Proudly pronounced as Food-a-Rocks by my family, Food Rocks was a staple of every trip to Disney as a kid.
At the time – mid 90’s to mid 00’s – there weren’t many hot ticket attractions at Epcot. Test Track was relatively new but other than that I can’t remember needing a Fast Pass for any attraction. Upon entering the park, there was no stampede to “The Land” to hop on Soarin’.
Instead, we made our way around Future World, stopping to watch the JAMMitors, fool around inside Inoventions, catch up on history inside Spaceship Earth – one of my favorite rides (until they changed it a couple years ago, but that’s for a later post) – and join Ellen and Billy Nye on a energy adventure.
Without fail we always ended up in The Land for lunch. At the time, the food-court was exactly that: a food court – not some fancy, organic, make-love-to-the-Earth “food court” (once again, later post). There were (what seemed like) millions of things to choose from and I always had a difficult time making my decision.
The food itself wasn’t the only reason for going to “The Land.” Inside was an animatronic musical masterpiece about everybody’s favorite topic: food. How much better could it get?
Headlining the show were, what some consider to be, the greatest compilation of singing food-people ever assembled.
The show kicked off with a mystifying performance of “We’ll Make it Count in the Kitchen” by the U-tensils (parody of Queen). Fan-favorites, The Peach Boys belted out “Good Nutrition (parody of The Beach Boys) next. The rest of the show went as follows:
“Every Bite You Take” – The Refrigerator Police (The Police – personal favorite) “High Fiber” – Pita Gabriel (Peter Gabriel – genius parody) “Always Read the Wrapper” – Fud Wrapper (Tone Loc – loved him in Ace Ventura) “Just Keep it Lean” – The Sole of Rock ‘n’ Roll (Cher – she was the fish) “Tutti Frutti” – Richard (Little Richard – apparently they couldn’t think of a better name) “Vegetables are Good for You” – Neil Moussaka (Neil Sedaka – personal least favorite) “Let’s Exercise” – Chubby Cheddar (Chubby Checker – almost as genius as Pita Gabriel) “Give Us Junk” – The Excess (Only original song in the show) “Just a Little Bit” – The Get-the-Point Sisters (The Pointer Sisters – the chocolate bars) “Choose Before You Chew” – The entire cast (doubles as anti-tobacco advertising)
I always loved going to the show and having the songs stuck in my head for the rest of the day. Walking through World Showcase humming along to “Always Read the Wrapper” warranted sideways glances from passer-by’s. To this day, I still sing “High Fiber” when I hear “Sledgehammer” and “Every Bite You Take” when I hear “Every Breath You Take.”
You can imagine by absolute disgust when we showed up at Epcot in the summer of 2003 to see “CLOSED” posted over the entrance to what used to be the greatest show on Earth. Really put a damper on the whole trip.
In fact, I refused to ride Soarin’ the first couple times we went to Disney after it opened in protest (a feeble protest at best, but it made my father and I feel as if we may be able to bring the show back). I finally gave in last year, riding Soarin’ for the first time: Honestly, I enjoyed it.
Flying over the orange grove was the best part, smelling the citrus-y zest of the wonderful fruit as we passed over. But, I couldn’t help but think of the Peach Boys and what their life is like now: reminiscing about their glory days with other discarded Disney animatronic characters in a big warehouse, getting the old crew together to sing “Choose Before You Chew” one last time, fighting back tears in the process, realizing their citrus juice tears are making their metal stand sticky…