Sam Panda, Grrrtrude Gorilla and Dan'l Coon
1975 - 1993

Introduced for the 1975 season, Sam, Dan'l, and Grrrtrude were three lovable, walk-around characters that became almost synonymous with the park for almost two decades. Though not Worlds of Fun's first in-park characters they are remembered by many who were children in the 1980's and can still be seen plastered on many of the souvenirs, maps and brochures for the mid-70's and early 1980's. More than just print advertisement and meet and greets they were also used with the park to promote new attractions to the park, including everything from the opening of Screamroller and Orient Express to donning hula gear for the opening of Oceans of Fun in 1982, and donning rain slickers for the 1992 opening of Monsoon.

Though the creative component can only be guessed at, the actual creation of the costumes, and possibly characters can be attributed to longtime Worlds of Fun costume designer Dawna Welborn who was employed by the park for over forty years (from 1972 until 2017). In 1987 Sam Panda would gain a little brother with the introduction of P.J Panda in conjunction with Pandamonium! It is believed that the characters were last seen and used in the park in the 1993 season.


YouTube Videos

Grrrtrude Gorilla and Dan'l Coon in 1990

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