RSS Feed

Monthly Archives: March 2018

March 31

March 31, 1958 – Grand Canyon Diorama is Added in Disneyland

On March 31, 1958, the grand opening ceremony of the Grand Canyon Diorama, the “largest diorama in the world,” was held in Disneyland Park. The diorama was placed along the route of the Disneyland Railroad, and Walt Disney himself was the conductor of the train that passed by the scenes of the Grand Canyon. The soundtrack for the scenery is Ferde Grofé’s “Grand Canyon Suite,” which accompanies lush scenes of the landscape by scenic artist Delmer Yoakum. The diorama is 306 feet in length, and was restored in 2017 to how it would have appeared in 1958, with some subtle updates to add some “magic.”

March 30

March 30, 2011 – Town Square Theater Opens in Magic Kingdom Park

“Go backstage as a special guest of your pal, Mickey.”

On March 30, 2011, the Town Square Theater opened in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park. Located within the Town Square, guests can enter and meet Mickey Mouse as he acts as the Master Magician, performing magic tricks. The Town Square Theater replaced the Town Square Exposition Hall, and features references to several characters and films from the classic days. After guests meet Mickey Mouse, they can enter Box Office Gifts, where they can buy specialty park merchandise.

March 29

March 29, 1979 – Disney Sells the Celebrity Sports Center to Griffin, Leavitt, and the Writer Brothers

“…although Celebrity Center is a small part of the Disney enterprises it received a large share of [Disney’s] attention.” – Rocky Mountain News

On March 29, 1979, the Walt Disney Company sold the Celebrity Sports Center to the group of Griffin, Leavitt, and the Writer Brothers for an undisclosed sum. Located in Denver, Colorado, the center was opened in 1960, funded by several celebrity investors, including Walt Disney. The area was built to be a “huge play center,” featuring entertainments including bowling and swimming. After Disney’s death in 1966, the purpose of the center changed to that of a training ground for Walt Disney World employees. When it was sold, it was well known that Disney wasn’t sure what to do with the property, though it had been financially successful for the company. The area was closed entirely on June 15, 1994.

March 28

March 28, 1987 – The Merchandise Stop Port of Entry Opens in Epcot

“Before or after your trip around World Showcase, stop by for Disney-themed apparel, jewelry and other souvenirs.”

On March 28, 1987, the merchandise store Port of Entry opened in Walt Disney World’s Epcot park. Located at the opening of the World Showcase, the shop provides merchandise from all the countries represented in the area, along with specialty merchandise from other countries, and limited edition items from Epcot’s special events, such as the Food and Wine Festival.

March 27

March 27, 1957 – The 25-Millionth Mickey Mouse Watch is Presented in Disneyland

“Walt Disney receives the 25-millionth Mickey Mouse Watch to celebrate its success.”

On March 27, 1957, the Ingersoll-Waterbury Company celebrated a milestone with the 25millionth watch featuring Mickey Mouse having been made. This watch was presented to Walt Disney in a special ceremony in Disneyland. The first Mickey Mouse watch created by the company started with a patent on May 22, 1933, with the first watches being built soon after.

March 26

March 26, 2009 – The Friar’s Nook Opens in Walt Disney World

The old English exterior of The Friar's Nook restaurant is reminiscent of Robin Hood's Sherwood Forest

“Tuck into tasty fare like loaded buffalo chicken tots, hot dogs and fried Twinkies…”

On March 26, 2009, the quick-service restaurant The Friar’s Nook opened in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom park. Replacing the Village Fry Shoppe, the restaurant featured several kinds of loaded tator tots, along with assorted iced drinks. The name of the restaurant is derived from Friar Tuck, from the animated feature film Robin Hood.

March 25

March 25, 2017 – The Restaurant Plazma Ray’s Diner Opens in Tokyo Disneyland

プラズマ・レイズ・ダイナーのイメージ1

On March 25, 2017, the quick service restaurant Plazma Ray’s Diner opened in Tokyo Disneyland’s Tomorrowland area. The backstory for the restaurant is that it is part of an intergalactic diner chain named after its founder and owner. The restaurant features dishes such as glove shaped chicken bao, vegetable curry rice bowl, and a yogurt mousse cake. The restaurant also currently features several Star Wars themed desserts.

March 24

March 24, 2014 – Disney Buys Maker Studios

“Mickey Mouse became a YouTube giant on Monday.”

On March 24, 2014, the Walt Disney Company announced that it had completed a deal to acquire the YouTube-based video supplier Maker Studios for $500 million. The acquisition deal also includes a stipulation that Disney would pay an additional $450 million if the aggressive growth targets are met. Disney’s acquisition was mainly about expanding its distribution and programming channels, as Maker manages over 50,000 YouTube channels, including Epic Rap Battles of History and PewDiePew. There were concerns over the acquisition, as analysts believe that Maker operates in the red due to its proceeds coming from ads across their channels. However, Disney will operate the studio under the financial area of the company until it is ready to serve the other business units.

March 23

March 23, 1992 – Harrington Bay Clothiers Opens in Downtown Disney

“…keeping you in style with perfect resortware.”

On March 23, 1992, the store Harrington Bay Clothiers opened in Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney area. The store specialized in men’s fashions, featuring popular brands Polo, Nautica, and Tommy Hilfiger. The store was designed in the style of Bermuda, with the fashions featuring a beach theme. The store was eventually closed on July 15, 2001.

March 22

March 22, ­­2008 – The Interactive Attraction Stitch Live! Opens in Disneyland Paris

“Cowabunga! Chat to, and sing along with, the blue dude himself in the most magical of alien encounters.”

On March 22, 2008, the interactive attraction Stitch Live! opened in Disneyland Paris’ Walt Disney Studios Park. Similar to the attraction Turtle Talk with Crush, guests can interact with the Lilo and Stitch character Stitch, asking him questions and see him wreak havoc during a satellite feed. The Disneyland Paris version was a variation on the Stitch Encounter attraction that opened in Hong Kong Disneyland on July 13, 2006.