As mentioned in an earlier article, the circus is back at Adventureland. This year, it is being billed as Billy Martin Presents the Adventureland Circus. It is in a different tent than the one used in recent years by the Royal Hanneford Circus.
There is even a large Adventureland banner at the back of the tent:
In addition to a nice new tent, the show also has a fancier lighting and sound system.
The ringmaster is Billy Martin and he has been there every year (as far as I know) since the circus first came to Adventureland in 1997. According to his website, he first got involved with the circus when it visited his town in New York in 1972. This eventually led to him joining the circus and becoming a juggler and ringmaster.
Based on a very brief conversation with Billy, my understanding is that this is now his show, and is not connected to the Royal Hanneford Circus. It still features many familiar acts from past years:
There were also other acts that I did not recognize from last year.
Billy said that each of the three daily shows would be a bit different, and then during the season, other acts would be brought in to keep the circus fresh.
Updated 6/5/2017 – Added more photos and web links.
I guess I never realized the Adventureland handouts are dated, and get changed during the year — including changes to the map!
Since 1997, the Royal Hanneford Circus has been entertaining guests starting Memorial Day Weekend. We were told last year that the circus would be returning for the 2017. When the park opened this season, a large circus tent was already set up back in Outlaw Gulch (though the show itself would not open until Memorial Day Weekend). I noticed the tent looked different, and the large banner said “Billy Martin Presents the Adventureland Circus.” Billy Martin is the name of the ringmaster who has been with the Royal Hanneford CIrcus circus since it first came to Adventureland.
At that time, the map in The Daily Adventure handout (dated April 30th-May 27th) looked to be the same as 2016 (as does the one on the website). The handout map was “Sponsored by perficut”…
…and the map in the handout labeled the circus tent as “Royal Hanneford Circus”:
The Show Times page listed “Starting May 27th the Circus is Back! The Royal Hanneford Circus.”
It seems that the time the circus arrived, it was being billed as “Billy Martin presents The Adventureland Circus.”
During the circus’ opening weekend, I asked them about this. It turns out it is a brand new circus, not connected with Royal Hanneford Circus, in a brand new tent, ran by ringmaster Billy Martin.
The next edition of the show guide was revised (the map is now sponsored by RIPKE).
On the circus tent, a new text box reads “Adventureland Circus.” The Show Times section inside now refers to Adventureland Circus.
When I saw the 5 o’clock performance, it featured several performers that were there last year (the quick change couple, the contortionist, and one of the aerial acrobats) plus some I did not recognize.
With the same ringmaster as years past, and many familiar acts from last year, it should entertain folks as much as always – just in a nicer, newer tent with improved lighting and sound. Ringmaster Billy Martin says each show will have a different line up of acts, and during the season they will be swapping out acts to keep the show fresh. I look forward to checking it out again on my next visit.
Now I have to pick up copies of the map throughout the year when a new edition comes out…
P.S. You can hear the distinct voice of Billy Martin somewhere else in the park… Do you know where? Answer in the comments.