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Tag Archives: Opening

June 2

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June 2, 2011 – A Special Ceremony is Held to Celebrate the Opening of The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure

“…because at our heart, great storytelling is what we are all about.” – Chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Tom Staggs

On June 2, 2011, a special ceremony was held in Disney’s California Adventure park to celebrate the opening of the newest attraction The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. On hand to kick off the celebrations was the voice of Ariel, Jodi Benson, who performed the song “Part of Your World,” along with The Little Mermaid musical performer Sherie Rene Scott, who performed “Poor Unfortunate Souls.” The attraction was opened to the public the following day.


February 20

February 20, 2013 – The IBM THINK Interactive Attraction Opens in Epcot


“The THINK exhibit features stories and engaging experiences that appeal to Epcot guests from around the world.”- Lee Green, VP Brand Experience and Strategic Design, IBM

On February 20, 2013, in conjunction with National Engineers Week, the new attraction IBM THINK was unveiled in Epcot’s Innoventions West area. The interactive attraction aims to teach guests about the way the world can work alongside technological innovations. To also celebrate National Engineers week, IBM was on hand to provide nearby high school teachers and students with free STEM lesson plans on iPads and Android tablets.

January 26

January 26, 2011 – The Disney Dream Sets Off on Maiden Voyage


“Let your imagination set sail.”

On January 26, 2011, the third ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet, the Disney Dream, set off on its maiden voyage, a week after its christening. The ship, at the time, was the biggest in the fleet, with 1,250 staterooms, 14 decks, and a ship length of 1,115 feet. The maiden voyage had the Disney Dream traveling to Nassau, the Bahamas, and Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island.

January 15

January 15, 1986 – The Living Seas Pavilion Opens in Epcot


“Snorkel with over 6,000 sea creatures, including sea turtles, angelfish, eagle rays and sharks in our massive aquarium.”

On January 15, 1986, the newest pavilion in Epcot’s Future World, The Living Seas, opened in Epcot. The area focused on the ocean and its mysteries, with guests able to watch a film about the importance of the ocean, view exhibits, and even take a chance to dive into the largest salt water take in the world. In 2006, more Finding Nemo elements were added to the area, including the attraction The Seas with Nemo & Friends. A special dining experience can also be found this pavilion at the Coral Reef Restaurant, where guests can dine right next to the salt water tank and spy a turtle as they eat.

September 15

September 15, 2012 – The Little Mermaid Wing of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Opens


“Be surrounded in the artistry, enchantment, and magic of Walt Disney and Disney-Pixar movies.”

On September 15, 2012, the fourth and final wing of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort in Walt Disney World opened. The wing, themed after the animated feature film The Little Mermaid, joins areas themed as The Lion King, Cars, and Finding Nemo. The Little Mermaid wing features 864 rooms designed in the animation style of the “Under the Sea” sequence from the film, and also has a giant pool known as the Flippin’ Fins pool.

September 12

September 12, 2005 – Hong Kong Disneyland Opens


“Enter a magical kingdom inspired by fairy-tale dreams and explore 7 lands…filled with beauty, excitement, and Disney Characters.”

On September 12, 2005, Hong Kong Disneyland opened after the initial groundbreaking ceremony on January 12, 2003. It took six years to create the park, as the ground it stands on required a special agreement between Disney and the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, as well as some reclamation work on the property. The park is the eleventh Disney park in the world, and incorporates the familiarity of the American Disney parks with the Chinese culture prevalent in Hong Kong; some of these cultural aspects include the removal of the number 4 through the parks and hotels (as the number in Chinese sounds like the word for death), and use of a feng shui master to help position the buildings and attractions. The park consists of seven separate lands, with Grizzly Gulch, Mystic Point, and Toy Story Land being exclusive to this park. President and CEO of the Walt Disney Company Bob Iger was on hand to welcome the park to the Disney family, alongside Vice President Zeng Qinghong of China. The castle of the park is Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, based on the original castle in Disneyland Park, California.

July 5

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July 5, 1996 – The 500th Disney Store Opens in Phoenix, Arizona


“The Disney Store has been enthusiastically received everywhere we’ve opened, and we see many additional opportunities in a variety of markets worldwide.” – Thomas A. Heymann, then President of The Disney Store Worldwide

On July 5, 1996, the 500th Disney Store opened in Phoenix, Arizona, making it the state’s sixth Disney Store location overall. Since opening in 1987, the growth of the chain exploded, with stores located in four continents; 100 stores alone were opened in the previous year. In 1996, the Disney Store was Japan’s largest foreign retailer without a Japanese partner, and many stores located oversees were built in popular and prestigious locations, such as Regent Street in London and the Champs Ellysees in Paris.

October 9

October 9, 2003 – The Dedication for the Epcot Attraction Mission: SPACE Takes Place

Mission Space

“…very much based in reality, it’s a mix of real science and thrill.”

On October 9, 2003, the dedication for the Epcot attraction Mission: SPACE took place with a special ceremony. The attraction, which had a soft opening in June of that year, was a collaboration between Disney and NASA five years in the making. The opening included appearances by astronauts from several notable missions, NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe, and CEO Michael Eisner, among others.

May 17

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May 17, 2013 – Hong Kong Disneyland’s Mystic Point Land Opens

Mystic Point

“You will be invited to ride in [Lord Henry Mystic’s] latest invention the ‘Mystic Magneto-Electric Carriage,’ and treated to a front row experience of the precious collection!”

On May 17, 2013, the third and final land of Hong Kong Disneyland’s land expansion project, Mystic Point, opened to the public. The area includes Mystic Manor, a Haunted Mansion-style attraction; Garden of Wonders, a garden area filled with 3D illusionary sculptures; and Mystic Point Freight Depot, where guests can take pictures with recreations of famous antiquities from around the world. The Explorer’s Club Restaurant gives guests a chance to dine on Korean, Japanese, and South East Asian delicacies, while being surrounded by décor from Egypt, Russia, Morocco, India, and China. Guests can also buy very special souvenirs at the Archive Shop, including an explorer’s hat with Mickey Mouse ears.

April 29

April 29, 1994 – The First All-Star Resort Hotel Unit Opens in Walt Disney World


“Go the distance and don’t be afraid to celebrate your inner fan amid sporty décor starring some of your favorite Disney characters.”

On April 29, 1994, the first unit of the All-Star Resort hotels opened in Walt Disney World. The first unit belonged to the All-Star Sports Resort; it was named Surf’s Up, and had a theme of surfing. This was soon followed by the Hoops Hotel, Touchdown, Home Run Hotel, and Center Court. The hotels themselves are moderately priced, and features two restaurants: End Zone Food Court, and Grandstand Spirits Pool Bar. All-Star Sports is the first in the series of hotels, and was followed by All-Star Music in November 1994, and All-Star Movies in 1999.