Saturday, May 5, 2012

Disneyland Carnation Gardens is Gone but the Dancing Goes On


Disneyland Carnation Gardens is Gone but the Dancing Goes On
No sign for the Carnation Garden

The stage at the Disneyland Carnation Gardens area is closed and undergoing a change. In 2013 the area will reopen as a Disney Princess Meet and Greet. They have a Princess Meet and Greet area already in what used to be the Fantasyland Theatre. They make the kids up and then they meet the Princesses. The Fantasyland Theatre area is larger and is always crowded. I expect the new much smaller area to be packed.
Wall around Carnation Garden Main Street area

I will be honest and say I’m confused by this. The stage at the Gardens was a place where many of the best Jazz musicians in history performed. For many years this area was home to weekend evening swing dancing.
Main entrance to Carnation Gardens area

Friday and Saturday nights a Jazz Band would get on the stage and guests would fill the dance floor. Many more would just sit and watch the dancers fly around the floor! Many of the guests would come in full costumes. Some men would come in dressed in Zuit Suits and fedoras. Some just came in comfortable clothing.

Disney did not forget the dancers when they closed the stage. They promised they would provide a place and they have. They have a band playing in Downtown Disney. I’ve yet to find the exact area. Still the dancers would rather be IN the park than outside in Downtown Disney.

Recently I’ve noticed that the dancers have found a new place to strut their stuff. The band stage at Paradise Gardens in DCA has rotating bands. One of the bands is the Ellis Island Boys. This plan plays classic Jazz in the style of the 1940s. There is no dance floor there but that does not stop the dancers from Swing and Shag dancing until the band stops. This must be hard because instead of a waxed dance floor they have cement walkways to dance on. Still they dance on!! They come dressed up as they did at Disneyland and laugh and smile the entire time. Most are very friendly and if you ask they will show you how to do a step or two.

On the upside the bands start earlier and sometimes play during the week instead of just on the weekend. On the downside Disneyland Resort does not post the schedule of the bands at the Paradise Gardens Band Stand. You may come in hoping to hear the Jazz of the Ellis Island Boys and instead be treated to the Irish sounds of Sligo Rags. This makes it hard if you are hoping to do some Shag or Swing dancing.
Sligo Rags

I’m hoping that Disney will see how the guests enjoy the bands and start printing them on the schedule. I also hope for the safety of the dancers, and to make it more enjoyable Disney will add a dance floor to the area.

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