July 1955 – present
Main Street USA – The two largest Disneyland bands, the Disneyland Band and the All-American College Band, play primarily on Main Street. But they do also play in other lands, and smaller bands perform in other lands. As you roam the park throughout the day, you’re bound to run into a few different performing groups.
Walt wanted Main Street USA to be classic Americana: quaint shops, comfort food, and of course, an All-American band. The Disneyland Band debuted in the park in 1955, and was an instant success. To keep up with the demand for live music in the park, smaller bands sprouted up in various lands, themed to their specific locations. While performances, groups, and show times change based on the season or weather, one thing remains constant: Disneyland’s bands are absolutely adored by park visitors.
- Single Rider Line – no
- Fast Pass – no
- Height Requirement – N/A
- Duration – roughly 15 minutes in each location
The bands provide excitement and entertainment throughout the park. The largest band is the Disneyland Band, which plays periodically in various locations. But several of the lands also have smaller bands, including:
- All-American College Band (Main Street USA during summer season)
- Boot Strappers (New Orleans Square)
- Five & Dime (Buena Vista Street)
- Jambalaya Jazz Band (New Orleans Square)
- Mariachi Band (Frontierland)
- The Pearly Band (Fantasyland)
Some of the lands also have standalone performers, including cowboys in Frontierland and pianists on Main Street. And then there are the legendary Dapper Dans, which deserve a post of their own (coming soon!). Each band has its own distinct style and sound, and all bring an extra dose of magic to the park. After all, what’s a better soundtrack to Disneyland than live music?
MY RATING: ★★★★★
The Disneyland Bands are absolutely fantastic. If you stop to watch the show, you get to watch a group of talented musicians put on a great performance, usually accompanied by dancing or clapping onlookers. And even if you just pass by, you get a fresh soundtrack as you walk through the park. I can’t say enough good things about the bands, but you really have to experience them to fully appreciate them!
If you really want to see a band during your stay, the most predictable is the official Disneyland Band. Typically, the band performs four times a day:
- Park Gates (around opening time)
- Town Square (mid morning)
- Sleeping Beauty Castle plaza (early afternoon)
- Flag Retreat Ceremony (evening)
For more specific times, check a park map on the day of your visit.
As for the other bands? Well, they’re a little harder to predict. I tend to just stop if I see one, and not worry about it if I don’t. But if there’s a specific group you want to see, ask a cast member in that band’s land about any scheduled performances.
Every spring, Disneyland hosts nationwide auditions for the All-American College Band. The band performs throughout the summer season, and their most popular daily performances are in front of the castle on Main Street and by the Golden Horseshoe in Frontierland.
Disney stirred up some controversy in 2015 when they announced a re-vamping of the existing Disneyland Band. Veteran performers were required to re-audition alongside new performers, for both the larger Disneyland Band and smaller bands in the park.