“This is the biggest vacation-entertainment complex in the world. And to think it all started with a gentle mouse, a bad-tempered duck and seven mixed-up dwarfs. It’s a fantastic achievement. They took a swamp and turned it into a Magic Kingdom. It wasn’t easy. Have you ever tried to relocate 8,000 angry alligators?” -Bob Hope (1971)
Legendary entertainer Bob Hope was born in England on May 29, 1903. Bob Hope is connected to Disney in many ways. He personally handed Walt Disney the Oscar for Ferdinand the Bull in 1939. He was part of NBC-TV’S Grand Opening of Walt Disney World in 1971. In 1981, Hope led a thousand piece marching band to celebrate the Tencennial for Walt Disney World Resort. In 1989 he spoke at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the dedication of Disney’s MGM Studios (now known as Hollywood Studios). His handprints can be found at the forecourt of the Great Movie Ride. He was later a guest on NBC Salutes the 25th Anniversary of WDW. One of Hope’s last appearances was in 1999 when he participated in the very first Disneyland Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
Bob Hope was a central part of the Disney community for many, many years. Walt Disney World opened Bwana Bob’s, a small freestanding store in Adventureland, as a tribute to Bob Hope!
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