The Low Down on Billy the Goat

Even if you aren’t an obsessive Disney fan, you’ve probably heard of the Fab Five: Mickey Mouse, Minnie, Goofy, Donald Duck, and Pluto. For true devotees, you’re likely familiar with characters like Figment, Big Al, and maybe even Sonny Eclipse. But have you heard of the one and only Billy the Goat? 

He’s a genuine, bona fide star (at least among hyper obsessive, over-the-top, Disney geeks like me and the rest of the Celebrations Magazine crew). We like him so much, that he’s even mentioned in our upcoming podcast episode about tips and tricks for visiting the parks. That’s why we thought we’d use this opportunity to take a deeper dive into this delightful character from the Magic Kingdom’s Big Thunder Mountain.


He’s an International Celebrity

Billy can be found in five different Disney parks, spread across three countries. In Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, you’ll find him standing atop a roof in the town of Tumbleweed. He screams at you as your minecart goes racing by. In Disneyland Paris, he can be seen with another goat, who is chewing on a bit of clothing that hangs on a line. 

At Disneyland, you can spy Billy at the top of a hill, where he is chewing on a piece of dynamite. Disneyland Tokyo also features this explosive version of Billy, and he is depicted as an illustration in the art for Jessie’s Critter Carousel at Disney California Adventure’s Pixar Pier. 


The Goat Trick

If you’re up for some bonus rootin’ tootin’ thrills on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, look for the goat on top of the mountain as your train slowly climbs (he’ll be on your right). Keep staring at him, even as your train falls away to the left, and keep staring as long as you can. You’ll experience a disorienting and dizzy sensation that’ll make the wildest wide in the wilderness even more intense. Yeehaw!!!!!

While this isn’t Billy’s trick in the Magic Kingdom (Billy’s hanging out in Tumbleweed – much closer to the ground, the critter you see on the Frontierland mountain is a bighorn sheep), we’re suspect Billy had something to do with it…


Free the Goat!

Billy’s first foray into true superstardom began in 2013 when Disney launched the Free the Goat campaign. A post on the Walt Disney World blog explained:

“Whenever you hear about a good deal, you want to take advantage of it, right?

Well, it appears that Billy the Disney Goat, whom you may recognize from Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Magic Kingdom Park, has heard about the new Florida Resident 3-Day Discover Disney Ticket and wants finally to enjoy the magic for himself – not just watch the fun from his place in the tiny mining town of Tumbleweed.”

The post included a video, which is sadly no longer available, of Billy making a personal plea for freedom to go and explore the parks. There was also a link to a Free the Disney Goat webpage, which featured drawings he made of himself on a variety of park attractions. 

Supporters of Billy were asked to share his plight on social media in the hopes that it would convince top Disney brass to grant his wish. They were also invited to share suggestions for which attractions he should visit if given the chance. 


 WDW Best Day Ever

Beginning in 2015, Disney launched a YouTube page called WDW Best Day Ever. It was a campaign aimed at tweens, and featured videos by a variety of popular vloggers.

A subchannel on the station known as “Walt Disney World Goat Friends” featured a puppet version of  Billy interviewing other audio-animatronics around the resort. The characters featured were generally more obscure. For instance, over the course of the series he spoke with the Salon Girl from the PeopleMover, Sammy the Raccoon from Country Bear Jamboree, the ostrich from “it’s a small world”, the pop-up ghost from Haunted Mansion, and more. Along the way, he also had a screaming contest with the Carnotaurus from Dinosaur, tea with the Haunted Mansion’s ghoulish gentleman (the skeleton arm holding a teacup in the cemetery), and even transformed a collection of pirate skulls into a boyband. 

Fortunately for us all, the entire series is still available to watch online.


A Rather Animated Appearance 

Not content to remain an internet and in-park sensation, Billy made his debut on the small screen with a brief appearance in the Mickey Mouse cartoon Nature’s Wonderland, which debuted in October of 2017.

In the short, Mickey takes Minnie to explore Nature’s Wonderland and the Rainbow Caverns, only to find a “big, thundering mountain” in the way. A ride on a runaway mine car follows, including all the mayhem and hijinks you’d expect from a Mickey cartoon.


A Comic Book Hero for Everyone!

The Disney Kingdoms series of comics was launched in 2014 through Marvel Comics. The concept was to create a Disney universe of stories based on classic attractions, lands, and characters. Titles included Seekers of the Weird, Figment, the Haunted Mansion, and Big Thunder Mountain. 

The Big Thunder story featured a heroine named Abigail Bullion, daughter of villainous Barnabas T. Bullion, who sets out to rob her father’s mine. That’s only a portion of the thrills and adventure-packed within its pages.

It should go without saying that Billy makes an appearance here as well, being depicted in his dynamite munching form. 


The Greatest Of All Time

Based on all of these facts, it’s obvious that Billy is the G.O.A.T. among Walt Disney World goats (and there are more than you might think). He’s definitely our favorite.  




Enjoy the magic of Disney all year ’round with Celebrations Magazine!

1 year/$49.95!

Click here to order!