Accidental Providence Installment # 5

Disneyland is a great place for unanticipated brushes with cartoon characters, old friends or even a celebrity or two. Back in the mid-80’s, our family hit the jackpot.

Denise and I are natives of Whittier, so we’ve known Disneyland since… well, practically since the day we became aware of our surroundings. The first thing seasoned Magic Kingdom visitors discover is that you never want to visit during August and you only go during the Summer or school vacations if you positively have to (when your weird cousins visit from out of state, for instance). Anyways, we found that the optimum times are around November or February and always while school is in session. The weather is usually perfect, the lines are short and the park is only open for about 8 hours, so you’re not tempted to over do it.

I believe we were there during November on a chillier than usual, overcast day and the crowd was predictably small. While we were waiting to enter the Magic Kingdom, we noticed two families keeping to themselves and away from the crowds. They were obviously trying to mask their identities by wearing sunglasses, but this strategy only made them stand out – no one else was wearing sunglasses that day!

They looked familiar and after a few minutes of scrutiny, we figured out that it was John Travolta and Kenny Loggins with their families. A scan of the crowd revealed that many others had identified the celebs, as well. This was during a lull in Mr. Travolta’s career… some would say he was finished at that point, right before he got his big boost from Pulp Fiction and other major roles. Kenny Loggins’ looks are not as striking or outstanding as John’s, so I’m not sure if many people figured out who he was.

We continued to run into these folks throughout the day and I was so pleased to see how everyone seemed to give them space. I never saw anyone approach them as we stood in lines together and not one photo was snapped that I could see. I thought that was real thoughtful. The last time we saw them was sitting in the waiting area for The Country Bear Jamboree… that’s how I’ll always remember the last and only time I saw John Travolta and Kenny Loggins in person.

Oh, I almost forgot. Denise and I saw Olympic champion Peter Vidmar there once and the last time we went to Disneyland as a family (visiting from Maine), we ran into Roy Disney and his party sitting on a bench between Fantasyland and Frontierland.

Have you ever unexpectedly bumped into someone you knew or recognized at Disneyland?


  1. Anonymous said:

    Just funky people; Susan Ford, (daughter of then-president Gerald Ford. (The Secret Security men were cooler than her.) Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, wearing a Pluto hat.
    I was talking to a guy who worked there and he waited on Elizabeth Taylor and Bob Newhart, (they weren’t together) He said Bob was super friendly and told jokes. Michele

    March 27, 2005
  2. Anonymous said:

    Laurie and I took a picture with some guy named Casey something who was on Home Improvement and Grace Under Fire… Camille

    March 27, 2005

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