Today is Memorial Day in the U.S.A. A federal holiday, it is observed on the
last Monday of May. Begun as a ritual of remembrance and reconciliation after the
American Civil War, today it commemorates all U.S. soldiers who died while in the military service.
Newly crowned American Idol Scotty McCreery is honored in a parade at Disney's
Hollywood Studios in Florida. The 17-year-old singer from North Carolina meets and greets his
fans in front of The American Idol Experience attraction and performs his new song "I Love You This Big."
A male baby mandrill is born to first-time mother Kelley at Disney’s Animal
Kingdom. Native to Africa, mandrills are among the largest species of monkey in the world and are
considered endangered. With the new baby, the number of mandrills that make their home at Disney’s Animal
Kingdom has grown to 12.
Walt Disney uses the cast of his new TV series Zorro for the
second of a 3-day cross promotion with live appearances at
Disneyland. In addition to parades each day, the stars - Guy
Williams, Henry Calvin, Gene Sheldon and Britt Lomond -
also appear in four live daily shows. Three of the shows feature a
running battle between Zorro and Monastario on the rooftops of Frontierland, with
his foes ending up in the river. The fourth show each day is held in Frontierland's Magnolia Park, with Williams appearing as Don Diego. (The reaction will be so positive that a third series of appearances
will be held November 27-30 for Thanksgiving weekend.)
Site preparation begins in Florida on the Walt Disney World project,
requiring swamp drainage, clearing of land, and removal of trees.
(It will take 1,584 days and $400 million to Opening Day.)
Today is Memorial Day.
The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all
Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on
Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor
those who have died in service to the nation.
Mel Blanc, "The Man of a 1000 Voices," is born in San Francisco, California.
Famous for his work at Warner Brothers and Hanna-Barbera, Blanc supplied the hiccup sound effect for Disney's 1940 Pinocchio and voiced Raja the Tiger for Disney's 1960 Goliath II. He also voiced Cousin Orville for Walt Disney World's Carousel of Progress and occasionally took part in early Disney radio projects such as The Mickey Mouse Theater of the Air. (Blanc is best known as the voice of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Sylvester the Cat, and hundreds of other cartoon favorites and is still regarded as one of the most
influential people in the voice-acting industry!)
Walt Disney's 51st Alice Comedy film, Alice's Channel Swim premieres at the Paramount Theater in New York City.
Disney Legend Dick Nunis is born in Cedartown, Georgia. First learning about
Disneyland through his classmate, Ron Miller (Walt's son-in-law), on a lark, Nunis decided to apply for
a summer job at the new theme park and was hired by Van France, founder of The Disney University.
He soon worked his way up to attractions supervisor, developing standard operating procedures for all
of the Park's attractions, many of which are still in use today. In 1961, he became director of park operations and helped
develop "Project X," better known as Walt Disney World. By 1971, Nunis was executive vice president of Walt
Disney World and Disneyland.
Disney's Mickey Mouse cartoon Thru The Mirror is released. It is based on the "Alice Through the Looking Glass" story.
Disney's Pluto cartoon Canine Caddy, directed by Gerry "Clyde" Geronomi, is released.
Mickey and Pluto are on the golf links when Pluto fights a mangy gopher!
Disney releases the animated Donald Duck short Don's Fountain of Youth, directed by
Jack Hannah. When Donald and his nephews find what they think is the legendary Fountain of Youth, Donald
can't resist convincing his nephews that it really works.
The Disneyland TV series airs its final epsiode of season 2, "Behind the Scenes with Fess Parker." Parker is the star of Disney's successful Davy Crockett television programs.
Actress Tempestt Bledsoe (of The Cosby Show) appears on the 27th episode of Disney Channel's MMC. Today is Guest Day!
The Disney/Pixar animated feature Finding Nemo is generally released. The underwater adventure, directed by Andrew Stanton, features the voices of Alexander Gould as Nemo, Albert Brooks as Marlin, Willem Dafoe as Gill, Ellen DeGeneres as Dory, and John Ratzenberger as Fish School.
The Disney Channel debuts the That's So Raven episode "Driven to Insanity."
Disney-MGM hosts the third (of 5) Star Wars Weekends. Celebrity guests include Silas Carson (Ki-Adi-Mundi) and Mike Quinn (Nien Nunb).
Sarah Litzsinger returns to the role of Belle in Disney's Broadway hit Beauty and the Beast. She has the distinction of being Broadway's longest-running Belle!
The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra - directed By Sam Donahue and featuring Frank Sinatra Jr., Charlie Shavers, Helen Forrest, and The Pied Pipers, perform at Disneyland.
Pocahontas: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack is released on
Walt Disney Records. The disc features two versions of "Colors of the Wind" - one sung by
Judy Kahn (the voice of Pocahontas) and one performed by Vanessa Williams. The tune, written by
Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz, will win an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and a Grammy!
Walt Disney's plane - the one he flew
in while scouting locations for Walt
Disney World during the mid-1960s, is
on display at Disney's Hollywood
Studios' Backlot Tour. Getting the
Gulfstream into the park was no easy
feat. The resort had to close one of
its main thoroughfares, World Drive,
for the plane to make its final landing
It is reported that Disney will release a Chinese-language movie, The Magic Gourd,
this summer - its first co-production with the state-run China Film Group. The
movie, based on a novel written by the late Chinese children's writer Zhang Tianyi,
is about a boy who discovers a gourd that grants him wishes.
Swing," is born in Chicago, Illinois. A clarinetist and bandleader,
his music is featured in Disney's 1946 Make Mine Music. Goodman himself
performed live multiple times at Disneyland in 1961. In 1988 (two years after Goodman's death) a special 8-day event "Disneyland Salutes Benny Goodman"
took place at the Anaheim park featuring alumni members of Goodman's band.
Actress Idina Mensel is born in Queens, New York. She appeared as Nancy Tremaine in
Disney's 2007 feature Enchanted and supplied the voice for Elsa the Snow Queen in Disney's 2013 animated Frozen.
Site prep begins on WDW project
Pocahontas soundtrack released
Star Wars Blueprints: The Ultimate Collection Illustrator Signing takes place at
Wicket’s Warehouse in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Illustrator Chris Reiff (a frequent
contributor to Star Wars Insider magazine) is on hand to sign his new book - a collection of blueprint posters.
The winners of the 3rd Annual MiceChat Gumball Rally - sponsored by the popular Disney fan site MiceChat - is Team "Kids Incorporated" made up of Janae Mack,
Katie Wakayama and Marissa Manalo of Topanga. The unofficial competition (which draws
close to 300 people) began early this morning to see who could ride as many attractions as fast as possible in
Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure.
Over 100 Walt Disney fans gather at the Screenland Theatre Building to celebrate
the progress made thus far in the effort to preserve and restore the site of Walt
Disney’s first professional film studio in Kansas City, Missouri. Special Guest of Honor for
the evening is 90-year-old Virginia Davis, who as a child starred in Walt’s last cartoon made in Kansas City and
Marlin: "Now, what's the one thing we have to remember about the ocean?"
Nemo: "It's not safe."
Marlin: "That's my boy."
"If I'm truly tracing the earliest inspiration I had for Nemo, it would be going to the dentist when I was a little boy. He had a fish tank in the wall, and I would stare forever at the fish wondering what they must think of humans looking at each other's teeth." -Andrew Stanton
May 30 - June 1
The first incarnation of the Backlot Tour (when the park was called Disney-MGM Studios) had its entrance where the current entrance to The Magic of
Disney Animation is. The original tour was far longer and more elaborate than the current version. The former tour drove through New York Street/Streets
of America. Due to the surprise popularity of the park, New York Street was removed from the tour and made into public walking space within the first
few years of operation. After driving through New York Street, the tram drove to Catastrophe Canyon, just like the tour does today.
On this Memorial Day, Disneyland throws a
grand opening celebration for its newest
Fantasyland attraction, "it's a small world."
Inaugurated on May 28, the attraction was originally built for
of the world, the attraction features the song "it's a small
world (after all)" by Richard & Robert Sherman. (More than
256 million guests have experienced Disneyland's "it's a
small world" since 1966.)
Disney announces that the "C-A-L-I-F-O-R-N-I-A" statues that originally stood in front of
Disney California Adventure will soon welcome visitors to the state fair. Disney donated the
statues that spell out "California" to the Friends of the California State Fair, which plans to place them in front of Cal
Expo in Sacramento, where the fair is held.
Disney's cartoon short Figaro and Frankie is released. Directed by Charles Nichols,
Minnie Mouse (voiced by Ruth Clifford) tries to prevent curious Figaro the cat from eating a yellow canary named
Frankie who won't stop tweeting.
Disney's dark fantasy adventure film Maleficent opens in U.S. theaters. Starring Angelina Jolie
as the eponymous Disney villainess character, the film is a live-action re-imagining of Walt Disney's 1959 animated film
Sleeping Beauty, and portrays the story from the perspective of the antagonist, Maleficent.
Today is Memorial Day in the USA.
The first national Decoration Day in United States history occurred on this day in 1868. Three years after the end of the Civil
War, General John Logan declared that the day should be used to commemorate—and decorate the graves of—soldiers
who died in the war. In later years, Decoration Day came to be known as Memorial Day.
Joachim Rønning, co-director of Disney's 2017 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men
Tell No Tales (along with Espen Sandberg) is born in Norway. As a directing team, they go
under the name of Roenberg (a combination of their surnames).