Raven, star of Disney Channel's hit series That's So Raven, wins Favorite TV Actress
at the 18th Annual Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards. The Incredibles is awarded Favorite Movie.
Academy Award-winning actress Hayley Mills (star of such Disney classics as Pollyana, The Parent Trap! and In Search of the Castaways) addresses the Arizona Girl Scouts, Cactus Pine Council, at their first annual "Pollyanna Days" celebration.
Writer Hans Christian Andersen, known for his many classic fairy tales including
"The Ugly Duckling," "The Little Mermaid" and "The Little Match Girl," is born in Odensk,
on the Danish island of Funen, Denmark. Those 3 stories will be later adapted into animated works by Disney. Andersen’s fairy tales of fantasy with moral lessons are still popular today with children & adults all over the world.
Disney Legend (class of 1999), film pioneer & engineering wiz Bill Garity is born in
Brooklyn, New York. He will help put sound into Steamboat Willie, perfect the multiplane camera - a device
(first created by Ub Iwerks) used to give depth to animation, and co-invent Fantasound (along with sound mixer John
Hawkins) - an innovative stereo system installed in theaters for Fantasia - now known as surround sound.
Actor Buddy Ebsen, who portrayed George Russel in Disney's Davy Crockett films and TV
shows, is born in Illinois. He also appeared in such TV specials as the 1973 Walt Disney: A Golden Anniversary
Salute, the 1978 NBC Salutes the 25th Anniversary of the Wonderful World of Disney, and the 2001 Walt: The Man
Behind the Myth. Noted for his unusual, surreal dancing and singing style, he was chosen by Walt Disney to be filmed
dancing (on many occassions) as an aid for his animators and Imagineers. Ebsen was inducted a Disney Legend in 1993.
(TV fans will remember Ebsen as Jed Clampett on the Beverly Hillbillies and as a private investigator on Barnaby Jones.)
Actor & TV producer Jack Webb is born in Santa Monica, California. In 1948 Webb will agree to help
finance the construction of a large stage at his friend Walt Disney's studio lot, in exchange for production space for his new
show. The Disney Studio's Stage 2 will be completed in 1949 and become the first home to Webb's long-running Dragnet.
Sagebrush Sadie is released. Oswald plays a cowboy who must rescue
Sadie from a runaway stagecoach and the evil Pegleg Pete!
Clarabelle Cow first appears in the Mickey Mouse comic strip.
Actor Roddy Maude-Roxby is born in London, England. He is the voice of Edgar Balthazar - Madame Bonfamille's avaricious, but slightly comic butler - in Disney's 1970 The Aristocats.
Old Men") starts work at the Disney Studio as an
apprentice. At first he will work as an inbetweener, eventually
becoming an assistant to veteran Ham Luske. Within 5 years Kimball will
become one of the studio's top animators. Among his most famous
creative achievements will be ... Jiminy Cricket!
Walt Disney Productions offers shares in the company to the public for the first time.
155,000 shares of preferred stock are offered at $25 per share and 600,000 of common stock for $5 per share.
Disney's Private Pluto, featuring the first appearance of two characters who will later be named Chip & Dale, is released. Directed by Clyde Geronimi, Pluto is in the infantry guarding
a pillbox from saboteurs.
Actress Linda Hunt, the voice of Grandmother Willow in Disney's Pocahontas and
Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World, is born in Morristown, New Jersey. She also provided the voice for Lady Proxima in the 2018 Solo: A Star Wars Story. Making her film debut in the Paramount/Disney 1980 musical comedy Popeye, you may know Hunt from such features as The Year of Living Dangerously and She-Devil and the TV series NCIS: Los Angeles.
and Disney Boards approve ownership and financing.
Walt states that the TV series will begin in October 1954 and the park will open in July 1955.
The TV show will be patterned after the different "lands" of his new California theme park.
Disney and ABC sign an agreement regarding the building of "Disneylandia." ABC advances Disney $500,000 in cash and guarantees all bank loans. In exchange, ABC receives 35% ownership of Disneylandia, 100% of all profits from the park's food concessions for 10 years, and an 8-year commitment from Disney for use of its library of films to be aired as one-hour television programs.
Walt Disney's final introduction on his Wonderful World of Color TV series airs. (Walt had
died less than 4 months earlier and there will be no regular host for the remainder of the anthology's original run.)
This evening's episode - A Salute to Alaska with Ludwig von Drake.
"The Way We Were" (written by Marvin Hamlisch and Alan & Marilyn Bergman) from the film The Way We Were beats out "Love" (written by George Bruns and Floyd Huddleston) from Disney's Robin Hood at the 1973 Academy Awards.
Deedee Magno, a member of Disney Channel's The All New Mickey Mouse Club (and a member of the Broadway cast of "Miss Saigon") is born in Virginia.
The New Mouseketeers appear at Disneyland for the first day
of a series of live Easter Week shows.
Disney re-releases Fantasia for the 8th time since its 1940 original release. The soundtrack has been digitally re-recorded making it
the first motion picture with digital stereo sound.
Tokyo Disneyland welcomes its 10-millionth guest - just 2 weeks short of the park's first anniversary!
At a ceremony in Manhattan, Disney CEO Michael Eisner, Rudi Giuliani the
mayor of New York City, and George Pataki the governor of New York State, unveil Disney's restored New Amsterdam Theatre (at 214 West 42nd
Street). First built in 1903, the theater will become the home to such productions as The Lion King
and Mary Poppins.
Spectromagic returns to the Magic Kingdom after a 2-year hiatus at Walt Disney World. The parade features an array of flowing fiber optics; holographic images, liquid-nitrogen smoke; and old-fashioned twinkle lights, precisely choreographed to an exciting original soundtrack which uses dashes
of classic Disney tunes.
Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor, a Disney World attraction in Tomorrowland, opens.
Replacing the Circle-Vision attraction The Timekeeper, this attraction is based upon the Disney/Pixar animated
film Monsters, Inc. and features the characters Mike Wazowski and Roz. The main theater is equipped with 400 seats
and utilizes digital puppetry technology (similar to Epcot's voice-directed Turtle Talk with Crush). Live actors perform
voices behind a large digital screens, while computer-rendered monsters appear with the actors' voices. Movable
cameras are used by performers backstage to locate guests with whom they would like to interact. A Disney cast
member in the theatre will then take a microphone to the selected guest so that the guest can talk to the performers!
Disney's animated western comedy feature Home on the Range
is released. Set in the old west, the plot centers on a mismatched trio of dairy
cows; voiced by Roseanne Barr, Judi Dench and Jennifer Tilly, who must capture Alameda Slim, an infamous cattle rustler. Named after the popular country song of the same name, the voice cast also features Cuba Gooding Jr., Randy Quaid, Steve Buscemi, Joe Flaherty, Patrick Warburton, and Estelle Harris. Many believe it will be
the last hand drawn 2D Disney film for quite sometime. The musical score for Home
on the Range has been composed by Alan Menken, with original music written by Menken and Glenn Slater.
A Tower of Terror Media Preview is held at Disney's
California Adventure. (The attraction will open in May.)
Today is Children's Book Day
Originally completed in
1903, New York City's New
Amsterdam Theatre (now
operated by Disney) is one of the oldest surviving
legitimate theaters on
Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León discovers Florida while searching for gold and the
mythical Fountain of Youth. He names the land "Pascua Florida" (Spanish for "Flowery Easter") because he and
his crew first spot the land on this day - Palm Sunday. Many historians believe Ponce de León was the very first European
to set foot in Florida. (Pascua Florida Day, April 2, is a legal holiday in the Sunshine State.)
The TV series Walt Disney Presents airs "Zorro: Auld Acquaintance."
St. Ann's Warehouse (in Brooklyn, New York) stages a 20th anniversary gala concert
of Hal Willner's album of Disney covers, "Stay Awake" - originally released in 1988.
The fundraiser, entitled Stay Awake Live, features popular artists reinterpreting
tunes from the Disney songbook.
Disney Channel begins broadcasting in high-definition.
"Every man's life is a fairy tale written by God's fingers" -Hans Christian Andersen
In the strongest signs yet that tourism is recovering from pre-September 11
levels, it is reported that Disney World had record-setting attendance over the
Easter holiday weekend.
Character actor Jack Kruschen passes away at age 80 in Arizona. Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Dr. Dreyfuss in the 1960 comedy-drama The Apartment, his Disney credits included episodes of Zorro (1958) and the film The Million Dollar Duck (1971).
The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) helps to protect and study some of the
world’s most endangered plants, animals and habitats. To date the DWCF has contributed
over $12 million to non-profit conservation and animal welfare organizations supporting
projects in 110 countries.
At Disneyland, the Aladdin's Royal Caravan parade steps off for the first time.
The Walt Disney Pictures live-action feature film The Adventures of Huck Finn opens
in theaters. A retelling of Mark Twain's classic novel of a young boy's adventures after he escapes from his
abusive father, and his relationship with a runaway slave, it stars Elijah Wood as Huck.
Singer Aaron Kelly, a 2010 American Idol contestant, is born in Pennsylvania. Kelly was
a participant in the American Idol Experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios at WDW. At the end of the day he was
the highest vote recipient in the finale show, which entitled him to receive the dream ticket - which got him to the
front of the line for the real American Idol auditions in Orlando in June of 2009! On May 5, 2010, Kelly was
eliminated from American Idol - finishing fifth place in the competition but making him the youngest contestant to
make it through to the Top 12.
Singer Lee DeWyze, the winner of the ninth season of American Idol and the 3rd Idol to shout "I'm Going to Disney World!" in the famous Disney TV commercial, is born in Mount Prospect, Illinois. Following his Idol win on May 26, 2010, he took part in a special parade through Disney’s Hollywood Studios on May 31. In December 2010 he performed on the 27th Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade, broadcast on ABC-TV. DeWyze and his wife Jonna Walsh (a self-proclaimed "Disney freak") got engaged
at Disney World in Florida, in July 2011.
"We've done things ... most of them Walt's ideas, that looked impossible at first." -Bill Garity
Disney Imagineer Collin Campbell passes away at age 84 in Florida. Starting out in Disney's animation department, he worked on such features as Lady and the Tramp and One Hundred and One Dalmatians.
But it was Campbell's distinctive paintings (as an Imagineer) of the Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Haunted Mansion that played an important role in the attractions' conceptualization and design. He is credited with
the lush landscape painted inside the lid of the famous harpsichord which sits in the secretive Club 33 in Disneyland. Campbell was also instrumental in the design of Walt Disney World's EPCOT Center, working on popular attractions
such as the Horizons Pavillion. Collin's considerable contributions to Disney had been recently acknowledged with a monument in the new interactive graveyard recently added to The Haunted Mansion at WDW's Magic Kingdom.
The 24th Annual Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards are held in California. Among the winners:
-Favorite Movie Actor: Johnny Depp – Alice in Wonderland as Tarrant Hightopp / The Mad Hatter
-Favorite Movie Actress: Miley Cyrus – The Last Song as Veronica "Ronnie" Miller
-Favorite TV Actor: Dylan Sprouse – The Suite Life on Deck as Zack Martin
-Favorite TV Actress: Selena Gomez – Wizards of Waverly Place as Alex Russo
Sony Electronics announces it has teamed up with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts to
promote its latest line of Handycam® camcorders in a new integrated marketing campaign
that focuses on capturing and sharing family memories. The "Share Magical Memories" co-branded
campaign kicks off with a unique online contest and dedicated website hosted by Disney Interactive at
Zeke and Luther ends it run on Disney XD. A sitcom about two best friends setting their sights on
becoming the world's greatest skateboarders, it first premiered in June 2009.
"Ponce de León couldn't find the fountain of youth in Florida, so Walt Disney created it." -Bob Hope (1971)
"What we are celebrating today has got to be the most startling
turnaround of any urban area in America." -Governor Pataki
April is 1964/65 New York World's Fair Month
Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show has its final performances at Disney's
Hollywood Studios, as nearby locations around the Streets of America close to make
way for that park's expansions of Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land. Parts of the area
will be absorbed into Muppets Courtyard (to be made official the following day). Lights, Motors, Action! debuted in
2005 as part of the Happiest Celebration on Earth festival.
After more than 25 years, The Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: Movie Set Adventure playground too closes at
Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Also closing at Disney World is Dream Along with Mickey, a live stage show
performed daily for the past decade in front of Cinderella Castle (in Magic Kingdom).
Film producer Barry Josephson is born. He has produced films for many studios
including The Walt Disney Company. In 1997 Josephson, resigning as President at Columbia, and
entered into a partnership with director Barry Sonnenfeld. The two joined The Walt Disney Company as Sonnenfeld Josephson Worldwide Entertainment for a three-year production term. For Disney, he later produced the 2002
Touchstone Pictures comedy Big Trouble and the 2007 animated-live-action family film Enchanted.
Actor, director, screenwriter, and voice actor Clark Gregg is born in Boston, Massachusetts. He plays the character of Agent Phil Coulson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, beginning in Iron Man (2008) and continuing through Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2011), The Avengers (2012), Captain Marvel (2019), and the television series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. since 2013. (Television viewers will recognize him
as Christine Campbell's ex-husband Richard in the CBS sitcom The New Adventures of Old Christine.)
Singer/songwriter, model, actress, producer and writer Roselyn Sánchez is born in
San Juan, Puerto Rico. She played the role of Monique Vasquez in Disney's 2007 family comedy
The Game Plan and appeared in a 2012 episode of ABC-TV's Desperate Housewives.
Disney+ is launched in Channel Islands (an archipelago in the English Channel) and Isle of Man (a British Crown dependency situated in the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Ireland).
Voice actor, story artist, writer, animator, comedian, and director Tim Hodge is born in Boaz, Alabama. Joining the Walt Disney Feature Animation studio located at the Disney/MGM Studios theme park in Orlando, Florida, he worked as story artist on films like Mulan, John Henry for Disney's American Legends video and Brother Bear. Hodge also worked on the video game versions of The Lion King and Aladdin. He is probably best know for his work on VeggieTales, a Christian computer generated children's animation and media franchise under Big Idea Entertainment.
Disney on Ice: Mickey's Search Party resumes performances after being cancelled
due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Actress Amelia Marshall is born in Albany, Georgia. Best known as a soap opera actress, she played the part of Belinda Keefer on ABC's All My Children (1996-1999). She also appeared in a 2001 episode of Disney Channel's Lizzie McGuire.
Actor Jesse Plemons is born in Dallas, Texas. He played Prince Joachim (a deranged and ambitious German aristocrat) in the 2021 Jungle Cruise. Starting out as a child actor, his television credits include a 2006 episode of ABC's Grey's Anatomy.
Actress/comedienne Estelle Harris, known for her distinct exaggerated grating voice, passes at the age of 93 in California. Perhaps best known for her role as Estelle Costanza on the hit sitcom Seinfeld, Disney fans recognize her voice as Mrs. Potato Head in the Disney/Pixar Toy Story franchise. Her Disney credits include such features and television programs as Brother Bear, Home on the Range, Kim Possible,
Teacher's Pet, Tarzan II, Timon & Pumbaa, and The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.