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