Saturday, October 8, 2011

Who is Jim the Piano Man at Walt Disney World?

After my recent trip to Walt Disney World, it inspired me to resurrect my Dapper Dan Daily blog named after the famous barber shop quartet at the Magic Kingdom. One of our family traditions used to be on the first day of the trip. After checking into the resort we headed down to the Magic Kingdom and bought hot dogs and sodas at Casey's Corners at the end of Main Street USA. After finding a table, we were treated by a very talented pianist named Jim.  Who is this Jim that some people think that looks like me?

Jim, (I don't know his last name) came from Orange, CA and right after high school took some piano lessons and began his career playing in various pizza parlors and also at Disneyland. In 1983 he came over from CA and started playing this beautiful ragtime piano on Main Street USA that represents turn-of-the century small town America.  He plays a variety of Disney music, old ragtime pieces (my favorite, The Entertainer), and university fight songs. Each time I visit the Magic Kingdom on the first day of my trip, I tell Jim that I am from Wisconsin and could he play On Wisconsin. With a smile on his face, he gladly plays it well that the UW-Marching Band would fear his musical talent.

So, next time you return to WDW or the first visit ever, make sure you watch Jim playing the piano at the Magic Kingdom.  You will be amazed how fast he plays it and he does not use any sheet music; he memorized all of the notes and occasionally he let's guests hit the last note with some assistance by him of course.  I hope that Jim continues to play the ragtime piano as long as possible to provide smiles to the millions of guests that walk down Main Street USA. You will not be disappointed.

Here is a link to watch him play the piano.

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