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Monthly Archives: December 2018

December 21

December 21, 1955 – The People and Places Featurette Men Against the Arctic is Released to Theaters

On December 21, 1955, the fourth People and Places featurette, Men Against the Arctic, was released to theaters. Written and directed by Winston Hibler, this 30-minute documentary details how certain Coast Guard ships, known as “icebreakers,” are able to make their way through the substantial Arctic ice. It would go on to win the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject, and would also be entered into the 6th Berlin International Film Festival in 1956.

December 20

December 20, 2007 – The First Mark VII Monorail Train Arrives in Disneyland

“Ride the historic, high-speed zero-emission transportation system that rockets along a single rain through the Disneyland Resort.”

On December 20, 2007, the first Mark VII train arrived at Disneyland as part of the refurbishment of the monorail from Mark V to Mark VII. The trains had to follow a specific numbering system, with the Mark VI trains being used on the Walt Disney World monorail system. This new Mark VII train was red in color and nicknamed Monorail Red. The train would not begin operating until July 2008, due to issues in design and specific changes. There are three colors in the Mark VII fleet: Red, Blue, and Orange.

December 19

December 19, 2003 – The Short Film Destino is Released to Theaters

“In 1946, two legendary artists began collaboration on a short film. More than half a century later, their creation has finally been completed.”

On December 19, 2003, the animated short feature Destino was released to theaters, months after its well-received debut at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival on June 2. This short is experimental in nature, having been conceived as a collaboration between Walt Disney and artist Salvador Dali back in 1946. After being storyboarded for eight months, the film was unexpectedly shelved, and wasn’t brought to the studio’s attention until 2002, when Roy E. Disney picked up the project and brought it to completion. Complications arose in the completion of the project, as the contract between Disney and Dali stipulated that Disney possessed the storyboards, but didn’t own any aspect of the project until the movie was made. Using a portfolio of 80 sketches and a 15-second film reel. The completed short is a mix of 2D and CG animation, with the CG being used to replicate Dali’s “plastic” style. It was eventually nominated for the Best Animated Short Academy Award. The story for the film was developed by Dali and John Hench, and features the song “Destino,” written by Armando Dominiguez. The song was performed by Dora Luz.

December 18

December 18, 2009 – The Updated Version of The Disneyland Story Presenting Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln Opens

“Encounter the Great Emancipator as he returns to tell the tale of generations past and share his stirring vision of the future.”

On December 18, 2009, the updated attraction The Disneyland Story Presenting Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln officially reopened. This update featured the latest in Audio-Animatronic technology, including a new version of President Lincoln; his new face can create a total of 20 different functions, as opposed to the seven of the earlier version. Imagineers knew how popular this attraction is with guests, and made sure that the attraction blended old and new elements to keep the feel of the original attraction.

December 17

December 17, 1958 – The Featurette Grand Canyon Premieres in Theaters

On December 17, 1958, the CinemaScope featurette Grand Canyon premiered in theaters; it would later be released alongside Sleeping Beauty. Grand Canyon was similar in style to the True-Life Adventure documentaries but had a twist: the film had no narration, but was set against the “Grand Canyon Suite” by Ferde Grofé. The featurette would go on to win the Academy Award for Best Live-Action Short Subject.

December 16

December 16, 2017 – The Hyper-Reality Experience Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire Opens in Disney Springs

“The galaxy needs you!”

On December 16, 2017, the “hyper-reality” experience Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire opened in Disney Springs. A collaboration between Disney, ILMxLAB, and The VOID, this virtual reality experience puts guests in the world of Star Wars; guests go undercover as stormtroopers before the events of the film Rogue One, and must steal the Empire’s secret plans. There are several Star Wars Easter eggs, as well as the opportunity to make the adventure unique through a variety of actions. This experience also opened on January 5, 2018, in Disneyland’s Downtown Disney area.

December 15

December 15, 1924 – The Alice Comedy Alice the Piper is Released

On December 15, 1924, the Alice Comedy Alice the Piper was released to theaters. This is the 11th Alice Comedy released, and features first Alice actress Virginia Davis. Although not considered a lost film, it hasn’t been released on home video. This short film is based on the story The Pied Piper of Hamelin, and features Alice and Julius ridding a town of rats.

December 14

December 14, 2003 – Everything POP Shopping and Dining Opens in Disney’s Pop Century Resort

“Sate appetites large and small with delicious dishes from a variety of tempting food stations.”

On December 14, 2003, the shopping center and food court area of Walt Disney World’s Pop Century Resort , known as Everything POP Shopping and Dining, opened. Guests can wander through and get a meal at a variety of quick-service food areas, as well as purchase a variety of Disney merchandise.

December 13

December 13, 2010 – The Food Location Mrs. Potts’ Cupboard Closes

On December 13, 2010, the quick-service food location Mrs. Potts’ Cupboard closed. Open since March of 1994 after replacing The Round Table, the location served a variety of ice cream treats and drinks. The structure was revamped whenever major changes came to Fantasyland, with changed including the addition of a clock tower, and a thatched roof. It was replaced by Storybook Treats.

December 12

December 12, 2012 – Disney Officially Opens the Disney Digital Studio

“At Disney Digital Services we’re all about ‘On Time’ delivery. And of course, that extends to the opening of our new Digital Studio Center, which will absolutely open on time at precisely 12:12 PM on December 12, 2012.”

On December 12, 2012, at 12:12 pm, Walt Disney Studios officially opened the new Digital Studio Center. The center is the home for serices that are described as “technical functions that are increasingly part of today’s digital media production, post production and distribution workflows,” such as digital media services, editorial services, projection services, sound services, and title graphics. The center was built to be able to adapt the fast pace of technological change, and features a variety of the best technology and staff to meet any digital need. The celebration of the center’s opening featured a ribbon cutting ceremony with Jeff Miller, Walt Disney Studios Studio Operations President; Jamie Voris, Walt Disney Studios CTO; Michael Jedlicka, Vice President of Technology and Strategy; and Leon Silverman, General Manager, Digital Studio.