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Monthly Archives: December 2018

December 31

December 31, 1899 – Harrison Hightower III Mysteriously Disappears

“1899年に起きたオーナーの謎の失踪事件以来、恐怖のホテルと呼ばれるようになった「タワー・オブ・テラー」。”

According to legend: on December 31, 1899, antiques collector and builder of the Hotel Hightower, Harrison Hightower III, disappeared mysteriously after his acquisition of the Shiriki Utundu idol. Of course, this is part of the story of the Tower of Terror attraction in Tokyo DisneySea, and the character of Hightower was made to resemble Imagineer Joe Rohde. The story of the attraction is that after Hightower’s disappearance, the New York City Preservation Society took over the restoration of the hotel, and now offered tours to the public, with terrifying results.

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December 30

December 30, 1990 – The Final Episode of Hull High Premieres on NBC

“The school that’s never bored of education!”

On December 30, 1990, the final episode of the short-lived musical drama series Hull High premiered on NBC. Created by Gil Grant, the series centered around a group of students and teachers at a Southern California high school that featured musical numbers and a Greek chorus element. The musical numbers were choreographed by Peggy Holmes and Kenny Ortega; the latter is well-known for his work on the popular High School Musical series. The series starred Will Lyman as John Deerborn, Nancy Valen as Donna Breedlove, George Martin as Mr. Dobosh, Harold Pruett as Cody Rome, Mark Ballou as Mark, Marty Belafsky as Louis Plumb, Marshall Bell as Jim Fancher, Kristin Dattilo as DJ, and Cheryl Pollack as Camilla. The series only aired eight episodes, as it proved to be uninteresting to viewers.

December 29

December 29, 1974 – John Lennon Signs Papers at Walt Disney World Dissolving The Beatles

On December 29, 1974, it is widely believed that John Lennon, who was staying on vacation at Walt Disney World’s Polynesian Resort, signed the paperwork that effectively dissolved the partnership of the band the Beatles. Although the rest of the band had signed the papers at Apple Headquarters, Lennon had been a no-show at the meeting, and instead had gone to celebrate Christmas at Walt Disney World with his secretary and lover May Pang.

December 28

December 28, 2010 – Disneyland Suspends Ticket Sales After Filling to Capacity

“Certainly we want all of our guests to have the best guest experience, so we have measures in place to make sure that we deliver the best time.” – Betty Sanchez, Disneyland Park Spokesperson

On December 28, 2010, two hours after opening, Disneyland suspended ticket sales, as the park was filled to capacity. Although guests were directed to California Adventure, that park was soon filled to capacity as well. According to park officials, it was common for the parks to fill up in the holiday season, especially if the California weather was cooperating.

December 27

December 27, 1996 – Michael Ovitz Leaves The Walt Disney Company

“You played the angles too much, exaggerated the truth too far, manipulated me and others too much.” – Michael Eisner, in a November 1996 letter

On December 27, 1996, Michael Ovitz stepped down as the President of the Walt Disney Company. He joined the company in 1995, acting as president under Michael Eisner. The year that Ovitz served as president was considered turbulent at best, and was swiftly let go by Eisner. There were further complications afterwards, as Ovitz was awarded a hefty severance package of $130 million. Disney shareholders eventually sued Ovitz and Eisner for this package; although the court upheld the payment, the court case, and the decisions that led to it, hurt Eisner’s position within the company.

December 26

December 26, 1957 – The Featurette Mars and Beyond is Released to Theaters

“In this exciting age when everyone seems to be talking about the future possibilities of space travel, there’s much speculation on what we will discover when we visit other worlds.”

On December 26, 1957, the featurette Mars and Beyond was released to theaters. Originally featured as an episode of the Disneyland anthology series Disneyland on December 4, 1957, it was directed by famed Nine Old Men animator Ward Kimball. The featurette was researched and written by Kimball, William Bosche, John Dunn, Charles Downs, and Con Pederson, and features technical advisors such as Dr. Ernst Stuhlinger, Dr. E. C. Silpher, and Dr. Wernher von Braun. Although man had not landed on the moon by 1957, this featurette took that dream beyond by exploring what would happen should man land on Mars and explore the greater universe. It featured a mix of live-action and animated sequences, with the show’s tone ranging from humorous to more serious. This theater feature was the first non-television incarnation of the episode; parts of the short were taken to create a short film called Cosmic Capers that would be released in the United Kingdom in 1979.

December 25

December 25, 1999 – The Television Special Walt Disney World’s Very Merry Christmas Parade Premieres on ABC

On December 24, 1999, the holiday television special Walt Disney World’s Very Merry Christmas Parade premiered on ABC. This was the 17th annual holiday parade from the Florida parks. Although the parade had been a staple of holiday specials since the 1980s, this special was notable for deviating from the norm and airing at nighttime instead of the daytime. This parade was hosted by Mitchell Ryan, Susan Sullivan, and Wayne Brady, and featured musical performances by *NSYNC, 98 Degrees, Harry Connick Jr., SHeDAISY, and James Ingram.