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Monthly Archives: December 2016

December 24

December 24, 2001 – Navidad Mágica Disney Premieres on Univision

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On December 24, 2001, the Spanish-language special Navidad Mágica Disney premiered on Univision. The hour-long special featured popular entertainers Bobby Pulido, Daniela Aedo, and Myra, performing from the four parks that make up Walt Disney World. Subsequent versions of this broadcast have been shown on Disney Channel in Spanish speaking countries.

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December 23

December 23, 2015 – The Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival Premieres in Epcot

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“Join us in celebrating the rich imagination and innovation behind animated storytelling.”

On December 23, 2015, the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival premiered in Epcot’s Magic Eye Theater. The short film festival gives a new 4D experience to three short films: Get a Horse, For the Birds, and La Luna. The theater used to host the likes of Captain EO and Magic Journeys.

December 22

December 22, 1954 – The Disney Anthology Episode “A Present for Donald” Premieres

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“Merry Christmas”

On December 22, 1954, the Disney Anthology episode “A Present for Donald” premiered on ABC. The episode is a holiday special, and features segments from the animated feature film The Three Caballeros, though Donald is receiving Christmas presents rather than birthday presents.

December 21

December 21, 1913 – Imagineer Fred Joerger is Born

“Well, my job was to create the model to avert disaster, which was fun, but a challenge.”

On December 21, 1913, Fred Joerger was born in Pekin, Illinois. In 1937, after graduating from the University of Illinois with a fine arts degree, Joerger headed out to Los Angeles, gaining employment at Warner Brothers to build models of movie sets. He joined the Walt Disney Company in 1953 when Walt was creating the initial plans for Disneyland, and Joerger was tasked to create models for what would become Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, among other Audio-Animatronic attractions within the park. He was also tasked with creating miniature sets for several Disney live-action features, including Mary Poppins and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea; for the latter, he created models of the submarine the Nautilus. When WED Enterprises was founded, Joerger was one of three original founding members, alongside fellow Disney Legends Harriet Burns and Wathel Rogers. While noted for creating several intricate models that defined the look of several many still-popular attractions, Joerger was also well-known for his work with creating realistic-looking rocks from plaster; he worked on several rockwork projects for Walt Disney World. Although he retired from Disney in 1979, he came back to work as the field art director for EPCOT. He was inducted as a Disney Legend in 2001, and on August 26, 2005, Joerger passed away at the age of 91.

December 20

December 20, 1956 – The People and Places Featurette Disneyland, U.S.A. is Released to Theaters

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“Here in Southern California, a new land has come into being. Its purpose is enlightenment; its product, happiness. This place is Disneyland, USA.”

On December 20, 1956, the People and Places featurette Disneyland, U.S.A. premiered in theaters. It was the sixth featurette in the series. It was directed by Hamilton S. Luske, and narrated by Winston Hibler.

The featurette begins a look at Southern California, taking an aerial view over the land. The narrator explains Disneyland in general, pointing out that Disneyland will always grow and expand, so that the “new and unexpected” can continue to be found there. The audience is first brought to the Disneyland Hotel via tram, viewing all the recreational activities the hotel has to offer. Taking the train, the audience is then brought to Disneyland Station, and enters the main entrance to enter the park. They are brought through Main Street, with the narrator explaining the ways to get around in the time of the gas lamp. The camera pans around to several stores along the streets, including the Penny Arcade and the Main Street Movie House. The audience pauses in The Plaza area, the hub of Disneyland. The narrator points out each of the separate parts of Disneyland before looking at a panorama of Frontierland. The narrator points out the various selling points of Frontierland, including Tom Sawyer’s Island and Rainbow Ridge. The audience the boards a train to continue traveling through the land. Next is a look at the Rivers of America, with special attention paid to the Mark Twain paddleboat, before catching the railroad again to view another part of Frontierland: the Indian Village, where 17 different tribes are represented.

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The audience then moves on to Adventureland, taking a boat on the Jungle Cruise and traveling through the many winding waterways. After the adventure, the audience quickly moves into Tomorrowland, where guests are given a glimpse at the way of the future. The tour begins at the Autopia attraction, with drivers of all ages heading to the track. There is also an area for model airplane clubs, and the Astro Jets for those that prefer to fly themselves. After this, the audience flies over Fantasyland, walking through the castle to an area of magic and childhood. The first attraction seen is Peter Pan’s Flight, where guests board a pirate ship to fly over London. The narrator then brings the audience to Storybook Land, where miniature scenes of classic Disney movies are shown on the riverbanks. This is followed by a look at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party attraction, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, and the Skyway. The end of the featurette shows Walt Disney and Fess Parker leading a parade down Main Street before the falg is brought down at the end of the day.

December 19

December 19, 1999 – The Playground Area La Plage des Pirates Opens n Disneyland Paris

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“Grab a cutlass and cut loose in this swashbuckling playground for buccaneering boys and girls.”

On December 19, 1999, the playground area La Plage des Pirates, known as Pirates’ Beach in English, opened in Disneyland Paris’ Adventureland. Loosely based on the animated feature film Peter Pan, the area gives younger children a chance to be pirates and search for treasure near Skull Rock. Kids can play in two different playgrounds, complete with slides, rope ladders, and other interesting activities.

December 18

December 18, 2015 – The Fireworks Show Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular Premieres at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

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“Conclude your day in a galaxy far, far away with an all-new nighttime spectacular bursting with memorable Star Wars moments.”

On December 18, 2015, the Star Wars­-themed fireworks show Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular premiered at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World. This show accompanies many changes made to the park with adding more Star Wars offerings, including the new Launch Bay and the updated attraction Star Tours. The show itself features the iconic music by John Williams, alongside lasers, pyrotechnics, and projection effects.