Saturday, December 18, 2010

December 18: "Four score and seven years ago ..."

On this day in 2009 Mr. Lincoln returned to Anaheim in a new Disneyland attraction called "The Disneyland Story presenting Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln." The previous version (a hydraulic-based audio-animatronic figure) was replaced with an electronic model which improves Lincoln's emotive capabilities.

The new show also features an abridged version of Lincoln's biography, the first two sentences from his Gettysburg Address, and a song titled "Two Brothers." At the end of the show, Lincoln actually stands and performs portions of the speech from the original attraction (which actor Royal Dano -  the original voice of Lincoln - provided).

Walt Disney was always fascinated with President Lincoln - even as a young schoolboy Walt recited the Gettysburg Address to his class. In 1962 Disney was approached about contributing to the 1964 New York World's Fair. This led to Disney's first audio-animatronic human figure - an incredible simulation of the 16th U.S. President! The first Disneyland version opened in July 1965 in honor of the park's 10th anniversary. The show was later updated in the 1970s, 1980s, and in 2001. Great Moments temporarily closed in 2005 for the park's 50th anniversary.

Click HERE for more December 18 Disney history.

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