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Monthly Archives: June 2015

June 16

June 16, 1956 – The Storybook Land Canal Boats Attraction Opens in Disneyland

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“Cast off on a colorful canal boat for a ‘mini’ tour of fairytale destinations seen in classic Disney animated movies.”

On June 16, 1956, the Storybook Land Canal Boats attraction opened in Disneyland’s Fantasyland. It was a revamped version of the Canal Boats of the World, which opened and closed in 1955. Guests board a 12-person boat and slowly pass by miniature scenes from classic Disney films, ranging from Snow White and the dwarves’ cottage, to the houses of the Three Little Pigs. The attraction was revamped in 1994 to include scenes from Aladdin and The Little Mermaid while removing Toad Hall. Scenes from the animated feature film Frozen have been added recently to the attraction, making it the first change since the 1994 addition. A version of this attraction is available in Disneyland Paris, known as Le Pays de Contes de Fées.

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June 15

June 15, 1961 – The First Grad Nite is Held in Disneyland

“You only graduate once. So get your friends together, party with other high school seniors from all over the country and don’t miss this celebration of a lifetime!”

On June 15, 1961, the first Grad Nite celebration is held in Disneyland. Celebrating the graduation of high school seniors, the first event had 8,500 students congregating at the happiest place on earth. This number grew extensively in the decade, with 100,000 students soon going to celebrate all night at Disneyland. In 2009, over 5 million grads had come to celebrate at the park. Any school is able to participate, and students must adhere to a dress code. Walt Disney World had their own version of Grad Nite that began in 1972, but ended in 2011.

June 14

June 14, 1959 – The Matterhorn Bobsleds Attraction Opens in Disneyland

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“Embark on a thrilling, high-speed run down the icy slopes of Switzerland’s most famous peak.”

On June 14, 1959, the Matterhorn Bobsleds attraction opened in Disneyland as the park’s first thrill attraction. Part of the first Disneyland expansion, the attraction was based on the Disney live-action film Third Man on the Mountain as well as the Swiss mountain of the same name. It is also the first tubular steel roller coaster in the world, with its design becoming the standard for roller coasters around the world. Although it is 1/100th of the actual size of its namesake, the use of forced perspective makes it appear much larger than it is. The attraction is also known for having a basketball court hidden inside, with popular lore stating that it was added to get past height restrictions within the city of Anaheim, although this myth has been disproved. Guests enter a six-person sled and slide through the icy caves of the mountain while trying to avoid the wrath of the Abominable Snowman. Guests can also pick one of two tracks for different views of Disneyland: the Fantasyland track, and the Tomorrowland track. Guests also have an opportunity to see mountain climbers on the side of the mountain, including very special appearances by Goofy and Mickey. Disneyland is the only Disney Park to have this attraction.

June 13

June 13, 1990 – The Television Special Dick Tracy: Behind the Badge…Behind the Scenes Airs

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“Dick Tracy on one hand is about good versus evil, and on the other hand it’s a story about people wanting to form a family.”

On June 13, 1990, the television special Dick Tracy: Behind the Badge…Behind the Scenes aired. The special took viewers behind the scenes of the comic turned film, with a look at how Warren Beatty acted as both lead actor, producer, and director, how actors like Al Pacino were transformed from actors to comical mobsters, and how Madonna was able to become character Breathless Mahoney. Beginning from its origins as Chester Gould’s comic, this featurette explores the work it took to turn this to a big screen action film, from the art of make-up magic to the explosive experts for the elaborate scenes. The featurette was written by Rick Sublett, and directed by Gayle Hollenbaugh.

June 12

June 12, 1922 – Performer and Disney Legend Fulton Burley is Born

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“Whenever I mention Fulton to anybody who knew him, they immediately smile every time.” – D23 Writer Scott Wolf

On June 12, 1922, Fulton Burley was born. Raised in Canada, Burley loved to sing at an early age, performing for weddings and on the radio. He studied law and music at the Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, but dropped his law studies to pursue a career in entertainment. Burley was able to secure a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and appeared in supporting roles in several films. In 1943 he landed a role in the Diamond Horseshoe Review after a telephone audition, and continued to tour with several musical productions, honing his skills in music and comedy. In 1962, after receiving a call from friend (and eventual fellow Disney Legend) Wally Boag, Burley came to work at the Golden Horseshoe Review at Disneyland. While there, he not only gained popularity with the show, but recorded the voice for Michael in the Enchanted Tiki Room attraction. In 1987, Burley retired from Disney, but came back in 1997 to help rerecord the lines for the updated version of the Enchanted Tiki Room alongside Boag and Thurl Ravenscroft. He was honored as a Disney Legend in 1995. In 2007, Burley passed away from heart failure at the age of 84.

June 11

June 11, 2012 – The ABC Family Series Bunheads Premieres

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“If a director can just look at you and say ‘no’ after three seconds, it’s not ‘no’ cause you’re so young and hot. It’s ‘no’ cause you’re starting to look like an IHOP cashier.”

On June 11, 2012, the dramedy series Bunheads premiered on ABC Family. The series centered around Las Vegas showgirl Michelle Simms, who marries a man impetuously and moves to his hometown of Paradise, California. After her husband dies, Simms decides to go back to her roots and teach ballet alongside her mother-in-law at the Paradise Dance Academy. The series lasted for 18 episodes, being cancelled after one season. It was created by Amy Sherman-Palladino and Lamar Damon. It starred Sutton Foster as Michelle Simms, Kelly Bishop as Fanny Flowers, Kaitlyn Jenkins as Bettina Jordan, Julia Goldani Telles as Sasha Torres, Bailey Buntain as Virginia Thompson, and Emma Dumont as Melanie Segal.

June 10

June 10, 1955 – The Special Goofy Short El Gaucho Goofy is Released to Theaters

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“Howdy, strangers!”

On June 10, 1955, the special Goofy short film El Gaucho Goofy was released to theaters. It was originally a segment of the animated feature film Saludos Amigos.

Set in Texas, the narrator introduces the North American cowboy, played by Goofy, and then introduces the South American counterpart: the Gaucho. Goofy is then turned into a gaucho, and soon captures his horse, though it seems that the course catches Goofy instead. Goofy then has to saddle his horse, with layers and layers of saddling. That night, Goofy sets up an Argentine barbeque, which has its own ceremony to it involving bread, meat, and a knife – with Goofy accidentally eating part of the knife. This is then followed with Goofy using the bolas to capture the avestrus, an Argentinian ostrich. Goofy is able to capture the ostrich, and the capture is done again in slow-motion, only this time with Goofy, the avestrus, and Goofy’s horse getting caught by the bolas. That night, Goofy sings a song under the stars, and he dances with his horse. Goofy is then sent back to Texas, filled with fond memories of being a Gaucho.