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This Week in Disney History: Week of April 22

by Candra Spirtoff and Megan Voisard

Did You Know?

April 22, 1998 – Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World opens.

–        Two of the three major lands opened this date – Africa and Dinoland U.S.A.; Asia will open in 1999

–        Animal Kingdom Park sits on 500 acres and costs 800 million dollars

Other Notable Disney Dates:

April 23, 1986 – In Walt Disney World, a groundbreaking ceremony takes place for The Grand Floridian Beach Resort which will open in June of 1988.

April 24, 2009 – Imagineering legend, Marty Sklar announces his retirement from Walt Disney Imagineering on July 17, 2009.

April 25, 2008 – Michael Eisner, CEO of Disney from 1984 to 2005, is honored with a  star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.

April 26, 2005 – Hong Kong Disneyland introduces a new resort line train that takes guests to the center of China’s first Disney Park

April 27, 1991 – In Walt Disney World, Jim Henson’s Muppet Vision 3-D opens in the Disney-MGM Studios

April 28, 1997 – The restaurant in Disney World’s Cinderella Castle is renamed Cinderella’s Royal Table. (It was originally named King Stefan’s Banquet Hall, but King Stefan was Sleeping Beauty’s Father, not Cinderella’s!)

Question of the Week:

A section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park was originally designed to include “Beastly Kingdom” which would include fantasy creatures like dragons, sea monsters and unicorns. Although Beastly Kingdom did not come to pass, remnants of the original plans can be found throughout the park. Can you name any?  Post your comments below!


Candra Spirtoff and Megan Voisard are identical twins, born and raised in Cincinnati,  Ohio. They both graduated from the University of Cincinnati, Candra with a Bachelor’s degree in Legal Assisting and Megan with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.  They currently work as a paralegals for a local law firm.  Their passion is anything and everything Disney, and they have visited WDW almost every year since 1988, at the age of four.