A vacation episode like the 'Modern Family' Disney outing has a comforting familiarity.
As a kid watching reruns of THE BRADY BUNCH, the one episode I was happy to watch over and over was the one in which the whole gang went to Kings Island amusement park. Other people wanted to see the mixed family hit the beach to watch Greg hang 10, but I was all about seeing them break every rule of theme park etiquette in their mad dash to get Mike’s sketches to the manager’s office before his butt could be fired.
Over the years, I’ve tuned into shows I’d never watch under other circumstances just to catch glimpses of parks I’ve been to, hope to go to or know I’ll only ever experience vicariously. For seven seasons, I checked out the opening credits of STEP BY STEP just to watch the Lambert-Foster clan (headed by Patrick Duffy and Suzanne Somers) frolic at Valencia, California’s Magic Mountain. Heck, I even suffered through a painfully unfunny episode of DINOSAURS in which the prehistoric family were forced to vacation at WeSaySoLand… a park so lame even I wouldn’t wanna go there.
Not surprisingly, ABC’s shows have a long history of visiting their corporate overlord, aka Mickey Mouse, at his various vacation homes. Long before last night’s MODERN FAMILY had Gloria teetering around Disneyland in high heels, we got ROSEANNE joking that an old man sitting on a bench at Disney World was clearly a robot (told they haven’t been called “robots” for years, she quipped, “Sorry. Animatronic Americans.”) and FULL HOUSE’s Danny proposing to the world’s most clueless would-be fiancé, Vicky via fireworks above Cinderella’s castle at the Magic Kingdom.