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General Disney Trivia and Games Discuss This Day in Disney History in the Trivia and Games Forums forums; May 14 1923: Walt Disney writes to New York film distributor Margaret J. Winkler, looking for a distributor for his new Alice's Wonderland film. 1928: Disney's Oswald the Lucky Rabbit ...
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    May 14

    1923:
    Walt Disney writes to New York film distributor Margaret J. Winkler, looking for a distributor for his new Alice's Wonderland film.

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

    1972:
    In Los Angeles, Sotheby's holds the first auction devoted to Disneyana.

    1999:
    Walt Disney Pictures' 1982 landmark computer-animated feature Tron returns for a special one-week limited engagement at The El Capitan Theatre in California.

    The Disney film Endurance (which depicts the true story of Ethiopian long-distance runner Haile Gebrselassie) is released.

    2001:
    Disney Online and Compaq Computer Corporation unveil an all-new high-tech exhibit at Disney's Internet Zone at INNOVENTIONS (located at Walt Disney World's Epcot). Disney's Internet Zone features the Mission: SPACE Launch Center exhibit, presented by Compaq. The experience is a precursor to the Mission: SPACE attraction which is scheduled to open in 2003. Disney's Internet Zone provides a fun, family-oriented experience where guests can interact with new technology and Internet focused products. At INNOVENTIONS, Disney guests can experience the near future while they test and try products that are leading our world through the new millennium.

    2002:
    Disney's 1988 Oliver and Company (inspired by the classic Charles Dickens novel "Oliver Twist") is released on DVD and VHS.

    Disney Interactive announces their newest 3D action role-playing game, KINGDOM HEARTS.

    2004:
    Starting today, Star Wars characters come to life at Disney’s MGM Studios for 5 consecutive weekends.

    Disney's "Blast to the Past: A Celebration of Walt Disney Art Classics" begins its 3-day run at Disneyland.
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    May 15

    1928:
    Plane Crazy, Walt Disney's first silent film to feature Mickey & Minnie Mouse, premieres as a sneak preview at a theatre on Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles, California. The film, a parody of the Charles Lindbergh craze, has cost $1,772 to make. Sound will later be added when it is re-released as the third Mickey Mouse cartoon.

    1930:
    Disney's Mickey Mouse cartoon The Cactus Kid is released.

    1937:
    Disney's Silly Symphony cartoon Little Hiawatha is released.

    1998:
    Bill Nye (of the syndicated television show Disney Presents Bill Nye the Science Guy) wins a Daytime Emmy for Performer in a Children's Series.

    2001:
    The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in California, features "Walt Disney - The Man and His Magic," an exhibit about Walt.

    Over 200 Disney cast members perform in "FLASHBACK: When You Wish Upon A Star" for family, friends and fellow cast members at the Hyperion Theater in Disney's California Adventure. Four musical stories are performed by cast members representing areas of the Disneyland Resort. Ticket and food sales are donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Orange County. The event raises $16,000.
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    May 16


    1927:
    Disney's Alice Comedy Alice's Three Bad Eggs is released.

    1928:
    Walt Disney applies for a trademark for "Mickey Mouse," for use in motion pictures.

    1989:
    An animation cel and background from Disney's 1934 Mickey Mouse cartoon Orphan's Benefit are sold for $286,000. It is the highest price ever paid.

    1990:
    Muppet creator, filmmaker, and television producer Jim Henson dies of pneumonia less than 24 hours after being rushed to a New York hospital. The fifty-three-year-old has been misdiagnosed earlier in the week and had he been put on antibiotics only 8 hours earlier, it is believed Henson would have survived. A memorial service for Henson will air on PBS and draw millions of viewers and dozens of celebrities in reverence for his life and work. (He was completing negotiations with the Disney company to include his Muppets at their theme parks at the time of his death.)

    1991:
    Jim Henson's Muppet-Vision 3-D opens at the Disney-MGM Studios theme park at Disney World. The attraction is housed in a 1000 seat multi-media 3-D theater located in a further expansion of the backlot annex area.


    2001:
    The Disney-MGM Studios hosts the third in the Countdown Series Pin Events. This event offers more exciting pin releases and Disney artist signings.

    2002:
    Pin traders head off to sea aboard the Disney Pin Trading Cruise. The 3-night trip includes "Captain Mickey's Treasure Hunt," a pin scavenger hunt during which guests scour the ship and Disney's private island, Castaway Cay, for hidden treasures.

    2003:
    The first of five Star Wars Weekend events blasts off at the Disney-MGM Studios.

    The 2002–2003 Daytime Emmy Awards are presented at New York City's Radio City Music Hall. Disney's Teacher's Pet wins for Outstanding Special Class Children's Animated Program and actor Shia Lebeouf, of the Disney Channel's Even Stevens, wins for Performer in a Children's Series.
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    May17

    1925:
    Disney's Alice Comedy Alice's Egg Plant, featuring Dawn O'Day as Alice, debuts in New York City at the Rivoli Theater.

    1940:
    Disney's Donald Duck cartoon Billposters is released.

    1962:
    Disney's live-action feature film Bon Voyage starring Fred MacMurray and Jane Wyman is released.

    1986:
    "American Journeys," a CircleVision 360 film, debuts at Tokyo Disneyland.

    1991:
    Disney's Port Orleans Resort (a re-creation of the streets and rowhouses of New Orleans' French Quarter) opens in Walt Disney World.

    1997:
    Disneyland's Mike Fink Keelboats recloses for the second time in the attraction's history.

    1998:
    At the Drama Desk Awards, Disney's musical "The Lion King" wins the most awards with Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical (Tsidii Le Loka), Outstanding Director Musical, Outstanding Choreography, Outstanding Set Design of a Musical, Outstanding Costume Design, Outstanding Lighting Design, Outstanding Sound Design, and Outstanding Puppet Design.

    2002:
    The 2001-2002 Daytime Emmy Awards are presented at New York City's Madison Square Garden. Disney Channel's Madeline wins for Outstanding Children's Animated Program and Disney's Teacher's Pet takes home an award for Outstanding Special Class Children's Animated Program.

    2003:
    Today is Armed Forces Day. (Celebrated on the third Saturday in May across the U.S., the day was established to combine the previous independent holidays of each of the branches of the Armed Forces. Its purpose is to honor Americans serving in the five services.)

    2004:
    Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa (part of the Disney Vacation Club) opens in Disney World.

    The Hollywood Reporter reports that the Disney theme park ride Jungle Cruise will be turned into a live-action feature film.
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    May 18

    1951:
    Disney's Mickey and Pluto cartoon Plutopia is released.

    1995:
    Gene Autry's California Angels baseball club and Disney reach an agreement for Disney to acquire a 25 percent interest in the team and to assume the role of managing general partner.

    1997:
    Today is the last day Epcot guests hear non-classical music accompany Illuminations 25.

    2003:
    Disney's Finding Nemo premieres in Hollywood, California.

    2004:
    "Celebrate Mickey: 75 InspEARations" (a collection of Mickey Mouse statues first displayed in Disney World last November 2003) begins a U.S. tour.

    Disney's Miracle is released on DVD and video.

    The much anticipated DVD Walt Disney Treasures - Tomorrowland: Disney in Space and Beyond is released. The set features the "science factual" space shows from the 1950s.
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    May19


    1934:
    Disney's Mickey Mouse cartoon Gulliver Mickey is released.

    1939:
    Disney's Donald Duck film Donald's Cousin Gus is released.

    1950:
    Disney's Primitive Pluto is released.

    1960:
    Disney's Pollyana starring Hayley Mills is released.

    1971:
    Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes debut in Disneyland.

    1997:
    Epcot's Illuminations 25 debuts with classical music.

    2000:
    Disney's Dinosaur starring D.B. Sweeney, Ossie Davis, and Julianna Margulies is released in the U.S. Set 65 million years ago during the late Cretaceous Period, the film follows the adventures of an Iguanodon named Aladar who is separated from his own species when a Carnotaur allows an Iguanadon nest to be robbed.

    Plans for Disney's newest attraction Mission: SPACE (to be completed in 2003-2004) are launched into space aboard Atlantis, NASA's International Space Station shuttle flight. The crew, made up of six
    American astronauts and one Russian cosmonaut, will spend nearly 10 days in space.

    2001:
    A set of Mickey Mouse drawings from 1928 (estimated to be worth more than $3 million) fail to sell at auction, leaving The International Museum of Cartoon Art (in Boca Raton, Florida) scrambling for other ways to pay its debt. The six-page, 36-panel storyboard from the Disney cartoon "Plane Crazy" was the first appearance of Mickey Mouse.
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    May20

    1973:
    Walt Disney World's Tom Sawyer Island Rafts and the Plaza Swan Boats begin operation at the Magic Kingdom.

    1994:
    Disney's Aladdin: The Return of Jafar is released direct-to-video. It features the voices of Jason Alexander, Dan Castellaneta, Jim Cummings, and Gilbert Gottfried.

    1996:
    Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf, located between the Walt Disney World Dolphin and Walt Disney World Swan hotels, opens.

    1999:
    Disneyland hosts the official homecoming of Army Staff Sergeant Andrew Ramirez, Staff Sergeant Christopher Stone, and Specialist Steven Gonzales. It is the first time the three U.S. soldiers, who had been captured by Serbian forces on March 31, stand on American soil since their release from captivity.

    2000:
    The Disneyland Pirates of the Caribbean Celebration is held inside the Main Street Opera House, to celebrate the 33rd anniversary of one of the most popular rides at the park. Special guests include Harriett Burns, the very first woman hired as an Imagineer.

    2003:
    Disney's 1977 animated feature The Rescuers is released on DVD. The film was one of the last Disney classics to be animated by members of Walt Disney's "nine old men." Also released is Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Special Edition DVD (with rare bonus features).
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    May21

    1928:
    Walt Disney's trademark application for "Mickey Mouse" is filed with the United States Patent Office.

    1933:
    A 23-year-old artist named Wolfgang Reitherman is hired at the Disney Studio in Hollywood, California. ("Woolie" as he will be nicknamed, will start work in June and go on to become one of Walt's legendary Nine Old Men.)

    1940:
    Walter E. Disney, of Los Angeles, receives patent #2,201,689 from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, for the art of animation. It is for a multi-plane camera that allows for a more realistic three-dimensional image as well as depth and richness to the animation.

    1948:
    Disney's Donald's Dream Voice is released.

    1954:
    The Disney cartoon Pigs is Pigs is released.
    (It will be nominated for an Academy Award.)

    1998:
    The new Disneyland Tomorrowland is unveiled after being given an extreme facelift. Various dedications will take place over the next 2 days. Among the special guests are legendary astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Wally Schirra.

    2001:
    In Hawaii, Disney turns the aircraft carrier John C. Stennis into a party ship and outdoor movie theater for the premiere of its summer blockbuster, Pearl Harbor. Movie stars mingle with survivors and top military officers as some 2,000 guests gather on the flight deck of one of America's biggest ships for the screening.
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    May 22

    1942:
    Disney's Pluto cartoon The Army Mascot is released.

    1968:
    Walt Disney Travel Company is incorporated in Florida. The company will work with travel agents and individuals planning vacations to the yet-to-be-opend Walt Disney World Resort.

    1996:
    The Disney Store opens on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue (the largest Disney Store to date) and sets the all-time record for single-day volume in a Disney Store.

    1998:
    Disneyland continues unveiling its newly renovated Tomorrowland. New additions include Rocket Rods a high- speed attraction built on the site of the former PeopleMover, Redd Rockett's Pizza Port, NASA Space Experience, and the short "Honey, I Shrunk the Audience."

    2001:
    Six cast members from the New York City production of "The Lion King'' take part in the Grand Dedication ceremony for Walt Disney World's newest resort, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge (which opened April 16). The cast performs the musical's signature song, "Circle of Life'' in the grand lobby of the African-themed hotel.

    2004:
    In celebration of Mickey Mouse’s 75th Anniversary, Underground Atlanta plays host to 15 700-pound, 6-foot-tall Mickey Mouse statues, part of the Celebrate Mickey: 75 InspEARations touring statue program (that was first unveiled on November 18, 2003 at Walt Disney World). The statues are unveiled at noon with the help of Mickey Mouse, Disney Legend Al Konetzni and Atlanta’s own artist Thomas Knechtel, and will remain on display at the venue through
    Tuesday, July 20.
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    May 23

    1922:
    Walt Disney incorporates his Kansas City cartoon company, Laugh-O-Gram Films. Unfortunately, Disney will sell his cartoons for less than it cost to produce them, and Laugh-O-Gram will go belly-up.

    1929:
    Disney's Mickey Mouse short The Karnival Kid is released. It features Mickey speaking his very first words: "Hot dogs!"

    1931:
    Disney's Silly Symphony cartoon The China Plate is released.

    1955:
    Fourteen-year-old Tim Considine is signed to a $400-a-week contract to play Spin in Disney's Spin and Marty TV serial.

    1983:
    Disneyland continues with the grand re-opening of the new Fantasyland. The children of the original kids that first crossed the drawbridge in 1955 are the first to re-enter twenty eight years later.

    Tokyo Disneyland welcomes its 1-millionth guest. The park has only been opened for less than 2 months.

    1996:
    Disney joins McDonald's in a 10-year multinational marketing alliance linking McDonald's restaurants to Disney theatrical releases, theme parks and home video releases.

    1997:
    The Disneyland parade Light Magic debuts.

    2001:
    The Magic Carpets of Aladdin soar to life at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.

    2002:
    It is reported that Home Depot and the Walt Disney Co. have agreed in principle on a three-year, $100 million cross-platform deal. It includes ad spending across assorted Disney media properties ABC, ESPN and Lifetime. Part of the deal will also include the development of The Disney Paint Program, an exclusive room decorating program featuring the creation of a line of Disney-brand children's paint.

    2003:
    Herman's Hermits featuring Peter Noone perform at Epcot as part of the Flower Power concert series. They will play 3 shows a day over the Memorial Day weekend.
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    May24


    1991:
    Disney's Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken, starring Gabrielle Anwar and Cliff Roberston, is released.

    1998:
    Sixties teen idol Peter Noone performs at Epcot (for the first of a two-day engagement) as part of the Flower Power concert series at Walt Disney World.

    2004:
    Disney Interactiive launches Toontown Online, a 3D multiplayer game.

    It is announced that Disney has launched an 18-month publicity campaign for its theme park in Hong Kong, which is due to open in 2005.
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    May 25

    1932:
    Disney's Mickey Mouse cartoon Mickey's Revue is released. This marks the first appearance of a character that will become known as Goofy.

    1935:
    Disney's Silly Symphony cartoon The Cookie Carnival is released.

    1936:
    The New York Journal prints some outspoken opinions expressed by Jerome Kern (composer of such classics as The Song Is You and Old Man River). Kern's words include: "Cartoonist Walt Disney has made the 20th century's only important contribution to music. Disney has made use of music as language."

    1955:
    Disney's Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier is released.
    Originally produced for television, it will greatly influence the design of Disneyland's Frontierland.

    1983:
    Pinocchio's Daring Journey opens in Disneyland's new Fantasyland. The Sleeping Beauty Castle drawbridge is lowered (for only the second time in the park's history) to usher in the new design of Fantasyland.

    1985:
    The first Disney film of the Eisner-Wells regime, Jerry Saved from Drowning begins filming. It will later be retitled Down and Out in Beverly Hills.

    1986:
    Today is the last day EPCOT guests will hear the original narration of the Spaceship Earth attraction. It will be replaced with a new narration by legendary newsman Walter Cronkite.

    1990:
    "Here Come the Muppets," a live action and puppet stage show based on the Muppets, opens at the Disney-MGM Studios park in Florida.

    1998:
    The newly expanded Disney Orlando Animation Studio opens. The new "Magic of Disney Animation" tour includes an expanded viewing area where guests are able to meet Disney animation artists and see the ongoing work on future animated releases.

    2000:
    Songwriters Tim Rice and Elton John receive an Ivor Novello Award for International Achievement in Musical Theatre for Disney's The Lion King.

    2003:
    Mickey's All-American Pin Festival (a 2-month event) kicks off at Disneyland.
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    May 26

    1928:
    Walt Disney copyrights his Mickey Mouse film Plane Crazy.

    1986:
    Spaceship Earth reopens with a new narration by legendary newsman Walter Cronkite and a new finale song.

    1990:
    Mickey's Starland opens in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. Originally known as Mickey's Birthday Land in 1988, it will later be renamed Mickey's Toontown.

    2001:
    Veterans of World War II and Pearl Harbor survivors are honored at a special screening of the new Disney movie Pearl Harbor at 8 a.m. at the Edwards Big Newport Theatre in Newport Beach, California. All proceeds from the event, being hosted by a group of World War II veterans, will be contributed to the Orange County Veterans Charities.

    2003:
    Memorial Day
    Herman's Hermits featuring Peter Noone finish up their successful 4-day engagment at Epcot with 3 shows at the American Gardens Theater.
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    May27


    1933:
    Walt Disney's Academy Award-winning animated Silly Symphony short The Three Little Pigs is first released.

    The Century of Progress Exposition opens in Chicago. In August, Walt Disney and animator Ward Kimball will visit the show to see its acres of famous railroad engines.

    1938:
    Disney's Silly Symphony cartoon Wynken, Blynken, and Nod
    is released.

    1948:
    Disney's 10th animated feature Melody Time ,a film made up of miscellaneous stories is released. Segments include "Once Upon A Wintertime," "Bumble Boogie," "Johnny Appleseed," "Trees," "Little Toot," "Blame it on the Samba," and "Pecos Bill."

    1977:
    Disneyland holds a grand opening ceremony for its newest attraction, Space Mountain . Attending the grand opening are the six surviving astronauts from the original seven Project Mercury space travelers and the widow of the seventh.

    1987:
    Disney's featurette Sport Goofy in Soccermania is released.

    1992:
    Euro Disney's Sequoia Lodge (a recreation of a wilderness hideaway) opens. The main lodge includes 1011 rooms.

    1995:
    The Coca-Cola Refreshment Corner, located on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom, is renamed Casey's Corner.

    1996:
    Disneyland's Toy Story Funhouse closes in Tomorrowland.
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    May 28

    1928:
    Disney's Oswald the Lucky Rabbit black & white silent short - Oh, What a Knight is released.

    1941:
    Disney animator Eric Larson arrives at work to discover his wing of the Disney Studio empty. Some 300-plus employees are outside on a picket line participating in a labor strike against the studio. The strikers are mostly assistant animators, inkers, and painters who want union representation, higher wages, and job security. None of the animators who will become Walt's Nine Old Men (which include Larson) join the strikers.

    1953:
    The first ever 3-D cartoon released in the U.S. premieres at the Paramount Theatre in Hollywood, California. It is a Disney creation and an RKO picture titled "Adventures in Music: Melody."

    1960:
    Disneyland's Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland and Art of Animation both open.

    1966:
    The 'it's a small world' attraction, direct from the World's Fair opens in Fantasyland at Disneyland. Sponsored by Bank of America, it features 297 animated children, 256 toys, and a canal filled with 233,000 gallons of water. It is the park's first continually loading high capacity ride. The day is marked by special ceremonies attended by Walt Disney.

    1993:
    Groundbreaking begins for the Tower of Terror attraction at Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park in Florida.

    1994:
    Disney's Wilderness Lodge (located at 901 Timberline Drive) opens at Walt Disney World. The 728-room lakeside lodge, inspired by the beautiful early American National Parks, features an 80-foot tall fireplace in its lobby.

    1999:
    A new Main Street Electrical Parade makes its debut at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. (The parade was first brought to life at Disneyland in Anaheim, California from 1972 to 1996.) The preview party is attended by 5,000 Floridians and celebrity guests like actors LeVar Burton, Lacey Chabert, Carrie Fisher, Jonathan Lipnicki and Judge Reinhold. (Longtime Walt Disney World fans may recall a version of the Main Street Electrical Parade that performed at the
    Magic Kingdom beginning in 1977.)

    2002:
    Eastman Kodak Company announces that it signed a multi-year agreement with The Walt Disney Company that renews the company's long-standing relationship as the exclusive imaging supplier of film and related products at world-renowned Disney theme parks and resorts in the U.S and Paris, as well as for the Disney Cruise Line.
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