Actor Craig T. Nelson, the voice of Bob Parr/Mr. Incredible in the 2004
Disney-Pixar animated feature The Incredibles, is born in Spokane, Washington.
(Nelson is probably best known for his Emmy-winning role as Hayden Fox on the TV sitcom Coach.)
RKO Pictures re-releases the film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in New York theaters.
The Lizzie McGuire episode "Grand Ole Grandma" debuts on Disney Channel.
Disney's Alice Comedy Alice's Auto Race, featuring Margie Gay, is released.
Poet, educator, author, actress and activist Maya Angelou, one of the original voices of Walt Disney World's The Hall of Presidents attraction, is born Marguerite Johnson
in St. Louis, Missouri.
Comedic actress Estelle Harris - the voice of Mrs. Potato Head in both Toy Story 2 and
Toy Story 3 - is born in New York City. Her long list of voice credits include the pet sitter, Mrs. Boogins in
the animated Teacher's Pet, Mrs. Turtle in the TV series House of Mouse and Mrs. Lipsky in Kim Possible. Harris has
also guest starred on such live-action Disney Channel series as Phil of the Future, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody
and Sonny with a Chance. (TV fans know her as Estelle Costanza, George's mom, from the hit sitcom Seinfeld.)
The Disneyland series airs the episode "Where Do The Stories Come From?"
Along with actor Kirk Douglas & animators Ward Kimball and Ollie Johnston, Walt Disney answers viewers
questions about the stories from his films. Composer Oliver Wallace also appears, recreating the conception of a
song for Daisy Duck, "Crazy Over Daisy," and explaining how that song inspired a Donald Duck cartoon short.
Joanna Miller, Walt Disney's granddaughter, is born in
Monterey County, California.
Disney animator and technical genius Ub Iwerks wins an Oscar (Scientific or Technical,
Class III) for the design of an optical printer for special effects at the 32nd Annual Academy
Awards held at the RKO Pantages Theater, Los Angeles. (An optical printer is a camera and one or
more projectors operating in tandem, which makes it possible to photograph a photograph. Common optical effects include
fade outs & fade ins, dissolves, slow motion, fast motion, and matte work.) Although nominated, Sleeping Beauty, Noah's
Ark, Donald in Mathmagic Land, and Mysteries of the Deep are all edged out by their competitors.
Chart-topping acts Britney Spears and 98 Degrees hip-hop down Main Street, U.S.A. during the 14th annual Walt Disney World Happy Easter Parade. The event is broadcast on ABC-TV.
It is reported that actor Christopher Walken has closed a deal to play the
lead human in the largely animatronic film The Country Bears for the
Walt Disney Company. (He will go on to play the role of Reed Thimple.)
Western Way, the new rear entrance to Disney World from the new
Western Beltway expressway opens in Florida. The 4-lane, divided
boulevard gives Disney a western entrance for the first time, allowing
tourists coming in via Interstate 75 to enter Central Florida on Florida's Turnpike
and the Western Beltway (State Road 429), without ever entering Orlando or
driving on Interstate 4.
Walt Disney Records releases both Disneymania 4 (the follow up to the platinum-selling Disneymania CDs) and Disney's Karaoke Series: Disneymania Volume 2.
The Disney-owned Lyric Street releases Me and My Gang, the fourth studio album
from the American country music group Rascal Flatts. The album will go double platinum in
the first month of release.
Man's Best Friend, a Disney short directed by Jack Kinney, is released. The cartoon features Goofy as the owner of a new puppy.
The largest Hidden Mickey at Walt Disney World is a solar farm arranged into the shape of the famous mouse ears near Epcot. Made out of 48,000 solar panels, it sits on a 20-acre solar facility located near World Drive and Epcot Center Drive.
"All great achievements require time." -Maya Angelou
Rock 'n' Roll Beach Club, a rock-theme dance club, opens in Disney World's
Pleasure Island. It replaces XZFR Rockin' Rollerdrome, a short lived club where guests could strap on
skates and dance to rock music.
Rock 'n' Roll Beach Club opens
LIFE magazine features a two-page spread - Snow White Breaks all Records - in part about Marjorie Belcher, an 18-year-old dancer from Los Angeles who aided the animators in capturing live-action movements for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Belcher was the model for a real-life Snow White, enacting all the scenes of the story so that animators could study her expressions and poses. (Belcher, dressed as Snow White, had taken part in the Tournament of Roses Parade last January 1.)
Actress Nancy McKeon is born in Westbury, New York. Best remembered for her role
as Jo Polniaczek on the long-running NBC sitcom The Facts of Life, McKeon
portrayed Connie Munroe (Sonny's mom) on Disney Channel's Sonny with a Chance.
At Shea's Buffalo (in Buffalo, New York) Walt Disney's Fantasia - the complete, uncut 1940 roadshow version - is screened.
Disney Channel's newest animated series Special Agent Oso debuts in the U.S. with two back-to-back episodes. Actor Sean Astin is the voice of Oso, a fuzzy, lovable, bumbling special agent-in-training who enlists the help of viewers at home to complete his assignments.
As many as 150 species have reproduced at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The very first birth, a
kudu, which is a large African antelope, was born in October 1997 before the park even
opened! Kudus are highly susceptible to the rinderpest virus, and many scientists think
recurring epidemics of the disease have unfortunately reduced kudu populations in East Africa.
Michael Eisner temporarily assumes the titles of president and chief operating officer
of Disney the day after the tragic death of Frank Wells. (The Lion King, which will be released
in the summer of 1994, will be dedicated to Wells.)
Knight Ridder (at this time the second-largest newspaper publisher in the United
States) announces it is buying four newspapers from the Walt Disney Company for
$1.65 billion. As of this day, it is the most expensive newspaper acquisition in the history of the newspaper
business. The newspapers are The Kansas Star in Missouri, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Belleville News-
Democrat in Illinois, and The Times Leader in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
Disney Channel debuts its newest sitcom Good Luck Charlie, drawing 4.8 million viewers.
The series centers on the Duncan family, who are still adjusting to the "surprise" birth of their fourth child, Charlotte
Acclaimed author Ridley Pearson visits Walt Disney World to celebrate the launch of
his newest book; Kingdom Keepers IV: Power Play.
Singer and entertainer Frances Langford, who was popular during the
Golden Age of Radio, is born in Lakeland, Florida. She sang "Once Upon a
Wintertime" for a segment of Disney's 1948 animated Melody Time. In 1940 she recorded her
own version of "When You Wish Upon a Star" for Decca Records. (Langford appeared in films
between 1932-1953 and was popular with U.S. troops for her performances as part
of Bob Hope's USO tours.)
"You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don't make money your goal. Instead, pursue
the things you love doing, and do them so well that people can't take their eyes off you." -Maya Angelou
Ward Kimball and Walt Disney visit the home of Dick Jackson, a wealthy businessman
who operates a scale-railroad in the backyard of his Beverly Hills home. All train
enthusiasts, it is the first time that Walt personally operates a scale-railroad.
April is 1964/65 New York World's Fair Month
Captain America: The Winter Soldier, a superhero film featuring the Marvel Comics character Captain America, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, is released in U.S. theaters.
Disney surprises investors on this day by announcing the departure of its chief
operating officer and heir apparent Thomas Staggs. First joining Disney in 1990, Staggs rose from
his role as a manager of strategic planning to senior vice president of strategic planning and development in 1995.
He became executive vice president and chief financial officer in 1998, and became Senior Executive Vice President
and CFO in January 2000. On January 1, 2010, Staggs became Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts,
overseeing the company's theme parks, cruise lines, and the vacation-ownership program along with roughly 130,000
employees. On February 5, 2015, Staggs was named chief operating officer of The Walt Disney Company.
Staggs will step down as COO, effective May 6, 2016.
Disney's feature The Jungle Book world premieres at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. Directed by Jon Favreau, the film is a live-action/CGI reimagining of Walt Disney's 1967 animated
film of the same name. The film stars and introduces Neel Sethi as Mowgli and features the voices of Bill Murray,
Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong'o, Scarlett Johansson, Giancarlo Esposito, Christopher Walken and the late
Garry Shandling (his final film credit). The Jungle Book will open nationwide April 15.
Kenneth Mars, the voice of King Triton in both the 1989 classic The Little Mermaid and
the 2000 follow-up The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, is born in Chicago, Illinois.
His Disney credits also include the 1979 live-action film The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again as Marshal Woolly
Bill Hitchcock and a 2007 episode of Hannah Montana in which he plays Gunther the Innkeeper. Mars also supplied
voices for both animated series Darkwing Duck and Tale Spin. (Often playing characters with exaggerated accents,
you may recognize Mars from his appearances in Mel Brooks' The Producers and Young Frankenstein and on the TV
sitcom Malcolm in the Middle.)
Korean-American actor Soon Tek Oh, best known as the voice of Fa Zhou in Disney's Mulan and the direct-to-video sequel Mulan II, passes away at the age of 85
in Los Angeles, California.
Screenwriter, author, television writer, and actress Pamela Ribbon is born in
Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. Her Disney credits include Ralph Breaks the Internet (screenwriter, story
writer, voice of Snow White), Moana (story writer), and Bears (narration consultant).