Jodi Benson (the voice of Disney's Little Mermaid) appears at 
Walt Disney World for the first of a 2-day visit. She makes a special appearance in the
morning at The Art of Disney (located in Downtown Disney Marketplace) to meet fans and sign "Mermaid"
artwork purchased at the shop. In the evening she performs a concert backed by an orchestra at the open-air America Gardens Theater in Epcot's World Showcase. The scheduled 2nd show of the evening is cancelled
due to a thunderstorm.
Disney Channel airs the That's So Raven episode
"Saturday Afternoon Fever" for the first time.
Disney's Donald Duck short Early to Bed (directed by Jack King) is released. 
The annoyingly loud ticking of an alarm clock is all it takes to keep Donald up for most of the night.
Disney releases the animated short How to Dance starring Goofy. The likenesses
 and sounds of the Firehouse Five Plus Two (Ward Kimball's Dixieland band) are featured as well.

Actress Mindy Lee Sterling is born in Paterson, New Jersey. Her Disney credits include the
 2011 Mars Needs Moms, episodes of Disney Channel's The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and That's So Raven, the
 animated TV series American Dragon Jake Long, Disney Channel's A.N.T. Farm, the animated feature The Brave
Little Toaster, and even a bit part in the live-action The Devil and Max Devlin. (Fans of Austin Powers know Sterling best for her role of  Frau Farbissina.)
The Paris, France regional council approves plans for a Disneyland
style amusement park in Marne-laValee.

The Cinderella Castle Mystery Tour debuts at Tokyo Disney.
The Disney Gallery, featuring The Art of Disneyland 1953-1986 a collection of original artist paintings, models and maquettes representing 4 decades of Disneyland design, first opens in Disneyland's New Orleans Square. The space was originally intended to be a private apartment for Walt & Roy Disney to entertain visiting dignitaries and business associates. (The gallery will later be transformed into the Disney Dream Suite.)
Disney announces it will enter into a distribution deal with a Bay area
 digital studio named Pixar. (Together they will make such films as
 Toy StoryToy Story 2A Bugs Life, and Finding Nemo.)
At Disneyland's New Orleans Square, 
"Looking at the Future - Tomorrowland: 1955-1998" debuts in honor
of the Disney Gallery's 10th Anniversary.
Magic Masters, the nation's largest chain of retail magic emporiums,
 opens its largest store in Downtown Disney West Side, Florida.
 (Based in Georgia, Magic Masters opened its first store back in 1978.)
Disneyland Dream

Teen Pop stars Aly & AJ, Corbin Bleu, and Drake Bell headline Nextfest tour, a
29-date trek which kicks off this evening at Dogde Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona.
Aly & AJ (the Disney sister duo) are touring in support of their newest Hollywood Records release Insomniatic.
Disney employee Harold W. Adelquist is born in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Beginning in 1932, he started as an animator and became assistant director on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. He later worked in production, personnel, and the story department before being assigned to the Mickey Mouse Club as a general coordinator. Adelquist's ideas helped create the show from early conception to the first year, and he ensured that the series met production schedules. He left the show after the first season and for a short time was assigned to produce the live shows for the Mickey Mouse Club Circus at Disneyland. The nerve-wracking effort to bring the television show
off in just a few months weighed heavily on Adelquist and he resigned from Disney in 1956, never to work in show
business again. Adelquist died March 26, 1981 in Long Beach, California.
John Quincy Adams, the sixth President of the United States, is born in
Braintree, Massachusetts. Son of President John Adams, John Quincy was also an American
diplomat and served in both the Senate and House of Representatives. Visit him and all the Chief
Executives at Walt Disney World's The Hall of Presidents.
Actor David Henrie is born in Los Angeles, California. Disney Channel fans know him
as Larry on That's So Raven and Justin Russo on Wizards of Waverly Place.
The Barstow Family of Wethersfield, Connecticut, 
leave for a week-long California vacation. They are 
the winners of a nationwide contest (originally won
by the youngest son Danny) sponsored by the 3M 
Scotch Tape Company. The prize ... a family 
vacation to Disneyland, including airfare, 4 days worth of Disneyland 
tickets and hotel accommodations in Pasadena! 
In 2008, their home movies (titled Disneyland Dream) will be selected
for preservation in the Library of Congress National Film Registry.
In March 2010, the film will be released to DVD!
Nearly 400 Cast Members stand before Sleeping Beauty Castle to celebrate
 Disneyland's 30th anniversary ... a year early. The Cast Members have volunteered their time on
 this day to be photographed as part of a marketing campaign to publicize the milestone anniversary.
Singer and Tony Award winner Lea Salonga performs at the Walt Disney Concert Hall
in Los Angeles, California. The concert marks Salonga's final North American 2008 show prior to her upcoming Asian tour of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella. (Salonga sang "Reflection" in Disney's Mulan and
"A Whole New World" in Disney's Aladdin.)
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The street lamps on Disneyland's 
Main Street USA 
are approximately 
100 years old. 
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"Well, voiceover, you get to be completely uninhibited and free; you just have tons of fun and don’t really 
have to worry about any of the other package. Doing concerts—that’s really enjoyable to get to work 
with the audience and have a good time with them on the stage, it’s live and being involved in music is 
wonderful. They’re all really great in their own right. I enjoy them all equally." -Jodi Benson

Walt Disney visits the Pike Forest Fossil Beds (today
known as Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument)
in Florissant, Colorado. Walt purchases a petrified stump for Disneyland.
The webmaster of This Day in Disney History receives an email from 
Robbins Barstow, the amateur filmmaker whose family made Disney history on this
day in 1956.

Hi, Tony --

I have just learned about your terrific "Today in Disney History" blog site, and am thrilled to find your "Off to Disneyland" story about the Barstow family's 1956 trip, and its immortalization in our amateur film "Disneyland Dream."
I had, frankly, forgotten that July 11 was the date of our departure, but I am forwarding your blog site to all our
family members and I am sure they will join Meg and me in celebrating the anniversary in this special way!
Meg and I are now 88 and 89 respectively, but we are still living in the same Wethersfield, Connecticut, house
shown in the film.  Our daughter Mary is a psychotherapist, author, and lecturer on ethics in the healing 
professions, living in Boulder, Colorado.  Our older son, David, is a computer scientist operating out of Austin,
Texas; he and his wife, Linda, have two children and this year a granddaughter, named Meg after her great-grandmother.  Our younger son, Daniel (the contest winner!), is an educator and recently became President of the nationwide Challenger Center for Space Science Education.  He and his wife Eva live in Stow, Massachusetts.

Thanks for including us in your living history!  Take care, God bless, and carry on.
Robbins Barstow
Disney's short Donald's Dilemma, featuring Donald Duck and Daisy, is released.
A blow on the head from a flowerpot changes Donald's personality for the better, but he can't remember Daisy!
Fans of Disney’s Phineas and Ferb in New York City’s Times Square are treated to a 
brilliantly fun kickoff to the cross-country tour of Perry the Platy-bus. The event includes 
singing, dancing, free t-shirts, and four members of the show’s cast and crew. Perry the Platy-bus, based on the 
pet/secret agent Perry the Platypus from the show, is making its way from New York to San Diego, where it will 
arrive at Comic-Con next week to showcase the upcoming TV movie Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension
Walt Disney Productions publicly announces that it will soon be purchasing the Disneyland Hotel from the Wrather Corporation. (The deal will suddenly fall through and it will
be another 15 years before Disney can finally take control of the hotel.)
July 11
With less than a week before Disneyland's grand debut, the floral in "floral Mickey"
(to be placed in the flower beds at the park's entrance) has not been planted!
 Horticulturalist Jack Evans receives a memo dated this day, from Joe Fowler (the man in charge
of leading Disneyland's construction) which reads:
"When are you going to plant Mickey Mouse in the entrance? Looks to me like the time is getting pretty late."

The second season of the animated television series Star vs. the Forces of Evil debuts 
with the episode "My New Wand!". The first Disney XD series created by a woman, Jordana Arkin, it follows 
the adventures of Star Butterfly the young turbulent heir to the royal throne in the dimension of Mewni, who is sent to 
Earth so she can complete her education and learn to be a worthy princess, and Marco Diaz a human teenager who 
becomes her roommate and best friend, as they live their daily lives, and go on adventures in other dimensions.
Singer-songwriter Alessia Cara is born in Ontario, Canada. She recorded a version of "How Far 
I'll Go" (written by Lin-Manuel Miranda) for Disney's Moana soundtrack. (The song was performed in the film by 
American actress and singer Auliʻi Cravalho in her role as Moana.)
Actor Justin Chambers is born in Springfield, Ohio. His breakthrough role came in 2005 when he was cast as Dr. Alex Karev in the ABC-TV medical drama series Grey's Anatomy.
Actor Greg Grunberg is born in Los Angeles, California. Best known for starring as Eric Weiss
in the ABC series Alias, he also played "Snap" Wexley in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Grunberg lent his voice to a 2018 episode of the animated Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure.

 Actress, model, executive producer, host, spokesperson and comedian Debbie Dunning
is born in Burbank, California. She played Heidi Keppert, the second "Tool Time girl," on the ABC sitcom
Home Improvement (beginning in season 3, but becoming a series regular in seasons 7-8).
Singer and entertainer Frances Langford, who was popular during the Golden Age of Radio, passes away at age 92 in Florida. She sang "Once Upon a Wintertime" for a segment of Disney's 1948 animated Melody Time. In 1940 she recorded her own version of "When You Wish Upon a Star" for Decca Records. (Langford appeared in films between 1932-1953 and was popular with U.S. troops for her performances as part of Bob Hope's USO tours.)
Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom reopen at Walt Disney World after being closed for months due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.
Illustrator, production designer, writer & animator Toby Bluth is born in Texas. Younger brother of animator Don Bluth, Toby's artwork can be spotted at Disney theme parks around the world and in such films as The Tigger Movie and Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers.
Lebohang "Lebo M" Morake, a producer, composer, and arranger is born in Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa. Recommended to Disney by Hans Zimmer (the composer of both adaptations of The Lion King), he was later hired to form and conduct the African choir that sang for the Lion King films. Lebo M also contributed to the sequel to the film's soundtrack, Rhythm of the Pride Lands, and the film's direct-to-video sequel The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. His Disney credits also include Dinosaur and Atlantis: The Lost Empire.