On this date in 1966, in a land, far, far away (Disneyland) It’s A Small World opened in Fantasyland. The original ride features 297 animated children, 256 toys, a canal filled with 233,000 gallons of water and a song that is the very definition of an earworm. If you can get that song out of your head you have way more mental control than I. This was Disneyland’s first continually loading high capacity ride and Walt poured water from all over the world into the attraction’s moat. Disney eventually built versions of the ride at The Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland. Just quit fighting and go ride It’s A Small World right across the way from Peter Pan’s Flight in New Fantasyland at The Magic Kingdom.
One of our favorite places in all of Walt Disney World opened on this date in 1994. Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, inspired by the great lodges at National Parks out west, is only a mile from The Magic Kingdom but feels like it is 1000 miles away. Get on a boat from The Magic Kingdom and head over to Whispering Canyon for some good food, great fun and beautiful surroundings.
When I was a kid, different phases of my childhood were definitely defined by different music. In 1970 and throughout the early seventies, my dad ran a restaurant in downtown Louisa, the Big Sandy Restaurant. That restaurant had a jukebox that was the soundtrack of that time and one of the prominently featured groups on that jukebox was Creedence Clearwater Revival. On this date in 1945, the lead singer and songwriter for Creedence, John Fogerty was born. “Lookin’ Out My Backdoor” and “Sweet Hitchhiker” were two huge songs from that time and I’ve always kept a soft spot for whatever Fogerty has done. You won’t find a better summertime song anywhere than “Centerfield” or a more laid back summer song than “110 in the shade.” Fogerty always had a swampy, bluesy, country/rock feel that was instantly identifiable and incredibly popular. Let’s go to Adventureland at The Magic Kingdom where a little Creedence would fit in just fine.
1938: Jerry West is born. Jerry is from West Virginia, which makes him a local boy. How important is Jerry West to basketball? West’s silhouette is the logo for the NBA. Go to the ESPN club on The Boardwalk and honor Jerry there.
1945: Another local boy, Gary Stewart from Letcher County, Kentucky was born on this date. Gary Stewart was a honky-tonkin’, rockabillying, country singer and songwriter. Honor him at Frontierland, perhaps by visiting the Country Bears.
Remember, you best excuse is always: waiting for your dreams to come true.