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Tag Archives: 1980s

February 3

February 3, 1989 – New Versions of Disney Dollars are Released in Disney Parks

“May be used as legal tender only at Disneyland Park, Walt Disney World Resort and The Disney Stores.”

On February 3, 1989, updated versions of the $1 and $5 Disney Dollar bills were released into circulation within Disney Parks. The 1989 version of the $1 has Mickey Mouse waving to guests from the front, with Sleeping Beauty Castle featured on the backside; the $5 has Goofy looking proud on the front, with a representation of Walt Disney World’s parks (Epcot and Magic Kingdom at the time) on the back.


January 28

January 28, 1980 – Oriental Land Company Granted Loans to Build Disney Park

On January 28, 1980, it was announced that the Oriental Land Company was granted several loans to build the first international Disney park in Tokyo, Japan. The Industrial Bank of Japan was the main lender, along with nearly 30 other Japanese banks. Although the size of the loans were not released, it was estimated that the overall cost of the park was $300 million. The plans were approved by the Chiba Prefecture ten months later, and the groundbreaking then took place on December 3, 1980.

January 5

January 5, 1986 – Country Manor Opens in Epcot’s England Pavilion

On January 5, 1986, the store Country Manor opened in Epcot’s England Pavilion within the World Showcase. The store replaced the former Biscuit Barrel, though it kept the same kinds of British merchandise as its predecessor. The store was eventually renamed the Magic of Wales, and featured new merchandise.

December 30

December 30, 1980 – The Selective Service System Contacts Mickey Mouse

“It may be that somebody is pulling our leg, but it was released on official stationary.” – Bob Roth, Disneyland Spokesperson

On December 30, 1980, senior Disneyland officials were amused when they received a letter from the Selective Service System regarding Mickey Mouse. The service was reminding 18-year-olds that they had to register for the draft, and wrote that Mickey had “not responded to our initial request for necessary date of birth information,” seemingly unaware that Mickey was a 52-year-old fictional mouse.

December 26

December 26, 1989 – The World Traveler Shop Opens in Epcot

“This shop at International Gateway is your passport to Epcot and Disney souvenirs plus cold beverages for your voyage.”

On December 26, 1989, the merchandise stop The World Traveler opened in Walt Disney World’s Epcot Park. Located at the International Gateway near the World Showcase, this shop provides the first bit of merchandise to travelers taking the ferry to get to Epcot from certain Walt Disney World resorts. The shop provides a variety of merchandise ranging from pins to housewares. It also provides cold drinks for guests to take with them in the park, especially on hot Florida days.

December 22

December 22, 1982 – Power Goes Out in Disneyland

On December 22, 1982, hurricane-force winds continued to blast through the West Coast, and at 4:34 pm, the power goes out in Anaheim, including Disneyland Park; the force winds had knocked over a Northern California powerline. Almost 8,000 guests were escorted from the park by cast members with flashlights, with many guests having been stranded on rides. The power returned to the park almost a few hours later, but the park had been safely evacuated and closed at that point.

December 14

December 14, 1986 – Big Thunder Barbecue Opens in Disneyland

“All-you-can-eat barbecue & live country music are the draws to this cowboy-style spot in Disneyland.”

On December 14, 1986, the Big Thunder Barbecue outdoor restaurant opened in Disneyland’s Big Thunder Ranch. The restaurant added to the ranch’s overall feel of being a working horse ranch from the 1880s, serving barbecue chicken and beef from chuck wagons. On June 20, 1996, to help promote the then-newest animated feature The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Big Thunder Barbecue, along with Big Thunder Ranch, was transformed into a medieval French village, with Big Thunder Barbecue becoming the Festival of Fools; this closed on April 18, 1998, and the property was used simply for corporate gatherings. Both the ranch and Big Thunder Barbecue were brought back on April 2, 2004, originally to promote Home on the Range. Both the area and restaurant were closed on January 10, 2016 to make way for the new Star Wars area.