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    Disney History

    Thanks for visiting This Day in Disney History. Glad to see the info is being put to good use and that Disney fans are interested in the history of Walt's company.
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    March 19

    1928:
    Disney's Oswald the Lucky Rabbit black & white silent short Bright Lights is released.

    1995:
    The Penny Arcade, the Main Street Bookstore, and the House of Magic (all located on Main Street USA in Disney World) close. The space will become part of the Main Street Athletic Company.

    1999:
    Elton John appears on TV's The Rosie O'Donnell Show, promoting Disney's "Aida," for which he has written the music.
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    March 20

    1929:
    Disney's Mickey Mouse cartoon The Opry House is released.

    1930:
    Disney's Silly Symphony cartoon Cannibal Capers is released.

    1942:
    The Disney film Symphony Hour featuring Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy is released.

    1948:
    At the 20th Academy Awards in Los Angeles, Disney wins 2 Oscars for the film Song of the South. Allie Wrubel and Ray Gilbert win for their song "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah." Actor James Baskett wins a Special Award for his heartwarming portrayal of Uncle Remus.

    1952:
    Disney's True Life Adventure short Nature's Half Acre wins an Oscar (Short Subject/Two Reel) at the 24th Academy Awards (held at at the RKO Pantages Theatre in Hollywood).

    1985:
    The Alpine Haus restaurant opens in Tokyo Disneyland.

    1986:
    Tokyo Disneyland welcomes its 30-millionth guest.

    1991:
    A jury in Los Angeles awards singer Peggy Lee more than 3.8-million dollars in videocassette profits for her singing and songwriting in Disney's animated classic "Lady and the Tramp." (A judge will later reduce the award to $2.3-million.) The singer had been paid only $3,500 for co-writing six songs and providing the voice for four characters in the 1955 film.

    2001:
    Disney's 1971 feature film Bedknobs And Broomsticks: 30th Anniversary Edition is released on video.
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    March 21

    1927:
    The Alice Comedy Alice in the Alps is released.

    1936:
    Mika Mis, the first official Disney magazine to be published in Serbia, makes its debut. It is launched by Aleksandar J. Ivkovic.

    1952:
    Disney's Chip and Dale cartoon "Two Chips and a Miss" is released.

    1956:
    Walt Disney Productions is awarded an Oscar for Men Against the Arctic at the 1955 Academy Awards. (Documentary/Short Subjects)


    1975:
    Disneyland's "Mission to Mars" opens in Tomorrowland. (This attraction replaces "Flight to the Moon.")

    1994:
    TIME magazine runs an article about Disney's plans for a $650 million American history and entertainment park, called Disney's America.

    1996:
    Disneyland unveils its long-awaited plans to renovate Tomorrowland. They include replacing the slow PeopleMover with a faster new attraction, Rocket Rods. The extensive project is due for completion in Spring 1998.

    2003:
    Columnist Mike Thomas describes his trip to the Magic Kingdom to escape the current realities of war in an Orlando Sentinel article titled "Ta-da! Disney's magic makes war disappear."
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    March22

    1935:
    Disney's Silly Symphony cartoon "The Golden Touch" (directed by Walt) is released.

    1975:
    The Lake Buena Vista Village, an area of shops along the shores of Lake Buena Vista at Disney World, officially opens. It provides the first non-park shopping at Disney World and is promoted as a "restful shopping atmosphere similar to a New England seaside village."

    1998:
    In Anaheim, California, the Grand Hotel, located just east of Harbor Blvd on Freedman Way, is imploded at 6:45 AM by Controlled Demolition, Incorporated in a blast that lasts just over twenty seconds. A crowd of about 200 spectators watch from the Santa Ana freeway's Freedman Way off ramp. Other spectators observe the building's destruction from their rooms in the Disneyland and Disneyland Pacific Hotels, and even atop the Matterhorn. The metal components of the building will be recycled, and the concrete will be pulverized on-site to form the base of the new Disneyland parking area.
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    March23

    1936:
    Artist Ollie Johnston becomes master animator Fred Moore's assistant at the Disney Studio.

    Film star Mary Pickford tells a Boston Post reporter, "There is only one Walt Disney ... He is the greatest producer the industry has ever turned out."

    1950:
    Bobby Driscoll is given a special award at the Academy Awards, for oustanding juvenile actor of 1949. He had portrayed Jerry in Disney's 1949 So Dear to My Heart and Johnny in Disney's 1946 Song of the South.

    1967:
    Disney's 17-minute cartoon "Scrooge McDuck and Money" is released. It is Uncle Scrooge's first major animated appearance.

    1969:
    At Disneyland, 100 VWs parade down Main Street to celebrate Love Bug Day.

    1987:
    The Walt Disney Company signs a contract with the French national, regional and local governments, which promises Disney: favorable loan terms; that the rapid transit railway system will be extended to the theme park from Paris; that two interchanges will be built to link Euro Disneyland with a main highway; and that a special station for high-speed trains will be constructed at the park.


    1996:
    The Walt Disney Company and McDonald's Corporation sign a 10-year multi-national promotional alliance, set to begin in January 1997.

    1998:
    At the 1997 Academy Awards, Don Iwerks (co-founder of Iwerks Entertainment) is given the Gordon E. Sawyer Award for accomplishments in the field of motion picture science and technology. Iwerks, who in his early years worked for Disney, is the son of legendary Disney animator Ub Iwerks.

    2000:
    Disney's stage show Aida opens at the Palace Theatre in New York City.

    2003:
    An animated 3D Mickey Mouse presents the Best Animated Short Oscar at the 75th Annual Academy Awards. The Disney distributed Spirited Away is awarded Best Animated Feature.

    The Main Street Electrical Parade gives its last performance at Disneyland Paris.

    2004:
    Disney Publishing Worldwide announces that it is launching W.I.T.C.H., a book series about five ordinary friends with an extraordinary secret - they each have the power to control a natural element. W.I.T.C.H. is the acronym of the first names of the 5 heroines.

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    March24

    1925:
    Disney's Alice comedy film Alice Solves the Puzzle premieres at the Rivoli Theater in New York City.

    1934:
    Disney's Silly Symphony Easter-themed cartoon "Funny Little Bunnies" is released.

    1949:
    An Academy Award in the Short Subjects/Two Reels category is won for Disney's True Life Adventure film "Seal Island," at the 21st annual event (held at the AMPAS Theatre in Los Angeles).

    1956:
    At Disneyland, the Astro-jets open for business in Tomorrowland.

    2002:
    Randy Newman's "If I Didn't Have You" from Disney's Monsters, Inc. is awarded an Oscar for Best Song at the 2001 Academy Awards.

    2003:
    Starting this day, the El Capitan Theatre presents Piglet's Big Movie.
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    March 25

    1954:
    Disney is awarded 4 Oscars at the 1953 Academy Awards. The Short Subjects/Cartoon category is won by Disney's Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom. Disney's True Life Adventure Bear Country wins an Oscar for Short Subjects/Two Reel. The Disney/RKO The Alaskan Eskimo is awarded for Documentary/Short Subject. The True Life Adventure
    The Living Desert wins for Documentary/Feature.

    1991:
    Disney's **** Tracy walks away with 3 Oscars at the 1990 Academy Awards .

    1996:
    Animator John Lasseter accepts the Academy Award for Special Achievement for his "inspired leadership of the Disney/Pixar Toy Story Team resulting in the first feature-length computer animated film." Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz win Best Song for their "Colors of the Wind," and Original Musical Score for their work on Disney's Pocahontas.

    2003:
    Who Framed Roger Rabbit is released on a 2-disc DVD set and a special edition VHS.

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    March 26


    1927:
    Live action filming is shot for 5 of Walt Disney's Alice Comedy films.

    1955:
    "The Ballad Of Davy Crockett" by Bill Hayes peaks at #1 on the pop singles chart.

    1958:
    At the 13th Academy Awards in Los Angeles, Disney's live action short "The Wetback Hound" is awarded an Oscar.

    1990:
    Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's song "Under the Sea" from Disney's The Little Mermaid wins an Oscar for Best Song at the 62nd Academy Awards. Menken is also awarded for his original score for The Little Mermaid.

    1994:
    At Disney's EPCOT, Food Rocks (an animatronic musical food group revue) replaces Kitchen Kabaret.

    1999:
    The Disney/Jumbo Pictures animated film Doug's 1st Movie (based on the Saturday morning kids show) is officially released.

    2000:
    "You'll Be In My Heart" (written and performed by Phil Collins) from the Disney feature Tarzan wins an Oscar for Best Song at the 72nd Academy Awards.

    2003:
    The film "Wonders of China" ends its run at Epcot.

    2004:
    An article titled "Hats off to 'Davy,' Fess Parker"by Susan Wloszczyna appears in USA TODAY. Parker is best known for his role of Davy Crockett in the Disneyland TV series.

    Roy Disney gives a speech to the Council of Institutional Investors in Washington, D.C. He discusses the ongoing situation at The Walt Disney Company and the relationship between the owners of public companies and their stewards.
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    March 27

    1930:
    George Borgfeldt and Company issues its first Disney merchandising license to Walkburger, Tanner and Company of Switzerland. They will manufacture handkerchiefs featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

    1952:
    The first public announcement of Walt Disney's plans to build Disneyland are printed in the Burbank Daily Review.

    1995:
    Elton John and Tim Rice are presented with the Oscar for Best Song in a motion picture for The Lion King's "Can You Feel The Love Tonight." Disney's animated feature also receives an award for Original Score (by Hans Zimmer). David Letterman hosts the 67th Academy Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium.

    1999:
    The rededication of the E. P. Ripley, Disneyland Railroad's Steam Engine #2 takes place at Disneyland. The train (which has been in service since the park's opening day in 1955), was considered Walt Disney's favorite attraction. It has been totally restored.


    2001:
    Disney releases the CD Cruella's Favorite Villain Songs.

    2003:
    The Atlanta Braves take on the Houston Astros in their last 2003 pre-season baseball game at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex
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    March 28

    1929:
    Disney's Mickey Mouse short The Opry House is released. It is the first time Mickey is seen wearing his trademark white gloves.

    1936:
    Disney's Silly Symphony cartoon "Elmer Elephant" is released.

    1941:
    The Disney film "A Gentleman's Gentleman" featuring Pluto is released.

    1953:
    Disney releases the animated Goofy short "Father's Day Off."


    1958:
    The Disneyland Railroad's newest engine; the Fred S. Gurley,
    is commissioned into service. Originally built in 1894 by Baldwin Locomotive Works, it is named for 1958 Santa Fe Railroad President Fred Gurley.

    1987:
    The first Disney Store opens in Glendale, California.

    1997:
    The Atlanta Braves put Disney's Wide World of Sports into motion when their exhibition game with the Cincinnati Reds launches competitive play at the brand new sports complex in Florida.

    1998:
    In Florida, animator Marc Davis adds his signature and handprints in cement in front of the Mann's Chinese Theater replica in the Disney-MGM Studios.

    2000:
    Disneyland officials lift the ban on park employees wearing mustaches - an edict that had been put into effect in 1957 by Walt Disney himself.

    2003:
    Wetzel's Pretzels opens a store and kiosk in the Downtown Disney area of Disney World. In addition to hand-rolled pretzels, Wetzel's features baked pretzel dogs, fresh squeezed lemonade and frozen fruit drinks.

    A Disneyland Resort Pin Trading Night is held in the Pacific Ballroom at the Paradise Pier Hotel.
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    March 29

    1951:
    Disney's True Life Adventure short In Beaver Valley wins an Oscar (Short Subject/Two Reel) at the 1950 Academy Awards.

    1963:
    Disney's live-action feature film Miracle of the White Stallions
    featuring Robert Taylor, Eddie Albert and James Franciscus is generally released.

    1993:
    At the 65th Academy Awards, "A Whole New World" written by Alan Menken and Tim Rice from Disney's Aladdin, wins an Oscar for Best Song. The animated feature receives an award for Original Score


    2001:
    The Atlanta Braves play their last spring training game of the season at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex, when they take on the Florida Marlins.

    2002:
    Disney's The Rookie, starring Dennis Quaid as high school baseball coach turned big league pitcher Jim Morris, opens in theaters.
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    March 30

    1955:
    Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea wins two Oscars at the 27th Academy Awards (held at the RKO Pantages Theater in Los Angeles). John Meehan and Emile Kuri win Oscars for Art Direction/Color, and Walt Disney Productions wins for Special Effects. Disney's True Life Adventure The Vanishing Prairie is awarded an Academy Award for Documentary/Feature.

    1992:
    Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson sing the Oscar-nominated theme song "Beauty and the Beast," at the 64th Annual Academy Awards . The tune written by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman wins Best Song and the animated feature also gains an Oscar for Original Score. Although it doesn't win, Beauty and the Beast is nominated for Best Picture ... a first for an animated feature.

    2003:
    Disney's Inline Marathon (a 26.2-mile event) takes place at Disney World. The event, created by Disney Sports Attractions in conjunction with International Inline Skating Association and National Skate Patrol, winds through the theme parks and the resort areas.

    2004:
    Fess Parker (known for his Disney role of Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone) appears in Washington, D.C., to donate one of his original caps as well as a buckskin ensemble to the Smithsonian National Museum.
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    March 31

    1958:
    The 306-foot long Grand Canyon Diarama is added to the Disneyland Railway between the Tomorrowland and Main Street stations. The painting was done on a special seamless canvas, which required 4,800 manhours to complete, using 300 gallons of paint in 14 colors!

    2001:
    In Florida, the new Animal Kingdom Lodge holds a 3-day open house for Walt Disney World Annual Passholders. The 1,307-room deluxe hotel is about one mile west of the Animal Kingdom Park.

    Radio Disney DJs Just Plain Mark & Zippy broadcast live from Disneyland's Tomorrowland Terrace to celebrate the release of "Radio Disney Jams 3."

    2004:
    After a $92 million expansion, the U.S. Army reopens its military only resort Shades of Green.

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    April 1

    1924:
    Disney's Alice Comedy Alice's Spooky Adventure, starring Virginia Davis, is released.

    1938:
    Disney's Silly Symphony cartoon "The Moth and the Flame" is released.

    1946:
    Animator Frank Thomas returns to work at the Disney Studio after serving 4 years in the Army Air Corps.

    1976:
    Treasure Island reopens at Walt Disney World as Discovery Island, after being closed since the beginning of the year for the addition of a walk-through aviary, exotic flora and fauna, and a snack bar.

    1983:
    Walt Disney Pictures is incorporated as a separate company responsible for the development, production and marketing of all live-action films and commercial television programming.

    1996:
    "Aida" premieres for Disney executives at the New Amsterdam Theatre (which Disney bought and refurbished) in New York City. Consisting of about nineteen songs, the Broadway show is tentatively budgeted at $15 million, and is aimed at a pop-fan audience. The Disney executives have qualms about calling the show "Aida" and continued to search for a different title. By early 1998, they will finally settle on, "Elaborate Lives." (But will later return to the original title.)

    2001:
    The Main Street Electrical Parade, in the Magic Kingdom at Disney World, has its last run. (The Spectromagic parade will return to the Magic Kingdom in its place.)

    Effective this day, Disney World combines the Port Orleans and Dixie Landings resorts into a single resort called Port Orleans Resort. The consolidation will occur over the next nine months.

    2003:
    Walt Disney Records releases the CD "O Mickey, Where Art Thou?" a collection of bluegrass flavored Disney tunes.

    The Art of Disney at Disney World's Animal Kingdom theme park has its grand opening.
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