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Monthly Archives: May 2019

May 26

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May 26, 2006 – The Tony Danza Show Ends

“I’m Tony Danza and I’m in New York City, live!”

On May 26, 2006, the daytime talk show The Tony Danza Show ended its run on television. Beginning on September 13, 2004, and distributed by Buena Vista Television, the show was hosted by actor Tony Danza and recorded at the ABC studio complex. Its most well-known gimmick was a game called “Extravadanza,” which was a Plinko-style game that was played with a home viewer. The series ran for only two seasons before it was cancelled due to low ratings.

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May 25

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May 25, 1983 – The Specialty Store Mickey’s Christmas Chalet Opens in Disneyland

On May 25, 1983, the specialty Christmas store Mickey’s Christmas Chalet opened in Disneyland’s Fantasyland area. The shop sold Disney-themed Christmas ornaments and décor year round until it closed on May 17, 1987. The store could be seen as a promotional shop for the featurette Mickey’s Christmas Carol, which was released in December of 1983.

May 24

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May 24, 2017 – The Captain’s Grille Closes in Walt Disney World

On May 24, 2017, the Captain’s Grille restaurant closed in Walt Disney World’s Yacht Club Resort. It opened on January 1, 2008, replacing the Yacht Club Galley, and featured classic seafood dishes that matched the nautical theme of the resort. It served breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with dishes ranging from smoked salmon on a toasted bagel, New England-style lobster roll, and buttermilk fried rock shrimp. The restaurant was replaced by the Ale & Compass Restaurant on November 4, 2017.

May 23

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May 23, 1982 – The Television Special Computers Are People, Too! Premieres

“Computers – they’re everywhere! There’s no escaping them, no matter who you are.”

On May 23, 1982, the television special Computers Are People, Too! premiered. Created as promotional tool for the live action feature film Tron, the feature sought to not only soothe the public’s fears that they would be displaced by computers and robots, but to show how people would work with machines peacefully. It was directed by Denis Sanders, and starred Elaine Joyce, Joseph Campanella, and Michael Iceberg.

The special begins with Elaine Joyce playing a computer game while other computer systems work around her. She loses her game, and the computer bets her “double or nothing” to play again. She wonders if she, as a singer, dancer, and actress, will be replaced by computers and machines. The main computer reminds her that computers are people as well, and simulates a juggler. Joyce then introduces the computer of the future: Telecommunicative Operative Memory, or TOM for short. TOM explains that he is an extension of a person’s intelligence, and on the verge of a partnership with several types of people, such as artists and athletes. He provides several examples of machine meeting art, including several clips from the upcoming film Tron. Joyce wonders how to work with TOM if she doesn’t know how the computer thinks. She panics, thinking that the computer will take over, but TOM reminds her that she has the control. TOM interviews several people about computers, and introduces a special summer camp in California that teaches campers how to use and code on a computer.

An early example of how computer animation was created using dancers hooked up to machines.

TOM then introduces how animation is done with computers, with the earliest example going back to Lee Harrison in 1960, with dancers wired to computers to capture the motion. He then goes through the advancements over the decades, and explains how we are then at 3-D animation. The consensus from artists is that computers will not replace creativity, but enhance it. Another animator relays the story of his search for a design machine, and then realized that he would have to create it. TOM then shows the graphical designs by the computer in a long, colorful segment. The segment then moves into how the computer can create special sound effects, or even create a “one-man band” through the use of a synthesizer known as the Fairlight CMI.

As Joyce remarks that she has the freedom to move TOM doesn’t because she is a dancer, TOM remarks that the computer has made advances in human understanding of human movement. The engineer talks about the difference between different types of athletic events and movements, ranging from dancing to diving. The engineers use the computer to look at the styles of two dancers and to determine the dancers’ centers of gravity. They see a flaw in one of the dancers’ takeoff and advise her how to correct it. After seeing this, Joyce thinks that her career as an artist is over due to technology. TOM informs her that he is powerless without her, and need her creativity. TOM then explains that computer games are the first foray into using computers, and shows several titles such as Pac-Man and Frogger. The segment also shows how computers created the look of Tron and its several games. Joyce finally accepts that the computer is the partner of the artist, rather than the adversary. The special ends with Joyce dancing alongside a computer animated counterpart.

May 22

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May 22, 1999 – The Nighttime Parade SpectroMagic Ends Original Run

“And now, the Magic Kingdom proudly presents, in a million points of musical light, the magic words of Disney…in SpectroMagic!”

On May 22, 1999, the Magic Kingdom nighttime parade SpectroMagic ended its run. It began on October 1, 1991, as part of the park’s 20th anniversary celebrations, replacing the Main Street Electrical Parade (which had been sent to Disneyland Paris). SpectroMagic took the lights of Main Street Electrical Parade and multiplied it, adding more fiber optic elements and including over 45 Disney characters, such as Roger Rabbit, Chernabog, and the Three Little Pigs. The parade also featured a new song: “On This Magic Night.” The parade was brought back to the park on March 26, 2001, and officially ended its run in 2010.

May 21

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May 21, 2008 – The Online Game Virtual Magic Kingdom Officially Shuts Down

On May 21, 2008, the online multiplayer game Virtual Magic Kingdom officially shut down its services. A joint project between Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and Sulake Corporation, the game was created as a promotional tool to celebrate 50 years of Disney theme parks. The beta version of the game opened on May 23, 2005. Guests could create their own avatar and walk around themed lands similar to those found in Disneyland and Walt Disney World and play a variety of mini-games, such as Jungle Cruise Photo Safari, and a Pirates of the Caribbean-themed game of Capture the Flag. Guests were also able to complete special quests and collect display badges, pins, and clothes for their avatar.

May 20

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May 20, 2015 – The Legacy Collection: Disneyland is Released Through Walt Disney Records

“To all who come to this happy place, welcome. Disneyland is your land.”

On May 20, 2015, the eighth entry in the Legacy Collection series, entitled The Legacy Collection: Disneyland, was released exclusively at Disneyland Resort to celebrate the park’s 60th anniversary. The release featured three discs on music and audio featured at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure attractions, ranging from the likes of “Let’s Dance at Disneyland” to “Fantasmic!” The album also features a 24-page booklet with liner notes that provide the historical background about some of the park’s most beloved attractions. The album was generally released on August 21, 2015.