Friday, November 13, 2009

A Vintage Disneyland Trip Report From 1982 - Part 1

Well it's November and you know what that means....Mickey turns another year older on the 18th! He's a Scorpio! Let's go back to the early 80's when his birthday used to be the cause for a month-long celebration at the park. That's right, it's Mickey's Month at Disneyland!

You met my friend "Alvin" (or at least his reflection in the window of the Candy Palace) during my vintage trip report from November, 1980 (link). Now it's November of 1982 and my friend "Tonya" is going with me on this trip. My friend Alvin and I were still going to the park together...I was lucky enough to have two fellow Disneyland-obsessed friends to go to the park with. In fact, I'm still good friends to this day with both Alvin and Tonya!

So anyway, it's November 1982 and when we first arrive at the park, we find that they are handing something out to all guests at the entrance. Hey, it's Mickey's birthday, but WE get the gifts...lucky us! The gift is a spongy bath mitt in the shape of Mickey. It has now been stored in a box in the dark for 27 years, but somehow the color faded around the edges anyway. How does that happen?

While we're at the main gate, we better pick up the entertainment brochure for the day. Hmmm, I don't want to miss the birthday parade. And how about that Mickey's Birthday Lunch at the Space Place? Maybe we should eat over there since someday that will be turned into the entrance and Fast Pass area for Space Mountain.

Now we're in the Plaza and there's a huge birthday cake sitting in the center planter (Mickey, Walt...are you under there?) Hey, where are all the people?

That cake is making me hungry. Let's head on over to the Space Place in Tomorrowland for that birthday lunch. Looks like the Mousketeers are going to be back on the Space Stage once again. We've seen their reunion show before (see the link above for my 1980 trip report), so maybe we'll just skip the show this time. I love the openness of the Space Stage area though. Too bad they had to wall it all in and put a ceiling over it. It ruined the whole feel of the original Space Mountain complex.

Well, the meal has been served, along with a piece of birthday cake and here comes our free birthday with the price of the lunch, that is. Suzy (or is it Perla?) from Cinderella is helping the cast member hand out the balloons.

Here comes the guest of honor, Mickey himself! Let's all sing happy birthday to him!

Oh, and here's the birthday hat that was included with the meal. I think I'll save mine for a few years. Well, at least 27 years. Okay, maybe longer!

Now let's go check out the birthday parade.

By the way, I wish Disneyland would sell the parade soundtracks for ALL of their parades like Tokyo Disneyland does!

Hey Mickey, you turned around....and Minnie, you're blocking your face! Don't you hate it when that happens? Oh well!

Look, the American Egg House is still open with outdoor patio dining! Why isn't this space still a restaurant today?

Well, that's it for today, but how about a "part two" to this vintage trip report? A "part two" where Tonya and I board the Skyway in Tomorrowland for a ROUND TRIP ride over Fantasyland to view the demolition and construction for the all "new" Fantasyland. Stay tuned!

POST UPDATE: For part two of this trip report, click here.


Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Great Retro trip report (I love these!). I’ve stored stuff in sealed plastic bags and it still fades!!! Nice brochure, that's one I don’t have :-)

That huge birth cake is scary, did it open up into individual slides and dance around in front of the castle??

Nice rare parade shots, would be nice to hear the tunes again.

Hey, great candid shot of the Egg House! This area is so under utilized, it makes no sense. I could set up a shop and sell ANY food and it would sell like hotcakes (or scammbled eggs!). Instead this area is, well, nothing…

OMG you have Skyway photos of the new FL construction, can’t wait for part 2!!


Anonymous said...


I'm a Disney fan (at least a dozen trips to DW and two to DL) that is about to self-publish a funny but satirical novel about two families on a trip to Disney World. Although I love that place, I always find a few things to laugh at and a few visitors with some behavior that is so extreme that it's comical. I've highlighted all of that in my novel.

I was wondering if I could get a plug of my book on your blog. I understand completely if it's not your bag. Self-published authors need to scramble to self promote because that's the only promotion we get so we have to ask these rude questions :-)

Ninety percent of the story takes place in the four Disney World parks or hotels (everything is renamed but anybody will recognize what they're reading about). Like I said, it's a little satirical but my love of Disney World shines through.

It's already out as an Amazon Kindle book and the hard copy book (also known as "dead tree book") will be out in about a week.

I'll post the backcover blurb below just in case you want to see what it's all about. Thanks either way and keep up the good work!

Dave Conifer

-- Snodgrass Vacation --

Dave Jevik wasn’t too happy to hear that his wife had scheduled a family vacation to Snodgrass World Resort with the Zandanels. Loudmouth Vinnie is hard to put up with for an hour, let alone a week. But when Vinnie spots wheelchair-bound George Van Morrison in first class on the flight to Florida, the dreaded trip takes on a sense of purpose. Van Morrison claims he was injured at a restaurant owned by Dave’s friend back home and the lawsuit has already been filed.

Dave and Vinnie just know he’s faking it and they have a week at Snodgrass World to save the restaurant by proving it. They’ll have to dodge fleets of wheel chairs and scooters long enough to expose him while taking in park attractions like ‘Brutal Yet Fun and Lovable Buccaneers’ and ‘Showcase of Random Allied Countries.’

Vinnie’s sharp-elbowed wife is indispensable as she leads the way past line-cutters, other people’s obnoxious children and the maniac driving the scooter with the on-board colostomy bag. When they befriend a crotchety bartender back at the hotel, Dave and Vinnie unexpectedly tap an inside source that just might help them get their man.

Anybody who’s ever taken a trip to Orlando will recognize most of what they read about in Snodgrass Vacation, a fun satire of theme park life written by a Disney lifer.

TokyoMagic! said...

Hey VDT. Thanks for the nice comments. I get the "dancing cake slices" reference! Too funny! Just FYI....that cover artwork was used again the following year (November of 1983.) The entertainemt and events were similar, but there were a couple differences. Also, the back of the '83 version announces the debut of the Disney Channel.

Daveland said...

Great job Chris - I have a hard enough time remembering what to post from a recent trip, let alone from the 80’s! Looking forward to part 2!

Unknown said...

That's some awesome stuff! I've got some old Disney bath mitts in the closet. I think I'll pull them out and put them away before the kids completely wear them out!

Yellows said...

Thanks for the vending shots! I recognize the CM holding the balloons as one of my leads from back then. I'll take a vintage trip to the Park any time.

TokyoMagic! said...

Hi Anne, I forgot that you worked ODV. That's cool that you actually knew/worked with the cast member in my pic!