ANAHEIM, Calif., Nov. 19. — Walt Disney's plans for a Christmas season circus at Disneyland call for a program of professional circus acts, a full-scale parade with authentic equipment, and a liberal helping of Disney characters and personalities.
The show opens November 2 and continues January 8. The schedule calls for performances at 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on weekdays and an additional afternoon performance on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. Admission will be 50 cents for general admission and $1 for reserves.
Show is using a 130-foot round top with a 50-foot middle. Seats are set up on a “permanent” basis, and arrangements are made for heating the tent.
Performers will include Prof. George Keller and his wild animals, Kinko and his comedy car, George King and his camel-llama combination, Ted DeWayne Troupe, teeterboard, with DeWayne also acting as company manager; Adolph DelBosq and his dressage horse, Seranado, and the Flying Felicias.
In addition, the performance will include the Mouseketeers, from the Disney TV show, the “Mickey Mouse Club.” Jimmie Dodd of the same program is billed as ringmaster. Roy Williums is another personality from the TV show who will be with the circus.
The performance is to an hour and 15 minutes. Several additional acts are included, and these are believed to include A. W. Kenard's dogs aid ponies, the Dolly Jacobs Elephants, Charlie Cheer, and other clowns.
Disney is reported to be staging the show himself, and the billing reads, “Walt Disney Presents the Mickey Mouse Club Circus.”
Buy 17 Old Wagons
The street parade will move thru the Disneyland streets daily and is expect to be a true duplication of old-timer editions. Disney has acquired 17 wagons, most of the genuine circus vehicles which were accumulated in the Los Angeles area when the Ken Maynard Wild West Show bought them from George W. Christy.
Included are the Swan Bandwagon, Beauty tableau, the Whiskers tableau-cage, a cottage cage, the Orchestramelchoir wagon, and a steam calliope.
Most of the 17 are being rebuilt or refurbished as is necessary. Those which are considered beyond repair are being carefully duplicated in the Disney shops. While most of them will be in the Disneyland circus parade, some are going to be spotted in and around the new plastic big top and not otherwise moved. It is also understood that Disney is building some new circus wagons. Plans call for the parade wagons to be hauled by long-string itches. The Disneyland band, led by former circus bandmaster Vessey George, will play in the parade and in the circus.
The antique circus equipment dates back to the original Barnum, Forepaugh, Ringling, Barnes and early Corporation shows. Disney acquired it from the Venice (Calif.) Chamber of Commerce, which bought wagons from Jimmy Woods several years ago, and from the United Tent & Supply Company, which has had them out on loan to the Bradley and Kaye Kiddieland for the past few seasons.
Finale to the Mickey Mouse Circus will be a spec featuring many Disney characters, animated toys and floats. The spec will build to the center of the top, where a "Magic Christmas Tree" will appear “grow” 40 feet high in 10 seconds. Stars of the circus will reappear, and the spec will be completed with the appearance of Santa Claus in a sleigh. Disney's revealing of details about the Christmas tree explains why the big top he ordered was designed with abnormally high peaks and center ridge.