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Monthly Archives: October 2018

October 30

October 30, 1906 – Composer and Disney Legend Paul Smith is Born

On October 30, 1906, composer Paul Smith was born in Calument, Michigan to a musical family. The family later moved to Caldwell, Idaho, where Smith’s father taught music at the College of Idaho. Smith’s musical ability emerged at an early age, and his father nurtured this by teaching his son to play a variety of instruments, including piano and violin. Smith enrolled in the Bush Conservatory of Music in Chicago in 1925; after graduation, he taught at Elmhurst College and York High School. He then moved to Los Angeles to attend UCLA and earned a degree in English. After graduating, he wound up at the Walt Disney Studios in 1934, and became a pioneer in music for motion pictures, scoring for animated features such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Cinderella, True-Life Adventure films such as The Vanishing Prairie and Perri, and live action features such as The Shaggy Dog and Pollyanna. Smith had over fifty credits to his name, and over the course of his career he scored eight Academy Award nominations, including one win for his work on the score of the film Pinocchio with Leigh Harline and Ned Washington. Smith retired in 1962 after almost thirty years with The Walt Disney Studios. On January 25, 1985, Smith passed away in Glendale, California. He was honored as a Disney Legend for his contributions to the Walt Disney Company in 1994.

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October 29

October 29, 2002 – Disneyland Celebrates the Angels Winning the World Series

“The event was a home run for Angels fans of all ages.”

On October 29, 2002, Disneyland celebrated the Anaheim Angels’ first World Series championship win with a special parade running through the park. The parade featured the team; Jackie Autry, the widow of the team’s founder Gene Autry; Angels manager Mike Scioscia; and, of course, the World Series trophy. The parade traveled between Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, and was accompanied by a special dance party and a fireworks show.

October 28

October 28, 1992 – The ABC Television Series Laurie Hill Airs Last Episode

On October 28, 1992, the final episode of the ABC television sitcom Laurie Hill aired before the series was cancelled. Created by Neal Marlens and Carol Black, the series centered around pediatrician Laurie Hill, who was fiercely dedicated to her work and her family, and trying to balance the expectations and demands of both. Unfortunately, the series never seemed to take off on the network, and was cancelled after only five episodes of the ten episode order had aired, leaving the rest of the season still unaired as of 2018. The series was notable for being one of the earliest roles of Ellen DeGeneres, who would go on to have her own successful show by the same creators, starting in 1994. The series starred DeLane Matthews as Dr. Laurie Hill, Robert Clohessy as Jeff Hill, Eric Lloyd as Leo Hill, Ellen DeGeneres as Nancy MacIntyre, Kurt Fuller as Dr. Spencer Kramer, Joseph Maher as Dr. Walter Wiseman, and Doris Belack as Beverly Fielder.

October 27

October 27, 1979 – Walt Disney World Holds Halloween Hysteria Event

On October 27, 1979, Walt Disney World held one of its first Halloween-related events, known as Halloween Hysteria. It was a one-night ticketed event held in the Magic Kingdom, with tickets costing about $10 at the gate (about $37, adjusted for inflation in 2018), and running from park closing to 1:30 am. Musical guests at this event included Dr. Hook, Michael Johnson, and an up and coming band known as The Police. Another Halloween event wouldn’t be held at Magic Kingdom until the beginning of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in 1995.

October 26

October 26, 1971 – The Electrical Water Pageant Begins in Walt Disney World

“Great sea creatures and twinkling flags cross the lagoon to electronic tunes in this playful nighttime water parade.”

On October 26, 1971, the Electrical Water Pageant began its run on Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon in Walt Disney World. The precursor to the Main Street Electrical Parade (which opened in 1972), this parade featured a variety of floating structures against the illuminated background of the Contemporary Resort, with the lights blinking in time to synthesizer music. The floats were usually in the shape of aquatic figures, such as whales and dolphins. As of 2018, the pageant is still in operation at Walt Disney World.

October 25

October 25, 1985 – Mickey’s Character Shop Opens in Walt Disney World’s Disney Village Marketplace

On October 25, 1985, the merchandise store Mickey’s Character Shop opened in the Disney Village Marketplace, Walt Disney World’s precursor to Downtown Disney. At the time, it was the largest Disney merchandise store in the park, and was originally founded as the only place that was devoted to Disney merchandise in the whole of the Village Marketplace. The store was also known for its large mechanical airship, which featured several Disney characters including Mickey, Donald, and Figment. Once World of Disney’s construction was completed, Mickey’s Character Shop was closed on October 2, 1996.

October 24

October 24, 2006 – The Musical Sister Act Opens in California’s Pasadena Playhouse

“Masquerading as a nun named Mary Clarence, this Sister’s act will have you laughing and singing in the aisles.”

On October 24, 2006, the musical Sister Act began previews at the Pasadena Playhouse in California. It was based on the 1992 musical comedy film that was released by Touchstone Pictures, which is owned by Walt Disney Studios. The stage production featured original songs by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater, along with the book provided by Cheri and Bill Steinkellner. The California cast included Dawnn Lewis as Deloris Van Cartier, Elizabeth Ward as Mother Superior, David Jennings as Eddie, Amy K. Murray as Sister Mary Patrick, Beth Malone as Sister Mary Robert, and Audrie Neenan as Sister Mary Lazarus. The California production closed on December 23, 2006; it would go on to open in the West End on June 2, 2009.