Disney's Port Orleans Resort French Quarter, a re-creation of the streets and rowhouses of New Orleans' French Quarter, opens at 2201 Orleans Drive in Walt Disney World. The Downtown Disney area resort offers 432 guest rooms in 3 buildings (the room count will increase to 1,008 when construction on the remaining 4 buildings is completed). Also opening is the Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory food court, Jackson Square Gifts and Desires shop, and Bonfamille's Cafe restaurant. (In 2001 it will be renamed Port Orleans Resort when it is merged with Dixie Landings Resort.)

Touchstone Pictures release the comedy What About Bob? directed by Frank Oz 
and starring Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss. A successful psychiatrist loses his mind after one of his most dependent patients, a highly manipulative obsessive-compulsive, tracks him down during a family vacation.

Actor and rapper Daniel Curtis Lee is born in Jackson, Mississippi. His Disney credits include Zeke and Luther and Good Luck Charlie.
Walt Disney Records releases "Best of The Muppets featuring The
 Muppets' Wizard of Oz" from the upcoming The Muppets' Wizard of Oz television movie. (This is the Muppets' first major album release since the franchise was purchased by The Walt Disney Company in 2004.)

It is announced on this day that Roy and Patricia Disney have pledged $10 million
 to Providence Saint Joseph Foundation to build the San Fernando Valley's first and most comprehensive free-standing cancer center. In recognition of their generosity and
 commitment, the California cancer facility, the largest provider of cancer services in the valley, will be named
 "The Roy and Patricia Disney Family Cancer Center."

Actor and impressionist Frank Gorshin passes away at age 72 at Providence Saint
 Joseph Medical Center in California. He played the role of Iggy the bank-robber in
 Disney's 1965 live-action film That Darn Cat! Television fans will remember him best for his role of the Riddler on the 1960s Batman series.
Science expert, physicist, author, world-wide lecturer and
television guest & host, Julius Sumner Miller is born in
Billerica, Massachusetts. A student and friend of Albert Einstein,
between 1962-1964 Miller portrayed Professor Wonderful on new 
introductions, filmed at Disneyland, to the syndicated reruns of Mickey 
Mouse Club. He also starred in the Disney series Great Moments in Science and Science and its Magic, and released LP albums through Disneyland Records. Miller's on-air popularity was due to his enthusiasm ... not normally associated with serious science. (Best known in Canada for his "mad professor" work on the short-lived 1971 TV series The Hilarious House of Frightenstein, Miller passed away in 1987 at age 77.)
Disney's Alice Comedy Alice's Egg Plant, featuring Dawn O'Day as Alice, debuts in New York City at the Rivoli Theater.
French composer Paul Dukas passes away in Paris, France. His most popular piece L'apprenti
sorcier, better known under its English title The Sorcere's Apprentice, is heard in the 1940 Disney film Fantasia.
(Although Dukas wrote a fair amount of music, he was a perfectionist and destroyed many of his pieces out of
dissatisfaction with them. Only a few of his compositions remain!)
Disney's Donald Duck cartoon Billposters is released.

American computer scientist Alan Kay is born in Massachusetts. In the mid-1980s he
joined Walt Disney Imagineering as vice president of research and development before going on to work for
 Hewlett-Packard and Viewpoints Institute. 
Disney Legend Howard Ashman, playwright, producer & award-winning lyricist is born in Baltimore, Maryland. He co-produced The
 Little Mermaid with John Musker, and co-wrote many of the film's songs including "Under
the Sea"  with composer Alan Menken. Ashman's Disney credits also included Oliver
& CompanyBeauty and the Beast, and Aladdin. Sadly, he passed away in March 1991 at only age 40. (He is also best remembered for his rock musical Little Shop of Horrors, which he co-wrote with Menken.) A documentary biographical film titled Howard premiered
at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 22, 2018. Directed by Don Hahn, it debuted on Disney+ in August 2020.
Actor Bill Paxton, the director of Disney's 2005 The Greatest Game Ever Played, is born 
in Fort Worth, Texas. He also appeared in Disney's 2014 feature Million Dollar Arm.
(Paxton has appeared in such films as AliensApollo 13TwisterTitanic and True Lies.)
Disney's live-action comedy Bon Voyage, starring Fred MacMurray, Jane Wyman, Deborah Walley, Kevin Corcoran & Tommy Kirk, is released. The Willards from Indiana travel abroad for a once-in-a-lifetime vacation to Paris, France.

Actor, comedian and talk-show host Craig Ferguson is born in Glasgow, Scotland.
Known for his Emmy Award nominated The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, he supplied the voice for owl in Disney's 2011 animated release Winnie the Pooh. (Before his career as a late-night television host, Ferguson was
best known for his role as the office boss, Nigel Wick, on ABC-TV's The Drew Carey Show.)
                          Disney's Wonderful World of Color TV show airs the
          episode "Disneyland Goes to the World's Fair." Walt is shown
              working on a scene from the Progressland show along with
          Wathel Rogers, his principal Audio-Animatronics programmer.
Although Disney hasn't built the fair's Kodak Pavilion, Walt explains to millions
 of viewers about how the development of Kodak cameras make it possible for
 people to record their World's Fair memories ... and actually plugs the Kodak
 Pavilion! Kodak's structure is located next to Pepsi's "It's a Small World"
 attraction and the Tower of the Four Winds - the only place where visitors can
 get a picture taken with Disney characters.
"American Journeys," a Circle-Vision 360° film, debuts at Tokyo Disneyland.

Actor Tahj Mowry is born Tahj Dayton Mowry in Honolulu, Hawaii. The younger brother of identical twins Tia and Tamera Mowry, he is known for his role on the show Smart Guy as the main character TJ on The WB, though the show gained later recognition on Disney Channel. Mowry was later cast as the voice of ten-year-old super genius Wade Load on Kim Possible.
The Wonderful World of Disney airs the movie "Spot Marks the X."
Disney Channel airs episode 18 of MMC. Today is Anything Can Happen Day!
Disneyland's Mike Fink Keelboats re-closes for only the second time in the 
attraction's history.

Disney's animated Nightmare Ned airs on ABC-TV with 3 episodes - "Headless
Lester," "My, How You've Grown, Part 1," and "My, How You've Grown, Part 2."
At the Drama Desk Awards, Disney's stage musical The Lion King wins the most
 awards with Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical (Tsidii Le Loka), Outstanding
 Director of a Musical, Outstanding Choreography, Outstanding Set Design of a
 Musical, Outstanding Costume Design, Outstanding Lighting Design, Outstanding
 Sound Design, and Outstanding Puppet Design.

The Wonderful World of Disney airs the television movie "Miracle at Midnight,"
 starring Sam Waterston and Mia Farrow. Set in Denmark during September 1943, Miracle at
 Midnight tells the dramatic true story of the Danish rescue of Jews from Nazi concentration camps.
The 29th Daytime Emmy Awards are presented at New York City's Madison Square Garden. Disney Channel's Madeline wins for Outstanding Children's Animated Program and Disney's Teacher's Pet takes home an award for Outstanding Special Class Children's Animated Program.

The Lizzie McGuire episode "The Longest Yard" debuts on Disney Channel.
Phase 1 of Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa (the 7th Disney Vacation Club resort built at Walt Disney World) welcomes its first guests. Phase 1 features 4 Villa
Buildings in a section called Congress Park - opening with 184 Vacation Home units. Jodi Benson (best known
as the voice of Ariel in The Little Mermaid) takes part in the opening festivities singing "Part of Your World" and other Disney classics. The resort (inspired by the city of Saratoga Springs, New York) is situated on the former
site of the Disney Institute at 1960 Broadway. (Phases 2-4 will open over the next 5 years.)

The Hollywood Reporter reports that the Disney theme park ride Jungle Cruise
will be turned into a live-action feature film.

Comedic actor Tony Randall, who hosted the 1987 television special 
Walt Disney World Celebrity Circus, passes away in his sleep of complications from
 heart surgery. Also appearing on The Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park Grand Opening 1989 television 
special, fans will remember Randall for his classic role of Felix Unger on the sitcom The Odd Couple.
The late Sam McKim, the man who drew the first Disneyland map, receives a
Window on Main Street at Disneyland. Hired in 1954 as Walt's Master Map Maker, McKim's
sketches were also used to help design the park, especially Main Street and Frontierland. During his 32-year 
career, McKim worked on several of the Studio's films, including ZorroJohnny TremainThe Shaggy Dog,
and The Gnome-Mobile. He also played a key role at the 1964-65 New York World's Fair, for which he
contributed sketches for all four Disney attractions. (McKim passed away in July 2004.)
Instead of Disney's California
 Adventure, Disney originally
considered building a West
 Coast version of Epcot!
 WestCOT was announced to
 the public in 1991 ... but
 scrapped in 1995. WestCOT
 would have been the first
 Disney theme park of its kind
to have resorts actually
on its property.
Disney writer and director Ralph Wright, the gloomy 
voice of loveable Eeyore in such classics as Winnie
the Pooh and the Honey Tree and Winnie the Pooh 
and the Blustery Day, is born in Grants Pass, 
Oregon. He (along with his fellow Disney contemporaries) was a pioneer in the use of "gags" within cartoons, 
often acted out in front of the "story board," a bulletin board pinned with sequential sketches of the cartoon's scenes 
- a technique still in use today in most major animation studios. Wright's story credits include Winnie the Pooh and 
Tigger Too!The Jungle Book, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and The Aristocats. His directing credits include the 
1957 live-action Perri.
"There's only one thing worse than a man who doesn't have strong likes and dislikes, and that's a man who has strong likes and dislikes without the courage to voice them."
-Tony Randall (1920-2004)
The National Council of the Boy Scouts of America awards Walt Disney and eight other recipients the prestigious Silver Buffalo during a ceremony in St. Louis, Missouri. The Silver Buffalo, Scouting's highest commendation, is awarded annually for "distinguished service to boyhood."
Tony Award-winning musical theatre lyricist David Zippel is born in Easton, Pennsylvania. His Disney credits include Mulan (co-writing the songs "Reflection" & "True to Your Heart" with Matthew Wilder), Hercules (co-writing "Go the Distance" with Alan Menken), and Tarzan (collaborating with Phil Collins).
MAY 17
"If you can't find Disney, look for Kodak... and if you can't find Kodak, just look for Disney... " -Walt Disney
The Field Museum in Chicago unveils Sue, the largest, most complete, and best 
preserved Tyrannosaurus rex fossil yet discovered. A replica of Sue stands in Disney's Animal 
Kingdom. Visit Sue on your travels to the Dino Institute in Dinoland USA. (The dinosaur is named after Sue 
Hendrickson - an American paleontologist, who along with her team in August 1990 discovered the bones of
this huge Tyrannosaurus rex in South Dakota.)
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Walt Disney awarded Silver Buffalo
"The best way to predict the future is to invent it." -Alan Kay
selected works:
co-written with Menken for 
The Little Mermaid:
"Part of Your World" 
"Kiss the Girl"
"Poor Unfortunate Souls"
co-written with Menken for 
Beauty and the Beast:
"Be Our Guest" 
"Beauty and the Beast" 
Disney Legend Harrison "Buzz" Price is born Oregon City, Oregon (though he grew up in Southern California). A research economist who recommended Anaheim to Walt Disney as the location for Disneyland, Price later formed Economics Research Associates and conducted studies for many theme park clients. He also had a helping hand in finding the location for Walt Disney World.
Wright provided the voice for Eeyore in four of Disney’s Winnie the Pooh films:
"Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree"
"Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day"
"The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh "
"Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore"
Wright co-directed the True Life Fantasy "Perri" along with Paul Kenworthy.

The Sorcerer's Hat at Disney's Hollywood Studios stood 100 feet tall. Mickey Mouse would have to have been 350 feet tall if he were to wear it!
The hat was painted with a custom technique called "chameleon paint" which shifts color as guests move around it. Painting the hat required
enough paint to cover 500 Cadillacs. Disney removed the iconic structure from the park in early 2015.

Photo by Bernie at Disney.Rocket9.net
Art director and production designer Stan Jolley is born in New York City. Working in the Art 
Department at 20th Century Fox, Disney artist Herb Ryman convinced Jolley to come work for Walt Disney in 1953 on 
a new and unique project. Long before Disneyland was a twinkle in the eye of the general public, Jolley was hard at 
work with Herb, Walt Disney, and Dick Irvine, designing some of Disneyland’s most beloved landmarks. His influence 
can be seen in the Main Street Emporium, the Golden Horseshoe Saloon in Frontierland, the Storybook Land Canal 
Boats, and Sleeping Beauty Castle. Later Jolley was one of the first to work in Walt’s newly created Motion Picture & 
TV Art Department, and worked on Disney television classics from Zorro to The Nine Lives of Elfego Baca. After 
leaving Disney in 1960, he worked as an art director on numerous television series and feature films.
May 17
The first Star Wars Weekends of the season kicks off at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Ray Park, Jeremy Bulloch and Dee Bradley Baker (all members of the "Star Wars" universe) make appearances over 
the next 3 days. The first Star Wars Weekends since Walt Disney Co. bought LucasFilm,  the event will be held 
throughout the theme park on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, through June 9.

Mystic Point, a new themed land, opens at Hong Kong Disneyland. Set in a dense, uncharted
rain forest surrounded by mysterious forces and supernatural events, Mystic Point features Mystic Manor (home of Lord Henry Mystic, an eccentric adventurer who has traveled the world collecting unusual objects) a Haunted Mansion style attraction, and the Archive Shop (selling souvenirs and collectibles).

Whirlwnd, a new collection of music by singer Maddie Poppe, is released on CD and digital download by Hollywood Records. Singer-songwriter, musician Poppe was the season 16 winner of American Idol

Disney Princess Majestic Quest, a mobile and computer game developed and published by Gameloft (the same company that developed Disney Magic Kingdoms),
is released.
Actor and author Hill Harper is born Francis Eugene "Hill" Harper in Iowa City, Iowa. Starting in 2017, Harper has portrayed Dr. Marcus Andrews on the ABC series The Good Doctor.
Actress Paige Turco is born in Boston, Massachusetts. She appeared in the 2006 Invinicible and
the 2007 The Game Plan.
Actress, screenwriter and producer Lena Waithe is born in Chicago, Illinois. She supplied the voice of Officer Specter for the 2020 animated Onward.
The 2015 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival comes to an end.
Artist, sculptor, photographer, naturalist, and illustrator Maurice "Jake" Day is born in
Damariscotta, Maine. Joining the Walt Disney Studios in 1936, he started as an illustrator and layout artist for such shorts as Merbabies. It wasn't until the 1942 Bambi that he became best known as he helped considerably in the creation of the deer. Since Disney animators had never seen a live white-tail deer, it was Day who arranged with the Maine Department of Economic Development to have two four-month old orphaned fawns brought from Maine to be sketched by the studio artists. He was also responsible for drawing the scenic backgrounds for the film. (Disney wished to premiere Bambi in Augusta, Maine to recognize Day's considerable contributions to the film. However, due to possible protests from the strong hunting community within the state, officials voted against premiering the film in Maine.) After several years with Disney, Day moved back to Damariscotta, where he continued to create for the rest of his life.
Author of fantasy Lloyd Alexander passes away at age 83 in Pennsylvania. Author of primarily fantasy novels for children and young adults, over his seven-decade career, Alexander wrote 48 books. His 1964 book Chronicles of Prydain and the 1965 follow-up The Black Cauldron were the inspiration for Disney's animated 1985 feature The Black Cauldron. A National Book Award-winning influential author, Alexander was one of the creators of "Cricket," a popular magazine for children.