At 2:00 p.m., Walt and Roy Disney, accompanied by Governor Haydon Burns,
speak to the press in the Egyptian Room of the Cherry Plaza Hotel on Lake Eola in Orlando and officially launch the Disney World project in Florida. (Site preparation will begin in the fall of 1967 and the park will open in October 1971, unfortunately five years after Walt's death.)
Only days after this announcement, the price of land surrounding the property that the Disney organization
purchased for supposedly $180 an acre - will shoot up to an amazing $80,000 per acre! As of this day,
Disney planners have acquired about 27,443 acres (or 43 square miles) at a cost of just about $5 million.
The Walt Disney Pictures' 28th animated feature film, The Little Mermaid
(featuring the voice of Jodi Benson as Ariel) is released in Los Angeles,
California, and New York City. It is the first Disney animated feature in three decades based on a classic fairy tale since Sleeping Beauty. (It will be generally released 2 days later and go on to win 2 Academy Awards.)
Muppet creator Jim Henson is inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame.
"Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too" airs onThe Wonderful World of Disney.
"I would like to be part of building a model community, a City of Tomorrow,
you might say, because I don't believe in going out to this extreme blue-sky stuff
that some architects do. I believe that people still want to live like human beings."
-Walt Disney at the 1965 press conference to announce the Florida Project
on This Day in Disney History
Buena Vista International, the foreign distribution arm of the Walt Disney Co., reaches $1 billion in overseas box office revenue on this day.
The Alice Comedy Alice Rattled by Rats, featuring Margie Gay, is released.
Disney's Mickey Mouse short Jungle Rhythm,
directed by Walt Disney, is released. It features the voice of
Walt (as Mickey) and the music of Carl W. Stalling - the first Mickey short
to have music in the opening credits! Mickey's on an African safari, riding
on an elephant, when his shotgun disintegrates the first time he tries to
use it. To sooth the vicious beasts, he plays tunes, sings, and dances,
using the various animals and objects around him as instruments.
The Disney Art Class meets for the first time with Don Graham of the
Chouinard School of Art lecturing at Disney's old sound studio on Hyperion Avenue
in Los Angeles, California. In preparation for a feature-length cartoon, Walt Disney has set up this art school to train his animators. (Because it is the Depression and jobs are scarce, the studio attracts many talented individuals who, in better economic times, might well have chosen other careers.) Classes are held once a week after work on the sound stage, but soon this will be expanded to twice weekly. The selection of Graham will prove
to be one of the most fortuitous moves Walt Disney will ever make.
"A true scholar of the art of drawing [who] knew as much about art as anybody I've ever come in contact with. Don gave so much and offered so much and not too many people realize that. [Don] was a very inspirational man." -Marc Davis on Don Graham
Alice Pleasance Liddell Hargreaves (the inspiration for Lewis Carroll's
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland) passes away at Westerham, Kent, at age 82.
Animator Bill Tytla is hired by the Disney Studio. Originally from New York, Tytla had been
working at Terrytoons alongside animator Art Babbitt. When Babbitt moved to California in 1932 to work for
Disney, he recommended Tytla do the same. The ultimate example of what the ideal animator should be, his
credits will include Snow White, Fantasia and Saludos Amigos. Tytla's short career will end when he mysteriously
and abruptly leaves Disney in 1943 ... virtually disappearing from the industry.
Mickey Mouse Club airs on ABC-TV. Today is Guest Star Day with Clarence Nash (the voice of Donald Duck), Cliff Edwards (the voice of Jiminy Cricket), and José Oliveira (the voice of José Carioca).
Floyd Gottfredson's last Mickey Mouse comic strip is published. (A 45-year veteran, Floyd had retired on October 1, 1975.)
The creator of THIS DAY IN DISNEY HISTORY
is married at the Wedding Pavilion, Walt Disney World at 2 p.m. A reception
follows at Narcoossee's, located behind the Grand Floridian.
The Wilderness Lodge Villas (part of the Disney Vacation Club) opens adjacent to the Wilderness Lodge at Walt Disney World.
The television series Wonderful World of Disney features the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen film "The Challenge."
RedCat, the alternative theater behind the Walt Disney Concert Hall in California, has its official opening. RedCat is an acronym for benefactors Roy and Edna Disney, CalArts (a California college) and the word theater.
It is reported that the Walt Disney Company has bought the assets of CrossGen Entertainment, a comic book publisher (who has declared bankruptcy).
The Garden Grill Restaurant (a rotating restaurant with Character Dining) opens in Epcot's The Land.
Disney Editions publishes the book Pirates of the Caribbean: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies by Imagineer Jason Surrell (a show writer & producer.)
Walt Disney World's Wedding Pavilion is located on a private island on The Seven Seas Lagoon between The Grand Floridian and Polynesian Resorts.
Melendez in Hermosillo, Mexico. Known for his cartoons for Warner
Brothers, UPA and the Peanuts series, he actually started his career at the
Disney studio in 1937, drawing for Fantasia, Pinocchio, Bambi, and Dumbo.
"I started at Walt Disney Productions in January of 1937, where I learned the trade of animating. I spent a happy four years at Disney." -Bill Melendez
A "re-premiere" for Song of the South is held in Atlanta, Georgia, to celebrate the
film's 40th anniversary. By gubernatorial proclamation, the day of the premiere is declared
"Song of the South Day" in Georgia.
Somewhere under the sea and beyond your imagination is an adventure in fantasy.
Disney's live musical Beauty and the Beast (currently a hit on Broadway) kicks off its very first national tour. The show features Kim Huber as Belle and Fred Inkley as the Beast. (Huber will later portray Belle on Broadway.)
Actress Zena Grey is born in New York City. Disney fans know her as Megan in the 2001
Max Keeble's Big Move and as Carly in the 2006 The Shaggy Dog.
The final "ABC-SOAPnet Super Soap Weekend" to ever be held at Disney World kicks off at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida. (ABC's Daytime division will later embark on the 2009 "Soap Nation Tour," a collection of nationwide events designed to interact with fans on a year-round basis, offering greater access to stars in more cities, more often.) The final Walt Disney World weekend is dedicated to the fans with special retrospectives and exclusive productions.
At WDW, Disney’s Contemporary Resort opens the Contempo Café.
Actor Ed Asner, the voice of Carl Fredricksen in the Disney/Pixar animated
Up, is born in Kansas City, Missouri. His Disney TV credits include an episode of Hercules
and the series Recess. An Emmy Award-winning film and television actor, Asner is best known for his
TV role of Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spin-off series, Lou Grant.
Florida Welcomes Walt Disney
The Alice Comedy Alice Hunting in Africa, starring Virginia Davis, is released. (Although the third Alice short made, it is not released until now because of distributor Winkler's dissatisfaction with it.)
Dreams Come True: Art of the Classic Fairy Tales from the Walt Disney Studio,
a major exhibition featuring more than 600 original artworks, is presented (for
exhibition by Lella Smith is available at the museum's shop.
Mary Poppins - the celebrated stage version by Disney and Cameron Mackintosh -
opens in Los Angeles at the Ahmanson Theatre.
Over at Disney's Burbank studio, The Princess and the Frog is given a special
premiere. A fairy tale set in Jazz Age-era New Orleans, the animated feature centers on a young girl named
Tiana and her fateful kiss with a frog prince who desperately wants to be human again. Among the guests at the
event - Anika Noni Rose (the voice of Tiana), executive producer John Lasseter, and composer Randy Newman.
The film will officially debut to the public in select cities November 25.
"We have many things that will make this unique from Disneyland … but this concept here will have to be something that
is unique so that there is a distinction between Disneyland in California, and whatever Disney does, notice I didn't say
Disneyland in Florida, whatever Disney does in Florida." -Walt Disney
Walt Disney World Resort kicks off its annual toy collection drive for Toys for Tots with help from members of the US Marine Corps, Duffy the Disney Bear and Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Disney VoluntEARS have created the "Cuddliest Christmas Tree," a 20-foot-high, 10-foot-wide Christmas tree made of 1,200 stuffed Duffy bears, which will be donated to Central Florida Toys for Tots. From this day until December 10, Walt Disney World Resort cast members will also collect new toys for the Central Florida Toys for Tots drive.
"I have made the appraisal that this is the
most important day in the progress and the
future development of this state. I know of no single thing in history that could have made the impact that the establishment of the Disney facility here will make."
-Florida Governor Haydon Burns (This Day 1965)
The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) announces the winners of the
18th Annual Thea Awards, recognizing excellence in the creation of extraordinary
visitor experiences, attractions, exhibits and places.
Among the winners are 4 for Disney.
Star Tours – The Adventures Continue at Disneyland park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios is honored with
the Award for Outstanding Achievement – Attraction Refresh.
"The Magic, The Memories & You!" show at Magic Kingdom Park is honored with the Award for Outstanding
Achievement – Show Spectacular.
Animation Magic in the Animator’s Palate Restaurant aboard Disney Cruise Line's ship – Disney Fantasy is
honored with the Award for Outstanding Achievement – Ingenious Use of Technology.
Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde is honored with The Buzz Price Thea Award – Recognizing a Lifetime of
Distinguished Achievements, including his work as executive designer on both Disney’s Animal Kingdom
and the recently-opened Aulani.
All will be honored at the Thea Awards ceremony, a black-tie gala to be held March 17, 2012, at the
Apple announces that Bob Iger, president and CEO of the Walt Disney Co.,
is joining its board of directors (and will also serve on the audit committee).
Cruise Critic's 4th Annual Editors' Picks Awards are announced with
Disney Dream being recognized for both Best New Ship and Best Inside Cabins.
Disney Cruise Line also picks up an award for Best Standard Cabins.
ABC-TV premieres the tenth episode of Disney's Recess,
"Teacher's Lounge/Randall's Reform."
The Creation of a Classic" opens to the general public on this day. On view through April
14, 2013, the exhibition celebrates Walt Disney’s vision and the artistry of his dedicated staff, illustrating how
they shaped and defined an entirely new American art form through their creation of this groundbreaking film.
"I feel very humbled to be in such distinguished company here." -Jim Henson
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad opens in Frontierland at Walt Disney World
Resort. Designed by Imagineer Tony Baxter and ride design engineer Bill Watkins, the concept came from
Baxter's work on fellow Imagineer Marc Davis's concept for the Western River Expedition, a western-themed
pavilion at the Magic Kingdom. Originally designed to look like an enormous plateau and contain many rides,
including a runaway mine train roller coaster, the pavilion as a whole, was deemed too expensive in light of
the 1973 construction and opening of Pirates of the Caribbean. Baxter proposed severing the mine train and
building it as a separate attraction called Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
The Walt Disney Theater at Orlando’s new Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
has its grand opening. George A. Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort joins local business
and community leaders in celebrating the center's historic Grand Premiere with a glittering gala and the hall's
inaugural performance. A 2,700-seat hall with tiered seating, the Walt Disney Theater is Central Florida's
new home to Broadway-style shows and musical performances.
This page dedicated in loving memory of Cathy Tallarico (1959-2015).