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Monthly Archives: August 2016

August 31

August 31, 1990 – The Party Releases Eponymous Debut Album

The Party

“Gotta break away from this day to day, gotta get away, on this summer vacation.”

On August 31, 1990, the eponymous debut album of pop recording group The Party was released through Hollywood Records; it was one of the label’s first releases since its formation in 1989. The Party featured Mickey Mouse Club members Albert Fields, Chase Hampton, Deedee Magno Hall, Damon Pampolina, and Tiffini Hale. The album featured three singles: “Summer Vacation,” “I Found Love,” and “That’s Why.” Overall, the album peaked at #116 on the Billboard 200.


August 30

August 30, 2009 – The Little Mermaid Has Final Performance on Broadway


“We are closing the Broadway production to concentrate on the long future life of this title – beginning with next year’s national tour and upcoming international productions.” – Producer and President of Disney Theatrical Productions Thomas Schumacher

On August 30, 2009, the Broadway musical The Little Mermaid had its final performance in the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, closing after 685 performances. The production, which began with previews on November 3, 2007, received positive reviews from family audiences, but a rather lukewarm response from critics. The musical was scheduled to begin its national tour in 2010, and was retooled by Glenn Casale after the show closed on Broadway. The final run featured Chelsea Morgan Stock as Ariel, Faith Prince as Ursula, Drew Seeley as Prince Eric, Norm Lewis as King Triton, Rogelio Douglas Jr. as Sebastian, Eddie Korbich as Scuttle, Jonathan Freeman as Grimsby, Tyler Maynard as Flotsam, Eric LaJuan Summers as Jetsam, Robert Creighton as Chef Louis, and Trevor Braun, Major Curda, and Brian D’Addario alternating in the role of Flounder.

August 29

August 29, 1955 – The Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship and Restaurant Opens in Disneyland


“Part of the elaborately themed restaurant location included Skull Rock Cove where you could sit and enjoy your meal.”

On August 29, 1955, the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship and Restaurant opened in Disneyland’s Fantasyland. The restaurant was Peter Pan-themed, once standing where the Dumbo the Flying Elephant attraction resides today. The restaurant was a quick-service spot serving several tuna dishes, including a tuna burger; it also featured an area of seating designed like Skull Rock from the animated feature. The restaurant remained under the Chicken of the Sea sponsorship until 1969, when it was renamed Captain Hook’s Galley, where it stood until 1982.The ship was originally made entirely of wood, but quickly started to rot from sitting in the water, and work was done over several years to replace the wood with concrete. During the redesign of Fantasyland, Imagineers tried to save the ship, but the ship had to be moved, and was eventually destroyed when parts were moved away and involved in an accident. The ship has since been recreated in Disneyland Paris, while parts of Skull Rock were reused for the Storybook Land Canal Boats.

August 28

August 28, 2001 – Beauty and the Beast Celebrates its 3000th Performance


“Tale as old as time…”

On August 28, 2001, the Broadway production of Beauty and the Beast celebrated a milestone of 3000 performances, with the musical shortly after being named the 10th longest running musical on Broadway of all time. The production had been through many changes since its first performance on April 18, 1994, including special guest stars playing lead roles (such as Toni Braxton playing Belle), new songs added, and new wardrobe stylings. The musical ran until July 29, 2007, reaching 5,461 performances, and reaching the peak of the 9th longest running musical on the Great White Way, with fellow Disney musical The Lion King surpassing it and standing at 3rd.

August 27

August 27, 1998 – The Town Square Exhibition Hall Opens in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park


On August 27, 1998, the Town Square Exhibition Hall opened in the Magic Kingdom Park of Walt Disney World. The area housed the Camera Center (hosted by Kodak), and featured camera and photography related exhibits; it also featured a mini theater with Disney cartoons continuously playing, and an exhibit about the history of Walt Disney. The Camera Center closed in 2010, making way for new meet and greets with Mickey Mouse, the Disney Princesses, and Tinker Bell.

August 26

August 26, 2008 – StormStruck Opens in Epcot’s Innoventions Area


“Our participating in this exhibit at Epcot allows us to meet this objective in an exciting new way.” – RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. President and CEO Neill Currie

On August 26, 2008, in partnership with RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd., WeatherPredict Consulting Inc., Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, Inc., and State Farm, the interactive attraction StormStruck opened in the Innoventions area of Walt Disney World’s Epcot Park. The attraction gives guests, through the use of mini-exhibits, a chance to learn how to protect themselves and their homes in certain catastrophic weather events. The attraction is scheduled to close on September 13, 2016.

August 25

August 25, 1923 – Walt Disney Writes Letter About Establishing a New Cartoon Studio


“…I am establishing a studio in Los Angeles for the purpose of producing the new and novel series of cartoons I have previously written about.”

On August 25, 1923, Walt Disney sent a letter to distributor Margaret Winkler stating his intentions of establishing a new cartoon studio, particularly for the development of the series that would go on to be the Alice Comedies. Walt’s other studio, Laugh-O-gram Films, was floundering after not even being open for a year, and in serious danger of going belly-up. During this time, he was inspired by the Out of the Inkwell series of cartoons of an animated character in the world, and started developing the idea of the Alice Comedies. He had written Winkler once he had established the idea and, while she showed interest in distribution, Walt’s funds dried up after the film was only half completed. Eventually, he had no choice but to declare bankruptcy and went out West to Los Angeles. After looking around Los Angeles for directing gigs, he concluded that he would have to break into the industry with his cartoons; he then printed special stationary bearing the title of “Walt Disney, Cartoonist,” and declared his intentions in a letter to Winkler about establishing a new cartoon studio to work on the Alice Comedy “Alice’s Wonderland.” The gamble paid off, and on October 15, 1923, Winkler sent him a telegram with the offer of a contract. The Disney Studio was officially created the next day, October 16, 1923.

August 24

August 24, 2014 – Newsies Has its Final Performance on Broadway


“From our first performance, we have been humbled by the spontaneous and genuine outpouring of affection from fans and the theatre community alike.” – President and Producer for Disney Theatrical Productions Thomas Schumacher

On August 24, 2014, the Broadway musical Newsies had its final performance, capping a successful two and a half year run with  1,004 performances. The show was profitable for Disney, recouping its $5 million investment in the first seven months of the show’s run; Disney had a strong need to recover after the disappointments of Tarzan and The Little Mermaid, and went on to win two Tony Awards: Best Score and Best Choreography. Although the Broadway show came to an end, the national tour would launch later that year in October. At the production’s end, the show featured Corey Cott as Jack Kelly, John Dossett as Joseph Pulitzer, Liana Hunt as Katherine Plumber, Ben Fankhauser as Davey, Chapathia Jenkins as Medda, Andy Richardson as Crutchie, and Luca Padovan and Zachary Unger as alternating actors for Les.

August 23

August 23, 2004 – The Post Office in Marceline, Missouri, is Renamed the Walt Disney Post Office


On August 23, 2004, the post office in Marceline, Missouri (known officially as Walt’s hometown) was officially renamed the Walt Disney Post Office. The proposal for the renaming had been introduced in front of the House Committee on Government Reform on April 3, 2003, and after passing through several committees, it was approved by unanimous consent by the United States Senate on October 29, 2003. This is the only federal building to bear Walt’s name. The post office also has the distinction of being the spot where, in 1968, the Walt Disney commemorative stamp was released along with a ceremony featuring many of Walt’s family and admirers.

August 22

August 22, 1927 – The Final Alice Comedy Alice in the Big League Premieres in Theaters


On August 22, 1927, the 57th and final Alice Comedy, Alice in the Big League, was released to theaters. It starred Lois Hardwick as the fourth and final actress to play Alice. By the time this short film was released, it had become apparent to Walt, as well as his distributor Charles Mintz, that the Alice Comedies had run their course, with Alice not serving well as a comedic figure and Julius the cat providing most of the comedic intrigue; Walt was also working with Ub Iwerks on the first cartoon of what would become Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. While Alice in the Big League is not a lost cartoon, it has not been released on home video.