Today, 30 Days to 30 Years moves ahead to Epcot’s third birthday; Beth (@disneymom2jhe, Pursuing the Magic and The Magical Blogorail founder) and I present 1985, courtesy of Amy, a longtime neighbor to the Mouse.
(and I have LOT of them as a near-native Floridian) is from April 1985. I saw my very first concerts at Disney’s
Blast From the Past event in the Magic Kingdom with my family. A mere eight years old, this was a big deal
and I didn’t really realize the significance of the moment until I was much
older and someone asked what my first concert was…the answer was a bit
shocking, even for me! While some of us
were singing We Are the World in the shower, Disney decided to do what they do
best-they did something completely original and went ‘old school’. For a whopping $13.95 in advance ($29.70 in
2012 dollars for those of you wondering-what an incredible bargain), we got
admission to the parks from 8 pm-1 am AND saw the following acts in concert:
Chuck Berry, Frankie Avalon, The Four Tops, The Association, The Mamas and the
Papas and my favorite (from their TV show, of course), Sha Na Na. I grew up listening to this music with my
dad-he’d spin his old LPs every night after dinner, and we sang along to each
and every word of the shows we were able to see. Mackenzie Phillips filled in for Mama Cass
with the Mamas and the Papas and we loved hearing them play California
Dreamin’; The Association sang my favorite (still one of my favorites)-Windy;
The Four Tops were quite a blowout-Baby, I Need Your Loving and I Can’t Help
Myself. Chuck Berry jammed and played
his classic Johnny Be Good. His 1985
revival had not quite been realized yet-the movie Back to the Future featuring
that song wasn’t released until July of that year. My dad reminded me of seeing him on stage
after seeing the movie (such a lucky kid).
Frankie Avalon played my personal favorite, and at eight years old,
there’s only one movie I could ever remember seeing with him in it (and it
sadly did not involve our Mouseketeer favorite, Annette Funicello but rather
Olivia Newton-John), Beauty School Dropout from Grease.
Kingdom and was NOT allowed to ride the rides because we were there for the
music. It was amazing. And now, thirty years later, I hope Disney
does something like this again-it was a spectacular evening done in true Disney
Reading about Amy’s concert experience turned my own thoughts towards another concert venue- the American Gardens Theatre- that sits in front of the American Adventure Pavilion and overlooks the World Showcase Lagoon. My own family has seen many a show there; whether The Flower Power or Eat to the Beat Concert Series or Candlelight Processional, this outdoor amphitheater is always a spectacle. I wondered what the history of this beautiful spot might be. Here’s what I found:
– There was no roof on the original stage until renovations in 1993, and the lagoon was the backdrop to all shows and performances.
– In 1985, President Ronald Reagan held his second-term inaugural celebration here.
– In 1991, President George H. W. Bush held the first “Thousand Points of Light” award ceremony at the American Gardens Theatre.
What would a Disney Park be without its music? Thank goodness we’ll never know! (Right Amy?)