- “Always be sure you're right, then go ahead.”
- ―Davy Crockett
Colonel David 'Davy' Crockett was a famous, 19th century American folk hero. A frontiersman during his lifetime, he was also a soldier fighting in the Creek War under Andrew Jackson, serving as a congressman, and finally dying at the Battle of the Alamo in Texas, leading a rebel force against Mexico in the Texas Revolution.
The Crockett legend was again popularized by Walt Disney, who produced a three-episode television series loosely based on his life, starring Fess Parker in the title role: Davy Crockett, Indian Fighter; Davy Crockett Goes to Congress; and Davy Crockett at the Alamo.
The shows aired on the ABC network on the Wednesdays of December 15, 1954; January 26, 1955; and February 23, 1955. Buddy Ebsen co-starred as his friend George E. Russel, who had actually only accompanied Crockett during the Creek Indian War.
Davy Crockett made a return with Disney in two further adventures: Davy Crockett's Keelboat Race and Davy Crockett and the River Pirates. In these two episodes Crockett faced off against Mike Fink, another early American legend. The series spawned a revival in popularity and fascination with the legendary Crockett, especially among children.
In the late 1980s, Disney would revisit Davy Crockett on television with a series of television films starring Tim Dunigan as Davy Crockett with Johnny Cash playing an older Davy in one of them.
The popularity of the Davy Crockett TV serials resulted directly in the creation of Frontierland, originally having been primarily themed to the Davy Crockett TV serials. While this mega-theme has long-since faded due to the faded popularity of the serials, allusions and elements taken from the series is common to Frontierlands as found throughout the Disney Parks.
Notably, Davy Crockett's coonskin cap is a staple piece of merchandise and a recurring motif in Frontierland, and his theme-song The Ballad of Davy Crockett is a very frequently played song. The attraction The Country Bear Jamboree even has the titular singing bears singing the song. The character Mike Fink from the Davy Crockett series also lends his name to the now closed attraction Mike Fink Keel Boats with tributes still being found in the parks.
Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes, an attraction currently at Disneyland (California) and previously at other Disney parks. As previously stated, a variety of Davy Crockett themed attractions and features used to be found in the park such as Davy Crockett Arcade and the Davy Crockett Frontier Museum. Crockett himself would appear at the parks, portrayed by cast-members for meeting with guests.
In Disneyland, the,"Crockett & Russel Hat Co." is a location which serves as an extension of the Silver Spur Supplies shop. This was made in 2004 as a tribute to Crockett's actor Fess Parker being memorialized as a Disney legend. The windows for this shop even mention Fess Parker by name as being the in-lore proprietor of the Coonskin Cap Supply Co..
The Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes used to be featured in Walt Disney World but permanently closed in the year 1934 as part of Michael Eisner's cost-cutting campaign.
In the Magic Kingdom restaurant Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn, Davy Crockett is among the American folk-tale characters referenced in the layout of the restaurant. The story and theming of this restaurant being that it is owned by the folk-character Pecos Bill and littered with memorabilia from fellow legendary figures who he had acquainted himself with. Crockett's satchel and coonskin hat can be seen hanging on a wall beside a plaque with Davy's name. In addition to this, blueprints for Crockett's first rifle are framed on the wall.
Davy Crockett's clothing can also be found worked into the rooftop of the Frontier Trading Post, being hung up from a clothes-line above the building.
Davy Crockett lends his name to Disney's Davy Crockett Ranch, a campground at Disneyland Paris.