1975:
The Space Mountain attraction (sponsored by RCA) opens in
the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, Florida. The grand
opening festivities included a band of 2,000 high school students, fireworks and the
release of 50,000 balloons. A space-themed indoor roller coaster, the first official
ride is taken by Colonel James Irwin, the pilot of the Lunar Module on Apollo XV.
The success of the ride will later prompt Imagineers to design a Space Mountain for Disneyland, Tokyo
Disney, Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland.


Also opening on this day in the Magic Kingdom is the Carousel of Progress,
an attraction brought in from Disneyland that traces 100 years of innovations
in electricity. Through a rotating carousel, the attraction carries seated guests into the homes of
four generations of the same family from the days before electricity to the present. (COP originally
debuted at the New York World's Fair as Progressland and then made its way to Anaheim before settling in Florida.)
1986:
The third new Future World pavilion to be added to the
original roster, The Living Seas opens at Disney World's EPCOT. The Living Seas main
 environment strecthes 203 feet in diameter with walls 48 feet high. Sponsored by United Technologies, the
 pavilion features "Animated Atlas of the World," a short film explaining the geological and meteorological aspects
 of the ocean. It also includes a 5.7 million gallon aquarium, home to one of the largest inland marine
 environments in the world. The amazing environment contains nearly 3,500 individual specimens comprising
 approximately 65 different species of Caribbean reef fish. The pavilion also houses the Coral Reef Restaurant
 which allows dining guests to view The Living Seas through giant 8 inch thick acrylic windows.
2005:
Actress Ruth Warwick, who portrayed Sally in Disney's 1946 Song of the South, passes away at age 88 in New York. Known for her performance in the classic 1941 film Citizen Kane, Warwick was also a fixture on the ABC-TV soap opera "All My Children."

Sadly on this same day, Pixar loses a member of its creative team when animator Dan Lee passes away at age 35 in California. In August 2003 he had been diagnosed with lung cancer - despite the fact that he was a nonsmoker. Best known as the creator of the title character from Finding Nemo, his credits also included Toy Story 2A Bug's LifeMonsters, Inc., and Ratatouille. The 2007 Ratatouille, will be dedicated to Lee.
TODAY IS NATIONAL HAT DAY!
Put a lid on it.
1925:
Disney's Alice Comedy Alice the Toreador, featuring Virginia Davis, is released.
In this short, directed by Walt Disney, Alice finds herself in a bullfight!
1955:
Despite plans to open Disneyland without it, Walt Disney decides to go ahead and have Tomorrowland built. (It will be completed in 6 months.)
1958:
The Disneyland TV series airs episode 89 - "Donald's Weekend."
1960:
The TV series Walt Disney Presents airs the episode "Swamp Fox: Redcoat Strategy." In this fifth episode of an eight-part miniseries, the guerilla forces under the leadership of Francis Marion (portrayed by Leslie Nielsen) have succeeded in capturing British officer Colonel 
Townes (Henry Daniell). Unfortunately, Marion's longtime enemy Colonel Tarleton 
(John Sutton) has, at the same time, seized the home of Marion's brother Gabriel (John 
Sutton). As Marion prepares to escort Towne and his wife to Continental Headquarters, 
Tarleton lays a carefully planned trap for the elusive "Swamp Fox", using Redcoats 
disguised as American patriots!
1961:
Walt Disney Presents airs "Swamp Fox: Horses for Greene," the 8th and final episode
 of a miniseries about real-life American Revolutionary hero Francis Marion. Marion
 (Leslie Nielsen) and his fellow guerillas have placed themselves under the command of Continental Army officer
 Captain Richardson (James Seay). Intending to instill some discipline into Marion's ragtag group, Richardson soon
 finds that he is fighting a losing battle. But all worries about "following the book" are set aside when Marion is
 ordered by General Greene to capture some horses from the Tories (British loyalists).
1997:
Production begins on Disney's The Emperor's New Groove.
(The animated feature will be released in December 2000.)
1999:
The final section of Disney World's All-Star Resort, All-Star Movies
 Resort (located at 1901 W. Buena Vista Drive) opens with
The Mighty Ducks and 101 Dalmatians buildings. The property is decorated with giant Disney film
 icons such as the Fantasia Pool; a Mighty Ducks themed Duck Pond Pool; Herbie, The Love Bug, puppies from One
 Hundred and One Dalmatians and some of the residents of Andy's Room from Disney's Toy Story.
2002:
Disney's 1994 live action adventure The Jungle Book, 1993 film Adventures of Huck Finn, 1982 computer drama Tron, and 1992 musical Newsies are all released on DVD.
2004:
Actor Johnny Depp is nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for his
 role in Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
1943:
Education for Death: The Making of the Nazi - an animated short produced by Walt Disney is released by RKO. It is directed by Clyde Geronomi and principally animated by Ward Kimball. Intended as anti-Nazi propaganda (during the ongoing World War II) the film tells the story of Little Hans, a German boy born and raised in Nazi Germany, who is educated to become a merciless soldier.
1990:
CEO Michael Eisner announces plans to expand the Walt Disney World theme parks, and to add a fourth park during the 1990s. He also states that a pavilion from the Soviet Union will hopefully be added at EPCOT, and that 16 new attractions are planned for the Disney-MGM Studios.

Actor Chris Warren Jr., known to High School Musical fans as Zeke Baylor, is born in Indiana. He also appeared as Zeke on a few episodes of Hanna Montana and played the role of Justin in episodes of Good Luck Charlie.
1954:
The Donald Duck short Spare the Rod, directed by Jack Hannah, is released.
 Once again Donald has the same old problem of dealing with his three troublesome nephews, and he's torn
 between using psychology or losing his temper.
2007:
Disney/Pixar's Cars wins Best Animated Feature Film at the 64th Golden
 Globe Awards (beating out Happy Feet and Monster House.). It is the first
ever given in the new category of Best Animated Feature. Director John Lasseter accepts the
award on behalf of himself and the late Joe Ranft (who co-directed).
The tank used in Epcot's The Living Seas holds 5.7 million gallons of saltwater ... making it one of the largest saltwater tanks in the world! Called “the world’s sixth largest ocean,” Epcot’s Living Seas aquarium is packed with more varieties of fish than probably ever seen in a real ocean.

JANUARY 15
 Earth man has long dreamed of exploring the mysteries of our galaxy and the infinite wonders of the universe beyond.
JANUARY 15

THIS DAY MADE
IN THE
USA
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Click HERE for Disney & Space Travel.
"Dan was a longtime member of our Pixar family. He single-handedly designed Nemo and has been a major influence at Pixar.
 Dan was a wonderful, irreplaceable, talented human being, and we miss him terribly." -Finding Nemo director Andrew Stanton
"Animation is awesome!" -John Lasseter
2010:
The local Kansas City group Thank You, Walt Disney holds a fundraising event and special premiere screening of Ted Thomas’s documentary Walt and El Grupo at the Screenland Theater. The film tells the story of the Disney Studios goodwill trip to South American in 1941. Also appearing is author J.B. Kaufman discussing his book, South of the Border with Disney: Walt Disney and the Good Neighbor Program, 1941-1948Thank You, Walt Disney is dedicated to preserving Walt’s legacy in Kansas City, and is currently working to save and restore the Laugh-O-grams Studios (Walt’s very first animation studio) which they saved from collapse and demolition.

The 15th Annual Critics' Choice Awards are handed out. Disney-Pixar's Up wins Best Animated Feature (beating out 4 nominees including Disney's Princess And The Frog). Best Score goes to Michael Giacchino (edging out Randy Newman for The Princess and the Frog) for Up.
1940:
Glenn Miller and his big band record their version of "Give a Little Whistle" featuring
 singer Marion Hutton. The song (penned by Ned Washington & Leigh Harline) has been written for Disney's
 animated Pinocchio, which is still a month away from its release.
1905:
Composer and songwriter Allie Wrubel is born in Middletown, Connecticut.
He collaborated with lyricist Ray Gilbert on the song "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" for the film Song of the South
 which won the Oscar for Best Song in 1947. Wrubel also contributed to the Disney films Make Mine Music and
 Melody Time. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970.
1969:
The Disneyland Hotel's new Marina Tower officially opens. With the opening of the 319 room tower, the entrance of the Disneyland Hotel has been moved from West Street to the northern side of the property. The Marina Tower's new registration lobby (300 foot long and 70 foot wide - at this time, the biggest in the U.S.) features sixteen check in stations. 
"We welcome you to The Living Seas. We welcome you to Seabase Alpha."

JAN

JAN
1957:
Animator David Pruiksma is born in northern Virginia, just a few miles from Washington D.C. His Disney credits include Mickey’s Christmas CarolThe Black CauldronOliver and CompanyBeauty and the Beast, and Enchanted.
2000:
The thirty-third episode of Disney's Recess, "The Barnaby Boys/Burried Treasure" 
premieres on ABC-TV.
2013:
Disney unveils a major new gaming initiative called Infinity, at Disney's El 
Capitan theater in Hollywood, California. The game creates a virtual world where gamers 
can play with their favorite characters from different Disney stories. The game will be available on 
consoles, mobile and online in June.
January 15
This Day in Disney History - THE FIRST - THE ORIGINAL
Traveling in time since 1999!
2016:
The Lion Guard, a new animated television series premieres on Disney Junior
(a program block on Disney Channel). Featuring  Kion, the son of Simba and Nala, a one-hour
movie The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar had debuted last November.