Brace yourselves for tragic news, Disneyland fans: the Disney Parks blog announced yesterday that Frontierland’s beloved Billy Hill and the Hillbillies retire permanently on January 6, 2014. The Billys have been performing at the Disneyland Resort for over twenty years, and their comic fiddling has long been one of the resort’s favorite entertainments among TouringPlans readers and staff (including this author).
The Billys’ usual home has been The Golden Horseshoe, but they will conclude their Disneyland run at the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, where they will relocate to for their final holiday season starting tomorrow (Friday 11/8/13). Their last in-park performances will occur on January 6, and there is no official word on what may replace it beyond a vague statement about “a variety of entertainment offerings during our many seasonal and special celebrations.”
Disneyland isn’t supposed to be a “museum,” but Billy Hill and the Hillbillies have successfully entertained guests of all ages for over two decade, and it’s hard to imagine a show (other than a faithful revival of the original Golden Horseshoe Revue) that might be an improvement on their antics. Ironically, a few months ago I wrote an article debating whether the Billys belong in the Golden Horseshoe or Big Thunder Ranch, but I never considered the option of eliminating the show altogether. If you feel strongly about this loss, be sure to let City Hall know on your next visit to Disneyland Park.