In its earliest stages of planning,
Walt Disney World
was regarded as a top-secret
project and was given
code names like
Project Winter and
Walt Disney (a new version of the popular long-running
series that first started out on ABC in 1954 as Disneyland)
premieres on CBS with part one of the 1969 hit The Love Bug. It is the first time the series airs on a Saturday. (This makes Disney's show the first prime-time series to have appeared on all three major networks!)
Singer-songwriter, actress, dancer, and model Christina Milian is born
Christina Marie Flores in Jersey City, New Jersey. She performed "Call Me, Beep Me!", the
theme song of the Disney Channel animated series Kim Possible and was the host of the Disney Channel
series Movie Surfers. Milian also starred in the 2010 ABC Family Original Movie Christmas Cupid.
Walt Disney World's theme parks close for the day as Hurricane Jeanne strikes
Florida! It is WDW's third closing in its history and second time in 2004. Jeanne is the 10th named storm,
the 7th hurricane, and the 5th major hurricane of the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season.
Cartoonist Tony Sgroi is born in Massachusetts. He created such Disney comics for
Dell Publishing as Robin Hood, Stormy the Thoroughbred, Young Davy Crockett, Man in Space, Mars and
Beyond and Spin & Marty. (He also worked as a storyboard artist, layout and model designer for Hanna-
Barbera, UPA, Warner Bros., and Filmation.)
Disney's Silly Symphony cartoon Three Blind Mousketeers, directed by
David Hand, is released. The trio of Mouseketeers must find different ways to escape
the clutches of the devious Captain Katt.
Singer-actress Olivia Newton-John, whose version of "Part of Your World" can be heard on the CD "Disney's Music From The Park," is born in Cambridge, England. Her family emigrated to Melbourne, Australia, in 1954. She appeared in the 1990 made-for-television fantasy-comedy film "A Mom for Christmas" (a Walt Disney Television production), playing a store mannequin who comes to life for a motherless little girl. Olivia also covered "When You Wish Upon A Star" on her 1989 album Warm and Tender. She was a guest judge on 3 episodes of American Idol and 1 episode of Dancing with the Stars. In 2018, Newton-John appeared on an episode of Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings. She surprised a newly-married couple by performing at their reception! (A four-time Grammy award winner, Newton-John co-starred with John Travolta in the 1978 film adaptation of the Broadway musical “Grease," which became one of the most successful films and movie soundtracks in Hollywood history.) Sadly she passed at the age of 73 in August 2022.
Walt Disney phones artist Herb Ryman at his home on this Saturday
morning to inquire about the possibility of Ryman drawing some overall
concept sketches of a new theme park. (Walt's brother Roy is to leave for New York on Monday to
meet with possible investors.) Although Ryman isn't a Disney employee at this time ... he agrees to meet Walt at
the studio. When he arrives at the Disney lot - Walt is anxiously waiting out front! The work Walt and Herb will do
together over the upcoming "lost weekend" will help define the look of Disneyland. (Ryman, a master artist and
teacher - and later an Imagineer - will have a career spanning more than fifty years as a production designer, art
director and illustrator at many top Hollywood studios.)
The Disneyland television series airs the episode "Searching for Nature's
Mysteries" (a part-preview, part-making-of the featurette Secrets of Life).
Compass East Corporation (made up of many dummy companies responsible for
purchasing the Florida land for the new Disney World theme park) is renamed the
Walt Disney World Company.
Disney World's Frontier Shooting Gallery changes its name to
Frontierland Shootin' Arcade.
Wild Life, a Disney animated feature originally to be released in 2002, is put into
turnaround (or canceled). Described as a retro-1960's New York version of My Fair Lady, some of the
Disney staff believe the story is not strong enough.
Filming begins for the Lizzie McGuire episode "When Moms Attack" (which will air
on Disney Channel January 26, 2001).
The Disney-owned Lyric Street Records releases Brand New Year, a Christmas
album from country music trio SHeDAISY. A country music group founded in the late 1980s by
sisters Kristyn Robyn Osborn, Kelsi Marie Osborn, and Kassidy Lorraine Osborn, their first album for Lyric Street
was The Whole SHeBANG, issued in 1999 and later certified platinum in the United States. (SHeDAISY
appeared on the Disney Channel television program So Weird in 1999 and the ABC Network program The Drew
Carey Show in 2001.)
Disney's touring production of Beauty and the Beast opens at the Denver Center
for the Performing Arts in Colorado. (The show will run through October 7th.)
Disney World hosts the seventh annual Latin Rhythm Nights
Festival at Downtown Disney Pleasure Island.
It is reported that Richard W. Cook, chairman of The Walt Disney Motion Pictures
Group, has been elected (along with 4 others) to the Los Angeles Orthopedic
Hospital Foundation's board of trustees. The hospital is a recognized world leader in research,
teaching, and patient care in orthopedic medicine. (Cook began his career in 1970 as a ride operator at
Walt Disney Records releases The Music of Disney's Cinderella. Released in conjunction
with the 1995 video release of Cinderella, this album is not the original soundtrack recording - but a
contemporary version of the original music.
Acoustic Hearts of Winter, a Christmas album from Disney pop artists
Aly & AJ, is released on Hollywood Records. The first single from the album "Greatest Time Of
Year" is being used as a promotion for the Tim Allen Disney feature The Santa Clause 3.
Also released on Hollywood Records is the album V, Vanessa Hudgens's debut
album. The actress is the first High School Musical cast member to release an album.
Kraft ends its sponsorship of EPCOT's The Land pavilion.
Nestle will take over the following day.
Actor Patrick Bristow is born in Los Angeles, California. Fans of The Suite Life of Zack
and Cody know him for his role of Patrick the sarcastic maître d' for the Tipton Hotel's restaurant. Bristow
also appeared in an episode of That's So Raven.
Almost Angels, a Disney film about a group of boys in the Vienna Boys' Choir, is released. Made on location in Austria, the cast includes Peter Weck, Sean Scully, Vincent Winter, Denis
Gilmore, Hans Holt, Fritz Eckhardt, Bruni Löbel, and Gunther Philipp.
The 13th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival begins a six-week run at
Disney World. Big Bad Vood Doo Daddy kicks off the Eat to the Beat Concert Series.
Disney Channel's latest music-and-dance television movie hit Camp Rock premieres
in New Zealand.
In the U.S., Disney Channel debuts The Suite Life on Deck
- a spinoff in which twins Zack and Cody Martin
are relocated to a cruise ship.
Touchstone Pictures releases Miracle at St. Anna. The story of four black American soldiers who are members of the U.S. Army’s all-black 92nd "Buffalo Soldier" Division, stationed in Tuscany, Italy, during World War II, it stars Derek Luke, Michael Ealy, Laz Alonso, and Omar Benson Miller.
Ed Catmull, president of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, accepts the first
Randy Pausch Prize from Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology
Center and presents the keynote address at the 7th International Conference on
Actor, film director, entrepreneur, humanitarian, and auto racing enthusiast Paul
Newman passes away at age 83 at his farmhouse near Westport, Connecticut, of
complications arising from lung cancer. Disney/Pixar fans know him as the voice of Doc Hudson
(a 1951 Hudson Hornet) in the 2006 Cars, the short Mater and the Ghostlight, and the 2017 Cars 3 (in which archived audio was used). Disney/Pixar sponsored Newman's race car at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2005. An Academy Award-winner, Newman is best remembered for his performances in such features as The Long, Hot Summer, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Hustler, Cool Hand Luke, and the Touchstone releases The Color of Money and Blaze. He was also a
co-founder of Newman's Own, a food company from which he donated all post-tax profits and royalties to charity.
premieres at the Colony Theater in New York City.
Disney's Silly Symphony Monkey Melodies, directed by Burt Gillett, is released.
Monkeys and apes swing through the trees to the recent hit song "Abba Dabba Dabba" and other classical
tunes and standards.
"The embarrassing thing is that the salad dressing is outgrossing my films." -Paul Newman
"No, I’m not. You’re not going to call me on Saturday morning at 10 A.M. and expect me to do a masterpiece that
Roy could take and get the money. It will embarrass me and it will embarrass you. You know you’ve had this idea
for a long, long time. Why did you wait for the Saturday morning before the Monday to come here and ask me to
make a fool of myself?" -Herb Ryman's initial reaction to Walt Disney's request on September 26, 1953
"Davy Crockett at the Alamo" airs on the ABC-TV series Walt Disney Presents.
Touchstone Pictures releases Under the Tuscan Sun. Diane Lane portrays a just-divorced
writer who buys a villa in Tuscany, hoping it will be the start of a change for the better in her life.
D23 holds the first public scavenger hunt at Disneyland.
Season 7 of Desperate Housewives begins with the episode "Remember Paul?" on ABC.
The First Annual Horseless Carriage Day is held on Disneyland's Main Street, U.S.A.
In memory of Paul Newman (1925-2008)
Hurricane Jean strikes Florida
Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color premieres a new 3-part
Gallegher serial The Further Adventures of Gallegher. Tonight's episode "A
Case of Murder," finds a newspaper reporter being suspected of murdering a British actor.
The sixteenth episode of Disney's Recess, "The Game/The Lost Ball" premieres on
ABC-TV. This is the first time actor Andrew Lawrence provides the voice of T.J.
Episode 39 of Disney's Recess, "The Madness of King Bob/Call Me Guy"
premieres on UPN and in syndication.
"Both the craft of programming and the craft of art can be very detailed and precise."
-computer scientist Ed Catmull
Actress Melanie Deanne Paxson is born in
Champaign, Illinois. She played the role of Dolly, Walt's
secretary, in Disney's 2013 Saving Mr. Banks. Disney Channel
fans know Paxson as the Fairy Godmother (the headmistress of Auradon Prep and Jane's mother) in all three
The 4th season of the ABC-TV sitcom Modern Family kicks off with the episode
"Bringing Up Baby."
Season 10 of the ABC-TV sitcom Modern Family kicks off with the episode
"I Love a Parade."
ABC debuts season 6 of The Goldbergs with the episode "Sixteen Candles."
A Million Little Things, a family drama television series created by DJ Nash, premieres on ABC. Set in Boston, a tight-knit circle of friends is shocked after a member of the group dies from suicide unexpectedly. Each friend realizes that they need to finally start living life as they cope with their loss. The title is a reference to the saying "Friendship isn't a big thing – it's a million little things." The cast includes David Giuntoli, Romany Malco, Allison Miller, and Christina Moses.
The ABC-TV family drama series A Million Little Things kicks off its second season
with the episode "Coming Home."
ABC-TV premieres season 6 of the legal drama series How to Get Away with Murder
with the episode "Say Goodbye."
The 16th season of Grey's Anatomy debuts on ABC with the episode
"Nothing Left to Cling To."
Tennis great Serena Williams visits Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge during a trip to
Walt Disney World.
The 10th season of the ABC-TV medical drama Grey's Anatomy debuts with the episode "Seal Our Fate."
Actress Emma Rigby is born in Merseyside, England. She played the Red Queen in the ABC fantasy-drama Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.
Composer and pianist George Gershwin is born in Brooklyn, New York. His 1924 composition "Rhapsody in Blue" was featured in a segment of Disney's Fantasia 2000 (the sequel to 1940's Fantasia). Set in New York City in the early 1930s, and designed in the style of Al Hirschfeld's known caricatures of the time, the story follows four individuals who wish for a better life. It originated in 1992 when director and animator Eric Goldberg approached Hirschfeld about the idea of an animated short set to Gershwin's composition in the style of Hirschfeld's illustrations. Hirschfeld agreed to serve as artistic consultant and allowed the animators to use and adapt his previous works for the segment.
Goldberg took Hirschfeld's original illustration of Gershwin and animated it to make him play the piano. "Rhapsody in Blue" is one of Gershwin's most recognizable creations and a key composition that defined the Jazz Age. Along with his brother lyricist Ira Gershwin, the team wrote many beloved songs and over two dozen scores for Broadway and Hollywood. In 2010, Walt Disney Records released "Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin," an album consisting of covers of ten George and Ira Gershwin songs by Beach Boys co-founder Brian Wilson.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Society Orchestra announces that after playing for 32 years at Walt Disney World its last day will be October 3. The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, where the orchestra generally plays, had been closed for months but reopened last week. Last August, after months of furlough, Disney rebranded the group as the Disney Society Orchestra and installed the musicians in the Theater of the Stars at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
"We are so thankful for the opportunity to play in a beautiful setting for the hotel guests and friends
we have met & made over the years. We’ll never forget you and how wonderful you’ve made us feel."
-Disney's Grand Floridian Society Orchestra