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Tag Archives: 1980s

July 10

July 10, 1981 – The Short Tribute Film Once Upon a Mouse is Released

“…we invite you to relive with us the story telling magic, the wit, the wisdom, the humor, the understanding of a very special person who gave the world a timeless and universal art form.”

On July 10, 1981, the tribute short film Once Upon a Mouse was released. A joint production between Kramer/Rocklin Studios and Walt Disney Productions, this short was released to honor the Disney Studios’ twentieth animated feature film. It is a mix of clips from Disney animated features, short films, and clips from Disneyland, showcasing Disney Studios from its early days to the status it had in the early 1980s.

June 22

June 22, 1985 – Videopolis Opens in Disneyland

“Neon, flashing lights, special effects, live bands, and hot new videos combine in a musical kaleidoscope of sight and sound at Videopolis.”

On June 22, 1985, the building Videopolis opened in Disneyland, right next to Fantasyland. The area was originally conceived as a teen dance club, with a 5,000-square foot dance floor, screens showcasing the latest music videos, and cutting-edge special effects. The concept eventually changed, with seats taking the place of the dance floor, and the area being used to showcase outdoor stage shows, such as for Beauty and the Beast. On June 23, 1995, the area was renamed the Fantasyland Theater.

June 18

June 18, 1988 – The Meet-and-Greet Area Mickey’s Hollywood Theater Opens in Walt Disney World

On June 18, 1988, the special meet-and-greet area Mickey’s Hollywood Theater opened in the Mickey’s Birthdayland area of Magic Kingdom Park. It was designed to look like Mickey’s dressing room, so as to give guests the impression that they are meeting Mickey after his live show. Mickey’s Hollywood Theater remained after the area became Mickey’s Starland, but closed on March 11, 1996, when the area was remodeled to become Mickey’s Toontown Fair.

May 29

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May 29, 1986 – New Narration is Added to the Spaceship Earth Attraction

On May 29, 1986, a new script for the Spaceship Earth attraction was added, with narration performed by broadcast journalist Walter Cronkite. Cronkite’s narration would last until the attraction’s major rebuild in 1994. The attraction, at the time, took guests through a journey through how communication evolved, making Cronkite the perfect narrator for the subject matter. Jeremy Irons would supersede Cronkite in 1994, with Dame Just Dench following after another revamp in the attraction in 2007.

April 29

April 29, 1989 – Who Framed Roger Rabbit Wins Four Academy Awards

“But I’m a toon. Toons are supposed to make people laugh.”

On April 29, 1989, the 61st Academy Awards were held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. The combination live-action animation film Who Framed Roger Rabbit was nominated for six competitive awards, and managed to score three: Best Film Editing, Best Sound Effects Editing, and Best Visual Effects. The film was also given a special achievement award for the film’s animation director Richard Williams. This was the second animated film to be awarded multiple Academy Awards, with Mary Poppins having been the first.

April 14

April 14, 1984 – The Alice in Wonderland Attraction in Disneyland Reopens

“Don’t be late, your adventure awaits.”

On April 14, 1984, the Disneyland dark ride attraction reopened after being closed for renovations for almost two years. The attraction, originally opening on June 14, 1958, featured cut-out figures of the classic characters, which were beginning to show serious wear by the 1980s. It was decided that the ride was due for a major overhaul, and when it reopened in 1984, the cut-outs were replaced by three-dimensional figures, along with new, state-of-the-art (at the time) lighting and special effects. Kathryn Beaumont, the voice of Alice from the animated feature, was brought back to record new lines for the ride’s narration.

March 12

March 12, 1987 – Robert J. Fitzpatrick is Named President of Euro Disneyland

“In the years I have known him…I have found Bob to be a tireless worker for civic, educational and cultural causes and a person of outstanding managerial ability.” – Walt Disney Company CEO Michael Eisner

On March 12, 1987, the Walt Disney Company publicly announced that president of the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) Robert J. Fitzpatrick would be appointed as the president of Euro Disneyland. Fitzpatrick had served as president of CalArts since 1975, and directed the Olympic Arts Festival in Los Angeles. He was chosen through his connections with Disney through CalArts, and for his knowledge of French culture, along with a wide background of interest in art and entertainment. Fitzpatrick would serve as the head of Euro Disney through its development, and left his position in 1993, the year after the park opened.