If you happened to be at Walt Disney World recently, you might have recognized a face among the crowd from a classic TV show when original “Mickey Mouse Club” Mouseketeer Sherry Van Meter (née Alberoni) was here on vacation. (Even if you didn’t, read on, because we have an opportunity for some of you).
“I had the greatest time here,” Sherry told me. “I love Disneyland. I literally grew up there, but Walt Disney World is so big and there’s so much to see.”
This time around, the focus of her visit was to enjoy Walt Disney World with one of her best friends and their respective granddaughters. Sherry was impressed with how much there was for young children to do and see at Epcot and was particularly delighted to experience Disney’s Animal Kingdom for the first time.
“The safaris are incredible, both the riding and walking ones. I had no idea how many things there are to do here.”
As she was saying this, I marveled to myself how cool it was to hear that crisp, familiar voice, sounding just as it did when she played the irresistibly snarky Alexandra Cabot on “Josie and the Pussycats” and hero-in-training Wendy on “Super Friends” cartoons. I also recalled her numerous on-camera TV and movie appearances, including the role of “giant” Glumdalclitch in the big-screen fantasy classic, “The Three Worlds of Gulliver.” But according to Sherry, being one of Walt Disney’s Mouseketeers transcended performing any other film or television role.
“The great thing about the ‘Mickey Mouse Club’ is that it really is ongoing, for those of us on the show and all the viewers at home,” she explained. “It was such a unique, special show – more than a show, really. To this day, we’re still meeting new people who remember us. We bring them such happy memories.”
The friendships among the original Mouseketeers have also continued.
“[The Mouseketeers] were – and are – like my family,” Sherry said. “These are people I knew long before I knew my husband or my kids. We knew each other’s parents. When my daughter Kelly got married, Bobby [Burgess], Sharon [Baird] and Cheryl [Holdridge] were there. The friendships we’ve kept all these years are really special.”
Naturally, during Sherry’s recent Magic Kingdom visit, she caught up with dear friends Minnie and Mickey at Town Square Theater, where guests and cast members alike were abuzz witnessing this magical reunion.
When she’s not visiting a Disney theme park with her family (including her children and grandchildren, who are all Disney fans), Sherry focuses on helping others through fundraising efforts and speaking engagements on behalf of worldwide charitable organizations.
Now here’s the opportunity: Do you have a question for Mouseketeer Sherry? Send it in the comments section below. A selection of her answers will appear in a future Disney Parks Blog entry!