Disneyland's 25th Anniversary - 1980 (And My 10th Anniversary!)
This month marks the 10th Anniversary of my blog! Can I count it as ten years, even if I didn't post anything in 2014? Oh heck...I'm still counting it, since I did begin posting way back in July of 2008!
For this major milestone (for me, anyway!), we're going to take another look at Disneyland's 25th Anniversary celebration from 1980. This large paper sculpture of the Castle was used on the cover of the Spring 1980 issue of Disney News Magazine, and was also on display all year long in the window between Coke Corner and the Candy Palace on Main Street.
Unlike Disneyland's milestone anniversaries of recent years, the 25th anniversary festivities (as well as the 30th, the 35th and the 40th anniversaries), began in January and ran only until November, when the park's Christmas decorations would go up and the holiday entertainment would begin. (In comparison, the 50th and the 60th celebrations didn't start until May of their respective years and the "60th" celebration was actually dragged out, way past the 61st anniversary!)
Early in the year, Disney aired a television special to let the public know that the park was celebrating it's first quarter century. The special was titled, Kraft Salutes Disneyland's 25th Anniversary. Let's take a look at the listing for that television special, from the March 1st issue of TV Guide.
Danny Kaye was the host and was joined by Michael Jackson, the Osmonds (what, no E.J. Peaker?) and Adam Rich (from the TV show, Eight is Enough). There was also a long list of celebrities that made singing cameos including, Annette Funicello, Buddy Ebsen, Jo Anne Worley, Ruth Buzzi, Ronnie Schell, Jamie Farr, Greg Harrison, Linda Gray, Ted Lange, Fred Grandy, Anson Williams, Sorell Booke, Patrick Wayne, Kim Richards, Richard Paul, Bart Braverman, Peggy Cass, John Schneider, Quinn Cummings, Danielle Brisebois, and more!
The show was sponsored by Kraft and the TV Guide featured some Kraft recipes themed to Disneyland. (Most of these recipes were republished in the January 16, 1982 issue of TV Guide for the airing of Walt Disney World's 10th Anniversary special.)
Oops! Somebody used a depiction of Cinderella's Castle from Walt Disney World in the "Close Up" feature, below. And FYI, Mork and Mindy and the Australian soap opera, Prisoner: Cell Block H were both in their second seasons, and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century was in it's first season.
Going back earlier in the week to Sunday night, here's the listing for Disney's Wonderful World. The 1965 Disney classic, The Monkey's Uncle, starring Tommy Kirk and Annette Funicello (she's mad about his chimpanzee!) was being shown. Note the top hits of 1979 that were being "counted down" on Solid Gold!
And for anyone that might be interested in what was going on in the "non-Disney" world of television at this time, here are some more listings from that same issue of TV Guide:
Pink Lady and Jeff was a variety show starring comedian Jeff Altman and Japanese recording duo, "Pink Lady" (Mitsuyo "Mie" Nemoto and Keiko "Kei" Masuda). Only five shows aired of the six that were filmed. Rhino released all six episodes on DVD back in 2001, but it is now out of print and I am still looking for a copy that is reasonably priced!
Remember when The Wizard of Oz was shown on broadcast television every year in the Spring?
Polly Holliday, who played Flo ("Kiss my grits!") on the sitcom, Alice, had left the show to do her own spinoff series and Diane Ladd was being added as "Belle," the new waitress. Diane Ladd had actually played the part of Flo in the 1974 film that the series was based on, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore.
This week's episode of Eight is Enough included drama for Abby, who was played by the incomparable Betty Buckley. (Trust me, Tom! You can trust me!)
There was also drama in store for Karen (Michelle Lee), on Knots Landing.
Match Game is still one of my all-time favorite game shows! I remember my great-grandmother not liking Gene Rayburn for some reason, even though she did watch the show regularly. Watching repeats of it today on the Buzzr Channel, I do see that he acted a little "dirty old man-ish" at times.
Posters of your favorite celebrities could be ordered through the ad below. I wonder how many young people out there, have no clue as to who these celebrities are. "Who is S. Anton? And what is a B.J. and the Bear?"
Incidentally, that cover artwork for this issue was drawn by famed caricaturist, Al Hirschfeld, and depicts Herve Villechaize and Ricardo Montalban from the TV show, Fantasy Island. Here is the cover-story article.
And if anyone is interested in watching the Kraft Salutes Disneyland's 25th Anniversary special, here it is in it's entirety.
By the way, I had been looking for the park's 25th Anniversary television commercial on YouTube for many years and found it only recently. Unfortunately, this particular version of the commercial does not include the full song, due to the announcer speaking through part of it. But hey, I'll take whatever I can get!
I'll end this post with the cover of Television Times (the Los Angeles Times' version of TV Guide) from that same week.
As far as I'm concerned you can count it as ten years even though you didn't post in 2014. It's your party! You can even cry if you want to.
I've always loved the cover with the paper castle. It's a real beauty. The Kraft Salutes Disneyland's 25th Anniversary" was probably the last good show done about Disneyland, but since it was sponsored by Kraft lots of cheese was featured.
Skyway Cream Crepes? Now that's interesting.
I always remember "The Wizard Of Oz" airing in the fall, but then I check the history and it's mixed as to when they broadcast it. One thing for sure I remember is that "The Ten Commandments" and "The Sound of Music" usually aired on TV on Easter Sunday.
My favorite waitress on "Alice" was always Vera played by Beth Howland. Linda Lavin just irritated me. She always said the right thing and knew it all. Bleh!
What's "Knott's Landing"? Who's Michelle Lee? Was Herbie parked in Knott's Landing? Did they all rot...in hell?
Always loved the Match Game regulars like Charles Neilson Reilly, Fannie Flagg and Brett Somers. Other favorites of mine were Marcia Wallace, Joyce Bulifant and Pattie Deutsch. Most of those people are gone now. I miss those personalities.
All in all, a great post for your tenth Anniversary.
HAPPY 10TH ANNIVERSARY!
P.S. I really loved the TV Guide pages you shared in this post. Brings back lots of good memories. TV Guide was like an American institution back then. Even when I see the various TV Guide covers I associate them with a certain point in my life. Do they even publish it anymore?
Thanks again, TM!
Happy 10th Anniversary, TokyoMagic! Hey, you’re still posting, unlike many other blogs, so it counts in spite of 2014.
Love the Hirschfeld cover of TV Guide. And what the… “Adam Rich (from the TV show, Eight is Enough)?? Of course it is! It’s freaking ADAM RICH! Everyone knows him and loves him! I still go into a barber shop with a photo of 8 year-old Adam, point to his hair, and say, “Gimme that!” (you’ve seen my hair and know it’s true). If I get any lip from the barber, I walk right out! Plenty where they came from, am I right?
Sorry, I just get a little upset when it comes to Adam Rich. But who is Sorell Brooke? Or Richard Paul? Or Bart Braverman? I probably knew them in 1985. Man, TV sure was different in ’85. I remember watching at least the first episode of “Pink Lady and Jeff”. The girls were so cute, but yeesh, it was painful to watch. I wouldn’t mind seeing it today, though!
There she is, Polly Holliday. Or her name, anyway. I forgot that Flo got her own spinoff. It’s kind of amusing how much older the casts of so many shows were in those days. Who wants to see romances between people in their 40’s and 50’s, and older (in the case of shows like “Dallas” and “Knots Landing”)? UGH! Michelle Lee? If she wasn’t in “The Love Bug”, I’d be completely uninterested. Why not just cast Irene Ryan and be done with it.
Gene Rayburn is the handsomest man who ever lived, that’s probably why your grandmother didn’t like him. That ad says that Susan Anton was “Golden Girl”, but she wasn’t one of those Golden Girls.
I know I’ve watched pieces of the 25th Anniversary Special with Danny Kaye (I can’t bear to look at it right now) - why is it that Disney’s TV specials were the worst programs EVER? They are all so incredibly horrible. I think Jim Korkis wrote an article about the company that made them - they should all be launched into space toward Omicron-Ceti III (and even that’s too good for them).
Thanks for 10 years of blogging!
Ken, thank you for the anniversary wishes! I'm glad that you enjoyed seeing those TV Guide pages. I have two more TV Guide posts coming up pretty soon (September and November). They are fun to do, because they also stir up some good memories for me. They do still publish TV Guide, but it's larger, like almost regular magazine-size and it's also super thin. I miss the old version and stopped buying it when they changed the format, years ago.
That's funny, what you said about Linda Lavin's character. They just started airing Alice repeats on TV (the "Get TV" channel, maybe) and I have a friend that is watching it everyday. He never watched it back in the day. The thing that annoys him about the Alice character is that she is like Lucy Ricardo and always wants to be singing in some show or such thing and he does NOT think that Linda Lavin can carry a tune, at all! Now Alice had the same writers as "I Love Lucy" so I have seen MANY similarities in some of the scripts, but I was never bothered by Linda Lavin's singing. The person that I never liked on that show was when they had Martha Rae guest star as Mel's mother.
I love all those Match Game regulars and semi-regulars that you mentioned. I watch that show almost daily. That also brings back nice childhood memories, but now as an adult, I get all of the sexual innuendo...and there is a lot of it!
Wow, you have a good memory if you are remembering a line that I mentioned quite a while back from Knots Landing! It is when Michelle Lee's character calmly tells her daughter's evil boyfriend, Chip, as he lay there in his hospital bed, "I hope.....you rot.....in hell." I love Michelle Lee, her character on that show, and her delivery of that line!"
Major, I love the Hirschfeld TV Guide covers. He did some really nice ones. I had no idea that you were such a big Adam Rich fan. And here I always thought it was Dorothy Hamill's iconic "Page Boy" haircut that you were copying.
Sorell Booke played "Boss Hogg" on The Dukes of Hazzard. Richard Paul played the mayor on both Carter Country AND Murder, She Wrote and was a semi-regular panelist on Match Game in it's later years, after Richard Dawson left. Bart Braverman was Robert Urich's partner/sidekick on Vegas and he was also.....wait for it.......the little shoe shine boy in the "Lucy Gets Homesick in Italy" episode of I Love Lucy. "Itsa HER birthday today, too!!!" He is also pictured in the Match Game ad in this post (above Eva Gabor). And yes, Pink Lady and Jeff was super painful to watch, but for some reason, I watched every episode that aired.
Irene Ryan.....OUCH! Why you all hatin' on Michelle Lee (who is in a tie as my favorite actress, along with Sandy Duncan and Lesley Ann Warren)? However, I was thinking that same thing about the older actors and actresses back in the day. Today, they would probably cast all twenty-somethings in those roles. The funny thing is, I looked up Polly Holiday the other day (when you posted pics of her doppelganger at Disneyland) and she was a year younger than my mom. When Alice debuted, Polly Holliday was actually only 39! I thought she looked much older than that!
I don't think Gene Rayburn was ugly, but he was unusual looking in a "Jack Palance" sort of way. And Susan Anton's screen debut was in the movie, Golden Girl (in which she was nominated for a Golden Globe), so I assume the poster title was referring to that. Incidentally, this would have been five years before the TV series, The Golden Girls.
The 25th Anniversary special is uncomfortable to watch at times....okay, most of the time, but it does have it's moments. Personally, I have never been a fan of Danny Kaye, so watching him in almost anything, always makes me uncomfortable. But you are right about those later Disneyland TV specials....just dreadful. I was always watching them and hoping they would just show us more of the park and less of the corny skits. One interesting thing about this special is, that it opens with Danny Kaye walking through a meadow, talking (and unfortunately, singing) about what it must have been like for Walt to walk through the origninal orange groves when he was purchasing the property. That meadow is the land that was located behind Storybook Land....the "Fantasyland Meadow." It's where Videopolis (now the Fantasyland Theater) ended up being built. Another interesting thing is, there is an aerial shot of the Casey Jr. Circus Train (at the 22:35 mark) chugging along and then the camera pans down to show the little Caricature Stand that was located in the "Small World Mall" area. It's the stand that had the castle turrets on top of it. In the special, they are using it as a "wardrobe/employment counter" And while Danny Kaye is talking to the guy behind the counter, we also get a pretty good view of the "Ice Cream Train" and the "Small World Souvenir Stand" that were both located across the walkway. And in that same skit, if you look at the counter with all the costumes, there is a large "doll head" from Disneyland's "America On Parade," as well as some Toy Soldier heads hanging on the back wall.
Thank you for the anniversary wishes, Major!
TM!, I'll add my congratulations to those above. You may not have posted at all on your own blog in 2014, but you posted plenty of comments elsewhere. I'm embarrassed to admit that I think it wasn't until 2014 that I made the connection between the guy who was commenting on GDB and this blog.
My hat is off to you, sir, for ten great years, and may you have many, many more!
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to make some Davy Crockett casserole...
Thank you very much, Chuck! Be sure to let me know how your Davy Crockett casserole turns out. If I could offer a little advice to you on that it would be, go easy on the racoon tails!
Too late. I'll be picking hair out of my teeth for days...
Forgot to mention I remember watching Pink Lady and Jeff, too. I know I watched more than one episode, but the only one that stands out was one where they were singing a song called "U.F.O." I also think I remember them playing a music video for Cheap Trick's "Dream Police." I'm afraid to hunt down anything on YouTube, although I remember thinking it was a weird show even at the time.
Chuck, I don't remember too much about the show either. In the past, I had looked for it on YouTube, but never found anything. I just looked again and found this eighteen minute "highlights" video. Watching it was actually more uncomfortable than watching the "Disneyland's 25th Anniversary Special." I also found it offensive on several different levels. Now, after watching those highlights, I feel like I can give up my search for the entire series on DVD. And just in case you want to feel REALLY uncomfortable for the next eighteen minutes, here's the link to that video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCCfRtgaHys
Congratulations on your tencennial, and thanks for your always entertaining posts. Like Major Pepperidge I get a kick out of the redacted family photos. I saw that 25th anniversary special in 1980 (no need to look at it again), and remember the general unease and also a weak sketch with Kaye mentioning a magic F-Ticket, which got some group snickers as to what that stood for. Foo!
All the stuff on free TV then that I skipped as a kid, but might watch now: the channel 34 Pelicula! (I've since developed a love for golden age Mexican films). The Doris Day Show, featuring Jacques Bergerac! ( who actually was one of the most handsome men in the world). Thriller Theatre with a Jackie Coogan flick! (and TV Guide tips you off that it's so bad you may enjoy it).
I'm with you concerning Michelle Lee; she is very appealing in "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying".
Best wishes and looking forward to more blasts from the past.
Stefano, thank you very much! Hey, it is my "Tencennial." I should have used that word in the post title!
Another Michelle Lee recommendation of mine would be the 1995 TV movie, Big Dreams and Broken Hearts: The Dottie West Story. She portrays the country music singer and sings all of the songs herself. I'm not sure if it's available on YouTube or DVD. I still have my old VHS copy.
I've also been catching up with some old shows and specials that I missed as a kid....and even some that I did watch back in the day. The other night, I watched a great Merv Griffin interview with Dolly Parton from 1980. But mostly I tend to just put the TV on the Buzzr Channel and watch old game shows from thirty to forty years ago!
I decided to forgo 18 minutes of feeling really uncomfortable and go for a full 49 minutes and 19 seconds.
Actually, the 25th Anniversary Special wasn't as bad as you guys made it out to be (or maybe you lowered my expectations so much that there was no way it could live down to the hype). It was better than any of the other Disney specials I've re-watched from the same era over the past few years, although the original songs sounded more like they would have fit in 1970 than in 1980. I have no recollection of this, so I must have missed this for some reason, which surprises me since I was such a Disneyland buff. Wait - I see that it was on opposite Buck Rogers. Now I understand why.
Some observations...the opening was identical to the pre-1971 WWoD opening. Was that used for the original broadcast or was that added for the Disney Channel rebroadcast?
While Danny Kaye was singing his way through the meadow, waxing rhapsodically about Walt's dreams for Disneyland, a shot of the MK's Cinderella Castle managed to sneak into the sequence of (really cool) historic footage.
When "Grandpa" was listing the attractions they'd seen before 10:30 a.m., he listed "Captain Nemo's submarine." I'm not sure if the outside writer was thinking of WDW or just hadn't been to the Park since 1966. I'm a little surprised nobody from the actual Disney organization caught it.
The 1961 Osmonds were singing "Side By Side" at a different tempo than the 1980 Osmonds were, which made for a kind of erratic sequence (but it still worked).
TSI behind them had yet to be sullied by "Fantasmic!" or misplaced pirates.
When the Mark Twain slid by behind the Osmonds, it was full of guests. When the Columbia sailed past a few minutes later behind Danny Kaye, it was empty except for the helmsman.
Michael Jackson was such a wonderfully-talented singer. Not 100% sure why the producers thought "When You Wish Upon A Star" was a good mash-up with "Ease On Down the Road" from The Wiz (contractual obligations to get Jackson on the show, perhaps?), but it's nice to see him in a Disney Park in something other than the Captain EO outfit.
The "Supercailifragilisticexpialidocious/Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo" medley may have been the most fun sequence, if for nothing more than the experience of shouting to my wife "Oh! Look! It's...that guy...who was in...that show! And, look - it's...you know...that girl!"
It was also notable for the shots from aboard the Twain of celebrities singing on the bow, not for the celebrities but for the glimpse of pre-bridge, pre-terraced NOS cruising by in the background.
The MSEP floats in the background during the dream sequence kept changing to sort of match the dances in the foreground. Was the ballerina bear costumed character from the circus segment of the MSEP?
And the final crane shot of iasw with the cast and DL castmembers singing the Sherman Brothers' signature song (no, not "Bye-Yum Pum Pum") was kind of neat, too.
Next I'm watching the 35th Anniversary Special, the one with the Cheers opening story. I do remember seeing that one on its original broadcast.
Chuck, yeah, I think that beginning montage from The Wonderful World of Disney was either tacked on there by the person that uploaded the video to YouTube, or it was added on by The Disney Channel when they aired this. This was a stand-alone special and was not even a part of The Wonderful World of Disney show. As you can see in the post, the Wonderful World of Disney was showing The Monkey's Uncle that week.
I guess I never caught that clip of Tinkerbell and WDW's Castle. I guess if they were going to use WDW's Castle in the "Close-up" feature in TV Guide, then I shouldn't be surprised that they inserted footage of it in the special. I think Disney often had those type of flaws in their shows and specials.
This show did have some good moments. I also really like that medley with all the different stars, but I wish we got to see more of each of them. I also like that closing segment in front of It's A Small World. Those giant letters that spell out "Disneyland" were part of a float in the "25th Anniversary Family Reunion" Parade that year. I loved that part of the parade because it had performers spinning the letters around while singing the song, "Disneyland Is Your Land." I posted some photos and video footage of that parade on July 17, 2011. And how cool would that have been if instead of singing "It's A Small World" to close out the show, they sang "Bye Yum Pum Pum"?
I do remember watching this when it originally aired and wondering why Michael Jackson was singing a non-Disney song ("Ease On Down The Road") in a Disney special. But that was before Disney started glomming onto anything and everything that wasn't theirs originally. I thought it was so strange to see Star Wars characters in Tomorrowland back in 1987. They weren't Disney characters! However, now, 30 years later, they are. So weird.
The ballerina bear is Lulubelle from the Bongo segment of Fun and Fancy Free. I don't remember if they used that character in the MSEP back then or not. I know they used her later in the "Showbiz Is" show that played on the Space Stage for many years. I posted a pic of her on stage in that show in February of this year.
I remember watching that 35th Anniversary Special when it aired. In fact, I just started to watch it last night, but I only got as far as "young" Woody exiting the Haunted Mansion and his ghost girlfriend disappearing and then I started to fall asleep, so I stopped it there. Maybe I'll go back and finish it. Or maybe you can give me your review of it and I can decide whether or not it's worth going back and finishing it. I don't remember too many details about it for some reason.
I was wondering if that was Lulubelle, but talked myself out of it it since she was a wild bear rather than a circus bear in the "Bongo" segment of Fun and Fancy Free. I guess my subconscious remembered the February post better than my conscious mind did.
After watching the 35th Anniversary program, the only segment I have any recollection of seeing before is that "young Woody" flashback at the beginning (and the rest of the program is something I would have remembered had I seen it). I'm guessing I saw it at a friend's house on its original broadcast; the ancient, hand-me-down console TV in my apartment had a blown tube for the entire 1989-90 academic year, and any TV I caught was at her house across the street. She and her family were (and still are) Disney fans, and I had a habit of dropping by Sunday afternoons, so it's logical that the program would have been on that Sunday evening (February 4th). I probably would have gotten through the segment and then had to leave for church youth group. Either that, or the segment got recycled in a later program.
The show has better production values and timing than any of the other vintage specials I've watched recently (is 1990 really vintage?), but that's not surprising considering it was directed by John Landis. The aforementioned Woody flashback is OK, the Jungle Cruise segment a little dark (but still fun), the finale underwhelming, the ending abrupt, and the repeated Charles Fleischer cameos a little annoying, but President Reagan's re-dedication speech and the Muppet sequence are the stand-outs. And - is it my imagination, or was the floor-scrubbing scene actually shot at WDW's Cinderella Castle in the waiting area for what was then King Stefan's Banquet Hall?
I think the next special I'll watch is 40 Years of Television Magic from 1994, which I know I watched because I taped it. My memories of that program were of a high-production-value show featuring celebrity interviews (including Tom Hanks singing that the world is a carrousel of color) and Kirstie Alley hosting from an abandoned nightime Disneyland with all the lights left on. Looking forward to seeing that again for the first time in more than 20 years.
Happy 10th Anniversary! Here's hoping that I'd be lucky enough to have my own blog reach a similar milestone. (Speaking of which, please fix your blogroll. You still have my old Disney Dudebro blog on there. Change it to my new blog please. Thanks!)
I've yet to watch the special (I will when I get a chance), but I have a feeling that, even with it being sponsored by Kraft, the special will have more to do about Disneyland than ABC's 60th Anniversary special more than a year ago. LOL!
Chuck, I still have not gone back to finish the "35th" special beyond that "young Woody" kid exiting the Haunted Mansion. And I don't even remember a 40th special. I must have completely missed that. I recorded the "60th" special, but I just can't bring myself to sit down and actually watch it. It's like I don't want to give up an hour of my life, to watch what many people have already told was a pretty bad production.
Magic Ears Dudebro, thank you! I wish you just as many years of blogging....and even more! Ha, ha.....you are just one more person (of many) to convince me that I don't need to waste my time with the "60th" Anniversary special! The older Disney specials were definitely better. I had changed the link to your blog in my "Favorite Blogs" list a while back, but had forgotten to change it in my "Current Posts From Fellow Bloggers" list. Thanks for reminding me.
Happy 10th Anniversary of Your Blog.
Thank you so much, Josh!
@Tokyo, wow, 10 years blogging. I've only been reading blogs about that long. Congratulations for staying with it, and for coming back after a year down. That would be a steep slope for me, for sure.
I tried a blog for a while, writing on the technical topics of my work, to promote my company. I found the subject selection and writing to be amazingly difficult. Fortunately, the economy picked up and I had to stop because I had work to do instead. So, mad props from me for sticking with it.
Thanks for this terrific post on the Disneyland anniversary via TV Guide. What a kick to see all about these old shows. The commenters here know far more about the TV of that era than I do, so hearing the backstory is what I need.
Let me echo Chuck's comments about the recipes. I vividly recall when everything had velveeta in it. The Tiki Tuna casserole has me shuddering. Oddly, the Davy Crockett casserole doesn't sound too bad, even though the ingredients don't sound appetizing individually. Maybe that's the secret of casseroles.
Thanks for this post, good memories and entertainment for a Friday PM.
JG, thank you! That one year that I took a break was a very busy year for me and once I skipped just a few months, it was hard to get back on track and return, but I'm glad that I did. I really do enjoy writing each posts.
Funny, I like Velveeta, but I can't remember the last time I had it. I also like Cheese Whiz and Spam, but I know enough to stay away from them!
I'm glad you got a kick out of the old TV Guide scans. I have another TV Guide post for September, that just posted about 15 minutes ago. It's actually a combination Universal Studios/TV Guide post. I hope you enjoy it, as well.
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