Since February 1997, Walt Disney
World has sponsored a series of
special Star Wars Weekends at
Disney's Hollywood Studios theme
The festival first began in 1997 but
wasn't held again until 2000, 2001,
and then annually since 2003.
Surrealist artist Salvador Dalí is born in the town of Figueres, in Catalonia, Spain.
Best known for his striking bizarre, dreamlike images, Dalí is considered one of the most important painters of
the 20th century. In 1945 Walt Disney collaborated with him on the short Destino (which is the Spanish word for
"destiny"). Storyboarded by studio artist John Hench and Dalí for eight months in late 1945 and 1946, financial
concerns later caused Disney to cease production. Destino was abandoned for decades (until its release in 2003),
but Dalí and Walt remained lifelong friends.
Tony Award-winning comedic actor Phil Silvers is born in Brooklyn, New York.
His Disney credits include The Strongest Man in the World (1975) as Krinkle and The Boatniks (1970) as
Harry Simmons. (Silvers is best remembered as television's Sergeant Bilko and for his roles in such features
as It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World and 40 Pounds of Trouble - which was shot at Disneyland!)
Disney's Silly Symphony cartoon Water Babies is released. Directed by Wilfred Jackson, it
features babies playing games in and out of the water.
Disney Channel airs the 14th episode of MMC. Today is Party Day!
The hit TV sitcom Full House goes to Disney World in part 1 of "The House
Meets the Mouse." When Uncle Jesse's band, the Rippers, gets a gig at Walt Disney World over
his wedding anniversary, he and his wife, Becky decide to take the whole gang with them. The cast
stayed at the Grand Floridian while shooting - as many scenes were actually shot at the deluxe resort.
Karolyn Kirby and Nancy Reno capture the $60,000 Cybergenics Open in the
inaugural professional beach volleyball event at Disney's Wide World of
Sports Complex in Florida.
The Backstreet Boys tape a live concert in front of 1,800 fans at the New Amsterdam Theater in New York City (home to Disney's Lion King). The concert will have its world premiere
on Disney Channel two months later.
The Disney-owned Lyric Street Records releases The Whole SHeBANG, the debut
album by the American country music group SHeDAISY.
Actress/singer Sabrina Carpenter is born in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. She lent her voice to
two episodes of Phineas and Ferb, and thirteen episodes of Sofia the First. Between 2014-2017 she starred as Maya Hart in the Disney Channel series Girl Meets World. In 2016, she starred as Jenny Parker in Disney Channel Original Movie Adventures in Babysitting. Her music albums have been released through Disney's Hollywood Records.
Disney Channel airs the Lizzie McGuire episode "Between a Rock and a Bra Place" for the first time.
Star Wars Weekends is held at Disney-MGM for the second time this season.
Celebrity guests include Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) and Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca).
Starting on this day, the Disney Magic cruise ship will alternate
each week between its new western Caribbean itinerary calling
on Key West, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Castaway Cay and
its present eastern Caribbean route to St. Maarten, St. Thomas
and Castaway Cay. (The Disney Magic departs on its 7-night
itineraries each Saturday from its year-round home port at Port Canaveral, Florida.)
Legendary Disney storyman and children's book author Bill Peet passes at
age 87 at his home in Studio City, California. Credited with co-writing such
animated classics as 101 Dalmatians and The Sword in the Stone, Peet first
joined the Disney Studio in 1937 at age 22 drawing Donald Duck.
Walt Disney Records Presents Mega Movie Mix is released. The CD features songs from Walt Disney Pictures and Disney Channel Original Movies such as The Lizzie McGuire Movie and The Princess Diaries.
The ABC-TV show Live with Regis and Kelly originates from
Walt Disney World to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of Disneyland.
Starting this day, graduates nation-wide gather to celebrate the road ahead at Disneyland Resort’s Grad Nite presented by Honda. From the stroke of midnight until the sun comes up at 6 a.m., Disneyland is the graduates’ park-after-dark!
Composer, arranger, trumpeter & Disney Legend Salvador "Tutti" Camarata is born in
Glen Ridge, New Jersey. In 1956 Walt Disney hired him to help form Disney Records and to be music
director & producer for the label. Two years later, Camarata purchased a building (an old auto repair shop on Sunset
Hollywood. During his 16 year association with Disney, Camarata produced over 300 albums!
(Camarata was an amazing innovator - he invented the idea of the isolation booth for recording studios!)
Columbia Pictures' Once Upon a Time is released. Starring Cary Grant, the film tells
the story of a boy, his dancing caterpillar, and the man who wants to make them famous. Walt Disney's name is mentioned throughout the film and there's even a scene of Walt (played by actor Walte
Fenner), over long-distance phone from Hollywood, offering $100,000 for the caterpillar!
Animator Don Towsley is born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His Disney credits include
such features as Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, and Bambi and the shorts Donald's Golf Game, Sky
Trooper, and Mickey Mouse Disco. (Towsley also worked on such TV cartoons as Fat Albert and the
Cosby Kids and the holiday classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas!)
Actor Denver Pyle is born in Bethune, Colorado. Pyle's Disney credits include the features Escape to Witch Mountain & Return from Witch Mountain, and the Disneyland TV episodes Hog Wild & The Boy Who Talked to Badgers. (He is best known to fans of The Dukes of Hazzard as Uncle Jesse.)
Sketch artist Albert Hurter is born in Zurich, Switzerland. He was the first ever inspirational sketch artist to work at the Walt Disney Studio (between 1931-1942). Walt Disney saw potential in his talent as Hurter (already a veteran in the animation business) could draw quickly, understood movement and had a great imagination. At the age of 48, he was the "old man" of the studio. His job was to design characters that the animators would then refine and bring to life. Hurter made significant contributions to the visual styles of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Dumbo, and Fantasia. Sadly he passed away in 1942.
"Drawing is the honesty of the art. There is no possibility of cheating. It is either good or bad." -Salvador Dalí
Actor, television broadcaster, radio personality, & voice-over specialist
Terry McGovern is born Berkeley, California. He is the voice of Launchpad McQuack in such
Disney movies and television shows as Darkwing Duck, DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp,
and Ducktales: Treasure of the Golden Suns.
Margaret Kerry, the "Original Tinker Bell," is born Peggy Lynch in Los Angeles, California. A voiceover artist, motivational speaker and radio host, Kerry originally answered an audition call
during the planning stages of the animated feature film Peter Pan. The audition, supervised by Disney animator
Marc Davis, required her to pantomime the motions that would eventually be animated as Tinker Bell. Kerry won
the audition and spent the next six months at the Disney Studios!
"I’m an impatient comedian. And I feel the audience is as impatient as me."
On this evening's episode of ABC's Dancing with the Stars, the Gipsy Kings perform a Spanish-language version of the song "You've Got a Friend in Me" (which will appear
on the Toy Story 3 Soundtrack).
In addition to traditional Disney characters dressed in their Star Wars costumes, a number of Star Wars characters from the films and television series
appear for photo opportunities and autograph signing during Star Wars Weekends at the Disney's Hollywood Studios. Characters have included Clone
Wars‘ Captain Rex, Ahsoka Tano, Queen Amidala, Aurra Sing, Boba Fett, Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, R2-D2, C-3PO,
Chewbacca, Clonetroopers, Darth Maul, and of course Darth Vader!
Today is Twilight Zone Day
Walt Disney World officially crowns Merida from Disney/Pixar’s "Brave" as the 11th
Disney Princess. Her coronation ceremony fittingly takes place in front of Cinderella Castle, just steps away
from her own Magic Kingdom meet-and-greet spot. Just after the theme park opening, Princess Merida is joined
for the first time by all ten of her fellow royals, Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Jasmine, Belle, Mulan,
Pocahontas, Tiana, and Rapunzel, welcoming her to the group.
Actor Bernard Fox is born in Wales. His Disney credits include The Million Dollar Duck, The Rescuers, Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, and The Rescuers Down Under.
Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales has its world premiere at
the Shanghai Disney Resort. The fifth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, Johnny Depp,
Kevin McNally and Geoffrey Rush reprise their roles as Jack Sparrow, Joshamee Gibbs and Hector Barbossa. Captain
Jack Sparrow is pursued by an old nemesis, Armando Salazar (played by Javier Bardem), who along with his Spanish
Navy ghost crew has escaped from the Devil's Triangle and is determined to kill every pirate at sea. The film will be released to U.S. theaters on May 26.
Wishes: A Magical Gathering of Disney Dreams, a fireworks show at the Magic
Kingdom theme park of Walt Disney World, closes. Sponsored by Pandora Jewelry, it had been entertaining guests since October 2003.
The second season of Girl Meets World debuts on Disney Channel with the episode "Girl Meets Gravity."
Actress, model, and singer Peggy Lipton, well known through her role as flower
child Julie Barnes in the counterculture television series The Mod Squad
(1968–1973), passes away at age 72 in Los Angeles, California. Mother of actress
Rashida Leah Jones, Lipton played the role of mother Priscilla Martin in Touchstone's 2010 romantic
comedy When in Rome, and had a recurring role on the ABC television series Alias.
Actor/musician Jonathan Jackson is born Jonathan Stevens Jackson in Orlando, Florida. He made his feature film debut in the 1994 adventure comedy Camp Nowhere. Jackson's first well known character was Lucky Spencer on the ABC Daytime soap opera General Hospital, a role that earned him five Emmy Awards. In 2002, he played Jesse Tuck in Disney's romantic fantasy film Tuck Everlasting. From 2012–2018, he portrayed Avery Barkley in the ABC/CMT musical drama series, Nashville.
Shanghai Disneyland theme park officially reopens to the public. During this initial reopening phase, the park institutes new measures and procedures, including opening with limited attendance and required advanced ticketing and reservations, accommodating social distancing in queues, restaurants, ride vehicles and
other facilities throughout the park, and implementing increased frequency of sanitization and disinfection. The park
is the first of the Disney resorts to resume operations after an almost four-month coronavirus shutdown.
Actor and comedian Jerry Stiller passes away at age 92 of natural causes. His Disney voice credits include The Lion King 1 1/2 as Uncle Max, Teacher's Pet as Pretty Boy, Disney Channel's Fish Hooks as Principal Stickler, and Planes: Fire & Rescue as Harvey. (Stiller was best known as half the comedy team of Stiiler & Meara and for his television roles on Seinfeld and The King of Queens.)
Academy Award nominated sound engineer Sam Slyfield is born in Frankfort, Michigan. His Disney credits include such shorts and features as Donald's Lucky Day, Fantasia,
Bambi, Victory Through Air Power, Donald Duck and the Gorilla, The Three Caballeros, Make Mine Music, Song of the South, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, and Peter Pan.
Disney on Broadway announces that The Lion King - Musical will return to Broadway on September 14, 2021, while Aladdin - The Musical will resume performances on September 28, 2021. After a year of Broadway theatres being closed, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, theaters across New York City are beginning to come out of hibernation. Broadway theaters first closed on March 12, 2020, initially as a precautionary measure to stop the spread of Coronavirus in New York City.