Today in Disney History

Disneyland:  May 23, 1983
After more than a year of construction, Disneyland celebrates the grand opening of the completely renovated “New Fantasyland“.   28 years later, the children of the original kids that first crossed the castle’s drawbridge in 1955 are the first to enter the newly renovated land. In the presence of Walt’s widow, Lillian Disney, the drawbridge of Sleeping Beauty Castle is lowered for only the second time in the park’s history! A completely new and unique attraction joins the Fantasyland roster – Pinocchio’s Daring Journey, an all-new “dark ride” joining such classics as Peter Pan’s Flight and Snow White’s Scary Adventures.  A brand new Dumbo the Flying Elephants, now soaring above a ring of water, has replaced the original; and a relocated Mad Tea Party is better situated located next to the Alice in Wonderland attraction.  The entire land has been rethemed from its’ original circus-tent facade feel, to better fit in with the charm and theming of each story told – European architecture is found throughout the land.  The all-new dining facility Village Haus, similar to that found in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom is now located next to Pinocchio’s Daring Journey.  Additionally, a brand new path to Frontierland, the Big Thunder Trail has been opened up, taking guests behind Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, improving the flow of guest traffic between both lands.
 
 
Tokyo Disneyland:  May 23, 1983
In a record yet to be rivaled by any Disney park worldwide, Tokyo Disneyland welcomes its 1-millionth guest in less than 2 months of operation.  (Disneyland by contrast welcomed its’ one millionth visitor after just 11 weeks,  The Magic Kingdom after more than 3 months)
 
 

Disneyland:  May 23, 1997
After a highly touted year-long retirement campaign for the venerable, world-famous Main Street Electrical Parade throughout 1996, the highly anticipated (and marketed) replacement “nighttime streetacular” Light Magic premieres.   The floats are all covered with fiber optics, and move along the famed parade route, stopping in two “performance corridors” – one along Main Street, U.S.A., the other in the “Small World Promenade”.  The music is celtic-inspired.  The films depicted in the streetacular include:  “Bambi”, “Beauty & the Beast”, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, “Mary Poppins”, “Cinderella”, “Pinocchio”, and “The Little Mermaid.”   (It opened to extremely poor reviews, and was quickly removed from the park a mere four months later, never to be seen again).

  
Walt Disney World:  May 23, 2001
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin soar to life in Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom
 

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