US Presidents and Park Visits

Sunday, June 6, 2004 2:41 PM
As you are all probably aware, President Reagan passed away yesterday. It's always a sad day when we lose one of our leaders.

The Presdent's passing has made me wonder about the Oval Office and Amusement Parks. Has there been any modern day President that has made a campaign stop or Presidential visit to any major Amusement Parks?

Granted, I am only 36, but I can't seem to recollect any....

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Sunday, June 6, 2004 11:40 PM
Didn't Bush the 1st stop at Lakemont as VP?

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Monday, June 7, 2004 12:08 AM
I recall Pres. Nixon visiting disneyland, but unsure if he was President at the time.
I also remember the communist russian leader kruschev wanting to visit Disneyland but told he couldnt due to security concerns.
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Monday, June 7, 2004 2:17 AM
Former President Harry S Truman visited Disneyland -- and refused to ride Dumbo the Flying Elephant because he was a Democrat!

(Thank you The Ultimate Disney Trivia Book (1)!)

EDIT: Thanks Jim! *** Edited 6/7/2004 5:18:23 PM UTC by Nitro Dave***

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Monday, June 7, 2004 8:25 AM
I believe that President Bush (41) went to WDW/Epcot and gave a speech about his "Thousand Points of Light".

Of course, Reagan was one of the emcees at the Grand Opening of Disneyland...though no one at the time would have guessed he would later go on to be President.

Nixon was at Disneyland too but I don't think he was President at the time.

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Monday, June 7, 2004 1:15 PM
Nitro Dave:

Harry Truman may have visited Disneyland, but not during his Presidency. He left office in Janury 1953. Disneyland opened in July of 1955.

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Monday, June 7, 2004 1:17 PM
Ahh...you are correct. I've got the Disney history under my belt, but apparently I should've paid more attention in history class! :)
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Monday, June 7, 2004 1:36 PM
JFK made a campaign stop at Euclid Beach in September, 1960.
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Monday, June 7, 2004 2:14 PM
I thought all the presidents were at Disney World.... the Hall of Presidents? :)

TED: Hey, remember Disney World, the Hall of Presidents? Washington was there!
BILL: Yeah, what did he say?
TED: "Welcome to the Hall of Presidents."

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Monday, June 7, 2004 5:42 PM
Ronald Reagan visited Santa Claus Land (now Holiday World) in March of 1955 (long before entering politics). We have a great photo of him posing with Will Koch's two grandfathers.

And V.P. Dan Quayle visited just a day before leaving for the national convention at which he was chosen as the running mate of George Bush (41).

Abraham Lincoln lived right down the road...but he went on to greatness long before we opened in 1946. (We do have two of his presidential signatures on display, though. Does that count for half-credit?)

Paula

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Monday, June 7, 2004 8:38 PM
Future president Jeff Smith will be visiting Holiday World on July 4th or 5th! Does this count? :-)
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Monday, June 7, 2004 9:39 PM
Thanks for the info everyone.

I am heading to CP, HP, PKI, and HW at 6am tomorrow. Can't make the convention due to a work convention at the same time in Vegas. Believe me, 8 days at CoasterCon would be much cheaper than the 8 in Vegas....

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Monday, June 7, 2004 10:27 PM
There was a campaign dinner for JFK and LBJ in the Ballroom at Idora Park in 1959. I believe Nixon visited the park as well in the early 1950's.

George H. W. Bush and First Lady Barbra made a campaign stop at Disneyland in 1988.

It wasn't a visit, but I remember watching a Happy Holidays message from the Clintons during a WDW "Very Merry Christmas" parade.

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Tuesday, June 8, 2004 8:17 AM
Funny Dan Quayle story. He is quite the avid golfer now and plays on the celebrity tour. A few years ago I was working at Dan Marino's celebrity tournament and was walking in the ropes when a group of people asked me who was playing in the group. When I told them it was Dan Quayle they all looked at me with blank stares.

I said, "you know...former Vice President Dan Quayle?" No reaction. I said, "come on...the potato guy." That did the trick. How sad are American's? I mean really.

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Tuesday, June 8, 2004 8:31 AM
How sad are American's indeed.
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Tuesday, June 8, 2004 10:13 AM
If anyone would like to see the aforementioned photo of Ronald Reagan at Santa Claus Land in 1955, here's a link:

http://www.14wfie.com/Global/story.asp?S=1924587

Paula

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Tuesday, June 8, 2004 10:59 AM
How sad are American's indeed.

No doubt... most of them don't even know the difference between a plural and possessive! ;)

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Tuesday, June 8, 2004 12:02 PM
Ok smarta$$e$...I tossed in an unnecessary apostrophe. I was actually going to say, "How sad are Americans' recollection of history" but in the process of shortening my sentence I misplaced the punctuation. Sue me. At least I know who Dan Quayle is for crying out loud.

Thaks for the picture Paula. I am struck by how handsome Reagan was and his looks just refined with age. I should be so lucky.

Another quick story. Art Linkletter was one of the co-hosts of the Disneyland Grand Opening. Walt had pretty much run out of money with the project so he asked Reagan and Linkletter to do the event for scale.

Linkletter agreed on the condition that he could have the film vending contract for the first 10 years or so. Linkletter made a FORTUNE on that deal and he was said to be one of the wealthiest entertainers in the business. *** Edited 6/8/2004 4:06:39 PM UTC by wahoo skipper***

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Tuesday, June 8, 2004 1:02 PM
Bill Clinton and Al Gore campaigned at Cincinnati's Coney Island on Labor Day in 1992, as seen in the book by Charles J. Jacques. They would go on to defeat the incumbent George H.W. Bush in November.
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Tuesday, June 8, 2004 2:47 PM

Jeffrey R Smith said:
Future president Jeff Smith will be visiting Holiday World on July 4th or 5th! Does this count? :-)

Hmmmm. Mr. Smith goes to Washington eh?

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