Two Weeks in Disney Parks & Resorts History

Sheesh, life gets busy, and I fall way behind on this!  ….



Walt Disney World:  October 20, 1965
“The Orlando Sentinel” runs a story pegging Disney as the mystery industry buying up all the land required for the future theme park/resort destination.
Walt Disney World:  October 19, 1989
Body Wars debuts at Epcot Center in the Wonders of Life pavilion, in Future World.




New York World’s Fair:  October 17, 1965

The 1964-65 World’s Fair officially closes.  Three of the Walt Disney Productions produced attractions will be shipped back to California to be installed at DisneylandCarousel of Progress, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, and It’s a Small World.


Walt Disney World:  October 16, 2001

It is reported that the opening of newest Walt Disney World resort, POP Century, is postponed until further notice due a marked drop in theme park attendance since the September 11th terrorist attacks.



Walt Disney World:  October 15, 1971
The newly opened Walt Disney World resort is featured in LIFE magazine.  A color photo of 1,500 Disney employees, posing in front of Cinderella’s Castle, is featured on the cover.
Walt Disney World:  October 14, 1971
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea officially opens in Fantasyland.
Disneyland:  October 14, 2004

Bidding officially begins on eBay for the “Disneyland Haunted Mansion 1000th Ghost Experience”. The winning bidder will have their own personalized “tombstone” immortalized at the classic Anaheim park attraction, as well as receive a miniature version to keep. The unique gravestone will bear the winner’s first name and a humorous epitaph to be inspired by the winner’s interests or hobbies written and personalized by Walt Disney Imagineering.


Disneyland:  October 13, 1986

The Golden Horseshoe Revue, which has been running since day one (July 17, 1955) in Frontierland officially closes. The show holds the Guinness World Record for “greatest number of performances of any theatrical production”.  The show features Betty Taylor, who has played Sluefoot Sue for 30 years, the longestrunning cast member.




Disneyland:  October 11, 1955


Ticket books are available for the very first time at a cost of $2.50 per adult, $2.00 per junior and $1.50 per child.   The “A Day at Disneyland” book contains three A, two B, and three C tickets (D tickets won’t be added until the following year and E tickets in 1959).






Walt Disney World:  October 9, 2003

Epcot closes at 3:00 pm for a special evening press event in celebration of the grand opening of Mission: SPACE. The dedication is presided over by Michael Eisner, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Co., Carly Fiorina, CEO of  Hewlett Packard, and Sean O’Keefe, President of NASA. In attendance are legendary astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Jim Lovell and Wally Schirra.  



Mickey’s PhilharMagic, a new computer-animated 3-D  attraction officially opens at the Magic Kingdom.



Today in Disney Parks & Resorts History

Disneyland:  October 6, 1989
A brand-new, state of the art marquee, complete with digital readerboard is unveiled at the entrance to Disneyland‘s parking lot at Harbor Boulevard.   The new sign is 50 percent taller than its predecessor, the original sign first errected in 1958

Disneyland:  October 6, 2002
Disney’s California Adventure opens an all-new land, A Bug’s Land, designed especially for small children, inspired by
the Disney/Pixar movie “A Bug’s Life”.  Attractions include Flik’s Flyers, Tuck and Roll’s Drive’Em Buggies and Heimlich’s Chew-Chew.  The new land is an extension of the original Bountiful Valley Farm area, which has been home to the 3D film adventure, “It’s Tough to be a Bug” since the park opened in February 2001.

A Few Days in Disney Parks & Resorts History

Walt Disney World:  October 2, 1987
Following a very successful year of use at Disneyland,  the same $1 and $5 Disney Dollars debut at EPCOT Center.
Disneyland Paris:  October 2, 1999
Disneyland Paris introduces the FastPass system on Indiana Jones et le Tempil de Peril
Walt Disney World:  October 3, 1971
Peter Pan’s Flight opens at the Magic Kingdom, two days after the initial operating day.  Based on the 1953 animated film, and the 1955 Disneyland original attraction, guests board mini-pirate ships and “soar” over the skies of London and on to Neverland
Walt Disney World:  October 3, 1996
The world’s largest Disney store, the World of Disney, opens at Walt Disney World‘s Village Marketplace
Disneyland:  October 5, 1955
The Disneyland Hotel, located across the street from the main exit of Disneyland‘s parking lot opens with 104 rooms. The hotel is built and owned by the Wrather Corporation, operated by Jack Wrather, a personal friend of Walt Disney, who Walt offered the use of the Disneyland name.  (The hotel won’t be purchased by The Walt Disney Company until 1988).

Today in Disney Parks & Resorts History

Disneyland:  October 1, 1956
Disneyland welcomes its’ five-millionth guest
Walt Disney World:  October 1, 1971
The Magic Kingdom, the Contemporary Resort and the Polynesian Resort all open for the very first time at the all new Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.  Nearly 10,000 guests arrive on opening day.  This is Walt Disney Productions second theme park.

Walt Disney World:  October 1, 1982

Walt Disney World celebrates the grand opening of EPCOT Center, the company’s third theme park, with more more than 100 television crews from all over the world covering the event. Walt Disney’s wife Lillian Disney helps in the dedication of Spaceship Earth. EPCOT is an acronym coined by Walt Disney in 1966 which stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.  Though the EPCOT concept has changed from what Walt originally envisioned, the spirit and innovation needed to bring the dream to life live on in the theme park itself.
Tokyo Disneyland:  October 1, 1992
Splash Mountain opens at Tokyo Disneyland.  This is the third incarnation of this attraction.
Disneyland Paris:  October 1, 1994
Euro Disneyland officially changes its’ name to Disneyland Paris.
Disneyland and Walt Disney World:  October 1, 2006
Disney Parks’ new promotion, “Year of a Million Dreams” kicks off.  Daily prizes are awarded, including the coveted overnight stay inside Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom.

A Week in Disney Parks & Resorts History

Walt Disney World:  September 23, 1980
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad debuts in Frontierland at Walt Disney World‘s Magic Kingdom park.
Walt Disney World:  September 24, 1973
Construction begins in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom on a new one story structure to house General Electric’s Carousel of Progress.  The attraction will be shipped east from Disneyland and become a permanent addition in Florida.
Walt Disney World:  September 24, 2001
Epcot‘s all new Tapestry of Dreams parade debuts as part of the 100 Years of Magic celebration, commemorating the 100th year since Walt Disney’s birth
Walt Disney World:  September 26, 1967
Compass East Corporation, a conglomeration of many dummy companies responsible for purchasing all of the land for the new Walt Disney World theme park and resort slated to open in 1971, is renamed the Walt Disney World Company




Disneyland:  September 28, 1953
Herb Ryman and Walt Disney sketch out plans for a new theme park to be built in Anaheim, California – Disneyland.   Walt’s brother Roy will be taking the plans with him to New York City to meet with the 3 major TV networks seeking financing for the new park.  (Unfortunately CBS TV executives are not interested;  NBC’s parent company RCA, hesitates to make a commitment; But ABC eagerly agrees to participate!  The final agreement won’t be signed until April 1954, but will include a $500,000 investment from ABC, plus a guarantee for a $4.5 million line of credit – in return for a 35% ownership interest in Disneyland and a weekly one-hour TV program of Disney films and production for television, hosted by Walt Disney himself.  With the ongoing success of the park, both Walt and Roy find a way to buy back ABC’s ownership interest by 1957 – and ironically, in 2002, the Walt Disney Company purchases the parent company of ABC!)




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