"I came to Disney to help out for two weeks and I ended up staying 29 years."
 -Disney Legend Buddy Baker
Writer, humorist, actor, and National Radio Hall of Famer Jean Shepherd,
the voice of the Father in Disney's Carousel of Progress attraction, is born
in Chicago, Illinois. Rex Allen, the original voice of the Father, was replaced by "Shep"
around 1994 when the Carousel was updated to include the more modern era. Ironically Shep had toured the It’s a Small
World ride and Carousel of Progress at the 1964 World’s Fair! Movie fans may recognize Shep's voice as the narrator of the 1983 holiday classic A Christmas Story - which he co-wrote, based on his own semi- autobiographical stories. Ollie Hopnoodle's Haven of Bliss a 1988 TV movie, following the family from A Christmas Story, has aired numerous times on Disney Channel.
Disney's animated Alice in Wonderland has its world premiere
in England, at London's Leicester Square Theatre. It will be released in the
U.S. two days later. Based on Lewis Carroll's books "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the
 Looking-Glass," it is the 18th feature film to be released by Disney (but today conisdered the 13th animated film). The film will be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Scoring of a Musical Picture. Attending the premiere is Walt Disney and Kathryn Beaumont, dressed as Alice.
Walt Disney and actor Fess Parker (dressed as Davy Crockett) appear on the cover of LOOK magazine.
Actor Kevin Spacey, the voice of Hopper for Disney/Pixar's 1998 A Bug's Life, is born
in South Orange, New Jersey. He also voiced Hopper for the 3D theme park short 
It's Tough to Be a Bug.
Marcellite Garner, the second female to voice Minnie Mouse in such
early classics as Plane Crazy, The Gallopin' Gaucho, and The Barn
Dance, passes away at age 83 in Grass Valley, California. Starting at the Disney Studio at the
 age of 19, Garner worked as a cel painter, but quickly advanced to the higher labor grade of inking the animator’s
 pictures onto the cels. After about 6 months on the job, she became the voice of Minnie Mouse. In mid-1941 she
 gave up her work at Disney to become a full-time mom. As a hobby, she later became a painter. Garner was actually the third person to voice Minnie as Walt Disney himself was the first (1928-1929). Marjorie Ralston was the first female to do so (but for just one year in 1929).
Disney's movie The Country Bears is released nationwide. A live-action comedy, it is Disney's second theatrical film based on an attraction at one of its theme parks and the third overall film based on an attraction following the television film Tower of Terror and the theatrically-released Mission to Mars. Beary Barrinson, a ten-year-old bear cub raised by humans, heads for Tennessee to find his birth family. Along the way, he helps unite the once legendary Country Bear Band for a benefit show to save the Country Bear concert hall. The voice cast 
includes Haley Joel Osment, Diedrich Bader, Candy Ford, Brad Garrett, and Stephen Root. Elizabeth Daily, Bonnie 
Raitt, and Don Henley provide the singing voices. The live-action cast features Christopher Walken, Stephen 
Tobolowsky, and Daryl Mitchell with cameos by Elton John, Queen Latifah, Willie Nelson, and Brian Setzer. 

The Lizzie McGuire episode "You're a Good Man, Lizzie McGuire" debuts on Disney Channel as does the Disney Channel Original Movie Gotta Kick It UpGarnering over one million viewers, Kick It Up is based on a true story of a middle school dance team.

Disney Legend Buddy Baker, composer and arranger for almost 200 Disney feature
films, TV shows, and theme park attractions, passes away at his home in Sherman
Oaks, California. He is 84. Disney staff composer George Bruns first brought Baker on board to help with the "Davy Crockett" TV series in 1954. Baker went on to compose music for such features as The Misadventures of Merlin JonesWinnie the Pooh and the Honey TreeThe Apple Dumpling Gang, and The Fox and the Hound. He is probably best known to Disney fans for his Haunted Mansion song "Grim Grinning Ghosts" (which he co-wrote with X Atencio). When Baker retired from Disney in 1983, he was the last contracted music staff composer still on contract at any major Hollywood studio.

 The role of Bert in the London production of Mary Poppins passes from Gavin Lee
 to Gavin Creel. Tony-nominee Creel replaces Lee in the production at the Prince Edward Theatre as Lee
 has been cast in the upcoming Broadway staging of Mary Poppins (which will begin performances in October at
 the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York City).
The Disney Channel Premiere Film The Parent Trap II, a made-for-TV sequel to The 
Parent Trap, debuts. It stars Hayley Mills (the star of the original Parent Trap) as both Sharon and Susan.
"Uncle Orville's taken over the coolest spot in the house and 
he's rigged up a real clever contraption. He calls it air cooling."
-Father in Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress

Disney's newest stage musical The Little Mermaid premieres its workshop run in Denver, Colorado. The show will play at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House at the Denver Performing Arts Complex through September 9, honing in preparation for its Broadway launch in December.

The Pixar Story, a documentary produced, written & directed by Leslie Iwerks (granddaughter of Disney Legend Ub Iwerks), premieres at the San Diego Comic-Con.
Narrated by Stacy Keach, it is a look at the first years of Pixar Animation Studios.

ENCORE! Cast Choir And Orchestra (made up of Disney Cast Members) perform "Hollywood! A Musical Tribute to the Silver Screen" at Epcot's World Showplace Pavilion. The first of a 3-night engagement, the performances will benefit the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Central Florida.  
The all-cartoon Musical Wonderfilm!
 Some 5.86 million viewers tune in to watch Disney Channel's 3-D concert film Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert.
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Disneyland's Germanic-style Sleeping Beauty castle 
was designed by Disney Imagineer Herb Ryman and inspired, in part, by Neuschwanstein 
in Bavaria. 
Alice in Wonderland World Premiere
"He really formed my entire comedic sensibility—I learned how to do comedy from Jean Shepherd." -Jerry Seinfeld
Disney Studios holds an action analysis class led by instructor Don Graham. 
(Snow White is in production at this time.) Graham's words of wisdom include:
"The only thing an artist has is the fact that he can do something that can't be done with a machine. He should say to himself, "Am I going to let a machine work me out of a job and a profession?" That is what it is going to do, unless the artist keeps moving. It is up to him. As long as jobs have to be done, and have to be done economically, the rotoscope is the quickest way to do it, the challenge will always be there. So it is up to the artist to deliver. He must do a drawing and say, "See here - my drawing may not be perfect as far as realism is concerned, but it has a spirit the rotoscope can never give you."
(A technique invented by Max Fleischer, rotoscoping is an animation technique in which animators trace over live-action film movement, frame by frame, for use in animated films.)

Today marks the last time that the current version of Disneyland's Star Tours is
 open to the public. The following day the ride will close for renovations. When the upgraded Star
 Tours opens next year, new scenes from the most recent Star Wars films will be added.
The Sky High Original Soundtrack is released on Hollywood Records. Featuring covers 
of songs from the 1980s, Sky High will generally open in theaters July 29.
Alice in Wonderland voice cast:
Kathryn Beaumont as Alice  /  Ed Wynn as Mad Hatter  /  Richard Haydn as Caterpillar  /  Sterling Holloway as Cheshire Cat 
Jerry Colonna as March Hare  /  Verna Felton as Queen of Hearts  /  J. Pat O'Malley as Tweedlee & Tweedledum  /  Bill Thompson as White Rabbit
"I remember arriving at the theatre and being helped from the vehicle by the Mad 
Hatter. Yes, Walt was there, and it was wonderful having pictures taken with him. He looked so handsome in his tuxedo!" -Kathryn Beaumont
July 26
This Day in Disney History - THE FIRST - THE ORIGINAL
Traveling in time since 1999!
 Although born July 20, for Charlie Ridgway's 90th birthday, Orlando Mayor
Buddy Dyer proclaims July 26, 2013, "Charles Ridgway Day" in the city of Orlando.
Now retired, Ridgway was a hard-charging newsman who made the leap from newspaper reporter to ace
media legend as the head of Public Relations for Walt Disney World Resort.
Voice actress and comedian Patricia "Patti" Deutsch Ross passes away at age 73 in Los Angeles, California. A frequent panelist on the TV game shows Match Game and Tattletales, she also provided voices for Disney films and television shows. Her credits included Tarzan (1999), The Emperor's New 
GrooveMonsters, Inc.(2001), Kronk's New Groove (2005), and The Emperor's New School (2007-2008).

Voice actress June Foray, best known as the voice of the animated character Rocky the Flying Squirrel (on The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show), passes away at age 99 in Los Angeles, California. With a career encompassing radio, theatrical shorts, feature films, television, record albums, video games, and talking toys, Foray supplied the voice of Witch Hazel for the Disney short Trick or Treat, Lucifer for Disney's feature Cinderella, Mrs. Featherby for Disney's DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp, and Grandmother Fa for Disney's direct-to-video Mulan II. Her vast television voice credits include Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears.
Disney's live-action feature Unidentified Flying Oddball (known in the U.K. as The Spaceman and King Arthur) is released to theaters. A comedy about an astronaut and his android double who travel back to the time of King Arthur, it features Dennis Dugan, Jim Dale, Ron Moody, and Kenneth More. It is a twist on Mark Twain's story "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court."
Hollywood Pictures releases V.I. Warshawski, a film directed by Jeff Kanew and
starring Kathleen Turner. Tough female private eye `Vic' Warshawski dates a former ice hockey star,
whose body is later pulled out of Lake Michigan, leaving her to look after his 13-year-old daughter. Warshawski
finds herself not only tracking down a murderer, but protecting the child from the local mobsters.
Actress Helen Mirren is born Dame Helen Lydia Mirren in London, England. Her Disney/Touchstone film credits include Raising HelenThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the GalaxyNational Treasure: Book of SecretsMonsters UniversityThe Hundred-Foot Journeyand The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.
The final episode of the Disney Channel series Andi Mack airs.

Russi Taylor, the longtime official voice of Minnie Mouse, passes away in Glendale, California, at age 75. The Disney Legend first assumed the role of Minnie Mouse over 30 years ago after she
beat out more than 200 others during a 1986 audition. Taylor voiced the character in hundreds of Disney projects,
including television, theme park experiences, animated shorts and theatrical films. (She was married to Wayne Allwine, the third voice of Mickey Mouse, from 1991 until his death in 2009.) Her other voices include Huey, Dewey, Louie & Webby in DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp (1990), Nurse Mouse in The Rescuers Down Under (1990), Robbie in The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars (1998), Widow Tweed in The Fox and the Hound 2 (2006), Fairy Godmother & Drizella Tremaine in Cinderella III: A Twist in Time (2007), and Fauna in Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dreams (2007). Taylor's long list of television voice credits include such programs as Disney's Adventures of the Gummi BearsDuckTalesTimon and PumbaaKim Possible and Sofia the First.
"Russi was as close as family; as wonderful, funny, and sweet as Minnie Mouse, and as talented yet humble as you would expect, I will deeply and dearly miss her." -voice actor Bill Farmer
Actress/producer Sandra Bullock is born in Arlington, Virginia. She appeared in the Hollywood Pictures romantic comedy While You Were Sleeping (1995) as Lucy, the dark comedy Gun Shy (2000) as Judy, and the 2009 Touchstone comedy The Proposal as Margaret Tate.
Television and game show host Chris Harrison is born in Dallas, Texas. He is best known
for his role as host of the ABC reality television dating show The Bachelor since 2002, and its spin-offs The Bachelorette since 2003, Bachelor Pad from 2010 to 2012, Bachelor in Paradise since 2014, the first season of Bachelor in Paradise: After Paradise in 2015, Bachelor Live in 2016, and The Bachelor Winter Games in 2018.
He also served as the host of the syndicated version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire from his 2015 hosting role through the 2019 cancellation.
Actor, comedian and producer Jeremy Piven is born in New York City. His film credits include Hollywood Pictures' Grosse Pointe Blank (1997) and Pixar's Cars (2006). Piven also lent his voice to telelvision's Buzz Lightyear of Star Command (2000). (He is best known for his role as Ari Gold in the comedy series Entourage, for which he won a Golden Globe Award and three consecutive Emmy Awards.)
The 38th Saturn Awards, honoring the best in science fiction, fantasy and horror film and television in 2011, are held in Burbank, California. Among the winners:
-Best Costume: Alexandra Byrne – Thor
Although nominated for Best Animated Film, Cars 2 is beat out by Puss in Boots.
Animator Kenneth Muse is born in North Carolina. Working briefly at Walt Disney Productions, he was Preston Blair's assistant on Fantasia (helping to animate "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" scenes) and provided animation for Pinocchio ("I've Got No Strings" sequence). His credits also included various Mickey Mouse shorts such as Mr. Mouse Takes a Trip (1940), Mickey's Birthday Party (1942) and Symphony Hour (1942). Muse left Disney following the 1941 strike and joined Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's animation department, where he became best known for his work on the Tom and Jerry series.
Animator Kenneth Muse passes away on his 77th birthday in California. Starting his career at Walt Disney Productions, he was Preston Blair's assistant on Fantasia (helping to animate "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" scenes) and provided animation for Pinocchio ("I've Got No Strings" sequence). His credits also included various Mickey Mouse shorts such as Mr. Mouse Takes a Trip (1940), Mickey's Birthday Party (1942) and Symphony Hour (1942). Muse left Disney following the 1941 strike and joined Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's animation department,
where he became best known for his work on the Tom and Jerry series.
Artist, animator, and designer Mary Blair passes away at age 66 in California. Prominent in producing art and animation for The Walt Disney Company, she drew concept art for such films as Alice in Wonderland,
Peter PanSong of the South and Cinderella. Blair travelled to various South American countries with Walt Disney, Lillian Disney and other artists on a research tour as part of the Good Neighbor policy of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Her watercolors impressed Disney, who appointed her as an art supervisor for the animated feature films Saludos Amigos
and The Three CaballerosBlair also created character designs for Disneyland's It's a Small World, the fiesta scene in El Rio del Tiempo in the Mexico pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, and the enormous mosaic inside Disney's Contemporary Resort.