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Monthly Archives: July 2018

July 31

July 31, 1982 – The Television Special Pluto and His Friends Premieres

On July 31, 1982, the 30-minute television special Pluto and His Friends premiered on CBS. It was a shortened version of the Disneyland Anthology Series episode “Pluto’s Day,” and featured four Pluto-centric animated short films: Canine Caddy (released 1941), Bubble Bee (released 1949), Food for Feudin’ (released 1950), and The Simple Things (released 1953). The special was narrated by Gary Owens.

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July 30

July 30, 1956 – The Mineral Hall Store Opens in Disneyland

“An exciting display of minerals glowing in the beauty of black light!”

On July 30, 1956, the Mineral Hall store and display opened in Disneyland’s Frontierland. Guests could enter the hall and see a variety of minerals under regular light and black light; there was a bonus of guests being able to see how their clothes would glow under the black light. Guests were also able to purchase the types of minerals on display. The store closed in 1963.

July 29

July 29, 2007 – The Broadway Musical Beauty and the Beast Closes

“A ‘tale as old as time’ reached the end of the line July 20 when Beauty and the Beast gave its 5,464th – and final – Broadway performance and at last took its leave of the Lunt-Fontanne…”

On July 29, 2007, after 46 previews and 5,461 performances, the Broadway musical Beauty and the Beast closed at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. As of 2018, it is the tenth-longest running musical on Broadway, and has had several national tours. Former Disney CEO Michael Eisner, who was instrumental in bringing Disney to the Great White Way, was present at this final performance, as were many fans, friends, and special cast members. Recording artist Donny Osmond reprised his role as Gaston for the final show, with Anneliese Van Der Pol and Steve Blanchard playing the role of Belle and the Beast, respectfully.

July 28

July 28, 1993 – Bank of America Ends Partnership with Disneyland

“…Walt was confident of his vision [of Disneyland], and so was Bank of America.”

On July 28, 1993, the company Bank of America cease their association with Disneyland Park. The bank had been a part of the theme park since the park’s opening, as a branch was located on Main Street. The bank was also unique in that it was one of the few banks in the country to have regular Sunday and holiday hours. The association between Disney and Bank of America goes back even earlier than 1955; Bank of America financed Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which began a long relationship of the bank continuing to finance animated feature films for the company. Bank of America also sponsored the it’s a small world attraction from 1966 to 1992, with the sponsorship also advertising the company’s first modern credit card BankAmericard; this card was the first credit card to be accepted at the Magic Kingdom.

July 27

July 27, 1989 – The Educational Film The United Nations is Released

“Do you see…Mickey Mouse?”

On July 27, 1989, the fourth and final film in the Mickey’s Field Trip series, The United Nations, was released under the Epcot Educational Media label. This 16 minute film gave viewers a chance to take a look at The United Nations complex in New York City.

The film opens with two children walking through New York City, arguing over what they should go see, when they come across Mickey Mouse, who offers a solution: a trip to the United Nations complex. There, they meet Mickey’s friend Kiki from Ghana, who is also a UN guide. Mickey is no stranger to the UN, as he is recognized by the organization as an emissary of goodwill to the children of the world. They view the flags of the countries that are members of the UN before they head inside. Kiki also explains that once they enter the complex, they are in an international zone, which doesn’t belong to one single country. The group then meets other members of the UN to discuss the role of the organization, how they handle conflict, the role of the Security Council, and how they prevent fighting across the world. The group also goes over the roles of the interpreters, who do their best to communicate with the members of the Security Council, before moving to the General Assembly. The group is greeted by the children of the world and act out the voting process for the issues facing the world. The episode ends with the kids ringing the peace bell, hoping that one day there will be world peace.

July 26

July 26, 2007 – The Musical The Little Mermaid Begins Engagement in Denver, Colorado

“…she’ll have to defy her father – the king of the sea – escape the clutches of an evil sea witch and convince a prince that she’s the girl with the perfect voice.”

On July 26, 2007, the pre-Broadway engagement of the newest Disney musical The Little Mermaid began its run at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts’ Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver, Colorado. Featuring Sierra Boggess as Ariel, Sean Palmer as Prince Eric, Norm Lewis as King Triton, Tituss Burgess as Sebastian, Eddie Korbich as Scuttle, Jonathan Freeman as Grimsby, Derrick Baskin as Jetsam, Tyler Maynard as Flotsam, Cody Hanford and J.J. Singleton splitting the role of Flounder, and Sherie Rene Scott as Ursula, the production was led by director Francesca Zambello. The show ended its run in Denver on September 9th, with the production officially opening on Broadway’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on December 6th.

July 25

July 25, 2007 – Disney Announces Discouragement of Smoking in Films

“We discourage depictions of cigarette smoking in Disney, Touchstone, and Miramax films.” – Disney President and CEO Robert A. Iger

On July 25, 2007, The Walt Disney Company made an official announcement that they will no longer depict smoking in any of their films. In a letter sent to U.S. Representative Edward J. Markey, Chairman of the House Telecommunications and the Internet Subcommittee, Disney President and CEO Bob Iger wrote that the company will not only prevent depictions of smoking in films, but will also place an anti-smoking ad on any DVD release of a film that features cigarette smoking. Although the company had made this direction known since 2004, this was the first official announcement of the company’s intent.