Boy bands get barbershop quartet treatment at Disneyland

Like the clang of the trolley car bell, the smell of baking fudge and the turn-of-the-century architecture, the Dapper Dans barbershop quartet is part of the fabric of Disneyland’s Main Street USA.

As part of a yearlong Limited Time Magic marketing campaign, the turn of the century inspired Dapper Dans will be performing songs this week by boy bands from the 1990s to today at Disneyland and Florida’s Magic Kingdom.

Billing themselves as the “original boy band,” the Dapper Dans will sing a medley of “Bye Bye Bye” by ‘N Sync, “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction and “Rock Your Body” from Justin Timberlake’s post-boy-band solo debut.


Through Sunday, the Dans will incorporate the three-minute barbershop-style medley into their regular repertoire of folk, ragtime, jazz, swing and Broadway songs performed seven times a day at Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom.

Sadly, that means you won’t be able to request your favorite songs by 98 Degrees, Boyz II Men, New Kids on the Block, New Edition or Jonas Brothers.

Although my 12-year-old daughter, Hannah, is disappointed that Big Time Rush didn’t make the set list, she is anxious see the Dapper Dans’ take on One Direction. And that’s kind of the point: to attract the attention of kids who might not otherwise be interested in a bunch of guys singing old four part harmonies.

Atmosphere talent is my favorite part of visiting Disneyland. Wandering performers such as the Dapper Dans bring the park to life whether you stop to watch the entire show, hear only one song or catch a few notes as you pass by on your way to an attraction.

Started in 1959 at Disneyland and 1971 at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, the Dapper Dans have changed up their repertoire before with the addition of 1940s tunes, Disney songs and holiday jingles. But for now, the boy band medley is truly just a one-week offering.

So far, Limited Time Magic offerings have included the return of the Golden Horseshoe Revue in January and Valentines week with princes joining their princesses for photo opportunities. Still to come: a Fourth of July Fireworks spectacular and a villains dance party in September.

Disneyland will review all the Limited Time Magic events after the yearlong promotion to determine whether any of the entertainment offerings should become part of daily lineup, according to Marilyn Magness, creative director of Disney Parks and Resorts Entertainment.

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