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Showing posts with label Today. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Today. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Illuminations Debuts

January 30, 1988 – Walt Disney World – Lake Buena Vista, FL

Walt Disney World debuts the all-new IllumiNations, a nightly show at EPCOT Center, which includes 13 special-effects projectors, theme music, 12 wire/mesh grids, 180 nozzles which create the fountains and 783 fireworks pieces.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Mickey's Toontown

January 24, 1993 – Disneyland – Anaheim, CA

Mickey's Toontown officially opens at Disneyland.  This all-new land, just north of Fantasyland, is a recreation of the Mickey Mouse universe, where guests can meet the characters and visit their homes, constructed in a vibrant cartoon-style with no right angles to be found anywhere. Inspired by "Toontown" from the 1988 film “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”, the themed land features attractions as Gadget's Go Coaster, Goofy's Bounce House, Donald’s Boat, Chip & Dale’s Acorn Crawl and Treehouse and the Jolly Trolley.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - The Original Disney Hotel Finally Comes into the Family

January 21, 1989 – Disneyland – Anaheim, CA

The Walt Disney Company acquires the Wrather Corporation, whose assets include the Disneyland Hotel, across the street from Disneyland.  At this time Wrather's assets also includes the RMS Queen Mary and Hughes H-4 Hercules (the "Spruce Goose") in Long Beach, as well as the rights to “The Lone Ranger” and the “Lassie” TV series.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Tomorrowland Additions

January 15, 1975 – Walt Disney World – Lake Buena Vista, FL

Space Mountain opens in Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.  A space-themed indoor roller coaster, originally envisioned by Walt Disney for Tomorrowland at Disneyland in the 1960’s, the technology to build it simply didn’t yet exist when Walt dreamed it up.  The first official ride is taken by Colonel James Irwin, the pilot of the Apollo XV Lunar Module on Apollo XV.

Also opening on this day in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom is the Carousel of Progress, an attraction relocated to Florida from Disneyland in California, tracing 100 years of innovations in electricity. The attraction had a home in Tomorrowland at Disneyland from 1967 – 1972, but it originally debuted at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair.  It features a rotating carousel, whereby the guests are seated and rotate around the various stationary stages where an audio-animatronics family showcases American life from the days before electricity to the present.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - International Gateway Opens

January 12, 1990 – Walt Disney World – Lake Buena Vista, FL

The International Gateway opens at EPCOT Center. This new second entrance allows guests staying in the various Epcot area resort hotels access to the park without having to take a bus to the front of the park.  The new entrance is located between the United Kingdom and France pavilions in World Showcase.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Disneyland's 35th Celebration

January 11, 1990 – Disneyland – Anaheim, CA

Disneyland kicks off its 35th anniversary celebration.  Reuniting in front of the Main Street Train Station for the first time since the 1955 Grand Opening live broadcast on ABC TV are all three of the original broadcast hosts:  Art Linkletter, Bob Cummings, and Ronald Reagan to kick off the anniversary celebration featuring the all-new Party Gras Parade, with New Orleans-style floats and 40-foot-tall balloons of famed Disney characters in their best party styles: Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Roger Rabbit.  

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Star Tours Debuts

January 9, 1987 – Disneyland – Anaheim, CA

Star Tours opens in Tomorrowland at Disneyland, occupying the space once occupied by Adventure Thru Inner Space. A flight simulator ride based on George Lucas’ Star Wars film trilogy, it is the park's first attraction not to use Disney-designed imagery. The opening celebration lasts for 60 hours and guests are given a Star Tours Watch when they enter the park. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Disney-MGM Studios Changes

January 7, 1992 – Walt Disney World – Lake Buena Vista, FL

Disney-MGM Studios debuts the all-new Voyage of The Little Mermaid, a multi-media presentation, replacing Here Come the Muppets. The new show is a 17-minute experience, featuring a unique combination of special effects, film clips, live performances and innovative puppetry.

January 7, 2008 – Walt Disney World – Lake Buena Vista, FL

Disney-MGM Studios is now officially called Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Disneyland's Tencennial

January 3, 1965 – Disneyland – Anaheim, CA

Disneyland observes its tenth anniversary with a Tencennial Parade.  On television Walt Disney introduces a host of new attractions coming to the theme park on his “Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color” Sunday night program. He is joined in this episode by the first Disneyland Ambassador, Julie Reihm, whom he refers to as Miss Disneyland.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Grand Californian Hotel Opens

January 2, 2001 – Disneyland – Anaheim, CA

The Disneyland Resort unveils its’ brand new Grand Californian Hotel, built on the former parking lot of Disneyland as the company has transformed the original Disney park into a multi-park, multi-day destination.  The new hotel features 2 full-service restaurants:  Storytellers Cafe & Napa Rose, and the Whitewater Snacks quick-service snack bar, as well as high-end rooms and service.  It is the company’s first domestic theme park located inside a Disney theme park – the all-new Disney’s California Adventure opening in February 2001, and features a private entrance directly from the hotel into the Condor Flats area of the theme park.   

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - New in Fantasyland and Epcot

January 1, 1959 – Disneyland – Anaheim, CA

The Fantasyland Autopia, sponsored by the Richfield Oil Company, opens in Disneyland, offering a second version of the beloved Tomorrowland attraction.

January 1, 1997 – Walt Disney World – Lake Buena Vista, FL

Two new musical groups debut at Walt Disney World in Epcot’s World ShowcaseOff Kilter in the Canada Pavilion, and The British Invasion in the United Kingdom pavilion.  Off Kilter is a Celtic rock band performing on a stage located between the Canada and United Kingdom pavilions, and The British Invasion is a quartet celebrating the famed 1960’s songs of the Beatles, playing in the gardens at the back of the United Kingdom pavilion.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Candlelight at Disneyland

December 21, 1958 – Disneyland – Anaheim, CA

Disneyland presents the very first  Candlelight Processional Parade. Hosted by actor Dennis Morgan, it is performed on Main Street, U.S.A. and in Town Square. The event was conceived by Dr. Charles Hirt of the University of Southern California School of Music and features a large choir from schools invited from around Southern California to proceed down Main Street while singing Christmas carols prior to the re-telling of the birth of Jesus in front of the Train Station in Town Square.  (This event will become a Christmas-season tradition at the park, and later be copied at Walt Disney World in 1971, where it would also become a Christmas-season tradition).

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Roy O Disney Passes Away

December 20, 1971 – Burbank, CA

Roy O. Disney, Walt's older brother and lifelong business partner, and co-founder of Walt Disney Productions, passes away at the age of 78 from a cerebral hemorrhage.  Roy served as the company's Chief Executive Officer (1929–1971) and President (1945–1971). While Walt was the creative man, Roy was the one who made sure the company was financially stable - and it was Roy who made sure that Walt’s last dream came to fruition.  Roy made sure that the company pressed forward with Disney World, but even taking it a step further and renaming the project Walt Disney World so that the world would always remember whose dream it truly was. With both Disney brothers gone, the board of directors for the first time will have to turn outside the Disney family for leadership. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Test Track

December 19, 1998 – Walt Disney World – Lake Buena Vista, FL

Test Track opens in Epcot’s Future World at Walt Disney World, on the site of the former World of Motion attraction.   (Epcot will host a Grand Opening dedication later in March 1999.)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Candlelight Processional

December 18, 1971 – Walt Disney World – Lake Buena Vista, FL

Walt Disney World's very first Candlelight Processional is held.  Modeled after the Candlelight Processional that has been a staple of Christmas season entertainment at Disneyland since 1958, the processional travels up Main Street, U.S.A. from Town Square to the forecourt of Cinderella Castle where a performance featuring a mass choir of 1,200 carolers from across Florida takes place, with movie star Rock Hudson narrating the Christmas story. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - WED Enterprises

December 16, 1952 – Burbank, CA

WED Enterprises is founded as a private company owned solely by Walt Disney to design and create Disneyland and to manage Disney's personal assets. WED stands for Walter Elias Disney.  Already hard at work on the theme park project are Walt's first 3 Imagineers - Harriet Burns, Fred Joerger and Wathel Rogers.  (In 1982 the Disney family sold the company to Walt Disney Productions, and in 1986 WED was renamed renamed Walt Disney Imagineering.)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Walt Disney Passes Away

December 15, 1966 – Burbank, CA

Walter Elias Disney passes away at St. Joseph's Hospital of acute circulatory collapse, as a result of lung cancer, just ten days after his 65th birthday.  The flags on Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland are flown at half-staff, as the park opens at Lillian Disney's request to honor her belief that Walt would have wanted the show to go on.  Walt's 74-year old brother Roy determines to postpone his retirement in order to pursue Walt's last dream, the recently announced construction of Walt Disney World in Florida.

December 15, 1973 – Walt Disney World – Lake Buena Vista, FL

The Pirates of the Caribbean attraction officially opens in Adventureland at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Housed in a golden Spanish fort called Castillo Del Morro, it is located in the all-new Caribbean Plaza expansion area of Adventureland.  It is based on the original attraction of the same name which opened 6 years earlier at Disneyland and features 125 Audio-Anamatronics (comprised of 65 pirates & villagers and 60 animals).  Guests ride in batueax through flumes filled with 155,000 gallons of water, and unlike the Disneyland original go down one 14-foot drop instead of two drops, which is due to the higher water table in Florida than Southern California.

December 15, 1989 – Walt Disney World – Lake Buena Vista, FL

Star Tours officially opens at the Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park at Walt Disney World. It is the first attraction to open in the park's new Backlot Annex area.  Based on the successful Star Wars franchise of movies, it is Disney's 3rd version of the attraction, having first opened at Disneyland in 1986 and Tokyo Disneyland in July 1989.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Disney's POP Century Resort Opens

December 14, 2003 – Walt Disney World – Lake Buena Vista, FL

After many delays  Walt Disney World's newest-value level resort, POP Century Resort finally opens for business.  The resort is located at 1050 Century Drive, near the Disney-MGM Studios theme park and the expansive Wide World of Sports complex.  It features 2,880 guest rooms.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel

December 12, 2000 – Disneyland – Anaheim, CA

The Disneyland Pacific Hotel re-opens as Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel. The 502-room hotel has been brightly painted and decorated to reflect a new beachfront theme, and soon will offer hotel guests a private entrance into the Paradise Pier section of the all-new theme park located directly across the street, Disney's California Adventure, which is currently under construction on the site of Disneyland’s former parking lot. (Disney California Adventure would celebrate its’ Grand Opening February 8, 2001).

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Disneyland Pacific Hotel

December 11, 1995 – Disneyland – Anaheim, CA

The Disneyland Pacific Hotel – formerly known as the Pan Pacific Hotel - opens in Anaheim under Disney ownership. The hotel was originally built and owned by Japan-based Tokyu Group, and opened in 1984 as the Emerald of Anaheim, in 1989 renamed the Pan Pacific Hotel when Tokyu merged its Emerald and Pan Pacific hotel divisions. The Walt Disney Company purchased the hotel in 1995 renaming it the Disneyland Pacific Hotel, again renaming it in December 2000 to its’ current name, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel.