From Eyes & Ears, February 23rd, 1984
Disney Vacation on Nixons’ Agenda
Former President Richard Nixon and family certainly didn’t “nix” Disney from their vacation plans, as they spent three days on a whirlwind tour across our property recently.
The Nixon family, who last visited here in May 1982 at the height of our tencennial celebration year, took a behind-the-scenes tour of Epcot Center during construction, along with visits to the Magic Kingdom. This time around, however, they were able to enjoy all of our Epcot Center pavilions, shows and restaurants, as well as visits to the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Village and Fort Wilderness Resort Campground.
Accompanying Mr. Nixon were his wife Pat, daughter Tricia Cox and her son Christopher (age 4), daughter Julie Eisenhower and her children Jenny (age 4) and Alex (age 3), as well as long time friend, Bebe Rebozo.
The Nixons, who especially wanted to take their grandchildren on a Walt Disney World vacation, had an opportunity to eat at a variety of restaurants across property, including Pioneer Hall (where they watched the Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue), Alfredo’s and the San Angel Inn at Mexico.
While the kids seemed to especially enjoy It’s A Small World and Cinderella’s Golden Carousel, Mr. Nixon had an opportunity to tour some of our Epcot Center backstage areas and meet with some cast members, including the World Showcase Fellowship students, before departing on Friday.
I just hope that somewhere there’s footage of Nixon at the Hoop-Dee-Doo. Just knowing that happened is pretty special.
This wasn’t Nixon’s most famous Walt Disney World trip, though. That had to have been his 1973 trip, where, in a press conference at the Contemporary Resort Hotel, he famously proclaimed, “I am not a crook.” (Spoiler Alert: He totally was a crook!)
The fact that Nixon’s famous statement was made from Walt Disney World might be one of the very best obscure facts for us Disney nerds to drop on our non-Disney nerd friends. It makes a good counterpoint to the fact that John Lennon, whom Nixon was obsessed with deporting, signed the papers that dissolved the Beatles partnership at the Polynesian Village Resort in 1974. Heaven only knows what happened at the Golf Resort that we don’t know about. Kissinger probably hid with Elvis there in 1977 to start planning the Iranian hostage crisis.
Anyway, Nixon. Figment. There you go.