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July 24

July 24, 1989 – Tony’s Town Square Restaurant Opens in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

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“Everybody loves Italian, but this is no ordinary Italian restaurant! It’s where Lady and the Tramp had their first kiss.”

On July 24, 1989, the casual dining restaurant Tony’s Town Square Restaurant opened in the Magic Kingdom Park in Walt Disney World, taking the place of the Town Square Café. Named after the restaurant featured in the animated feature Lady and the Tramp, the restaurant features several pieces of décor that pay homage to the couple, including a fountain depicting the canine pair. The restaurant features an Italian menu, including shrimp scampi and the ever popular spaghetti and meatballs.

July 23

July 23, 2013 – The ABC Family Game Show Spell-Mageddon Premieres

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“…the funniest, sloppiest, and most painful word game you’ve ever seen!”

On July 23, 2013, the new ABC family game show Spell-Mageddon premiered. The game show took the idea of a traditional spelling bee and ramped it up, with contestants having to spell words while going through various obstacles. The show only lasted eight episodes before it was cancelled. It was hosted by Alfonso Ribeiro, and created by Thinkfactory Media. The last episode premiered on September 11, 2013.

July 22

July 22, 1955 – Disneyland’s Candy Palace Opens on Main Street

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“…many of the Disneyland ‘homemade’ candies have their own fanbase.”

On July 22, 1955, the Disneyland candy shop Candy Palace opened on Main Street. The store is home to several exclusive treats, particularly around Christmas, when the candy makers make their own candy canes. The main draw of the shop is the large front window that gives guests a look at the confectioners creating sweet treats the likes of caramel turtles, decorative gourmet caramel apples, and peanut brittle. Overall, about 63 different treats are made year-round in the candy kitchen. Walt Disney World has a similar store called the Main Street Confectionery; Disneyland Paris’ version is known as the Boardwalk Candy Palace.

July 21

July 21, 1950 – The Pluto Short Film Pests of the West is Released to Theaters

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On July 21, 1950, the Pluto short film Pests of the West was released to theaters. It is considered a sequel to the 1949 short Sheep Dog, featuring the duo of Bent-Tail the coyote and his son. It was directed by Charles Nichols, with story by Dick Kinney and Milt Schaffer.

Bent-Tail is seen howling on top of some rocks, when he spies a nearby farm. He and his son quickly race to the farm, and imagine the chickens they’re going to steal. As they sneak onto the farm, they pass by Pluto’s doghouse, where he is dozing peacefully. His dozing is disturbed slightly, however, when his nose catches the scent of the coyotes. Meanwhile, Bent-Tail and his son reach the hen house, and quickly make a plan for the son to go in and steal a hen. He attempts to steal the largest hen inside when he gets sleepy, and decides to nap in an empty nest. Bent-Tail looks inside to see what’s keeping his son, and is angered to see his son sleeping on the job. He rushes inside and throws his son out so he can do the job himself. The squawking of the hens wakes Pluto, and he son chases the wily coyotes across the farm. They end up hiding in Pluto’s doghouse, and when Pluto goes back to his nap, he is unaware that the coyotes are in hiding. Unfortunately, Pluto does find them, and chases Bent-Tail across the farm once again. Bent-Tail uses plenty of tricks to sneak away, but Pluto manages to catch him in the end. Bent-Tail’s son manages to sneak away with a hen in its nest, and it becomes a strange game between the coyotes and Pluto to “get the hen.” Pluto manages a sneaky trade of the hen for the son, and Bent-Tail runs off with the nest, thinking that he got the best of Pluto. The little coyote, however, holds up an egg, which Bent-Tail smashes over his son’s head, although his son can’t understand why his father is so upset.

July 20

July 20, 1923 – Publicist and Disney Legend Charlie Ridgway is Born

Charlie Ridgway

“Disneyland was one public relations job I thought I would enjoy, and I was right.”

On July 20, 1923, Charlie Ridgway was born in Chicago, Illinois. He began his career as a journalist after receiving his degree from the University of Missouri, and joined the staff of the Los Angeles Mirror-News in 1952. While there, he wrote articles about the construction of Disneyland, and covered the opening day of Disneyland on July 17, 1955. Eight years after he covered the opening, he was hired as part of the park’s publicity staff. His background as a newsman gave him the skills needed to relate to other reporters, and the knowledge to know what they would need to represent the park appropriately. Ridgway quickly moved up the ranks, and soon was asked to help the publicity department for the Florida Project, which was to become Walt Disney World. He moved to Orlando, and soon became the Walt Disney World director of press and publicity. Over his 30 year career with the company, he worked on over 150 special projects, including one for Donald Duck’s 50th birthday, and the launches of Epcot and Disneyland Paris. He retired from Disney in 1994, but would continue to consult with the company on other projects. He was named a Disney Legend in 1999, and published his memoir Spinning Disney’s World in 2007.

July 19

July 19, 1940 – The Donald Duck Short Film Put-Put Troubles is Released to Theaters

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“Am I a surprised duck!”

On July 19, 1940, the Donald Duck short film Put-Put Troubles was released to theaters. It was directed by Riley Thomson.

Donald is sitting in his boat, singing a merry tune while Pluto pulls him along the side of the lake. Pluto gets distracted when a frog jumps in his path, however, and the boat crashes into him, knocking him headfirst into the sand. When he continues to chase the frog down a hill, the boat slides over him and down the hill, dropping Donald into the water with a laugh. As Pluto resumes his chase, he gets his nose caught in a spring of a broken mattress. While he struggles to break free, the spring is pulled from the mattress and wraps itself around his neck. Meanwhile, Donald is struggling with his motorboat, which doesn’t seem to want to go. He fills it with oil, but it just shoot out a lot of black smoke, which covers Donald. Donald retaliates, but the motor goes completely nuts, flying off into the air and landing in the ocean. When Donald pulls it out, it seems to pass out, and can only he revive it with smelling salts. The motor makes a whinnying sound, then wraps around the boat, taking the sides of the boat with it.

Poor Pluto is haunted by the menace that is the spring

Poor Pluto is haunted by the menace that is the spring

Pluto manages to free himself from the spring, but is now haunted by its presence. He barks at it and lands on it, trapping his front legs in it once again. As he bounces free, the spring attaches itself to his back, capturing his back legs. Donald continues his fight with the motor, and falls into the lake. He calls out to Pluto for help, and Pluto, finally free from the spring rushes off the dock, landing into the errant boat. The motor flies up in the air and lands on Donald, taking the duck all the way to the bottom of the lake. Donald is them thrown up and into the rope that was tied to the boat, taking Pluto with him on a water-skiing adventure. The poor pair end up tied around a post after they crash.

 

July 18

July 18, 1965 – The Audio-Animatronic Attraction Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln Opens in Disneyland

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“Revel in the recitations of President Abraham Lincoln that changed history and helped shape a nation.”

On July 18, 1965, the Audio-Animatronic attraction Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln opened in Disneyland’s Main Street area. The attraction was created for the New York World’s Fair, presented at the State of Illinois pavilion. Lincoln was a hero of Walt Disney’s when he was a boy, and was the perfect pick for a presidential tribute at the time. After the World’s Fair, the popularity of this and the other Disney-created attractions made way for these attractions to be placed within Disneyland. Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln was closed in 1973 to be replaced with The Walt Disney Story, but the popularity of the attraction demanded its return; it was brought back as The Walt Disney Story Featuring Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln in 1975. The original voice of the attraction was actor Royal Dano, who had performed as Lincoln in several films due to his uncanny resemblance. In 2001, the attraction underwent a major restoration effort, with the voice actor changing to Warren Burton, and a few changes made to the story.

 

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