Walt Disney and a group of associates fly over the coast of Florida aboard a
Beechwood Queen Air (a small twin propeller aircraft first put into service in 1963).
Walt and his entourage of top executives are at the end of a tour of the eastern United States in search of an ideal location for a new theme park. The aerial view confirms Walt's doubts about building a theme park by the ocean.
They fly inland over Orlando, circling the forests and swamps for the very first time. From the air they see the good
road network below (which includes Interstate 4, Florida's Turnpike and McCoy Air Force Base - soon to be Orlando International Airport). Walt has a good feeling about this site. This is followed with a stop in New Orleans to refuel for the trip back to Burbank, California. It is during the stop in New Orleans that they learn of U.S. President Kennedy's assassination in Texas, just hours before. On the somber flight back home, Walt announces that out of all the
stops ... Central Florida appears to be the best choice.
Disneyland will close the following day in honor of President Kennedy (who visited the park, as Senator, in 1959.)
(Although often reported, Disney and his executives were not aboard a 1963 G-151 Grumman Gulfstream 1 plane
on this day. That airplane - today on display at Disney's Hollywood Studios - was not put into service until 1964.)
C.S. Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia, passes away one week before his
65th birthday. (The 2005 film adaptation of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe - distributed by Walt
Disney Pictures - was based on his first installment in the Narnia series.)
Actress Geraldine Page, the voice of Madame Medusa in Disney's 1977 animated release The Rescuers, is born in Kirksville, Missouri. An Academy Award and a two time Emmy Award-winner, Page also appeared in the 1967 live-action feature The Happiest Millionaire as Mrs. Duke.
Disney animator Fred Moore (who is in the midst of working on Peter Pan) and his
second wife Virginia are involved in an auto accident on a rural highway through Big
Tujunga Canyon near the Angeles National Forest. They are both injured after their car is struck
head-on while making a U-turn. (Sadly, Fred will pass away the following day.)
Mickey Mouse Club airs on ABC-TV. Today is Guest Star Day.
Actress Jamie Lee Curtis, the star of Disney's 2003 Freaky Friday, is born to
actors Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh in Los Angeles, California. Her Disney credits also
include the 2008 Beverly Hills Chihuahua. (Curtis's film debut was the 1978 horror Halloween, playing the
role of Laurie Strode.)
The Julie Andrews Hour: Disneyland airs on ABC-TV. The Julie Andrews Hour, hosted by Julie
Andrews (the star of Disney's Mary Poppins), is a weekly television variety series with each hour-long episode
featuring celebrity guests. This episode pays tribute to the films of Walt Disney and includes a rare onscreen
appearance from Adriana Caselotti, the voice of Snow White for the 1937 animated classic Snow White and the
Seven Dwarfs. The episode also features dancer-singer-actor Donald O'Connor, and singing group
The Young Americans. (The series will run for 24 episodes and win
an amazing 8 Emmy Awards.)
The Lake Buena Vista Golf Club opens at
Walt Disney World. Located near what will be the Downtown
Disney shopping and entertainment district, the course will earn a
4 star rating from Golf Digest.
The Swan Hotel, located on Walt Disney World property but
operated by Westin Hotels, opens at 1200 Epcot Resorts Blvd.
The 30th Disney animated feature film Beauty and the Beast, featuring the
voices of Robby Benson as the Beast and Paige O'Hara as Belle, is generally
released to theaters in the U.S. & Canada. Belle, whose father is imprisoned by the Beast,
offers herself instead and discovers her captor to be an enchanted prince named Adam. The film is based on the
fairy tale La Belle et la Bête by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont. The all-star voice cast includes Richard
White (as Gaston), Jerry Orbach (as Lumiere), David Ogden Stiers (as Cogsworth) and Angela Lansbury (as Mrs.
Potts). The film's music will win 2 Academy Awards and 4 Grammy Awards and Beauty and the Beast will later be
the first animated film ever to be nominated for best picture.
Also debuting, Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage - a Broadway-style musical at
the 1,500-seat Theater of the Stars, on Sunset Boulevard at Disney-MGM in Florida.
The Disney Channel airs the Disney Channel Premiere Film Mark Twain and
Me for the first time. A young girl named Dorothy Quick (played by Amy Stewart) befriends the famous
writer Mark Twain (Jason Robards) during the final years of his life.
Disney Legend & character actor
Sterling Holloway, the first voice
of Winnie the Pooh, passes away
in Los Angeles, California at age 87.
Making his Hollywood debut in 1926, Holloway's
first role for Disney wasn't until the 1941 Dumbo,
voicing the messenger Stork who delivers baby
Dumbo to Mrs. Jumbo and then sings "Happy
Birthday." His voice can also be heard in such
Disney classics as Bambi, The Three Caballeros,
The Aristocats, The Jungle Book, and Alice in
Wonderland. (Holloway also voiced the original
Cheerios Honey-Nut Bee and even appeared on a 1964 episode of The Twilight Zone.)
The Disney/Pixar computer animated feature film Toy Story - starring Tom
Hanks as the voice of Woody and Tim Allen as the voice of Buzz Lightyear -
is released. The film is shown at Disney's El Capitan Theater in Hollywood as part of "Totally Toy
Story." Moviegoers can attend the Toy Story Funhouse adjacent to the theater through the first of the
new year. The Toy Story Funhouse includes such activities as playing with a giant Lite-Brite and
having your photo taken with Buzz and Woody. (The Toy Story Funhouse will eventually re-locate to
Disneyland.) Released along with Toy Story is Pixar's Academy Award-winning short Tin
Toy, directed by John Lasseter. (In 2003, Tin Toy will be selected for preservation in the United
States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or
The Toy Story Parade premiers at the Disney-MGM Studios in Florida.
Disney releases the 1982 film Tron on laserdisc.
Bob Hope appears at Disneyland to inaugurate a new tradition, the first official lighting of the holiday lights at the park.
Disney's live-action feature 102 Dalmatians is released.
Starring Glenn Close as the villainous Cruella DeVil, it is a
sequel to the 1996 101 Dalmatians (a live-action remake of the
1961 animated feature One Hundred and One Dalmatians).
Actress-singer Auliʻi Cravalho is born in Hawaii. She is best known
for voicing the title role in Disney's animated Moana.
Disney World's A Christmas Fantasy Parade rolls out.
Starting today (and running through January 6, 2002) Christmas decorations and
entertainment brighten the Disneyland Hotel, Disney's Paradise Pier hotel and
Disney's Grand Californian hotel. This includes visits from Santa Claus as well as strolling carolers
in Victorian dress to spreading holiday cheer and singing favorite Yuletide tunes.
The characters from Disney/Pixar's new movie Monsters, Inc. appear in
Philadelphia's 82nd Thanksgiving Day Parade. Also on hand are Mickey Mouse, Minnie and
the whole Disney family with a spectacular sneak peek at Walt Disney World's 100 Years of Magic
celebration. Plus, Channel 6's Karen Rogers broadcast live from Walt Disney World, with the magical holiday
celebration in Orlando.
"The Power of BLAST!" (featuring the original cast from the Tony Award-winning
Broadway musical, "BLAST!") opens in Disney's California Adventure. The brass-and-
percussion spectacle will be performed inside the Hyperion Theater several times a day for park guests.
Disney underwrites one hundred percent of the cost for this year's
annual Toys for Tots National Kickoff Luncheon for the organization's
corporate sponsors and military supporters, in Washington, D.C.
(Disney has been a Toys for Tots supporter since 1947.)
The Lizzie McGuire episode "She Said, He Said, She Said" debuts on
The Disney Studios in Burbank, California host the 2003 Disney Holiday Magical Faire (which features handcrafted items and a rare opportunity to visit portions of the Disney Studios).
The Wonderful World of Disney airs the television movie
"Eloise at Christmastime," starring Julie Andrews.
It is reported that Hong Kong Disneyland will open September 12, 2005.
Disney's live-action feature One Magic Christmas, starring
Mary Steenburgen and Harry Dean Stanton, is released.
Voice actor Sterling Holloway
grew up at 301 S. College Street
in Cedartown, Georgia.
The street which formed the
corner on which Holloway's
house was located is now known
as Sterling Holloway Place.
The Broadway cast of Disney's Mary Poppins performs
"Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" live at the 81st Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Also performing are Ashley Tisdale, Corbin Bleu, and Jonas Brothers.
Hang on for the comedy that goes to infinity and beyond!
Walt Disney Productions releases The Aristocats (the twentieth animated
feature in the Disney animated features canon) in the United Kingdom.
Buzz: "I've set my laser from stun to kill."
Woody: "Oh, great. If anyone attacks we can blink em' to death."
Disney World's All-Star Music Resort opens at 1801 West Buena Vista Drive.
It is the second phase of what will be 4 themed All-Star resorts. The All-Star Music is located on the
southern portion of the Disney World property and is divided into 5 areas: Calypso, Jazz Inn, Rock Inn,
Country Fair, and Broadway. Calypso is the first to open on this day.
Adriana Caselotti (the original voice of Snow White) is among the nine
inducted as Disney Legends. The ceremony is held at the Disney Legends Promenade
(sidewalk area in front of the Disney Studio Theatre).
In Memory of Sterling Price Holloway
Tony Award-winning actress Anika Noni Rose, the voice of Tiana in Disney’s
upcoming film The Princess and the Frog, sings the National Anthem at
Homestead-Miami Speedway during NASCAR's Championship Weekend.
Disney's stage musical Aida officially premieres in Munich, Germany at the
Deutsches Theater. The cast features Ana Milva Gomes as Amneris, Bettina Monch as Aida,
and Bernhard Forcher as Radames. It will play through January 15, 2006.
Touchstone Pictures releases Déjà Vu, starring Denzel Washington.
The Hollywood & Vine Cafeteria of the Stars opens in the Disney-MGM Studios
theme park at WDW. Set in the in classic Hollywood style of the 1930’s and ‘40’s, the sit-down
restaurant is located on Vine Street off Hollywood Boulevard.
A helium-filled Donald Duck balloon returns
to Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
on this rainy day in New York City.
Heavy rains during the parade cause the rim of
Donald Duck's hat to fill with water and dump 50 gallons
on a few unlucky parade watchers!
A giant balloon of Donald Duck,
to help celebrate his 50th birthday,
is featured in Macy's Thanksgiving
Day Parade in New York City.
Although a cold day, the crowds
number a million packing
streets and curbsides 10 deep
along the parade route!
The eleventh episode of Disney's Recess, "Rainy Days/The Great Can Drive"
premieres on ABC-TV. The holiday segment "The Great Can Drive" centers on Mikey who wants to
participate in the Thanksgiving can drive competition against the unbeatable Ashleys.
The 86th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off at 9AM in
New York City. Kermit the Frog, Buzz Lightyear and Sailor Mickey return to the skies over Manhattan
to help ring in the holiday season.
Down in Florida, the Disney Thanksgiving Parade of Bands takes place at
Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Visual development artist, designer, story man and Disney Legend Mel Shaw
passes away at the age of 97 in California. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Shaw was
recruited by Walt Disney in 1937. He worked on such early classics as Fantasia, Bambi, and The Wind in the Willows (which later became a segment in The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad). He left the studio in 1941
but returned 33 years later to help influence the look and story for such beloved and modern-day Disney films as
The Rescuers, The Fox and the Hound, The Great Mouse Detective, Beauty and the Beast, and The Lion King.
(During his break from Disney, Shaw helped design and create the original Howdy Doody marionette
puppet for NBC-TV!)
Walt Disney's Donald Duck Vol. 2: "A Christmas For Shacktown" (Vol. 2)
is published by Fantagraphics. The second volume of Fantagraphics’ reprinting of Carl Barks’s
classic Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge work, the book focuses on the early 1950s, universally considered
one of Barks's very peak periods.
selected Disney film credits:
Christmas at Walt Disney World (1978) - Narrator
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977) - Winnie the Pooh
Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too (1974) - Winnie the Pooh
The AristoCats (1970) - Roquefort
Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (1968) - Winnie the Pooh
The Jungle Book (1967) - Kaa the Snake
Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (1966) - Winnie the Pooh
Goliath II (1960) - Narrator
Ben and Me (1953) - Amos the Mouse
The Little House (1952) - Narrator
Alice in Wonderland (1951) - Cheshire Cat
The Three Caballeros (1944) - Prof. Holloway
Bambi (1942) - Adult Flower
Cold, sunny skies greets New York City for
the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Herald Square's lineup includes a giant balloon of Mickey
Mouse. The parade is celebrating the 50th anniversary
of Walt Disney cartoons! Back on the ground, Mickey, Pluto and Goofy march along Disney's Circus Wagon float. Disney
is also represented with the Alice in Wonderland float, Captain Hook's ship, and the Disney World castle float.
The Snow and Ice Sculpture Festival in Bruges, Belgium, opens. A yearly tradition, this
season's exhibits include spectacular ice sculptures themed around Disney’s "Frozen."
Walt Disney Pictures releases Coco, an animated musical fantasy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios, to U.S. theaters. Based on the Mexican holiday of Día de los Muertos, the film tells the story of a 12-year-old boy named Miguel Rivera who is accidentally transported to the land of the dead, where he seeks the help of his musician great-great-grandfather to return him to his family among the living.