the Ragtime Piano Player!
The performers here are very generous with their encouragement of both budding and experienced musicians and have been known to ask curious onlookers if they play and if so, if they’d like to perform a song on the piano. Some folks are too shy to take up the offer, but others jump at this once-in-a-lifetime chance to play the piano at Disneyland!
When and where can I find it?
The Ragtime Piano Player plays several sets daily on the patio outside of Refreshment Corner on Main Street, U.S.A. if the weather is nice. However, on rainy days, the piano is sometimes moved inside to protect it and the performer from the elements. On these days, the Dapper Dans do not usually perform at this location.
The Ragtime Piano Player schedule may not be listed in the daily Entertainment Times Guide, but you can always check the sign on the side of the piano for the next few showtimes or ask the performer himself and he’ll gladly oblige you with that information!
Why spotlight it?
Along with the Dapper Dans of Disneyland and the soon-to-be-“re-imagined” classic Disneyland Band (to be spotlighted next week), the Ragtime Piano Player helps define the atmosphere of Main Street. Hearing the piano as I pass by or stopping to watch the magical hands of these talented musicians flying across the keys never fails to put a smile on my face and tells me exactly where I am – Main Street, U.S.A.!
Have you stopped to listen to the Main Street Ragtime Piano players? Do you have a favorite song you like to hear performed there?
Update 9/13/16: I’ve uploaded a few Main Street Ragtime Piano videos – Check out some of this show’s performances here on the Mousertainment YouTube Channel