At Walt Disney World, Discovery Island (an 11-acre zoo whose attendance has
been hurt by the 1998 opening of Disney's 500-acre Animal Kingdom) closes 25
years after it opened. The closure of Discovery Island means an end to Disney's second-oldest
Central Florida attraction and marks the first time the company has closed one of its ticketed attractions.
The one hundredth sailing of the Disney Magic is celebrated!
Sam McKim, the legendary Disney Imagineer who drew the first souvenir maps of
Disneyland in 1954, passes away of heart failure at age 79. McKim joined WED
Enterprises (now Walt Disney Imagineering) as an illustrator, six months before the opening of Disneyland.
He created many of the sketches used in the original design of Disneyland, including Main Street and
Frontierland. McKim also worked on Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and the Haunted Mansion.
The seventh Phil of the Future episode "My Way" first airs
on Disney Channel.
Disney Legend Joseph Fowler is born Lewiston, Maine. After retiring from the
U.S. Navy in 1948, Fowler was overseeing the construction of tract homes in the San Francisco
region when Walt Disney came looking for a naval expert to help with the building of the paddle
steamer Mark Twain, for the still under-construction Disneyland. Fowler was hired and went on
to oversee all construction of Disneyland, and later as Chairman of the Board of WED and Director
of Buena Vista Construction Company - helped build Walt Disney World. Disney World's original steam
ship (which opened October 2, 1971) was named the Admiral Joe Fowler Riverboat. He was also
Technical advisor on Disney's live action movie 20.000 Leagues Under the Sea. Fowler was
71 when he completed the Magic Kingdom in Florida and 87 when Disney called on him again to
help build a futuristic theme park called Epcot Center. In California, the dock at Disneyland's
Rivers of America is still known as Fowler's Harbor.
a day in the great outdoors ... but his canoe sinks and latere gets chased by bears!
Disney's Silly Symphony cartoon The Bears and the Bees is released.
Architect-designer (and one of the leaders of the postmodernist movement)
Michael Graves is born in Indianapolis, Indiana. He and his firm designed the
Dolphin and Swan Hotels for Walt Disney World, the post office for Disney's Florida community Celebration,
and the Team Disney Building in Burbank, California - which feature the seven dwarfs.
Actor Tom Hanks, the voice of Sherrif Woody for Disney/Pixar's Toy Story
films, is born in Concord, California. He also appeared on the 1994 TV special The
Wonderful World of Disney: 40 Years of Television Magic and co-starred in the 1984 fantasy/comedy
feature Splash, the very first film released by Disney's Touchstone Films. In 2013 he portrayed
Walt Disney in the film Saving Mr. Banks.
Walt Disney World auctions off a limousine, 2 costume sewing machines, a sofa
from the Empress Lilly riverboat, and a 4-foot tall beer stein. Four times a year since
1985, Walt Disney World has been holding auctions to unload items it no longer wants.
The Disney Gallery (located in Disneyland) celebrates the release of Pirates
of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl with a special event. An adventure
fantasy film based on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney theme parks, it is directed by Gore
Verbinski and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. The story follows blacksmith Will Turner (Orlando Bloom)
and pirate Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) as they rescue the kidnapped Elizabeth Swann (Keira
Knightley) from the cursed crew of the Black Pearl, captained by Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush).
The film's world premiere had been held at Disneyland Resort on June 28, 2003.
Marita Giovanni and Bruce Graham win the HUMANITAS Prize for writing the
2002 Disney Channel Original Movie A Ring of Endless Light. (The HUMANITAS
Prize is an annual screenwriter's award founded in 1974 to encourage, stimulate and sustain the nation's
screenwriters in their humanizing task, and to give them the recognition they deserve.)
Bell, appears at the Oakland Museum of California's exhibit on
Disneyland's 50-year history.
Kiely Williams, a member of Disney's The Cheetah Girls, is
born in Alexandria, Virginia.
Tony Award-winning actor Brian Dennehy, the voice of Django in Disney/Pixar's 2007 Ratatouille, is born in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
A letter/article (dated April 26, 1938) penned by Walt Disney appears in The Arizona Daily Star. Under the title "Yesterday's Newspaper Boys Are Today's Leaders," Walt's words include:
I was an old man of nine when I tackled my first business venture. You guessed it - I had a paper route in
Kansas City. To say the least, it kept me out of mischief, because my brothers and I had to get up every
morning, deliver papers, have breakfast and then go off to school. After school we started out all over again.
Pianist Richard Carpenter and
guitarist John Bettis performed music
at Coke Corner on Disneyland’s Main
Street U.S.A. during the summer of
1967. Because they routinely
deviated from the selections of turn-
of-the-century tunes they were asked
to perform ... the pair were sacked
after four months. Richard went on
to have great success with his sister
Karen - as The Carpenters. Many of
their biggest hits were written by
Richard and John Bettis!
Business Week runs the article "Mouse That Turned To Gold."
It tells readers - "In some ways, the $17-million Disneyland amusement park that opens in Anaheim, Calif.,
July 18, is a far cry from the little rodent that first scampered accross the movie screen in 1927."
The New York Times runs "Disneyland Gets Its Last Touches" - an article
about the new Anaheim park, which will open in 8 days.
The Disney Channel Premiere Film Great Expectations, based on Charles Dickens' classic novel, debuts.
Deconstruction of the 50-ton Mickey Mouse arm and wand,
leaning on Epcot's Spaceship Earth, begins. Also coming down
are the 36-foot-high "Epcot" letters and colored stars splashing across the sphere.
The arm and glove went up for Walt Disney World's 2000 millennium celebration.
Actor/singer Mitchel Musso - Oliver Oken on Disney Channel's Hanna Montana - is
born in Garland, Texas. He's also the voice of Jeremy for Disney Channel's animated series
Phineas and Ferb and starred in the 2005 Disney Channel Original Movie Life Is Ruff. In 2009 Musso released
his debut album on Walt Disney Records.
Actor-director-producer Fred Savage, best known for his role as Kevin Arnold on
the long-running TV series The Wonder Years, is born in Chicago, Illinois. He lent his
voice to Disney Channel's Kim Possible and narrated the 1998 The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story. Savage has
also directed episodes of Phil of the Future, That's So Raven, and Hannah Montana.
"Yeehaw! Come on, partner! We've got to get this wagon train a'movin'!" -Sheriff Woody's pullstring quote
Disney's One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing a British comedy film is released by Walt Disney Productions. Based on the 1970 novel The Great Dinosaur Robbery by David Forrest, the film was
made entirely on location in England at Elstree Studios and Pinewood Studios, along with some location shoots
around Windsor, Berkshir. The film stars Peter Ustinov, Helen Hayes, Clive Revill, Derek Nimmo, Joan Sims, Bernard
Bresslaw, and Natasha Pyne. A group of spirited British nannies become involved in a race with the inscrutable
Chinese intelligence service. The prize is a top-secret microfilm hidden in the skeleton of a dinosaur on display in the
Natural History Museum.
Disney's Beauty and the Beast is widely released in theaters in Argentina and Peru.
Walt Disney's Tron, one of the first films from a major studio to use computer
graphics extensively, premieres. A computer programmer is transported inside the software world
of a mainframe computer, where he interacts with various programs in his attempt to get back out. The film
stars Jeff Bridges as Kevin Flynn (and his counterpart inside the electronic world, Clu), Bruce Boxleitner
as Alan Bradley (and Tron), Cindy Morgan as Lora Baines (and Yori) and Dan Shor as Ram. Tron features
a soundtrack - also released on this day, by Wendy Carlos and 2 songs by the rock band Journey.
(Despite earning $33 million in North America on its original release, it's
"poor box office performance" will earn Ron Miller, then Disney CEO
and Walt's son-in-law, the unaffectionate nickname of "Tron" Miller.
More than twenty years later a successful sequel,
TRON: Legacy, will be produced.)
The Taste of Africa Street Party starts this day at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Running until July 24, Taste of Africa brings music and dance parties to the Africa section of the park, along with
outdoor food and beverage vendors, authentic merchandise for sale and animal education experiences.
Film actor Chris Cooper is born in Kansas City, Missouri. Known for his roles in such major Hollywood films as The Bourne Identity, American Beauty and October Sky, Cooper portrayed Tex Richman in
the 2011 Disney The Muppets.
Actress Pamela Adlon is born Pamela Segall in New York City. She supplied the voice of
Vidia for Disney's Tinker Bell and the Pixie Hollow Games, Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue, Tinker Bell
and the Lost Treasure and Tinker Bell. Her voice credits also include episodes of Phineas and Ferb and Lilo &
Stitch: The Series. Adlon also appeared in the live-action Disney television episode "The Leftovers" in 1986.
(She may be best known as the voice of Bobby Hill on the animated series King of the Hill.)
"He's a fascinating guy, because what we have is this benevolent animator who would introduce us to his cartoon characters. But
what he was was very tough, competitive and a very loyal businessman that invented an art form that is still going great guns today.
To Walt Disney, ladies and gentlemen!" -Tom Hanks
Disney's short Pluto's Purchase, directed by Charles Nichols, is released.
Mickey sends Pluto to the butcher to buy some sausage. But when Butch the dog spots Pluto on his way
home, he contrives to take the sausage. Pluto manages to get home safely ... only to discover the sausage
is a birthday present for Butch!
Actor James Baskett, known for his portrayal of Uncle Remus in the 1946 Disney feature
film Song of the South, passes away at age 44 in Los Angeles, California. In recognition of his
warm portrayal of the famous storyteller he had been given an Honorary Academy Award in March 1948, making him the
first black male performer to receive an Oscar. Baskett had been in poor health since 1946 during the filming of
Song of the South due to diabetes and later suffered a heart attack.
Treasure of Matecumbe, a family adventure film directed by Vincent McEveety and
produced by Walt Disney Productions, is released in theaters. Based on the novel "A Journey
to Matecumbe" by Robert Lewis Taylor, the film's plot involves two 13-year-old boys; played by Johnny Doran &
Billy Atmore, who run away from their Kentucky home to hunt for treasure in Florida. Although filmed on various locations
in Kentucky and California, the final scene at a beached shipwreck was filmed at Walt Disney World's Discovery Island.
Elmore Rual Torn Jr., better known as actor, voice artist, and comedian Rip Torn passes away at age 88 in Connecticut. He voiced the god Zeus in Disney's 1997 animated feature Hercules, and played the role of Harvey in Disney's 1999 TV film Balloon Farm. Torn was known for
his roles in Men in Black and The Larry Sanders Show.
Actor Freddie Jones passes away at age 91. With an extensive career in television, theater and
cinema productions for almost sixty years, Jones supplied the voice for Dallben in Disney's 1985 animated The Black Cauldron. He also appeared in Touchstone's 2002 live-action The Count of Monte Cristo as Colonel Villefort.
The live-action remake of The Lion King has its world premiere in Los Angeles. Among those in attendance are Beyoncé (the voice of Nala), Donald Glover (the voice of Simba), Chiwetel Ejiofor (the
voice of Scar), Seth Rogen (the voice of Pumbaa), Billy Eichner (the voice of Timon), and director Jon Favreau.
The film will open July 18.