Disney Channel airs episode 16 of MMC. The musical group 
Was (Not Was) appears on Music Day performing their hit "Walk the Dinosaur."
Card Walker, Disney president and chief operating officer, announces to a
 meeting of the American Marketing Association that Walt Disney Productions will be
 moving ahead "in a phased program" with the development of Walt Disney's
 concept for EPCOT. The process of taking Walt's EPCOT (an idea for a real city) apart and concocting
 something different with the pieces has begun.
Animator & cartoonist Jack Bradbury passes away at the age of 89. Born in 1914, he
first joined the Disney Studio at age 20 and worked as an inbetweener from 1934-1938 on such cartoons as
The Band Concert and Through The Mirror. He later became a full animator and worked on several key scenes 
in Disney features, including the stag fight in Bambi, the Pegasus family gliding into a watery landing 
in Fantasia, and Figaro walking across Gepetto's bed in Pinocchio. Leaving after the 1941 strike, Bradbury 
worked for the Schlessinger studio, which produced cartoons for Warner Brothers. Towards the end of his time 
at Warner's, he started drawing comic book stories. A short time later he took a job with Western Publishing who 
were producing all of the Disney comics. Bradbury spent the next three decades drawing mostly Disney comics 
for Western, and later (from about 1968-1977) directly for Disney Studio.
Illustrator/writer & Disney Legend Joe Grant is born in New York City. 
He first became interested in drawing while watching his father (an art director for William
Randolph Hearst's newspapers) illustrate. In 1933, Walt Disney discovered Grant through his celebrity
caricatures in the Los Angeles Record and invited him to design the movie star caricatures for the cartoon
Mickey's Gala Premiere. Grant went on to work on such early classics as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Dumbo and Fantasia as a conceptual artist and story man. Although temporarily leaving Disney in 1949 to pursue
other artistic ventures, he later returned in the late 1980s to contribute concepts, character designs, story ideas and
gags for AladdinThe Lion KingPocahontasThe Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules and Fantasia 2000.
Plane CrazyWalt Disney's first silent short to feature
Mickey & Minnie Mouse, premieres as a sneak preview at a theater on Sunset
 Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. The film, a parody of the Charles
 Lindbergh craze, has cost $1,772 to make. Plane Crazy also features the very first appearance of Clarabelle Cow. It is co-directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks. Iwerks is also given credit as the main animator,
 although he is assisted by Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising. This is the last Disney project Harman and
 Ising worked on as they have jumped to a new studio formed by Charles Mintz. (The two will later leave
 Mintz's studio and go on to start Warner Bros. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer animation studios!) Sound will
 later be added to Plane Crazy and officially released in March 1929, 4 months after Steamboat Willie.
Disney's Silly Symphony cartoon Little Hiawatha is released.
Directed by David Hand, a young Indian brave sets off into the forest to prove his
worth by hunting big game. Unfortunately, he finds that some of the game is a lot bigger than he is!

"Donald and Donna," the first Donald Duck adventure ever, is published in Mickey Mouse Weekly # 67 by Fleetway (a publishing company mainly producing comic magazines for the United Kingdom). The story (drawn by William A. Ward) is 15 pages long and will be published in weekly episodes.
Actor Chazz Palminteri, the voice of Buster in Disney's 2001 Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure, is born in New York City. (He is best known for his performances in The Usual SuspectsA Bronx TaleMulholland Falls and his Academy Award nominated role for Best Supporting Actor in Bullets Over Broadway.)
Bill Nye - of the syndicated television show Disney Presents Bill Nye the Science Guy - 
wins a Daytime Emmy for Performer in a Children's Series.

Disney's Touchstone Pictures releases The Horse Whisperer starring Robert Redford 
and based on the 1995 novel of the same name by Nicholas Evans. The mother of a 
severely traumatized daughter (played by Scarlett Johansson) enlists the aid of a unique horse trainer (Redford) to 
help the girl's equally injured horse. Although he has already directed several films, this is the first time Robert 
Redford directs a film that he also stars in.
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in California, features
"Walt Disney - The Man and His Magic," an exhibit about Walt.
(The exhibit will run through September.)

Over 200 Disney Cast Members perform in "FLASHBACK: When You Wish
 Upon A Star" for family, friends and fellow cast members at the Hyperion
 Theater in Disney's California Adventure. Four different musical stories are
 performed by groups of cast members representing areas of the Disneyland
 Resort. Ticket and food sales are donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of
 Orange County. The event raises $16,000.
"Old MacDonald," the 20th (and final) episode of the radio series Mickey Mouse
 Theatre of the Air is broadcast on the NBC radio network. Originally scheduled to
 run as a thirteen-program series, it had been extended to twenty due to its
 popularity. (Because the programs took Walt away from his animation, he isn't
entirely unhappy to see the weekly radio series end.)

Animator & film director Dale Case is born in Los Angeles, California. In the 1980s and 1990s, Case worked overseas at Walt Disney Television Animation Australia, supervising animation on shows such as Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers and The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and films such as DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp and the Aladdin sequels The Return of Jafar and Aladdin and the King of Thieves. In 1998, Case directed the "Fifi's Folly" segment of Belle's Magical World. (Over the years, Case worked for MGM, Hanna-Barbera, and Warner Bros., where his credits included The Beatles TV series, the title sequence of 1963's The Pink Panther, and the 1975 The 2000 Year Old Man half-hour special by Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner.)
Mexican American billionaire Arturo "Arte" Moreno makes history by becoming the first Hispanic to own a major sports team in the United States when he purchases the Anaheim Angels baseball team from the Walt Disney Company.
Plane Crazy was the first
 animated film to use a
camera move. The point-of-
view shot from the plane makes
it appear as if the camera is trucking into the ground. In fact, when the
scene was shot, books were piled
under the spinning background to
move the
closer to
the camera!
The Broadway adaptation of Mary Poppins receives 7 Tony nominations for
Best Musical, Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical (Gavin Lee),
 Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical (Rebecca Luker), Best
 Scenic Design of a Musical, Best Costume Design of a Musical, Best Lighting
 Design of a Musical, and Best Choreography.

The Ballpark at Disney's Wide World of Sports hosts its very first regular season Major League Baseball game. The Texas Rangers will play the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in a three-game series through May 17. First known as Cracker Jack Stadium, The Ballpark (on Disney World property) opened in 1997 as the home of the Rookie-league GCL Braves and the spring training home for the Atlanta Braves.
The Disney Channel Original Movie The Thirteenth Year debuts. A teen (played by 
Chez Starbuck) learns that his birth mother is a mermaid after he begins to grow fins and slimy scales on his 
thirteenth birthday!
"They want more production and they want it cheaper. But no matter what happens, the creative idea will be perpetuated by somebody who comes up with a vision. I don't care if there are three CEOs - it takes one guy with an idea." -Joe Grant (born This Day 1908)
Florida Governor Charlie Crist applauds Walt Disney World Resort for its achievement
of 100 percent of its lodging properties earning the Florida Department of
Environmental Protection’s Green Lodging Program designation - covering all 23 of
its resort hotels plus Disney’s Vero Beach Resort. Launched in 2004 by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Florida Green Lodging Program establishes environmental guidelines for hotels and
motels to conserve natural resources and prevent pollution.
Actor David Krumholtz is born in New York City. Disney fans known him best as the sarcastic head elf Bernard in The Santa Clause (1994) and its 2002 sequel The Santa Clause 2: The Mrs ClauseHe also appeared in the 1993 film Life with Mikey, the 1999 film 10 Things I Hate About You, and supplied the voice of Cobalt for a 2018 episode of Star vs. the Forces of Evil. (Fans of TV's Numb3rs knew Krumholtz for his role of Charlie Eppes.)
MAY 15
Today is National Chocolate Chip Day
The Wonderful World of Disney airs the episode "Disney's Greatest Villains" hosted by Hans Conried on NBC-TV. It showcases Disney's 
release The Rescuers and introduces its arch-villain, Madame Medusa. The Rescuers will
be released in June. Conried's long list of Disney credits include Peter Pan
(as the voice of Captain Hook), One Hour in WonderlandBen and MeDavy Crockett,
King of the Wild Frontier, and The Story of Anyburg U.S.A.
The Disney Mickey Mouse short The Cactus Kid, directed by Walt Disney, is released. Riding in on Horace, Mickey visits a western town but fails to impress a Mexican Minnie with his mischievous antics. He later succeeds in saving her from the dastardly Pegleg Pedro! It is the last Mickey short to
be animated by Ub Iwerks (who weeks before left the Disney Studios).
Disney Theatrical Productions' The Lion King has its official grand opening at 
Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Walt Disney Company launches Disney’s Friends for Change: Planet Green 
- a new multiplatform environmental initiative that will help kids help the planet. 
Among the 29 young Disney stars participating in outreach messages (to debut on Disney Channel, Disney 
XD, Radio Disney & Disney.com) are Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, the Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato.

Starting this day, Central Florida motorists can ride a toll road that bypasses 
Apopka, serves as a crucial east-west artery and offers a back way to Walt 
Disney World. The first two-thirds of the John Land Apopka Expressway, also called State Road 414, 
actually debuted in February. But two more miles open today at noon, stretching the highway to 5.5 miles. 
The 414, which cost $247 million to build, allows motorists heading to Disney World to skip heavily traveled 
Interstate 4 through downtown Orlando.
The California Grill restaurant opens on the 15th floor of the Contemporary
 Resort (former site of Top of the World) at Walt Disney World. Located on the
 resort's top floor, the restaurant offers dining guests a spectacular view of the nightly fireworks
 extravaganza at the nearby Magic Kingdom.
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Epcot's 18th International Flower & Garden Festival comes to a close.

Disneyland cast members and their select guests preview Star Tours - The
 Adventure Continues. The revamped Tomorrowland attraction based on Star Wars will open June 3.

Disney's The Lion King at Mandalay Bay celebrates its second anniversary on the
 Vegas Strip. Following this evening's performance, the show's cast and crew gather to celebrate the
 occasion with champagne and a spectacular Lion King cake standing four feet tall and weighing 75 pounds in
 a magnificent portrayal of Simba's mask and body.
The only Disney artist to have worked on both Fantasia's!
The MGM content in The Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios was used (despite the park no longer being called Disney-MGM 
Studios) because the copyright holder of many of the films is actually Warner Bros. Although originally MGM films, Singin’ in the Rain and 
Wizard of Oz are now owned by Warner Bros., along with the entire pre-1986 library of MGM movies!
(Other films featured in the attraction included Footlight Parade and The Public Enemy - both Warner Bros. productions.)
Photo by Bernie at Disney.Rocket9.net


Author Lyman "L." Frank Baum is born in Chittenango, New York.
Best known for writing The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, he also penned thirteen novel sequels,
nine fantasy novels, and many poems and short stories. In 1900, Baum and illustrator
W.W. Denslow (with whom he shared the copyright) published The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
to much critical acclaim and financial success. This was followed 4 years later with
The Marvelous Land of Oz (the first of many sequels).
Some 18 years after Baum's death, Walt Disney planned to produce an animated film based on the first of
Baum's Oz books. Roy O. Disney, chairman of the Walt Disney Studios, was told by Baum's estate that
they had sold the film rights to the first book to Samuel Goldwyn, who re-sold it to Louis B. Mayer in 1938. The project was developed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer into the well-known musical adaptation starring Judy
Garland, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley and Margaret Hamilton.
In 1954, when the film rights to Baum's remaining thirteen Oz books were made available, Walt Disney
Productions acquired them for use in Disney's television series Disneyland and the live-action film
Rainbow Road to Oz, which was abandoned and never completed. Disney's history with the Oz series
continued with the June 1985 Return to Oz which was presented as an unofficial sequel to the 1939 film
The Wizard of Oz. In March 2013 Walt Disney Pictures released Oz the Great and Powerful.
May 15
Star Wars Weekends 2015 kicks off at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Emperor Palpatine himself, Ian McDiarmid, helps open this year's festivities with his first-ever Star Wars Weekends 
appearance. The 5 event weekends will run through June 14.
The Town Center section of Disney Springs opens to the public for the first time.
The debut of 23 stores and a handful of eateries mark the latest phase in the redevelopment of the longstanding
Walt Disney World entertainment complex, which has had an emphasis on more stores, more restaurants and a comprehensive re-theming from its Downtown Disney era.

Also opening to Walt Disney World guests is a new ice cream parlor called Ample Hills Creamery at Disney's BoardWalk entertainment, dining and shopping area. In keeping with the timeless charm of the 1930's Atlantic
coastal atmosphere surrounding Disney's Boardwalk, Ample Hills Creamery is themed as a turn-of-the-century
ice cream parlor. 
Actor, comedian and writer Fred Willard passes away at age 86 of natural causes at his home in California. Among his best known Disney voice roles; Melvin in Chicken Little (2005), Shelby Forthright, BnL CEO in WALL-E (2008) and the Secretary of the Interior in Planes: Fire & Rescue (2014). Willard's long list of Disney/ABC television credits included The Golden GirlsRoseanneSabrina the Teenage WitchBuzz Lightyear of Star CommandTeamo SupremoKim PossibleWizards of Waverly PlaceModern Family, and Milo Murphy's Law.
(He was best known for his roles in the Rob Reiner mockumentary film This Is Spinal Tap; the Christopher Guest mockumentaries Waiting for GuffmanBest in ShowA Mighty WindFor Your Consideration and Mascots; and the Anchorman films.)

Disney+ launches a new series titled It's A Dog's LifeBill Farmer, the voice actor of Goofy and Pluto, tells the stories of working dogs across the United States while educating viewers on responsible pet care.
Actor James Mason is born in Huddersfield, West Riding of Yorkshire, England. Widely considered to be one of the greatest film actors of the 20th century, Disney fans know him as Captain Nemo in the 1954 Disney film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. (He achieved considerable success in British cinema before becoming one of Hollywood's biggest stars with such films as A Star is BornNorth by Northwest, and Journey to the Center of the Earth.)
Disney World continues its phased reopening (since its closure in 2020 due to the pandemic). On this day, Festival of the Lion King officially reopens at Animal Kingdom.
Character actor Andrew Duggan passes away at age 64 in California. 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.