more than 100 television crews from all over the world covering
the event. Bands and orchestras play to the huge crowds and Walt Disney's wife Lillian helps in the dedication of Spaceship Earth. (The park itself will be dedicated on October 24.) EPCOT is an acronym coined by Walt Disney in 1966 meaning Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. It is Disney's third theme park.
Honda begins a month-long 2006 Civic-A-Day giveaway at the Disneyland Resort as part of the re-launch of Space Mountain. Honda’s "The Coolest Ride in the Galaxy" sweepstakes is the latest addition to the 18-month celebration of Disneyland’s 50th Anniversary. Kami McGiffin, 23, of Riverside, California, is today's very first Civic winner.
Disneyland's Le Bat en Rouge hosts the release of several pins featuring
Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Robert Iger take over as CEO of The Walt Disney Company.
"I promise we won't let this great honor you have paid us tonight go to our head - we have too many projects for the future to take
time out for such a thing. On top of that - after forty some odd years of ups and downs in this crazy business of ours we know too
well - you are only as good as your next picture." -Walt Disney's Showman of the World acceptance speech
Award-winning conductor, arranger, orchestrator & Disney Legend Irwin Kostal is born
in Chicago, Illinois. He brought his musical genius to such Disney classic motion pictures as Mary Poppins,
Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and Pete's Dragon. In 1982, he conducted the digital re-recording of the music to
Disney's 1940 animated feature Fantasia. (In 1962 he won a Grammy Award for his contribution to the hit musical
West Side Story. Among Irwin’s other notable film contributions are Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Charlotte’s Web.)
Actor Tom Bosley, the original Maurice in Disney's Broadway hit Beauty and the Beast, is born in Chicago, Illinois. (TV fans will know him best as Howard Cunningham on the 1970s series Happy Days and as Father Frank Dowling on Father Dowling Mysteries - which ran on ABC during its last
Disney's Silly Symphony cartoon Bugs in Love, directed by Burt Gillett, is released.
Legendary Broadway & film star and Honorary Ambassador of the
Disneyland 50th anniversary celebration, Julie Andrews is born
Julia Elizabeth Wells in England. Her most famous Disney credits include Mary
Poppins (1964), The Princess Diaries (2001) and its 2004 sequel The Princess Diaries 2:
Royal Engagement. Walt Disney first saw Andrews in a 1962 stage production of Camelot
and thought she was perfect for the role of the British nanny (which was her feature film
debut)! As a result of her performance in Mary Poppins, Andrews won the 1964 Academy
Award for Best Actress and the 1965 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion
Picture Musical or Comedy. She and her Mary Poppins co-stars also won the 1965 Grammy Award for Best Album
for Children. Her Disney credits also include the nanny in two 2003 made-for-television movies based on the Eloise books, a series of children's books by Kay Thompson about a child who lives in the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Eloise at the Plaza premiered in April 2003, and Eloise at Christmastime was broadcast in November 2003. Andrews was also the narrator of the 2007 feature Enchanted (produced and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures in association with Barry Sonnenfeld and Josephson Entertainment). Andrews took part in Walt Disney World's
three-day grand opening festivities in October 1971 and Disneyland's 50th birthday celebration in 2005. She was named a Disney Legend in 1991.
Actor Randy Quaid, the voice of Alameda Slim in Disney's 2004
animated feature Home on the Range, is born in Houston, Texas.
Dixieland at Disneyland is held for
the first time in the Anaheim,
For a low admittance fee of $4.50, guests are
entertained by 6 different bands throughout the
park until 1 a.m. Groups include Bob Crosby and
the Bobcats, Joe Darensbourg and the Dixie Flyers,
Teddy Buckner, The Elliott Brothers, The
Disneyland Strawhatters, and Dick Cathcart.
The NBC-TV series Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color airs
part 1 of "The Horsemasters," with Annette Funicello and Tommy Kirk.
In New York, Walt Disney accepts the Showman of the World Award
from the National Association of Theater Owners.
Almost 10,000 visitors converge near Orlando, Florida, to witness the grand opening of Walt Disney World, which includes the Magic Kingdom (Disney's second theme park) and two resorts.
Nearly 11 million people have visited Walt Disney World since its opening!
At a convention held at Walt Disney World, Winnie the Pooh is nominated to run for
president on the Children's Party ticket. Drawings had been held at Sears, Roebuck and Co. and
stores across the nation selected delegates from each of the 50 states to be sent with their families to Walt
Disney World. They nominate Pooh for president on this day in the forecourt of Cinderella Castle. (Two days after
the Walt Disney World event, from his “West Coast retreat” at Disneyland, Pooh will announce his platform and
The Santa Fe and Disney Railroad in Disneyland is changed to the Disneyland Railroad when the Santa
Fe Railroad drops its sponsorship of the attraction.
Meanwhile down in Florida, Walt Disney World kicks off its 3rd anniversary! (Pictured right is the original plastic pin given to Cast Members at the Magic Kingdom on October 1, 1974.)
Ground is broken for EPCOT Center at Walt Disney World. The ceremony, more of a "land-filling" than a "ground breaking," features a 40-ton Terex truck, which rolls onto the site to deliver the very
first batch of soil. In attendance is Disney CEO Card Walker, executive vice president of WDW Dick Nunis, and every governor who had a hand in the development of Walt Disney World.
The very first major Walt Disney World anniversary celebration begins. It will run
through September 30, 1982 and include special Tencennial Parades. Each day, a Guest will be selected to
be the Grand Marshal of the parade and ride aboard a special electric birthday car. Ten years after opening,
total attendance at Walt Disney World is 126 million.
The second major anniversary celebration, this one to honor Walt Disney
World's 15th anniversary, begins. Upon arriving at the Magic Kingdom, guests are
greeted by a large Mickey Mouse clock in the courtyard area outside of the turnstiles; all the
numbers on the clock are 15. A giant topiary birthday cake marks the occasion in the Hub right in
front of Cinderella Castle. The seven-foot-tall cake measures 41 feet in circumference and features
more than 11,000 live plants. Also on this day, the Diamond Horseshoe Revue becomes known as
the Diamond Horseshoe Jamboree.
The Caribbean Beach Resort opens at Walt Disney World. Featuring 2,112 rooms, it is the first
moderately priced resort on Disney property. The Caribbean is set on 200 acres of land to the south-east of Epcot.
Guests stay in one of many small apartment buildings (grouped into six villages) that encircle Barefoot Bay.
Walt Disney World's Surprise Celebration, to honor the resort's 20th
anniversary, begins. To kick the Surprise Celebration into high gear, the 20th anniversary
entices guests with the new advertising campaign "20 New Reasons to Visit Walt Disney World" -
which includes the "Surprise in the Skies" show at Epcot. Magic Kingdom Park is also rededicated on this day, by
Michael Eisner and Roy Disney. The new Surprise Celebration Parade features Disney character balloons that tower
35-40 feet in the air. Debuting on this evening is a new night time light parade called Spectromagic.
The Splash Mountain attraction opens in Tokyo Disneyland.
Fraggle Rock begins airing on The Disney Channel.
At EPCOT, the San Angel Inn restaurant opens in the Mexico Pavilion.
The Disney Channel launches service in the United Kingdom.
The Vero Beach Resort, the first off-site Disney Vacation Club Resor,- opens on
Florida’s Treasure Coast.
Walt Disney World begins a 15-month-long 25th anniversary celebration with a rededication of the Florida resort by CEO Michael Eisner, Vice Chairman Roy Disney and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The new IMAGINATION! pavilion, formerly known
as the Journey Into Imagination pavilion, and the Millennium Village pavilion both
open at Walt Disney World's Epcot. The IMAGINATION! pavilion features the new Millenium version
of the Journey Into Your Imagination attraction. The Millennium Village, a 60,000-square-foot pavilion, is the
centerpiece of Disney's Millennium Celebration. Also officially debuting ... IllumiNations 2000: Reflections of Earth.
A statue honoring Roy O. Disney, Walt's older brother, is unveiled at the Magic
Kingdom at Walt Disney World. (It will be dedicated on October 25th.)
The Disney Wonder (Disney Cruise Line's 2nd ship) is christened by a laser-projected Tinker Bell. (The ship made its maiden voyage last August.)
Hollywood Pictures releases the comedy-drama Mystery, Alaska. About an amateur ice hockey team, from the fictional small-town of Mystery, that plays an exhibition game against the National Hockey League's
New York Rangers, it stars Russel Crowe, Hank Azaria, Mary McCormack, Burt Reynolds, and Colm Meaney.
Walt Disney World's yearlong celebration, marking the 100th anniversary of Walt
Disney's birth, originally scheduled to officially begin today, is put off until December.
Low attendance in the parks since the terrorist attacks on September 11th against the U.S., and the current state of the economy are the probable reasons. Although many of the planned events for the celebration are held, including the debut of The Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade, Walt Disney: One Man's Dream, and Share a Dream Come True Parade,
the resort keeps a low profile on this 30th anniversary of the Magic Kingdom.
From today until November 4th witches, ghosts and creepy crazy funny folks join
forces with the Disney Villains to take control of Frontierland which will be known as
HalloweenLand for the fifth annual Halloween Festival at Disneyland Paris.
John V. Cowles, the architect of Walt Disney's barn (which now resides in Griffith
Park, California) dies at the age of 83 at his Burbank, California home. His friendship with
Walt Disney extends back to the 1920s in Kansas City when Disney lived with the Cowles family and worked for
Disney on different projects. Among them were various buildings Cowles designed for Disneyland and two sound
stages on the Burbank lot. When Disney and his wife Lillian built their home in Holmby Hills, Disney wanted a train
barn for his miniature train collection and hired Cowles to design it.
Walt Disney World turns 31.
A sneak preview of a new Disney animated feature titled Home on the Range takes place at Pleasure Island AMC. The film, which features music by
Alan Menken, is scheduled for an April 2004 release.
Starting on this day, Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland Paris is transformed into Spooky Street as Disney's month-long Halloween Festival begins.
At Disneyland, the Disney Gallery reopens with a display from the Haunted Mansion and The Haunted Mansion movie.
Epcot's 9th International Food & Wine Festival begins. Running through November 14, the
annual event features the "Eat To The Beat" concert series. Kool and the Gang kick off the festivities.
A Hollywood premiere for the October 5th release of Disney's Aladdin DVD takes
place at the El Capitan. Clay Aiken performs "Proud of Your Boy" prior to the first ever digital theatrical presentation of the classic animated feature.
Starting on this day, Disney's Destino (an animated short featuring the work of
Salvador Dalí) is screened at the Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida.
The 6-minute film will be shown through January 1.
Disney Channel airs "We'll Fix It in Editing," the fourteenth Phil of the
Future episode, for the first time.
Ladder 49, a drama film directed by Jay Russell and written by Lewis Colick, is released by Touchstone Pictures. The film follows Baltimore firefighter Jack Morrison, who is trapped inside a warehouse fire, and his recollection of the events that got him to that point. The film stars Joaquin Phoenix and John Travolta.
As of today, theater groups and schools everywhere can license the scripts and music to Disney's High School Musical.
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts' 15-month "Year of a Million Dreams" campaign begins on the day Disney World turns 35.
The Horizons pavilion opens in Future World at EPCOT Center. It includes the films Choose Your Tomorrow and Omnisphere. The attraction uses Disney's Omnimover conveyance system, which takes guests past show scenes depicting visions of the future.
The Backstage Magic show closes at EPCOT.
Disney's 1992 animated Aladdin is released to VHS for the first time, as part of the
"Walt Disney Classics" line. Directed by John Musker and Ron Clements, it is based on the Arab-style
folktale of the same name from "One Thousand and One Nights." (In its first week of availability, Aladdin will sell
over 10.6 million copies!)
Walt Disney Pictures releases the comedy sports film Cool Runnings. Loosely based on the
true story of the Jamaica national bobsleigh team's debut in competition during the 1988 Winter Olympics in Canada,
it is directed by Jon Turteltaub and stars Leon Preston Robinson, Doug E. Doug, Rawle D. Lewis, Malik Yoba, and
John Candy. (This will be Candy's last film to be released during his lifetime.)
Nineteen-year-old Debbie Dane,
originally a hostess for Walt Disney
World's Preview Center, was chosen as WDW's very first ambassador.
"It was probably the most incredible
and magical experience a girl could
ever have had!"
Epcot turns 25 years young! A rededication ceremony takes
place at 10:00 am at the Fountain of Nations Plaza.
"Here in Florida, we have something special we never enjoyed
at Disneyland ... the blessing of size. There's enough land here
to hold all the ideas and plans we can possibly imagine."
-Walt Disney (1965)
French composer and teacher of classical music Paul Abraham Dukas is born in
Paris, France. His 1897 orchestral work L'apprenti sorcier (The Sorcerer's Apprentice) is used for a
spectacular 8-minute sequence in Disney's 1940 feature Fantasia. (Although Dukas wrote a fair amount of music,
he was a perfectionist and destroyed many of his pieces out of dissatisfaction with them. Only a few of his
Mickey Mouse appears on the cover of this week's TV Guide magazine. Mickey Mouse Club is scheduled to debut on ABC October 3.
Alan Wagner, a former CBS programming executive who became the first president of the Disney Channel, is born in Manhattan, New York.
(As East Coast vice president of programming at CBS from 1976 to 1982, Wagner was in charge of developing and overseeing hit shows like All in the Family, Kojak, M*A*S*H, and The Bob Newhart Show.)
Jimmy Carter, the thirty-ninth United States President, is born in
Plains, Georgia. (He is the first president to be born in a hospital.) In 1976,
President Carter appeared at Disney World for the International Chamber of Commerce 26th
Conference and Convention. (His speech was made in front of Cinderella Castle.) The
private event coincided with Disney's debut of concept art for EPCOT Center. In February of
1980, President Carter issued Proclamation 4725, declaring a national day to honor Walt
Disney. In May 1982, Carter became the first U.S. President to take a "running tour" of
Disneyland when he jogged through the Magic Kingdom prior to the public opening time.
Visit him and all the U.S. Chief Executives at Disney World's The Hall of Presidents.
Cirque du Soleil premieres ZED at the brand new Cirque du Soleil Theater in the Tokyo Disney Resort. It is the second theater to be built on a Disney property to hold a show by the
Cirque - the first being at Walt Disney World ... which today turns 37!
Demi Lovato's solo recording debut album, "Don't Forget," released on Disney's Hollywood Records, debuts at # 2 on the Billboard Top 200 on this day - selling 88,973 units.
Disney releases the live-action The Fighting Prince of Donegal starring Peter McEnery
and Susan Hampshire. The film loosely follows the real-life exploits of the 16th century Irish prince "Red"
Hugh O'Donnell (Lord of Tyrconnell who led a rebellion against English government in Ireland in 1593).
Disney's Mickey Mouse short Mickey's Choo Choo is released. The 11th in Disney's
Mickey cartoon series, it features the voices of Walt Disney and Marcellite Garner (as Minnie).
"On the morning of October 1, we felt like we were bracing for the D-Day invasion. I climbed into a helicopter with our Chief Operating
Officer Dick Nunis, and we took off in the early morning light to check the 'invasion.' We both got very excited because we could see a
long string of car lights coming from the city of Orlando. But, as they approached the property, they turned off at the back gate.
Almost all of them were employees. Everyone else was afraid to come out of their houses. The opening day crowd was, you might say,
“underwhelming.” We had almost as many employees as guests."
-Executive Vice President Card Walker
The Walt Disney Family Museum opens in San Francisco, California. The
interactive museum, in San Francisco’s Presidio (a former U.S. military facility that is now part of the
Golden State National Recreation Area) focuses on the life and times of Walt Disney.
"My father’s name is probably one of the most well-known names around the world, but as the brand or trademark has
spread, for many, the man has become lost. We are committed to telling the story of Walt Disney’s life, in his own words,
and in the words of others who knew him well and worked with him." -Diane Disney Miller, one of the museum’s founders
Alan Alda, Howard Cosell, Barry Diller, Fred Friendly, Bill Hanna & Joseph Barbera and Oprah Winfrey are inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
Hall of Fame at Disney-MGM Studios.
The name of Euro Disneyland is officially changed to Disneyland Paris.
"We take this major step forward for Walt Disney Productions with great confidence. We have looked carefully, even minutely, at not
only the creative aspects of EPCOT Center, but also the economic, the business and the marketing potentials. And now, more than
ever before, we know that this is a right and necessary step in the growth of Walt Disney World and, we believe, in the continuing
growth of the state of Florida as the most important tourist destination in the whole world." -Card Walker
The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, a yearly event that transforms Epcot into a food and wine lover's paradise (through November 14), kicks off. The Eat to the Beat Concert Series returns to the America Gardens Theatre with singer Taylor Dayne (through October 3).
Over on the west coast, Disneyland's very first Mickey’s Halloween Party
of the season is held with exclusive fireworks shows, a new mini parade
and trick-or-treat trails. Ten events are scheduled for Tuesday and Friday nights in October,
-as well as Halloween on October 31.
15th FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL
20th ANNIVERSARY - SURPRISE!
10th ANNIVERSARY - THE HAPPIEST HAPPY BIRTHDAY EVER
Epcot's Daredevil Circus Spectacular premieres on the Communicore Stage in
Future World. It includes The Greatest Show in Space and high-wire hero Jay Cochrane, otherwise
known as The Skywalker. The opening act are the four Cristiani Elephants; Carey, Babe, Shirley, and Emma
billed as "mutant prehistoric pachyderms from the steaming jungles of a little known planet in the Archturian Cosmos!" Performed 4 times a day, Epcot's Daredevil Circus Spectacular will run through March 19, 1988.
Norwegian marathon runner Grete Waitz is born Grete Andersen in Oslo, Norway.
A nine-time winner of New York City Marathons between 1978 and 1988, she also won a silver medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and a gold medal at the 1983 World Championships in Athletics in Finland.
There is a statue, cast in bronze, that stands in front of the Norway Pavilion at Epcot which depicts a graceful
runner in mid-stride. The larger-than-life bronze sculpture (sculpted by Norwegian artist Nils Aas) is of Waitz! The
statue was presented to Walt Disney World by The Foundation for the Promotion of Athletics in Norway, to honor
Waitz’s lifelong support of women’s distance running, as well as her inspiration for young and physically challenged
athletes. Waitz is one of the very few historical figures to be honored with a life-size statue at WDW.
Celebrate the Future Hand in Hand
Walt Disney World turns 40! At 9:45 a.m. at the Magic Kingdom, a parade of Disney characters work its way to Cinderella Castle for a ceremony with Walt Disney World President Meg Crofton. Folks who have been
Cast Members for 40 years participate, and a sing-along with the Dapper Dans barbershop quartet is held.
Special 40th anniversary merchandise is offered for sale and creators of limited-edition artwork are on hand for autographs. In the evening, an expanded edition of "Wishes" fireworks display fills the sky at 9 p.m.
In celebration of Epcot's 30th anniversary Walt Disney World offers guests a day of special events. Designing the Future - Past and Present: A panel of Disney Imagineers remembering 30 years
of building tomorrow takes place at 1:00. An informational session about the history of Epcot takes place at 4:30
and 6:30 at World Showplace with Marty Sklar, former Walt Disney Company's International Ambassador for Walt
Disney Imagineering. In the evening there is a presentation of "IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth" that features a
special 30th anniversary theme.
Stepping off for the first time at the new Magic Kingdom is "Character Parade," Disney World's very
first daily parade. Taking place twice daily (at 12:30 and 5:30), the parade will run through December 9.
OCTOBER IS WALT DISNEY WORLD MONTH
Walt Disney World Resort marks its 45th anniversary with a flurry of 45 beloved
Disney characters in a colorful celebration at Magic Kingdom Park. Walt Disney World
President George A. Kalogridis, who was at the park's opening day in 1971, tells guests:
"I can tell you that, for all of us Cast Members, in the resorts and the theme park, both, it was a day of excitement,
anticipation, and considerable butterflies in the stomach. But mostly it was a day of joy, because we had the privilege
of knowing that we were about to create Disney memories that our Guests could cherish for a lifetime."
Epcot marks its 35th anniversary with a special ceremony reflecting its creativity and
innovation. George A. Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort, is joined onstage by the patriotic Voices of
Liberty ensemble and the Mariachi Cobre from the Mexico showcase – two acts that debuted when the theme park
originally opened in 1982! Exciting plans include a new restaurant for the Mission: SPACE pavilion; a Ratatouille-inspired
attraction bowing in a new space in the France showcase; a new E-ticket Future World attraction based on the rockin’
world of Guardians of the Galaxy; and an updated Circle-Vision film for the China pavilion.
Paint the Night Parade, a nighttime parade at Hong Kong Disneyland officially debuts
(it had a soft opening on September 11). The parade uses a newly arranged version of the Main Street
Electrical Parade's theme song, "Baroque Hoedown," alongside a Cantonese arrangement of Owl City's "When Can I
See You Again?" from Wreck-It Ralph.
Mickey's Halloween Celebration, a mini-parade at Disneyland Paris, debuts for the
first time. The parade will step off three times daily, throughout the month of October.
Mickey's PhilharMagic, a 4-D film attraction directed by George Scribner, debuts at Disneyland Paris. First premiering at Walt Disney World in 2003, Mickey's PhilharMagic is a 12-minute-long show featuring 3D effects, scents, and water, as well as a number of characters from Disney movies.