I have really been enjoying Kellie’s Throwback Thursdays that have to do with Disney World and that inspired me to write about something I always loved: the “We’re Going to Disney World” sitcom episodes, because while I’m taking a running hiatus that means I’ve got a lot more time for important things like old television plus they’re bringing it back from the dead with Wednesday’s episode of The Middle.It was a phenomenon of the ’90s sitcom that they went to Disney World and I can remember it all so clearly like it was yesterday. I know that these episodes were basically completely shameless product placement and marketing but I JUST LOVE THEM SO MUCH.
What makes it the best episode is that it really showcases the Grand Floridian, Epcot, and Magic Kingdom and basically there’s an Uncle Jesse singing moment in BOTH episodes, one of which is in the Grand Floridian lobby and the other is in front of CINDERELLA CASTLE. Basically, you can now associate some major Disney landmarks with John Stamos and in my book that’s always pretty amazing. As a side note, it’s kind of bewildering how he always did shit he had to apologize for and was only able to do so in a song that kind of skirted around his culpability. Just sayin’.
The downside to this episode was that, well, Michelle was princess for a day or some crap like that and if we’re being totally honest she was kind of a bitch to begin with so this didn’t improve her in my eyes. She ruined the Disney trip for Stephanie, which I find so incredibly bratty. But all was redeemed in my eyes because DJ’s boyfriend, Steve, who was also the voice of Aladdin, shows up in the episode that has a decidedly Aladdin undertone to it since Michelle rubs the magic lamp and gets three wishes (you know, after cutting Stephanie in line). And FYI, I had a not at all secret crush on Aladdin. First man I fell in love with. So these episodes were more or less a tie in to Aladdin which had just come out and set very high expectations for what could be clearly written out in fireworks. Also, I never understood why they didn’t go to Disneyland since they lived in San Francisco.
Step by Step was a TGIF staple and I remember actually really enjoying this show. Perhaps it was the chemistry between Patrick Duffy and Suzanne Summers? I don’t know, anyway, they get a trip to Disney World and Flash, who is basically the really annoying brain dead guy who tags along (because in the 1990s you couldn’t have every on a show be a competent human being, apparently) decides he’s going to go for the world record of doing everything in Disney World in the shortest amount of time possible. Apparently, in this Disney World universe you can step in to the Indiana Jones stunt show without any training or anything and do everything. Who knew. Lessons learned include: don’t be the sibling that’s keeping everyone else from having fun in the park (KAREN), don’t believe guys when they tell you their last name is Disney, and don’t spend all your Disney/rent money on some bimbos. Also, having a rich grandparent just show up and say she’s taking you to Disney World all expenses paid is pretty awesome.
Boy Meets World, of course. “The Happiest Show on Earth” was where Corey and Shawn follow Topanga to Disney World because she got a prize for an essay and she goes with the then really, really, really, incredibly good looking Andrew Keegan. LIKE YOU DON’T REMEMBER ANDREW KEEGAN and you weren’t sitting at home thinking, “hell yeah, he’s hot, if I were Corey, I’d be scared.” So they go and they sleep on Splash Mountain and as usual they’re in Epcot most of the time. I think Disney didn’t want to have to close parts of the Magic Kingdom and this is why basically all the shows spend copious amounts of time in Epcot and in the World Showcase no less. At the time, most kids watching the shows were probably thinking, “fuck this shit, when are we getting on Space Mountain?!”
It was like Free Willy met Boy Meets World. Anyway, of course they reunite and once I get a boyfriend if we fight he’s going to have to take me to Epcot so we can dramatically kiss in front of the fountains in Future World a la Corey and Topanga. That magic moment. They should put in a plaque that says, “HERE STOOD COREY AND TOPANGA WHEN THEY GOT BACK TOGETHER.”I remember watching the episode of Family Matters when they went because Urkel was in some science competition at Innoventions. Apparently, this was a thing because my friend remembers winning a trip for her high school robotics team and they spent most of their time at Epcot or something. They stayed at the Wilderness Lodge, and Laura wanted Stefan to stay so she sabotaged the transformation chamber.
To this day, I get really excited when I see these episodes pop up in the TV guide because most of them aren’t available on DVD or on YouTube. Full House, Boy Meets World, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch are though, if I remember correctly. (And let’s be honest, the Sabrina episode sucks and was filmed at Animal Kingdom before it even opened so it’s basically a half hour of riding around on the safari.)
Did anyone else see the Middle last night and kind of understand why Sue passes out at that spot in the Magic Kingdom? Am I the only one who teared up thinking about THAT MOMENT when you walk in?
Also: FAVORITE SERIES VERSION OF “WE’RE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!” and/or Disneyland because Modern Family and Blossom went there.