Disneyland’s Billy Hill and the Hillbillies Retire on January 6

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Billy hill and the hillbillies retire
Enjoy the antics of Bill Hill and the Hillbillies while you still can

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.

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Seth Kubersky

Author of The Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando. Co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland and Beyond Disney. Contributor to Unofficial Guides to WDW and Las Vegas. Live Active Cultures columnist for the Orlando Weekly. Travel and arts journalist. Theatrical director and producer.

9 thoughts on “Disneyland’s Billy Hill and the Hillbillies Retire on January 6

  • November 8, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    This is sad news to be sure, but in a way I think they had already been retired.

    Several years ago we saw our first Billy’s show, thanks to the Unofficial Guide’s suggestion as well as strong recommendation from friends of ours. It was so great we saw them twice more during that Disney visit.

    After that, we always made the Billy’s a must-see part of our Disney plans, but most recently this past summer they were moved to the Big Thunder Ranch and frankly, the show wasn’t the same anymore. Sure the players were as accomplished as ever, but now their act was interrupted with character appearances, and forced repertoire changes like “You’ve got a friend in me”. I guess it’s hard to imagine Woody and Jessie dancing to “The Devil went down to Georgia”, but it was that sort of fiddling mastery that made the Billy’s great.

  • November 10, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Sad to see them go. We probably would not have seen their show if it were not for the UG’s enthusiastic review, but we were glad we went.

  • November 10, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    Recently DL was open for 24 hours and Billy Hill and the Hillbillies performed in the middle of the night. It was all new material and it was all hilarious. I have seen many incarnations of their show and I love them all. I hope that The Golden Horseshoe will still feature live entertainment.

  • November 20, 2013 at 11:13 am

    I don’t want to see these guys out of a job. I know it’s probably a step down, but maybe Knott’s berry farm will pick them up. They have an entire ghost town where the group would fit perfectly, plus this show alone would pep up the atmosphere in ghost town ten fold. And imagine, them doing their “orange blossom special” train song with one of the giant steam locomotives there at Knott’s. I think they’re exactly what knott’s, but mostly I’ve fallen in love with this show and don’t want to see it go.

  • November 24, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    I love Billy Hill and sad to know they are leaving Disney


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