Hong Kong Disneyland invites eligible candidates to apply for Cast Member roles from a variety of positions including hotel operations, merchandize, food & beverage, entertainment, park operations, costuming, custodial and security services.
Disney Channel debuts the fourth episode of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody -
"Hotel Inspector." Guest stars include actress Estelle Harris as Muriel.
"The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year."
-Mark Twain (creator of Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn)
Disney's Alice Comedy Alice's Spooky Adventure, starring Virginia Davis, is released.
When a ball accidentally smashes through the window of a neighborhood haunted house, Alice is the
only one brave enough to go inside to retrieve it. While in the house, she falls and bumps her head ... sending her
to a cartoon dreamworld in which she rescues a cat and battles some spirits in a ghost town!
Disney's Silly Symphony cartoon The Moth and the Flame, directed by Burt Gillett, is released. A swarm of moths tear into "Ye Olde Costume Shop" as one pretty girl moth becomes fascinated by a
hypnotic candle flame.
Animator Frank Thomas (one of Walt's "Nine Old Men") returns to work at the Disney Studio after serving 4 years in the Army Air Corps during the second world war.
The ABC-TV series Walt Disney Presents airs episode 26 entitled "The Mad Hermit of Chimney Butte."
Reader's Digest runs the article "Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom." The article describes Disneyland - Walt's "31-million-dollar playground."
The NBC-TV series Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color airs "Spy in the Sky."
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. This natural 11-acre island, located in the middle of Bay Lake, is a lush forest
environment with birds, reptiles, & mammals and hundreds of tropical specimen plants from all over the world. (In 1979 it will be accredited by the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums.) The only way to reach Discovery Island is by one of the many ferries which depart from the Magic Kingdom, Fort Wilderness, and the Contemporary Resort.
Voice actor and musician Troy Baker, best known for portraying the lead characters in various video games, is born in Dallas, Texas. Upon moving to Los Angeles, he began working on Marvel-based animated series where he provided the voice of various characters in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, and Hawkeye and Loki in Ultimate Spider-Man and Avengers Assemble. He also voiced Ace (Experiment 262) in the English dub of the anime Stitch!.
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.
Actor Matt Lanter is born in Massillon, Ohio. He is the voice of Anakin Skywalker in both Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. Lanter's television credits also include an episode of The Mandalorian and an episode of the animated Avengers Assemble.
Disney's Aida premieres for Disney executives at the New Amsterdam Theatre (which Disney is refurbishing) 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 continue to search for a different title. By early 1998, they will finally settle on
"Elaborate Lives" (but will later return to the original title by the time the show debuts on Broadway in 2000).
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, Walt Disney World combines the Port Orleans and Dixie Landings resorts
into a single resort called Port Orleans Riverside. The Dixie portion will be called "The Riverside" and the
Port portion will be called "The French Quarter." The total consolidation will occur over the next nine months.
Toon Disney, the 24-hour all-animation cable network, begins a month long anniversary to mark its 5th year (which officially begins on April 18).
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 has its grand opening.
The Science Museum in London, England features a new exhibition
called "Pixar: 20 Years of Animation" for the next 2 months.
Lindsay Lohan wins Favorite Movie Actress for her role of Margaret "Maggie" Peyton in Herbie: Fully Loaded at the 19th Annual Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards.
Today is April Fool's Day
Walt Disney World's water park Blizzard Beach debuts in Florida. A "melted ski resort," it is the third WDW water park (after River Country & Typhoon Lagoon).
Disney's Broadway show Aida was
a rock musical based on the story
of Guiseppe Verdi's opera -
originally written in 1871. Elton
John and Tim Rice wrote new
music & lyrics for Disney's stage
Starting on this day at Disney World, Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny appear
daily in the Tour Guide Garden at the Magic Kingdom. They will help
celebrate the holiday for the next 8 days.
The Travel Channel airs a marathon of Disney-related programs. Featured specials include Ultimate Walt Disney World, Disney's Imagineers, Disneyland Behind-the-Scenes, Undiscovered Walt Disney World, and Disney Cruise Line. Also shown are the series of Great Hotels hosted by
and Beach Club Resort, and Wilderness Lodge.
The fifth annual Walt Disney World Inline Marathon takes place at Disney’s
Wide World of Sports Complex.
Episode 28 of The Ed Wynn Show airs on television. This episode of Wynn's variety series
features the Firehouse Five Plus Two, a Dixieland jazz band made up of Disney Studio
employees. (Wynn will go on to voice the Mad Hatter in Disney's Alice in Wonderland and later play Uncle Albert
in the 1964 live-action Mary Poppins.)
The 1st Annual Cast Member Mixed Doubles Tennis Tournament kicks off
with 32 teams for two days at the Contemporary Racquet Club in Florida.
On an annual basis, Disney World's Reedy Creek Improvement District collects
approximately 1,600 tons of paper, 100 tons of aluminum, 7,000 tons of cardboard, 150 tons
of plastic bottles, 200 tons of steel cans, and around 11,500 tons of food waste.
Disneyland Resort recycles enough aluminum each year to make a soda can about 1,000 times
taller than its Matterhorn, more glass each year than the weight of eight steam trains, and enough paper each year to create a trail from Disneyland Resort to Walt Disney World Resort and back, twice!
At Disneyland Paris, the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril: Backwards! and the Tarzan Encounter musical stage show both open.
Disneyland holds its first "Old-Fashioned Easter Parade" down Main Street USA.
Walt Disney Company announces that it will offer applications for all its businesses on
the iPad (Apple's latest device to be released April 3).
Pioneer Hall, part of Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground at Walt Disney World, first opens. Built with 1,283 hand-fitted pine logs from Montana and 70 tons of stone from North Carolina, Pioneer Hall stands two stories high and is modeled after buildings from the late 1800s. A dining hall for guest campers, beginning in June it will also be the home to the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue.
Disneyland Paris 20th anniversary celebration begins. As part of its festivities, "Disney Magic on
Parade" officially debuts. Previously known as "Disney's Once Upon a Dream Parade," it now features a new theme
song "Magic Everywhere". Also debuting is a new nighttime spectacular called "Disney Dreams!"
Season 2 of The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, a superhero animated television series by Marvel Animation, premieres on Disney XD.
April is 1964/65 New York World's Fair Month
Disney World celebrates the opening of Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, the
newest addition to the expanding Disney Vacation Club portfolio. Located on Seven Seas
Lagoon, this new resort features over-the-water Bora Bora Bungalows and Deluxe Studios with a tropical ambiance.
Animator and director Robert Walker passes away at age 54 in California. The Canadian-born Walker joined Walt Disney Animation Studios at their Florida location in 1989, where his first project was the Roger Rabbit short film Roller Coaster Rabbit. He later worked on The Rescuers Down Under (1990), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992), The Lion King (1994), Mulan (1998), and Lilo & Stitch (2002). Walker co-directed the Academy Award-nominated Brother Bear (2003) with Aaron Blaise.
Walt Disney World raises general admission for the second time since the park's
October 1971 opening. General admission for adults is now $4.50 (from $3.75). Ticket books are
increased by 35 cents for a book of 8.
Animator and painter Christine Lawrence Finney is born in Painesville, Ohio.
First working at Walt Disney Pictures in the 1980's, her credits include The Rescuers Down Under, Beauty and
the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Pocahontas, Mulan, Lilo & Stitch and Brother Bear. After 15 years, she
and her husband Trey (also an animator) moved to South Carolina to pursue careers in painting.
Andreas Deja, a character animator (most noted for his work at Walt Disney Animation
Studios) is born in Poland. Hired by Disney in 1980 (after he had corresponded with Eric Larson, one of
Disney's senior Nine Old Men who ran the studio's training department), Deja went on to serve as
supervising animator on characters in several Disney animated films, including the villains Gaston in Beauty
and the Beast, Jafar in Aladdin, Scar in The Lion King and the hero in Hercules. In 2006, at the 35th Annie Awards,
he was awarded the Winsor McCay Award for outstanding contribution to the art of animation.
Actress Denise Nickerson, a child actress best known for playing Violet Beauregarde
in the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, is born in New York City. In 1978 she appeared in the made-for-television family-fantasy film Child of Glass, produced by Walt Disney Productions.
"Villains are the most fun to animate. It's fine to have a villain who beats people up and calls them
names but the more important thing for me is whether or not they are interesting." -Deja
Disney MovieToons, a division of Walt Disney Animation Studios, opens a facility in
Glendale, California. The studio will produce 47 feature films, beginning with DuckTales the Movie:
Treasure of the Lost Lamp in 1990. In June 2003 its name will be changed to Disneytoon Studios. Following the
release of Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast in 2015, Disneytoon Studios will be shut down.
The Pirate Fairy, a 3D computer-animated fantasy film directed by Peggy Holmes, is
released direct-to-video by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. Tinker Bell (Mae
Whitman) and her friends go in search of a wayward fairy (Christina Hendricks) who fled Pixie Hollow and joined
up with a band of scheming pirates led by the future Captain Hook (Tom Hiddleston).
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), the film score for the Marvel Studios film, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, is released by Hollywood Records. It features music by English composer, conductor, arranger, pianist, musician, and songwriter Henry Jackman.
Armageddon – Les Effets Speciaux, an attraction located in Walt Disney Studios Park
at Disneyland Paris, closes. Opened since March 16, 2002 (with the park), it was based on the 1998
Touchstone film Armageddon. The attraction demonstrated set effects, as in the film, within a full room using special
effects. (The showbuilding will later be demolished for the Marvel Land expansion.)
Also closing is Disney Junior – Live on Stage! (originally Playhouse Disney – Live on Stage!).
Actress Barbara Luddy, whose career began in the 1920s, passes away at age 70 in Los Angeles, California. She is perhaps best remembered for her voice work in Disney animated films such as Lady
and the Tramp in which she voiced the titular Lady, Sleeping Beauty as Merryweather, One Hundred and One
Dalmatians as Rover, Robin Hood as Mother Rabbit, and Kanga for the Winnie-the-Pooh featurettes Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree, Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day, and Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too. First starting out on radio (she was a member of the dramatic cast of the Chicago Theater of the Air) and in silent pictures, Luddy went on to appear on such television shows as Hazel, Dragnet, Adam-12, and Kolchak: The Night Stalker.
Actress & singer Debbie Reynolds is born in El Paso, Texas. (Her family moved to Burbank, California in 1939.) With a career that spanned almost 70 years, Disney fans know her best as Agatha Cromwell in the Halloweentown films. She also voiced Madame in Kiki's Delivery Service (a 1989 Japanese animated fantasy film) and Nana Possible on the Disney Channel animated series Kim Possible. Reynolds attended Disneyland's opening day along with husband actor Eddie Fisher. Mother of actress Carrie Fisher, Reynolds' film credits include such classics as Singin' in the Rain (1952), How the West Was Won (1962), and The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964).
General Hospital, a daytime television medical drama, first airs on ABC-TV (at this time Disney does not own ABC). It will become the longest-running serial produced in Hollywood, and the longest-running entertainment program in ABC television history; even being listed in Guinness World Records as the longest-running American soap opera in production! The show will celebrate its 50th anniversary on April 1, 2013!
In the midst of Disney Parks being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Presidents of Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort share hope and encouragement via Instagram:
WDW's Josh D’Amaro: "While our world looks very different today, one thing endures…the American flag still flies over Walt Disney World. I’m inspired how our Security Cast Members continue to raise it each and every morning at Magic Kingdom while they are on duty protecting the magic. It's a symbol that we’re still here and will not falter. I hope this inspires you as well. We will be back. Thanks to all our incredible Cast Members who continue to maintain the magic until that day. Until then, please take care of yourselves and your families. We will see you soon."
DL's Rebecca Campbell: "Inside Walt Disney’s apartment overlooking Town Square at Disneyland, a light has shone through the window above the firehouse for decades. It glows as a source of inspiration to our cast and our guests as a remembrance of the man who once looked out that window to the sights of happy families making memories below. Tonight, even in a world filled with so much uncertainty, that light still shines, bright as ever. I’m looking forward to the day when families can make memories once again."
Adventureland: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is released by Hollywood Records. It includes 14 songs mostly from the 1980s, to fit with the setting of the film, with several tracks from
the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Screenwriter and film director Steve Bencich is born in Sacramento, California. Along with Ron J. Friedman, Bencich has written Brother Bear and Chicken Little.
Imagineer Kevin Rafferty, who conceived, designed, wrote, and oversaw the creations of some of Disney Parks' most memorable attractions and lands, retires on this day. Starting his career washing dishes at the Plaza Inn at Disneyland in the 1970s, Rafferty had a hand in everything from Cars Land to
Toy Story Midway Mania!, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, and Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway.
Film, stage and television actress Leora Dana is born in New York City. She played the part of Mrs. Paul Ford in Disney's 1960 Pollyanna.
Better Nate Than Ever, a musical family-comedy film written and directed by Tim Federle (and based on his 2013 novel of the same name), is released on Disney+.
About 13-year-old Nate Foster, who fantasizes about becoming a big Broadway star, he and his best friend Libby mastermind a daring trip to New York City to audition for "Lilo and Stitch: The Musical." The cast features Rueby Wood as Nate, Joshua Bassett as Anthony his older brother, Aria Brooks as Libby, and Lisa Kudrow as Aunt Heidi.