Composer Phil Collins and the cast of Disney's newest stage
 musical Tarzan begin rehearsals in Brooklyn, New York.
The play Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up, by James Barrie, opens at the Duke of York's Theater in London, England. Nina Boucicault, daughter of playwright Dion Boucicault, stars as Peter and Gerald du Maurier portrays Captain Hook. Following the success of this London production, theatrical producer Charles Frohman will mount a production in New York City in 1905. 
(First appearing in a section of "The Little White Bird", a 1902 novel written by Barrie for adults, an animated 
Peter Pan will be released by Disney in 1953.)
Disney animator & cartoonist John "Jack" Morin Bradbury is born in Seattle,
Washington. He joined Disney in 1934 at age 20 as an in-betweener on several shorts and later worked on larger projects, such as PinocchioFantasia, and Bambi. In 1947 he joined Western Publishing and drew Disney comics for the next 3 decades.
While flying in rain and poor visibility south of Newhall, California, a United Airlines twin-engine Boeing airliner crashes in the Santa Susana Mountains. All 12 persons aboard the aircraft (9 passengers & 3 crew members) including H. S. Teague, 28, a cartoonist at Walt Disney Studios, perish.
Walt Disney appears on the cover of TIMEThe publication profiles Disney the week Snow White
 and the Seven Dwarfs is released, calling the film "the most ambitious animated cartoon ever attempted."
Actor John Amos, who appears in the 1973 live-action Disney feature The World's Greatest Athlete, is born in Newark, New Jersey. (TV fans will recognize him as James Evans from the hit 1970s series Good Times.)
Disney's Pluto cartoon Pantry Pirate is released. Directed by Clyde Geronimi, Pluto finds himself
 banished to his doghouse for trying to raid the pantry ... but the smell of roast ham is more than he can resist!
Walt Disney appears on the cover of TIME magazine (for the second time). The issue 
features an article titled "Father Goose," and this quote from artist Salvador Dalí: "Disney is innocence in action. He 
has the innocence and unselfconsciousness of a child. He still looks at the world with uncontaminated wonder, and 
with all living things, he has a terrific sympathy. It was the most natural thing in the world for him to imagine that
mice and squirrels might have feelings just like his."
Today is Guest Star Day on Mickey Mouse ClubThe Firehouse Five Plus Two,
 a Dixieland jazz band led by Disney animator Ward Kimball, appear.
Critic, reporter & columnist Sarah Vowell, the voice of Violet Parr 
in Disney/Pixar's The Incredibles, is born in Muskogee, Oklahoma. 
(She is best known for her bits on public radio's This American Life.)
The University of Miami Hurricanes and the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers
 (scheduled to battle for the National Championship at the Rose Bowl on January
 3, 2002) make their first official Southern California appearance at the new
 Disney's California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort. The two top-ranked football teams
 and their coaches take part in a festive "Welcome to California" event.
An event is held at Disney's California Adventure to welcome the 2003 Rose Bowl teams, the Oklahoma Sooners and the Washington State Cougars. Acappella group Groove 66 kicks off the festivities with their version of "I Just Want to Fly." 
Holiday crowds are so thick at Walt Disney World this afternoon that three parks close or divert traffic at various times. Because they have reached capacity, Magic Kingdom and Disney's Animal Kingdom both close by 1:15 p.m. At Disney-MGM Studios there are parking issues, and traffic is diverted away from the main parking lots for a couple of hours after 3 p.m.
Soon after the completion of
the Magic Kingdom at Walt
Disney World, someone said,
"Isn’t it too bad Walt Disney
didn’t live to see this?" Mike
Vance, then dean of Disney
University, replied,
"He did see it. That’s
why it’s here."

Today is National Fruitcake Day

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Disney World is visited by 71,328 holiday visitors on this day!


"Once in a while I make a bluff at being a genius. But what is a genius anyway? Edison said it was 99
percent perspiration and 1 percent inspiration. That’s what I think, too. The most important thing about me
is that I have always lived for pleasure. I have gone on doing what I had fun doing as a boy. I am a pleasure-
seeker." -Walt Disney
"Walt puts up this mild front but underneath it, there's drive, drive, drive." -Roy O. Disney
Continuing a tradition started by Walt Disney in 1959, this year's Rose Bowl teams
 – Big Ten Conference champion Wisconsin Badgers and Pac-12 Conference
 champion Oregon Ducks – kick off tournament week at Disneyland park.
Actor-turned-director/producer Jerome Courtland is born in Knoxville, Tennessee. In
1957 Courtland starred in the seven-episode miniseries "The Saga of Andy Burnett," which aired on Walt Disney’s
Wonderful World of Color. Two years later Courtland narrated the Disney short Noah’s Ark. As a director, he
worked on such Disney live-action films as Escape to Witch MountainRide a Wild Pony and Return From Witch
Mountain. He was also one of two producers of the partly animated 1977 Disney movie Pete’s Dragon.

The Alice Comedy Alice the Lumber Jack, featuring Margie Gay, is released.
December 27
Actress, novelist and screenwriter Carrie Fisher passes away at age 60.
Famously known for her role of Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy, she reprised
the role for the 2015 The Force Awakens (the first Star Wars theatrical feature that involved Disney). Archive
footage of her saying the word "hope" was used to portray Leia's voice in Rogue One (distributed by Disney 
earlier in December 2016).
Nominees for the 49th Golden Globe Awards are announced. Among the nominees-
-Best Motion Picture Musical or Comedy: Beauty and the Beast
-Best Original Song: "Beauty and the Beast" performed by Peabo Bryson and Céline Dion - Beauty and the Beast
and "Be Our Guest" performed by Angela Lansbury and Jerry Orbach - Beauty and the Beast
-Best Original Score: Beauty and the Beast - Alan Menken
-Best Television Series - Comedy or Musical: The Golden Girls
-Best Supporting Actress - Series, Miniseries or Television Film: Estelle Getty - The Golden Girls
Winners will be announced January 18, 1992.
Helene Stanley, an actress and a live model for Cinderella and other Disney
characters, passes away at age 61 in Los Angeles, California. Born Dolores Diane Freymouth
in 1929, her collaboration with Disney started around 1950. She became the live-action model for Cinderella,
Sleeping Beauty's Aurora, and the character of Anita Radcliff in One Hundred and One Dalmatians.
Actress Emilie de Ravin is born in Mount Eliza, Victoria, Australia. She starred as Claire Littleton on the ABC drama Lost (2004–2010) and as Belle on the ABC drama Once Upon a Time (2012–2018).
The score to the film Spies in Disguise, featuring the music of composer Theodore Shapiro, is released by Hollywood Records and Fox Music. The animated comedy is produced by Blue Sky Studios and distributed by 20th Century Fox (both divisions of Walt Disney Studios).
Leonard H. Goldenson, the second president of the United States-based television network American Broadcasting Company (ABC), from 1953 to 1986, passes away at age 94. He started with the organization in 1953 when he helped arrange the merger of United Paramount Theaters with the fledgling ABC (a failing collection of five television stations). He took a chance in 1954 by contracting for the first Disney television series, Disneyland, and investing in the park Walt was building in Anaheim. Prior to retiring, he merged ABC with Cap Cities. Goldenson will be named a Disney Legend posthumously in 2004.
'Ratatouille' fan Emily Jacobsen gets a sneak peek of the new Remy's Ratatouille Adventure at EPCOT. Using TikTok, the teacher from New York had created a song "Ode to Remy" last August 10, 2020. Her video quickly became a worldwide social media phenomenon. To celebrate her joy and creativity, Disney gives Jacobsen a backstage preview of the attraction (which will debut in 2021). Based on the film Ratatouille, guests shrink to the size of a rat as they race across the kitchen trying to avoid being caught by the staff with the help of Linguini.
Actor Harry Carey Jr. passes away at age 91 in California.
Between 1955 and 1957, Carey appeared as ranch counselor Bill Burnett in the serial "Spin and Marty," seen on Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Club. He also appeared in Disney's 1956 The Great Locomotive Chase as William Bensinger and the 1972 Run, Cougar, Run as Hank. Appearing in more than 90 films, Carey was also known for his roles on such Western television shows as The Lone RangerHave Gun - Will TravelGunsmoke, and Bonanza.