Thursday, January 31, 2008

Jan 31: CommuniCore's End

On this day in 1994, Epcot's CommuniCore East and West both closed. Located in two semi-circle buildings to the east and west of Spaceship Earth, CommuniCore featured science and technology exhibits.
Designed to tbe the central hub of the park, this area was often referred to as "Future World's Global Main Street." The pavilions (opened since Epcot's 1982 debut) presented such attractions over the years as FutureCom, Phraser, Chip Cruiser, Epcot Outreach, Expo Robotics, Compute-A-Coaster, Backstage Magic, and the Astuter Computer Revue.
In an effort to keep Epcot updated, CommuniCore was closed and redesigned into Innoventions (which opened in July 1994).

Click HERE for more January 31 Disney history.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Jan 30: Author of Fantasy

On this day in 1924, author Lloyd Alexander was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (and later raised in Drexel Hill). Though neither of his parents cared for books, he decided to become a writer while in his early teens.
His most famous work is the children's fantasy The Chronicles of Prydain, a 5-volume series. The first two books formed the basis for Disney's 1985 animated film The Black Cauldron. Alexander's fantasy novels detail the adventures of Taran (a young man who is awarded the honor of Assistant Pig-Keeper but dreams of being a grand hero) and his four unlikely companions.
The author of more than 40 books, winner of two National Book Awards, Alexander was also a cartoonist, advertising writer, layout artist, and magazine editor.
Sadly he passed away in 2007 at age 83.

Click HERE for more January 30 Disney history.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Jan 29: Disney's Debut Of Princess Aurora

On this day in 1959, Disney's sixteenth animated feature Sleeping Beauty was released. It was the first animated feature to be shot in Super Technirama 70 (a large format wide-screen process).
Adapted from Charles Perrault's classic fairy tale Sleeping Beauty, it was directed by Les Clark, Eric Larson, and Wolfgang Reitherman - under the supervision of Clyde Geronimi.
Sleeping Beauty spent almost the entire decade of the 1950s in production with story work beginning in 1951. The voices were recorded in 1952 and a year later animation production began. The music was recorded in 1957 with total production finally ending in 1958.
Since the film was being made while Walt was building Disneyland, Imagineers declared the Anaheim park's castle Sleeping Beauty's (to help promote the feature).
Unfortunately during its original release, Sleeping Beauty returned only half the invested sum of $6,000,000 - nearly bankrupting the studio! It was criticized for being slow paced and having little character development.
Due to subsequent theater and home video releases, the film has more than made its money back and today is hailed as one of the best animated features ever made.

Click HERE for more January 29 Disney history.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Jan 28: A Legend Retires

On this day in 1982, Wally Boag the original Pecos Bill/Traveling Salesman gave his final performance in The Golden Horseshoe Revue at Disneyland.
Originally written by Wally Boag and Don Novis, The Golden Horseshoe Revue first opened in Frontierland in July 1955. The show featured fast-paced comedy routines featuring slapstick humor, music, dancing, squirting water guns and balloons (known as Boagaloons).
In 1971 Boag took his character to Walt Disney World and re-crafted the saloon show into the Diamond Horseshoe Revue. Three years later he returned to Disneyland and finished his career on January 28, 1982. Wally had done the show almost continuously since 1955, and was later cited in The Guinness Book of World Records for the most number of performances of a show. (The Golden Horseshoe Revue closed by 1986.)
In 1995, Boag was inducted into the ranks of the Disney Legends and even had a Main Street window named after him. He is currently working on his autobiography.

Click HERE for more January 28 Disney history.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Jan 27: Alice's Author

On this day in 1832, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was born in England. Better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll, he was an author, mathematician, clergyman, and photographer.
His most famous writings Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass (1872) were the inspiration for Disney's 1951 animated feature Alice in Wonderland.
Carroll's tale of a girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit-hole into a world of fantasy dates back to 3 years before its 1865 publishing. Carroll was rowing down the River Thames (on the way to a picnic) with the 3 daughters of a friend when he created a mystical story to entertain them. The three sisters - Lorina, Alice, and Edith loved the tale so much that Alice (age 10) asked Carroll to write it down. He eventually did and in November 1864, he presented Alice with a manuscript titled Alice's Adventures Underground.
Carroll went on to have success with other written works such as The Hunting of the Snark and Sylvie and Bruno. In 1856 he took up the new art form of photography and over the next 24 years completely mastered the medium.

Click HERE for more January 27 Disney history.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Jan 26: Disney's Kansas City Connection

On this day in 2004, the Kansas City Star reported that a museum honoring Walt Disney is planned for the site of his old Laugh-O-Gram Studios in Kansas City, Missouri.
The studio, which was located on the second floor of the McConahay Building at 1127 East 31st Street, played a role in the early years of animation. In May 1922 Walt founded Laugh-O-Grams Films with $15,000. Among his employees were pioneers Ub Iwerks, Hugh Harman, and Rudolph Ising. Walt secured an $11,000 contract to produce six cartoons for Pictorial Clubs, Inc. Unfortunately Pictorial went bankrupt and Walt had problems making ends meet. A Kansas City dentist temporarily saved the day when he commissioned Disney to produce a short called Tommy Tucker's Tooth. Disney took the $500 earned and invested it into a live-action/animated piece called Alice's Wonderland.
Unfortunately Laugh-O-Gram declared bankruptcy (before Alice could be completed) in 1923 and Disney moved to Hollywood, California. Years later Walt told interviewers that he was inspired to draw Mickey Mouse by a tame mouse who visited his desk at the Kansas City studio.
Today Thank You Walt Disney, Inc. is restoring the old studio to look as it did in 1922 ... complete with Walt's office!

Click HERE for more January 26 Disney history.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Jan 25: It's 'arf comedy...'arf mystery...and it's howlarious!

On this day in 1961, Disney's 17th animated feature One Hundred and One Dalmatians was released.
Often abbreviated as 101 Dalmatians, the film features the voice of Rod Taylor as Pongo, the first of the Dalmatians, and Betty Lou Gerson as the voice of the villainous Cruella De Vil. Based on the novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith, the Disney plot centers on a flamboyant Cruella De Vil who steals dalmatian puppies to create a one-of-a-kind spotted coat.
The production of 101 Dalmatians ushered in a change in the graphic style of Disney's animation. A time and money saving technology called Xerography was used. This hard "sketchy" graphic style would remain the norm at Disney until the technology improved (prior to the release of The Rescuers) allowing for a softer look.

Click HERE for more January 25 Disney history

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Jan 24: Welcome To Toontown!

On this day in 1993, Mickey's Toontown opened at Disneyland. A whimsical land for younger guests, it features all sorts of colorful cartoon gags and gadgets. It is themed on the Toontown seen in the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
Among the attractions debuting that day:
Chip 'n' Dale's Treehouse
Gadget's Go Coaster
Goofy's Bounce House
Jolly Trolley
Mickey's House
Minnie's House
Miss Daisy Donald's Boat
A little over a year later, Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin was added.

Click HERE for more January 24 Disney history.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Jan 23: Are You My Caddy?

On this day in 1992, Disney World's Eagle Pines Golf Course (located in Lake Buena Vista, Florida) opened at the Bonnet Creek Golf Club (a semi-private resort/golf course).
Designed by Pete Dye (considered to be one of the most influential course architect in the world), the 6,772 yard 18-hole course featured low "dish-shaped" fairways and huge sand beds. Although a Disney property, Hilton Hotels actually managed it.
The course and its resort property was named by GOLF magazine to its 1998 list of "Silver Medal Resorts."
Disney's Eagle Pines Golf Course had its last day of operation in July 2007. The area is planned to be used for a new luxury resort featuring a new golf course.

Click HERE for more January 23 Disney history.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Jan 22: The Return Of Pooh

On this day in 2001, Disney Channel debuted The Book of Pooh, a puppet show aimed at preschoolers.
It was Disney's third TV series to feature Winnie the Pooh (the others being Welcome to Pooh Corner and The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh - both produced in the 1980s).
This new series featured a style of puppetry based on the 300-year-old art of Japanese "Bunraku" puppetry. The Book of Pooh was unique in that it was shot entirely against a green screen and the background was dropped in by computer. This gave the show the look of a pop-up book. The puppeteers all dressed in green suits and could only see the Hundred Acre Wood on the monitors.
The series, designed and animated by Chris Renaud, earned two Emmy Awards. Renaud went on to design virtual sets and puppet characters for Bear in the Big Blue House.
The Book of Pooh (which lasted two seasons) had imaginative storylines and whimsical songs and of course ... a silly old bear.

Click HERE for more January 22 Disney history.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Jan 21: Ollie's First Day

On this day in 1935, Ollie Johnston joined the Walt Disney Studios as an apprentice animator (at $17 a week). He went on to be a pioneer in the field of motion picture animation and become one of Walt Disney's "Nine Old Men."
Born in Palo Alto, California in 1912, Johnston attended grammar school on the campus of Stanford University (where his father was a professor). After high school he returned to Stanford but spent his last year of study at Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles.
As an apprentice animator for Disney, Johnston worked on such early shorts as Mickey's Garden and The Tortoise and the Hare. He went on to work as animator and directing animator on more than 24 features, including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia, Song of the South, and Cinderella.
An avid train enthusiast, Johnston created a backyard railroad at his home starting in 1949. He built a 1" scale railroad with three 1/12th scale locomotives. This railroad influenced Walt Disney's own interest in trains.
After 43 years with Disney, Johnston retired in 1978 but went on to co-author books with fellow-animator (and best friend) Frank Thomas.
On November 10, 2005 Ollie Johnston was awarded the prestigious National Medal of Arts (presented by U.S. President George Bush). Mr. Johnston had certainly come a long way since January 21, 1935!

Click HERE for more January 21 Disney history.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Jan 20: Debut Of A Dynasty

On this day in 2006, Disney Channel debuted High School Musical. Directed by Kenny Ortega, it was watched by 7.7 million viewers (the most at that time for a Disney Channel Original Movie)!
With a plot described as a modern retelling of Romeo & Juliet, High School Musical is a story of two high school juniors from rival cliques who come together despite peer pressure and rivalry.
The musical was so successful that a sequel was produced (which aired in August 2007) and a feature film is currently in the works.
With High School Musical-mania sweeping the country, stage versions of the musical began to pop up around the country by August 2006 and a concert tour kicked off in November 2006. Disney Press began publishing novels based on High School Musical in June 2007. In August 2007, a professional stage version and a Disney On Ice presentation both hit the road. There are video games, documentaries and even a High School Musical reality show produced for TV in Argentina!
The franchise has won Billboard Music Awards, Emmy Awards, Teen Choice Awards, and even a Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award.

Click HERE for more January 20 Disney history.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Jan 19: The Rookie Is Born

On this day in 1964, teacher-turned-major league baseball pitcher Jim Morris was born in Brownwood, Texas.
In 1999 at age 35, Morris became a rookie pitcher for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. A science teacher and baseball coach at Big Lake High School in Texas, he was urged by his students to try out for the Devil Rays.
Morris had always wanted to be a big league pitcher, and he was actually drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers when he was a younger man. Unfortunately he blew his arm out in minor league ball and it seemed his career was over at age 23.
But when Tampa Bay scouts saw that Morris (now in his mid-30s) could throw a ball 98 MPH, he was signed to a minor league contract.
Late in 1999 he was called up to the majors and pitched his debut against the Texas Rangers. He struck out the only batter he faced that day on 4 pitches! Morris went on to make 21 more big league appearances before a shoulder injury ended his short but amazing career in 2000.
He co-wrote a book about his baseball experiences titled The Oldest Rookie. That book was the inspiration for the 2002 Disney live-action feature The Rookie - in which actor Dennis Quaid portrayed Morris!

Click HERE for more January 19 Disney history.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Jan 18: The End Of Eastern

On this day in 1991, Eastern Airlines (the official airline of Walt Disney World in the 1970s) officially shutdown.
Originally delivering mail for the U.S. Postal Service in the mid-1920s, Eastern grew into a passenger carrier and came to dominate much of the domestic travel business by the 1950s. By the 1970s the airline grew into one of the "big 4" major U.S. airlines under the direction of CEO Frank Borman (a retired astronaut).
In 1971 Eastern established service at Orlando, Florida and became the official airline of the newly opened Walt Disney World. The relationship proved to be extremely beneficial to both the airline and the "vacation kingdom." Disney World even featured an Eastern-themed ride in Tomorrowland called If You Had Wings.
If You Had Wings was a dark ride that opened in June 1972. The ride featured images of some of Eastern's tourist destinations. (All in all it was an undisguised promotion for the airline whose slogan at the time was "The Wings of Man.")
Eastern remained the official airline of Disney World until its contracting route network forced Disney to switch to Delta. Eastern dropped sponsorship of If You Had Wings and the attraction was renamed If You Could Fly.
Unfortunately the airline began to lose money and Borman agreed to sell Eastern in 1986 to Texas Air led by Frank Lorenzo. Under his tenure the airline became crippled by severe labor unrest and had to file for bankruptcy protection in March 1989.
With Eastern collapsing from debt, it ran out of money to operate on January 18, 1991.

Click HERE for more January 18 Disney history.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Jan 17: A Spectacular Aladdin

On this day in 2003, Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular opened at the Hyperion Theater (a 2,011-seat venue) in Disney's California Adventure. (The show's official premiere had taken place the evening before.)
The live stage adaptation (which began in previews in December 2002) features music from the animated feature Aladdin plus a new song written by veteran Alan Menken. Although the 40-minute show plays 3 to 4 times a day like many theme park productions, Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular emphasizes on traditional staging (much like a Broadway play). Directed by Francesca Zambello (who has staged musicals and operas around the world including Disney's The Little Mermaid), the dances in the show are choreographed by Broadway veteran Lynne-Taylor Corbett.
Still running today, the show continues to be a favorite stop for theme park visitors.

Click HERE for more January 17 Disney history.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Jan 16: A Flubbering Son

On this day in 1963, Disney's Son of Flubber (the sequel to the comedy The Absent Minded Professor) debuted in some U.S. theaters. Actor Fred MacMurray returned to the role of Professor Ned Brainard, a scientist who has perfected a high-bouncing substance that can levitate cars and cause athletes to bounce high into the sky. But in this feature Brainard creates a machine (using leftover Flubber gas) that controls the weather!
Co-starring Nancy Allen (as Elizabeth 'Betsy' Brainard - the professor's wife), veteran Ed Wynn (as A.J. Allen - an agriculturist) and his real-life son Keenan Wynn (as Alonzo P. Hawk - the local tycoon), the film was directed by Robert Stevenson.
There are also a number of notable cameos including Disneyland veteran Wally Boag (in a commercial), Walt Disney's very own grandson Walt Elias Disney Miller (as a baby in a TV ad), and funny-man Paul Lynde (as a sportscaster).
The film was generally released 2 days later.

Click HERE for more January 16 Disney history.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Jan 15: A Space Port Comes To Florida

On this day in 1975, the Space Mountain attraction officially opened at Disney World's Magic Kingdom. The very first Space Mountain in any of the Disney parks worldwide, it was sponsored by RCA (until 1993) and was the world's first completely dark indoor coaster!
Space Mountain originated in the early 1960s when Walt Disney himself came up with the idea of a high-speed attraction called SpacePort (intended for Disneyland's Tomorrowland).
On January 15, 1975 retired astronaut James Irwin (a member of the Apollo 15 mission & the 8th man to walk on the moon) took the first official ride on Space Mountain.
While the blue and white color scheme of this Tomorrowland structure remains the same today, back in 1975 the entrance and exit building were also white and blue. The left entrance wall displayed the name "Space Mountain" in bold blue letters with the RCA logo appearing above it.
The entrance and exit buildings also featured overhead speakers which played the big band and orchestral portion of RCA's song "Here's to the Future and You."
The post show, in which guests board a moving walkway, is unique to Disney World as no other Space Mountain attraction has such an extensive post presentation.

Click HERE for more January 15 Disney history.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Jan 14: Voting ... Epcot Style

On this day in 1990, Epcot's Person of the Century attraction was launched at CommuniCore West.
Guests could cast their vote for the Person of the Century from a list of 89 nominees. Held at various kiosks equipped with touch-screens, the poll asked guests to vote based on who they felt was the most influential person of the 20th century. Nominees included such famous names as Thomas Edison, Mikhail Gorbachev, Lucille Ball, Winston Churchill, and Marie Curie. Guests could also write-in votes as well if they didn't agree with any of the 89 choices.
Four month later, Disney announced that the following nominees were in the lead: The Beatles, Winston Churchill, Walt Disney, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Henry Ford, Mikhail Gorbachev, John F. Kennedy. Martin Luther King Jr., and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Voting for the Person of the Century was supposed to run until January 1, 2000. At that time CEO Michael Eisner would announce the winner on television. Unfortunately after a little more than a year, the voting machines were removed and the Person of the Century voting disappeared!
The popular belief on why this happened centered on Epcot Cast Members stuffing the ballots with fellow employee names. Disney execs learned that by removing the phony write-ins ... all legitimate votes would be wiped out too. By March 1991, the Person of the Century idea was totally abandoned.
Who is Epcot's Person of the Century? We may never know.

Click HERE for more January 14 Disney history.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Jan 13: Welcome to Mickey's Nightclub

On this day in 2001, Disney's House of Mouse (an animated television series) debuted with the episode "The Stolen Cartoons."
The show, produced by Walt Disney Television, centered on a nightclub-type theater called the "House of Mouse" run by Mickey Mouse and his friends. The club featured Disney cartoons as part of its floor show. Each episode explored the comic mishaps of Mickey and his pals running the "House of Mouse."
The series originally aired from 2001 to 2004 and consisted of 52 episodes. The "House of Mouse" theme song was written and performed by legendary singer-guitarist Brian Setzer.

Click HERE for more January 13 Disney history.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Jan 12: Birth Of An Innovative Genius

On this day in 1957, Academy Award-winning animator and chief creative officer at Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios John Alan Lasseter was born in Hollywood, California.
His father was a parts manager at a Chevrolet dealership and his mother was an art teacher at a high school. Lasseter graduated from California Institute of Arts (commonly referred to as CalArts) in Valencia, California in 1979 with a degree in character animation. It was at CalArts where he met future colleague Brad Bird (writer & director of The Incredibles and Ratatouille).
Upon graduating, Lasseter joined the Walt Disney Company as a Jungle Cruise skipper at Disneyland. He later got a job as an animator with Disney and became intrigued with what computers could do for animation.
Today Lasseter, a founding member of Pixar, overseas all of the company's films and associated projects. He personally directed such blockbuster hits as Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, and Cars.

"I remember the one time I saw Walt Disney in person. I was sitting with my parents curbside at the Rose Parade, New Year's Day, 1966." -John Lasseter

Click HERE for more January 12 Disney history.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Jan 11: Superstar Limo Runs Dry

On this day in 2002, Superstar Limo (a dark ride in Disney's California Adventure) closed. Situated in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot area of the Anaheim park, it was one of the original attractions (and the only dark ride) featured on opening day in February 2001.
Superstar Limo took guests on a ride through a cartoon version of Hollywood and featured Audio Animatronics models of celebrities like Tim Allen, Drew Carey, Whoopi Goldberg, and Regis Philbin.
The attraction closed due to an overwhelmingly negative response from guests and was eventually replaced in 2006 with Monsters, Inc.: Mike & Sulley to the Rescue. (In fact, Superstar's purple limos were repainted as Monstropolis taxi cabs.)

Click HERE for more January 11 Disney history.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Jan 10: "Fore!"

On this day in 1927, the Disney Alice short Alice the Golf Bug was released. Starring Margie Gay as Alice (the 3rd actress to portray Alice) it was directed & written by Walt himself. Although released by M. J. Winkler Productions, it was distributed by Film Booking Offices.
In this silent black & white short, Alice, Julius (her cartoon cat) and Pete (another recurring animated character) play a manic round of golf.

Click HERE for more January 10 Disney history.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Jan 09: A Trip To The Endor Moon

On this day in 1987, Disneyland's Star Tours attraction opened in Tomorrowland. A simulator ride based on the popular Star Wars movies, it replaced the attraction Adventure Thru Inner Space.
Star Tours first saw light as a proposal for a simulator attraction based on Disney's 1979 The Black Hole. But due to the unpopularity of the film, the attraction was shelved. The idea of a simulator attraction though was kept alive when Disney teamed up with George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars.
At a cost of $32 million (nearly twice the cost of building Disneyland in 1955) Star Tours opened on January 9, 1987 to Disneyland guests - many of them dressed up as Star Wars characters! In honor of the event, Disneyland stayed open for a special 60-hour marathon starting at 10 am on January 9 until 10 pm on January 11.

Click HERE for more January 09 Disney history.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Jan 08: Born Today

On this day in 1926, actor Kerwin Mathews was born in Seattle, Washington. Although he portrayed Johann Strauss, Jr. in "The Waltz King," a 2-part episode of Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color in 1963, Mathews is best remembered for his series of adventurous swashbuckling movies.
He appeared in such films as The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, The Three Worlds of Gulliver, Battle Beneath the Earth, and Jack the Giant Killer. Mathews played storybook fantasy heroes who fearlessly faced sword-wielding skeletons and other mystical creatures (created by special effects wizard Ray Harryhausen).

Click HERE for more January 08 Disney history.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Jan 07: All Talking ... All Singing!

On this day in 1933, the Mickey Mouse musical short Building a Building was released. Directed by David Hand, it features the voices of Walt Disney (as Mickey) and Marcellite Garner (as Minnie Mouse).
In this short Mickey is a shovel operator at a construction site where he meets the lovely Minnie - who is delivering box lunches. Unable to keep his mind on his work, Mickey keeps having accidents which makes his foreman Pete very angry. After Pete swipes Mickey's lunch, Minnie offers him a free one. While Mickey eats ... Pete kidnaps Minnie! Mickey comes to the rescue, although it is Minnie who dumps a load of hot rivets on her kidnapper!
Building a Building was nominated for an Oscar (Best Short Subject, Cartoons).

Click HERE for more January 07 Disney history.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Jan 06: Happy B-day Mr. Atkinson

On this day in 1955, comedian, writer & actor Rowan Atkinson was born in Consett, County Durham, England.
Famous for his title roles in the British TV comedies Blackadder and Mr. Bean, Atkinson is the voice of Zazu in Disney's 1994 animated hit The Lion King. Zazu is a loyal hornbill who serves as King Mufasa's majordomo. You can also hear Atkinson as Zazu in the park attraction Mickey's PhilharMagic. (Zazu's appearances in other animated features & park attractions have been voiced by various actors.)

Click HERE for more January 06 Disney history.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Jan 05: The Out Of Timers

On this day in 2005, the comedy children's television series Phil of the Future first debuted in Canada on the Family Channel. Already a Disney Channel regular in the U.S. since June 2004, the show centered around the Diffy's, a family from the year 2121 who get stranded in the 2st century.
The series featured Ricky Ullman (as teenager Phil Diffy) and Alyson Michalka (as Keely Teslow - Phil's best friend/girlfriend). Michalka is best known today as half the sister pop duo Aly & AJ.
Although the last episode aired in August 2006, Phil of the Future is still frequently shown.

Click HERE for more January 05 Disney history.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Jan 04: Wonders of Life

On this day in 2005, Disney made the decision to only run Epcot's Wonders of Life pavilion on a seasonal schedule. A pavilion devoted to health and body related attractions, it is located inside a golden colored dome (between Mission: SPACE and Universe of Energy) in Future World.
Over the years Wonders of Life has featured such attractions as Body Wars, Cranium Command, The Making of Me, and Sensory Funhouse.
When Wonders of Life is not open to the public, Disney uses it for private and corporate events. In fact in August 2007, the Wonders of Life sign and the 72-foot tall The Tower of Life Double Helix DNA structure were actually removed - although the pavilion did open for the 2007 International Food & Wine Festival.

Click HERE for more January 04 Disney history.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Jan 03: A Revue That's Got The Whole Town Cookin'

On this day in 1994, Epcot's Kitchen Kabaret Revue (an original opening-day attraction) closed. Located in The Land pavilion, the humorous & colorful Audio-Animatronics presentation (sponsored by Kraft) was all about nutrition.
The 13-minute show was hosted by Bonnie Appetite who introduced various acts in a musical review comedy format. A house band called the Kitchen Krackpots featuring over-sized condiments (all in Kraft brand packaging) provided the catchy tunes.
Kitchen Kabaret was replaced by the attraction Food Rocks in 1994 ... which was later removed to make room for Soarin' in 2006.

Click HERE for more January 03 Disney history.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Jan 02: World of Motion

On this day in 1996, Epcot's World of Motion had its final day of operation. Sponsored by General Motors and located in the Transportation pavilion, World of Motion was a science and technology-themed dark ride.
Visitors boarded Omnimover vehicles and were taken through scenes filled with Audio-Animatronic figures and projection effects. It was a humorous look at the history and achievements in transportation. The ride was designed by legendary Imagineer Marc Davis and featured the theme song "It's Fun to Be Free," written by X Atencio.
On the final ceremonial ride of January 2, World of Motion broke down. General Motors executives who were riding it had to climb out ... and walk to the exit! This didn't stop GM from sponsoring its replacement - Test Track.

Click HERE for more January 02 Disney history.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Jan 01: Cruisin' Disneyland

On this day in 1959, Disneyland's Fantasyland Autopia opened. Originally known as the Junior Autopia, it was a duplicate version of the Tomorrowland Autopia. (The name Autopia is a portmanteau of the words "automobile" and "utopia.") In fact the attraction sits on the area originally used for the Mickey Mouse Club Circus.
The original Disneyland Autopia (which still runs today) opened with the park in 1955. The attraction proved to be so popular that 2 more Autopias were built.
The Fantasyland Autopia became Rescue Rangers Raceway for one year before being renamed Fantasyland Autopia again in November 1991.

Click HERE for more January 01 Disney history.
Have a Happy, Safe & Healthy New Year!