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Monthly Archives: December 2015

December 11

December 11, 1995 – The Disneyland Pacific Hotel is Acquired

Pacific Hotel

“The acquisition of the Pan Pacific Hotel enables us to offer additional lodging choices for the guests of the Disneyland Resort.” – President of Disneyland Paul Pressler

On December 11, 1995, the Disneyland Pacific Hotel opened after an extensive deal with the original owners, the Tokyu Group. The hotel was originally built by the Tokyu Group in 1984, and was named the Emerald of Anaheim. In 1989, after a consolidation effort by the Tokyu Group of its two hotel brands, the hotel was renamed the Pan Pacific. In 1995, the hotel was acquired by Disney for $36 million (about $56.5 million in adjusted inflation). In 1996, a special cast-only pin was released this day, celebrating one year of Disney ownership of the hotel.

December 10

December 10, 1937 – The Donald Duck Short Film Donald’s Ostrich is Released to Theaters

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“Hey, what’s the big idea?”

On December 10, 1937, the Donald Duck short film Donald’s Ostrich was released to theaters. It was directed by Jack King.

Donald is listening to a shrill radio opera while at work, and quickly changes the channel, finally finding something he can dance to. The train arrives, dumping its packages on the platform – and on Donald – and is surprised to find one containing an ostrich, which gives him a kiss. The ostrich comes with a label: her name is Hortense, and she must be fed and watered, with a post script warning that she eats anything. Hortense continues to flirt with Donald, though Donald will have nothing of it. When Donald crashes into a stack of milk jugs, Hortense is left to her own devices, and starts eating what she can find, including an accordion, an alarm clock, and some balloons. The mix of the contents gives her the hiccups, and she starts hiccuping into a hose, which gives Donald a cause for concern. He works on curing her hiccups by scaring her with a tuba, but it only causes her hiccups to worsen. Hortense then eats the radio, which is set to a murder mystery. Each hiccup she has causes the station to change, and she reacts with each broadcast. Donald attempts to extract the radio, but pulls out the accordion first. Hortense, reacting to a racing broadcast, crashes in the station, and Donald unfortunately comes down with a case of the hiccups after yelling at Hortense.

December 9

December 9, 1933 – The Silly Symphony The Night Before Christmas is Released to Theaters

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“Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.”

On December 9, 1933, the Silly Symphony The Night Before Christmas was released to theaters. It was a sequel to the 1932 Silly Symphony Santa’s Workshop, and was also known as Santa’s Toys. The short was directed by Wilfred Jackson.

In a small house, decorated for Christmas, several children are tucked into bed, waiting for Santa’s arrival. Santa soon arrives and makes his way effortlessly down the chimney, and sets up a tree for the toys. The toys then march out of his bag and make their way to their places under the tree. A group of toy soldiers uses cannons to decorate the tree with ornaments, while a toy plane wraps a garland of tinsel around the tree. Santa laughs merrily as he fills the stockings, and the toys celebrate the completion of a decorated tree. The children wake up and peek at Santa and the toys, and accidentally give themselves away when one boy sneezes. Santa quickly heads up the chimney, and the kids start playing with all their new toys. After hearing sleigh bells, the children look outside to see Santa flying off into the night.

December 8

December 8, 1997 – Disney Announces the Creation of Toon Disney

Toon Disney

“While there had been speculation in the cable industry that Disney had a cartoon channel on the drawing board, confirmation of its launch appeared to catch most in the industry by surprise…”

On December 8, 1997, in an effort to compete with popular cable channel Cartoon Network, Disney announced the creation of a new Disney Channel spinoff channel called Toon Disney. The channel would exclusively feature animated series and features from the Disney Studios library. It was announced that the channel would officially launch April 18th, which was also the 15th anniversary of the Disney Channel. The target audience was kids aged 2 to 11, with 25% of the content being created for the channel.

December 7

December 7, 1999 – Cynthia Harriss is Named President of Disneyland

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“During her tenure with Disney…Cynthia has proven herself to be a strong leader who has a real passion for everything the Disney name represents.” – Michael Eisner, Former Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company

On December 7, 1999, it was announced that Cynthia Harriss would be promoted to the position of president of the Disneyland Resort. Harriss originally joined the Disney Company in 1992, holding senior positions in the Disney Store and Disneyland; in this instance she moved up from the position of senior vice president of park operations, an office she’d held since 1997. She remained president over one of the biggest expansions of the Disneyland Resort, and held the office until 2004.

December 6

December 6, 2012 – The Epcot Attraction Test Track Reopens

Test Track

“One Fun Ride”

On December 6, 2012, the popular Epcot attraction Test Track reopened. Closed since April, the newly revamped attraction features a new sponsorship through Chevrolet, along with an emphasis on the creation of a car at the newly designed Chevrolet Design Center. Each car is developed via four testing criteria: capability, responsiveness, efficiency, and power. Guests can then take their cars through the Test Track circuit, racing at a peak speed of 65 mph.

December 5

December 5, 2012 – A Dragon Flies Above New Fantasyland

Dragon

“Disney Parks Blog has been building hype all week of dragon sightings around New Fantasyland.”

On December 5, 2012, hours before New Fantasyland was to open in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park, a dragon was spotted flying over the area. The dragon, a one-time only spectacle, was able to breathe fire and roar as it took to the skies. According to the Disney-owned tumblr page, DisneyDragons, the dragon is a 41-year-old Norwegian Firebreather that was born in the Magic Kingdom.

December 4

December 4, 2007 – The Pirates of the Caribbean Soundtrack Treasures Collection is Released Through Walt Disney Records

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On December 4, 2007, the Pirates of the Caribbean Soundtrack Treasures Collection box set was released through Walt Disney Records. The box set contained four CDs, featuring the three soundtracks for the films, along with a fourth CD featuring remixes and unreleased cues and pieces; it also contains some of the earliest demos created by Hans Zimmer in the early stages of production. The set also includes a DVD with special behind-the-scenes extras and interviews with composer Hans Zimmer.

December 3

December 3, 2002 – The Second Wave of Walt Disney Treasures DVDs is Released

Image credit: laughingplace.com

Image credit: laughingplace.com

“Hi, I’m Leonard Maltin.”

On December 3, 2002, the second wave of DVDs in the Walt Disney Treasures line was released. This wave featured more of the Disney classic characters, beginning with Mickey Mouse in Black and White, which featured Mickey’s earliest short films, including Steamboat Willie; The Complete Goofy, featuring a biography of the original voice actor, Pinto Colvig; and Behind the Scenes at the Walt Disney Studios, which gives die-hard fans a look at classic marketing material, as well as a copy of the film The Reluctant Dragon, starring Robert Benchley. 125,000 sets of each 2-disc collection were released.

December 2

December 2, 2010 – Toy Story 3 Wins National Board of Review Award

NBR

“The National Board of Review comprises film professionals, educators, historians, and students.”

On December 2, 2010, Pixar’s 11th animated feature Toy Story 3 had another accolade to add to its collection when it was awarded as Best Animated Feature by the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures. The film was also named as one of the top ten films of the year, alongside The King’s Speech and The Fighter. The Toy Story 3 win was Pixar’s fifth consecutive award from the organization, having dominated the category since its founding seven years prior. The awards for the films were to be handed out at the annual gala in January, 2011.