Actor, comedian and writer Dave Thomas - the voice of Tuke in Disney's Brother
Bear and Brother Bear II - is born in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. Comedy fans
will remember him from Second City TV - where he and Rick Moranis created the characters Bob and Doug
McKenzie - the same voices used for both Brother Bear films! Thomas also supplied the voice of Hugo for
Disney's television series The Legend of Tarzan. (TV fans may recall Thomas for his role on the ABC sitcom
Grace Under Fire from 1993-1998.)
Tony Award nominated singer & actress Judy Kuhn - the singing voice of Pocahontas in Pocahontas and Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World - is born in New York City. She also had a cameo in Disney's 2007 Enchanted (as did several actresses who played characters in Disney films).
Actor Tony Goldwyn - the voice of Tarzan for Disney's Tarzan and Tarzan Untamed - is born in Los Angeles, California. (Film fans know Goldwyn as the villain Carl Bruner in Ghost and Colonel Bagley in The Last Samurai.)
Disney World's Tom Sawyer Island, the Tom Sawyer Rafts, the Plaza Swan
Boats, and the Richard F. Irvine (WDW's second Liberty Square Riverboat) all first
open at the Magic Kingdom in Florida.
A huge outdoor playground, Tom Sawyer Island (located in the middle of the Rivers of America) is inspired by the
famous works of author Mark Twain. It features Injun Joe's Cave, Magnetic Mystery Mine and old Fort Sam
Clemens. The Tom Sawyer Rafts in Frontierland take guests to and from Tom Sawyer Island. The opening-day
festivities include Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher portrayed by teenagers Steve Pierceall and Becky Bleigh.
They were chosen during the annual Mark Twain observance in their hometown of Hannibal, Missouri (the
boyhood home of Twain).
The Plaza Swan Boats take guests on a peaceful trip around the hub off Main Street. The 12 boats are powered by
natural gas engines, and are designed to run with an electric guidance system. Unfortunately the system will fail
early in the attraction's life span and give way to a new steering mechanism - two jets of water below the hull (one
in front, one in back) that can swivel 360 degrees and move the boat in any direction. (A seasonal attraction, the
Plaza Swan Boats will close in August 1983.)
The Richard F. Irvine, the Magic Kingdoms' second riverboat (the Admiral Joe Fowler was the first) is named for
Dick F. Irvine, a set designer with a degree in architecture. He started working at the Disney Studios in 1942 and in
1953, was asked to join the Disneyland team as an early "Imagineer." Guests can board the riverboat and travel the
Rivers of America from Liberty Square. (The Richard F. Irvine will be completely refurbished and renamed in 1996
as the Liberty Belle Riverboat. )
Disney's Aladdin: The Return of Jafar (the sequel to Aladdin) is released direct-
to-video. It features the voices of Jason Alexander, Dan Castellaneta as the Genie, Jim Cummings, and
Gilbert Gottfried returning as the voice of Iago. It is Disney's first ever direct-to-video sequel.
Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf, located between the Walt Disney World Dolphin and Walt Disney World Swan hotels, opens. The 36-hole adventure
features Fantasia Gardens - an 18-hole miniature golf course, and Fantasia Fairways - an 18-hole "challenge" course designed with strategically placed bunkers and hazards.
Disneyland hosts the official homecoming of Army Staff Sergeant Andrew Ramirez, Staff Sergeant Christopher Stone, and Specialist Steven Gonzales. It is the first time the three U.S. soldiers, who had been captured by Serbian forces on March 31, stand on American soil since their release from captivity.
The Disneyland Pirates of the Caribbean Celebration is held inside the Main Street Opera House, to celebrate the 33rd anniversary of one of the most popular rides at the park. Special guests include Harriett Burns, the very first woman hired as an Imagineer.
Disney's 1977 animated feature The Rescuers is released on DVD. (The film was one of the last Disney classics to be animated by members of Walt Disney's "Nine Old Men.")
Also released is Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Special Edition DVD (with rare bonus features) and the direct-to-video Atlantis: Milo's Return.
Walt Disney Records releases Finding Nemo Soundtrack featuring the music of composer Thomas Newman.
The first (of six) Star Wars Weekends takes place at Walt Disney
World's Disney-MGM Studios theme park. Celebrity guests include Daniel Logan & John Goodson.
The Wonderful World of Disney airs "The Muppets' Wizard of Oz"
The U.S. Postal Service issues a 37-cent stamp featuring Frank Gehry's Walt
Disney Hall (the home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic). The stamp is part of a
series titled "Masterworks of Modern Architecture."
Marie Johnston, the wife of legendary Disney animator Ollie Johnston, passes away
from complications due to pneumonia, at her home in Flintridge, California. She is 87.
Marie worked in the ink and paint departments at both Warner Bros. and Disney (from 1940-41). It was at the
Disney lot that she first met Ollie!
Rolie Polie Olie is awarded Outstanding Special Class Animated Program at the 32nd Daytime Emmy Awards (held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City).
Life size models of Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) and Sally
Carrera (voiced by Bonnie Hunt), from the new animated feature Cars, begin a 2-
day exhibit at Downtown Disney West Side in Florida. The film’s sheet metal counterparts
were created specifically for the tour by famed movie car creator and customizer Eddie Paul.
William Redington Hewlett, an electrical engineer who co-founded the Hewlett-
Packard Company, is born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In 1939, he formed a partnership known as
Hewlett-Packard Company with David Packard, a friend and college classmate. HP's first product was an audio
oscillator (an electronic test instrument used by sound engineers) based on a design developed by Hewlett.
Eight were sold to Walt Disney (for $71.50 each) to develop and test an innovative sound system for the 1940
feature Fantasia. The success of these and other devices like it helped set the stage for Hewlett-Packard's future.
(HP inherited a strategic partnership with Disney when it purchased Compaq Computer in 2002.)
Instead of Disney's California
Adventure, Disney considered
building DisneySea - a contrasting
park to Disneyland, to be built in
Long Beach next to the RMS Queen
Mary (which Disney at the time
owned). The park was to have
led to a permanent
West Coast ship
in the Disney Cruise Line.
Walt Disney visits St. Louis to tour the Gateway Arch area, which has been under
construction since February. He discusses the proposed Riverfront Square with James P. Hickok
(president of Civic Center Redevelopment Corporation). Disney has been invited to participate in the development
of the Missouri tourist attraction (and is considering St. Louis as the location for his next "Disneyland").
Actress Sierra Boggess, the original Ariel for Disney's Broadway musical The Little Mermaid, is born in Denver, Colorado.
The Walt Disney Company announces that it will contribute $1 million in humanitarian aid to the victims of the recent earthquake in China. The donation will be put towards acquiring materials for immediate relief efforts, helping and supporting displaced and distressed children and rebuilding damaged schools. In addition, Hong Kong Disneyland Cast Members, as well as Disney’s China, Hong Kong and Taiwan-based employees, have made individual monetary contributions.
Disneymania 6, the sixth installment in the Disneymania series, is released. The CD features performances by such artists as Colbie Caillat ("Kiss the Girl"), Drew Seeley ("You'll Be in My Heart"), Kate Voegele ("When You Wish upon a Star") and Plain White T's ("When I See an Elephant Fly").
This day's edition of Amusement Business features a cover story on the recently opened Pirates of the Caribbean in Disneyland.
Star Wars Weekends 2005 / 2011
"I'm going to Disney World!" -Kris Allen
Singer Kris Allen shouts the famous words "I'm Going to
Disney World!" immediately after being crowned the newest American Idol in the
show's star-studded season finale! Camera crews capture Allen's celebratory pronouncement
on the Nokia Theatre stage mere moments after host Ryan Seacrest announces the champion's name to
millions of viewers watching worldwide. (On May 29 Allen will appear at Disney's Hollywood Studios.)
"Tom was a glittering hero once more—the pet of the old, the envy of the young. His name even went
into immortal print, for the village paper magnified him. There were some that believed he would be
President, yet, if he escaped hanging."
-Mark Twain's The Adventure of Tom Sawyer
Star Wars Weekends returns to Walt Disney World for the 2011 season, the same day the much anticipated Star Tours attraction reopens with a grand ceremony. More than 50 story combinations are possible for guests to experience aboard Star Tours, so guests can enjoy the attraction multiple times without ever experiencing the same adventure. (There will be 4 Star Wars Weekends in all: May 20 to 22, May 27 to 29, June 3 to 5 and June 10 to 12.)
Over in Anaheim, guests get the public’s first glimpse of Disneyland's revamped Star Tours. (The attraction will open to the general public on June 3.)
Opening in U.S. theaters on this day is Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the fourth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean series.
Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is joined by Angelica (Penélope Cruz) in his search for the Fountain of Youth, confronting the infamous, real-life, legendary pirate Blackbeard (Ian McShane).
Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
The American Idol Experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios was held in the 1,000-seat Superstar Television Theater. Audience members were
surrounded with over 100 video screens and speakers. The first-of-its-kind attraction in the world to be based on the TV show American Idol, the
attraction also features 3 judges ... all industry professionals who knew what it took to have that "star quality." Disney closed AIE in August 2014.
Disney Store opens the doors of its flagship store in the popular Lujiazui area of
Pudong, Shanghai, China. The landmark store is the largest retail space of any Disney Store in the
world featuring 9,257 square feet of immersive shopping experiences and innovative product, including
an outdoor plaza.