The year was 1996, and Roseanne was, really, on its final legs. A look at the ratings made it very clear: After sky-high viewership in the early seasons, interest in the show had slowly declined, but there was a dramatic drop during the show’s eighth season. But that didn’t stop the show’s titular character from making insane demands …
In response to seeing the Full House gang enjoying their free trip to WDW just a couple of years earlier, Roseanne made the network provide a free trip to the Most Magical Place on Earth for HER television family, too. Of couse, she knew nothing about Disney, and apparently neither did her writers. But that didn’t stop them!
So the Connors are going to Disney World, and I just love this arc: With Dan’s severance check, the family decides to go on vacation … and when they can’t decide on a single international destination, they decide to go to Disney World. Because, duh, you can visit all sorts of countries at Epcot’s World Showcase. Another reason I love it: Sarah Chalke temporarily rejoins the cast for this arc. Not only do I love Sarah Chalke, but they also saucily wrote her return into the script.
Actually, if we’re being technical, this is two episodes, the first titled We’re Going to Disney World and the second Disney World War II. The first half hour doesn’t show any of Disney World, but it follows the family as they plan their escape, from booking the plane fare to packing to bickering about whether they have to spend the entire trip together … an argument that is VERY familiar to me! While we don’t get to see any Park icons, we do get a couple of misnomers. For example, did you know that Florida used to be orange groves before Walt found it? (Me either … )
Once they arrive on property, the Conner Grand Gathering hits the Parks hard. Dan goes in search of beer in Epcot, while the rest of the family explores the Magic Kingdom. I think my favorite bit is how Roseanne refers to everything as animatronic. Because, duh, everything in the Park is animatronic. Even the tourists. And when she faces off with the janitorial staff? Really, though. This may be my favorite visit to Disney ever. Second place for awesome moment goes to that time Sarah Chalke takes a selfie with Goofy in Frontierland (and her husband gets jealous). (Did the Roseanne show invent the selfie?!?!)
It’s really good, solid fun.
And there’s a bonus: After their free Disney trip, the staff of the Roseanne show was so appalled and weirded out by the WDW experience that they did a third Disney-inspired episode … this one satirizing the Parks. It’s called Springtime for David, and he gets a job at a German-themed amusement park. It’s founder had himself frozen, you know? And all of the other employees (and David, too, in time) are creepy, overly happy automatons until Roseanne saves her future son-in-law with these immortal words:
Listen, David: We don’t whistle while we work. We grumble and complain and encourage others to do likewise.
What’s your favorite moment from Roseanne’s visit to Disney World? Let us know in the comments below!