Disney Parts Ways With Beloved Hilton Head Island Resorts B’Lou and Shadow

I never thought I’d write an article about Disney firing a dog, and yet here we are…

Anyone that is a fan of Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort has likely heard of B’Lou and Shadow. As the official mascot of the resort, Shadow first showed up sniffing around during the resort’s initial construction and has been a staple there ever since. She can usually be found accompanied by Mick Ayres, who also goes by the name B’Lou Crabbe. B’Lou has served as the resort’s local folklore expert and entertained guests with his storytelling, music, and magic for over twenty-one years.

B’Lou and Shadow (Photo: Mick Ayres)

Last week, both B’Lou and Shadow saw this career come to an abrupt ending in a short five-minute phone call. After months of promises that they would return after a twenty-month hiatus, Disney has decided not to bring the duo back to Hilton Head Island Resort.

In a post on Facebook, Ayres (B’Lou) went into detail regarding his commitment to Disney over the past twenty months. B’Lou continued to hold up his end of their agreement by not pursuing other compensation throughout the shutdown. Disney also continued to honor Shadow’s portion of the performance contract by paying for her ongoing vet and grooming care. Through this good faith effort, it seemed all but certain that their return was only a matter of when not if.

Fans and HHI owners have taken to the internet sharing their B’Lou and Shadow stories over the past week. Some have even taken things a step further, attempting everything in their power to get Disney to see the joy and life that B’Lou and Shadow bring to the resort.

Maybe it’s the dog dad in me… but this one tugs at the heartstrings just a bit too much. I wish B’Lou and Shadow the best and hope that maybe with enough love and support, we will see them on a future visit to Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort.

45 thoughts on “Disney Parts Ways With Beloved Hilton Head Island Resorts B’Lou and Shadow

  • November 10, 2021 at 2:58 pm
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    Why, an explanation is in order!

    • November 10, 2021 at 9:34 pm
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      This is typical of the changes Disney is implementing at all the parks. How very cruel to treat Shadow & B’Lou in this way.

      • November 14, 2021 at 3:01 am
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        This is all getting so pathetically ridiculous! What’s next? Removing Mickey because the expense is unjustified?!?! How about we remove Bob Chapek and the other Disney/DVC heads and WE start fresh?!?!

  • November 10, 2021 at 3:10 pm
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    Ouch. You know, we’ve put up with a lot of entertainment cuts over the last 20 months or so, but this one is just way too much for me. B’Lou and Shadow have been a part of the Hilton Head fabric for so long. They bring something special to the resort that makes it unique and memorable to all that visit. We have several pictures next to the dog house in front of the resort. It’s a very dark day in the offices of Disney where the “powers that be” decide to make decisions like this.

    • November 11, 2021 at 5:06 pm
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      Really my kids and great nieces have pictures with shadow. Ar You all need to Stop TAKING THE MAGIC AWAY……. PLEASE STOP.. BRING THEM BACK…. IRS A PART OF HILTON HEADS HISTORY. LOOK IT UP

  • November 10, 2021 at 3:23 pm
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    This one hurts. A lot! Thanks for writing this, Paul. I hope it gets a lot of attention.

  • November 10, 2021 at 3:32 pm
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    One of the kindest, most graceful, and multi-talented people I’ve ever met. This is so wrong. B’Lou is the heart and soul of the resort. The love he has shown my family for nearly 20 years is immeasurable. He is the reason we return year after year. Everyone else has been back to work except he and Shadow.

    • November 11, 2021 at 6:05 pm
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      It is amazing they sell real estate promising this would be part of what you are purchasing.

      Is Disney running a bait and switch selling Vacation Club Memberships?

      They took me and I and I think that’s just what they are doing.

      Will see what can be done on a state level to pull their ability to do this to others on Monday.

  • November 10, 2021 at 4:21 pm
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    THIS SUCKS….B’Lou is a GREAT story teller & a HUGE part or HHI/ not to mention Shadow is a sweet Heart

  • November 10, 2021 at 4:31 pm
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    I;ve never heard of these two…..but I am familiar with Disney’s greedy corporate image….when the boomers are gone and not raising their families with Disney in mind, Disney will feel it…..they are pricing people OUT and showing their 1% colors…..strike me dead if I EVER walk down a “LIGHTNING LANE”

    • November 11, 2021 at 6:42 am
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      For clarity, the boomers have already raised their families. Boomers are approximately 70 years old. Know your facts

      • November 11, 2021 at 2:32 pm
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        Excuse me but I am a boomer and STILL raising my grandchildren….DVC member, Gold Castaway member….don’t dismiss boomers yet….assuming you are not a boomer and wondering if you will be handed a “GOLDEN” torch……….

      • November 12, 2021 at 11:39 am
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        For clarity, Tim, the Boomer generation lasted until about 1964. At my current age of 58, I am in one of the last waves of them, and I didn’t have children until my 40’s so I have two teenagers now. So yes, some of us Boomers are still raising our families. Know YOUR facts. My kids were raised on Disney characters and visits to the Disney parks, as was I. But, sadly, this past summer we made what will very likely be our last journey to Disney World, since the pricing has become more than a middle class family can afford.

  • November 10, 2021 at 4:50 pm
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    Thanks for the article. They took away a good portion of the “magic” of Disney when they did this and it will not be the same ever again. This was not fair or expected. Those of us who have been DVC HHIR owners for many
    years are quite upset.

    • November 18, 2021 at 10:29 pm
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      I am saddened and a bit angry. B’Lou and Shadow were a HUGE part of Hilton Head Dosney magic. The bean counter making this idiotic and cruel decision is penny wise and pound foolish.

  • November 10, 2021 at 5:30 pm
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    These are the things that make Disney resorts special! Why don’t they get it?! It breaks my heart to hear news like this, and I’m disappointed in Disney/DVC.

  • November 10, 2021 at 5:41 pm
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    Disney really did loads of entertainment cuts. Even the band at the Grand Floridian that was there for 31 years was let go with no word when the hotel reopened. Nighttime Parades went away well before Covid too and just now a shorter Xmas parade is about to come back for the extra cost nighttime events at MK.

  • November 10, 2021 at 7:02 pm
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    This is totally the wrong woke direction Disney has
    taken, and failed their DHHIR members. This breaks thousands of hearts and disgraces the intention of Walt’s fun family dream. Great article that continues to show Disney is destroying more and more fond memories and lives of entertainers.
    As the creator of The B’lou Crabbe and Shadow Disney Hilton Head Facebook Fan site, this action they plowed under is cold, cruel and was obviously a huge numskull duh mistake.
    DVC owners are angry and NOT pleased. They’ve risen up and are fighting back on this. B’lou Crabbe and Shadow WILL be back. Failure is not an option.

    – Steve
    Creator of The B’lou Crabbe and Shadow Fan Site.

    • November 10, 2021 at 9:00 pm
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      They need to realize they were iconic to the resort. Doesn’t Disney believe in themes and stories especially in their resorts. They’ve taken that away 😥

    • November 11, 2021 at 8:54 am
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      So how many Shadows have there been over the years?

      • November 11, 2021 at 10:24 am
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        In my heart I keep telling myself it’s the same Shadow… and that she has aged very very well… Lol

    • November 11, 2021 at 5:40 pm
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      Yes 👏👏👏👏👏

  • November 10, 2021 at 7:55 pm
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    Welcome to “The Happiest I mean Greediest place on earth!”

  • November 10, 2021 at 8:01 pm
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    Chapek is on a mission to eliminate all of the little things that make all Disney properties “special”. I find this and all of the other things he continues to get rid of disgusting. As a DVC member for years I am appalled!

  • November 10, 2021 at 9:03 pm
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    Heartbreaking. The current leadership stinks. The GF Society Orchestra and now this…

  • November 10, 2021 at 9:34 pm
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    I am so disgusted with Disney and all their cuts. I understand they are a business but they are destroying all of the things that make Disney Disney.
    This is the new “woke’ Disney that wants to destroy past things that people love and identify with. Get rid of cherished Disney that touch our hearts and add cheap(not in money) and quality is going, going, gone!
    So sad. Our Thanksgiving trip will be my last for a long time!

  • November 11, 2021 at 2:24 am
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    Not cool! Especially since they essentially they strung them along throughout the pandemic. While vet and grooming bills are helpful, that’s vastly different than actual compensation. Also, why? It just doesn’t make sense.

  • November 11, 2021 at 5:45 am
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    Chapek has taken on the role of Scrooge, may he be visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present and the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come to see the error in his ways because it doesn’t get lower than the firing of a dog.

  • November 11, 2021 at 5:58 am
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    This is heartbreaking news! As a DVC owner and Disney stockholder this is outrageous!!! With the ridiculous salaries paid at the top of this company someone can’t give up a bonus to pay for B’Lou and Shadow to remain at HHI?

  • November 11, 2021 at 7:22 am
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    Just another in our face example of how little Disney , under the new CEO , values DVC members. The magic used to clearly overshadow the money but it’s clearly the other way around now. Our dues keep going up and the promised perks keep going away. For the first time in 20 years , we tell friends to not even think about joining DVC.

  • November 11, 2021 at 7:30 am
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    Guess we won’t buy a timeshare there ( or at any Disney property) after all. This isn’t right in so many ways.

  • November 11, 2021 at 12:59 pm
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    Disney no longer cares about the original Disney values and traditions or the “guests” that still do. They’re now catering to a newer generation of wealth and privilege.

  • November 11, 2021 at 1:14 pm
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    I read a post about how he was swearing and treating the dog in an extremely aggressive manner. When confronted he cursed and became belligerent, yanked on the dog’s leash, and screamed his command. The post further said that throughout the entire week, his acted rude, and curt with guests. Post also said he called some children out during his show and that his remarks to and about children were downright out of line. Wonder if this happened more than once.

    • November 11, 2021 at 9:17 pm
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      Sounds unlikely that this is true. Where is the post to read about this?

    • November 13, 2021 at 10:14 pm
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      I am not surprised about this as he seemed nasty the one time I took my (older) kids to meet shadow a few years ago. Nothing warm about him to me!

    • November 14, 2021 at 12:13 pm
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      I have met with and sat with these two dozens of times and I have never seen B’Lou act aggressive or condescending to Shadow or the guests. My children started visiting the resort at age 4 and are currently 11. I am sorry that the article you read portrayed him this way. This is not at all who he is. He is a performer and deserves respect during his shows. Also, please remember that he is also the dog’s handler and needs to be in control of Shadow at all times. If she approaches a guest that isn’t comfortable or scared, he does need to say commands and pull her back. She is an amazing dog but she is still a dog on the property of a major company. Huge liability is she was to ever hurt someone. Hopefully reading the hundreds of positive comments will help change your mind.

    • November 16, 2021 at 10:47 am
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      Disney has removed one of the best things about DHHIR and it is unforgivable. Without B’Lou and Shadow it’s just another overpriced resort. The magic is gone. They strung both guests, DVC owners as well as B’lou and Shadow along during the COVID restrictions by telling everyone they were on an extended “fishing trip” but would be back as soon as possible- but it was all a lie. We were all deceived. Disney is putting so much stress on the Star Wars and Avengers franchises now they have forgotten the magic of the original Disney. They have become the Evil Empire and Thanos all wrapped in one.

  • November 11, 2021 at 4:21 pm
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    Hate it for them, but in the end, it won’t matter. Look how many negative changes have occurred over the last 2 years and people keep forking over more money for a lesser experience.

  • November 11, 2021 at 5:01 pm
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    WOW AGAIN STUPIDITY IN ACTION. YOU TAKE AWAY THE HISTORY OF SHADOW. I AM A LOYAL HILTON HEAD VISITOR AND NOW THE MAGIC OF SHADOW IS GONE. REALLY. WHAT ELSE TURLES BE GONE….. LEAVE SHADOW HOME. HE WAS THERE BEFORE THE HOTEL…… STOP TAKING THE MAGIC AWAY…….😭😢😈

  • November 11, 2021 at 9:19 pm
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    So disappointed that Disney made this poor choice. B’lou and Shadow are what made this resort so special.

  • November 12, 2021 at 9:12 am
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    While I’m a DVC owner, I have never visited Hilton Head. However the one thing I know about Hilton Head is Shadow. Disney is starting to present themselves as the evil empire with decisions like this. I have fatigue from hearing how DVC leadership listens to members. This is an obvious example that they don’t.

  • November 15, 2021 at 11:43 am
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    This is wrong, especially without explanation. Shadow, especially, is part of DHHIR (and B’lou too) and honestly, one of the attractions that makes the resort as special as it is. You don’t just fire your mascot!

  • November 16, 2021 at 2:50 am
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    Lately, this company seems to forget “the heart” of what has made them so successful. Things like this make me really start to question my Disney loyalty and where I choose to spend my money.

  • November 20, 2021 at 8:40 am
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    This achieves a trifecta. We’re hurt, angry, and stupified. Hurt and angry for what they’ve taken from us – like thieves in the night, and dumbfounded at a demonstrably bad business decision. B’Lou and Shadow add way more to the HHI bottom line than they cost. If this stands, we will use our points elsewhere. You don’t get to HHI by accident. You have to want to go there. We only have one reason for wanting to go there, and it is B’Lou.

Comments are closed.