Friday, March 29, 2024

Thumper's Easter Egg Hunt at Disneyland - 1980s

Let's go back 40 years, to the totally tubular 80s!  The year was 1984, the Summer Olympics were taking place in Los Angeles, the Space Shuttle Discovery launched on it's maiden voyage, Michael Jackson's hair caught on fire during the filming of a Pepsi commercial, and the very last World Expo/World's Fair to take place in the United States, was held in New Orleans.  Oh, and in April, Disneyland was holding their 3rd annual "Thumper's Easter Egg Hunt" event.

According to this "Collector's Series" card from Disneyland's 40th anniversary year, the egg hunt event began in 1982.  I have an identical button as the one above, but with "1983" on it, so I know they held the event for at least three years in a row.  However, I'm not sure how many years they continued it.

A game card was given to children ages 3-12 (3-11, in 1982 and 1983), as they entered the park.  It included 5 silver scratch-off  "eggs."  You were supposed to scratch off only one spot, to reveal which "Easter Meadow" (within the park) you needed to go to for your prize.  Someone scratched off all of the eggs on the card, below.  I hope someone told that child that they were not getting any prizes, because they couldn't follow directions properly!  Once you located your designated "meadow," you could choose one of the plastic eggs that were scattered out on the grass.  There was another scratch-off card inside the egg, that would let you know what you had won.

I scanned this card years ago, and I wish I had done it at a higher resolution.  There is a list of prizes on the back, along with a number of how many of each prize was awarded.  The prizes were; Thumper Buttons (like the one at the top of this post) - 30,000 were available to win, a child's Disneyland Passport - 25,000, a 14" stuffed Thumper toy - 800, a Thumper backpack bag - 500, and a Bradley Mickey Mouse wristwatch - 250.

There were also lesser-value food items, such as a box of Orville Redenbacher popcorn, a large Coca-Cola, a Carnation ice cream bar, and a large Sunkist orange juice.  And one lucky winner was going to win a family vacation for four, to Walt Disney World.  That prize included round-trip coach air fare, a five night stay in a Disney hotel, six days admission to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot Center, and breakfast, lunch and dinner at any Walt Disney World restaurant or dinner show!  Gee....that was a REALLY good prize!

Here's what the child's Disneyland Passport prize looked like:

The Spring 1983 issue of Disney News Magazine included a brief mention about Thumper's Easter Egg hunt.  It looks like you had to fill out an entry form, for the chance to win the grand prize of a vacation at Walt Disney World.

I went to the park just a few days before Easter Sunday of 1984.  This is the entertainment guide that was available at the main gate:

"Airplay" was performing at the Tomorrowland Terrace during the day, playing the "now" sounds of today's popular music, while "Krash" was playing there in the evening.  Sister Sledge and The Whispers were also performing that week!

Disney was selling a special "Olympic Spirit Passport," which came with a solid bronze medal.

This ad from the April 8, 1984 edition of The Los Angeles Times was promoting Thumper's Easter Egg Hunt, along with the grand reopening of the Alice In Wonderland attraction.  Apparently, a few days before my visit, Frankie Avalon and KC (of KC and the Sunshine Band fame) had both been appearing.  Tommy Tutone had also performed at the park, earlier that week.  I had seen him there two years earlier during my Grad Nite.  I guess Tommy Tutone is actually a "them" and not a "him," since it's the name of the band and not one individual person.  I only found that out just now, when looking up the release date of their hit song, 867-5309/Jenny (November of 1981).

Here's the advertisement for Thumper's Easter Egg Hunt, from the previous year.  This one is dated March 20, 1983.  Jay Johnson & Bob from the TV show, "Soap," were performing!  And so were Kool & The Gang!  Oh...and Chachi was there, too.

And here's the advertisement from 1982, the event's debut year.  Peaches & Herb were being "Reunited" at Disneyland, and "shaking their groove thing!"

I will "wrap" up this post with another Disney Easter item, from the 1980s.  This "Instant Egg Art" kit has a date of "1981" on back, but I purchased it at least a couple years later, approximately in 1983 or '84.

The instructions:

These colored strips could be cut out and assembled into stands, for holding the decorated eggs:

And these are the "wrappers" or sleeves, which were designed to slip over your hard-boiled eggs.  After dipping them in boiling water for 3 seconds, they would shrink tightly around the egg.  There were two sets of each design included, but I never used any of them.

A very happy Easter, to all!