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Great Moments in Disney History



Great Moments in Disney History

January 1930
Charlotte Clark begins production of 'Mickey Mouse' dolls.

January 2003
Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular, a Broadway-style, 40-minute musical, brings the Disney animated film to the stage. The show started daily performances at the Hyperion Theater in Disney’s California Adventure.

January 1930
Walt Disney contacts Columbia Pictures studio head Harry Cohn, who agrees to distribute Disney's films. Starting February 7, 1930, Columbia begins advancing Disney $7000 per cartoon.

January 1, 1925
Disney's Alice Comedy "Alice Cans the Cannibals," starring Virginia Davis, is released.

January 1, 1959
Fantasyland Autopia -- sponsored by the Richfield Oil Company -- opened at Disneyland.

January 1, 1966
Walt Disney is Grand Marshal of Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California

January 1, 1980
Disneyland presents a special 25th anniversary pre-parade show as part of the world-famous 92nd Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade.

January 1, 1990
Hollywood Records begins operation

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Anyone who loves all-things Disney will be swept up in the intrigue of the sometimes subtle, sometimes obscure, and always amazing facts surrounding one of the most recognized, beloved and ingenious men of all time. Walk in the shoes of our intrepid treasure hunters as they scavenge historical records and discover amazing connections, while they seek out what Walt may have left behind.

January 2, 1898
Animator, story director, writer, and Disney Legend Dick Huemer is born in New York City.

January 2, 2001
Disney's Grand Californian Hotel opens at Disneyland Resort

January 4, 1905
Character actor and Disney Legend Sterling Holloway - the original voice of Winnie the Pooh - is born in Cedartown, Georgia.

January 5, 1935
"The Tortoise and the Hare" is released (Academy Award®-Winner)

January 5, 1951
Hiyao Miyazaki is born in Tokyo, Japan. He will go on to direct groundbreaking animated films like "Spirited Away" and "Ponyo," distributed in the U.S. by Disney.

January 8, 1936
Walt Disney is decorated with France's Legion of Honor.

January 9, 1928
Universal Pictures releases Disney's Oswald the Lucky Rabbit film 'Harem Scarem' to theaters.

January 9, 1937
The Disney cartoon short "Don Donald," featuring Donald Duck in his first starring role, is released. A character named Donna (who will later be called Daisy) makes her debut.

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January 9, 1988
Star Tours opens at Disneyland

January 10, 1930
Roy Edward Disney, a vice chairman of Disney and the nephew of Walt Disney, is born to Roy Oliver and Edna Disney in Los Angeles, California. He will begin working for his Uncle Walt after graduating from college in 1951 and become a senior executive for the Company.

January 11, 2002
Superstar Limo, a dark ride in Disney’s California Adventure, closes. The ride later is replaced with another dark ride, Monster’s Inc: Mike and Sulley to the Rescue.

January 12, 1891
Artist, animator, and director Hugh Hennesy is born in New Lexington, Ohio. He joined Disney in 1932 and his credits include "Pinocchio," "Fantasia," "Saludos Amigos," "Melody Time," and "Lady and the Tramp." His wife Helen was Disney's first librarian.

January 12, 1927
Animation artist Ray Aragon is born in Boyle Heights, California. Ray began in the layout department for "Sleeping Beauty" and later worked on "101 Dalmatians."

January 12, 1957
Academy Award®-winning writer/director/producer John Lasseter is born in Hollywood, California. He worked as a Jungle Cruise skipper at Disneyland before beginning his animation career and is now Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios.

January 12, 1987
Star Tours, the first attraction collaboration between Disney and Lucasfilms, premieres in Tomorrowland. Special guests for the inaugural flight included producer George Lucas; Voyager pilots Jeana Yeager and Dick Rutan; U.S. astronauts Gordon Cooper and Donald “Deke” Slayton, and the wife of astronaut Gus Grissom. The grand opening is highlighted by a 60-hour Grand Opening Party — one of the biggest ever staged at the park.

January 12, 2001
Downtown Disney opens in Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, California.

January 13, 1930
The first Mickey Mouse comic strip was published in the New York Mirror. The strip was written by Walt Disney himself, drawn by Ub Iwerks, and inked by Win Smith.

January 15, 1975
The Space Mountain attraction opened in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.

January 16, 1994
A new sports tradition at Walt Disney World began on this date when approximately 8,200 runners from around the world lined up for the very first annual Walt Disney World Marathon.

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January 17, 1931
Actor James Earl Jones, the voice of Mufasa in Disney's The Lion King, is born in Arkabutla, Missouri.

January 18, 1882
Alan Alexander Milne (creator of Winnie the Pooh) is born in Scotland. He will be raised in London, England.

January 19, 1949
The combination live-action and animation Disney film "So Dear to My Heart" is released.

January 20, 1936
Eighteen-year-old Adriana Caselotti records her first tracks as the voice of Snow White.

January 20, 2006
Disney Channel's Original Movie "High School Musical" premieres. It will go on to become a cultural phenomenon.

January 21, 1933
Disney's Mickey Mouse cartoon "The Mad Doctor" is released.

January 21, 1935
Animator Ollie Johnston is hired at $17 a week by the Walt Disney Studio. He will go on to become a Disney Legend and one of Walt's "Nine Old Men."

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January 26, 1926
Screen legend Paul Newman, the voice of Doc Hudson in Disney-Pixar's animated feature "Cars," is born in Shaker Heights, Ohio.

January 26, 1938
Disney's first full-length animated feature, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," is released in Argentina.

January 26, 1958
Emmy Award®-winning comedienne, television hostess, and actress Ellen DeGeneres is born in Metairie, Louisiana. She was the voice of Dory in "Finding Nemo."

January 28, 1939
Imagineer and Disney Legend Ralph Kent was born in New York. In 1965, he designed the first limited-edition Mickey Mouse watch for adults and went on to design many more souvenirs for Walt Disney World.

January 29, 1959
Disney's animated feature film "Sleeping Beauty" premiered at the Fox Wilshire Theater in Los Angeles. The voice cast included Mary Costa as Princess Aurora, Eleanor Audley as Maleficent, Barbara Jo Allen as Fauna, and Verna Felton as Flora.

January 31, 1981
Justin Timberlake, a childhood member of Disney Channel's "The Mickey Mouse Club" and later the singing group NSYNC, was born in Memphis, Tennessee.

MORE Disney History
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"Hidden Mickey" the action adventure novel about Walt Disney and Disneyland

"Hidden Mickey 2" the sequel novel about Walt Disney and Disneyland

"Hidden Mickey 3" 3rd in the series of action adventure novels about Walt Disney and Disneyland

"Hidden Mickey 4" 4th in the series of action adventure novels about Walt Disney and Disneyland

"Hidden Mickey Adventures 1" continues the action & adventure about Walt Disney and Disneyland

"Hidden Mickey Adventures 2" more action & adventure about Walt Disney and Disneyland

"Hidden Mickey Adventures 3" the 3rd action & adventure novel about Walt Disney and Disneyland

"Hidden Mickey Adventures 3" the 3rd action & adventure novel about Walt Disney and Disneyland

"Hidden Mickey Adventures 3" the 3rd action & adventure novel about Walt Disney and Disneyland

"Hidden Mickey Adventures in Disneyland" Game and Quests to run inside the Disney park

"Hidden Mickey Adventures in Disney California Adventure" Game and Quests to run inside the Disney park

"Hidden Mickey Adventures in WDW Magic Kingdom" Game and Quests to run inside the Disney park

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