Thoughts While Watching: 1970’s “Disneyland Showtime”

Kurt Russell

I had a ton of fun doing my last Thoughts While Watching about the EPCOT film, so I decided to do another one! And just as I threatened in that last post, I tracked down the Kurt Russell episode of The Wonderful World of Disney, which is called “Disneyland Showtime.” Sadly, Kurt does not wear that suit the whole time, but it was interesting nonetheless.

Watch along here:

And now, 47 Thoughts Jenn Had While Watching “Disneyland Showtime:”

  1. I’m getting a strong “A Salute to All Nations But Mostly America” vibe from this opening.
  2. Did the old monorail have a… foghorn?
  3. I wish more costume characters did the Charleston these days.
  4. That tour guide cape is sweet, but she seems to lose everybody almost immediately.
  5. All I think of when I see Donny Osmond is LET’S GET DOWN TO BUSINESS! TO DEFEAT! THE HUNS!!!!
  6. Also, all these Osmonds seem to be cosplaying as Romulans.
  7. I’m going to have to look up this… E.J…. Peaker…? person later because I am blanking.
  8. I’m 90% sure I walk faster than any of the Main Street Vehicles.
  9. This human clock makes it sound like “fun rides” are only fun because you can quantify them.
  10. Hey, I know this song! Was “Down on the Corner” an Osmond Brothers song or is this a cover? (Somewhere a boomer is weeping. Who knows; maybe it’s my mom. Although I think she was more into the Monkees.)
  11. I see you there in the background, Captain Hook and Mr. Smee.
  12. Donny found Splash Mountain walk around characters! Good for him; I’ve managed that exactly once myself.
  13. Not that I’m not happy to see him but I’m actually not sure why Kurt Russell is even here. He seems to be sort of in charge; did Kurt Russell run Disneyland in the ’70s?
  14. Remember when you had to bring a whole separate camera with you if you wanted pictures?
  15. This “people in the crowd who are not Donny Osmond” montage sure is long.
  16. Split up and go in different directions, Kurt? Really? Have you never seen Scooby Doo?
  17. Wait, what’s going on with this Native American dance circle? Did Kurt Russell really just throw off their schedule like that? And then Mr. Human Clock made them redo everything? Rude.
  18. “If they needed us, they’d come find us here, in this readily accessible Nautilus submarine.”
  19. Counterpoint: “Gee, maybe we can find Donny here, on the riverboat, a 40-minute self-contained ride.”
  20. Nope, never heard this song about walking before. The Romulans seem to like it.
  21. Hey, who let this E.J. character in the captain’s area?
  22. Boy, these Dapper Dans are dressed for a sepia-tone Kansas.
  23. See, that’s why you don’t look for people on rides, dummies.
  24. The ’70s sure were the ’70s, weren’t they.
  25. Conversely, the Kids of the Kingdom (which, who?) dress like Wesley Crusher before there was a Wesley Crusher.
  26. Do yodelers still rappel down the Matterhorn?
  27. Did the Romulan Brothers just abandon Kurt? Jerks.
  28. Ah, there’s Kurt’s magnificent gangster suit.
  29. Okay, I’m familiar with this sugar, sugar song, but I don’t know who this mustached individual is, nor did I know Kurt Russell sang. This has been very educational for me.
  30. WHY THE HELL ARE DONNY AND OTHER RANDOM OSMOND ON THE SKYRIDE. They’re literally pointing at the stage and saying “Oh, gee, we’re next.”
  31. Oh, the flare indicates an emergency AND signals the start of the fireworks, does it? Seems like a sound idea.
  32. I don’t know this song either. I also still have no idea who E.J. Peaker is.
  33. Judy Garland already did this in “The Man Who Got Away” and she did it like 85,000 times better.
  34. “Put on your suit so you look less like Romulans for the show.”
  35. Never heard this rainbow song in my life. I’m really more of a ’40s/’50s girl, I’m afraid.
  36. Wait, wait. Is this “Age of Aquarius” part of the same song? Because if so, then I have heard this song. But also, didn’t, like, a Motown group or something do that first? Were the Osmond Brothers a cover band?
  37. I will not miss Mr. Human Clock.
  38. Everyone DOES want to go see The Haunted Mansion, Kurt.
  39. I desperately want to play in a Disney land/attraction model.
  40. Oh, that half-translucent animatronic is interesting. Explains how they get the fadeout on the Pepper’s Ghost illusion.
  41. I love the moving bust illusion – even when you know how it works you have to really concentrate to see it.
  42. It’s okay, Thurl, I’ll sing the response lines.
  43. Ooh, do we get a full ride-through?!
  44. Oh, Human Clock, you’re still here. Great.
  45. Let the record show that Kurt Russell is attracted to Medusa.
  46. The Haunted Mansion really hasn’t changed much over the years. But then why mess with perfection?
  47. For a second I thought they were trying to imply that Donny turned into a ghost.

I don’t know about you, but my primary takeaway from this activity was that I am not particularly well-versed in the ’70s outside of the fact that Kurt Russell was clearly there.

I’m still enjoying this little mini-series of mine! I think I might do the original Disneyland opening broadcast next, or maybe the Disneyland 10th Anniversary special. Hit me up if you have an opinion.

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

2 Comments

  1. I'm loving all of your Romulan comments! Hahaha! Down on the Corner was originally a Creedence Clearwater Revival song, covered here by the Osmonds. And have you ever heard a WDW Monorail blow its horn? They do have them, although they are almost never used. And they do sound like a foghorn, just like that Disneyland Monorail horn!

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