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Tag Archives: Disneyland

September 25

September 25, 1957 – The Disneyland Episode “Adventure in Wildwood Heart” Premieres

On September 25, 1957, the episode of the Disneyland anthology series, titled “Adventure in Wildwood Heart” premiered on ABC. The episode was inspired by the filming for the True Life Fantasy Perri, which was based on the 1938 novel Perri: The Youth of a Squirrel by Felix Salten (who also wrote the book Bambi, a Life in the Woods which would inspire the animated feature film Bambi). Inspired by the surroundings of Utah – particularly that of Uinta National Forest – the crew took to calling the area Wildwood Heart. The episode explained the three-year process it took to film all the footage for the film, as described by film producer Winston Hibler. The episode was directed by Hamilton S. Luske.

September 20

September 20, 1986 – The Television Special Disney’s Captain EO Grand Opening Premieres on NBC

“Now, join a galaxy of stars and celebrities as they gather in Disneyland for Disney’s Captain EO Grand Opening!”

On September 20, 1986, the television special Disney’s Captain EO Grand Opening premiered on NBC. It celebrated the new 3D musical attraction featuring Michael Jackson (which opened September 12, 1986), and featured Patrick Duffy and Justine Bateman as hosts. The special also featured performances by Belinda Carlisle, the Moody Blues, Robert Palmer, and Starship.

The special opens with a parade down Main Street before switching to the commentary by Bateman and Duffy, introducing many celebrities that were in attendance for the world premiere of Captain EO, including producer of the film George Lucas. The show then switches to a behind-the-scenes look of the film, along with an introduction of the characters in the film, including the villain played by Academy Award winning actress Anjelica Huston. The show also shows the complex choreography needed for the film, as it was a musical adventure experience.

August 12

August 12, 2012 – The Princess Fantasy Faire Attraction Closes

“Where happily ever after happens every day.”

On August 12, 2012, the Princess Fantasy Faire attraction in Disneyland closed. Open since October 6, 2006, the area provided guests with a chance to meet the Disney princesses, and was located right next to Sleeping Beauty’s castle. Guests were also able to participate in an interactive storytelling experience with a princess, and learn how to be a true princess or a knight in a coronation ceremony. The area was replaced in March 2013 with the Fantasy Faire, which gave guests more ease in meeting the princesses and watching a show.

January 21

January 21, 1955 – The Dairy Bar Opens in Disneyland

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“Nature’s most nearly perfect food.”

On January 21, 1955, the Dairy Bar opened in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland area. Sponsored by the American Dairy Association, it was a mix of a presentation about the future of milk and milk delivery and a quick service restaurant serving milk in a small dining room. The area did not prove to be as popular as other future-looking presentations within Tomorrowland, and was closed on September 1, 1958.

January 4

January 4, 1956 – The First Part of “When Knighthood Was in Flower” Premieres on Television

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“If your highness does not like the way we do and dance at my ball, you may retire as soon as you see fit.”

On January 4, 1956, the first part of the two-part television episode “When Knighthood Was in Flower” premiered on the Disney anthology series Disneyland. This two-part episode was the premiere of the live-action feature film The Sword and the Rose, which had been released to theaters on July 23, 1953, edited for a television audience and broadcasted in black and white. The title for the television airing is taken from the book on which the film was originally based, written by Edwin Caskoden (pen name for American author Charles Major). The second episode would premiere on January 11, 1956.

December 29

December 29, 1954 – The Disney Anthology Episode “Beaver Valley/Cameras in Africa” Premieres on ABC

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On December 29, 1954, the Disneyland episode “Beaver Valley/Cameras in Africa” premiered in ABC. Part of the Disney anthology series, this episode showed an edited version Disney’s True-Life Adventure featurette Beaver Valley along with some behind the scenes footage of the filming for The African Lion. The footage for the latter segment included a look with Alfred and Elma Milotte, who shot many of the True-Life Adventures for the company, as they film many of Africa’s wildlife. The African Lion would go on to premiere in theaters on September 14, 1955. This episode would eventually be rerun under the title “Cameras in Africa/Beaver Valley.”

June 25

June 25, 1967 – The Circle-Vision 360 Film America the Beautiful Opens in Disneyland

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“She is a rich land, and a rare land. A fresh, and fair, land.”

On June 25, 1967, the Circle-Vision 360 film America the Beautiful opened in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland. The film, originally known as a Circarama film, opened at the Brussels World’s Fair in 1958 before being brought to Disneyland in 1960. This 1967 version is a reshot version of the original film, and was revised again in 1975 for the American Bicentennial celebrations. Shot with nine cameras on a circular stand, the film gives guests a 360 experience of important American landscapes and American ways of life. It was closed on January 3, 1984, and was replaced by American Journeys. A 16mm version of the film was created for educational purposes in 1980.

June 23

June 23, 1956 – The Skyway to Fantasyland and the Skyway to Tomorrowland Open in Disneyland

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“See Disneyland from the air!”

On June 23, 1956, the Skyway to Fantasyland and the Skyway to Tomorrowland transportation attraction opened in Disneyland. The system of four-person gondolas gave guests an overhead view of Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, with guests able to purchase either a one-way or round-trip ticket. Eventually, the system was relegated to a one-way trip only. The design of the system was different in Tomorrowland versus Fantasyland, with Fantasyland looking more like a ski chalet, and Tomorrowland keeping with its futuristic theme. The attraction ended its run on November 10, 1994. Similar versions have also been installed in Walt Disney World (from 1971 to 1999) and in Tokyo Disneyland (from 1983 to 1998).

May 29

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May 29, 1959 – The Disneyland Anthology Episode “I Captured the King of the Leprechauns” Airs

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“And so, believing Pat O’Brien to be an honorable man, I went Irish, Irish all the way. I even crossed the ocean in an Irish Air Lines plane.”

On May 29, 1959, the Disneyland anthology episode “I Captured the King of the Leprechauns” aired. It was a promotional episode for the upcoming live-action film Darby O’Gill and the Little People, but takes guests on a fantastical journey with Walt to Ireland, who has come to learn about the myths of Ireland, as well as asking Darby O’Gill and King Brian of the Leprechauns to join his film. It is notable as the only episode of the series where Walt is in the entire episode in a starring role, rather than just as a narrator.

The episode begins with Walt in his office, explaining that he wanted to make an Irish picture, as he’s always been fascinated by tales of leprechauns. After running into some problems with production, Walt turns to his good friend, actor Pat O’Brien, who claims that Ireland’s main export is good men and women. O’Brien warns Walt about messing with the little people, and sings him a little song about them. He then advises Walt on other Irish legends, including the Banshee, and tells Walt that only a real leprechaun can play a leprechaun in Walt’s film. Walt thinks O’Brien is kidding, but O’Brien is firm that Walt must capture a leprechaun. Upon arriving in Dublin, Walt heads to a folklore library to talk to a scholar. The scholar explains more about leprechauns, including their size based on an outfit in the collection. He then tells the story about how leprechauns came to be, as they were originally angels that hid from the battle between the white and the black angels, as they were too small to do battle. After the battle ended, Gabriel banished the leprechauns from Heaven, sending them to Ireland to live. The scholar sends Walt to find a storyteller named Darby O’Gill, who will give Walt all the information he needs about King Brian, whom Walt wants for his film.

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Walt listens intently as Darby O’Gill tells his stories about his interactions with the leprechauns

Walt sets off to Rathcullen, and finds O’Gill in his home that evening, telling stories about the little people. O’Gill talks about the time he met with and was tricked by King Brian, and much to the interest of Walt. Walt questions him about King Brian, and asks if O’Gill can take Walt up the fairy mountain Knocknasheega. O’Gill agrees, and that night they set out to meet the king of the leprechauns. At the top of the mountain, in the ruins, the pair wait for King Brian to appear. They are finally able to spy King Brian’s lieutenant Phadrig Oge and trap him. Phadrig Oge offers Walt a pot of gold rather than to betray his king, but Walt refuses, wanting to talk to King Brian. King Brian arrives soon after, as he is confused as to why Walt would refuse the gold. Walt asks questions to get information, which amuses King Brian and O’Gill. O’Gill then tells the story of when he was brought to King Brian’s throne room. The two bicker during the storytelling, amusing Walt, and reminisce about other times tricking each other. King Brian and O’Gill laugh at Walt’s offer to have them star in his movie, which leads into another argument. When Walt returns to America, he goes to find his friend O’Brien and tells him of his travels, including his decision to make the movie about Darby O’Gill and King Brian, including O’Gill’s close call with the banshee. O’Brien, however, doesn’t believe that Walt actually found King Brian, until Walt offers a gift from King Brian himself.

March 17

March 17, 1956 – Disneyland Anthology Series Wins Two Emmys

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“Walt Disney Presents…”

On March 17, 1956, the 8th Primetime Emmy Awards were held in the Pan Pacific Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. The Disney Anthology series, then known as Disneyland walked away with two Emmy awards: one for Best Action or Adventure Series, and one or Best Producer for a Film Series, awarded to Walt Disney. The Best Action or Adventure Series award was undoubtedly won for the popular “Davy Crockett” featurettes on the show, which had swept the nation; the episode “Davy Crockett and the River Pirates” had gone on to be nominated as Best Single Program of the Year (though it lost to “Peter Pan” from Producers’ Showcase).