Long time Disneyland musical and comedy act, the Billy Hill and the Hillbillies is set for retirement after the busy Holiday Season.
Disneyland made the announcement on their blog late Wednesday afternoon stating:
“Longtime Disneyland guest favorite Billy Hill and the Hillbillies are getting ready to begin their final seasonal holiday performances at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree this Friday. At the end of this special holiday run, their final day of performances at Disneyland park will be January 6, 2014.”
The Billy Hill and the Hillbillies is an extremely popular bluegrass and comedy show which began its nearly 21 year run in 1992 outside of the Golden Horseshoe Saloon in Frontierland. In December of 1994 Disneyland retried the then resident stage show The Golden Horseshoe Jamboree, filling the stage with the Billy Hill and the Hillbillies act. In February of 2003 the Hillbillies celebrated their 10,000th performance at Disneyland.
Billy Hill and the Hillbillies perform outside of the Golden Horseshoe in January 2013. Photo: Bryan Pugh
In June of 2012, the act was moved from the Golden Horseshoe to the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree. Their displacement from the Golden Horseshoe was widely criticized by Disney fans and was largely seen as an attempt to attract guests to the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree.
Disney did not specify why the Billy Hill and the Hillbillies act was being retired, or if the decision came from Disneyland management or the performers themselves.
The Billy Hill and the Hillbillies final performances will be on January 6, 2014, the final day of the Holiday Season at Disneyland.
More information can be found about BIlly Hill and the Hillbillies, along with historical photos and videos of the band, on their official website.
UPDATE (Nov 18): It appears that Disney management is making the decision to cancel the Billy Hill and the Hillbillies show at Disneyland. The official Billy Hill and the Hillbillies web page has been updated with the following message:
Because of all the recent emails, calls and messages from fans and friends, we are confirming that [as of right now] our last show will be on Monday, January 6, 2014. Disneyland is retiring the Billy Hill & the Hillbillies Show and us along with it.
We’d just like thank you all for being the awesome people you are! You made our job more enjoyable and we thank you for all your support over the years. We have enjoyed performing for each and every one of you for the last 21 years and we hope that you enjoyed our show, that we cheered you up, made your day a little brighter and made you laugh.
They have also provided a link which contains information on how to write to Disney management to voice your opinion on the cancelation of the long-time Disneyland show. There is also a petition which, as of this update, has over 1,800 supporters. You can view and sign the petition at change.org
Here’s a sound byte commercial which can be found on their official website as well.
Here is a four-part video performance of the Billy HIll and the Hillbillies inside the Golden Horseshoe from 1997: