Roy O. Disney, (one of) Walt's older brothers, business partner, and co-founder
of The Walt Disney Company, passes away at the age of 78 of a cerebral
hemorrhage in Burbank, California. The third son born to Elias and Flora Disney on
June 24th, 1893, Roy served as the company's chief executive officer (1929–1971) and president
(1945–1971). While Walt was the creative man, Roy was the one who made sure the company was
financially stable - and it was Roy who made sure Walt Disney World was built. With both Disney
brothers gone, the board of directors for the first time will have to turn outside the Disney family for leadership.
(Donn Tatum will become chairman and Card Walker president of Walt Disney Productions.)
Walt Disney World's very first Holiday Parade steps off at the Magic Kingdom.
To be performed twice each day (through January 2), it features marching toy soldiers, dancing reindeer,
marching bands, and 50 famous Disney characters.
Roy O. Disney's epitaph reads:
"A great and humble man
who left the world a better place."
Funnyman Charlie Callas, the voice of the animated dragon Elliott in Disney's 1977
Pete's Dragon, is born in Brooklyn, New York. Known for his rubbery face and trademark nervous
chattering & sound effects, Callas cavorted on television and the nightclub circuit in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s.
Disney Legend Sam McKim is born in North Vancouver, British Columbia.
An illustrator, McKim was instrumental in the design of various areas of Disneyland (including Great Moments
with Mr. Lincoln and the Haunted Mansion) as well as being the creator of the very first souvenir map of the park.
During his 32 years with Disney, he also created artwork for Walt Disney World's Hall of Presidents, the
Universe of Energy pavilion, Maelstrom, and the Disney-MGM Studios theme park.
There is a Roy O. Disney Suite in the main
Disney's cruise ships.
A Mickey Mouse Celebration airs on ABC-TV.
Actor/singer Dennis Morgan, who in 1958 hosted Disneyland's very first evening Candlelight Processional Parade, is born in Prentice, Wisconsin. In 1961, he was the very first celebrity to narrate Disneyland's new Candlelight Processional event in Town Square. He continued Disneyland's holiday tradtion through 1964 and then again in 1966. (A leading man with Warner Bros. in the 1940s, Morgan appeared in such features as Christmas in Connecticut, God Is My Co-Pilot, and The Desert Song.)
Walt Disney is interviewed on the radio by film legend Cecil B. DeMille at the
conclusion of this night's Lux Radio Theater broadcast. They discuss the upcoming Los
Angeles premiere of Snow White.
Original Mouseketeer Tommy Cole - who remained with Mickey Mouse Club for
all 4 years - is born in Burbank, California. As an adult he worked as a make-up artist, earning
several Emmy nominations.
Mickey Mouse Club airs on ABC-TV. Today is Guest Star Day.
Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day is released along with the live-action feature
The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit in New York City. Disney's 2nd Pooh short - and the first
appearance of Tigger, it will win an Academy Award. The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit, a comedy directed by
Norman Tokar, stars Dean Jones as an ad executive who is under pressure from his boss to come up with a new
campaign for a wealthy client. The cast includes Morey Amsterdam, Kurt Russell, Lloyd Bochner, and Diane Baker.
Disney releases Winnie the Pooh & Tigger Too along with the live-action The
Island at the Top of the World. It is Disney's third animated short featuring Pooh (and will be
nominated for an Oscar). The Island at the Top of the World tells the story of four turn of the century
explorers who embark on an airship expedition to the high arctic to find a lost colony of Vikings. The film
features the brilliant work of production designer and special effects designer Peter Ellenshaw
(who will be nominated for an Academy Award® for Art Direction).
Starting on this day, classic Disney cartoons are shown at Walt Disney World's
Fantasy Theater (one time home to the Mickey Mouse Revue attraction).
Disney film director and producer Ben Sharpsteen passes away at age 85 in California.
For 33 years he was a sequence director & production supervisor contributing to such classic features as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, Fun and Fancy Free, Melody Time, Seal island, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, and Cinderella.
The Disney Vacation Club opens at Walt Disney World. A vacation timeshare program owned and operated by Disney Vacation Development, Inc. (a subsidiary of Disney Signature Experiences), it allows buying a real estate interest in a DVC resort via a flexible points-based membership system.
Touchstone Pictures (a film division of The Walt Disney Company) releases the comedy
Father of the Bride starring Steve Martin, Diane Keaton, Kimberly Williams, and Martin Short. Martin plays George Banks an upper-middle-class owner of an athletic shoe company whose 22-year-old daughter Annie (played by Williams) has decided to marry a man from an upper-class family, despite knowing each other only three months. Short's role of Franck Eggelhoffer the eccentric wedding planner will be the inspiration for the Walt Disney World Wedding Pavilion shop Franck's.
Disney's animated feature Beauty and the Beast is released in the Philippines and Mexico.
The first international production of The Lion King opens in Tokyo,
Japan at the Shiki Haru Theatre. (It will become the longest-
running show in Tokyo history.)
Ariel's Grotto, a restaurant located at Paradise Pier in
Disney's California Adventure, opens for business.
The 89th Tournament of Roses Queen, Mary McCluggage & her Royal Court
visit Disneyland Park to take part in the 9:45 a.m. performance of Disney Princess
Fantasy Faire. Eighteen-year-old McCluggage, a resident of Pasadena, will reign over the 2007 New Year's
Day festivities, culminating with the 118th Rose Parade themed Our Good Nature & the 93rd Rose Bowl Game.
Animator Ambrozi "Amby" Paliwoda is born in Cleveland, Ohio. He worked for Walt Disney
Studios from 1935 to 1960. His credits include 101 Dalmatians, Goliath II, and Fantasia. While at Disney he
helped organize the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists, Local 839 IATSE. (After leaving Disney he worked for
many other studios, including Hanna-Barbera, and Filmation.) In 1985, Paliwoda received the Animation Guild's
Golden Award - for his lifetime of work in the animation field.
A ceremony is held at the Main Street Train Station to dedicate a new poster representing Delta's participation as the official airline of Walt Disney World.
At Disneyland, a 75-foot-tall crane hoists the first of the new Mark VII monorails
from a flatbed truck onto the beam way track. The five-car burnt-burgundy train is the first of
three new monorails expected to go into service at the Anaheim park starting in February 2008. Three years
in the making, the all-new bullet-nosed monorails were designed by Disney, built in Rhode Island and
assembled in Vancouver, Canada.
Singer-songwriter Al Rinker is born in Tekoa, Washington. Originally a member of the Rhythm Boys vocal trio (with Bing Crosby & Harry Barris) Rinker wrote the song "Ev'rybody Wants to Be a Cat" (along with Floyd Huddleston) for Disney's 1970 animated feature The Aristocats.
Disney's Goofy cartoon Double Dribble, directed by Jack Hannah, is released.
The Goofies of P.U. take on the Goofies of U.U. in a crazy full court game of basketball!
"Sam was the greatest to work with. He loved Disney, and his enthusiasm was always contagious. Once he got involved in anything, no matter how problematic, you always knew everything was going to be okay. If I ever needed to hear the truth about something, I always went to Sam." -Disney Legend John Hench
Disney releases the sixth People and Places film Disneyland, U.S.A. along with the
live-action feature Westward Ho, the Wagons to theaters.
Written and narrated by Winston Hibler, the 42-minute Disneyland, U.S.A. is produced in CinemaScope - allowing
for beautiful wide angle panoramas of the new park.
A western film, Westward Ho stars Fess Parker, Kathleen Crowley, David Stollery, Sebastian Cabot, and many of
the Mouseketeers from Disney's hit television series. A wagon train made up of a number of emigrant families
makes the crossing from the Missouri River to the rich farming country of the Pacific Northwest in 1844.
Disney debuts the documentary film The Magic of Walt Disney World
the same day it releases the live-action feature film Snowball Express to theaters.
Narrated by Steve Forrest, The Magic of Walt Disney World takes a look at the many attractions, resort hotels,
and other amusements at the "vacation kingdom" in its first year of operation.
Snowball Express is a comedy film about a man named Johnny Baxter (played by Dean Jones) who leaves his
desk job to run a hotel left to him by his uncle.
Singer-songwriter David Cook, the winner of the seventh season
of American Idol and the very first Idol to shout "I'm Going to
Disney World!" for the famous Disney TV commercial, is born in
Houston, Texas (though he was raised in Blue Springs, Missouri).
Audio engineer, musician, and record producer Alan Parsons is born in London,
England. His instrumental song "Breakaway" (released in 1993) can be heard at the Tomorrowland Terrace
in Tokyo Disneyland at Tokyo Disney Resort. (Parsons is most noted for his involvement in the production of
several significant albums, including The Beatles' Abbey Road and Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon.)
Saving Mr. Banks is generally released to U.S. theaters. About the development of the 1964
Walt Disney Studios film Mary Poppins, the film stars Emma Thompson as author P. L. Travers and Tom Hanks as
filmmaker Walt Disney. Walt seeks to obtain the rights to the book, and comes up upon a curmudgeonly,
uncompromising Travers, who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the
Hollywood machine. In 1961 she reluctantly agrees to go to Los Angeles to hear Disney’s plans for the adaptation.
Armed with imaginative storyboards and chirpy songs from the talented Sherman brothers, Walt launches an all-out
onslaught on Mrs. Travers, but finds himself watching helplessly as she becomes increasingly immovable and the
rights begin to move further away from his grasp. When Walt realizes that there are ghosts that haunt her from her
childhood in Queensland, Australia, he reaches into his own childhood to find a solution. The cast includes
Bradley Whitford, Jason Schwartzman, B.J. Novak, Kathy Baker, Paul Giamatti, and Colin Farrell.
The nominations for the 57th Golden Globe Awards are announced.
-Best Motion Picture Musical or Comedy: Toy Story 2
-Best Supporting Actor: Haley Joel Osment – The Sixth Sense
-Best Screenplay: The Sixth Sense – M. Night Shyamalan
-Best Original Song: "You'll Be in My Heart" performed by Phil Collins – Tarzan and
"When She Loved Me" performed by Sarah McLachlan – Toy Story 2
Winners will be announced January 23, 2000.
The Walt Disney Productions live-action science fiction
feature, The Black Hole is generally released in theaters
in the U.S. It is directed by Gary Nelson and stars Maximilian Schell,
Robert Forster, Joseph Bottoms, Yvette Mimieux, Anthony Perkins, and
Ernest Borgnine. The voices of the main robot characters in the film are
provided by Roddy McDowall and Slim Pickens. A bold experiment for Disney, the film's budget climbed
to $20 million and is the first PG-rated release in Disney history! It will be nominated for Academy Awards
for Cinematographyy and Visual Effects - Peter Ellenshaw, the acclaimed matte artist and Disney effects
veteran was lured out of retirement to oversee the production. James Macdonald (the second voice of
Mickey Mouse) has helped create the amazing sound effects.
Hollywood Pictures releases the historical drama Nixon, directed by Oliver Stone.
The film tells the story of the political and personal life of former U.S. President Richard Nixon, played by Anthony
Hopkins. The cast includes Joan Allen as Pat Nixon and Annabeth Gish as Julie Nixon Eisenhower.
Actress Madge Sinclair, the voice of Sarabi (Mufasa's wife and Simba's mother) in the 1994 animated feature film The Lion King, passes away at age 57 in Los Angeles, California. She was best known for her roles in Cornbread, Earl and Me (1975), Coming to America (1988), Trapper John, M.D. (1980–1986), and the ABC TV miniseries Roots (1977).
The drama film Togo debuts on Disney+. It tells the story of a sled dog named Togo, who led the 1925 serum run (also known as the Great Race of Mercy). It stars Willem Dafoe as Leonhard Seppala, Julianne Nicholson as Constance Seppala, and Christopher Heyerdahl as George Maynard.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, a film produced, co-written, and directed by J. J. Abrams, is released to U.S. theaters. Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is the third installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, following The Force Awakens (2015) and The Last Jedi (2017). The Rise of Skywalker follows Rey, Finn, and Poe Dameron as they set out to lead the Resistance's final stand against Kylo Ren and the First Order, who themselves are now aided by the return of Emperor Palpatine. The cast includes the late Carrie Fisher (who appears through the use of repurposed unreleased footage from The Force Awakens), Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Billie Dee Williams, and Keri Russell.
The Goofy cartoon Aquamania, directed by Wolfgang Reitherman, is released. Boatsman Goofy and his son spend the weekend water-skiing.
Lyricist Ned Washington passes away at age 75 in Beverly Hills, California. A 12-time Oscar nominated lyricist, Washington helped write (along with Leigh Harline) the popular Disney tune "When You Wish Upon A Star" - which won an Oscar in 1940. Washington also co-wrote "Baby Mine" for Dumbo and the title song of Saludos Amigos. (His non-Disney works includes such songs as "Rawhide," "My Foolish Heart," "Green Dolphin Street," "Town Without Pity," and "Stella by Starlight.") He will be inducted a Disney Legend in 2001.
The Electrical Water Pageant returns to Walt Disney World. The 14 whimsical floating barges display a number of enchanting images like dolphins, seahorses, and turtles as it makes its way across the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake to classic Disney tunes. The display had been unavailable for guests to experience since the reopening of Walt Disney World back in July. The nighttime parade can be viewed from Disney's Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, and Disney’s Contemporary Resort.