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September 23

September 23, 2011 – The Grand Opening Celebration of Aulani is Held

“We would like to thank the Imagineers, cast members, construction teams, local artists, and everyone who had a hand in bringing Aulani to life.” – Chief Operating Officer Tom Staggs

On September 23, 2011, a special grand opening ceremony was held to celebrate the official opening of Disney’s new Aulani resort in Oahu, Hawaii. CEO Bob Iger and COO Tom Staggs were on hand with Mickey and Minnnie Mouse to lead the ceremony, which was filled with many aspects of Hawaiian culture and traditions. A special chant was written and performed for the resort’s opening by Keali’I Reichel, a noted artist in Hawaii, along with special performances by drummers and dancers. The ceremony also included an official dedication, complete with placing sand in a ceremonial wooden bowl called an ‘umeke.

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September 22

September 22, 1991 – The Surprise Celebration Parade Kicks Off in Walt Disney World

“One of 20 spectacular new reasons to visit this year!”

On September 22, 1991, the Surprise Celebration Parade began its run in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park. Thrown to help celebrate the 20th anniversary of Walt Disney World, the parade featured 40-feet-tall character balloons that celebrated different festivals from around the world. The parade ran until June 4, 1994, and was followed by the Mickey Mania Parade.

September 21

September 21, 2007 – The Merchandise Store Toy Station Opens in Tokyo Disneyland

ディズニーのおもちゃが大集合!”

On September 21, 2007, the specialty merchandise store Toy Station opened in Tokyo Disneyland. The shop, located in the World Bazaar, focuses mainly on toys, but also sells snacks, batteries, and umbrellas and ponchos for rainy days within the park. The store features a variety of Disney character toys, ranging from classic characters to Pixar favorites.

September 20

September 20, 1986 – The Television Special Disney’s Captain EO Grand Opening Premieres on NBC

“Now, join a galaxy of stars and celebrities as they gather in Disneyland for Disney’s Captain EO Grand Opening!”

On September 20, 1986, the television special Disney’s Captain EO Grand Opening premiered on NBC. It celebrated the new 3D musical attraction featuring Michael Jackson (which opened September 12, 1986), and featured Patrick Duffy and Justine Bateman as hosts. The special also featured performances by Belinda Carlisle, the Moody Blues, Robert Palmer, and Starship.

The special opens with a parade down Main Street before switching to the commentary by Bateman and Duffy, introducing many celebrities that were in attendance for the world premiere of Captain EO, including producer of the film George Lucas. The show then switches to a behind-the-scenes look of the film, along with an introduction of the characters in the film, including the villain played by Academy Award winning actress Anjelica Huston. The show also shows the complex choreography needed for the film, as it was a musical adventure experience.

September 19

September 19, 1992 – The Animated Series Raw Toonage Premieres on CBS

On September 19, 1992, the animated series Raw Toonage premiered on CBS. The show was a packaged animation block featuring the early versions of Bonkers and Marsupilami. The show also featured a parody music video segment called “Totally Tasteless Video.” Although nominated for two Daytime Emmy Awards (Outstanding Writing in an Animated Program and Outstanding Music Direction and Composition), the series only lasted 12 episodes. It featured Jim Cummings as Bonkers, Norman, and Maurice, Jeff Bennett as Jitters, Rodger Bumpass as Grumbles, Nancy Cartwright as Fawn Deer, and Steve Mackall as Marsupilami.

September 18

September 18, 1986 – The Syndicated Series Siskel & Ebert Premieres

“I’m Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times.” “And I’m Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune.”

On September 18, 1986, the syndicated movie review program Siskel & Ebert premiered on CBS. Produced by Buena Vista Television, the show was originally called Siskel & Ebert & the Movies. The show had hosts Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert reviewing movies; as the two had different tastes, the show mostly featured arguments between the co-hosts, though the two maintained a strong friendship off-screen. Although Siskel passed away from surgery complications in 1999, the show continued with Ebert and a slew of co-hosts, with Richard Roeper taking over co-hosting duties in 2000, and the show was renamed Ebert & Roeper and the Movies.

September 17

September 17, 1954 – The Special Short Film Once Upon a Wintertime is Released to Theaters

“On the frozen pond folks are swaying, sweetheart, who cares? We’ll have more fun sleighing behind two chestnut mares.”

On September 17, 1954, the special short film Once Upon a Wintertime was released to theaters. The short was originally a segment of the 1948 package film Melody Time; like many of the package film segments, it was shown later as a stand-alone segment to be shown before Disney feature films. The short is narrated in song by singer Frances Langford, with the song written by Bobby Worth and Ray Gilbert.

Set in the 1800s, the short begins with the picture of two lovebirds, transitioning into them sitting in a carriage and traveling through a winter wonderland, with many a pair of animals following their journey, including a pair of rabbits. The pair stop at the nearby pond for skating, and things go well for both the human and rabbit couples. Both males then decide to show off to their mates, but have unintended bad consequences that drive the women away. As the women leave, they wander onto thin ice, and the men race to rescue them from falling down a waterfall on patches of the ice. With help from the carriage horses, some squirrels, and some birds, the women are saved and placed in the arms of their mates. The pairs drive off together, and the short ends back on the portraits of the human couple, with the frame closing as they share a kiss.