“Aruba, Jamaica, Ooh, I wanna take ya…”
It’s one of the sloppiest rhymes in pop music and The Beach Boys’ last #1 hit. You might remember “Kokomo” from the Tom Cruise flair bartending movie, “Cocktail,” but did you know the music video was shot in Orlando at Walt Disney World?
It’s 1988 and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort was built, but not yet open. The white sand beach would be a perfect place to fake a Beach Boys concert and with no one staying there, production could make all the noise they wanted. A friend who was on-set tells me it was rainy all day, so the sunny concert scene turned into a nighttime bonfire party.
Some of the guys and gals dancing along with Mike Love and the Boys were recruited at Downtown Disney (now Disney Springs) and yes, big Disney fan John Stamos is playing various percussion in the back.
Non-Orlando trivia – Credited writers on “Kokomo” include Mike Love, Scott McKenzie (“San Francisco – Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair”), John Phillips (The Mamas & The Papas), and Terry Melcher (the song’s producer who also did The Byrds’ first two albums).