Today we are taking the Lawrence County High School Band to Kings Island in Mason, Ohio, just north of Cincinnati. I don’t know how many times I have been to Kings Island but it is this park and Camden Park in Huntington, West Virginia that fostered my love of amusement parks. I first visited Kings Island in 1972, the year it opened and, like our beloved WDW, it has changed a great deal since that time. Today is it very much themed toward large thrill rides and is now owned by Cedar Fair, which also owns another of my favorite childhood parks, Cedar Point. I am looking forward to riding the Beast and the Diamondback and drinking a lot of soda from my refillable cup. Hey, it’s not Disney but we’ve never had the money to make that trip. Maybe… some day.
On this day in 1903, Bob Hope was born. Bob Hope was such a part of my life growing up that it is hard for me to realize that there is an entire generation who have little, or no, connection to Bob Hope. Bob was ubiquitous on television, made dozens of movies and toured almost without ceasing entertaining troops through the USO. Hope’s Disney connections go all the way back to 1939 then her presented the Oscar for “Ferdinand the Bull” to Walt. In 1965 he visited Walt with Jack Benny and in 1971 he was part of the televised grand opening of Walt Disney World. In 1981 he led a 1000 piece marching band for the tenth anniversary of WDW and in 1989 he was part of the ribbon cutting ceremony for Disney-MGM Studios. Go to the Magic Kingdom, visit Adventureland, and look for Bwana Bob’s, a little store that is actually a tribute to Bob Hope.
In 1906, T. H. White was born in Bombay, India. In 1938, White wrote a story about the boyhood of King Arthur titled, “The Sword in the Stone.” You can try your hand at pulling the sword from the stone in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom, a tribute to Walt’s 1963 movie based on the story.
John F. Kennedy, the thirty-fifth United States President, was born in Brookline, Massachusetts on this date in 1917. The youngest elected to office, at the age of 43, he was one of the 10 wealthiest U.S. Presidents, visit him and all the U.S. Chief Executives at Disney World's The Hall of Presidents.
Composer Danny Elfman was born in Amarillo, Texas on this date in 1953. His unique music can be heard in such Disney/Touchstone films as Alice in Wonderland, Meet the Robinsons (my favorite Disney movie), Flubber, Nightmare Before Christmas, and Dick Tracy. Elfman led the rock band Oingo Boingo from 1978 until its breakup in 1995 (“Weird Science”). Just wander around WDW, at some point you’ll hear Danny Elfman’s music.
Today is Put a Pillow On Your Fridge Day. Putting a pillow on your fridge is supposed to bring prosperity to your household. Who knows? It might just work, and your cereal will be more comfortable.
Remember, your best excuse is always: waiting for your dreams to come true.