Opera composer Giuseppe Verdi dies while staying at the Grand
 Hotel et de Milan in Milan, Italy. The 87-year-old Verdi had suffered a stroke
on January 21. A Romantic composer of mostly opera, he was one of the most influential
composers of his time. Nearly a century later, Disney will make his 1871 Aida a Broadway hit!
Walt Disney Pictures releases Roving Mars exclusively in IMAX theaters. 
This documentary (produced by Kennedy-Marshall and White Mountain Films) details the journey 
of "Spirit" and "Opportunity", two rovers exploring the red planet. With an opening narration by
Paul Newman, the film uses few actual photographs from Mars, opting to use convincing computer generated animation based on the photographs and data from the rovers and other Mars probes.

Touchstone Pictures releases the drama Annapolis starring James Franco, Tyrese 
Gibson, Jordana Brewster, Donnie Wahlberg, Roger Fan, and Chi McBride. A young 
man from a poor, working-class family dreams of attending the prestigious United States Naval Academy in 
Annapolis after finishing high school. Having narrowly made the cut, he enters the Brigade Championships, a 
boxing tournament that pits him against the toughest fighters in the Navy.

Disney Channel's newest animated series The Emperor's New School
(a follow-up to the Disney movie The Emperor's New Groove) debuts.
English novelist Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (better known as Lewis Carroll) is born in Daresbury, Cheshire, England. A mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon and
 photographer, his most famous writings are Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and its sequel
 Through the Looking-Glass (1871).
Kay Kamen, the man behind the proliferation of Disney 
merchandise from 1932-1949, is born Herman Samuel 
Kamen in Baltimore, Maryland. A stickler for quality, he set an 
unprecedented standard in licensing Disney character merchandise (including 
books, music, & plush toys) and subsequently helped transform Mickey Mouse and other Disney 
characters into megastars. With an office at Rockefeller Center in New York City, Kamen devised and instituted marketing campaigns which ensured Disney toys were featured dominantly on the shelves 
of the nation's leading retail outlets.
The TV series Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color airs episode 225 - part 2 of 
"Johnny Shiloh." The program is based on the Civil War exploits of a real person - John Lincoln Clem 
who at the age of 11 served in the Union Army!
CBS-TV airs the Disney special The Best of Country, hosted by Clint Black.

Disney's Hollywood Pictures releases Miami Rhapsody, a romantic comedy starring
Sarah Jessica Parker, Gil Bellows, Antonio Banderas, Mia Farrow, Paul Mazursky,
Kevin Pollak, Barbara Garrick, and Carla Gugino. Distributed by Disney's Buena Vista Pictures, the film tells the story of engaged Gwyn Marcus (Sarah Jessica Parker) who is afraid of commitment.
The Walt Disney World Resort hosts the inaugural Indy 200 race in the new, 
state-of-the-art Walt Disney World Speedway. The race is put together by the Resort's 
new sports department and the Indy Racing League. Driver Buzz Calkins wins the event in 1:33:30.748.

Toy Story Funhouse opens in Tomorrowland at Disneyland (next door to Captain EO). Originally part of the successful Totally Toy Story (Toy Story's debut) at the El Capitan theatre in 1995, 
the Funhouse has been moved to Disneyland for the next few months. Guests can play with giant Lite-Brite and Spirograph walls, learn the Two-Step at Woody's Roundup, take a photo with Woody and Buzz Lightyear, 
experience an obstacle course of fake lakes, bushes, and bridges in the Green Army Men room, and play Disney’s new Toy Story video game. The Funhouse also includes the live stage presentation Hamm's All-Doll Revue.
The French newspaper Le Parisien breaks the story that the second theme
 park at Disneyland Paris has finally been approved for construction. Broadly
 based on Florida's Disney-MGM Studios, the new park will be a celebration
 of the cinema. The targeted opening date is April 2002, to coincide with Disneyland Paris's tenth anniversary. (Walt Disney Studios Park - Disney's 10th park in the world - will open March 16, 2002.)
The animated series Disney's House of Mouse airs the episode 2 "Big Bad Wolf Daddy." In this episode, Mickey is dismayed to learn that Donald Duck has invited the Big Bad Wolf (who has a tendency to blow the house down) 
to perform at the House of Mouse!
The Broadway musical Beauty and the Beast plays performance number 4,000.

Disney releases the DVD Alice in Wonderland (Masterpiece Edtion).

Walt Disney Records releases Disneymania 2 a CD of Disney songs performed
 by such artists as Raven, Jump 5, Jesse McCartney, and Hilary Duff.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announce the nominees for
 the 76th Annual Academy Awards. Disney's Brother BearFinding Nemo and Destino all
 receive nominations as does actor Johnny Depp for his role in Disney's live-action Pirates of the Caribbean.

Roy Disney and Stanley Gold make public their decision to "vote no" on
 the re-election of 4 key Disney directors (including CEO Michael Eisner).
Walt Disney Records reissues the soundtrack to the animated feature Bambi - exactly 55 years after it was originally recorded.
Walt Disney Records releases Friends Forever featuring songs sung by Winnie the Pooh, Piglet and Eeyore. Also released this day is the album Ariel's Favorites - a compilation of songs from previous Little 
Mermaid CDs.
Comedian, actor and writer Patton Oswalt - the voice of Rémy in
Disney/Pixar's 2007 Ratatouille - is born in Portsmouth, Virginia. 
Nominated for an Annie Award for Best Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production,                                      
he also voiced Rémy for the video short Your Friend the Rat and the theme park
attraction Remy's Ratatouille AdventureOswalt supplied the voice for Professor 
Dementor in episodes of Disney Channel's Kim Possible, guest starred as Eric Koenigs 
on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2014–2017), voiced Mr. Frank Sparkles in Big Hero 6: The 
Series (2018-21), and currently narrates the ABC sitcom The Goldbergs (2013–present) 
as adult Adam F. Goldberg. (TV fans know Oswalt for his long-running role of Spence 
Olchin on the sitcom The King of Queens.)

The U.S. Forest Service approves Walt Disney Productions' master plan for Mineral King, to be built in an area of Sequoia National Forest. Disney has been refining plans for a self-contained "Alpine Village" since 1965 when the U.S. Forest Service first awarded a preliminary permit, giving the company three years to complete a satisfactory plan. It is now expected the resort will open for the winter 1973 ski season. (Mineral King will never be built.)

Film producer Katherine Sarafian is born in San Leandro, California. Her Pixar credits include
The Incredibles, the short Lifted, and Brave.
The very first Marc Davis Lecture takes place in the Samuel Goldwyn Theater at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with Davis himself, one of Disney's "Nine Old Men,"
as the inaugural participant in this lecture named in his honor. The Marc Davis Lecture has been established to provide a forum for film animators and other experts to share their experiences as well as to explore with colleagues the challenges of creating animation.

Walt Disney World's Shades of
 Green Resort was sold outright to
 the U.S. Military in 2004. (At one
 time called the Disney Inn, it
was first leased by the Department of Defense in 1994.) The deluxe
 resort is located in a secluded
 area near the Magic Kingdom -
 nestled between the Magnolia
 and Palm golf courses.
Super Bowl XXV is played at Tampa Stadium in Florida. The halftime show is a
 Disney production called "Walt Disney World Small World Tribute to 25 Years
 of the Super Bowl." It features New Kids on the Block, Disney characters, former American and Canadian
 football quarterback Warren Moon, and 2,000 local children. The New York Giants beat the Buffalo Bills, 20-19.
 (Unlike previous years, the halftime presentation for Super Bowl XXV is not shown live. It is pre-empted by ABC
 News in favor of coverage of the ongoing Operation Desert Storm. The halftime show is instead presented in an
 edited format during the post-game show at the conclusion of the game.)
Miley Cyrus (star of Disney Channel's Hanna Montanavisits Disney World with family & friends to celebrate the end of her record-breaking U.S. concert tour.

Super Bowl XXV played at Tampa Stadium
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Mary Poppins (originally released in theaters in 1964) is released on DVD as
 a 45th anniversary edition.

"Kay (Kamen) was a very witty man. There was always laughter when he was around. Laughter was an important ingredient in our family, but Kay was really funny, in a low key way." -Diane Disney Miller
The Touchstone Pictures comedy feature Three Fugitives is released. Nick Nolte plays Lucas, a recently released state prisoner, who innocently gets mixed up with Ned Perry, played by Martin Short, an incompetent novice bank robber who is also a single father of a shy but sweet little girl named Meg, played by Sarah Doroff. The cast includes James Earl Jones (as Inspector Marvin Dugan) and Alan Ruck (as Inspector Tenner).
Touchstone Pictures' When in Rome world premieres at the El Capitan 
Theatre in Hollywood. The romantic comedy stars Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel.
Today is Discovery Day on episode nine of The New Mickey Mouse ClubThe
 Mouseketeers discover that there really is life on Mars when the Mousekartoon for the day takes a Comic Look
 at Mars. The Mouseketeer Talent Showcase features Lisa as a wallflower who dreams about being the belle of
 the ball in " Won't Somebody Dance with Me?" Also shown are clips from Disney's Sword in the Stone.


January 27
This Day in Disney History - THE FIRST - THE ORIGINAL
Traveling in time since 1999!
read more about Kay Kamen at Filmic Light
January 27 is Chocolate Cake Day
The totally revamped Planet Hollywood Observatory opens at the Disney Springs dining
and entertainment district in Florida, on this Friday afternoon. With this opening, Planet Hollywood 
changes from the design of a 90s era, globe-shaped building to a turn-of-the-20th-century observatory.
Nominations for the 18th Academy Awards are announced.
-Best Short Subject – Cartoons: Donald's Crime (Walt Disney)
-Best Scoring of a Musical Picture: The Three Caballeros (Edward H. Plumb, Paul J. Smith & Charles Wolcott)
-Best Sound Recording: The Three Caballeros (C. O. Slyfield)
Winners will be announced March 7.
Actor & scriptwriter Michael Craig is born in Poona, British India (what is now Pune, Maharashtra, India). He played the role of James Ellison in Disney's 1975 family adventure Ride a Wild Pony.
Actress Susanne Blakeslee is born in Los Angeles, California. The voice of Lady Tremaine,
Maleficent, and Cruella de Vil in the Kingdom Hearts video game series and various modern-day Disney media, her voice credits also include American Dragon: Jake LongBrandy & Mr. WhiskersDucktalesDisney's House of MouseThe Legend of TarzanCinderella II: Dreams Come TrueCinderella III: A Twist in Time, and 101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure. Blakeskee's theme park voice credits include WishesFantasmic!Halloween Screams: A Villainous Surprise in the Skies, and Haunted Mansion Holiday. (Sometimes credited as Suzanne Blakesley, her non-Disney roles include the voices of Wanda, Anti-Wanda, and Mrs. Turner on Nickelodeon's The Fairly OddParents.)
Comic author, film producer and screenwriter Bill Walsh passes away in Los Angeles, California. Walsh scripted the Mickey Mouse comic strip drawn by Floyd Gottfredson from 1944 until 1964. For his work on Mary Poppins, Walsh shared Academy Award nominations for Best Picture with Walt Disney, and for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium with Don DaGradi. His long list of Disney credits include The Mickey Mouse ClubDavy Crockett and the River PiratesThe Shaggy DogThe Absent Minded ProfessorSon of FlubberThe Love Bug, and The Grand Opening of Walt Disney World.
Star Wars: Path of the Jedi closes at Disneyland. A 10-minute montage of memorable moments from all seven of the Star Wars movies, the attraction dates back to 2015.
Actor James Cromwell is born in Los Angeles, California. Best known as a character actor, he voiced Robert Callaghan, the head of a robotics program, in Disney's 2014 Big Hero 6. He also portrayed Ogden Phipps in the 2010 sports drama Secretariat.
Disney animator Alex Kupershmidt is born in Lviv, Ukraine. His long list of credits include such best known features as The Rescuers Down UnderBeauty and the BeastAladdinThe Lion KingMulanLilo & StitchBolt, and Wreck-it Ralph.
Director Gary Nelson is born in Los Angeles, California. He directed television shows and five
feature films including Disney's Freaky Friday (1976) and The Black Hole (1979).
Disney 100 Years of Wonder kicks off at Disneyland. A worldwide event to honor The Walt Disney Company's birthday, the party will eventually spread to Walt Disney World Resort (who is still in the midst of its 50th anniversary) and other international Disney Parks.