Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Dickens Carolers Disneyland Late 1950s

One of the traditions at Disneyland is that there are a group of entertainers dressed in costuming right out of Charles Dickens time period who sing Christmas Carols and other vintage holiday songs. They now appear mainly at night and sometimes can be seen at the Disneyland Hotels. In the late 1950s they were featured prominently in the park and even in a few magazine articles and a book of Christmas Carols given away by Union Pacific Railroad. This shot has them posed on the bridge from Sleeping Beauty Castle to Carnations Garden, with the Castle in the background and the Matterhorn with the star on top.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Once in a while it can be hot in California around Christmas time (which kind of sucks). Wonder if they ever had that back then? Nothing like wearing overcoats, scarves, and other winter clothing in the heat.

Or maybe back then they actually had cold winters!

Scott (WDW 89-97) said...

When I was still at Epcot, the Voices of Liberty wore Dickens Costumes around the holidays, if I recall correctly. Always a nice touch.

Eonnmacpen said...

I was a Dicken's Caroler in 1979-1980. We worked from Thansgiving until the day after New Years. We were the first Dickens Carolers to have longer hair and beards. Disneylands dress code did not allow hair over your ears or longer than your collar. Not facial hair of any sort! Some days it was quite warm and hot under the tophats and such but we had a great time!

Anonymous said...

The Dickens Carolers were originally a subset of the USC Chamber Singers under Dr. Charles Hirt. In the 70's the group was passed to Joel Pressman, a USC alum, who continued to use USC singers but also slightly older alumni, young working professionals. After a few successful years, they were replaced when Walt's widow expressed an opinion that the singers should all be college kids, so that the pay could help them with their education. After a few years of trying to find a college group that could equal the professionalism of the USC alums, the carolers were contracted by Disney as a house group.

Anonymous said...

For years the costumes were rented for the season from Western costumes. When Disneyworld was created, two retired costumers from the movie industry came out of retirement to create all the suits for the U.S. Presidents in the Hall of Presidents in the Magic Kingdom. They enjoyed it so much that they asked for another assignment, and they then designed a custom set of dresses and full-length coats for the Carolers.