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Tag Archives: 2000s

January 23

January 23, 2006 – Disney Honors Michael Eisner Through Building Renaming Ceremony

“I am grateful for this wonderful honor, especially because this building encapsulates so much that is fantastic about Disney and about the two decades I got to spend here.”

On January 23, 2006, several Disney employees, alongside Disney Board Senator George Mitchell, the Board of Directors, and Disney CEO Bob Iger were on hand to honor former CEO Michael Eisner at a dedication ceremony, renaming the Team Disney building as The Michael D. Eisner Building. The building has served as the company’s corporate headquarters since 1990, and was designed by architect Michael Graves; it was notable for featuring pillars in the shape of the Seven Dwarfs. Disney had been in a state of turmoil when Eisner joined the company and, through his work with Frank Wells, the pair managed to return Disney to its creative, innovative state. The board was unanimous in awarding Eisner this honor for his 21 years of service.

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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 11

January 11, 2002 – The Disney’s California Adventure Attraction Superstar Limo Closes

“Don’t worry, we’ll get you there in time! Our first stop is glamorous Rodeo Drive.”

On January 11, 2002, the dark ride attraction Superstar Limo closed in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot area of Disney’s California Adventure Park. Guests boarded a purple limousine and toured around “Tinsel Town,” reveling in caricatures of their favorite celebrities and Hollywood landmarks. Celebrities in the attraction included Regis Philbin, Cher, and Cindy Crawford. The attraction was open for less than a year before California Adventure underwent a massive overhaul; the attraction’s former space has since been replaced by Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!

January 1

January 1, 2008 – The Captain’s Grille Opens in Walt Disney World

On January 1, 2008, the Captain’s Grille opened in Walt Disney World’s Yacht Club Resort, replacing the Yacht Club Galley. The restaurant’s theme matched that of the Yacht Club Resort, specializing in classic seafood dishes. 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 closed on May 24, 2017, and the area was turned into the Ale & Compass Restaurant on November 4, 2017.

December 22

December 22, 2009 – 500 Tuba Players Gather is Disneyland’s Downtown Disney

“The fact that it is held at the Happiest Place on Earth helps bring out a lot of tuba players. There’s a lot of magic brought about by it.” – Richard Dean, vice president of San Dimas High’s music program

On December 22, 2009, the 36th annual Tuba Christmas took place, this time in Disneyland’s Downtown Disney shopping area. This was the fifth appearance for the tuba players in Disneyland, and the largest gathering of all the Tuba Christmas events, with over 500 taking place worldwide. Although the group hadn’t met before this event, they were able to serenade Disney park shoppers with several familiar songs, including “Silent Night,” “Jingle Bells,” and “When You Wish Upon a Star.”

December 20

December 20, 2007 – The First Mark VII Monorail Train Arrives in Disneyland

“Ride the historic, high-speed zero-emission transportation system that rockets along a single rain through the Disneyland Resort.”

On December 20, 2007, the first Mark VII train arrived at Disneyland as part of the refurbishment of the monorail from Mark V to Mark VII. The trains had to follow a specific numbering system, with the Mark VI trains being used on the Walt Disney World monorail system. This new Mark VII train was red in color and nicknamed Monorail Red. The train would not begin operating until July 2008, due to issues in design and specific changes. There are three colors in the Mark VII fleet: Red, Blue, and Orange.

December 19

December 19, 2003 – The Short Film Destino is Released to Theaters

“In 1946, two legendary artists began collaboration on a short film. More than half a century later, their creation has finally been completed.”

On December 19, 2003, the animated short feature Destino was released to theaters, months after its well-received debut at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival on June 2. This short is experimental in nature, having been conceived as a collaboration between Walt Disney and artist Salvador Dali back in 1946. After being storyboarded for eight months, the film was unexpectedly shelved, and wasn’t brought to the studio’s attention until 2002, when Roy E. Disney picked up the project and brought it to completion. Complications arose in the completion of the project, as the contract between Disney and Dali stipulated that Disney possessed the storyboards, but didn’t own any aspect of the project until the movie was made. Using a portfolio of 80 sketches and a 15-second film reel. The completed short is a mix of 2D and CG animation, with the CG being used to replicate Dali’s “plastic” style. It was eventually nominated for the Best Animated Short Academy Award. The story for the film was developed by Dali and John Hench, and features the song “Destino,” written by Armando Dominiguez. The song was performed by Dora Luz.