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!


K. Martinez said...

I'm thumpin'. That's why they call me Thumper.

"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!"

So that child didn't get a trip to Walt Disney World? Oh, the humanity!

So, did you ever go to Tokyo Disneyland during Springtime?

I LOVE that Pete's Dragon advisement. Elliot was my favorite Disney character of the 1970's. I loved the movie and its songs, and it was my favorite parade unit in the Main Street Electrical Parade.

Peaches & Herb. I wonder what they're doing these days. Are they reunited and does it feel so good? ;-)

I used to love the Easter Egg PAAS kits for dying eggs and decorating them. I never saw a Disney one though.

Nice post and just in the nick of time. Thanks, TokyoMagic!

Happy Easter!

Dean Finder said...

Just shrink-dinked some Easter eggs tonight. Paas kits, not Mickey ones, though.
6 park days at WDW seems like a lot, back when there were only 2 parks. I guess you could do half-days in the parks and then enjoy the hotel pools and the Lake Buena Vista shopping district (later, Pleasure Island, later Downtown Disney, now Disney Springs)

JB said...

I never knew that Disney had these Easter Egg Hunts. Makes sense, I guess, since they already had Thumper sitting around watching TV and playing video games all day anyway. Might as well put him to work!

The shrinky-sleeve egg decorations look kinda neat but..... it seems like cheating to me; too quick and easy. And it isn't your own design; no creativity on the decorator's part. Maybe I'm just being a grouch?

Thanks, Tokyo!.

TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, I went to Tokyo Disneyland several times in the Spring, but it was before they started celebrating Easter with special decorations and a parade. Instead, they held Springtime events like "Spring Carnival" at Tokyo DisneySea, with special parades, shows, and floral displays throughout the park:

After scanning and posting that ad with "Peaches and Herb," I looked them up. I never knew that there was more than one "Peaches." I had always thought that they were a married couple, but "Herb" (who's name was Herb Fame), has sung with seven different "Peaches" over the span of his career!

Happy Easter to you too, Ken!

TokyoMagic! said...

Dean Finder, funny....those Disney egg "wraps" made me think of Shrinky Dinks! While writing this post, I also had to look up this type of "Egg Art" kit, and I see that there are plenty to be had on ebay, along with other sets of egg "wraps" sold individually without being part of a special kit.

I also thought that six days was a lot of time for WDW and just two parks. I guess it didn't include admission to River Country or Discovery Island. Still, back in 1984, I could have easily spent 3 days at the Magic Kingdom and 3 days at Epcot Center. A day of shopping at Lake Buena Vista would have been nice, too! Hey, if it was good enough for Lisa Welchel and Allison Fonte of the New Mickey Mouse Club, then it would have been good enough for me! ;-)

TokyoMagic! said...

JB, I guess the "egg art" sleeves were created for people who don't feel talented enough to do their own designs. Or for people who are feeling lazy! I never did try these out, but when it came to decorating eggs in my childhood, my mom always bought the PAAS kits like Ken M. and Dean Finder mentioned. The few times I have colored eggs as an adult, I just used food coloring and vinegar!

Thanks for commenting on my post, JB! (And Ken and Dean Finder, too!)

Major Pepperidge said...

Another fun and comprehensive blog post from TM! I used to have one of those Easter Egg Hunt pins, though I couldn’t tell you which year it was from (I didn’t know there were several versions). The collector card is cute, gosh, do I have that set? I don’t even remember, and where would it be? TELL ME! I think I have it though.

The person who scratched off all of the eggs was probably drunk, and they’ve spent the last six or seven years in prison for other offenses. Serves them right, I say. I know this is off-topic, but I just met somebody who won a CAR at the Gift Giver Extraordinaire machine! A freakin’ car! He was pretty nonchalant about it.

I’m always impressed at the variety of publications, brochures, souvenirs, and other items that you manage to have relating to your latest subject. So much Easter! I think I have three or four flyers from the 1970s, and should definitely scan them.

I love the bands listed on that flyer. “Krash”. Sister Sledge! I had to go online to remember their hit, I forgot that they did “We Are Family”. Tommy Tutone, you have to be a certain age to remember “him” (or “them” as you said). Jenny, Jenny! I wish the Sex Pistols had played at Disneyland, but they had broken up years before. Still, I enjoy the idea of guests pogo-ing and moshing.

Wow, I never knew about those wrappers that would shrink to fit your hard boiled eggs. It seems kind of like cheating, but that doesn’t mean that I am above using them. I remember having various Paas decorating sets that only sort of worked. I’d get more of the dye and designs on myself than on the eggs.

Thanks, TM!

"Lou and Sue" said...

What a fun Easter post, TM! I love that Disneyland did these egg hunts - with prizes and entertainment...I'm heading to the Tahitian Terrace!

I remember doing some of these shrink sleeves on eggs - but don't recall if they were Disney.
I especially loved doing the 'marbled' eggs - where you dipped your egg into colored dyes that were floating ON the water. You ended up with pretty swirls of colors and patterns.

I hope you had a nice Easter!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I just checked ebay. It appears there are buttons for 1983, 1984 (with the years prominently shown), and one for 1985 with the year only in teeny tiny print at the very bottom of the button. I guess there wasn't one for the premier year, 1982, but that makes sense because they don't show one in the advertisement, like they do in the 1983 and 1984 ads. Now I want to know why I don't have an ad for 1985's egg hunt event. Maybe I didn't read the Sunday Calendar section of the paper that week!

I hope that person remembers the day that they scratched off all of those eggs on the card, and that he or she has lived a life of regret every since. And I hope that the person who won a car at Disneyland, still has that car! Just think of what it would be worth? Okay, maybe nothing except "scrap value."

Scan your Easter flyers from the 1970s, and post them next year! Or are they not Easter flyers and you only have a total of three flyers from the 70s? I would think you would have more from that era, even though I know you focus more on 50s and 60s items!

Yes, "We Are Family" was their big hit and considered their "signature song." They changed the lyrics to the song, when they sang it at my Grad Nite. They sang "We are family. The Class of '82 is free!"

Maybe the Sex Pistols didn't get to play Disneyland, but at least guests got to hear the Dead Kennedys music playing in between cartoons, in the Fantasyland Theater! ;-)

You are right about the PAAS kits only sort of working. Now I think I am remembering that my mom finally gave up on them at some point, and just started having us use food coloring and vinegar. Oh, and remember how the PAAS kits came with that "clear" crayon, for writing messages on the eggs, prior to dyeing them? Naughty words on eggs, anyone?

TokyoMagic! said...

Thanks, Sue! Maybe the Tahitian Terrace dancers were wearing skirts made of "Easter grass," just for that week only! ;-)

I saw a lot of those shrink wrap egg sleeves on ebay, and there were many non-Disney versions available. I forgot about the "marbled" eggs, even though we never tried them. Was there another method of doing that, with some kind of dry powder or crystals? I seem to remember seeing a commercial for something like that, way back when. I have an egg decorating contraption from the 1970s which was labeled "As Seen On TV!" I will probably post that next year, along with some other non-Disney vintage Easter items.

I hope you had a nice Easter, too!