Raise your hand if you love the Dapper Dans!
They have been apart of the Disney Family since opening day and have had quiet a few adventures along the way. Check out 11 fun facts and stories below.
1.) The original Schwinn custom four-seater bicycle ridden in the early years down Disneyland’s Main Street by the Dans was specially commissioned by Walt Disney himself.
2.) Rumor has it that in 1961 there was a plan in works for the Dapper Dan’s to ride their famous Schwinn bicycle built for four from New York City to Disneyland to gain more publicity for the park.
The 2 month excursion was going to kick off on The Ed Sullivan Show with the intention of the quartet stopping in major cities to give each mayor the “Key to Disneyland.”
Their goal was to arrive in style at Disneyland on July 4th. They even “trained” on the bike in Frontierland before the park opened practicing having only one man pedaling to build up endurance.
Unfortunately, the idea never came to fruition.
3.) When Disneyland first opened until 1970 there was an Upjohn Pharmacy on Main Street. There were actual registered pharmacists worked there and gave out vitamin samples in tiny bottles. The Dapper Dans would hand out samples as well as they sang a little jingle: “If you want to feel good, here’s what to do. Take Upjohn Unicaps, they’re good for you!”
4.) In the early days the Dapper Dans were the only cast members in the park allowed to wear mustaches. Today the Dapper Dans are also clean shaven.
5.) On a trip to Reno from Los Angeles to tape an episode of NBC’s Mickie Finn’s in September of 1966, the Dapper Dans plane crashed in the El Cajon pass.
Luckily no one was hurt, after grinding up a hill at 80 miles an hour it eventually spun and ground to a hult on the other side of the road but not before the wing of the plane passed over a Volkswagen!
Grateful to their skillful pilot and a little shaken the quartet stood near the plane and, sang the tag to the song, “When I Leave the World Behind.” Later that day, they just so happened to be in a bar with a man who claimed he had just raced an airplane in his VW!
6.) In the early 90’s the Dans would have different characters stashed away in their hats to break the ice with children they interacted with.
7.) The Dapper Dans have made multiple TV appearances over the years some include:
Blossom episode titled “Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men”, February 8, 1993
Home Improvement episode titled “Adios”, as ‘The Flannels,’ September 29, 1998 (ABC)
Modern Family episode titled “Disneyland”, May 9, 2012
And probably most famously:
The Simpsons episode titled “Homer’s Barbershop Quartet”, September 30, 1993, as the singing voices of ‘The Be Sharps’.
8.) The WDW Dapper Dan’s can be seen all over Main Street entertaining guests but their home base is considered the Harmony Barbershop, named after the harmony in their songs.
Ff your lucky you may even get a serenade while you get a haircut. A caricature of the original group hangs in the shop.
9.) Different cards or certificates have been handed out though out the years by the Dans for guests who have participated when called up to sing a song with them.
10.) On October 13, 2014, passengers on a Southwest Airlines flight celebrating the opening of a new nonstop air route between Dallas Love Field to Orlando International Airport got a musical surprise.
The Walt Disney World Dapper Dans sang tunes like “Let It Go” and “A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes” to the passengers aboard the flight.
11.) It has been estimated that the Walt Disney World Dapper Dans have sung “Goodbye, My Coney Island Baby” at least 50,000 times since the park first opened. Here’s hoping they sing it at least 50,000 more.
Enjoy the rendition above until you can see it again in person.
And if you see Mickey before we do, tell him we said Hi!
~Alissa & Kae