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Today in Disney History

May 23, 2014

Disney as a company has had a really long run and many important events have occurred throughout it. For that reason, I decided to start a new section for my Disney History blog, called Today in Disney History. This is my way of acknowledging the many years of dedication and effort that the company's people have worked to bring us all the magic that Disney translates into in our daily life. Some of these events may be smaller, while some others may have been more important for history but, all in all, they are what makes Disney what it is today.

  •  1922: Walt Disney incorporates his cartoon company Laugh-o-gram Films.
  • 1982: The TV special Computers Are People Too! is released, exploring interaction possibilities between people and computers.
  • 1983: Tokyo Disneyland welcomes its 1-millionth guest.
  • 1996: Disney joins McDonald's in a multi-national marketing alliance that lasts 10 years.
  • 2001: The Magic Carpets of Aladdin open at the Magic Kingdom.
  • 2009: My Little Princess, a Disney boutique for little girls opens at the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel.

Disney's Rides That Never Were

May 23, 2014

As you may have already noticed, Walt Disney was a very ambitious and creative man. He managed to create a company that started only with cartoons and wound up in an incredibly wide variety of industries. One of his most original inventions, though, was the theme park for both children and adults. Disneyland, his first venture in that area, became so popular that there were many other parks to follow all around the globe. What not so many people know is that these were not the only parks that Disney had in mind. In fact, he came up with tons of ideas and projects for new parks and rides in the existing ones. The problem was that not all of them were necessarily a good investment and were shot down, some from the very beginning, and others once they were already designed and ready to be executed. Here are some of Disney's rides that never were:

  • Atlantis expedition at Disneyland
  • Herbie the love bug ride in Fantasyland
  • An enchanted snow palace that gave you a peek into the Arctic life, also in Fantasyland
  • Lightkeeper, a potential replacement for the Main Street Electrical Parade
  • The Museum of the Weird, which became inspiration for the Haunted Mansion

Today in Disney History

May 22, 2014

Disney as a company has had a really long run and many important events have occurred throughout it. For that reason, I decided to start a new section for my Disney History blog, called Today in Disney History. This is my way of acknowledging the many years of dedication and effort that the company's people have worked to bring us all the magic that Disney translates into in our daily life. Some of these events may be smaller, while some others may have been more important for history but, all in all, they are what makes Disney what it is today.

  •  1946: Pinocchio was released in France.
  • 1968: Walt Disney Travel Company is formed in Florida.
  • 1992: Disney's Hollywood Pictures releases Encino Man
  • 1996: The Disney Store opens on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, becoming the biggest Disney Store ever.
  • 1998: Disney unveils their renovated Tomorrowland at Disneyland.
                 DisneyQuest has its soft opening in Florida

The Mickey Mouse Club

May 21, 2014

Can you believe that The Mickey Mouse Club's grand debut on TV was all the way back in 1955? It was actually one of the two TV shows created to help finance the Disneyland theme park that opened that year in California. While Walt Disney put a lot of his money into the project, it was not enough, so he made a deal with ABC. The television channel would finance the theme park in exchange for a Disney created TV show to be aired there. Disney first came up with the show Disneyland, where he would show previews and sneak peeks of what people would find in the theme park under construction. His second show was the Mickey Mouse Club.

The point of this show was to have a wide variety of sections that appealed children and teenagers. One of them, featuring the teenage cast members, was about teens encountering different day to day situations and problems, which they would have to solve through common sense or with the help and advice of respected elders. The Mickey Mouse Club was on the air until 1959, when ABC became uninterested with educational programs. In the 1960's, though, it was rerun for a few years. By the 1970's, Disney decided that it was time to give the idea a second chance and created the New Mickey Mouse Club, with a different image and structure. This formula failed, but it was again revived in the 1980's-90's as the All New Mickey Mouse Club and lasted until 1996. Many of today's celebrities came from that last cast, like Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. 

Today in Disney History

May 21, 2014

Disney as a company has had a really long run and many important events have occurred throughout it. For that reason, I decided to start a new section for my Disney History blog, called Today in Disney History. This is my way of acknowledging the many years of dedication and effort that the company's people have worked to bring us all the magic that Disney translates into in our daily life. Some of these events may be smaller, while some others may have been more important for history but, all in all, they are what makes Disney what it is today.

  • 1940: Disney's Pinocchio is released in the UK
  • 1998: Disneyland's new Tomorrowland is finally unveiled, after a strong renovation process
  • 1999: Bill Nye the Science Guy wins a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Children's Series

Today in Disney History

May 20, 2014

Disney as a company has had a really long run and many important events have occurred throughout it. For that reason, I decided to start a new section for my Disney History blog, called Today in Disney History. This is my way of acknowledging the many years of dedication and effort that the company's people have worked to bring us all the magic that Disney translates into in our daily life. Some of these events may be smaller, while some others may have been more important for history but, all in all, they are what makes Disney what it is today.

  • 1967: Disneyland's new ride Pirates of the Caribbean makes it to the cover of Amusement Business magazine.
  • 1994: Disney's Aladdin, the return of Jafar is released on this day.
  • 2008: Disney announced their donation of $1 million to help victims of the earthquake in China.
  • 2011: Disney's Pirate of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides opens on this day in US theaters.

The Opening of Disneyland

May 19, 2014

The first theme park Disney ever planned for was Disneyland, and it opened in Anaheim California on July 17, 1955. After $17 million invested in its construction, Walt Disney was really hoping that it was a success.

Disney had come up with the idea of the theme park himself, on his frequent visits to Griffith Park in Los Angeles. You see, he would often take his children there to go on the rides, but all he could do was sit back and watch, which was of course boring. As he saw that all other parents were in the same situation, he envisioned a park where both children and adults could play. Originally, he planned to make it a small, eight acre park located in Burbank, where the Disney Studios were, but as he came up with more and more attractions, he realized that he needed a much bigger space.

World War II came around and forced Disney to postpone his plans for a theme park, and so did several big projects for the company later on. It was not until 1953 that they could start the theme park's creation. They first found a location through the Stanford Research Institute and made a deal with ABC to help finance the park, so they could finally start building it by July, 1954. The park received almost 30,000 people on its opening day and, through the first day, quite a few things went wrong. Nevertheless, the whole concept was such a success that it opened to the general public the day after and has rarely stopped receiving guests until today.

Today in Disney History

May 19, 2014

Disney as a company has had a really long run and many important events have occurred throughout it. For that reason, I decided to start a new section for my Disney History blog, called Today in Disney History. This is my way of acknowledging the many years of dedication and effort that the company's people have worked to bring us all the magic that Disney translates into in our daily life. Some of these events may be smaller, while some others may have been more important for history but, all in all, they are what makes Disney what it is today.

  • 1934: Mickey Mouse's cartoon Gulliver Mickey is released to be a great hit.
  • 1960: Disney's Pollyanna is released, only to break all of our hearts.
  • 2000: Disney's animated Dinosaur is released.
  • 2006: A soft version of Epcot's Mission: Space opens to guests.

Who Came First: The Rabbit or The Mouse?

May 18, 2014

A little known fact about the beginning of the Disney Brothers Studio is that Mickey Mouse, the character that they became famous for, was not the first one created by them. In 1927, little over a year before Mickey Mouse's debut, Walt and his gang released the first Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoon, called Trolley Troubles. It all started out as a way to produce a show that was not as expensive as the Alice Comedies because they were becoming economically unsustainable for them. Charles Mintz, who was working for Disney at the time, came up with the idea of creating a cartoon and later selling it to Universal, who were looking to get into that genre.

Oswald, an anthropomorphic rabbit was born for that purpose, and he became an instant success. Although it was a big hit, the studio still had financial troubles and offered Walt Disney a 20% cut in his contract that made him quit. Without Disney, Universal took complete control of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and continued creating his cartoons until 1943. These movies were very successful, but no rival to Mickey Mouse's debut as the first non-silent cartoon with Steamboat Willie in 1928. The crazy thing is that Oswald the Lucky Rabbit actually ended up returning to Disney in the last decade.

Today in Disney History

May 18, 2014

Disney as a company has had a really long run and many important events have occurred throughout it. For that reason, I decided to start a new section for my Disney History blog, called Today in Disney History. This is my way of acknowledging the many years of dedication and effort that the company's people have worked to bring us all the magic that Disney translates into in our daily life. Some of these events may be smaller, while some others may have been more important for history but, all in all, they are what makes Disney what it is today.

  • 1951: Disney's Mickey and Pluto cartoon Plutopia is released.
  • 1990: The Little Mermaid is released on video, making it ten Disney classics in this format.
  • 1993: The hit TV series Full House visits Disney in "The House Meets the Mouse".
  • 1999: The soundtrack to Tarzan is released by Disney Records.
  • 2003: Disney-Pixar's Finding Nemo premiers in Hollywood.
  • 2007: WiFi hotspots are introduced to Disneyland and Disney World.

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