Fulton Burley

Irish Tenor and Disney Legend Fulton Burley Passes Away

“Is everybody happy?” That’s the question that Disney Legend Fulton Burley asked audiences at the start of each performance of Disneyland’s Golden Horseshoe Revue, and he truly wanted to make people happy and continued to do so, both onstage throughout his 26 year run as the Irish tenor of the Golden Horseshoe Revue, and offstage as well until he passed away on this day in 2007. D23 writer Scott Wolf happens to be a historian of the Golden Horseshoe Revue and told us, “Whenever I mention Fulton to anybody who knew him, they immediately smile every time. He was a consummate entertainer who knew how to captivate an audience, whether in the Revue or traveling the world on marketing tours to promote Disney’s films. A lot of people don’t realize what a huge part of Disney he was. A suitcase that belonged to him is filled with stacks of scripts from various promotional marketing tours and private events he did for Disney. For many years, his voice was heard in Disneyland as the narrator of the Columbia Sailing Ship, and his voice remains heard in both Disneyland and Walt Disney World’s versions of the Tiki Room as the voice of the parrot, Michael. He even helped to write that show with fellow Horseshoe performer Wally Boag. Fulton actually got the job at Disneyland at Wally’s suggestion. The two were both under contract to MGM in 1944 and met while appearing in the film Thrill of a Romance. To give you the best idea of the type of person Fulton was, I’m reminded of a story Jim Adams tells. Jim was Wally Boag’s longtime sub in the show and had the chance to go on promotional tours with Fulton. On one occasion, while flying in Disney’s turbo prop, the engine oil had gone out of one of the engines, causing it to overheat. As they watched the engine stop with the notice that the engine may catch on fire or explode, Fulton started telling jokes and going into a comedy routine, keeping everybody in stitches until they safely made an emergency landing in Tucson, Arizona, and exited the plane, with the group still laughing. Even when faced with a life or death situation, Fulton made people laugh. If anybody ever asked Fulton, ‘How are you?’ his reply was, ‘Sensational!’ …and that he was!”