It is reported that Progress Energy Florida has signed a deal to provide wholesale power to Disney World Resort's utility. The 5-year deal calls for electricity to be provided starting in January 2006.
Actor & Disney Legend David Tomlinson, best
known for his role of George W. Banks in the
1964 Mary Poppins, is born in Henley-on-
Thames, England. His Disney live-action credits also include The Love Bug (playing the evil
Thorndyke) and Bedknobs and Broomsticks (as the humbug professor of magical arts, Emelius Browne).
The TV series Walt Disney Presents airs part 1 of "Andrew's Raiders."
Based on a true story from the American Civil War, it was originally released in theaters as
The Great Locomotive Chase in 1956.
Neel Tyree replaces Jerry Siggins and begins performing with the Dapper
Dans of Walt Disney World (the popular barbershop quartet who appear in the
Magic Kingdom). Siggins will later be known for his work with the vocal group The Diamonds.
The World Roller Hockey League Rink opens on the beach at Disney-MGM Studios. Used by a professional inline hockey league, it will last just one season.
At Disney's El Capitan Theatre in California, a fully restored 35mm
CinemaScope, Dolby Stereo print of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
is shown. Director Richard Fleischer and Academy Award-winning
matte artist Peter Ellenshaw are on hand to discuss the 1954 film.
The Wonderful World of Disney airs the musical "Geppetto," starring Drew Carey.
Disney officials start the application process for a new Anaheim park that would join
Disneyland. The new 78-acre park could include up to 3,350 hotel rooms, as well as retail, dining and
entertainment, parking and transportation facilities. Opening day is still undetermined.
Swiss Family Robinson: Vault Disney Collection, Old Yeller: Vault Disney
Collection, The Parent Trap: Vault Disney Collection, and Pollyanna: Vault
Disney Collection are all released to DVD. Many of the releases include
interviews, special commentary, and behind-the-scenes footage.
At the Disney Studios, actor Tim Considine reads for the part of Marty for a new
television serial to be called The Adventures of Spin and Marty. He will be called back
2 days later for a film test and eventually be hired ... for the role of Spin!
Disney Legend & story artist Joe
Grant left the Disney studio in
1949 (after working on such
classics as Snow White and
Dumbo) to run a ceramics
business & a greeting card
business. He returned in 1989
to work on Beauty and the Beast.
Seasoned actor of stage, screen & television, Darren McGavin is born in Spokane,
Washington. McGavin's Disney TV credits include the role of John Jay Forest in The High Flying Spys and
Timothy Donovan in Donovan's Kid. He also portrayed Mayor Ragsdale in Disney's live-action feature Hot Lead and
Cold Feet and Duke in the feature No Deposit, No Return. (McGavin is most fondly remembered by cult TV fans as
heroic newspaper reporter Carl Kolchak in the classic horror series Kolchak: The Night Stalker. Fans of the film
A Christmas Story remember him for his role of the grumpy father ... who was given to bursts of comedic profanity.)
The first engine officially runs on the Carolwood Pacific Railroad - Walt Disney's
backyard train at his Carolwood Drive home in Holmby Hills, California. The 2,615 feet of
track includes a 46 foot long trestle and a 90 foot long tunnel under his wife Lillian's flower bed! Walt controls the track
from a special barn that acts as a central headquarters for the railroad's operations. (The backyard railroad will be
credited with becoming part of Walt's inspiration for the creation of Disneyland and the actual barn will later be moved
to Griffith Park. Learn much more at the Carolwood Pacific Historical Society's site.)
Russian composer Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky is born on this day (or
April 25 according to the Julian calendar) in Votkinsk, a small town in
present-day Udmurtia. He wrote some of the most popular concert and theatrical music in the classical
repertoire, including the ballets Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker. Tchaikovsky's
The Nutcracker Suite was used in Disney's 1940 Fantasia. The original piece was shortened and the order of the movements rearranged to fit the animated action. The song "Once Upon a Dream" (written by Jack Lawrence & Sammy Fain for Disney's 1951 animated Sleeping Beauty) was actually based on Tchaikovsky's theme from his ballet The Sleeping Beauty (which debuted in 1890).
"Kindly do not attempt to cloud the issue with facts."
-George Banks (Mary Poppins)
Three months after shouting, "I’m going to Disneyland!" Super Bowl XLII MVP Eli Manning finally rides down Main Street USA at Disneyland. He makes the trip in a classic Cadillac convertible, accompanied by his new bride, Abby McGrew, Mickey Mouse, and other Disney characters. (Manning led the New York Giants to victory over the New England Patriots last February 3.)
A special pre-release screening of Up (to benefit the Emery Ed Fund) takes place at
Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, California.
(The new animated comedy adventure will be released May 29.)
Hasbro's EASY-BAKE 2009 "Baker of the Year" Contest takes place at Disney's
treats for a panel of judges ... and Chef Goofy! Catherine Ralston, a 12-year-old from Ohio, takes home first prize for
her Queen of Hearts strawberry tart.
Actor J.D. Hall, the narrator of WDW's The Hall of Presidents (between 2001-2008) is
born. His Disney credits also include episodes of Disney Channel's That's So Raven and Even Stevens. (The
first African American to ever run for S.A.G. President, Hall provided the voice of the character Blade in Spider-Man: The Animated Series.)
Disney's stage musical Aida receives its Canadian premiere when the
touring company makes a four week stop in Toronto. The show debuts on
this day at the Canon Theatre (where it will play through May 31).
The landmark Disney Feature Animation building on Riverside Drive in Burbank,
California, is named for the late Roy E. Disney during a dedication ceremony. First
opening in 1995 across from the original Disney Studios, the building once housed the office of Roy E. Disney (Walt's
nephew and the former head of Walt Disney Feature Animation) who passed away in December 2009.
Actor Breckin Meyer is born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His Disney voice credits include
the 2011 animated feature Mars Needs Moms (as Spangro) and the TV series Phineas and Ferb (as Li).
Meyer also appeared in the 2005 live-action Herbie: Fully Loaded.
Sadly on this day, the body of television actor Guy Williams is discovered by police
in his apartment in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is believed the 65-year-old died sometime
between April 30 and May 6. (The cause will later be determined to be a brain aneurysm.) Williams is best-
remembered for his lead TV roles in Disney's Zorro (1957-59) and later the sci-fi series Lost in Space (1965-68).
As Zorro/Don Diego de la Vega, Williams had appeared at Disneyland (during the show's popular run) for a
series of "Zorro Days" events.
The Disney Channel airs the 1955 animated film Lady and the Tramp.
It is the first time the film has ever been shown on television.
A "black carpet" premiere for Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides takes place at Disneyland. In attendance are such stars from the film as Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Kevin McNally and Keith Richards. Among the celebrities attending are American Idol
winner David Cook, actress Teri Hatcher and Disney Channel star Ashley Tisdale. (The film will generally
open in U.S. theaters May 20.)
Over on the East Coast, the 4th and final Grad Nite of 2011 (and the very last
Grad Nite ever) takes place at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom at 10PM.
A yearly event for high school seniors since 1972, WDW has decided to retire Grad Nite. Who will be the
last guests to leave this historic party the following morning on May 8? Superstar Television, an opening day attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios (then known as Disney-MGM Studios) was an interactive show experience
where guests were placed in front of green screens to be put into scenes from well-known television series (such as I Love Lucy, The Golden Girls, Cheers, Empty Nest, & Gilligan's Island). The concept of the attraction was to show how green screens were used in the entertainment industry. Superstar Television was replaced by the Doug Live! show in the spring of 1999. The attraction's building was later used for The American Idol
Experience (although the theater is still called Superstar Television Theater).
Disney Wonder docks in Honolulu harbor after making the rounds on neighbor
islands. It is the first-ever Disney Cruise Line voyage to Hawaii.
Star Tours: The Adventures Continue opens at Tokyo Disneyland.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack is
released by Walt Disney Records. It includes songs written by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz with
vocals performed by Paul Kandel, David Ogden Stiers, Tony Jay, Tom Hulce, Heidi Mollenhauer, Jason Alexander,
Mary Wickes, and Mary Stout.