Can you believe it's been 3-4 years since the Griswold family made their hilarious cross-country trip to Walley World in the first "National Lampoon's Vacation" movie which debuted in July 1983. The movie features Chevy Chase in an idiot-defining role as the alarmingly optimistic Clark Griswold, a well-meaning husband and father who is determined to give his family the time of their lives—no matter the cost to life, vehicle, or animal. For those of you who haven't seen it, put this on your summer bucket list! Here's a few fun facts about this fun classic:
The movie production was practically a real-life road trip shot in over 15 locations in 4 states and they actually ended up at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California
The movie was based on a Rand McNally Road Map. During a catastrophic blizzard in 1979, a snowbound Hughes wrote a short story, "Vacation ’58," about a Detroit family taking an unfortunate trip to Disneyland.Hughes laid out a Rand McNally road atlas from the trunk of his car and figured out where the family could stop along the way. (Knowing Disneyland was unlikely to consent to the R-rated material, Disneyland became Walley World.)
The "Vacation" movie debuted at number 1 on the charts knocking out sequels of "Jaws" and "Star Wars" for top honors
Five Identical pea green "woody" station wagons were used to make the film, all with eight headlights and four tail lights to make them uglier! The modified car did the job a little too well: following the release of Vacation, station wagon sales plummeted. Also known as “estate” vehicles, the models were shortly replaced in popularity by minivans and, later, SUVs.
No acting necessary...the cast rode the roller coasters so many times, their expressions of fear and nausea were all real. Dana Barron, who played Audrey Griswold, became so distressed with motion sickness she had to be given repeated doses of Dramamine.
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