Actor Rod Taylor, the voice of Pongo (the patriarch of the pups) in
 Disney's 1961 film One Hundred and One Dalmations, is born in
 Sydney, Australia. (You may recognize Taylor from his performances in such classic
 films as The Birds and The Time Machine. He even appeared in a 1959 episode of The
 Twilight Zone. Taylor most recently played the role of Winston Churchill in the 2009
 release Inglourious Basterds.)
Disney releases 4 Walt Disney's Classic Cartoon Favorites to DVD. 
The vintage collections include Walt Disney's Classic Cartoon Favorites: Volume 1 Starring Mickey, Walt Disney's Classic Cartoon Favorites: Volume 2 Starring DonaldWalt Disney's Classic Cartoon Favorites: Volume 3 Starring Goofy, and Walt Disney's Classic Cartoon Favorites: Volume 4 Starring Chip 'n Dale.
Author, screenwriter and composer Mary Rodgers is born in New York City. Her 1972 novel
Freaky Friday was adapted for several films by Disney (the first being in 1976 for which she wrote the screenplay). Mary is the daughter of legendary Broadway and film composer Richard Rodgers and his wife, Dorothy Rodgers.
The Disneyland TV series airs part 2 of "When Knighthood Was in Flower" (an
 edited version of the theatrical release The Sword and the Rose).
Everyone's favorite VW Beetle returns to television when 
The Wonderful World of Disney airs "Herbie Goes Bananas"
(originally released in theaters in 1980).
Disneyland kicks off its 35th anniversary celebration. On hand for the first
 time since 1955 are all three of the original hosts of the park's grand opening live broadcast. Art Linkletter,
 Bob Cummings, and Ronald Reagan reunite in front of Main Street station before taking part in the Party
 Gras Parade - featuring New Orleans-style floats and 40-foot-tall balloons.

Meanwhile down in Florida, the Walt Disney World Swan Resort holds its
 grand opening. The deluxe hotel, designed by award-winning architect Michael Graves, is a 12-story
 building with an arched rooftop featuring a pair of graceful 47-foot swan statues. Located between Epcot
 and Disney-MGM Studios (later renamed Disney's Hollywood Studios), it is owned by Tishman Hotel
 Corporation and operated by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide under the Westin brand.
(Its sister hotel the Walt Disney World Dolphin will open in June 1990.)
A star-studded, high-energy party marks the Grand Opening of the Downtown
Disney District at The Disneyland Resort in Southern California. At this one-of-a-kind 
premiere benefiting the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, donors and celebrity guests (like 
Sylvester Stallone and Paul Glaser) enjoy entertainment, world-class cuisine and unique shopping 
opportunities in more than two dozen clubs, restaurants and boutiques that make up the new addition to The 
Disneyland Resort. (The Downtown area will officially open to the public the very next day.)
Variety reports that Disney will develop a script inspired by its Haunted
 Mansion attraction. In "Haunted House," a father who has neglected his family encounters a ghost
 while on a job interview. The vision spooks him into a profound awareness of the importance of his family.

Superstar Limo, a dark ride attraction running since the debut
of Disney's California Adventure, closes.
Although it will be released directly to home video in 10 days, Disney's 101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure has a theatrical premiere.
The 11th annual Walt Disney World Marathon and Half Marathon
both take place with a record-setting 24,000 participants (15,500 in the
 full marathon and 8,500 in the half marathon). Floridians Matthew
 Dobson of Jay and Kim Donaldson of St. Petersburg finish in first and second place (it is the first all-
American championship finish in the 11-year history of the race). Clinton Verran, Nicholas Cordes and Brian
 Sell (a trio of Michigan runners tuning up for the Olympic Trials) cross the half marathon finish line together
 in a record-shattering time of 1:05:43.

Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean wins a People's Choice Award for
 favorite motion picture at the 30th annual event.

According to Box Office Mojo, Disney's Finding Nemo is #9 in Word Wide
 All-Time Box Office Grosses (as of this day) at $821.3 million. Disney's
 Pirates of the Caribbean comes in at #18 with $653.4 million.
During its early 
planning stages, the 
Space Mountain attraction was referred to as Space Port.

Actress, dancer & singer Alyson Reed, who portrayed Ms. Darbus on Disney Channel's High School Musical, is born in California. She also appeared in the sequel High School Musical 2 (although her role in that film was only one scene), and reprised her role as Ms. Darbus in High School Musical 3: Senior Year. Growing up in Anaheim, as a teen Reed played Alice in Wonderland at Disneyland!
Disney announces in a letter from CEO Bob Iger to shareholders that the 2008 
annual meeting of shareholders will be held March 6, 2008 at the Albuquerque 
Convention Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The syndicated television program Entertainment Tonight features a segment
on Disney's newest stage musical The Little MermaidET goes backstage and behind-
the-scenes at Broadway’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre with Sierra Boggess (who portrays Ariel) for an exclusive
sneak peek.
The Hollywood Reporter runs the front page headline: WALT DISNEY PLANS TV SHOW. Roy O. Disney has announced to stockholders, in a controversial move, that a Disney television show would be "designed not only to produce revenue but also to publicize all of the company's product."
The 16th Annual Walt Disney World Marathon takes place with Brazilian Adriano Bastos winning for the fifth consecutive year (and sixth time overall). He finishes the 26.2-mile jaunt through all four of Disney's theme parks in 2:20:38. Lisa Mizutani, a 23-year-old medical student from Japan, wins the women's title in 2:46:27.
Other 2009 winners (over the last two days) include:
Men’s Masters: Stuart McLay, San Salvador, El Salvador, 2:35:20
Women’s Masters: Terri Rejimbal, Tampa, Fla., 3:04:57
Men’s Chair: Krige Schabort, Cedartown, Ga., 1:37:19
Women’s Chair: Shirley Reilly, Tucson, Ariz., 2:09:51
Men’s Half: David Jankowski, Rochester Hills, Mich., 1:07:36
Women’s Half: Elizabeth Chelagat, Las Cruces, N.M., 1:17:32
Men’s Half Chair: John Payne, Germantown, Tenn., 1:24:18
Women’s Half Chair: Jacqui Kapinowski, Point Pleasant, N.J., 1:24:51

The 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards take place at The Beverly 
Hilton in California. WALL-E wins Best Animated Feature Film. The Golden 
Globe is presented by Disney stars The Jonas Brothers to Wall-E director Andrew Stanton. 

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WALL-E wins Golden Globe

"The day we start thinking about what the audience wants, we’re going to make bad choices. We’ve always holed ourselves up in a building for 4 years and ignored the rest of the world, because nobody are bigger movie geeks than we are, so we know exactly what we are dying to see with our family and kids. We don’t need other people to tell us that. We trust the audience member in ourselves." -Andrew Stanton
At noon, the very first Mickey Mouse Club gathers at the Fox Dome Theater in Ocean Park, California. It is the brainchild of Harry W. Woodin, the theater's manager. (The following summer, the
 entire Fox chain will begin hosting club matinees all over the country.)
"Walt had liked me in something, and personally called me to do 101 Dalmatians.
I had forgotten all about it until it was re-released (in 1985). Frankly, I've never even seen the film. But Walt was the sweetheart of all time. He and his people were so well-organized, it was unbelievable. They showed me rough cartoons before I recorded my lines, and I found it fascinating. I wish I had gotten to know him better." -Rod Taylor (1987)
WDW's Space Mountain is currently the oldest operating roller coaster 
in the state 
of Florida.
Animator Priscillano "Pres" Romanillos is born in the Philippines. At the age of six, his family
 moved to Queens, New York City where he grew up. Later he enrolled at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan,
 successfully graduating with a Masters Degree in Fine Art. In 1988 Romanillos was hired by Disney Animation where he
 worked on such films as The Little MermaidThe Rescuers Down UnderBeauty and the Beast,AladdinPocahontasThe Hunchback of Notre Dame, and The Princess and the Frog. He is probably best known
as the animator who brought to life the evil Shan-Yu in Disney’s Mulan. (Sadly Romanillos passed away at age 47 due to complications from leukemia. During his 21-year career, Romanillos earned the respect of his fellow artists for his exceptional drawing ability and his enthusiasm for the art of animation.)

Actress Rita Blanco is born in Lisbon, Portugal. She dubbed the voice of Dory for the Portuguese versions of Finding Nemo and Finding Dory.
Business woman, socialite, and homemaker Catherine Beebe is born in Nooksack, Washington. She and her husband cinematographer Lloyd Beebe were founders and owners of Olympic Game Farm in Sequim, Washington, which originally started as a filming location for Walt Disney in the early 1950’s called Disney’s Wild Animal Ranch. They worked many years with the Disney Studios, filming numerous animal pictures such as Charlie the Lonesome CougarWhite WildernessThe Vanishing PrairieJungle Cat, and The Incredible Journey.


The 5th Annual Walt Disney World Marathon takes place in Florida. 
Santiago de Araujo of Sao Paulo, Brazil, wins with a time of 2:23:25. Other winners on this day include:
Women’s Overall: Lyubov Klochko, Gainesville, Fla., 2:44:47
Men’s Masters: Jeff Delie, Palm Harbor, Fla., 2:33.32
Women’s Masters: Bonnie Moser, Miami, Fla., 3:08.46
Men’s Chair: Saul Mendoza, Col Ramos Milla, Mexico, 1:47.59
Women’s Chair: Katherine Hunter, Orlando, Fla., 2:42.59
Men’s Half: Keith Brantly, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., 1:09.58
Women’s Half: Joan Samuelson, Freeport, Maine, 1:18.13
Men’s Half Chair: Joe Dowling, Old Greenwich, Conn., 1:07:30
The Disney Family Fun Run 5K (part of the 20th anniversary of the 
Walt Disney World Marathon) kicks off at 6:30 a.m. at Epcot.

Although an episode had aired last November, the new animated series Sofia the 
First officially premieres with the episode "Just One of the Princes." The voice
cast includes Ariel Winter (as Sofia), Darcy Rose Byrnes (as Princess Amber), and
Sara Ramirez (as Queen Miranda).

January 11
This Day in Disney History - THE FIRST - THE ORIGINAL
Traveling in time since 1999!
About 25,000 people take part in the Walt Disney World Half Marathon on this Saturday morning. Mike Morgan, 33 of Lake Orion, Michigan, repeats as the men's champion,
finishing the 13.1-mile race in 1 hour, 9 minutes, 39 seconds. (His time is about four seconds slower than
last year, when he set the men's record.)
"I've run races all over the world, and this one is right at the top of my favorites. It's a whole weekend experience." -M. Morgan
Fredison Costa repeats as champion at this year's Walt Disney World Marathon.
Finishing in 2 hours, 18 minutes, 6 seconds, it is his fourth win in five years!
Giovanna Martins, 32, of Sao Paulo, is the first woman to cross the finish line in 2:50:20. It is the first time
a Brazilian man and woman have been winners at Disney's annual race.
Disney announces that Nike president and CEO Mark G. Parker has joined
the Disney board of directors. Parker has been chief executive at the sportswear giant since 2006.

At Disneyland, the Mark Twain Riverboat, the nighttime show Fantasmic!, and other attractions along the Rivers of America, temporarily close for the construction of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. The attractions are scheduled to reopen in July 2017. 
Donald's Decision, a four-minute educational animated short film made by the Walt Disney Studios, for the National Film Board of Canada, is released theatrically as part
of a series of four films directed at the Canadian public to buy war bonds during the Second World War. Re-using animation from the shorts Donald's Better Self (1938) and Self Control (1938),
it features Donald Duck's struggles between an angelic and demonic version of himself.
Iron Man Experience, a 3-D motion simulator attraction, opens in Tomorrowland at
Hong Kong Disneyland. The attraction is based on the Marvel Comics character Iron Man, the first Disney
attraction to be based on a Marvel property. Set at the fictional Stark Expo, the attraction features Tony Stark
recruiting guests to fend off extraterrestrial beings that are attacking Hong Kong.

Grand Circuit Raceway, an attraction in which guests steer gas-powered cars through
a scenic winding track, closes at Tokyo Disneyland. An original opening day attraction from 1983,
it was designed to look like the famed Indiana Motor Speedway.
The 23rd Critics' Choice Awards are presented at the Barker Hangar at the Santa Monica Airport, together with its television awards, honoring the finest achievements
of 2017 filmmaking. Among the winners-
-Best Animated Feature: Coco
-Best Song: "Remember Me" – Coco
The 38th People's Choice Awards, honoring the best in popular culture for 2011, are held at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, California. Actor Johnny Depp wins Favorite Movie Actor for his role in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
Toy Story is released on VHS under the Walt Disney Gold Classic Collection banner. The Gold Classic Collection will be a series of VHS and DVD releases of animated Disney films released over the next 14 months. Toy Story (released only on VHS on this day) is the very first.
Actress Aja Naomi King is born in Los Angeles, California. In 2014, King began starring as Michaela Pratt in the ABC legal drama series How to Get Away with Murder, for which she received an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series nomination in 2015. 
Actor & director Alfonso Arau is born Alfonso Arau Incháustegui in Mexico City, Mexico.
His Disney film credits include Scandalous John (1971) as Paco and Run, Cougar, Run (1972) as Etie. Arau also voiced the character Papá Julio in the 2017 animated Coco.
Playhouse Disney – Live on Stage! closes in Disney California Adventure. Running since April 2003, it was a live show attraction featuring puppets of characters from Disney Junior's popular television programs. It will re-open a few months later as Disney Junior – Live on Stage! 
Character actress Beulah Bondi passes away at age 92 in California. Often playing eccentric mothers and later grandmothers and wives, she appeared in Disney's 1948 So Dear to My Heart as Granny Kincaid.