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Tag Archives: Opening

August 14

August 14, 1958 – The Grand Opening of the Alice in Wonderland Attraction is Held

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

On August 14, 1958, two months after the opening of the attraction, the Grand Opening Ceremony for the Alice in Wonderland dark ride was held in Disneyland. The ceremony was a grand affair, featuring Walt Disney himself riding down Main Street in a horse-drawn carriage with Mouseketeer Karen Pendleton, who was selected by Walt to play Alice for the day. Joined by Mickey and Minnie Mouse, as well as the White Rabbit, Karen was given the key to the attraction by Walt.

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August 6

August 6, 2010 – The Third Redesigned Disney Store Opens in Santa Monica

“…you guys are going to be amazed at all of the Disney magic and innovation packed into one store.” – Jim Babcock, Disney Consumer Products Internal Communications Director

On August 6, 2010, the grand opening of the third redesigned Disney Store was held in Santa Monica, California. Attending the store opening were Jim Fielding, president of Disney Store Worldwide; Molly Adams, VP and General Manager or Marketing & Merchandising; Paul Gainer, VP of Disney Store Operations; and of course, Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Locate just blocks of Santa Monica Pier, the redesigned store features several new elements to make the store another entertaining point of the area.

March 31

March 31, 1958 – Grand Canyon Diorama is Added in Disneyland

On March 31, 1958, the grand opening ceremony of the Grand Canyon Diorama, the “largest diorama in the world,” was held in Disneyland Park. The diorama was placed along the route of the Disneyland Railroad, and Walt Disney himself was the conductor of the train that passed by the scenes of the Grand Canyon. The soundtrack for the scenery is Ferde Grofé’s “Grand Canyon Suite,” which accompanies lush scenes of the landscape by scenic artist Delmer Yoakum. The diorama is 306 feet in length, and was restored in 2017 to how it would have appeared in 1958, with some subtle updates to add some “magic.”

November 1

November 1, 1999 – The Disney Wilderness Preserve Opens to the Public

“At The Disney Wilderness Preserve, nature offers you a front-row seat to conservation at its best.”

On November 1, 1999, the Disney Wilderness Preserve opened to the public, almost seven years after its initial purchase. Disney acquired the 12,000-acre area of the Walker Ranch in 1992 with the plan to turn the land into an expansion area of Walt Disney World, but instead gave the land to the Nature Conservancy with the intent of turning it into a preservation. When it opened in 1999, it featured a special Conservation Learning Center, along with nature trails that guests can walk at their leisure, a lab in conjunction with the University of Central Florida and the National Ecological Observatory, and wood stork rookery. Overall, the area is home to more than 1,000 species of plants and animals.

September 23

September 23, 2011 – The Grand Opening Celebration of Aulani is Held

“We would like to thank the Imagineers, cast members, construction teams, local artists, and everyone who had a hand in bringing Aulani to life.” – Chief Operating Officer Tom Staggs

On September 23, 2011, a special grand opening ceremony was held to celebrate the official opening of Disney’s new Aulani resort in Oahu, Hawaii. CEO Bob Iger and COO Tom Staggs were on hand with Mickey and Minnnie Mouse to lead the ceremony, which was filled with many aspects of Hawaiian culture and traditions. A special chant was written and performed for the resort’s opening by Keali’I Reichel, a noted artist in Hawaii, along with special performances by drummers and dancers. The ceremony also included an official dedication, complete with placing sand in a ceremonial wooden bowl called an ‘umeke.

September 8

September 8, 2012 – The Disney Baby Store Opens in Glendale, California

“Shop by character and find great products for every moment of the day!”

On September 8, 2012, the first Disney Baby store opened in Glendale, California. Located right near Walt Disney Imagineering, the store focuses on children ranging from newborn to two-years-old, with character merchandise ranging from popular Pixar films, to Disney Princesses, to classic Disney characters. A special ceremony was held for the store’s grand opening, featuring celebrity appearances, Disney-themed snacks for babies, and a concert by the Blue Sky Riders.

July 16

July 16, 1955 – The Golden Horseshoe Opens for a Private Party

On July 16, 1955, the Golden Horseshoe Saloon opened for a private party for corporate sponsors of Disneyland, which was to open the next day. Though the Golden Horseshoe Revue wasn’t to begin its run until the park’s official opening day, the saloon’s private party did feature eventual show mainstay Wally Boag in his first official appearance as Pecos Bill and the Traveling Salesman.