It is announced that Kyle Petty, a 26-year NASCAR veteran and son of racing
legend Richard Petty will run in the 2006 Walt Disney World Marathon on January 8.
Mickey Mouse Club airs on ABC-TV. Today is Anything Can Happen Day.

The Disneyland television series airs 
"Man and the Moon." Walt Disney introduces the program and presents scenes from the Disneyland attraction Rocket Ship To The Moon before turning the show over to host Ward Kimball. Featured is an animated dramatization of Wernher von Braun's two-stage plan to reach the moon, starting with the construction of a space station and continuing with the launching of a rocket from there to the moon. (This is the second of a 3-part series promoting space travel and the final Disneyland episode of 1955.)
The television series The Wonderful World of Disney airs part 2 of
"Babes in Toyland."
Attendance at Walt Disney World (now with two parks) reaches a high of 123,000!

Actress Beau Garrett is born in Los Angeles, California. She appeared in the 2010 Tron: Legacy and in 2017 was cast in the role of attorney Jessica Preston in the ABC series The Good Doctor.
The Wonderful World of Disney airs the episodes "Tiger Town" and "Star Tours."
 "Tiger Town" stars Roy Schneider as an aging all-star for the Detroit Tigers. In "Star Tours" a group of visitors
 are taken on a bumpy trip through the Star Wars universe.
Holiday crowds force Disneyland to suspended ticket sales for about 5 hours.
Veteran actor and noted musical theatre star Jerry Orbach, the voices of Lumiere
in Beauty and the Beast  and Sa'luk in Aladdin and the King of Thieves, passes away at age 69 in New York City. (An eye donor; his eyes will save two people from blindness.) He also voiced
 Lumiere for the theme park attraction "Mickey's PhilharMagic" and the TV series "House of Mouse." TV fans will
 remember Orbach as Detective Lennie Briscoe on the hit series Law & Order.
Disney announces its studio division generated $3.26 billion in global box
 office revenue in 2006 and claimed the year's top two box office and top three
 DVD domestic releases for the first time. Disney claimed the year's top-grossing
 box office releases with Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, which has reached $1.06 billion since its
May release, and the computer-animated Cars, which grossed more than $462 million globally.
Imagineer and Disney veteran Don Edgren passes away at the age of 83. He was an
 an engineer who led the team building the first Space Mountain and had a role in building various Disney
 parks. Edgren supervised construction of the Matterhorn and original Pirates of the Caribbean attractions.
"Walt Disney was a great man. To think I worked for Disney studios - my god, it was great. It wasn't just a
plain old job." -Disney Legend Don Edgren (Class of 2006)
During the coronavirus shutdown of 2020, it is estimated that Walt Disney World lost between
$20 and $30 million per day.

Thomas Woodrow Wilson, the twenty-eighth United States
 President, is born in Staunton, Virginia. Visit him and all the
 U.S. Chief Executives at Disney World's The Hall of Presidents.
Animator & story artist Rick Farmiloe is born in Santa Rosa, California. Among his 
Disney credits - The Black CauldronThe Great Mouse DetectiveBeauty and the BeastAladdin, and The 
Little Mermaid. (Farmiloe has also worked on ShrekCurious George, and The Simpsons Movie.)
Disney Channel debuts "The Best of Muppets Tonight." 
Gonzo and Rizzo host a collage of video clips of the best moments from past episodes of Muppets Tonight.

William Hillyard "Bill" Anderson, a producer best known for his work with The Walt Disney Company, passes away at age 86 in San Francisco, California. In 1943, the Disney hired Anderson to work in the production control department. By 1951, Anderson had risen in the ranks to become production manager. In 1956, he was named vice president in charge of studio operations. His first film as a producer was the 1957 Old Yeller. Anderson's credits included The Swiss Family RobinsonZorroThe Moon-SpinnersThe Happiest Millionaire and The Apple Dumpling Gang. He will be inducted as a Disney Legend in 2004.
Disney's Silly Symphony cartoon Playful Pan, directed by Bert Gillett, 
is released.

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An amazing 82,938 guests visit Walt Disney World on this day! 
(At this time there is just 1 theme park, the Magic Kingdom.)
"Togetherness, for me, means teamwork. In my business of motion pictures and television entertainment, many minds and skillful hands must collaborate...The work seeks to comprehend the spiritual and material needs and yearnings of gregarious humanity. It makes us reflect how completely dependent we are upon one another in our social and commercial life." -Walt Disney

"Man and the Moon" airs

"A conservative is someone who makes no changes and consults his grandmother 
when in doubt." -Woodrow Wilson 
The Band of America’s National Honor Band performs on 
the steps of Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.
The last scheduled flights into STOLport - Walt Disney World's own airport - takes place. Opened since October 1971, the idea of affordable short-range air routes have become impractical. 
For the second day in a row, the parking lot of the Magic Kingdom at
Walt Disney World reaches capacity. Entry is restricted for several hours.

Burt Gillett, a director of animated films, passes away at age 80 in California. Joining the Walt Disney Studio in 1929, he started out primarily working on Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts (along with Ub Iwerks). By the Summer of 1929, Gillett was directing the Silly Symphonies shorts. He went on to direct dozens of shorts through 1938 such as Mickey's OrphansMickey's Good Deed, and Playful Pluto.
Disneyland Resort temporarily halts ticket sales at both of its Anaheim
theme parks because of massive crowds.
Composer and lyricist Ann Ronell, one of the first successful Hollywood and
Tin Pan Alley female composers, is born in Omaha, Nebraska. She cowrote Disney's
first hit song, "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" with Frank Churchill for the 1933 cartoon Three Little Pigs.
(Ronell's exact contributions are in dispute, though the sheet music cover credits her simply with
"additional lyrics." )
The Library of Congress announces the films added to the 2011 National Film Registry. Among the 25 films chosen is Disney's 1942 Bambi. This year’s selections bring the number
of films in the registry to 575. Other Disney films added to the registry over the years include:
Toy Story (2005), Beauty and the Beast (2002), Peter Pan (2000), Steamboat Willie (1998) Pinocchio (1994), Fantasia (1990) and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1989). Although
not a Disney production, Disneyland Dream was inducted in 2008.
December 28
Comic book publisher Stan Lee is born Stanley Martin Lieber in New York City.
He rose through the ranks of a family-run business to become Marvel Comics' primary creative leader for two decades, leading its expansion from a small division of a publishing house to a multimedia corporation that dominated the comics industry and Hollywood films. He made cameos in "The Avengers," "Iron Man 3," "Thor: The Dark World," "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," "Guardians of the Galaxy," "Big Hero 6," "Avenger"s: Age of Ultron," "Ant-Man," "Captain America: Civil War," "Doctor Strange," "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," "Spider-Man: Homecoming," "Thor: Ragnarok," "Black Panther," "Avengers: Infinity War," "Ant-Man and the Wasp," "Captain Marvel," "Avengers: Endgame," and "The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement." With "Iron Man" in 2008, the Marvel Cinematic Universe began and rose to become a dominant film franchise that led to Disney acquiring Marvel Comics in 2009. Named a Disney Legend in 2017, Lee's Disney credits also included "Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel," "Ultimate Spider-Man," "Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.," "Avengers Assemble," "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," "Agent Carter," "Daredevil," "Jessica Jones," "Luke Cage," "Iron Fist," "The Punisher," "The Defenders," "Runaways," "Guardians of the Galaxy," "Cloak & Dagger," and "Big Hero 6: The Series." Passing away in November 2018 at age 95, a plaque was later installed at the entrance of Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure in honor of his contributions.
Actress & singer Debbie Reynolds passes away at age 84 in Los Angeles, California.
With a career that spanned almost 70 years, Disney fans know her best as Agatha Cromwell in the Halloweentown films. She also voiced Madame in Kiki's Delivery Service (a 1989 Japanese animated fantasy film) and Nana Possible on the Disney Channel animated series Kim Possible. Sadly
her death comes the day after the passing of her daughter actress Carrie Fisher.
Actress Maggie Smith is born in Ilford, Essex, England. With an extensive, varied career on
stage, film, and television, spanning over 67 years, Smith has appeared in more than 50 films, and is one of Britain's most recognizable actresses. She played Mother Superior in Touchstone's Sister Act (1992) and Sister Act 2: Back
in the Habit (1993). (Fans of the Harry Potter films know her as Minerva McGonagall.)
Character actor William Demarest passes at age 91 in California. Best known for playing Uncle Charley in the television series My Three Sons, he also appeared in the Disney films Son of Flubber (1963) as Mr. Hummel and That Darn Cat (1965) as Mr. MacDougall. Demarest, a prolific film and television actor, appeared in over 140 films, beginning in 1927 and ending in the 1970s.
Character actor Andrew Duggan is born is born in Franklin, Indiana.  He was the main character in the Disney theme parks' Carousel of Progress and the singer of the accompanying song "The Best Time of Your Life" (subsequently updated with new voices and songs in 1993). Duggan appeared in some 70 films, including The Incredible Mr. Limpet with Don Knotts, and in more than 140 television programs between 1949 and 1987.
Actor Joe Manganiello is born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He voiced Ax Tagrin in the 2019 animated Star Wars Resistance. Manganiello visited Disney's Hollywood Studios in November 2010. (His breakout role came in the form of werewolf Alcide Herveaux in five seasons of the HBO series True Blood.)
Actor Peter Bruni is born in Massachusetts. He starred in The Magical World of Disney episode
"Mr. Gridley" in 1970.
Actor Bob Holt is born Robert John Holthaus in St. Louis, Missouri. He voiced Codfish, a denizen of the Naboombu lagoon who judges the underwater dance contest, in the animated sequence of Disney's 1971 Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Holt also provided voices for the 1985 TV series Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears. Starting in 1982, he played the title role in Marvel Productions' animated series The Incredible Hulk, creating a library of stock roars that would be used for many years afterwards.