Walt Disney World is all about the schedules; parade at 3:00, fireworks at 10:00, princesses meet in Town Square at 10:00, etc. It really helps guests find the experiences that mean the most to them.
But not everything is on the park schedule. Some of the best entertainment are not events that are advertised. They're part of the magic that just happens, and that's the best type of magic.
One such slice of joy happens most days in the Magic Kingdom's Frontierland, right in front of the Country Bears Jamboree. It involves dancers and costumed characters straight out of the stalwart attraction.
Occurring about 30 to 45 minutes after the conclusion of the daily 3:00 parade, at first it seems like a few Frontierland cast members are milling about the crowd, chatting up families. Nothing out of the ordinary. But it's almost like they're distracting you away from seeing a few large critters descend upon the scene.
These critters are all Frontierland residents. You'll see Brer Bear, Big Al, Horace Horsecollar, Clarabell Cow and Country Bear Wendell. They wade into the crowd, surprising guests and especially the children.
Then, music washes over the street. Hillbilly music, to be precise. A few of those friendly cast members start dancing. A few more let loose hoops and hollers before joining the burgeoning line dance. More cast members join in. The costumed characters fall into place and start dancing. More and more cast members lock step.
Before you know it, there's a small army of high-steppin' boots kicking up a fuss and a good number of hands holding on to belt buckles, swaying along to the music.
Yep, it's a hillbilly flash mob dancing to the tune of "Devil's Dream" and "Rocky Top Tennessee."
After their initial number, they invite children and other guests to join in on the fun, turning the experience into a hillbilly dance party replete with the Hokey Pokey.
The Frontierland Hoedown is, simply put, a whole lot of fun, primarily because most of the guests experiencing it are utterly unaware that it's going to happen. It's spontaneous magic that's sure to delight.
As with any outdoor event at the Magic Kingdom, the performance is entirely dependent on the weather. And since it's not on the park schedule, there are no guarantees it will be performed every day.
But, those are just the usual disclaimers. If you find yourself in Frontierland by the Country Bear Jamboree around 4:30 to 5:30, you'll more than likely than not get to experience it.