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General Disney Trivia and Games Discuss This Day in Disney History in the Trivia and Games Forums forums; January 16 1890: Edna Francis, future wife of Roy O. Disney, is born in Reese, Kansas. She will go on to work, in the early days of the Disney Studios, ...
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    Today in Disney History

    January 16

    1890:
    Edna Francis, future wife of Roy O. Disney, is born in Reese, Kansas. She will go on to work, in the early days of the Disney Studios, as an ink artist.

    1930:
    Disney's Silly Symphony cartoon "Summer" is released. Directed by animator Ub Iwerks, is the second of the 4 seasons Symphony. The idea for Silly Symphonies had been suggested by Carl Stalling, a theater organist from Kansas City and a good friend of Walt's.

    1932:
    Disney's Silly Symphony cartoon "The Bird Store" is released.

    1936:
    The New York Journal reports that film director Rene Clair feels that Charlie Chaplin and Walt Disney are both outstanding figures in the movies at this time. "They have no outside interference," she explains, "they act as their own producer, director, and even attend to their own stories and musical scores. Their artistry is sublime."

    1963:
    Disney's live-action feature film "Son of Flubber," starring Fred MacMurray, Nancy Olsen, and Ed Wynn, is generally released. It is a sequel to the film "The Absent-Minded Professor."

    1994:
    A new sports tradition at Disney World begins on this cold morning when approximately 8,200 runners from around the world line up for the first annual Walt Disney World Marathon. The 26.2-mile route runs along normal and backstage roads, past several resorts, and literally through all three theme parks.
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    This Day in Disney History

    January 17

    1932:

    The very first color Mickey Mouse comic strip (written and drawn by Floyd Gottfredson) is published.

    1962:
    Construction begins on Disneyland's Swiss Family Treehouse.

    1976:
    The Disney publicity department sponsors a 2-day Mouseketeer reunion at Disneyland.


    1977:
    The first New Mickey Mouse Club episode airs on KTTV in Los Angeles at 5 pm. Besides being produced in color, a major change in this version from the 1950's series is the daily themes. Monday is Who, What, Why, Where, When and How Day; Tuesday is Let's Go Day; Wednesday is Surprise Day; Thursday is Discovery Day; and Friday is Showtime Day.

    2003:
    Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular officially debuts at the
    Hyperion Theater at Disney's California Adventure.
    (Although today is the official debut, the live stage show has been running since December 2002.)

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    Today in Disney History

    January 18

    1958:
    Ken-L-Land, a pet care facility, sponsored by Quaker Oats Ken-L-Ration Division located outside the Disneyland main gate, opens.

    1996:
    The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences votes to award director/writer John Lasseter a Special Achievement Award for his contribution to the Disney/Pixar film, "Toy Story."

    1997:
    At Disneyland Paris, the 'Carnival Castle' is officially unveiled for the park's 5th anniversary year. The theme is inspired by Disney's current animated feature, "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."

    2002:
    Disney's "Snow Dogs" starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. opens in theaters.

    Disney designers meet with the director of the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral to discuss a proposed Space Pavilion in Epcot. The pavilion (expected to open late 2002 or early 2003) will feature interactive exhibits, shows, and the brand new e-ticket ride, Mission: SPACE.

    The Disney Channel Original Movie "Double Teamed" first airs.
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    Today in Disney History

    January 19

    1949:
    The Disney film "So Dear to My Heart," starring Bobby Driscoll, Luana Patten, and Burl Ives is released. The combination live- action and animated film tells the story of Jeremiah a determined country boy who adopts a mischievous black lamb named Danny. (It is one of only two films to be released by the Disney Studios in 1949.) The film's song "Lavender Blue" (written by Eliot Daniel & Larry Morey) will be nominated for an Academy Award.

    1955:
    The Disneyland television series presents "Monsters of the Deep." Walt Disney takes a look at the history of legendary monsters which include the giant octopus from his 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea film.

    1971:
    Recreacres, Incorporated, which was formed to help buy up property for the Walt Disney World Resort, changes its name to Buena Vista Land Company, Incorporated.

    2001:
    A special celebration and preview of Disney's California Adventure park is held from 4:00 p.m. to midnight. The event includes a scavenger hunt through Disney's newest park and a panel discussion with Imagineers and artists who created Disney's California Adventure.
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    Today in Disney History

    January 20

    2002:
    The NFFC, the club for Disneyana Enthusiasts host the Worlds Largest Strictly Disneyana Show and Sale at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Garden Grove (about a mile from Disneyland).
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    January 24

    1927:
    The Alice Comedy Alice Foils the Pirates is released.

    1930:
    Walt Disney signs a contract with King Features for his Mickey Mouse comic strip.

    1993:
    Mickey's Toontown opens at Disneyland in California. Among the new attractions is Gadget's Go Coaster (a children's roller coaster based on Chip 'n' Dale's Rescue Rangers.)

    2000:
    Robert A. Iger (former chairman of the Disney-owned ABC Group and president of Walt Disney International) is named president and chief operating officer of The Walt Disney Co. as well as a member of its board of directors.

    SoapNet (a cable station launched by Disney/ABC) hits the air.


    2002:
    Disney announces it will release its major holiday 2002 animated feature, "Treasure Planet," simultaneously in 35mm venues as well as in IMAX theaters on November 27. The film was directed by John Musker and Ron Clements (the team responsible for such classics as "The Little Mermaid") and features the vocal talents of Emma Thompson, Martin Short, and Brian Murray. Based on Robert Louis Stevenson's "Treasure Island," "Treasure Planet" is an animated space adventure that follows a fifteen-year-olds' fantastic journey across a parallel universe.

    2003:
    More than 100 Oscar statuettes presented over the past 75 years are featured in a new exhibition at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences beginning this day. Included in the exhibit is the regular sized statuette and its seven smaller friends that were awarded to Walt Disney for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
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    January 25

    1961:
    Disney's 17th animated feature film "101 Dalmatians" premieres. It is the first Disney feature to solely use the Xerox process for transferring the animators' drawings to cels. Prior to this, each one of the animators' drawings had to be hand-traced in ink onto a cel. The new process sped up production greatly.
    (The film will be generally released the following month.)

    1993:
    Toontown has its official grand opening at Disneyland. On hand to take part in a parade and festivities are Michael Eisner and such celebrities as Robin Williams, Sally Fields, Whoopie Goldberg, Dan Ackroyd, Danny DeVito, Ted Danson, and Tom Selleck. (Toontown will be dedicated the following day.

    1999:
    McDonald's opens a themed restaurant in the Disney Village area at Disneyland Paris.

    2002:
    The Orlando Sentinel reports that Disney World plans to demolish about one-fourth of its troubled Disney Institute and build 192 new time-share units there.

    2004:
    The historic Egyptian Theater in Hollywood screens Disney's Sleeping Beauty in its original 70MM format.

    Disney's Dreams on Parade begins running at Tokyo Disneyland as part of the park's 20th anniversary celebration.
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    JANUARY 26

    1993
    Disneyland's newest section Toontown, is dedicated by Harry Anderson, Toontown's honorary mayor.

    1994:
    Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin debuts in Disneyland's Toontown. The ride contains 16 Audio-Animatronics, 59 animated props, and 20 special effects.

    1995:
    The Walt Disney Comapny announces that earnings have grown 31 percent in its fiscal first quarter. The company's investment in Euro Disney resulted in income of $27.9 million, reflecting a gain of $55 million from the sale of approximately
    75 million shares to Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

    1998:
    Ranch and Grove Holding Corporation, which has owned some of the land in the Walt Disney World Resort since 1972, is merged into the Walt Disney World Company.

    2002:
    Disney's Saturday Morning Movies continues at the El Capitan Theater with the showing of Pinocchio. Guests are invited to dress as their favorite Disney character from the film.

    2004:
    The Kansas City Star reports that a museum honoring Walt Disney is to be created on the site of his old Laugh-O-Gram Studios in Kansas City.
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    January 27

    1996:
    The Walt Disney World Resort hosts the inaugural Indy 200 race in the new, state-of-the-art Walt Disney World Speedway. The race is put together by the Resort's new sports department and the Indy Racing League.

    1999:
    The French newspaper "Le Parisien" breaks the story that the second theme park at Disneyland Paris has finally been approved for construction. Broadly based on Florida's Disney-MGM Studios, the new park will be a celebration of the cinema. (The targeted opening date is April 2002, to coincide with Disneyland Paris's tenth anniversary.)

    2004:
    The Broadway musical Beauty and the Beast plays performance number 4,000.

    Disney releases the DVD Alice in Wonderland (Masterpiece Edtion).

    Walt Disney Records releases "Disneymania 2" a CD of Disney songs performed by such artists as Raven, Jump 5, and Hilary Duff.

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announce the nominees for the 76th Annual Academy Awards. Disney's Brother Bear, Finding Nemo and Destino all receive nominations as does actor Johnny Depp for his role in Disney's live-action Pirates of the Caribbean.

    Roy Disney and Stanley Gold make public their decision to "vote no" on the re-election of 4 key Disney directors (including CEO Michael Eisner).
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    January 28

    1932:
    The Mickey Mouse short The Duck Hunt is released.

    1946:
    The Disney film "The Three Caballeros" is nominated for two Academy Awards. This animated feature, starring Donald Duck, had been released February 3, 1945.

    1980:
    The Industrial Bank of Japan announces it and nearly 30 other Japanese banks have agreed to lend money to the Oriental Land Company to build a $300-million Disney theme park in Tokyo.

    1982:
    Wally Boag (the original Pecos Bill) gives his last performance at the Golden Horseshoe Revue at Disneyland. He has done the show almost continuously since its opening in 1955, thus putting him in the Guiness Book of Records for the most number of performances of a show.

    1988:
    Groundbreaking for the Dolphin Hotel and Swan Hotel complex begins in Disney World. Michael Graves of Princeton, New Jersey is the architect responsible for these 2 hotels.

    1999:
    Cirque du Soleil, the Montreal-based touring circus that combines† acrobatics, theatrics, special effects and original music, officially opens its third permanent U.S. facility at Downtown Disney's West End.
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    January 29

    1920:
    Walt Disney starts his first job as an artist at $40 week with the Kansas City Slide Company. (Disney will work there for more than two years helping to produce slides and one-minute films shown as advertisements in movie theaters.)

    1941:
    Disney's 3rd feature film "Fantasia" has its Hollywood premiere. (The film had its general release in November 1940.)

    1959:
    Disney's 16th feature film "Sleeping Beauty" premieres at the Fox Wilshire Theater in Los Angeles. (It will win an Oscar for Best Music/Scoring of a Musical Picture.)

    1961:
    Mailman Herbert A. Disney (eldest brother of Walt Disney) dies.

    1987:
    Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs parade onto the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, in celebration of Disney's highest-ever first quarter revenues.

    2002:
    Disney's "Atlantis: The Lost Empire" is released on DVD and video.

    Ten former Major League Baseball players participate in the Atlanta Braves Dream Week Fantasy Camp at Disney's Wide World of Sports in Florida.

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    January 30

    1884:
    Vaudeville comic Eddie Collins (who was the performance model for Dopey in Disney's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs") is born in New Jersey.

    1988:
    Disney World's EPCOT debuts "IllumiNations." The nighttime show includes special-effects projectors, themed music, fireworks, and these words:
    "Good evening and welcome to World Showcase. Tonight we are pleased to present a visual journey, an international fantasy of music and light. We're about to embark on a sparkling, abstract expedition around World Showcase. With the music as your passport, we'll discover sights and sounds from colorful ports of call. And to celebrate our journey, the countries will be united by the festive elements of water, fire, and light. And now, let your imagination be your guide as EPCOT Center proudly presents IllumiNations!"

    2001:
    Disney's "Dinosaur" thunders onto DVD and video.

    A remastered original soundtrack from Disney's Mary Poppins is released.
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    January 31

    1998:
    Disney World's Cinderella Castle (decorated like a cake for the park's 25th anniversary celebration) is returned to its
    traditional look.

    2002:
    As of this day, Disney stops selling Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Tarzan, Mulan, and Pinocchio on VHS and DVD.


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    Glad the Castle went back.

    Thanks for that last reminder Brian. LK2 is going back today as well.

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    February 1

    1925:
    Disney's Alice Comedy "Alice Gets Stung" is released. (It is the last time actress Virginia Davis will portray Alice.)

    1926:
    The Alice Comedy Alice's Little Parade is released.

    1989:
    Hollywood Pictures (part of the Disney family) is created in order to help cope with the heavy load of movies that Touchstone Pictures is dealing with. (Arachnophobia will be Hollywood Pictures' first release.)

    1996:
    A 2-day Dapper Dans reunion begins at Disneyland.

    1999:
    A month-long salute to African-Americans in history begins in Disney World. History, culture, music and dance take center stage at the 4 theme parks and the Downtown Disney entertainment complex.

    2001:
    It is reported that Disney executives are giving serious thought to letting LEGO (the Danish toy manufacturer) build its next stateside park on Disney World soil. (LEGOLAND California, the first park created in the U.S. by LEGO, includes rides, hands-on building challenges, interactive attractions, wild coasters, and shopping opportunities.)

    2003:
    The 30th Annual Annie Awards take place at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, CA. Animator Doug Sweetland picks up an Annie for his work in Disney's Monsters, Inc. Daveigh Chase wins an award for the voice of Lilo in Disney's Lilo & Stich. Veteran voice actor Corey Burton wins for the voice of Ludwig Von Drake in Disney's House of Mouse. The Windsor McCay award (given to individuals for a lifetime of achievement in animation) is presented to Floyd Norman and the Sherman brothers. Norman worked at Disney Studios on Sleeping Beauty & created story sketches for The Jungle Book. Songwriters Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman contributed greatly to the musical legacy of countless Disney animated features.

    Disney World's Diamond Horseshoe Revue closes their saloon doors for good with a final performance. It will be replaced with Goofy's Country Dancin' Jamboree.

    2004:
    Immediately following the New England Patriots' Super Bowl win, quarterback Tom Brady is captured on video exclaiming: "I'm going to Disney World!" (The 34th episode of the long-running TV ad will air all over the country the following morning.)
    Brian
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