Music Behind the Ride: Kitchen Kabaret

Of the attractions that perfectly capture the early days of EPCOT at Walt Disney World, Kitchen Kabaret is that and more.  In this edition of Music Behind the Ride, I'll be taking a look at this lost musical attraction.  

The Land Pavilion focused on agriculture and at opening in October 1982 the pavilion had: slow boat ride Listen to the Land, short film Symbiosis and audio-animatronic stage show Kitchen Kabaret in addition to the Farmers Market food court and the rotating Good Turn Restaurant.  (Shockingly the essence of The Land remains to this day).

Kraft Foods sponsored the pavilion and focused it on food production, while the revue used humor and musical numbers to emphasize healthy eating and the four main food groups: meat, dairy, grains and fruits & vegetables.

The waiting rooms were stylized shop fronts with food references and posters for the various characters from the show.  As you enter the theater, you're greeted by the large Kraft logo on the curtain and the cast member introducing the 13 minute show.

We are first introduced to our host, Bonnie Appetit, an animatronic lady sitting on a stack of cookbooks.  She sings the "Meal Time Blues" and then the Kitchen Krackpots animatronics rise at the front of the stage.  The band made up of Kraft condiments perform "Chase Those Meal Time Blues Away" with Bonnie.  The dixieland style number is about how the key to good nutrition is the combination of the food groups.  Next she introduces Mr. Dairy Goods and his Stars of the Milky Way!

The fridge door opens and Mr. Dairy Goods (a singing milk carton naturally) croons into an old microphone as he introduces Miss Cheese, Miss Yogurt and Miss Ice Cream, styled after fashion models as they sing about their benefits in "The Stars of the Milky Way".  Bonnie next introduces the Cereal Sisters.  Modeled after the Andrews Sisters, the glamorous packages of corn, rice and oats sing "The Boogie Woogie Bakery Boy".  The boy himself appears out of a toaster; he's a sunglass-wearing bread slice blowing his bugle.     

Bonnie next introduces the breakfast duo Hamm & Eggz performing their "Meat Ditties".  They use some vaudeville style comedy bits to discuss protein sources.  As they exit, we hear tropical percussion and the Colander Combo and the Fiesta Fruit appear.  The animated produce sing the song "Veggie Veggie Fruit Fruit" with Bonnie in a Carmen Miranda outfit atop a crescent moon.  For the "Kabaret Finale", all the past characters return to the stage, give one last reminder about their food group and say goodbye.

In 1994, Nestle took over the sponsorship of The Land pavilion, overhauling a few attractions in the process.  In January 1994, Kitchen Kabaret closed and the space was taken up by Food Rocks.  Food Rocks was another animatronic music show but appealed to younger audiences with popular songs and food-inspired parody lyrics.  Food Rocks stayed until 2004 as the theater was torn apart to become part of the Soarin' queue area.  

Music for Kitchen Kabaret was written by Disney Legend Buddy Baker, the original music director of Epcot Center and featured lyrics by Imagineer Scott Hennessy.  The music is catchy and they fit the pastiche styles of the characters.  The choice of 1930s-1940s musical stylings seems strange for 1980s kids and adults, but that adds the charm to this Epcot oddity.  The Kitchen Kabaret Medley appeared on the Official Album Of Walt Disney World Epcot Center in 1982 and featured "Boogie Woogie Bakery Boy", a segment of "Meat Ditties" and "Veggie Veggie Fruit Fruit".  The Medley can also be heard on several Epcot and WDW albums through the years.  

Thankfully, you can find several video recordings of the show.  Merchandise from the attraction existed in the '80s and reappeared for Epcot's 30th anniversary.  From the fascinating character designs and musical pastiches, Kitchen Kabaret is a lost Epcot treasure.  While the show is gone, it stays in our hearts (and possibly our nightmares).  It's always time to get "Veggie Veggie Fruit Fruit" stuck in your head! 

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