When America Sings opened in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland on June 29, 1974, the attraction took guests through period of America’s musical history via the revolving theater previously home to G.E.’s Carousel of Progress. During its tenure from 1974 through 1988, Sam the Eagle (no relation to the Olympic mascot nor the Muppets character) and his cast of audio-animatronic animals entertained audiences with such classics as “Pop Goes the Weasel,” “Polly Wolly Doodle,” and “Who Shot the Hole in My Sombrero.” The cast consisted of a diverse array of characters such as the Swamp Boys (a gator trio, frogs and harmonica-playing raccoon), coyotes, alligators, porcupines, storks and roosters.
If many of the animals from this retro attraction look familiar still today, it’s because many are alive and well in Disneyland’s Splash Mountain. In 1989, nearly the entire America Sings cast found a new home and are a perfect fit within the 1946 Song of the South-themed thrill attraction.
Similarly, prior to America Sings’ closure in 1986, two of the geese were removed, “skinned” and repurposed as the entertaining G2 queue droids in the first generation of Star Tours, which premiered in 1987.
Pictured is the famous Sam the Eagle maquette given to VIP/press attendees during the America Sings opening premier in 1974. This rare ceramic keepsake was exclusive to invited media/special guests and never for sale to the public. Only a handful are known to exist.