As I said before in my posts about the Pearly Band, the Straw Hatters, and the Bootstrappers, I really was unaware of so much of the roving entertainment. Walt was big on music and it absolutely shows. I was always rather hell-bent on getting to Space Mountain or wherever that I blew past the entertainers, even the ones I knew existed (like the Dapper Dans).
But those days are over. Now I’m paying attention.
I knew the Hook and Ladder company existed but I had never actually stopped to watch them.
They do interrupt the performance if there should be an emergency in the park, like a cat getting stuck in a tree.
Five adorable fire fighters in oldey timey costumes! I particularly loved the drummer, as his instrument looked like it was made from different fire equipment.
I wonder if this drum thing goes all Transformers if they need the equipment back
The Hook and Ladder Company also have an important mascot.
Shockingly, his name is Spot
As far as life-size ratio to the piano, I would put little Spot at about 4 days old. Anyway, just like over with the Straw Hatters, watching the group really pays off, because guess who showed up?
Sing it now, Cruella DeVille, Cruella DeVille...
Cruella did a little round about the audience and I think she was trying to affect rich-woman-meets-the-crazy, but actually she ended up looking a little bit drunk.
Okay, a lot drunk.
It doesn’t take her long to find Spot. Because obviously if you’re looking for a dalmatian, then a fire house is the place to be.
"I want to buy that dog." "Um, no."
Her dog purchase unsuccessful, Cruella then hit up the audience for a volunteer. The guy next to me, Bill, was totally game. Cruella shared one of her many coats and hats with him.
I don't think Bill realized that dressing in drag was part of the schtick when he volunteered
I have to say, though, that Bill was pretty much all kinds of awesome, as he danced with a drunken Cruella.
Please, Disney, tell me that cloak isn't made of puppies. I know you're all for authenticity and all, but...
They polished off the dance with a kickline like something out of A Chorus Line, if A Chorus Line featured Cruella DeVille and fire men playing instruments. And a guy from the audience in drag.
One singular sensation
Cruella then absconded with Spot, which the children in the audience lost no time in telling the fire chief.
Remember kids, it's not tattling if someone's in trouble
Cruella left empty-handed, thank God. There’s nothing worse than a cloak made from the pelts of stuffed dogs OH MY GOD THAT’S WHERE IT CAME FROM!!!
Next, our favorite firefighters, Chip and Dale, came out. They had their own axes, ready to break down a door if someone gets stuck in a bathroom stall or something. Actually, their dance was so cute I’m just going to post a bunch of pictures in a row.
Was that adorable or WHAT??? I seriously love the way they get kids (and Bill) involved in these little performances. I’ll bet that’s a memory those families will never forget!
Finally, we had one more visitor.
Well hello there
Goofy’s job was to lead us all in a dance.
Shake those hips now
If you didn’t want to dance, Goofy threatened to eat your head in the way that only a Disney costumed character can do.
Yes, I'm talking to YOU! Except I'm not talking.
We were supposed to roll our hands, and it actually took a while for me to catch on that we were supposed to be doing it too. I’d like to say it was because I was holding a camera in one hand, but really it was just because I wasn’t paying attention very closely.
You! With the camera! Roll your hands or I'll bite your head off!
We all ended with a flourish.
It's fun to stay at the YMCA
And with that, the Hook and Ladder Company bid us farewell and went on with their largely ceremonial duties. I have to say, if you come across some performers, find a piece of shade and sit down to watch a bit. It’s totally worth it.