This Week in Disney History: ‘Love Bug’ Day at Disneyland Park, 1969

Erin Glover

by , Director, Publicity, Walt Disney Animation Studios

Forty-five years ago this week, 101 decorated Volkswagen Beetles made their way down Main Street, U.S.A., in Disneyland park to celebrate the release of the film, “The Love Bug,” the story of the 1963 racing Beetle (and one of my favorite movies). On March 23, 1969, Beetle owners gathered at Disneyland to show off their decorated bugs and parade them through the park.


The cars were judged in the categories of most psychedelic, toylike, comical and best personality. Morton and Barbara Allen of Studio City, Calif., won the grand prize – a brand-new 1969 Volkswagen Beetle, presented by “The Love Bug” stars Dean Jones and Michele Lee. Other prizes represented the pinnacles of 1969 technology: portable color televisions, Kodak Super-8 movie cameras and projectors, and new Polaroid cameras.

I was so inspired by this nugget of Disneyland history that I even created a costume for my own 1968 Volkswagen Beetle. Check her out!


Which category do you think she would have won? And can anyone guess what name I call her by?


  • A cool job AND a cool car!?! How can this be fair?

    Your Beetle is beautiful.

    • Thank you, Michael. 🙂

  • It’s mentioned in the Disneyland Episode Disneyland Showtime, where E.J. Peaker drives up to Disneyland in a Bug to be in the Love Bug parade, but Kurt Russel tells her she’s a little late. It was last year. Great episode, it showcases the new Haunted Mansion.

  • Morton has on some groovy pants!

  • Did they ever do another event like this at the park, maybe for one of the later movies? I remember watching it on TV when I was young, but I would have been three at the time!

    • I think you’re right, William. As I was researching this story, we came across some video footage of a similar event from a few years later.

  • Love what you did to your beetle. As my 6-year old niece said as I was reading this article, “Ohhhh, that’s Ariel’s car.” LOL!

    • I love it! You can tell her that yes, it is. 😀

  • Very cute! But I’m so glad that for decency sake you covered up Ariel’s “headlights”. 😉

    • She’s very demure. 😉

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