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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Castmembers Start Bidding Farewell to the WWS

After 17 years and roughly 11,000 shows, tomorrow is the last day Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show (La Legende de Buffalo Bill), Disney Village, Disneyland Paris France, will be performed as it was originally conceived. After that, giant rodents and a dog will become integral members of the cast - not just any giant rodents and dog, but Mickey, Minnie, Chip and Dale, and Goofy. They dance, sing, wave, and "speak" via recorded bites in various scenes. The Cattle Trail scene has become a full-blown Disney Character Ho-Down Musical.

The changes are an attempt by Disney's marketing team to capitalize on the "Mickey's Magical Party," a marketing initiative for 2009 that includes four new Character-driven shows in the Disney themeparks. The idea is to expand the audience of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show by targeting families with very young children - Disney's core demographic. Whether the show achieves it's objective or not, nobody knows for sure, but for the human cast who take pride in presenting a largely authentic reproduction of the original Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, the show will be over when Disney Characters arrive, and that's Friday March 20, 2009 - the "soft" opening. The show is closed Wednesday and Thursday, so Tuesday, tomorrow, is the last day. Already many among the cast have played their last traditional show since they will not be working tomorrow. The Native Americans are planning to sing a traditional native song to commemorate the end of the show as we know it.

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