PassPorter Newsletter Travel Feature:

Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show: A Disneyland Paris Event Review
Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist

Disney’s dinner shows at Walt Disney World aren’t exactly our sort of thing.

We’ve only been to the Hoop Dee Doo, and while we enjoyed it, it’s not something we’ve gone back to. The food and the entertainment was fine, but it wasn’t spectacular for the price they charged. We’ve heard mixed reviews about them, so haven’t bothered. As a result, we’ve also kept away from Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show… with Mickey and Friends on the other side of the pond in Disneyland Paris. Eventually, struggling to find places we wanted to eat at (we find that sadly the choices are limited, as we’ve had some disappointing experiences there), we decided we’d give it a go.

We were sceptical at first. The price was not cheap at $62/adults and $46/adults (at the current currency conversion rate at time of writing), and we didn’t know much about it. The Disneyland Paris website told us that you can “saddle up and witness how the West was wo in this spectacular, gun-slinging live arena show” and that there would be “special appearances by Mickey and friends”. As a non-meat eater, the food didn’t inspire me much, as it included camp cornbread, cattleman’s chili, Texan skillet, old-style potato wedges and warm apple dessert with vanilla ice cream, although the price did include water, beer, soft drinks and tea and coffee.

It didn’t start well, as they weren’t letting people in, and a crowded lobby meant we were forced to wait in the cold outside, although we came back a few minutes later, and the crowds were gone, and we made our way inside. We opted for category 1 tickets, which were ringside, and as an added bonus, we had a separate entry line, with a very short wait. I felt very glad we’d booked those. I explained I didn’t eat meat and that the apple dessert wouldn’t work for me, given I’m allergic to apples. As you’d perhaps expect from Disney, they were prepared, and I was handed a vegetarian slip to show to the wait staff, and they offered me a choice of two other desserts, although sadly as they were pear and peach, and I’m allergic to both, I had to tell them I’d just stick with ice cream.

We were then handed our tickets, and we received straw hats with your team colour on it, as there would be four teams, and ours would be the Green Mountain Ranch in Montana. We did still have a bit of a wait before we could enter the arena, so we purchased a bottle of wine, as I don’t drink beer, and they had a country music group to entertain the crowds. Towards the end of their set, Goofy made a fun appearance, which was neat. It would be the start of things to come, with the Disney characters playing a very prominent role all night.

We finally made our way in, and found our seats, on the second row, with a wonderful view of the arena in front of us. The show started with an appearance by Auguste Durand-Rael, who brought Buffalo Bill to Paris in the 1890s, and he acts as the compere for the show. We then met Mickey and friends, along with the Rough Riders, a group of cowboys representing the four teams in the arena. They were rapidly followed by Buffalo Bill himself and Annie Oakley, who had some very impressive horse and marksmanship skills.

They then took you through life in the West, with a visit from Sitting Bull and native American Indians, followed by a group of cowboys driving the cattle. I had no idea how many animals took part in this show, and they were all beautifully behaved, despite singing, and dancing going on around them.

We were stunned at the next scene, depicting hunting across the Great Plains, with a heard of buffalo arriving right in front of us. As we watched this, we couldn’t help but think what an amazing addition this show would be to Walt Disney World, and how well it would fit into the theme of Fort Wilderness… just a thought!

Towards the end of the show, there were a series of games to decide which of the four teams would be victorious, which was a lot of riotous fun, and we got to see some amazing skills on horseback that left us with our jaws hanging open. The whole way through the show, we saw lots of Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Chip and Dale, which we were really impressed with, and pleasantly surprised by. I knew they had been in the billing for the show, but I expected them to perhaps appear at the beginning and the end, and that would be it. Not a bit of it – they were some of the main stars.

So what about the food? I ended up with a vegetarian chili, which was very nice and I heard no complaints from my husband about the meat offerings. The food was basic, as you’d expect from a dinner show, but it was hearty food, and neither of us left hungry. We felt the entertainment though was what you really come here for. The show was an hour and a half in total, and we just found ourselves marvelling at the skills we witnessed in front of us. It was way more than we had been expecting, and we were delighted by the use of animals throughout the show, and how they tried to give the audience a realistic idea of what life in the West would have been like.

We both came away absolutely blown away by the show, and wondering why it had taken us so long to try it out. We will definitely be going back to Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show again the next time we’re in Disneyland Paris, and we would thoroughly recommend it to anyone visiting the resort. Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show runs from Friday to Tuesday evenings, with two show times each night, one at 6:30pm, and the second at 9:30pm. Tickets can be booked in advance through the Disneyland Paris website.

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About the Author: Cheryl is the author of the e-book, PassPorter's Walt Disney World for British Holidaymakers, and is the co-author of PassPorter's Disney Vacation Club Guide: For Members and Members-To-Be. Cheryl and husband Mark live in England and love to travel, particularly to Disney, and they have travelled around the world, taking in a number of Disney cruises, Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Aulani in Hawai’i, Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disney and Hong Kong Disneyland on the way.

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