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!)




A Few Days in Disney History


Disneyland:  September 18, 1986


Captain EO a 3D sci-fi musical spectacular opens in Tomorrowland at Disneyland.  The film, which first premiered 6 days earlier at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT Center, brings together three “greats” of the entertainment world – producer George Lucas, director Francis Ford Coppola, and pop star Michael Jackson, who is Captain EO in the film.  The film tells the story of Captain EO and his ragtag crew as they try to spread a positive message through the fantasy galaxy they inhabit.  The 17 minute film cost nearly $30 million dollars to produce – the most expensive film ever produced on a per-minute basis.  






DISNEYLAND: September 19, 1959
Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev arrives in Los Angeles, California during his thirteen-day visit to the United States. He is famously turned down on his request to visit Disneyland, due to security officials not being able to guarantee is safety.  The disgruntled Premier and his family attend a luncheon at Twentieth-Century Fox Studios instead.

Disneyland:  September 19, 1986
Following the Grand Opening of Captain EO the day prior, Disneyland hosts a 60-hour party for this newest 3D Tomorrowland attraction!  The park staying opening at 10 am and remaining open until 10 pm on September 21st.. Upon entry to the park, each guest receives a coupon (to be validated when they see the film) which allows them to exchange the coupon for a free T-shirt.


Walt Disney World:  September 20, 2003

Construction begins on Soarin’ , an exciting new IMAX-style film-based attraction to highlight a re-vamped The Land pavilion in Epcot‘s Future World.   Soarin’, which first premiered as Soaring Over California on February 8, 2001 at Disney’s California Adventure park at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA.  The imagineer who designed the attraction originally used an old “erector set” found in his attic as a way to boost capacity.  The film takes visitors all around the great state of California, and includes scenes with special, playful touches such as wind & smell to enhance the sensory sensations.  The film climaxes with a dramatic fly over of Disneyland at Christmastime, and includes the famous Mickey-head fireworks.   


Walt Disney World:  September 21, 1994

Apple Computers begin sponsorship of Innovations East at EPCOT Center.

Walt Disney World: September 21, 1996

Illuminations 25 begins at EPCOT Center.  It is a brand-new show replacing the original Illuminations, designed to showcase Walt Disney World’s 25th anniversary.  (It will officially have it’s “Grand Premiere” in October).

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