Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Temple Tuesday: Shirley Saves Disney World!

Well, maybe not quite Walt Disney World, but the Diamond Horseshoe Revue in Frontierland at the very least!

While juggling her political career and family, Shirley was also on the board of directors for a number of corporations, including Bank of America, Fireman’s Fund Insurance, United States Commission for UNESCO, United Nations Association, National Wildlife Federation, and...the subject of today’s post, Del Monte Foods and the Walt Disney Company.

Guests loved the Diamond Horseshoe Revue at WDW’s Frontierland. It was an opening day (October 1, 1971) attraction similar to the one at Disneyland in Anaheim, since the writer and comedian, Wally Boag, briefly relocated to Florida to get the new show started. The revue featured live music, sing-along-songs, and a can-can welcome with Slue Foot Sue. Pecos Bill (Boag for a time) even made an appearance, as seen in this 1974 image below:

The hour-long show was performed sometimes ten times daily until it was changed on October 1, 1986 when it became the Diamond Horseshoe Jamboree. At this point, the show was recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest running stage show of all time.

How did Shirley fit into all of this? According to the story I read on Jim Hill’s website, she used her charms to convince the board of directors at Del Monte Foods that they really should underwrite the operating costs of the show from 1979 - 1984. Who could say “no” to Shirley? Conflict of interest with Shirley being on both boards? Let’s not quibble!

I’m sure Walt was smiling down on her and thanking her for her efforts!

Did you know department: in 1971 Del Monte became the first major U.S. food producer to voluntarily adopt nutritional labeling on all food products.

See more Shirley Temple Black photos at my main website.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A fascinating bit of trivia. Thanks Dave! KS