Today in Disney History

Walt Disney World:  May 1, 1977 
The “Empress Lilly,” a replica of a three-decked Mississippi steamship is christened by Walt Disney’s widow, Lillian, for whom it is named. Located at the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village, this new Walt Disney World landmark, contains 3 restaurants – Fisherman’s Deck, Steerman’s Quarters, and the Empress Room.
 
Walt Disney World:  May 1, 1989  
Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park, the Walt Disney Company’s 5th theme park opens. Although it rains throughout the day, the park is packed. It is the largest opening day press event in Walt Disney World history. Attractions in the park include Walt Disney Studios Animation Studios (where guests can watch story personnel, animators, artists and technicians produce motion pictures), The Great Movie Ride, SuperStar Television, and The Monster Sound Show. The Great Movie Ride, a full-scale replica of famed Graumann’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, CA features a courtyard for celebrity handprints and signatures.
 
Pleasure Island, on the extreme west side of the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village opens today as well, offering a unique late-night entertainment venue for adults.  Based on the extremely popular Church Street Station in nearby Orlando, the Walt Disney Company hopes to offer an alternative of their own for after theme park hours.  The island is filled with shops, restaurants and a variety of six different nightclubs including a Jazz club, Comedy Warehouse, Adventurer’s Club, Mannequins dance club, the Zephyr RockinRolladrome and Videopolis Cafe (an indoor version of Disneyland’s very popular under-21 dance area).
 
 
Walt Disney World:  May 1, 2009 
Disney Vacation Club opens the first phase of Kidani Village, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge resort.  Kidani Village is an extension of the overall resort adding a completely dedicated wing of  time-share villa accomodations, complementing the existing (and now renamed building) Jambo House, which includes both traditional hotel rooms and time-share villa accomodationsThe name Kidani comes from the Swahili word for “necklace” and is meant to represent the resort’s layout.

 

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