Actor Fess Parker, a baby-boomer idol in the 1950s who launched a craze for
coonskin caps as Disney's Davy Crockett, passes away at the age of 85. The first
installment of "Davy Crockett," with Buddy Ebsen as Crockett's sidekick, debuted back in December 1954
as part of the Disneyland television series. Parker also appeared in such live-action Disney features as The
Great Locomotive Chase (1956), Westward Ho, the Wagons! (1956), Old Yeller (1957) and The Light in the
Forest (1958). Later in life he bought and sold property, built hotels (including the elegant Fess Parker's Wine
Country Inn & Spa in Los Olivos and Fess Parker's Doubletree Resort Santa Barbara) and grew wine grapes on
a 2,200-acre vineyard on California's Central Coast ... where he was dubbed King of the Wine Frontier.
Walt Disney World hosts the 2005 Doll & Teddy Bear Weekend
Disney's feature film Ice Princess opens in theaters. Starring
Michelle Trachtenberg as a teen who dreams of being a
champion ice skater, it features the Aly & AJ song "No One."
The Disney Channel series The Suite Life of Zack and Cody,
starring identical twins Dylan and Cole Sprouse, premieres with
two episodes - "Hotel Hangout" and "The Fairest of Them All."
The Pirates of the Caribbean attraction opens in New Orleans Square at
Disneyland, California. The debut kicks off with great excitement, as a group of marauding sea-dogs, led by Wally Boag, first shanghai the sailing ship Columbia before bursting through the new attractions' doors with a battering ram! All the figures in the attraction are designed by Imagineer Marc Davis and the lavishly detailed sets are by artist & color stylist Claude Coats. (It is the largest audio-animatronic project to date and the last attraction Walt Disney himself worked on extensively before his death.)
Also opening at Disneyland is the Blue Bayou Restaurant in New Orleans Square. The restaurant is built
within the same show building that houses part of the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, with parts of the ride even taking place beneath the restaurant.
The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) announces plans to merge with Capital Cities Communications to form Cap Cities/ABC. The $3.5 billion merger is the 11th largest corporate merger in U.S. history. (A decade and a few months later, the Walt Disney Company will announce that it has reached an agreement to merge with Cap Cities/ABC to form the largest entertainment and television production conglomerate in the world in a deal worth more than 19 billion dollars.)
Kepple Disney marries Mary Richardson. The following year, they will have a child named Elias (the future father of Walt Disney).
The Disney film Mickey's Mellerdrammer, directed by
Wilfred Jackson, is released. In this cartoon, Mickey and
his friends put on a production of "Uncle Tom's Cabin."
The ABC-TV series Walt Disney Presents airs "Elfago Baca: Friendly Enemies at Law."
It is the 9th episode of a 10-part mini-series starring Robert Loggia as a real-life
gunman, lawman, lawyer, and politician in the closing days of the American wild west.
The NBC-TV series Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color airs part 2 of
"The Prince and the Pauper," starring Guy Williams (Disney's Zorro). It is a 3-part live action adaptation of Mark Twain's famous story, with a screenplay by Jack Whittingham. The talented young
Sean Scully plays the roles of both the prince and the pauper, made possible with the same special effects movie
magic used for Disney's Parent Trap.
The Wonderful World of Disney airs the 2-hour "The Omega Connection."
The Disney Channel airs the original movie Alley Cats Strike! A group of hip retro teenage outsiders become involved in an inter-school bowling rivalry. The cast includes actress Kaley Cuoco (later known
for her role on the sitcom The Big Bang Theory.)
The world's first-ever digitally transmitted and projected feature film premiere, of Dimension Films' Spy Kids, takes place at Disney's California Adventure as part of
a benefit for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Children's Diabetes
Center at UCLA. Boeing Satellite System, a unit of The Boeing Company, hosts the event and uses its
Boeing digital cinema system to deliver Spy Kids to the park's Hyperion Theater. (Boeing digital cinema is a
network system that digitally transmits first-run films directly to movie theatres via satellite-based and fiber-optic
networks.) Prior to the premiere, park visitors are treated to a parade
up Main Street, featuring several of the stars of Spy Kids.
"Travel Channel Secrets: Inside Disneyland Paris" airs for
the first time in the U.S.
The Wonderful World of Disney airs the television movie "Bailey's Mistake" starring
Disney Records releases the soundtrack from Piglet's Big Movie, featuring
music by Carly Simon.
Good Day Live on FOX-TV features a segment on the newly renovated
King Arthur's Carrousel in Disneyland.
Imagineering legend Orlando Ferrante receives a Window on Disneyland's
Main Street. His window is located on Center Street near the lockers.
The Disneyland Resort picks up 2 Thea Awards (presented by TEA - a worldwide nonprofit association representing the creators of compelling places and experiences) at a ceremony at the Disneyland Hotel. The Thea Classic Award goes to Disneyland and the AOA - Show is given to Remember... Dreams Come True (the park's nightly fireworks spectacular).
A ground breaking ceremony takes place at 11:15 a.m. in Anaheim,
California for the Disneyland Hotel. Among the guests in attendance
are Roy Disney (Walt's brother), C. V. Wood (Disneyland's vice-
president & general manager), Anaheim's Mayor Charles Pearson,
and members of the Wrather family (owners of the Disneyland Hotel).
The Pirates of the Caribbean 40th Anniversary Product Release & Signing takes place at the Disney Gallery in New Orleans Square, Disneyland.
Also, the trailer for Pirates 3: At World's End premieres at Pirates Ultimate Fan Events across the country.
At Disneyland, 150 visitors are stranded 40 feet in the air in cable cars! The skyway cable cars come to a stop after someone in one of the four-passenger gondolas begins rocking the car vigorously! Firefighters from the Anaheim, Orange County and Garden Grove Fire Departments assist in the rescue - which thankfully results in no injuries.
On a happier note - Disneyland's "Blast to the Past," a 3-month long 1950s event,
kicks off on this day.
A popular misconception is that Walt Disney World exists in Orlando. In fact, the entire Disney property is outside Orlando city limits. Most of Disney World's Central Florida land, and all of the public areas, are located in the cities of Bay Lake & Lake Buena Vista - located southwest of Orlando and a few miles
northwest of Kissimmee.
Disney animator Ward Kimball appears as a contestant on
Groucho Marx's television quiz show You Bet Your Life.
Grover Cleveland, the twenty-second and twenty-fourth United
States President, is born in Caldwell, New Jersey. The only president
to be elected to two nonconsecutive terms, Cleveland was also the only president to be
married in the White House. He is also one of the few presidents to have a Disney song
written about him. The tune "Let's Put It Over With Grover" was written by the Sherman
Brothers for the 1968 live-action feature The One and Only Genuine Original Family
Band. Visit him and all the U.S. Chief Executives at Disney World's The Hall of Presidents.
Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean opens
The 16th annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival kicks off for 75 days.
In Memory of Fess Parker (1924-2010)
"Fess (Parker) had an enormous impact on a whole generation of kids. It's almost impossible to overstate how popular Davy Crockett was, and it made him an overnight star. The nicest part about meeting him in later years was discovering that he was just as genuine and likeable as he seemed on screen."
-film critic and author Leonard Maltin
Walt and Lillian Disney arrive back in Hollywood after spending sometime in New York.
Walt had unsuccessfully attempted to re-negotiate a deal with Oswald distributor Charles Mintz.
"If you ever need a rat, give me a ring." -Groucho Marx
"As you know we're paying tribute this afternoon to a truly outstanding individual. During his forty year career with the Walt Disney
Company this remarkable man has become an Imagineering legend and it all started right here at Disneyland. For those of you who
might not already know, I'm speaking about the Vice President of Show Ride Engineering, Production and Installation, Orlando
Ferrante." -Disneyland Resort Ambassador Daina Baker
"I think I'm the luckiest guy in the world. I've lived long enough and observed enough to make myself very comfortable with the realization that the Disney films and particularly Davy Crockett gave me an image that is unbelievably durable. It's been 40 years and people are still talking about it." -Disney Legend Fess Parker
This Day in Disney History - THE FIRST - THE ORIGINAL
Traveling in time since 1999!
Disney's 2007 Enchanted is released on Blu-ray Disc and DVD by Walt Disney Studios
Home Entertainment. Bonus features include "Fantasy Comes to Life", a three-part behind-the-scenes
feature including "Happy Working Song", "That's How You Know" and "A Blast at the Ball"; six deleted scenes with
brief introductions by director Kevin Lima.
Pixar artist Justin Wright passes at age 27 in Emeryville, California. Born with several congenital heart defects, Wright received a heart transplant at the age of 12. A year later, he was a recipient of a wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which was to visit Disney World. The visit cemented his love of animation and storytelling. He graduated from Sacramento Adventist Academy in 1999, attended Pacific Union College for two years, and also graduated from California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. Prior to attending California Institute of the Arts Justin worked as a Production Assistant at Pixar. Wanting to pursue his education, he chose to leave Pixar hoping one day to return, which he did. His animation credits included the line drawings at the end of the film Ratatouille (2007), the storyboards for WALL-E (2008) and the short film Presto (2008). WALL-E will be dedicated in "loving memory" of him.
Disney's 2013 Frozen is released on Blu-ray Disc and DVD by Walt Disney Studios
Home Entertainment. Bonus features for the Blu-ray release include "The Making of Frozen", a three-minute musical production about how the film was made, "D'frosted", an inside look at how Disney tried to adapt the original
fairy tale into an animated feature, four deleted scenes with introduction by the directors, the original theatrical short
Get a Horse!, the film's teaser trailer, and "Let It Go" (End Credit Version) music videos.
Touchstone Pictures releases the crime-thriller D.O.A., starring Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan, and Charlotte Rampling. A disillusioned college professor (Quaid) awakes from a night of drinking to discover that he has been poisoned with a slow-acting toxin. In a desperate attempt to find his own murderer, he retraces his steps with the help of a besotted female student (Ryan).
After more than 40 years, acclaimed animator John Musker retires. Best known for co-writing
and co-directing with Ron Clements seven features including The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Moana, a retirement party is held on this day for Musker in Burbank, California.
Season 3 of the animated series Guardians of the Galaxy kicks off with the episodes "Mission: Breakout" and "Back in the New York Groove".
Actor and director William Beaudine passes away at age 78 in Canoga Park, California. One of Hollywood's most prolific directors, turning out films in remarkable numbers and in a wide variety of genres, his Disney credits include Westward Ho, the Wagons! (1956) and Ten Who Dared (1960).
Singer, actress, and fashion designer Vanessa Williams is born in The Bronx, New York.
Her best known ABC television roles are that of Wilhelmina Slater on Ugly Betty (2006–10), for which she was nominated three times for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, and Renee Perry on Desperate Housewives (2010–12). Williams played Vita in the 2009 Hannah Montana: The Movie and voiced
characters in episodes of The Proud Family and Phineas and Ferb. She recorded a pop version of "Colors of the Wind,"
the Oscar-winning song from the 1995 Disney animated film Pocahontas, which reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. (She was chosen due to the success of her Grammy Award-nominated single "Save the Best for Last.") Williams hosted
Dreams Come True: A Celebration of Disney Animation and appeared as herself in the 2005 and 2008 Walt Disney World
Christmas Day Parades. Starting in 2019, she began voicing Captain Beakman in the Disney Junior animated series
T.O.T.S. — a.k.a. Tiny Ones Transport Service.
Star Wars Headspace, an electronic music compilation album produced by Rick Rubin and Kevin Kusatsu, is released in physical form on Hollywood Records. (It had been digitally released February 19.) It compiles electronic dance tracks of acts including Claude VonStroke, Flying Lotus and Röyksopp, and features sound effects and dialog from the Star Wars films.
Euphoria, the first album by Colorado-based jam band Leftover Salmon, is released on Disney's Hollywood Records.
Guitarist, singer-songwriter, and one of the early pioneers of rock'n'roll, Chuck Berry passes away at age 90 in Missouri. His rendition of "Route 66" appears on the soundtrack to the 2006 Cars. (There are 2 versions of the song on the soundtrack, the other being performed by John Mayer.) Disney's 2006 The Shaggy Dog features the song "Surfin' U.S.A.," performed by the Beach Boys and co-written by Berry. Nicknamed the "Father of Rock and Roll", Berry refined and developed rhythm and blues into the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive with songs such as "Maybellene" (1955), "Roll Over Beethoven" (1956), "Rock and Roll Music" (1957)
and "Johnny B. Goode" (1958).
A Touch of Disney, a new limited-capacity ticketed experience, begins at Disney California Adventure park. A Touch of Disney offers some of the world-famous food and beverages from around the resort, plus a chance to see Disney characters, shop for the latest Disney merchandise and pose at unique photo locations.