For years, once a day at Refreshment Corner on Main Street, USA has been even more magical and full of mayhem. This is thanks to the Mad Hatter, Alice in Wonderland, and sometimes others who join the piano player for a one-a-day game of Musical Chairs. This simple game becomes more complicated and humorous as the Mad Hatter brings his antics to the area, grabs chairs from the area, and then brings his own spin on the game with whoever happens to be around. Sometimes this is with Alice in Wonderland and some kids in the area. Other times, they can be joined by other characters like Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, the Queen of Hearts, maybe the White Rabbit, and others. There have even been times through the years when Peter Pan, Wendy, Mary Poppins, Bert, and other classic Disney characters (generally connected to stories in the UK) have been known to stop by. At times, adults have been invited to join the game as well.
On Sunday, September 18, 2022, the Daps Magic team observed the return of Musical Chairs for the first time since Disneyland closed in March 2020 due to the pandemic. Talking to someone visiting from out of the country, the game had already been back for at least a couple of days as of Sunday. The game, on this day, took place at 1:30 PM at Refreshment Corner, also commonly referred to as Coke Corner. On this specific day, Mad Hatter and Alice in Wonderland invited both children and adults to play the game. The adults weren’t as adept at snagging a chair when the music stopped and they were quickly out of the game.
The return of Musical Chairs is another step toward normalcy at the Disneyland Resort. In June, the ragtime piano and its player were moved from Jolly Holiday back to Coke Corner, the home of the ragtime piano for years with players like Rod Miller, Johnny Hodges, and Robert Glenn. The pianists have brought life and magic to the corner with ragtime renditions of many different tunes. It isn’t uncommon to hear the piano player perform traditional ragtime songs, Disney tunes, show tunes, or renditions of other random songs. This makes for a lovely place to enjoy a meal as the music plays.
Musical Chairs will not be found on the Disneyland App. What IS on the app is when the “Main Street Piano Player” performs at Refreshment Corner. Catching a Musical Chairs game can be hit or miss as it isn’t necessarily a scheduled thing. Sometimes the Mad Hatter and Alice will invite people to play, sometimes the piano player will know. Other times, it simply isn’t known or perhaps doesn’t happen for some reason or another. Bring patience if this is something that is wanted to be seen or experienced as there are many reasons a game may or may not happen. Make sure to have realistic expectations and a positive mindset. Then recognize that the very nature of this game is that it is unpredictable, so embrace the unpredictability and enjoy the moments as they happen!
Musical Chairs is a fun and magical experience to catch on a visit to Disneyland. Its return is a wonderful thing that adds even more magic to the Happiest Place on Earth. It is a long-running tradition with roots reaching back to 1975. It became a regular occurrence approximately 12 years later around 1987. This is a tradition that will hopefully continue to live on for a long time in the future.