Disney World's Flight to the Moon attraction opens in Tomorrowland, just in time
for the busy Christmas week. (It will close in the spring of 1975 and later house Mission To Mars, Alien Encounter and ultimately Stitch’s Great Escape.) The Magic Kingdom stays open on this Christmas Eve until 6 pm.
Giuseppe Verdi's opera Aida premieres at the Khedivial Opera House in
Cairo, Egypt. Commissioned by Ismail Pasha, Khedive of Egypt, production of Aida had
been delayed by the Franco-Prussian War (a conflict between France and Prussia). Aida is the
story of an Ethiopian princess being held captive by Egyptians. One of the Egyptian generals is
desperately in love with her, and she's in love with him - but so is the daughter of the Egyptian king. The opera will
be an instant success and Verdi will donate a portion of his considerable fee (150,000 francs) to the victims of the
siege of Paris. The story of Aida, but not its music, was used as the basis for Disney's 1998 musical of the same
name - with new music & lyrics written by Elton John and Tim Rice.
Alan Alexander Milne's "In Which We Are Introduced to Winnie-the-Pooh
and Some Bees, and the Stories Begin" is published in the London Evening
News. (The following year, Methuen Publishing Ltd. will release it in book
form, along with 9 more Pooh stories, under the title Winnie-the-Pooh.)
Walt Disney's Lilly Belle steam engine is tested at his studio. The engine is part of his new
railroad layout in the garden of his home on Carolwood Drive in Holmby Hills district of Los Angeles, California.
presents an adaptation of Alice in Wonderland with Kathryn Beaumont, Jerry Colona and Ed Wynn.
NBC-TV's Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color
airs the episode "The Great Cat Family."
Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color airs the holiday episode "From All of Us to All of You."
Disney's 20th animated feature The Aristocats is generally released. The story
revolves around a family of aristocratic cats, and an alley cat who helps prevent a butler from kidnapping
them to gain his mistress' fortune. (This film is noted for being the last to be approved by Walt Disney
himself - he died in 1966 while the film was still in early production.) The all-star cast includes Phil Harris as
Thomas O'Malley the orange cat, Eva Gabor as Duchess the white cat, Sterling Holloway as Roquefort the
Mouse, Paul Wincell as Shun Gon the Chinese cat, Thurl Ravenscroft as Billy Boss the German cat, and
Scatman Crothers as Scat Cat the panther Persian.
NBC-TV's The Wonderful World of Disney airs "A Present for Donald."
The NBC television series The Magical World
of Disney airs "A Muppet Family Christmas."
Walt Disney World's Very Merry Christmas Parade airs on television. It is the first parade
to be filmed at night and broadcast on Christmas Eve (instead of Christmas Day). Hosted by actor Mitch Ryan,
guests include Wayne Brady, Harry Connick Jr., N'SYNC, SheDaisy, 98 Degrees, and James Ingram.
Disney's Night Before Christmas, a 2-hour special tracking
the globe-circling flight of Santa, airs on ABC-TV.
The cover of this day's issue of HAB"IT" (an official newsletter for men stationed
at the U.S. Naval Reserve Aviation Base in Hutchinson, Kansas) features a
Disney-designed insignia. This issue marks the first appearance of the station’s new emblem -
Jiminy Cricket in an airplane with an anchor trailing behind it.
Musician, record company executive, race car owner, and politician Mike Curb is born
in Savannah, Georgia. In 1969, his group the Mike Curb Congregation scored a Top 10 hit on the Adult
Contemporary charts with a version of "It's a Small World." The song was chosen by Disneyland as the ride's official
theme song and the group for many years were considered the official Disneyland and Disney World singers.
Sarah Uriarte Berry and Donny Osmond give their final
Broadway performances as Belle and Gaston in Disney's
hit musical Beauty and the Beast.
Each Christmas season
Walt Disney World Resort
is decorated with more than
11 miles of garland, 3,000
up to 1,500
A purr-fectly wonderful new cartoon feature.
Pixar animator Glenn McQueen is born in Toronto, Ontario. He was the supervising
animator for A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, and Monsters, Inc. Sadly in October 2002, he passed away at age 41
during final production of Finding Nemo. The film was dedicated to him.
Today is National Egg Nog Day
Disney's Donald Duck short Tea for Two Hundred, directed by Jack Hannah, is released. Donald's camping trip is disrupted by a large number of ants!
The Disney short Lonesome Ghosts, featuring Mickey
Mouse, Donald Duck & Goofy, is released. Mickey and his pals
become ghosts exterminators when they are lured to a haunted house by
four funny ghosts named Jasper, Grubb, Boo and Moss, in this classic
short directed by Bert Gillett.
A long standing tradition begins when half of Sweden sits down in front of the
television for a family viewing of the 1958 Walt Disney Presents Christmas special,
"From All of Us to All of You" (or as it is known in Sverige, Kalle Anka och hans
vänner önskar God Jul: "Donald Duck and his friends wish you a Merry Christmas").
Kalle Anka, for short, it will air without commercial interruption at the same time on Sweden's main public-television
channel, TV1, on Christmas Eve (when Swedes traditionally celebrate the holiday) for the next 50 years! Kalle
Anka, typically one of the three most popular television events of the year, with between 40 and 50 percent of the
country tuning in to watch, will also become a tradtion in Norway and Denmark.
Tragedy strikes when massive floodwaters kill over 35 people in Yuba City,
California. Thousands are evacuated. It is the worst disaster to strike California since the San Francisco earthquake. (On February 25, 1956, Walt Disney's Mouseketeers will put on a Christmas party at Yuba City
High School - a special late Christmas gift for the kids of Yuba City.)
"I ain't afraid of no ghosts." -Goofy
Disney Legend Charlie Ridgway passes away at his Florida home at age 93.
A journalist-turned-publicist, he spent 30 years with Disney promoting its theme parks. Ridgway was behind the
1971 iconic LIFE Magazine cover showing nearly 3,000 cast members in front of Cinderella Castle during the
opening of Magic Kingdom.