The first card pictured here is a card I have in two versions 0111-0221(UNTITLED), and, with the exact same image 0111-0221 KIDS AND CHARACTERS only the captions on the back are different. feature some of the live entertainers of the Magic Kingdom, the Kids of the Kingdom, . . . since the Kids of the Kingdom, according to Disney A to Z (1998 ed.) , did not form until 1974 I initially thought that this was perhaps a mid-seventies issued card, it wasn't until much later when I was looking at these cards with the characters in mind that I realized it was more likely 1978 or later, you see Mickey is wearing the "outfit" he got for his 50th birthday (on cards from before 1978 his hips are not so rounded). It would be nice if more of the recent cards had followed through with this featuring of live entertainment folks I'd love to have a postcard with the Future Corps on it or the Voices of Liberty as a couple of "for instances" . The fact that the Mickey pictured here is the version with the rounded hips may place it even later in the 70's, as I seem to remember hearing that change to his "off-screen" appearance came around the time of him 50th birthday celebration.
Kids of the Kingdom
a closer look
I got a kind
email from Jan crews who
informed me that her ex-husband was for some time the stage
manager of the Kids of the Kingdom and she helped me out with
what she remembers of the names of the folks on this cardfar
left male with dark hair, Robert "Pepper" Rodriguez; far right
female with long dark hair, Alexis; I think the lower right
female with blond hair was Jennifer; I think the center female
with brown hair may be Caroline, who went on to Nashville and did
back-up studio work for some contemporary Christian
Later on (February 2007) when another former KOTK was looking for information on the Kids of the Kingdom she ran across the information on my page and we had the following exchange:
Did a search to see if there was anyone who remembered the Kids.
It was great to see your postcard.
I was in Kids at DisneyWorld in the Summer of 1974, so I know they existed before 1975. I’m proof. In fact, I remember seeing them on the Tomorrowland Stage in the 60s. (I’m from LA and most of the kids that were accepted into the Kids of the Kingdom for 1974 from LA were sent to Florida).
I then went on to be in the “professional” version of the Kids of the Kingdom at the LA park when I got home and did the Bicentennial year (1975-1976) in LA where we did TV Special with Red Skelton that was filmed in the park.
We also did a fun Anniversary show and parade with some of the alumni from the Micky Mouse show during that year, as well.
Barnett Ritchie (I think that’s how her name is spelled) was our choreograph in LA and Forrest Bereuth (sp?) was our choreograph when I was in Florida.
In Florida, we did a show of Disney Songs and when I came home after the summer of 1974 term was over, I came home to do the “Lady America” show at the LA Park. I was surprised to see it mentioned. ( http://www.bigbrian-nc.com/wdw-pc63.htm). We also did a prelude to the Bicentennial Parade (we rode a float and sang and danced to the song FREEDOM from a musical called SHENANDOAN) as well as convention shows in Century City and of course, the Grand Ballroom at the Disneyland Hotel.
I still have all my old music, too. As well as the practice tapes for both groups. Not sure if they still play anymore. When I get some time, I’ll take them out and see if they’ve disintegrate.
Anyway, thank you for remembering us. It was one of the best times of my life. And I’m always proud to have been a “Disney Girl”.Take care,
Hi there Ms. Truit ,
Thanks for the Email, is it alright if I use you email on my page? If so, would you like a link to email you like I set up for Jan? I just re-looked up my Disney A to Z and it indeed does say 1974 instead of 1975, I'm not sure how it slipped through. I've had other folks write me about the young singers and dancers that appeared in even earlier videos thinking that they were "kids of the kingdom" weather or not they used that title for them I'm guessing that those were possibly temporary groups, whereas the group formed in 1974 was the more permanent version. Does that sound right to you? Or can you shed any more light on this? Heres a link someone sent me to one of those Earlier videos I mentioned: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gy_e-F_sMtQ the person who sent it to me said it's from 1972, that seems right to me as in the video clip Adventureland looks like it still dead ends at the Tiki Room and in 1973 construction would have been going on just beyond that point (for Pirates).
(and by the way… call me Steph – we’re all Disney folks.)
I remember when I was working at the park, it was a big deal that everyone call everyone else by their first names. So, when we talked to Bob Jani, we had to call him “Bob”. (SEE: http://legends.disney.go.com/legends/detail?key=Robert+Jani). We never felt comfortable about that, but we had to do it.
1) Sure, you can use anything I wrote you for your web page. Just please correct any typos I may have hurriedly written…
2) The 1974 date makes sense. That, I think, was the first year of the collegiate program for THE KIDS as well as the ALL AMERICAN MARCHING BAND and the HOOP DE DOO show. And the more I think about it, the more I (think) I remember being a part of the inaugural program. There were KIDS as far back as 1970, I think, because I remember seeing them and wishing I could be in them when I went to the Park as a graduation present from Jr. High School. I have photos I’ll dig out someday and show you. They were on (the now defunct) Tomorrowland Stage which is the same stage I performed on when I was in KIDS at the Anaheim park. I also remember decorating the Rose Parade float when I was in the 10th grade – it was a float sponsored by Bank of America – and the Kids of the Kingdom (at that time) were on it. Why do I remember this. LOL! I spent absolutely HOURS petaling (pasting one petal at a time) on the small wooden boards that the Kids would eventually stand on during the parade. Well, wouldn’t you know it. They decided to come and test out the float and see how it felt to sing and dance on it while it was in the hanger where us high school kids were pasting on the flowers. They got up on top of the float and stood on the small boards and completely wiped out my HOURS of petal work, while they rehearsed. I had to start the petal work all over again when they left. The name KIDS OF THE KINGDOM was also on both sides of the float, which also had to be petaled. So they were definitely called THE KIDS OF THE KINGDOM. Not sure if the few pictures I took of us working on the float show the words KoftheK, but when I get a chance to dig out the photos, I’ll check and see.
Not sure what “kind” of group the older KoftheK were, whether they were professional or whether they were amateur, but they were definitely called KoftheK.
3) When I got home from my collegiate stint in the Orlando Kids, I thought that was it. We had been there all summer and gone home in either late August or September… boy, can’t remember. And I thought how lovely it had been and I entered my Sophomore year at USC. But then, a few weeks after I had gotten home, I got a call from the Anaheim Park folks inviting me to come and be part of a “professional” group of KoftheK – without having to audition. I think I appreciated being in the group more, years after the fact. Don’t know why. I didn’t take it for granted. And I knew I was lucky to be one of the 12 chosen for the Orlando collegiate group and then one of 14 chosen for the Anaheim park, but you know how that goes. You just do it and then years later you realize that hundreds of kids had tried out for the college group and you were one of 6 girls picked.
4) I love that video! It looks like it’s before my time. We wore different outfits with a Micky Mouse head on them.note. the type of outfit she is referring to having worn sounds more similar to the one shown in the postcard of the KOTK on this page, which is different from the outfits worn in the youtube video.
Anyway, I said yes and stayed with Kids all through the Bicentennial year. It was quite a year to be in the group as the group is very “all-American” and what was more “all-American” than the Bicentennial.
We also did a show we all loved in the old Fantasy Land Theatre, which is no more. I really enjoyed that one. We danced with the characters and sang songs from the movies. And we did a Christmas show which I should someday tell you about. We were all naughty and did silly things to each other. And one day the tech crew got the best of us – the brass of the studio were invited to watch… it was a great trick to play on us.
And then there was the time I was singing “Toyland” to one of the dancing snowmen – all of a sudden, I just looked at his little bouncing white body and the ridiculousness of the whole thing hit me – you know how silly Disney can be if you really examine what they do. I started to laugh uncontrollably and never recovered. You could hear my laughter through the mic all through Tomorrowland. I was taken aside and scolded. I have never broken on stage like that since.
I’m hoping to one day find a copy of the show we did with Red Skelton. It was sponsored, I believe, by Monsanto (the make-out ride…J) I really have to scan my photos in before something happens to them. Also, I can share them that way.
Thanks for letting me reminisce… I hope it isn’t boring. Someday I’ll dig out all that stuff (it’s in a box in storage) and scan some photos for you so you can see them.
I missed the reunion (1983 or 1984) of my Orlando group because I think I was in a production of Godspell in Santa Barbara and wasn’t free the night they had it. Sadly, I’ve been told, all or most of the guys who were in my group in Anaheim passed away (AIDS) so I don’t think anyone is really up for a reunion. Breaks my heart. And to be honest, I’ve lost touch with everyone that was in either group.
Thanks for your interest. It’s fun to think about.Take care! Steph, thanks for these great letters if you do ever dig out those photos I'd like to use a few of them on this page, or perhaps expand this piece to a whole "side bar article" Like I've done for some of the other WDW subjects like this.