Mickey's PhilharMagic, a new computer-animated 3-D
attraction, has its official grand opening in the PhilharMagic
Concert Hall at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. Pop idols
Howie Dorough of The Backstreet Boys and Joey Fatone of 'N Sync are on hand for the premiere. The film is directed
by George Scribner (best known for directing Disney's 1988 animated film, Oliver and Company). 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. It is shown on the largest purpose-built 3D screen ever made, at 150 feet wide!
Over at Epcot, the Wayne Brady Show tapes at the American Gardens Stage. Guests
include tennis star Serena Williams, soap opera heartthrob Cameron Matheson, astronaut Jim Lovell, and members
of the original Brady Bunch Show.
In the evening, the Magic Kingdom hosts a live performance of the Brian Setzer
Orchestra on the Castle Forecourt stage. Afterwards the park officially debuts a new
pyrotechnic show called Wishes: A Magical Gathering of Disney Dreams. The Disney World premiere
includes an introduction by actress Julie Andrews.
At Disneyland, The Golden Horseshoe Variety Show performs it's final show at 5:30 PM after more than 4,000 performances. Guests at the final performance include Wally Boag, star of the
original Golden Horseshoe Revue for over 27 years.
Animator & teacher Art Babbitt is born in Omaha, Nebraska. He joined Disney in
1932 and over the next 9 years worked on many animated projects. Babbitt animated
the Wicked Queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Geppetto in Pinnochio, and the Stork in Dumbo. He
is best remembered for escalating Goofy to stardom by giving the character a unique mannerism and a rather
clumsy walk in such shorts as Mickey's Service Station and Moving Day. Honest, straightforward, and sometimes
confrontational, Babbitt was inspired to become an animator when he saw Ub Iwerks' work on the 1930 Silly
Symphony Skeleton Dance. (Babbitt was named a Disney Legend in 2007.)
Legendary Disney producer-writer-director and narrator Winston Hibler is born
in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He narrated many of Disney's live-action documentaries,
produced the Disneyland TV series, and made contributions to such classic features as Sleeping Beauty,
Cinderella, and Peter Pan. Hibler's best known written work ... Walt Disney's opening day Disneyland speech!
Felix Salten, Austrian author best known for "Bambi" and "The Hound of Florence" passes away in Zurich, Switzerland. First written in 1923, "Bambi" was translated into English in 1928
and became a Book-of-the-Month Club hit. In 1933, Salten sold the film rights to American film director Sidney
Franklin for $1,000, who later transferred the rights to the Walt Disney Studios. Disney released its movie based
on Bambi in 1942. Salten's stories "Perri" and "The Hound of Florence" inspired the Disney films Perri and
The Shaggy Dog.
The Maxwell House Coffee House located on Disneyland's
Main Street (in operation since December 1955) closes. It will
be replaced by Hills Brothers Coffee House in June 1958.
The NBC-TV series Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color
airs part 2 of "The Horsemasters."
A full-service spa and health center opens at Disney World's
Grand Floridian Beach Resort. First opened in June 1988, it
The inaugural hockey game of the Disney-owned Mighty Ducks is held at the Anaheim Pond in California. In their first season they will finish 33-46-5 with 71 points and fourth in the Pacific Division. (Disney will sell the franchise in 2005 to Henry and Susan Samueli, who will change the name
of the team to Anaheim Ducks.)
The documentary film The Hand Behind the Mouse: The Ub Iwerks
Story is released in Los Angeles for one week (so that it may qualify
for an Academy Award). The film focuses on animation pioneer, technical genius,
and early Walt Disney collaborator Ub Iwerks. Filmmaker Leslie Iwerks offers viewers a look
at the work of her grandfather, one of the unsung giants of animation and film technology.
Epcot's Journey into Your Imagination ride closes for renovations. The character Figment will be added and the attraction will reopen in June
2002 as Journey into Imagination with Figment.
Walt: The Man Behind The Myth (originally broadcast on TV in September
2001) is released on DVD, as is a special edition of Beauty and the Beast.
Disney established the Disney
Wildlife Conservation Fund in
1995, the year Disney's Animal
Kingdom was announced. The
DWCF is a global awards program
to fund nonprofit conservation &
wildlife organizations focused on
endangered animals and
"Halloween," the fifteenth Phil of the Future episode, airs for the first
time on Disney Channel. It is directed by Fred Savage (best known - in his younger
days - for his role of Kevin on the hit series The Wonder Years).
"Think of the Goof as a composite of an everlasting optimist, a gullible Good Samaritan, a halfwit
and a shiftless, good-natured hick. He is loose-jointed and gangly, but not rubbery."
-Art Babbitt's Character Analysis of Goofy
Disney's multi-platinum recording group The Cheetah Girls (Adrienne Bailon, Sabrina Bryan and Kiely Williams) launch their nationwide "The Cheetah Girls
One World Tour" with a show in Austin, Texas. The 50-date nationwide concert tour follows
the soundtrack and third Disney Channel Original Movie, "The Cheetah Girls One World."
Mickey's PhilharMagic debuts
Golden Horseshoe's final show
The NBC-TV sitcom Empty Nest, produced by Disney's Touchstone Television,
debuts. The show revolves around pediatrician Dr. Harry Weston (played by veteran actor Richard Mulligan),
whose life is turned upside down when his wife dies and two of his adult daughters move back into the family
home in Miami, Florida. Empty Nest is a spin-off of the hit series The Golden Girls (both created by Susan
Harris) as The Golden Girls are neighbors of the Westons. The series will run for 7 years.
The Best of Walt Disney's True-Life Adventures, a Buena Vista release, debuts in
theaters. The film highlights such Disney Oscar-winning nature shorts as Seal Island, Beaver Valley,
Nature's Half Acre, and Water Birds.
The first Annual Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic kicks off (for the next two
days) at Walt Disney World.
The Disney feature film Secretariat, starring Diane Lane and John Malkovich, opens
in U.S. theaters. Based on a remarkable true story, Secretariat chronicles the spectacular journey of the
1973 Triple Crown winner.
Disney-Pixar premieres its latest "Cars Toons" short on the Disney Channel. Directed
by original Cars director (and head of Pixar) John Lasseter and co-directed by Rob Gibbs, the short is
entitled Heavy Metal Mater and features a score by Mark Mothersbaugh. (Heavy Metal Mater is the seventh of
nine "Cars Toons," all of which are slated for release on DVD and Blu-ray on November 2nd.)
The Disneyland Resort opens Flynn’s Arcade at Disney California Adventure the
same night it debuts "ElecTRONica" (a dance party using a mix of music, video and
projections). It is all part of a promotion for the new Disney movie
Tron: Legacy (scheduled for a December release).
An event is held in the lobby and courtyard of the Frank G. Wells Building on the
Studio Lot to celebrate the work of Disney Legend and archivist Dave Smith.
Smith, who will retire October 15, has been a familiar face at The Walt Disney Company since 1970, collecting,
organizing and sharing with colleagues and historians important historical artifacts on behalf
of the Walt Disney Archives.
Buena Vista premieres the Walt Disney Pictures animated feature film Mulan in London, England. The thirty-sixth animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics, it has been
in release in the U.S. since June.
Walt Disney's Grumman Gulfstream 1 makes its last flight when it touches down on
World Drive, west of Disney-MGM Studios (today known as Disney’s Hollywood
Studios). To be added to The Backlot Tour, the airplane was used to fly Walt Disney on secret scouting
missions over Central Florida when he was looking for the perfect spot to build a second theme park.
Touchstone Pictures premieres The Color of Money at the Ziegfeld Theater in
New York City. Starring Paul Newman and Tom Cruise, the film will be generally released October 17.
Lincoln, a biographical war drama film directed and produced by Steven
Spielberg, premieres at the New York Film Festival. Distributed by DreamWorks
Studios through Disney's Touchstone Pictures, the film stars Daniel Day-Lewis as United States
President Abraham Lincoln and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln. Lincoln will be generally released
The first Disney theme park ride from a Marvel franchise is announced for
Hong Kong Disneyland. Iron Man Experience, based on the highly-successful
"Iron Man" series of films, will debut in late 2016.
As weather conditions continue to improve throughout Central Florida (due to
Hurricane Matthew) all 4 Walt Disney World theme parks reopen at 8 a.m. Hurricane
Matthew forced the resort to close (for only the 4th time in its history) late Thursday afternoon (October 6).
Actor Gary Dubin passes away at the age of 57. He voiced Toulouse in Disney's 1970 animated The Aristocats, and appeared in an episode of Sonny with a Chance. (He is best known for his
portrayal of Punky Lazaar, a friend of Danny's on the 1970s series The Partridge Family.)