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Monthly Archives: August 2018

August 31

August 31, 2005 – The Walt Disney Company Pledges $2.5 Million for Hurricane Katrina Relief

“We hope that our donation will aid emergency management teams and organizations in their efforts to provide assistance to those impacted.” – Then-CEO of the Walt Disney Company Michael Eisner

On August 31, 2005, the Walt Disney Company sent out a press release announcing that it had pledged a $2.5 million contribution to the rebuilding efforts for victims of Hurricane Katrina. A million of the money pledged would go to the American Red Cross for immediate relief, another million would be sent to selected children’s charities, and $500,000 would go to volunteer centers that provided services to the communities most affected by the hurricane.

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August 30

August 30, 2014 – The American Idol Experience Attraction Closes

“Disney’s American Idol Experience wrapped up its roughly five-year run on Saturday, Aug. 30, with a heartwarming story straight from the fairytale handbook.”

On August 30, 2014, the Hollywood Studios attraction The American Idol Experience closed after one final performance. The winner of the final performance was a 14-year-old guest named Jessica, who won after singing a rendition of “I Want You Back” by the Jackson Five. The attraction, opening on February 14, 2009, was based on the hit FOX reality series, and had guests compete in front of a live audience for the opportunity to be a star. It was announced that the attraction was going to be closed earlier in June, with the original closing date set to be January, though unexpectedly the date was moved up.

August 29

August 29, 1992 – The Dinosaurs Live Parade Ends its Run

“I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille!”

On August 29, 1992, the Disney-MGM Studios parade and show Dinosaurs Live! ended its run. Opening on September 26, 1991, the parade featured the cast of the ABC series Dinosaurs as the “Surprise Family of the Day.” The song for the parade was a rendition of the 1988 song “Walk the Dinosaur,” originally by Was (Not Was). The parade was considered the beginning of adding the characters from the show into a larger presence within Disney-MGM Studios, but after falling ratings, these plans were cancelled. After Dinosaurs Live! ended its run, it was followed by Aladdin’s Royal Caravan.

August 28

August 28, 2003 – Lucky the Dinosaur is Introduced in Disney California Adventure

“If you’re not familiar with Lucky, he’s a free-roaming, people-loving, 12-foot-long, 450-pound dinosaur who has occasionally appeared at Disney Parks.”

On August 28, 2003, the first audio-animatronic figure to walk freely and interact with guests, known as Lucky the Dinosaur, was introduced in Disney California Adventure park. It took Imagineers five years to create the nine feet tall, 450-pound figure. Lucky is also notable for walking on two legs and pushing a cart of flowers, as well as personally interacting with passing guests. After working in Disney California Adventure, Lucky was moved to Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 2005, and then was relocated to Hong Kong Disneyland.

August 27

August 27, 1955 – The Mickey Mouse Club Theater Opens in Disneyland

                     Image credit: D23

“Walt Disney’s Cartoon Carnival”

On August 27, 1955, the Mickey Mouse Club Theater opened in Disneyland’s Fantasyland. The air conditioned theater gave guests a chance to sit down and enjoy some of the classic Mickey Mouse and friends cartoon short films that had dominated the 1930s and 40s. The shorts available were on a rotating schedule, and the theater itself was only open to guests during peak periods at the park. At one point, the theater offered an event called the 3D Jamboree, where guests put on their 3-D glasses to enjoy the short films Melody and Working for Peanuts, which were introduced by the Mouseketeers. As the only theater in the park, until the Opera House opened in the Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln attraction, the theater was also used for special press conferences and cast member events. It was renamed the Fantasyland Theater in 1964, and was converted to a live performance venue. The theater closed on December 20, 1981, to make way for the new Pinocchio’s Daring Journey attraction, which would open in 1983.

August 26

August 26, 2009 – Keel Laying Ceremony is Held for the Disney Dream

“Our fleet expansion will allow us to satisfy demand on both the East and West coasts of the United States while also giving us the flexibility to explore additional global destinations for our Guests.” – Karl Holz, President, Disney Cruise Line

On August 26, 2009, the keel laying ceremony for the third Disney Cruise Line ship, the Disney Dream, was held at the Meyer Werft Shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. This ship is the sister ship to the Disney Fantasy, which was also built at the German shipyard. The keel laying ceremony featured several special guests, including Disney Cruise Line President Karl Holz, ship’s captain Tom Forberg, and Donald Duck. The ship was finally completed in June, 2010.

August 25

August 25, 2011 – Memberships for Disney’s Blast Online End

“The Number One Online Club for Kids”

On August 25, 2011, memberships for Disney’s interactive and educational forum Disney’s Blast Online officially ended. Introduced in 1997, it was originally known as Disney’s Daily Blast, featuring a variety of games and activities for families to enjoy, including Mickey’s Robot Roundup, Goofy Track and Field, and Pinocchio Puppet Theater. It was available as a subscription service, which provided users an ad-free, immersive experience. In 2007, it was renamed as Disney Game Kingdom Online.