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February 26

February 26, 1998 – The All Star Café Opens at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex

All Star Cafe

On February 26, 1998, the All Star Café opened at Walt Disney World’s Wide World of Sports Complex, almost a year after the complex opened. It was part of a chain of restaurants developed by Planet Hollywood International and invested in by sports legends, including Andre Agassi, Monica Seles, and Wayne Gretzky. Disney acquired the lease to the Wide World of Sports Complex restaurant in 2000. The franchise itself was not successful, and Disney closed the café in September, 2007. In November of that year, it opened again as the What’s Next Café, before becoming the ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill in 2010.

February 25

February 25, 2014 – The Digital Streaming Service Disney Movies Anywhere Launches

Disney Movie Rewards

“Enjoy your Disney, Pixar, and Marvel movies anywhere you go.”

On February 25, 2014, the digital streaming service Disney Movies Anywhere launched on the Apple platform, working with iTunes and running on Apple products; it has since been updated to work with Google Play and VUDU. The service works with Disney Movie Rewards, where fans enter special codes within their Blu-Ray purchases that include a digital copy of the film, giving them a separate digital copy that can be played on mobile devices at any time through this film repository. The service also provides parents with parental controls, and directs users as to where they may purchase any Disney movies they do not currently have.

February 24

February 24, 1950 – The Goofy Short Film How to Ride a Horse is Released to Theaters

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“The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man.”

On February 24, 1950, the Goofy short film, How to Ride a Horse was released to theaters. It was originally released as a segment within the 1941 film The Reluctant Dragon. Along with the other cartoon segments in the original film, it was directed by Hamilton Luske.

The short begins with the narrator introducing the basics of riding, including the benefits of the exercise. Goofy then introduces the proper riding attire, complete with conservative hat, comfortable boots, and a nice riding coat costing $4.98. The horse is then presented, and listens to the narrator’s praise with glee – that is, until the narrator calls him a dumb animal. Goofy then approaches the horse for his ride, but the horse quickly takes the lead of the situation, tripping Goofy and sending him flying into the dirt. Goofy tries to bribe the horse with carrots, and nearly gets his arm bitten off. The horse manages to steal all of Goofy’s carrots, and his long underwear to boot. Next, Goofy tries to mount the horse, but the horse would rather trip and trick Goofy than agree to be mounted. When the narrator tries to explain mounting the horse via the stirrups, both Goofy and the horse are bored to sleep. In the long run, Goofy is able to mount his horse. The narrator then moves to the mechanics of riding, starting with the trot, brought down to slow motion to show the “majesty” of the movement. Afterwards, when it comes to jumping, the horse refuses to go. When Goofy tries to use his spurs, the horse jumps away, leaving Goofy to use the spurs accidentally on himself. The horse then gallops around happily, jumping on top of Goofy. In the end, Goofy and horse are one riding around the countryside, although they are forced to try again when the jump fails. At the end of the day, the two drag themselves back from their ride, but the horse heads in excitedly when he finds out that they’re heading straight for the stable, and crashes Goofy into the door.

February 23

February 23, 1939 – Walt Disney is Awarded a Special Academy Award for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

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“Aren’t you proud of it, Mr. Disney?” “Why, I’m so proud I think I’ll bust.”

On February 23, 1939, the 11th Academy Awards were held at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, California. That night, Walt Disney was awarded an Academy Honorary Award for the full-length animated feature film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. A special statue was created for this honor, featuring one regular size Oscar along with seven miniature statuettes on a step platform. This award was presented to Walt by actress Shirley Temple.

February 22

February 22, 1971 – Actress, Singer, and Disney Legend Lea Salonga is Born

LeaSalonga

“I’ve been listening to Disney music my whole life…the whole Disney experience has been great fun.”

On February 22, 1971, Maria Lea Carmen Imutan Salonga was born in Manila, in the Philippines. In 1978, at the age of seven, Salonga had her professional stage debut in a performance of The King and I. Her first album, Small Voice, was released at age 10, and would go on to be certified gold. She continued her theater career with parts in Annie, Fiddler on the Roof, and The Sound of Music. Through the GMA Network, Salonga was a teen idol, hosting her own music show called Love, Lea, and winning several awards for her performances in other family-oriented entertainment shows, including Ninja Kids and Pik Pak Boom. In 1982, her international breakthrough came when she was cast in the West End’s Miss Saigon as Kim; Salonga would win the Olivier Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical. The accolades continued when Miss Saigon transferred to Broadway, and she won the Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, and the Theater World Award. In 1992, Disney asked her to perform as the singing voice for the character Jasmine in the film Aladdin, performing alongside Brad Kane’s Aladdin. The song would go on to be nominated for (and would win) the Academy Award for Best Song; Salonga and Kane were asked to perform the song on the telecast of the awards. She was asked back to the studio to sing the song “Reflection” for the titular character in the 1998 film Mulan; she has continued to sing for both Jasmine and Mulan in several other projects featuring the characters. In 2011, Salonga was honored as a Disney Legend, and continues to tour all over the world through her solo career and with several productions.

February 21

February 21, 1997 – Club Disney Opens

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“Imagination-powered play site”

On February 21, 1997, the first of five children’s play centers known as Club Disney opened in Thousand Oaks, California. It was billed as an exploratory entertainment area for children aged between four and ten, along with their parents. There were four themed areas within Club Disney: Pal Around Playground, Curiosity Castle, Starring You Studio, and the Chat Hat. Activities for the kids ranged from dressing up in Disney costumes, to playing in an enormous jungle gym, to exploring the latest CD-ROM activities. One other club opened in California, as well as one in Colorado, and two in Arizona. After the five clubs were established, Disney Corporate determined that there was not enough return on investment, and closed all five clubs in November of 1999. The name now belongs to play areas established within Disney park resorts.

February 20

February 20, 2000 – Cap’n Jack’s Restaurant Opens in Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney

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On February 20, 2000, the Downtown Disney restaurant Cap’n Jack’s Restaurant opened in Walt Disney World. Originally Captain Jack’s Oyster Bar, which served drinks and seafood appetizers since the marketplace’s opening in 1975, the restaurant expanded on the seafood theme, with tables facing the waterfront of the Downtown Disney area. The restaurant closed in August, 2013, due to the expansion of the Disney Springs project.

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