Friday, July 6, 2012

Orville Redenbacher and Walt Disney World

A shot of a young boy at EPCOT enjoying some popcorn. Notice the box and the logos. Image from a late 1980s Souvenir Guidebook.


It is hard to think of a Walt Disney World trip that doesn't involve sharing a box of popcorn on Main Street, USA.

But you know, we didn't always have the Orville Redenbacher that we know, love and can smell the moment you hit Main Street. From the February 4, 1977 Eyes and Ears:
Walt Disney World welcomes Orville Redenbacher and his Gourmet Popping Corn as our new official popcorn. And Orville himself will be "popping" in at the Village this weekend to head up the ceremonies.

Orville will arrive in his popcorn - shaped hot air balloon at 2 pm on Saturday, February 5, staying until 5 pm; then return Sunday from 12 noon to 2 pm. Besides an opportunity to meet Orville, there will be free samples of his Gourmet Popping Corn, entertainment, popcorn recipe books, and of course, the balloon itself!
Walt Disney World sells an average of 90 tons of popcorn to our guests every year! (1977 figure)

That's right. Orville flew into the Village in a popcorn-shaped hot air balloon.

For all of us detail-obsessed theme parkeologists, I included a scan of the photo from the issue because it shows how the boxes debuted.
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