Actor Leon Ames is born in Portland, Indiana. His Disney credits include the features The Monkey's UncleThe Misadventures of Merlin JonesSon of Flubber, and The Absent Minded Professor. (Ames is best remembered for playing fatherly figures in such films as Meet Me in St. Louis and Little Women. He was also one of the founders of the Screen Actors Guild in 1933.)
Disney Legend Lucien Adés is born in Constantine, Algeria. He pioneered the first
 "read-along" record albums for Disney Consumer Products (through his record company,
 known as Ades Editions) in France, starting in 1953.
Buzz Aldrin, the second human to ever step foot on the
 Moon, is born in Montclair, New Jersey. Over the years the
 veteran astronaut has attended special space-related events at Disney theme
parks - including the launch of Epcot's Mission: SPACE in 2003. In 1999, he
 voiced himself in the Recess TV episode "Space Cadet."  Aldrin is the
inspiration for the Pixar character Buzz Lightyear! The Lunar Module pilot on Apollo 11 (the first manned lunar landing
 in history), Aldrin was also a mechanical engineer and a U.S. Air Force pilot.
The TV series Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color airs part 1 
of "Johnny Shiloh." Set during the American Civil War, actor Kevin Corcoran plays the title role of a Union drummer boy who runs away from home to join his hometown unit, even though he is too young to legally join. The episode also features Brian Keith as Sergeant Gabe Trotter.

Actor James Denton is born in Nashville, Tennessee. He is best known for playing Mike Delfino on ABC's comedy-drama series Desperate Housewives (2004–2012). Denton also appeared in Touchstone's 1997 action film Face/Off.
Disney's House of Mouse animated series airs the episode "Unplugged Club."

Michelle Kwan: Princess on Ice airs on ABC-TV. This Disney/Hallmark
 presentation also features skaters Dorothy Hamill and Katarina Witt.
The NFFC, the club for Disneyana Enthusiasts host the Worlds Largest
Strictly Disneyana Show and Sale at the Embassy Suites Hotel in
Garden Grove (about a mile from Disneyland). 
Disney Imagineer, author and historian David Mumford passes away at age 46 in 
Burbank, California. Joining The Walt Disney Company in 1974 as a ride operator on the Submarine 
Voyage at Disneyland, his 23-year Imagineering career included work on Aladdin's Oasis, Star Tours, and the Alice
in Wonderland attractions as well as the Epcot theme park. An Imagineer since 1979, he rose through the ranks to
the position of WDI Senior Principal Show Set Designer. Mumford also wrote and produced (along with his longtime collaborator, Imagineer Bruce Gordon) several books on Disney history.
 The David Kent Mumford PARC Foundation Fund is set up to honor and
memorialize the magic and goodness of the late Imagineer and author David Mumford. (PARC is an acronym for Pediatric After-hours Referral Clinic. The clinic at Providence St.
Joseph's Medical Center, where David was treated, cares for children between the hours of 4PM & 6AM both as
an emergency care clinic and patient referral facility during the hours when doctors are not available.) 
Disney's London theatrical production Mary Poppins earns
9 Olivier Award nominations.

Walt Disney World announces that River Country, a water park opened since
 1976 and last operated in November 2001, will remain closed permanently.

At Disney's Animal Kingdom in Florida, Expedition Everest's peak is lowered into
 place, making the new attraction nearly 20 stories high.
 Expedition Everest, a roller coaster themed to be an abandoned mountain railway, is expected to open in 2006.
Some 7.7 million viewers watch the premiere of Disney
Channel's original movie High School MusicalWritten by 
Peter Barsocchini and directed by Kenny Ortega, it tells the story of two 
high school juniors from rival cliques. Troy Bolton (Zac Efron), the star 
athlete at a small-town high school, falls for nerdy beauty Gabriella Montez 
(Vanessa Anne Hudgens) at a holiday karaoke party. When they return to 
campus, Troy and Gabriella audition for the upcoming school musical. 
Meanwhile, the jealous Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale) conspires to 
squelch their chances. The two must struggle to make it to auditions while 
also meeting their existing obligations to the basketball team and the 
academic decathlon. The cast also includes Lucas Grabeel as Ryan Evans
(Sharpay's twin brother), Corbin Bleu as Chad Danforth (Troy's friend), 
Monique Coleman as Taylor McKessie (Gabriella's friend), and Joey
Miyashima as Dave Matsui (the principal at East High). Already released
on January 10, the soundtrack will sell more than 3.7 million copies in the 
US and 7 million copies worldwide. ​The film's success will spawn a media 
franchise and series of sequels.

The Courtyard by Marriott Hotel opens in Lake Buena Vista at Walt Disney
World on the site of the former Howard Johnson Resort Hotel.

Disney's Touchstone Pictures releases the thriller Bad CompanyStarring
Ellen Barkin and Laurence Fishburne as former CIA operatives engaging in a dubious romance while
plotting to murder their boss, the film is distributed by Disney's Buena Vista Pictures.
"Mickey transcends being just a character; he's a symbol of the magnitude of the entire Disney dynasty. He could have faded with time, but he has been appropriately maintained. That Disney has been able to keep the integrity of its legend, Mickey, throughout all these generations, is a 
real achievement."
-Space traveler Buzz Aldrin, born This Day in Disney History 1930
Nineteen-year-old Adriana Caselotti records her first tracks as the voice of Snow
 White. The recording process will take 48 days. Her father Guido Caselotti - a vocal coach - has been hired by Walt Disney to help cast parts in the studio's first animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Disney's Donald Duck short Lion Around, featuring the voice of
 Clarence Nash, is released. Donald's nephews use a mountain lion
 costume to scare Donald away so they can grab a pie off the windowsill. Their trick is exposed ... but
 a short while later, a real mountain lion (the first appearance of a character named Louie) comes along!
Darla K. Anderson is awarded the Producers Guild of America's Producer of the Year Award in Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures for her work on the Disney/Pixar Cars(Anderson also produced Monsters, Inc. and A Bug's Life.)

High School Musical: Around The World premieres on Disney Channel.

Cars wins Best Animated Feature at the 12th Critics' Choice Awards held at the
Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in Santa Monica, California.
Walt Disney personally selected
 Richard Fleischer (son of his old
 competitor in animation, Max
 Fleischer) to direct the live-action film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Named
 a Disney Legend in 2003, Fleischer is
 also best known for directing
 Fantastic Voyage (1966), Doctor
 Dolittle (1967), and Tora! Tora!

Although nominated for Best Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical, The Little Mermaid is edged out by Driving Miss Daisy at the Golden Globe Awards. The Little Mermaid does win Best Original Song - Motion Picture for "Under the Sea" - written by Alan Menken & Howard Ashman. Ironically they beat out another of their own tunes nominated - "Kiss the Girl" (also from The Little Mermaid). Alan Menken is awarded Best Original Score - Motion Picture for his work on The Little Mermaid.
High School Musical debuts

"Under the Sea" wins Golden Globe
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Jean-Jacques Perrey, an electronic music producer, keyboard player and an early pioneer in the genre, is born in France. Along with Gershon Kingsley, he created the song "Baroque Hoedown" - later used for Disney's Main Street Electrical Parade and the original Electrical Water Pageant theme song.
"In the 1970s, Walt Disney Productions chose this tune to be the theme for the Electrical Parade. It was extraordinary, I didn't know about it
 because the publishers said nothing to me. It was by chance, in 1980, that I went there and was so surprised to hear Baroque Hoedown arranged
 for a full orchestra." -Perrey
Composer for film & television, John Beal is born in Santa Monica, California. Growing up with the kids of top Disney animators Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, Beal was introduced to Buddy Baker, the main composer of all Disney films, TV shows and theme park music at the time. This led to Beal himself composing and arranging music for Disneyland and Walt Disney World, in particular America Sings and Carousel of Progress.
(Some of the well-known movie trailers for which Beal wrote original scores include TitanicWe Were SoldiersThe Last SamuraiFinding NeverlandStar Wars, and Aladdin.) 

Disney's live-action family feature The Wild Country, directed by Robert Totten, is
 generally released. The film (based on a book by Ralph Moody) follows the Tanner family who move from
 Pennsylvania to the wild country of 1890s Wyoming. Actually filmed in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, The Wild Country stars Steve Forrest, Jack Elam, Ron Howard, Frank DeKova, Vera Miles, and Clint Howard. Playing in front of The Wild
 Country is the animated Bongo (originally released as part of the 1947 film Fun and Fancy Free).
The fourth episode of The New Mickey Mouse Club airs for the first time. 
Today is Discover Day as Pluto learns a lesson in the short Bone Trouble, and the New Mouseketeers show a
little of what happens backstage at rehearsal for the "Mousekedance." Mr. Simply takes a look at the phrase 
"a chip on your shoulder."
"The joy should be in doing the work, the reward is hoping the public enjoys our efforts." -David Mumford
Mission: SPACE TV commercial
Buzz and Buzz in Tomorrowland
Disney Publishing announces the original TRON: Legacy The Complete Story
 App available for iPad. The $8.99 app features stunning illustrated artwork, true-to-life stills from
 the film, thrilling music by Daft Punk, and an electrifying episode of TRON: Legacy Motion Comics.
A mere 389 guests enter Disneyland on this very rainy day. Due to the weather, the park only stays open for three hours.


NBC-TV airs part one of "Hog Wild" on The Wonderful World of Disney.
The film stars John Ericson, Diana Muldaur, Clay O'Brien and Kim Richards as the Melborne family from Chicago who move to Idaho (circa 1890) to try their hand at pig farming.
The Disney Channel airs the Disney Channel Premiere Film BejewelledWhen
a family's jewels are stolen during a trip to London, museum guide Stacey Orpington (Emma Samms) reluctantly teams up with a private investigator-in-training to try and recover them.
"I think I was the first person that David met at Disney, back in the early 1970s. He came to visit the Archives, and we became friends. I was
 deep in a project of trying to watch every single Disney film, and in those days they were only available on 16mm. I had a projector at home,
 and David would frequently come over in the evenings to watch the films with me. Once each month we would get together on a Sunday
 morning and tour the Rose Bowl Swap Meet. David's eagle eyes helped me spot many interesting items which we acquired for the Archives."
-Dave Smith (Walt Disney Archivist/Disney Legend)
The Disney Fantasy leaves the Meyer Werft Shipyard in Papenberg, Germany. The new cruise ship is hauled backward by a tugboat up Ems River so it can undergo a series of seaworthiness tests before final delivery in February to Disney Cruise Line. The Fantasy (Disney's 4th ship) is expected to arrive in Eemshaven
on the North Sea the following afternoon. (Its debut voyage is scheduled for March 31, 2012.)

Singer Etta James passes away at age 73 in California. She recorded "It's a Small World/When
You Wish Upon a Star Medley" for Disney's Music from the Park compilation CD. (Starting her career in 1954, she gained fame with hits such as "The Wallflower", "At Last", "Tell Mama", "Something's Got a Hold on Me", and "I'd Rather Go Blind".)
January 20
This Day in Disney History - THE FIRST - THE ORIGINAL
Traveling in time since 1999!
Spice Road Table officially opens at Epcot. An authentic taste of the Mediterranean at
the Morocco Pavilion, this restaurant features fantastic views of World Showcase Lagoon and
IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.

Sheriff Callie's Wild West officially premieres on the Disney Junior channel.
Set in the colorful Wild West, Sheriff Callie's Wild West follows Sheriff Callie (voiced by Mandy Moore) and
her deputy woodpecker, Peck (Lucas Grabeel), as they watch over their pleasant little frontier town.
Today is Penguin Awareness Day
The Main Street Electrical Parade returns to Disneyland. It will run through August 2017.

Disney Channel airs the series finale of Girl Meets World with the episode "Girl Meets 
Goodbye." A spin-off of Boy Meets World (which aired from 1993-2000), William Daniels returns to the role of
Mr. Feeny for the show's ending.
Screenwriter, film producer and jazz musician Don Nelson is born in New Jersey.
 Best known for his work on the situation comedy The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, for which he wrote from
1952 to 1966, the series starred his elder brother Ozzie Nelson, his sister-in-law Harriet Nelson and his nephews
David Nelson and Ricky Nelson. His Disney credits include the feature films No Deposit, No Return, GusHerbie
Goes to Monte Carlo, and Hot Lead and Cold Feet. Nelson also wrote 4 episodes of the television series
Herbie, the Love Bug.
Actress Dorothy Provine is born in Deadwood, South Dakota. Raised in San Francisco, she often played squeaky-clean housewives, girlfriends and sisters in various feature films and television programs. Her Disney credits include the films That Darn Cat! (1965) as Ingrid, and Never a Dull Moment (1968) as Sally.
Will Young, a singer-songwriter and actor who came to prominence after winning the 2002 inaugural series of the ITV talent contest Pop Idol, making him the first winner of the worldwide Idol franchise, is born in Wokingham, England. Young sang "Try Again", a song featured in Disney's 2003 direct-to-video sequel 101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure.
The series finale of the animated Pickle & Peanut airs on Disney XD.