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Tag Archives: 1960s

February 19

February 19, 1967 – The New York Times Publishes Article About Walt Disney World

“In Mr. Disney’s words, however, the ‘most exciting and most important part’ of Disney World will be the planned community, which ‘will take its cue from the new ideas and new technologies that are now emerging from the creative centers of American industry.’”

On February 19, 1967, the New York Times published an article entitled “Florida’s Disney World Aims at ’70 Opening,” which gave the public some new insight into the highly publicized “Florida Project” which would become Walt Disney World. The article went into detail about how large the planned park would be (“bigger than Manhattan”), the planned community EPCOT, and several plans in the area to provide a suitable living space for those who will live in the community, including a drainage survey and an interchange. It estimated, based on reports from Disney executives, that the park would open in 1970; Walt Disney World would go on to open on October 1, 1971.

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December 17

December 17, 1961 – The Babes in Toyland Exhibit Opens in Disneyland

On December 17, 1961, the Babes in Toyland exhibit attraction opened in Disneyland’s Opera House. It was a similar concept to the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea exhibit, where elaborate sets from the live-action feature were put on display for guests to walk through and experience. The Babes in Toyland exhibit, however, did not match the previous success of its predecessor. It was closed on September 30, 1963. Although the attraction closed and the sets were removed, thenmovie, however, did contain an element that would become a lasting part of Disney Parks: the toy soldiers from the film would eventually become the toy soldiers in the Disney Park holiday parades.

December 11

December 11, 1966 – The Walt Disney Anthology Episode “Joker, the Amiable Ocelot Premieres

“For the kitten, though, this tangle of trouble was just the beginning. He was on his own now, heading for big adventure, and he hadn’t even left the den yet.”

On December 11, 1966, the episode of Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color, entitled “Joker, the Amiable Ocelot,” premiered on NBC. It stars Winston Hibler as the narrator, and featured Robert Becker as Jim Benton, a tow truck driver who finds an ocelot in the back of a car left abandoned in the desert. Jim is a loner and a drifter who never learned how to handle the limp with which he was born. A whole family of ocelots was in the car, but evacuated when Jim found the car, save for one kitten who got stuck. Jim took the abandoned car to his remote shop, and the ocelot kitten hops out of the car and starts looking for his mother. He manages to find Jim’s cat Duchess and takes to her quickly. Jim has several unusual pets, and is kind and caring to all of them, nursing several of them back to health. When Jim realized that one of Duchess’ kittens was not like the others, he nicknamed the ocelot Joker and took care of it. Joker gets the attention of a nurse named Nancy Conroy that stopped by for gasoline (played by Jan McNabb), and she starts a conversation with Jim, trying to be friendly. Jim bonds with Joker, and the two become best friends, but after a while, he realizes that Joker needs to return to the wild. While they have a sad parting, a happy ending is found for both, as Joker finds a mate, and Jim gets close to Nancy.

October 22

October 22, 1969 – WED Enterprises Signs Deal with Florida Citrus Commission

On October 22, 1969, an official contract between WED Enterprises and the Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) was signed, with FCC sponsoring an attraction within the upcoming Florida theme park. The FCC would go on to sponsor the pavilion in Adventureland that housed Walt Disney World’s version of The Enchanted Tiki Room, known as The Tropical Serenade, as well as the Sunshine Tree Terrace. To help advertise the deal, WED Enterprises created a mascot for the area known as the Orange Bird, which was also used by FCC to promote Florida citrus.

July 24

July 24, 1966 – The Shop Cristal d’Orleans Opens in Disneyland

“Cut a groove through the bayou to come across exceptionally etched pieces of crystal.”

On July 24, 1966, the glassware store Cristal d’Orleans opened in Disneyland’s New Orleans Square. The store sells specialty glassware, including tiaras, figurines, and cups, and is sponsored by the Arribas Brothers, who have their special glass pieces featured in several Disney parks.

July 18

July 18, 1965 – The Plaza Inn Opens in Disneyland

“Drop ‘inn’ for hearty American fare the whole family will love and a lively Character Breakfast with some favorite Disney friends.”

On July 18, 1965, the restaurant Plaza Inn opened in Disneyland on Main Street, U.S.A. Designed in Victorian style to match the feel of the area’s turn-of-the-century charm, this restaurant features a buffet/family style meal, featuring such meals as Mickey Waffles, pot roast, and penne pasta. This restaurant also features a special “Minnie & Friends” character dining breakfast, where guests can dine alongside Tigger, Chip ‘n’ Dale, and Minnie Mouse.

July 2

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July 2, 1967 – Tomorrowland Terrace Opens in Disneyland

“Grab your dancing shoes and head to the hoppin’est place on earth where you can strut your stuff weekend nights all summer long!”

On July 2, 1967, the dining area Tomorrowland Terrace opened in Disneyland. Not only was it a fast-food facility, the area also had live bands and a dancefloor, with a stage for the bands that could be raised to meet the guests at the restaurant level. Similar versions of this facility were opened in Walt Disney World (which closed in 1994) and Tokyo Disneyland. The Disneyland version closed in June, 2001, and later opened as Club Buzz; it has since reopened in that space with different varieties of bands playing every night.