"I came to Disney to help out for two weeks and I ended up staying 29 years."
 -Disney Legend Buddy Baker
Writer, humorist, actor, and National Radio Hall of Famer
Jean Shepherd, the voice of the Father in Disney's Carousel of Progress attraction,
 is born in Chicago, Illinois. Rex Allen, the original voice of the Father, was replaced by "Shep" around
 1994 when the Carousel was updated to include the more modern era. Ironically Shep had toured the It’s a Small 
World ride and Carousel of Progress at the 1964 World’s Fair! Movie fans may recognize Shep's voice
 as the narrator of the 1983 holiday classic A Christmas Story - which he co-wrote, based on his own semi-
autobiographical stories. Ollie Hopnoodle's Haven of Bliss a 1988 TV movie, following the family from A
 Christmas Story, has aired numerous times on Disney Channel.
Disney's animated Alice in Wonderland has its world premiere
in England, at London's Leicester Square Theatre. It will be released in the 
U.S. two days later. Based on Lewis Carroll's books "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the
 Looking-Glass," it is the thirteenth animated feature in the Disney animated features canon. The film will be
 nominated for an Academy Award for Best Scoring of a Musical Picture. Attending the premiere is Walt Disney
 and Kathryn Beaumont, dressed as Alice.
Walt Disney and actor Fess Parker (dressed as Davy Crockett) appear on the cover of LOOK magazine.
Actor Kevin Spacey, the voice of Hopper for Disney/Pixar's 1998 A Bug's Life, is born in South Orange, New Jersey. He also voiced Hopper for the 3D theme park short 
It's Tough to Be a Bug.
Marcellite Garner, the original female voice of Minnie Mouse in such
early classics as Plane Crazy, The Gallopin' Gaucho, and The Barn
Dance, passes away at age 83 in Grass Valley, California. Starting at the Disney Studio at the
 age of 19, Garner worked as a cel painter, but quickly advanced to the higher labor grade of inking the animator’s
 pictures onto the cels. After about 6 months on the job, she became the voice of Minnie Mouse. In mid-1941 she
 gave up her work at Disney to become a full-time mom. As a hobby, she later became a painter.
Disney's movie The Country Bears is released nationwide. A live-action comedy, it is Disney's second theatrical film based on an attraction at one of its theme parks and the third overall film based on an attraction following the television film Tower of Terror and the theatrically-released Mission to Mars. Beary Barrinson, a ten-year-old bear cub raised by humans, heads for Tennessee to find his birth family. Along the way, he helps unite the once legendary Country Bear Band for a benefit show to save the Country Bear concert hall. The voice cast 
includes Haley Joel Osment, Diedrich Bader, Candy Ford, Brad Garrett, and Stephen Root. Elizabeth Daily, Bonnie 
Raitt, and Don Henley provide the singing voices. The live-action cast features Christopher Walken, Stephen 
Tobolowsky, and Daryl Mitchell with cameos by Elton John, Queen Latifah, Willie Nelson, and Brian Setzer. 

The Lizzie McGuire episode "You're a Good Man, Lizzie McGuire" debuts on Disney Channel as does the Disney Channel Original Movie Gotta Kick It UpGarnering over one million viewers, Kick It Up is based on a true story of a middle school dance team.

Disney Legend Buddy Baker, composer and arranger for almost 200 Disney feature
films, TV shows, and theme park attractions, passes away at his home in Sherman
Oaks, California. He is 84. Disney staff composer George Bruns first brought Baker on board to help with the "Davy Crockett" TV series in 1954. Baker went on to compose music for such features as The Misadventures of Merlin JonesWinnie the Pooh and the Honey TreeThe Apple Dumpling Gang, and The Fox and the Hound. He is probably best known to Disney fans for his Haunted Mansion song "Grim Grinning Ghosts" (which he co-wrote with X Atencio). When Baker retired from Disney in 1983, he was the last contracted music staff composer still on contract at any major Hollywood studio.

 The role of Bert in the London production of Mary Poppins passes from Gavin Lee
 to Gavin Creel. Tony-nominee Creel replaces Lee in the production at the Prince Edward Theatre as Lee
 has been cast in the upcoming Broadway staging of Mary Poppins (which will begin performances in October at
 the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York City).
The Disney Channel Premiere Film The Parent Trap II, a made-for-TV sequel to The 
Parent Trap, debuts. It stars Hayley Mills (the star of the original Parent Trap) as both Sharon and Susan.
"Uncle Orville's taken over the coolest spot in the house and 
he's rigged up a real clever contraption. He calls it air cooling."
-Father in Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress

Disney's newest stage musical The Little Mermaid premieres its workshop run in Denver, Colorado. The show will play at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House at the Denver Performing Arts Complex through September 9, honing in preparation for its Broadway launch in December.

The Pixar Story, a documentary produced, written & directed by Leslie Iwerks (granddaughter of Disney Legend Ub Iwerks), premieres at the San Diego Comic-Con.
Narrated by Stacy Keach, it is a look at the first years of Pixar Animation Studios.

ENCORE! Cast Choir And Orchestra (made up of Disney Cast Members) perform "Hollywood! A Musical Tribute to the Silver Screen" at Epcot's World Showplace Pavilion. The first of a 3-night engagement, the performances will benefit the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Central Florida.  
The all-cartoon Musical Wonderfilm!
 Some 5.86 million viewers tune in to watch Disney Channel's 3-D concert film Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert.
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Disneyland's Germanic-style Sleeping Beauty castle 
was designed by Disney Imagineer Herb Ryman and inspired, in part, by Neuschwanstein 
in Bavaria. 
Alice in Wonderland World Premiere
"He really formed my entire comedic sensibility—I learned how to do comedy from Jean Shepherd." -Jerry Seinfeld
Disney Studios holds an action analysis class led by instructor Don Graham. 
(Snow White is in production at this time.) Graham's words of wisdom include:
"The only thing an artist has is the fact that he can do something that can't be done with a machine. He should say to himself, "Am I going to let a machine work me out of a job and a profession?" That is what it is going to do, unless the artist keeps moving. It is up to him. As long as jobs have to be done, and have to be done economically, the rotoscope is the quickest way to do it, the challenge will always be there. So it is up to the artist to deliver. He must do a drawing and say, "See here - my drawing may not be perfect as far as realism is concerned, but it has a spirit the rotoscope can never give you."
(A technique invented by Max Fleischer, rotoscoping is an animation technique in which animators trace over live-action film movement, frame by frame, for use in animated films.)

Today marks the last time that the current version of Disneyland's Star Tours is
 open to the public. The following day the ride will close for renovations. When the upgraded Star
 Tours opens next year, new scenes from the most recent Star Wars films will be added.
The Sky High Original Soundtrack is released on Hollywood Records. Featuring covers 
of songs from the 1980s, Sky High will generally open in theaters July 29.
Alice in Wonderland voice cast:
Kathryn Beaumont as Alice  /  Ed Wynn as Mad Hatter  /  Richard Haydn as Caterpillar  /  Sterling Holloway as Cheshire Cat 
Jerry Colonna as March Hare  /  Verna Felton as Queen of Hearts  /  J. Pat O'Malley as Tweedlee & Tweedledum  /  Bill Thompson as White Rabbit
"I remember arriving at the theatre and being helped from the vehicle by the Mad 
Hatter. Yes, Walt was there, and it was wonderful having pictures taken with him. He looked so handsome in his tuxedo!" -Kathryn Beaumont
July 26
This Day in Disney History - THE FIRST - THE ORIGINAL
Traveling in time since 1999!
 Although born July 20, for Charlie Ridgway's 90th birthday, Orlando Mayor
Buddy Dyer proclaims July 26, 2013, "Charles Ridgway Day" in the city of Orlando.
Now retired, Ridgway was a hard-charging newsman who made the leap from newspaper reporter to ace
media legend as the head of Public Relations for Walt Disney World Resort.
Voice actress and comedian Patricia "Patti" Deutsch Ross passes away at age 73 in Los Angeles, California. A frequent panelist on the TV game shows Match Game and Tattletales, she also provided voices for Disney films and television shows. Her credits included Tarzan (1999), The Emperor's New 
GrooveMonsters, Inc.(2001), Kronk's New Groove (2005), and The Emperor's New School (2007-2008).

Voice actress June Foray, best known as the voice of the animated character Rocky the Flying Squirrel (on The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show), passes away at age 99 in Los Angeles, California. With a career encompassing radio, theatrical shorts, feature films, television, record albums, video games, and talking toys, Foray supplied the voice of Witch Hazel for the Disney short Trick or Treat, Lucifer for Disney's feature Cinderella, Mrs. Featherby for Disney's DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp, and Grandmother Fa for Disney's direct-to-video Mulan II. Her vast television voice credits include Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears.
Disney's live-action feature Unidentified Flying Oddball (known in the U.K. as The Spaceman and King Arthur) is released to theaters. A comedy about an astronaut and his android double who travel back to the time of King Arthur, it features Dennis  Dugan, Jim Dale, Ron Moody, and Kenneth More. It is a twist on Mark Twain's story "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court."
Hollywood Pictures releases V.I. Warshawski, a film directed by Jeff Kanew and
starring Kathleen Turner. Tough female private eye `Vic' Warshawski dates a former ice hockey star,
whose body is later pulled out of Lake Michigan, leaving her to look after his 13-year-old daughter. Warshawski
finds herself not only tracking down a murderer, but protecting the child from the local mobsters.
Actress Helen Mirren is born Dame Helen Lydia Mirren in London, England. Her Disney/Touchstone film credits include Raising HelenThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the GalaxyNational Treasure: Book of SecretsMonsters UniversityThe Hundred-Foot Journeyand The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.
 Russi Taylor, the longtime official voice of Minnie Mouse, passes away in Glendale, California, at age 75. The Disney Legend first assumed the role of Minnie Mouse over 30 years ago after she
beat out more than 200 others during a 1986 audition. Taylor voiced the character in hundreds of Disney projects,
including television, theme park experiences, animated shorts and theatrical films.
"Russi was as close as family; as wonderful, funny, and sweet as Minnie Mouse, and as talented yet humble as you would expect, I will deeply and dearly miss her." -voice actor Bill Farmer