The Calico Saloon at the west end of Market Street was the featured building fronting Calico Square. A tiny stage was located above the West end of the balcony, later it was replaced by a wide formal stage, south behind the bar. It hosted a variety show inside with a piano player, a few vaudeville routines, and "Dakota Dan", "Calico Kate" and Marilyn and Cecilia Hargrave, sister dancing girls performing the Can-Can finale (and later immortalized as the fiberglass dancing girl figures on a bench outside the saloon.) A wide stairway led up to the interior and outside balconies. The inside balcony provided additional seating and tables, along with the best view of the show. A pair of baskets operated like a dumbwaiter to lift meal orders up to the hostess there.
Outside in Calico Square Harvey Walker played Doctor I. Will Skinem performed his Medicine Show and peddled "Boysenberry Elixir" from his wagon/stage near the popcorn cart, the same wagon stage featured Professor Mal-De-Mers, and a young Steve Martin on banjo between performances at the Bird Cage Theater. Cowboys confronted the Sheriff and his posse. They performed shootouts with flips and stunts, even a high fall. To wrap it up, fifteen minutes of comedy involved the Boot Hill Undertaker trying to remove the body from the Calico Square Wild West Show. The Knott's Berry Farm's Wild West Stunt show performances are scheduled at the Covered Wagon Camp nowadays, with impromptu shootouts in front of the Blacksmith, outhouse and Calico Saloon.
Between the saloon and the general mercantile was the Post Office which was for a time a real working U.S. post office and Wells Fargo Express walk-in attraction displays. The post office featured cutting-edge 1870s postal technology and the Express office depicted activities of a gunsmith. Contemporary postage stamps can be purchased there daily from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and mail deposited is dutifully forwarded to the U.S. Postal Service.
Growing up in Los Angeles in the 70s/80s we visited Disneyland on a regular basis and often after school, before "Annual Passes".
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