After a $92 million expansion, the U.S. Army reopens its
Robert Stevenson, the only director to be nominated
for the Best Director Academy Award for directing a
Disney live-action movie - Mary Poppins - is born in
Buxton, Derbyshire, England. He moved to California in the
1940s and ended up directing 19 films for The Walt Disney Company.
Among his credits - the 1960 Kidnapped, based on the famous novel by
writer Robert Louis Stevenson ... a descendant of director Robert
Voice actress Lucille Bliss, known as "the lady of a thousand voices," is born in
New York City. Her Disney credits include 101 Dalmatians and Cinderella (as the
voice of Anastasia). She may be best known as the voice of Smurfette on the TV animated series The Smurfs.
The 306-foot long Grand Canyon Diorama is added to the Disneyland
Railway between the Tomorrowland and Main Street stations. The painting
(by motion picture artist & designer Delmer J. Yoakum) has been done on a special seamless canvas, which
required 4,800 manhours to complete, using 300 gallons of paint in 14 colors! The diorama, which includes
taxidermic animals (the only ones in the park) in lifelike poses, is the longest in the world. (In 1966, the diorama
Actor Ewan McGregor, the voice of Valiant in Disney's 2005 animated
Valiant, is born in Scotland. (Star Wars fans know him as Obi-Wan Kenobi.)
In Florida, the new Animal Kingdom Lodge holds a 3-day open
house for Walt Disney World Annual Passholders. The 1,307-room
deluxe hotel is about one mile west of the Animal Kingdom Park.
Radio Disney DJs Just Plain Mark & Zippy broadcast live from
Disneyland's Tomorrowland Terrace to celebrate the release of
"Radio Disney Jams 3."
Disney's House of Mouse debuts "Donald's Pumbaa Prank" on ABC-TV.
Actress Rhea Perlman, the voice of 9-Eye for Disney World's The Timekeeper attraction (once located in Tomorrowland) is born in
Brooklyn, New York. (TV fans will remember her as Carla on the hit sitcom Cheers.)
The Wonderful World of Disney, featuring the documentary film
"The Magic of Walt Disney World," airs on NBC-TV.
Child star Shirley Temple was on hand at Disneyland in 1957 (as an adult with her own children) to help dedicate a new attraction inside the
TV host Samantha Brown is born in Dallas, Texas. She is the host of several
travel programs for the Travel Channel including Great Hotels (which has featured many Disney
World resorts). Her Disney-theme programs also include Disney Holiday Magic with Samantha
Brown and Walt Disney World Holidays. In 2011, Brown began hosting a series of Disney videos
for Disney Online.
Disney Channel debuts the second Hannah Montana
episode "Miley Get Your Gun."
Animator & Imagineer Ken Anderson retires after 44 years with the Disney
Company. He first joined the Disney Studio in 1934 when he drove by the studio and decided to stop in
and apply for a job. Anderson's art director credits include Snow White, Pinocchio, Fantasia, and The
Reluctant Dragon. Later, his knowledge of architecture helped Walt's realization of Disneyland. Anderson's
concept drawings and design work is reflected in such popular attractions as Peter Pan's Flight, Mr. Toad's
Wild Ride, Storybook Land, and the Haunted Mansion. (He will be inducted a Disney Legend in 1991.) "At the Grand Floridian in Disney World, housekeeping folds your hand towels into little animals like ducks and bunnies. They then put things like your toothbrush and styling gel in them, so that when you walk into your room you have all these cute critters greeting you. It's a very heartwarming touch." -Samantha Brown
Award winning computer scientist and co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios
Ed Catmull is born in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Pixar's tenuous evolution can be traced back
to the 1970s when millionaire Alexander Schare (then president of the New York Institute of Technology) asked a young
Catmull and his team (which included Alvy Ray Smith) to set up house at NYIT's Long Island campus to work with
computer graphics. When their work was brought to the attention of George Lucas, they were asked to be part of
Lucasfilm Ltd. Catmull and his ensemble created innovative graphics programs and equipment for Lucas, including
an imaging computer called the 'Pixar.' In 1986, when Steve Jobs bought Lucasfilm's digital division and turned it into
Pixar, Catmull became its the Chief Technical Officer. After Disney acquired Pixar in January 2006, Disney Chief
Executive Bob Iger put Catmull and John Lasseter in charge
of reinvigorating the Disney animation studios in Burbank.
Joan Lunden and Alan Thicke host the annual
Walt Disney World Happy Easter Parade on ABC-TV.
Also airing, but on NBC, is a new a Disney-produced television series titled The 100
Lives of Black Jack Savage. The series will follow the story of Black Jack Savage (played by Steven
Williams), the ghost of a legendary 17th century Caribbean pirate who teams up with Barry Tarberry (played by Daniel Hugh-Kelly), a crooked Wall Street con-artist who has escaped trial by coming to the Caribbean.
Over on the Disney Channel, the Disney Channel Premiere Film Perfect Harmony debuts. The plot centers around a top student and choir star of a South Carolina prep school who befriends an African-American orphan.
The World's Largest Twist Party takes place when 2,248 "twisters" join singer
Chubby Checker (known for his hit "Let's Twist Again") at Disneyland - as part
of the "Blast to the Past" celebration!
Imagineer Ken Anderson retires
"Ken Anderson generated a lot of those original storylines in the late 1950´s before the team that went on to do the Haunted
Mansion were even on the scene. And elements of those stories work their way into the urban legends, you know the sea captain
the bride, he killed her on their wedding night all that stuff. A lot of those elements did have their basis in legitimate stories and I
all the original treatments at home. You know so I could see the progression and some of the treatments were literally only weeks
apart when Ken worked on these." -Imagineer Jason Surrell
Stevenson's credits also include:
Old Yeller (1957)
Johnny Tremain (1957)
Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959)
The Absent-Minded Professor (1961)
In Search of the Castaways (1962)
Son of Flubber (1963)
The Misadventures of Merlin Jones (1964)
That Darn Cat! (1965)
Blackbeard's Ghost (1968)
The Love Bug (1969)
Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)
The Shaggy D.A. (1976)
"I really like Disney’s Tower of Terror. I’ve stayed in so many hotels over the years that
the idea of one running amuck is kind of funny to me." -Samantha Brown
The television series Herbie The Love Bug airs episode #3 -
"My House Is Your House."
The Disney short Donald Duck and the Gorilla, directed by Jack
King, is released. Donald's nephews get revenge on him by dressing up in a gorilla
suit upon hearing over the radio that a real gorilla has escaped from the zoo!
NBC-TV premieres the new comedy series Carol & Co. starring actress, comedienne, singer, dancer and writer Carol Burnett. A Touchstone Television production, it features Burnett and
her fellow players performing a different half-hour comedy each week. Unlike Carol's other successful variety shows, this series is considered a comedy anthology.
Touchstone Pictures releases Jefferson in Paris, an historical drama film directed by
James Ivory. The plot centers around the semi-fictional account of Thomas Jefferson's tenure as the
Ambassador of the United States to France prior to his Presidency, and his alleged relationships with artist Maria
Cosway and slave Sally Hemings. The film stars Nick Nolte (as Jefferson), Greta Scacchi (as Maria), Thandie
Newton (as Sally) and Gwyneth Paltrow (as Patsy Jefferson).
Hollywood Pictures releases the comedy-drama Funny Bones to U.S. theaters. After he bombs horribly in front of an influential Las Vegas audience that includes his comedy legend father (played by Jerry Lewis), aspiring comedian Tommy Fawkes (Oliver Platt) returns to his childhood home of Blackpool, England, to find
an unknown young comedian whose act he can take over. Written, directed and produced by Peter Chelsom,
the film is distributed by Buena Vista Pictures.
Touchstone Pictures releases 10 Things I Hate About You, a romantic comedy
directed by Gil Junger (his directing debut) and starring Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Larisa Oleynik, David Krumholtz, and Larry Miller. A breakout
success for stars Stiles and Ledger, it is a loose adaptation of Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew" set in a modern American high school.
The Atlanta Braves play their final 2010 home spring training game at ESPN Wide
World of Sports Complex in Florida. Beating the Astros 10-5, it is also the last spring training game for
Braves manager Bobby Cox, who will retire after the regular season. Since Cox, 68, has been at the Braves’ helm
since the sports complex at WDW opened in 1997, Disney Sports Marketing Director Faron Kelley and Mickey
Mouse present him with an engraved "Mousekar" – Disney's version of an Oscar.
Touchstone Pictures releases the coming-of-age drama The Last Song, starring
Miley Cyrus, Liam Hemsworth, and Greg Kinnear.
"Early on I developed texture mapping, Z-buffers and subdivision surfaces. I was fortunate enough to be associated with four institutions
that were willing to take a gamble on computer graphics and animation: University of Utah, New York Institute of Technology, Lucasfilm and
Pixar. Along the way I was joined by many of the most talented people in our industry. I think it would have been easy to be so caught up in
the technology that we could have forgotten what our real goals were. I am most proud that we have made the transition from researchers to
story tellers." -Ed Catmull
A new monorail "wrap" debuts at Walt Disney World. As with
the 16-month tenure of the "TRONorail" in 2010-2011, the new wrap is
advertising The Avengers, a major motion picture from Disney scheduled
for a May release.
Disney launches its newest ship, the Disney Fantasy, out
of Port Canaveral, Florida.The fourth ship in the expanding cruise line,
the Disney Fantasy was christened on March 1, 2012. Disney Fantasy,
structurally, is almost identical to Disney Dream, with gross tonnage of 130,000,
a length of 1,115 ft and a width of 4138 ft.
This Day in Disney History - THE FIRST - THE ORIGINAL
Traveling in time since 1999!
Prolific German composer and organist Johann Sebastian Bach is born in Eisenach,
Germany. One of the most famous works in his organ repertoire Toccata and Fugue in D Minor can be heard
in Disney's 1940 Fantasia. The film opens with Leopold Stokowski's 1927 transcription for large orchestra of
the Toccata and Fugue.
Disneyland's version of Innoventions shuts down. A two-story museum in Tomorrowland, it first
opened on July 3, 1998 as part of the New Tomorrowland, focusing on near-futuristic technologies. The attraction
operated for nearly 17 years, although from 2013 until its closure, its focus mainly shifted to character meet-and-
greets featuring superheroes from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (The original Innoventions still operates
at Epcot in Walt Disney World.)
Spanish-American Disney comics artist Manuel Gonzales passes away in Los Angeles,
California, at age 80. Born in Spain in 1913, his family moved several times before finally relocating to New York
City. In 1936, The Walt Disney Studios was in great need of new artists to work on its first feature, Snow White and the
Seven Dwarfs. Open auditions for artists were held at Rockefeller Center in New York, and Gonzales was one of 33
selected from thousands of applicants to join the Disney ranks. In 1938, he took over penciling duties on the
Sunday Mickey Mouse comic strip from Disney Legend Floyd Gottfredson. For nearly 40 years, "Gonzy" brought
Mickey Mouse to newspapers nationwide. (Gonzales will be named a Disney Legend in 2017.)
The romantic comedy-drama High Fidelity, starring John Cusack, Iben Hjejle, Jack
Black, Todd Louiso, and Lisa Bonet, is released by Touchstone Pictures. Rob Gordon
(Cusack) is the owner of a failing record store in Chicago, where he sells music the old-fashioned way -- on vinyl. Although his staff has an encyclopedic knowledge of pop music and are consumed by the music scene, it's of no help
to Rob, whose needle skips the love groove when his long-time girlfriend, Laura (Hjejle), walks out on him. Distributed
by Buena Vista Pictures, the film is based on the 1995 British novel of the same name by Nick Hornby.