When Walt Disney set out to promote Zorro, he was careful to avoid the trouble he had with Davy Crockett. Davy had become so wildly popular overnight that youngsters wore themselves out over their hero and soon abandoned him, along with crates of unsold Crockett souvenirs.

Guy and Walt
The whole town turns out at Disneyland

The whole town turns out to watch a parade past Slue-Foot Sue's Golden Horseshoe saloon. The occasion was a visit of TV's Zorro at Disneyland.

More than such other TV heroes as Davy Crockett, Robin Hood and Captain Video, Zorro possessed an extra element of secrecy and masked conspiracy that children relished. He also had a dashing mustache, carefully duplicated with burnt cork on a myriad of young upper lips. He was always befriending, as his song says, "the weak, the poor and the meek".

A smiling Zorro
Guy on stage at Disneyland

Like all childhood heroes, he was a knight at heart, proclaiming, "my sword is a flame to right every wrong". Walt Disney promoted the Zorro series by having the cast appear in "live" stage shows in different places. Disneyland was one of them. These appearances helped keep Guy Williams fans Zorro-minded.

At first, the cast intended only to ride through the streets of Disneyland, but yelling admirers forced them to jump off their horses and fight an impromptu duel.

Dueling with Monastario
Leaping from the roof of the Golden HorseshoeLeaping from the roof of the Golden Horseshoe
And leaping from the roof of the Golden Horseshoe. Of course Zorro won with ease.

Young Zorro fans in full regalia at Disneyland pay noisy homage to Guy who, clothed in black from head to foot, gives them his autograph.

Getting Guy's autograph

Adios, baby!


Finally, a sign of Zorro is back at Disneyland. This is our grandson Zachary in front of the mural at the fairly new Rancho del Zocalo restaurant. It replaces, yet combines the best of two Yesteraunts, Casa Mexicana and the Big Thunder Barbecue, combining elements from both of their menus. Rancho is situated on the former home of Casa Mexicana, but it's a much larger restaurant than Casa ever was, since it expands into a previously unused backstage area and part of the Carnation Plaza Gardens that closed a few years ago.

The new Rancho del Zocalo restaurant
Our grandson in front of the restaurant. Photo taken April, 2001.

Life magazine.