Sunday, June 2, 2013

Swing Dancing at Disneyland

Swing Dancing at Disneyland


In 1958 Walt Disney brought swing dancing to Disneyland. From 1958 until late 2011 the stage at the Carnation Plaza Gardens to the left of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle was a swinging place on Fridays and or Saturday night’s. Jazz greats such as Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong often played there.
Several generations of guests would come on a weekly basis to dance. Someone would dress-up in their zoot suits and best outfits to dance. All were welcome to join on the dance floor even if they didn’t know how to dance. The guest dancers are happy to teach anyone how to do swing dancing.
In 2011 Disneyland decided to change the Carnation Plaza Gardens to the Princess Fantasy Fair. In the process they changed the Jazz Band Stage and dance floor into the Royal Theater. The fate of swing dancing at Disneyland was in question for a while. Petitions were signed and past around and Disney along with the merchants of Downtown Disney decided to move the dancers outside the park to Downtown Disney.




This Swing Dancers of Disneyland are a victim of their own success. The move to Downtown Disney and free access brought a tremendous increase in the number of dancers. Saturday nights in Downtown Disney are swinging! The stage is set up for the band and a dance floor installed for the dancers every Saturday night. The dancers pack the dance floor until you can hardly move and spectators stand and watch in awe.
Now that the Princess Fantasy Fair is finished Disneyland swing dancing is in question again. The merchants of Downtown Disney are unhappy with the swing dancers. They helped pay for the dancing to be in Downtown Disney with the expectation of increased revenues which have not come with the dancers. Also the number of dancers and the crowds of watchers causes traffic problems.


June 15th Swing Dancing returns inside Disneyland! It will be at the same area it has been incensed 1958 by the seeming is now Princess. Dancing will be in the Royal Theater. Still the fate of swing dancing in Disneyland is in question. If there is not a good enough showing of interest in swing dancing inside the park Disneyland may decide to totally do away with it. So if you enjoy swing dancing inside Disneyland and can possibly show up on June 15th to dance the evening away please do! If you can’t dance, come watch or ask one of the dancers to teach you. If you can’t come on June 15th but hope to come later to dance or watch the Disneyland swing dancers let Disneyland know. Even if you can’t come or stop and watch the dancers but wish to support them drop Disneyland a note.

You can send them a letter to the following link:


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