On this date in 1513, Juan Ponce de Leon discovered a land that he called “Flowery Easter” because he and his crew first spotted the land on Palm Sunday. In Spanish, “Flowery Easter,” translates to “Pascua Florida.” Pascua Florida, April 2, is a legal holiday in the Sunshine State. We’ve talked a lot about Ponce de Leon and we love Florida as well as Walt Disney World. We’ll not spend a lot more time on this one but visit the rest of the state as well as Orlando and the World.
In 1805 Hans Christian Andersen was born in Denmark. Andersen’s fairy tales remain popular to this day with many versions and reinterpretation of his stories. Andersen’s stories include “The Ugly Duckling,” “The Little Match Girl,” and of course, “The Little Mermaid.” Go to Hollywood Studios, visit The Adventure of the Little Mermaid, and honor Andersen and Denmark.
Our next luminary’s story might have been quite different if he had not had a horrible reaction to silver paint. It’s hard to be the tin woodsman if the silver paint puts you in the hospital. Buddy Ebsen, born on this day in 1908, definitely suffered a career setback when he could not finish the role of the tin woodsman in The Wizard of Oz due to his adverse reaction to his silver coating. But his career did not end. Walt loved his dancing and had his animators and imagineers study film of Ebsen dancing for various projects. Walt also tagged him to play George Russel in Davy Crockett. This may have typecast him a bit but I’m sure he didn’t mind, as I’m sure it helped him land his most famous role, Jed Clampett, of Beverly Hillbillies fame. Later, he also played the great detective Barnaby Jones. While you’re at Hollywood Studios, ride The Great Movie Ride and remember that that could have been Buddy Ebsen in that tin suit.
“Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.” Alec Guinness will always be the great Jedi Knight from Star Wars and he was born on this day in 1914. Don’t hesitate, we are already at Hollywood Studios so let’s wear it out and ride Star Tours. Mmmm, the Force is strong with Hollywood Studios today.
Let’s just make this a one park day, and stay in Hollywood Studios. On this date in 1967, Walt’s final introduction on his Wonderful World of Color TV show was aired. Walt had, of course, passed a few months earlier and there was never a regular replacement for Walt in his role that definitely led to so many of us seeing him as “Uncle” Walt. In memoriam, visit Hollywood Studios’ One Man’s Dream and enjoy the story of Walt’s life.
Remember, your best excuse is always: waiting for your dreams to come true.