The first phase of Disney World's All-Star Sports Resort, Surf's Up
(located at 1991 West Buena Vista Drive) opens. A haven for sports
fans, the Florida resort will eventually consist of 5 themed hotels
(10 buildings in all) each bordered by a giant sports icon.
The very first Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival begins in Florida.
The romantic drama When a Man Loves a Woman is released by Touchstone Pictures in New York and Los Angeles. Wife and mother of two, Alice Green (Meg Ryan) has developed a severe drinking problem. While her husband, Michael (Andy Garcia), has been patient in dealing with this issue, it soon becomes clear that he has been enabling her alcoholism. When her addiction threatens her children's safety, Alice decides to enter a rehab clinic. Upon returning home, she finds that her new lifestyle causes an unexpected rift with Michael, leading to some soul-searching for the couple. (The film will be generally released May 13.)
Disney's 2002 animated Treasure Planet is released to DVD.
Disney's Pluto's Sweater, directed by Charles A. Nichols, is released in theaters. Pluto has to
wear a pink sweater that Minnie has knitted ... much to his dismay and the delight of laughing Figaro (Minnie's cat). The
short features the voices of Pinto Colvig (as Pluto), Ruth Clifford (as Minnie Mouse) and the music of Oliver Wallace.
Actress Nora Dunn, Lilly Keeble in the 2001 Max Keeble's Big Move, is born in Chicago, Illinois. (TV fans will recognize her as a member of Saturday Night Live from 1985-1990.)
Disney's live-action Something Wicked This Way Comes is released. Based on a Ray Bradbury novel, the film stars Jason Robards, Jonathan Pryce, Diane Ladd, and Royal Dano (the voice of Abraham Lincoln for Disney's Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln attraction). Two young boys named Will and Jim encounter a sinister carnival whose proprietor, Mr. Dark, lures the people of a small town to their doom by promising to fulfill their childhood desires.
At the 61st Academy Awards, the live-action/animated Who Framed
Roger Rabbit wins Oscars for Film Editing, Sound Effects, Visual
Effects, and for Animation Direction.
Disney-MGM Studios holds a press preview with such celebrities
as Audrey Hepburn, Bette Midler, Betty White, George Burns, and
The Pointer Sisters. As she won't be present when the park officially opens Monday May 1,
Audrey Hepburn leaves her handprints and signature on the courtyard of The Great Movie Ride.
In Florida, five-time Grammy winner Al Jarreau performs two shows at Disney World's Pleasure Island's West End Stage.
The West End production of Beauty and the Beast opens at London's Dominion Theatre. The live musical features Julie Alanah Brighton as Belle, Alasdair Harvey as the Beast,
and Burke Moses (reprising his Broadway role) as Gaston.
Actor Michael J. Fox pays a visit to Walt Disney World to
add his handprints to the Disney-MGM Studios collection.
MousePlanet holds its "Mouse Adventure" competition at Disneyland. This light-hearted event, loosely based on the Cast Member event "Minnie's Moonlit Madness," is a scavenger hunt-like game which awards prizes to the top teams.
Opened since the park's grand debut in 1971, Mike Fink Keel Boats closes at Disney World's Magic Kingdom. (Called "king of the keelboaters," Fink was a semi-legendary brawler and river boatman who exemplified the tough and hard-drinking men who ran keelboats up and down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.) Circling the Rivers of America first from a dock at Liberty Square (and later from a dock in Frontierland), Mike Fink Keel Boats were based on two episodes of the Davy Crockett miniseries.
Victoria and Albert's
(located on the second floor
restaurant at Walt
Disney Channel is launched in Turkey exclusively on the DIGITURK digital platform.
Disneyland's Pendleton Woolen Mills Dry Goods Store (in Frontierland) closes.
It will reopen as the Bonanza Outfitters shop the following June.
"Dang it, Jim. I'm an astronomer, not a doctor! I mean, I am a doctor, but I'm not that kind of doctor. I have a doctorate, it's not the same thing. You can't help people with a doctorate. You just sit there and you're useless!" -Doctor Doppler (Treasure Planet)
Former Imagineers Rolly Crump and (the late) Don Edgren are honored at Disneyland with Main Street windows. Prior to the park's opening, family, friends and fans of the two Disney Legends gather to witness the dedication of the store windows. Walt Disney Imagineering Ambassador Marty Sklar and Disneyland Resort President Ed Grier are on hand for the ceremony.
Disney-MGM Press Preview Day
The Academy Awards of Science - the Discover Magazine Awards for Technological Innovation, are presented at Epcot's America Gardens Theatre.
To participate in the Florida Green Lodging program, WDW had to install ENERGYSTAR® rated equipment, energy efficient lighting, and timers on outdoor lighting, reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as utility costs. In addition, the resort also implemented a towel and linen reuse program and low-flow faucets and showerheads, and hotels began recycling newspaper, office paper and aluminum cans.
Disney's Touchstone Pictures releases The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in U.S.
theaters. A science fiction comedy starring Sam Rockwell, Mos Def, Zooey Deschanel, John Malkovich, and Martin Freeman, it is based on the book of the same name by Douglas Adams. Arthur Dent (Freeman) is trying to prevent his house from being bulldozed when his friend Ford Prefect (Def) whisks him into outer space. It turns out Ford is an alien who has just saved Arthur from Earth's total annihilation. Ford introduces Arthur to his myriad friends, including many-headed President Zaphod Beeblebrox (Rockwell) and sexy refugee Trillian (Deschanel). Arthur makes his way across the stars while seeking the meaning of life... or something close to it.
LIFE magazine offers "Still Magic After All These Years," a 3-page article celebrating
Disneyland’s 50th anniversary.
Disney's Hollywood Records releases Raven-Symoné, the self-titled fourth studio
album by singer/actress Raven-Symoné (known to Disney Channel fans for her role on the series That's So Raven).
The Disney-owned Lyric Street Records releases the self-titled debut album from
singer Phil Stacey. First gaining national attention on season 6 of American Idol, he was signed to a recording contract with Lyric Street after being eliminated from the competition in May 2007.
Shirley Temple takes part in the dedication of the Sleeping Beauty Castle walk-through
at Disneyland. In attendance is Walt Disney and Temple's oldest daughter Linda, son Charles, and youngest daughter
Lori. (Back in 1939 child star Shirley Temple had presented Walt with an honorary Academy Award - one big Oscar & seven little ones - for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.)
The wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton is broadcast live from Westminster Abbey on large screens in the lobby of the Dolphin hotel at Walt Disney World beginning
at 5 a.m. Meanwhile over at Disney's Wedding Pavilion, Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons host their very first tweetup at the Walt Disney World Resort for a Royal Sleepover. Wearing wedding gowns and pajamas, guests watch the Royal Wedding live on big screen televisions in the pavilion and outside on the beach. At Epcot, the United Kingdom Pavilion is decorated with flags in honor of the special occasion and cast members greet one another with calls of "happy wedding day!"
Over on the West Coast, the Disney Wonder sails under the iconic Golden Gate Bridge
in San Francisco for the very first time. The ship is currently charting a course up the West Coast to
reposition for Disney's first-ever voyage to Alaska.
Timothy and Amy Sumabat (from Everett, Washington), winners of D23's Behind the
Magic contest, arrive on the Disney Studio Lot for their very special private tour. (The
contest was launched to celebrate Walt Disney Studios' November 2010 DVD release of The Boys: The Sherman
Brothers Story, Walt & El Grupo and Waking Sleeping Beauty.)
Prom, a teen romantic comedy film directed by Joe Nussbaum and produced by Ted
Griffin and Justin Springer, is released through Walt Disney Pictures. About teenagers going to their prom, the film features Aimee Teegarden, Nicholas Braun (most famous for his role in Disney's Sky High), Danielle Campbell (known for her role as Jessica Olson in the 2010 Disney Channel Original Movie Starstruck), Cameron
Monaghan, Christine Elise, Raini Rodriguez (known from the Disney Channel original series Austin & Ally), and Faith Ford.
While Prom is set in Michigan, filming took place in Los Angeles, California.
The first Grad Nite of the 2011 season kicks off this evening at Walt Disney World's
Magic Kingdom at 10PM. A yearly event for high school seniors since 1972, this will be the last year for
Grad Nite at WDW. (The event will also be held April 30 and May 6 & 7.)
It is reported that Disney has purchased The Carousel Inn, a hotel that sits
directly across Harbor Boulevard from its two Anaheim theme parks, for $32 million.
Disney, through a limited-liability corporation, Carousel Holdings EAT, purchased the 131-room Carousel Inn & Suites
on 1530 S. Harbor Blvd. from Good Hope International. (Disney had finalized the purchase on March 23.)
The premiere run of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs comes to a close when the
Disney studio pulls it off the market in the U.S. by day's end.
(First premiering in December 1937, the popular animated film has been running since January 1938.)
Disney confirms that the Earffel Tower, one of the original and iconic structures of
Disney's Hollywood Studios, has been removed. The company announced last January that the 130-foot-tall "water tower" (it didn't actually hold water), topped with a gigantic set of mouse ears, would be coming down. The tower's name which played off Paris' Eiffel Tower, was used as a symbol of Disney-MGM (Hollywood Studios' original name) since 1988.
The Disney Wonder transits the Panama Canal as the first passenger vessel to go
through the canal’s new set of locks, marking a milestone for the cruise industry.
The 2017 Radio Disney Music Awards are held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California. The ceremony will be shown on Radio Disney and Disney Channel the following night.
Among the winners:
-Best Female Artist: Ariana Grande
-Best Male Artist: Niall Horan
-Best Group: Fifth Harmony
-Song of the Year: "Treat You Better" - Shawn Mendes
-Favorite Social Media Star: Jake Paul
-Breakout Artist of the Year: Alessia Cara
-Best New Artist: Grace VanderWaal
-Best Crush Song: "Let Me Love You" - DJ Snake
Animator, television producer, and film director Iwao Takamoto is
born in Los Angeles, California. He began his career as a production and character designer for Walt Disney Productions films such as Cinderella (1950), Peter Pan (1953), Lady and the Tramp (1955), and Sleeping Beauty (1959). In 1961, he moved to Hanna-Barbera Productions, where he designed a great majority of the characters, including Scooby-Doo and Astro, and eventually became a director and producer.
Screenwriter, film director, and producer Audrey Wells is born in San Francisco,
California. Her Disney writing credits include George of the Jungle, Disney's The Kid, and The Game Plan.
DCappella, Disney Music Group's new a cappella singing group, makes their television debut on American Idol's Disney Night. The group performs songs from Disney films including The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and Aladdin. DCappella is a music group with seven members selected from televised singing shows like The Sing-Off, The Voice, national performing tours, a cappella groups and Broadway. Artistic director, music director and arranger Deke Sharon, known for his work on Pitch Perfect and The Sing-Off, created the group with Disney Music Group in 2018, after an extensive audition of over 1500 singers.
Actress Michelle Pfeiffer is born in Santa Ana, California. Her Disney/Touchstone film credits include Dangerous Minds (1995) as LouAnne Johnson, Up Close & Personal (1996) as Sally "Tally" Atwater, A Thousand Acres (1997) as Rose Cook Lewis, Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) & Avengers: Endgame (2019) as Janet Van Dyne, and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019) as Queen Ingrith. She also attended the D23 Expo in August 2019 to help promote the Maleficent film. In her younger days, Pfeiffer played the role of Alice from Alice in Wonderland in Disneyland's Main Street Electrical Parade!
Actress, singer, writer and producer Sofia Álvarez is born in Mexico. She supplied the voice of
Jenny (Dory's mother) in the Mexican-dubbed version of Finding Dory.
Actor Bob Hoskins passes away at age 71 in London, England. Disney fans knew him best for his portrayal of private investigator Edward "Eddie" Valiant in the live-action/animated family blockbuster, Who Framed Roger Rabbit. His Disney credits include the historical drama Nixon (Hollywood Pictures), Passed Away (Hollywood Pictures), Super Mario Bros. (Hollywood Pictures), Hollywoodland (Miramax), and A Christmas Carol (Walt Disney Pictures).
Actor/comedian Tyler Labine is born in Ontario, Canada. He voiced Brock Pearson in the 2013 Monsters University.
Season 2 of the Argentine series Violetta debuts on Disney Channel Latin America with the episode "Everything Begins Again".
Actor, singer, and musician John Ernest Crawford, better known as Mouseketeer Johnny Crawford, passes away at age 75. Beginning his career as a child actor on the original Mickey Mouse Club in 1955, he went on to appear in the popular Western television series The Lone Ranger and later The Rifleman. As an adult, he appeared on such shows as Hawaii Five-O, Little House on the Prairie, and Murder, She Wrote.
Painter, author, and illustrator Hardie Gramatky passes away at age 72 in Connecticut.
He worked at Disney for 6 years starting in 1929. Gramatky's credits include such shorts as The Mail Pilot (1933), The Robber Kitten (1935), Who Killed Cock Robin? (1935), Cock o' the Walk (1935), and Thru the Mirror (1936). Named one of America's 20 greatest watercolorists, he aslo wrote and illustrated several children's books.