Today in Disney History

Disneyland:  May 19, 1971
Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes debut in Frontierland on the Rivers of America.  On this “human-powered” free-floating canoe experience, guests use oars to circle Tom Sawyer Island, and are led by explorer guides wearing coonskin caps and moccasins, Inspired by the Davy Crockett series highlighted on the original “Disneyland” television show of the 1950’s,  it had originally opened as Indian War Canoes in 1956. 
 
 
Disneyland:  May 19, 2007
Directly in front of the original world-famous attraction that inspired the film trilogy; utilizing an enormous screen errected across the front of Tom Sawyer Island; with specially constructed bleacher seating wrapping around the water’s edge of the Rivers of America; and a red-carpet running all the way up Main Street, U.S.A., through Frontierland, and into New Orleans Square, Disneyland hosts a gala world premiere for the feature film “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End”.  Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush and many other cast members, producers and crew attend the world premiere.

Today in Disney History

Walt Disney World:  May 18, 1993
Popular tv sitcom Full House visits Walt Disney World in Part 2 of “The House Meets the Mouse.”
 
 
Walt Disney World:  May 18, 2004
Celebrate Mickey: 75 InspEARations – a collection of 6′ tall Mickey Mouse statues decorated by celebrites, sports figures, artists, musicians and other famous personalities, first displayed at Walt Disney World beginning in November 2003 – begins a U.S. tour that’ll span the nation before stopping in May 2005 for the kick-off of the 50th anniversary celebration of Disneyland.  Following a stay at Disneyland, the collection will be moved to Sotheby’s where each statue will be auctioned off in support of various childrens’ charities.

Today in Disney History

Tokyo Disneyland: May 17, 1986
American Journeys, a CircleVision 360 film debuts at Tokyo Disneyland.
 
 Walt Disney World:  May 17, 1991
Phase I of the new budget conscious resort, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort, a re-creation of the streets and rowhouses of New Orleans’ French Quarter, opens at 2201 Orleans Drive in Walt Disney World. The resort initially offers 432 guest rooms in 3 buildings, however an additional 4 buildings remain under construction on opening day housing 1,008 rooms.  The resort offers shopping (Jackson Square Gifts and Desires) and dining (Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory food court and Bonfamille’s Cafe restaurant).  Located on the shores of the Sassagoula River, the resort is just a short boat ride away from the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village & Marketplace and the nighttime entertainment district of Pleasure Island.
  
Walt Disney World:  May 17, 2004
Phase I of Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, the 7th Disney Vacation Club property, but the 5th resort located at Walt Disney World, opens.  The initial phase, called “Congress Park” has 3 buildings containing 184 Vacation Villas, or a possible 280 guest rooms. This resort, located at 1960 Broadway on 65 acres directly across Lake Buena Vista from Downtown Disney, and  inspired by the horse racing culture and famed 1880’s spas found in its’ upstate New York area namesake, is situated on the former site of the Disney Institute which closed in 2002.   (Phase II will later open in 2005, Phase III in 2007 and Phase IV, the re-created Treehouse Villas in 2009.  By the end of construction, the resort will include 828 Vacation Villas or a possible 1260 guest rooms.) 

Today in Disney History

Walt Disney World:  May 16, 1991
Jim Henson’s MuppetVision 3-D premieres at the Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park.  Housed in a 500-plus seat multi-media theater, this new Muppet based attraction is just the first of several planned for a Muppet-based expansion of the Backlot Annex area of the park of attractions, shops and a restaurant.  (Ultimately with the exception of a single shop and fountain, the remaining Muppet based expansion will not be built as planned, but instead constructed and re-themed).

Today in Disney History

 
Walt Disney Studios:  May 15, 1928
Walt Disney’s first silent short to feature Mickey & Minnie Mouse, “Plane Crazy” premieres as a sneak preview at a theatre on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. The silent film which parodies the Charles Lindbergh craze, and was co-directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks cost $1,772 to produce.  Sound will be added later on for the film’s re-release in March 1929.
 e added to Plane Crazy when it is re-released in March 1929.

Walt Disney World:  May 15, 1974

Card Walker, president and chief operating officer of Walt Disney Productions, announces at a meeting of the American Marketing Association that the company will be moving ahead “in a phased program” with the development of Walt Disney’s concept for EPCOT (an idea for a real physical “city of tomorrow”). The process of breaking down the concept and concocting something different with the pieces has begun.
 
  
Walt Disney World:  May 15,1995
The California Grill opens on the 15th floor of the Contemporary Resort (in the former site of the original Top of the World) at Walt Disney World. Located on the resort’s top floor, the restaurant offers dining guests a spectacular view of the nightly fireworks extravaganza at the nearby Magic Kingdom.