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Monthly Archives: January 2019

January 22

January 22, 2018 – Minnie Mouse Receives Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

“The star of more than 70 movies during her illustrious career, Minnie has entertained millions of people around the world, touching hearts and bringing joy wherever she goes.” – Disney CEO Bob Iger

On January 22, 2018, in conjunction with her 90th anniversary, the Disney character of Minnie Mouse was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She is the eighth character from the Disney catalogue to be given this honor; the first, Mickey Mouse, was awarded this on his 50th anniversary. Minnie was present to receive her star, joined by Disney CEO Bob Iger, pop star and then-American Idol judge Katy Perry, and, of course, her love Mickey Mouse. During the ceremony, Minnie Mouse was recognized not only for her film contributions, but also for her worldwide influence ranging from fashion to theme park appearances.

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January 21

January 21, 1988 – Disney Acquires The Wrather Corporation

“Disney has great capabilities and will take our properties onto greater heights.” – Bonita Granville Wrather

On January 21, 1988, Disney finished the $152.3 million dollar acquisition process of the Wrather Corporation, which included the acquisition of the Disneyland Hotel. The relationship between The Walt Disney Company and The Wrather Corporation began back in 1955; Walt had realized the need for a hotel near the new theme park, but did not have the funds to create it, and convinced his friend Jack Wrather to build a hotel across the street. The hotel continued to grow through the years, eventually having three towers (originally named the Bonita, Marina, and Sierra). Throughout the years, Disney attempted to purchase the hotel, as it was seen as awkward that Disney did not own something with its name attached. When the deal was finalized in 1988, Disney not only acquired the hotel, but acres of land for potential expansion, and the lease to operate the RMS Queen Mary in Long Beach, California

January 20

January 20, 1995 – Courtyard by Marriott Opens in Walt Disney World

On January 20, 1995, the hotel Courtyard by Marriott opened in the Lake Buena Vista area of Walt Disney World. This hotel occupied the spot that had been held by the Howard Johnson Resort Hotel, and had undergone extensive remodeling. It operated under the Marriott banner until 2003, when the resort was purchased by Holiday Inn.

January 19

January 19, 1991 – The Shop Legends of Hollywood Opens in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

On January 19, 1991, the merchandise shop Legends of Hollywood opened on Hollywood Boulevard of Disney’s Hollywood Studios park. This version of the shop was short-lived, as it closed on March 9, 1991, and became L.A. Cinema Storage. A new version of this shop opened on Sunset Boulevard on June 12, 1994, and sells merchandise related to recently released films.

January 18

January 18, 2016 – The Quick-Service Restaurant Pizza Planet Arcade Closes

“Today…serving your local Star Cluster…”

On January 18, 2016, the quick-service restaurant Pizza Planet Arcade closed. Located on the Streets of America in Disney’s Hollywood Studios Park, the restaurant was themed after the restaurant of the same name from the Toy Story series of films, and served pizza and salads. The area was originally slated to be a Muppet-themed restaurant, but this changed after the original deal between Jim Henson Productions and the Walt Disney Company fell through; after Pizza Planet Arcade closed in 2016, the place then became the quick-service pizza restaurant PizzeRizzo, themed after the Muppet character Rizzo the Rat.

January 17

January 17, 2003 – The Stage Show Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular Officially Debuts in Disney California Adventure

“Must I yearn forever to be free?”

On January 17, 2003, the Broadway-style stage show Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular made its officially debut on January 17, 2003, at Disney California Adventure’s Hyperion Theater. Based on the hit 1992 animated feature film Aladdin, this stage show would become a precursor to the hit Broadway musical. The show generally follows the plot of the film; however, composer Alan Menken added one new song for the show: “To Be Free,” a song for Jasmine. “To Be Free” is a reworked song that was originally created as a ballad for Genie, but was inevitably cut from the film. The show ended its run on January 10, 2016, and was replaced by Frozen – Live at the Hyperion.

January 16

January 16, 1994 – The First Walt Disney World Marathon Takes Place

On January 16, 1994, the inaugural Walt Disney World Marathon took place. Featuring 8,200 runners, the marathoners were taken through the (at the time) three theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Disney-MGM Studios, as well as several highways. Finishers were awarded a medal upon completion featuring Mickey Mouse as a runner. The design of the medal, as well as the course of the marathon, has changed in the over 25 years since its inception, and the number of runners has grown to over 55,000.