Are the Dunphy's going to Disneyland?
According to TV Guide, the ABC sitcom family may be headed to that happy place just in time for May sweeps - and we can only imagine the hilarity that will ensue. But if the "Modern Family" gang heads to Disneyland, it won't be the first time a sitcom family has taken us along for their theme park ride. Remember these TV family theme park vacations?
Who can forget the Brady family's trip to Cincinnati's King's Island back in 1973? Of course, Jan nearly lost her architect dad's plans on a boat ride, but the mystery was wrapped up in under 22 minutes. According to KI Central, the filming of the episode in the park took a week, and caused all kinds of disruptions as fans clamored to see the popular stars of the show.
The year was 1993 and the episode was "The House Meets the Mouse," when the Tanner's vacationed in Florida's Walt Disney World, bringing enough baggage to the Grand Floridian to garner a two-parter. The storylines included Danny's multiple proposal attempts to girlfriend Vicky, Jesse and Joey's live radio broadcast from the bottom of a shark tank, and Michelle's stint as princess for a day. Incidentally, filming this episode was a walk in the park for actor John Stamos, who played Uncle Jesse on the hit series. Stamos is a huge Disney fan-- so much so that in 2000 he actually bought part of the old Disneyland entrance sign on eBay (price tag: $30, 700.) According to the Herald Journal, Stamos said, "It's a piece of California history, like having the Hollywood sign."
In the "King of Queens" episode "Emotional Rollercoaster," Doug Heffernan (Kevin James) tried to overcome his fear of roller coasters. But the scariest part of this episode was his pal Spence's love connection with a life size strawberry ice cream cone. The park scenes were filmed at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California, but the park's name wasn't mentioned in the episode because the show is supposed to take place in New York. In 2011, Goliath -- the coaster that Doug attempted to conquer-- was named one of the "Top 10 Rollercoasters" by Time Magazine.
By the time the Conner clan hit Disney World, even DJ had hit puberty. But it was worth the price of admission to see the usually-sullen Darlene have a mushy, magical moment with Winnie the Pooh. A few weeks after the happy, multi-part Disney romp aired, "Roseanne" featured an episode about a fictitious theme park that had David training to be a robotic park employee. The Orlando Sentinel reported that the episode "was biting satire about a highly regimented theme park that brainwashes employees to be happy, polite and oh so peppy" and speculated that "the sharp contrast in the tone of the two episodes is sure to spark considerable speculation in entertainment and tourism circles."
This 2004 Disneyland-themed episode took viewers along for the ride with a "watch and win" contest that doled cash and a Disney family vacation to a lucky winner. The episode featured the Lopez family on a trip to Disneyland, although George was initially reluctant to go for fear that it would drum up sad memories of his desolate childhood. Hidden images of Mickey Mouse appeared throughout the episode and viewers were instructed to identify them for a chance to win. According to an ABC press release, star George Lopez said, "We are having a contest because, with the current economy, I'd like to see somebody bring home decent money on a Friday night."
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