Smash Mouth, S.O.S. Band and Paul Jackson Jr. help ring in 2006 with
a special New Year's Eve concert at Downtown Disney's Pleasure Island.
Celebrated every evening since 1990, tonight is the final time Pleasure Island will celebrate
"New Year's Eve" on a nightly basis.
Disney World's Timekeeper (a Tomorrowland attraction) plays what will be
its final show. It will close for good in February 2006.
Virginia Davis, Walt Disney's first human star, is born in Kansas City, Missouri. She began working full-time for Walt in the
summer of 1924 and appeared in the first 13 titles of his live action/animated
Western entertainer & Disney Legend Rex Allen is born in his
Grandmother Clark's home in Wilcox, Arizona. He performed as a narrator,
singer, and actor in more than 80 Disney films and provide the voices for 150 different Disney
cartoon characters. Allen was the original voice of the father and later the voice of the
grandfather in Disney's Carousel of Progress!
A Florentine publisher named G. Nerbini launches a weekly magazine called
Topolino (which means "mouse" in Italian). This Italian version of Mickey Mouse is primitively
drawn - but still easily recognizable to fans.
Walt Disney and his wife gain a second daughter when they adopt a baby girl named Sharon Mae (born on this day in Los Angeles, California). Sharon appeared in the 1950 television special One Hour in Wonderland and had a small role in the 1957 film Johnny Tremain. Later in life she was elected to the board of directors of The Walt Disney Company. She married first Robert B. Brown, who died shortly after Walt, and later William Lund. She had three children.
Actor & Disney Legend Tim Considine - Spin Evans of Disney's
Spin and Marty TV serial - is born in Los Angeles, California.
Leigh Woolfenden, of Phoenix, Arizona becomes the
ten-millionth guest to enter Disneyland!
A New Year's Eve party is held for the first time in
Disneyland. The event draws 7,500 people.
The World of Motion Pavilion at Disney World's Epcot closes. This sleek, circular structure
housed one of Disney's largest collections of Audio-Animatronic figures (188) set in 24 scenes. Each one depicted
the progression of transportation and society through the ages. (It will be replaced with Test Track.)
The Teen Idol Tour - starring Bobby Sherman, Davy Jones, and Peter Noone -
comes to Disney-MGM Studios for 2 evening performances. Earlier in the afternoon
Sherman attends a special luncheon for fans at the Grand Floridian Convention Center.
Meanwhile over at Pleasure Island, a concert featuring Huey Lewis & The News,
Sister Hazel, and Rick Springfield takes place.
Disney's internal staff newsletter Eyes and Ears announces that Epcot's
Horizons will close to guests in nine days.
Disney's Fantasia 2000 is generally released in the U.S.
Cheap Trick rocks Disney-MGM Studios.
Vertical Horizon headlines a New Year's Eve show at Walt Disney World.
Cyndi Lauper headlines the New Year's Eve entertainment lineup at
Downtown Disney Pleasure Island in Florida.
David Swift, a writer-director-producer whose career included stints as an
animator at Walt Disney Studios and writing comedy for radio, dies at age 82
at St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California.
Swift created Wally Cox's popular "Mr. Peepers" television series in the early 1950s and made his debut as a
movie director in 1960 guiding a young Hayley Mills in Disney's Pollyanna. He also worked on such Disney
classics as Snow White, Fantasia, Dumbo, Pinocchio, The Reluctant Dragon, Peter Pan and 101
Dalmations. (Throughout the '70s, he directed such TV shows as "Barney Miller," "The Love Boat" and
"Eight Is Enough.")
Terror of Tower's new random drop sequence officially debuts
at Disney-MGM Studios. It is the fourth show enhancement since the
attraction first opened in 1994.
AT&T's sponsorship of Epcot's Spaceship Earth ends.
The B-52's, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, and Chris Botti rock Downtown Disney Pleasure Island, Florida.
Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve airs segments from Walt Disney World Resort.
The U.S. Postal Service unveils 4 new 37-cent postage stamps featuring
Disney characters. The stamps, which celebrate friendship as portrayed by the Walt Disney studio, will be
issued sometime in mid-2004.
Blondie and the Sugar Hill Gang headline Walt Disney World's New Year's Eve
celebration at Pleasure Island.
Cirque du Soleil presents a special New Year's production of La Nouba at their
permanent facility in Downtown Disney, Florida. Guests received champagne and a limited
edition show program including a special insert containing performers’ signatures.
Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin' Eve airs segments live from Walt Disney World.
Cheap Trick, Tone Loc and Kurtis Blow headline the New Year's Eve entertainment lineup at Downtown Disney Pleasure Island, Florida.
Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin' Eve airs segments live from Walt Disney World.
Universal's feature 40 Pounds of Trouble, starring Tony Curtis and Suzanne
Pleshette, is released. It is the first non-Disney motion picture to use Disneyland as a location!
In this day's issue of Newsweek magazine, Walt Disney talks about plans of
creating an attraction at Disneyland for "all of the Disney characters, so everyone
can see them… I have in mind a theater, and the figures will not only put on the
show but be sitting in the boxes with the visitors, heckling. I don't know just when
I'll do that." Almost a decade later, “The Mickey Mouse Revue” will open at Walt Disney World.
Disney's High School Musical The Concert Tour pulls into Uniondale,
New York (on Long Island) for a performance at the Nassau Coliseum.
Dozens of Ugly Betty look-alike actresses roam through the Disney-MGM Studios theme park to promote ABC-TV's "Be Ugly in '07" campaign.
The Disney live-action comedy feature The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes,
starring Kurt Russell, Cesar Romero, and Joe Flynn, is released.
Dexter Riley (Russell), a science student, accidentally acquires all of the knowledge stored up in a used computer recently obtained for Medfield College when he tries to replace a fuse. The information includes data about a bookie ring, and Dexter’s life is threatened! But in the end he saves the day by capturing the crooks
and winning a cash contest on television for Medfield.
More than 8,000
were originally employed to
build Walt Disney World.
The very first Magic Kingdom New Year's Eve Party is held at Walt Disney
World, from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tickets ($7.50 in advance and $9.00 night of the party)
include admission, entertainment, hats & noisemakers.
Meanwhile singer Patti Page and dixieland bandleader and vocalist Bob Crosby star in the
Contemporary Hotel's New Year’s Party.
Actor Tim Matheson, who portrays Captain Braddock in Epcot's Body Wars
attraction and Private Jeff Reed in the 1979 The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again,
is born in Glendale, California. (Fans of Animal House will always remember Matheson as Otter!)
Disney recording artists Miley Cyrus and Jonas Brothers appear live on
ABC-TV's Dick Clark's Rockin' New Years Eve from New York City.
This evening's New Year’s Eve Party and midnight fireworks display over Sleeping Beauty Castle are broadcast live from Disneyland as part of Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin Eve on ABC-TV.
A record 82,404 guests visit Walt Disney World on this day!
A new record-setting 92,969 guests visit Walt Disney World
on this final day of the year!
The Firehouse Five Plus Two (a Dixieland jazz band made up of Disney Studio
employees) perform in a large rehearsal room above Roy Hart’s Drum City, a
percussion store on Santa Monica Boulevard near Vine Street in Hollywood,
California. After the performance, the group is approached by Lester Koenig, a former assistant producer at
Paramount Pictures, who wants to become a record producer. He wishes to record the group's first album.
(Koenig will start the Good Time Jazz Record Company and in May 1949 record the first Firehouse Five session!)
Writer Merrill De Maris passes away at age 50 in California. Helping cartoonist Floyd Gottfredson with many of his early Mickey Mouse comic strips; they co-created famous characters like Phantom Blot, Chief O'Hara and Detective Casey. In 1942 they gave Minnie Mouse a full name as Minerva Mouse, for the four-month comic strip story "The Gleam." De Maris also wrote for the Silly Symphony comic strip from December 1937 to October 1942, writing the comic strip adaptations of the feature films Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio and Bambi.
Marvel shareholders approve the acquisition of Marvel by the Walt
Disney Company. Disney now owns the rights to over 5,000 super heroes, villains, and
general comic book characters.
performance at Disney Hall in Downtown Los Angeles. (This past September, the
band performed at Epcot during the International Food and Wine Festival.)
At Disney World the New Year's Eve entertainment includes Buster Poindexter, Fleetwood Mac, Peabo Bryson, and the Marshall Tucker Band at Pleasure Island.
Over at Disney-MGM, Flash Cadillac, The Turtles, and "Mike Harvey’s Super Gold New Year’s Eve" perform for guests while Papa Doo Run Run entertains at the Magic Kingdom.
Attendance at the Magic Kingdom for the past year totals in at 11,577,146 guests!
An elegant black-tie gala at the Grand Floridian Beach Resort is held to celebrate
New Year’s Eve. Entertainment is supplied by Frankie Avalon, the Four Seasons quartet and the Palm
Beach Society Orchestra (today known as the Grand Floridian Society Orchestra).
Meanwhile over at Epcot, the Bob Crosby Orchestra performs for park guests.
Devo and the Village People head the Pleasure Island lineup on New Year's Eve.
Walt Disney World hosts an amazing New Year's Eve line-up of entertainment.
Disney-MGM Studios features "Thirty Years of Rock 'n Roll" with Mitch Ryder, Al Wilson, Otis Day and the
Knights, Pat Upton, Jewel Akens, Mickey Dolenz, Donnie Brooks, Flash Cadillac, and Cannibal and the
Headhunters. Epcot Center stages Kool and the Gang.
Pleasure Island hosts British rockers Right Said Fred, singer Kenny Loggins, Artie Shaw Orchestra,
singer/comedian “Weird Al” Yankovic, Spyro Gyra, Sheena Easton, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, the Spinners
and country music artist Dave Durham.
Stage, television and film actor Michael Shulman is born in New York. Acting since
childhood, he began his career in theatre and quickly appeared in more than 10 plays and musicals,
including a two year run on Broadway in Les Misérables. Shulman's Disney credits include Recess, Recess: School's Out, Recess: All Growed Down, and the Disney Channel sci-fi comedy Can of Worms.
Tonya Mikesh, 45, and Jeff Reitz, 40, complete their goal of visiting Disneyland
every day in 2012! The challenge started as a way to keep from being bored while looking for jobs. When
the couple (who have annual passes) both got jobs, they were determined to make the goal in spite of work.
Tony Award winner Idina Menzel rings in the New Year at Walt Disney Concert
Hall (in Downtown Los Angeles, California) with two evening performances. The Wicked singing star unveils a brand-new show, which includes original material
and New Year’s Eve-style songs. For the first time ever, a New Year’s Eve party is held in Walt Disney Concert
Hall’s BP Hall from 8:30 PM-10:30 PM featuring
complimentary festivities and a free glass of champagne for all ticket holders.
Walt Disney World is jam-packed with guests on this New Year's Eve. Magic Kingdom
guests are turned away as a "Phase 3 closure" is put into effect due to the large number of holiday visitors already
inside the park. The Phase 3 Closure, the highest level of closure before closing down the entire park, allows only
annual-pass holders and hotel guests to be admitted.
Walt Disney World streams live their New Year's Eve presentation of
"Fantasy in the Sky" fireworks from Magic Kingdom Park. Fans all over the world
take part in the excitement via Disney Parks Blog.
Disney animator and story/storyboard writer Ralph Wright passes away at age 75 in
California. Wright came to the studio in the 1940s, and became well known throughout the ensuing decades for
his endearingly gloomy and sullen personality traits as well as his bass voice. He turned out to be a natural model
and voice for Eeyore when the studio began development on Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree. He, along with
his fellow Disney contemporaries, was a pioneer in the use of "gags" within cartoons, often acted out in front of the
"story board," a bulletin board pinned with sequential sketches of the cartoon's scenes. His long list of Disney credits
include The Three Caballeros, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty and The Jungle Book.
Actress, singer and dancer Bebe Neuwirth is born in Newark, New Jersey. Known for her television role of Lilith Sternin on both the sitcom Cheers and its spin-off Frasier, she supplied the voice of Sylvia Marpole for the 2000 An Extremely Goofy Movie.
Actor Val Kilmer is born in Los Angeles, California. He became popular in the mid-1980s after a string of appearances in such films as Top Secret! (1984), Real Genius (1985), Top Gun (1986), and the Hollywood Pictures western Tombstone (1993). Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures, Kilmer played Doc Holliday. He also
supplied the voice of Bravo in the 2013 animated Planes.
John Lasseter, Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios’ chief creative officer, leaves both companies, following revelations last year that he acted inappropriately toward employees. Lasseter has been on a leave of absence from the studio since November, when he first
acknowledged what he worded as "missteps" that left his employees feeling "disrespected and uncomfortable."
Lasseter was one of Pixar Animation Studios’ first employees, and he directed its earliest hits including Toy Story,
A Bug’s Life, and Toy Story 2.
The special New Year's Eve Countdown Edition of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth takes place for the last time. An Epcot tradition every December 31, a special New Year's Eve countdown show kicks off at 11:40 PM. Reflections of Earth is scheduled to end on September 30, 2019.
Actor Ben Kingsley is born Krishna Pandit Bhanji in England. With a career spanning over 50 years, his credits include Tuck Everlasting (2002), Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010), Iron Man 3 (2013), and The Jungle Book (2016).
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom Park begins turning away guests on this busy New Year's Eve. At about 2:00 in the afternoon Magic Kingdom Park stops admitting new guests, instead steering visitors toward the Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Epcot and Hollywood Studios.
Actress Beverley Elliott is born in Ontario, Canada. Best known for playing the role of Granny in ABC-TV's Once Upon a Time, her Disney film credits include Duets and The Santa Clause 2.
Water color painter Elmer Plummer passes away at age 76 in Oregon. Starting at the Disney Studios in the mid-1930s, he produced art and developed many of the gag and comic ideas for cartoon shorts featuring Goofy. Later he contributed to Fantasia, Dumbo and The Three Caballeros. After World War II, Plummer continued to work on special projects for Walt Disney and taught art at the Chouinard Art Institute. Today Plummer is considered one of the leading artists of the 1930s California Water Color Movement.
Radio Disney begins to wind down operations as their DJ's host their final shows. The network is discontinued on SiriusXM and Radio Disney Country is completely shut down at noon Pacific Time on this day as well.
Instead of ringing in 2021 with a live fireworks display, Disney offers a previously-recorded presentation of 2017’s "Fantasy in the Sky" fireworks at Magic Kingdom starting at 11:48 p.m. A link to the video is made available on the Disney Parks Blog.