Administrator - Senior Imagineer
Posted - 04/23/2011 : 10:56:52 AM
The Midget Autopia opens in Disneyland. It is the third (and smallest) Autopia track, following the Tomorrowland Autopia (1955) and the Junior Autopia in Fantasyland (1956). The Midget Autopia, located right next to the Storybook Land Canal Boats, is for very young guests who are too small to ride the other Autopia attractions. (It will close in April 1966 and be donated to Walt Disney's boyhood hometown of Marceline, Missouri.)
Musical cues and various sound effects are recorded at Whitney Studios and the Walt Disney Productions Recording Stage (both located in California) for Disneyland's much anticipated Haunted Mansion attraction (scheduled for an August debut).
The Fantasy in the Sky fireworks show debuts at the new Tokyo Disneyland.
In Florida, a groundbreaking ceremony takes place for Walt Disney World's Grand Floridian Beach Resort. It will open in June 1988.
At a dedication service, Walker Ranch officially becomes Disney Wilderness Preserve. Disney and the South Florida Water Management District had come to an agreement in 1992, allowing Disney to develop on an area in Central Florida (closer to their theme parks) if Disney would purchase and preserve Walker Ranch, 8,500 acres of wetlands located about 15 miles south of Disney World. The preserve is home to two endangered species, the bald eagle and the wood stork, as well as several other threatened species. Disney will use the Central Florida area to build Celebration, a new city themed after a typical small American town of the 1940s and '50s. Today the Disney Wilderness Preserve is owned and operated by The Nature Conservancy.
The day after the debut of Disney's Animal Kingdom, The Orlando Sentinel runs the story - "What a day in Kingdom" by staff writers Cory Lancaster, Tim Barker and Lesley Clark.
"The house was packed. The lines generally were short. The glitches were few. And the weather was perfect. Add to that good news from federal investigators and a splendid earnings report announcing a planned stock split. Could even Disney have scripted a day like this?
The planets seemed in perfect alignment Wednesday as Walt Disney World opened its fourth and largest theme park to a crowd of thousands, who began arriving at the gates before dawn. "
Pixar animator & writer Joe Ranft (in the middle of a Florida vacation with his family)visits Walt Disney World. He offers a presentation for Disney Feature Animation Florida and later drops by
the Disney Institute to spend some time with the Animation Team (including instructor Jim Korkis).
Walt Disney World confirms that It's A Small World will be closing for almost a year for improvements. (Disney hopes the boat ride will re-open in March 2005.)
Disneyland Park guests are offered a sneak peek at Walt Disney's Parade of Dreams. The all-new parade highlights classic Disney stories and characters that have contributed to Disneyland over the past five decades.
Disney Grad Nite kicks off for the first time this season at WDW's Magic Kingdom. An exclusive annual event for High School Seniors, this weekend's entertainment includes Paramore. (Disney Grad Nite will continue the following evening and then again on April 30 & May 1.)
Have a Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Day!