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Monthly Archives: December 2017

December 31

December 31, 1992 – The Club 8TRAX Opens in Walt Disney World’s Pleasure Island

“Those looking to return to the disco era of spinning balls, lighted dance floors and groovy atmosphere will definitely want to check out 8TRAX.”

On December 31, 1992, the club 8TRAX opened in Walt Disney World’s Pleasure Island area of Downtown Disney. Replacing the former club Cage, it was a 1970s-themed club, featuring music from that era playing until midnight, with lighted dance floors and dancers accompanying the music. The club closed on September 27, 2008.

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December 30

December 30, 1980 – The Selective Service System Contacts Mickey Mouse

“It may be that somebody is pulling our leg, but it was released on official stationary.” – Bob Roth, Disneyland Spokesperson

On December 30, 1980, senior Disneyland officials were amused when they received a letter from the Selective Service System regarding Mickey Mouse. The service was reminding 18-year-olds that they had to register for the draft, and wrote that Mickey had “not responded to our initial request for necessary date of birth information,” seemingly unaware that Mickey was a 52-year-old fictional mouse.

December 29

December 29, 2013 – Downton Abbey Actress Elizabeth McGovern Visits Walt Disney World

Downton at Disney?”

On December 29, 2013, Walt Disney World caught Downton Abbey fever when actress Elizabeth McGovern, who plays Cora Crawley, visited the parks. McGovern notably visited Epcot and took a photo with several cast members from the United Kingdom Pavilion, spoofing the iconic cast photo in front of Highclere Castle, with the pavilion’s landscape subbing for the castle. On hand for the photo was Goofy, dressed in top hat and tails, while McGovern posed in a casual outfit.

December 28

December 28, 1972 – Walt Disney World’s Airport Closes

“Shawnee Airlines now serving Sarasota, Miami, Tampa and Walt Disney World”

On December 28, 1972, Walt Disney World’s personal STOLport (Short Take-Off and Landing) airport, also known as Lake Buena Vista Airport, closed permanently. The airport had opened in 1971 to be a private airfield for the park, shuttling guests and cast members between the park and the two nearby airports: Orlando International Airport and Tampa International Airport. When the airport closed, it was considered a failed experiment by Disney; it was closed thanks to low customer participation and rising debt.

December 27

December 27, 1954 – Walt Disney Appears on the Cover of Time

“To enchanted worlds on electronic wings.”

On December 27, 1954, Walt Disney appeared on the cover of Time Magazine for the second time (coincidentally, the first time was on December 27, 1937, celebrating the release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs). The cover was painted by Boris Chaliapin, and the cover story featured Walt’s role in shaping television content with his television series, which had premiered nine weeks earlier. The story also touched on Walt’s upcoming dream in development, which would become Disneyland.

December 26

December 26, 1989 – The World Traveler Shop Opens in Epcot

“This shop at International Gateway is your passport to Epcot and Disney souvenirs plus cold beverages for your voyage.”

On December 26, 1989, the merchandise stop The World Traveler opened in Walt Disney World’s Epcot Park. Located at the International Gateway near the World Showcase, this shop provides the first bit of merchandise to travelers taking the ferry to get to Epcot from certain Walt Disney World resorts. The shop provides a variety of merchandise ranging from pins to housewares. It also provides cold drinks for guests to take with them in the park, especially on hot Florida days.

December 25

December 25, 1956 – The People & Places Featurette Samoa is Released to Theaters


On December 25, 1956, the People & Places Featurette Samoa was released to theaters. It was the seventh featurette in the series to be released, and was filmed in CinemaScope. The 32 minute documentary took audiences through the island of Samoa (known formally as the Independent State of Samoa), where they could see the day-to-day living of the inhabitants, including their fishing trade and ritual dances during the evening fia fia (translated as “happy time”).