Today in Disney History

Disneyland, June 17, 1971
At 11:13 am, Valerie Suldo of New Jersey becomes the 100-millionth guest
Disneyland, June 17, 1972
An all-new form of nighttime entertainment kicks off the summer “in thousands of sparkling lights and electrosynthomagnetic musical sounds” – The Main Street Electric Parade starts down Main Street, U.S.A. for the very first time.
Disneyland Resort:  June, 17 2008
Fireworks, dancing and parachuting sky divers mark the grand opening festivties for Toy Story Midway Mania a brand new interactive attraction located in the Paradise Pier section of Disney’s California Adventure. After three years of design and construction, the attraction‘s queue area features a large audio-animatronic Mr. Potato Head figure that interacts with guests through pre-recorded dialogue performed by comedian Don Rickles, who also voiced the character in the Toy Story” films. The sophisticated figure can identify people in the audience, sing and tell jokes.  Though originally designed for Disney’s California Adventure, it was quickly determined to add the same attraction in to Disney’s Hollywood Studios park at Walt Disney World.  Construction needs were not as great in Florida, since the California attraction was built behind the California Screamin’ roller coaster with the queue in front of the coaster, and the Florida attraction was simply added inside a converted former sound stage facility.  Because of that fact, construction in Florida was less than half the time required in California and the Florida attraction, dubbed Toy Story Mania! opened a month prior.   It is the first interactive attraction designed by the Imagineers that can provide a quick change out of any individual part or sequence by simply changing the computer program, meaning quick seasonal overlays could happen virtually overnight instead of during a lengthy rehab process as the more traditional attractions would require.

2 thoughts to “Today in Disney History”

  1. Ok, I’ve read it 3 times, and I still have no idea what “electrosynthomagnetic” means, or how it can be musical.

    You know, I still have not seen Toy Story Mania. This is my #1 thing to do on our next trip!

  2. Weeeeellllll… it’s music produced completely electronically. And it was 1972. Electronic music was all still a pretty new thing since the late ’60’s when some folks started producing musical sounds that way vs. on traditional instruments. It was a cool, hip way of describing it. I took it directly from the opening announcement as the lights on Main Street dim, an electronic trumpet fanfare sounds and then electronically produced voice comes over the loudspeakers…

    “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls…Disneyland proudly presents our spectacular festival pageant of nighttime magic and imagination in thousands of sparkling lights and electrosynthomagnetic musical sounds…the Main Street Electrical Parade!” then the lights extinquish completely and the parade kicks off. Definitely a sight (and sound) to behold.

    Disneyland was the first to truly popularize electronic music in such a massive setting, and definitely the first to use it in a parade setting. And they took the main theme song, Baroque Hoedown, and then transformed it throughout the parade’s various segments blending it’s primary theme into each of the various show scenes – from Alice & Cinderella, to Peter Pan, Snow White, etc.

    So there you go. Now you know.

    And oh yeah – you’ve definitely got to get on TSM!! Be sure to get their for rope drop, and definitely go there and get FP’s first…then get in the regular line. You’ll no doubt want to do it twice at least.

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