On the birth date of George Lucas, Star Wars characters come to life
at Disney-MGM Studios for 5 consecutive Star Wars Weekends.
Celebrity guests for the next 3 days include Jeremy Bulloch, who played the legendary bounty hunter Boba Fett
in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, and Jake Lloyd, who took on the role of young Anakin
Skywalker in The Phantom Menace.
Disney's "Blast to the Past: A Celebration of Walt Disney Art Classics" begins its
3-day run at Disneyland.
Filmmaker George Lucas is born in Modesto, California. His popular Star Wars and
Indiana Jones adventure movies are the inspiration for the Disney attractions Star Tours and Indiana Jones
Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye. Lucas was also the executive producer of Captain EO. One of the most
successful and celebrated filmmakers in cinema history, his film career is dominated by writing and production. The
animation studio Pixar was first founded as the Graphics Group, one third of the Computer Division of Lucasfilm.
In 2012 Lucas sold the rights to Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), and
Skywalker Sound to Disney.
Sadly, a 26-year-old African elephant whose calf died in its womb last month at
Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom, dies from a uterine infection.
The creative teams behind three Disney Channel series, Walt Disney Television Animation's Kim Possible and Brandy & Mr. Whiskers and the Playhouse Disney
hit from William Joyce and Nelvana Ltd., Rolie Polie Olie, win Daytime Emmy
Awards at the 32nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards creative arts ceremony in
Beverly Hills, California.
Character actor Richard Deacon is born in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. His Disney credits include the feature films Blackbeard's Ghost, The Gnome-Mobile,
Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N., and That Darn Cat!. Deacon also portrayed Uncle Archie in 5 episodes of the
1958 mini-series Walt Disney Presents: Annette and played the role of Father Ignacio in a 1959 episode of
Disney's Zorro series. (TV fans know him best as Mel Cooley on The Dick Van Dyke Show and as Lumpy's
father Fred on Leave It To Beaver.)
Walt Disney (at this time living & working in Kansas City, Missouri) writes to
New York film distributor Margaret J. Winkler. He is looking for a distributor for his new
Actor Alvin Epstein - the voice of the Bookseller in Disney's 1991 classic Beauty and the Beast - is born in New York City.
short Hungry Hoboes is released.
The Walt Disney Presents TV series
features episode 99 - "Magic Highway
U.S.A." written and produced by Ward
Kimball. The first 45 minutes of the show teaches
viewers about highway development, through archival
footage. (Only recently have Americans been introduced
to the Interstate road system.) The last 15 minutes of
the episode features a sleek and stylized presentation of
future America. Informally titled “The Road Ahead,” and
using limited animation, the segment demonstrates
futuristic transportation concepts.
Disney's 1953 animated feature Peter Pan
is re-released in theaters.
The TV series Walt Disney Presents airs part 2 of "Andrew's Raiders."
In Los Angeles, Sotheby's holds the first auction devoted to Disneyana.
Disney's made-for-TV movie A Child of Glass first airs. Based on a novel by Richard Peck, the movie centers on a family who moves into a spooky old Louisiana mansion that was once the home of a notorious river pirate.
CBS This Morning broadcasts segments from Disneyland. Weatherman Mark McEwen plugs
various attractions at Disneyland, such as "Fantasmic!," and then delivers the nation's weather forecast. Disney's
popular barbershop harmony group, the Dapper Dans open a segment of the show by entering on a fire truck, and
singing and playing the CBS This Morning theme song: "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning" (from Oklahoma!).
Walt Disney Pictures' 1982 landmark computer-animated feature Tron returns for
a special one-week limited engagement at The El Capitan Theatre in California.
The Disney film Endurance (which depicts the true story of Ethiopian long-distance runner Haile Gebrselassie) is released.
Disney Online and Compaq Computer Corporation unveil an all-new high-tech exhibit at Disney's Internet Zone at INNOVENTIONS (located at Walt Disney World's Epcot). Disney's Internet Zone features the Mission: SPACE Launch Center exhibit. The experience is a precursor to the Mission: SPACE attraction which is scheduled to open in 2003.
Disney's 1988 Oliver and Company (inspired by the classic Charles
Dickens novel "Oliver Twist") is released to DVD and VHS.
Disney Interactive announces their newest 3D action
role-playing game, KINGDOM HEARTS.
Academy Award-winning movie director, producer and writer Robert Zemeckis
is born in Chicago, Illinois. He is known for his innovative use of special effects, especially in Who
Framed Roger Rabbit (in which he directed the live-action sequences) and Disney's 2009 A Christmas Carol
(Zemeckis first came to public attention in the 1980s as the director of the Back to the Future movie series before
going on to direct Forrest Gump and Cast Away.)
In 1987 George Lucas joined
forces with Disney for
Disneyland's launch of Star Tours,
an innovative attraction based on
his Star Wars films. Only the third
film ever made by Lucas, the 1977 Star
Wars set new standards for
sophistication in film visuals and sound,
and garnered eight Academy Awards.
(Lucas' 2nd film
was a little
Disney announces the donation of $12.5 million to the city of Orlando, Florida for a
new performing arts center, the same day Walt Disney World officials unveil the
rededicated Walt Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando.
Director, writer, and co-creator of Hannah Montana, Richard Correll is born in
Los Angeles, California. His Disney Channel credits also include The Suite Life of Zak and
Cody, Cory in the House, and That's So Raven. (As a child actor, Correll played the role of Beaver's friend
Richard Rickover during the last two seasons of Leave It to Beaver.)
"The secret to film is that it's an illusion." -George Lucas
Academy Award-winning composer and songwriter Frank Churchill passes
away in California, at the age of 40. In December 1930, he joined The Walt Disney Studios where
he scored nearly 65 animated shorts - including "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" for The Three Little Pigs.
Churchill also co-wrote such timeless tunes as "Whistle While You Work," "Heigh-Ho," "Someday My Prince Will
Come," "Little April Shower," and "Baby Mine," and later became supervisor of music at Disney. Born in Rumford,
Maine in 1901, he was named a Disney Legend in 2001.
Star Wars creator George Lucas born
Walt Disney Productions releases The Aristocats (the twentieth
animated feature in the Disney animated features canon) in Argentina.
Slapstick Studios opens at Innoventions West in Epcot. Guests participate in a
wacky game show and discover creative ways to solve problems.
Three characters from the new Disney-Pixar animated comedy Up make a surprise
visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida. Russell - the eight-year-old wilderness explorer,
Dug the dog, and Carl Fredricksen - a 78-year-old balloon salesman, meet guests inside the theme park’s Magic
of Disney Animation attraction.
TV Guide features an article on The New Mickey Mouse Club.
Filmmaker Robert Zemeckis born
"I was fortunate to have grown up in the heyday of Walt Disney, so his influence touched me in a number of ways.
When I was very young, I loved the animated cartoons, principally Snow White, Donald Duck, and Mickey Mouse."
Space shuttle Atlantis launches on its final planned mission to
deliver an Integrated Cargo Carrier and a Russian-built Mini
Research Module to the International Space Station. STS-132
Commander Ken Ham has requested that two very special (and quite small) "guests"
join the six-person crew on Atlantis’ 32nd flight ... two Disney 3-inch-tall Vinylmation
figures. The Mission: SPACE-inspired figure from Park Series #3, and a "Create-Your
-Own" blank figure that the astronauts have decorated, are both aboard Atlantis!
(Upon their return, they will be put on display in the special V.I.V. - "Very Important
Vinylmation" - Case at D-Street at Downtown Disney West Side at Walt Disney World.)
D23′s Destination D Event at Walt Disney World kicks off for the next two days
to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Walt Disney's "Project Florida". Held at Disney's
Contemporary Resort, among the guest speakers are D23 Head Steven Clark, Walt Disney World's first
ambassador Debbie Dane Brown, archives founder Dave Smith, and Imagineer Tony Baxter.
Guests at Disney's Hollywood Studios get an opportunity to ride the revamped
Star Tours attraction before its official reopening. The unannounced preview allows Disney to
test the ride before it reopens to the public May 20, which is also the first day of Star Wars Weekends. Over at Disneyland, the fifth annual Gumball Rally (organized by MiceChat) takes place. Teams of two to four people fan out across the Disneyland Resort to ride as many rides as they can in one day. The winning team is Safety Third #2 (made up of Tracey Dun, Kate Chieffo, Chase Coburn and
Taylor Triglia) with 43 attractions ridden in 12 hours!
Destination D: Walt Disney World 40th
In the original version of Star Tours, passengers rode in a vehicle named the "Starspeeder 3000". Since Star Tours: The Adventures Continue is set
before the original Star Wars film, the new ride vehicle is referred to as a "Starspeeder 1000".
Disney stops selling its beloved currency, Disney Dollars. First put into circulation in 1987
and printed in limited quantities, the bills featured iconic Disney characters. Typically Mickey Mouse was on the $1,
Goofy was on the $5 and Minnie Mouse was on the $10. Although they are no longer available at the theme parks,
they can still be used to make purchases.