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Tag Archives: Special Event

December 5

December 5, 1985 – The Skyfest Celebration is Held in Anaheim, California

“A million balloon salute to honor Walt Disney and Disneyland’s 30th year.”

On December 5, 1985, to honor Walt Disney’s birthday, the residents of Anaheim celebrated with a special event known as Skyfest. The event featured a release of 1,000,000 balloons, and seven thousand pounds of helium were used to send the balloons skybound. The event not only honored what would have been Walt Disney’s 84th birthday, but also the 30th anniversary of Walt’s dream, Disneyland. This event also set a world record, beating the previous record of 384,800 balloons.

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October 27

October 27, 1979 – Walt Disney World Holds Halloween Hysteria Event

On October 27, 1979, Walt Disney World held one of its first Halloween-related events, known as Halloween Hysteria. It was a one-night ticketed event held in the Magic Kingdom, with tickets costing about $10 at the gate (about $37, adjusted for inflation in 2018), and running from park closing to 1:30 am. Musical guests at this event included Dr. Hook, Michael Johnson, and an up and coming band known as The Police. Another Halloween event wouldn’t be held at Magic Kingdom until the beginning of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in 1995.

December 13

December 13, 2015 – Disney Legend Dick Van Dyke Celebrates 90th Birthday in Disneyland

“This is the cherry on top of my entire life.”

On December 13, 2015, a special celebration was held for actor and Disney Legend Dick Van Dyke, who was in the park to celebrate his 90th birthday. Best known for his role as Bert in the live-action feature film Mary Poppins, a special parade was held down Main Street featuring a troupe of chimney sweeps and penguins, along with a dedication of his silhouette in the Jolly Holiday Bakery Café, with Mary Poppins by his side.

October 17

October 17, 2012 – Disney Announces Limited Time Magic

“We have 52 weeks of magical surprises planned for you at Disney Parks in 2013.”

On October 17, 2012, Disney announced a plan for unexpected surprises at Disney Parks for 2013 called “Limited Time Magic.” The announcement was kicked off with a special three-story ice palace built in the middle of Times Square in New York City. Some of the “Limited Time Magic” events announced included the True Love event for Valentine’s Day, featuring the Disney Princesses and their Princes as joint character meet-and-greets; Long Lost Friends Week, where guests can meet lesser-known and infrequently appearing Disney characters, such as Clarabelle Cow, Flik, and Robin Hood; and Dapper Dans Sing Boy Bands, where the Dapper Dans added a medley of famous boy band songs to the end of their show.

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 20

August 20, 2016 – D23 Members Celebrate 75th Anniversary of The Reluctant Dragon

                Image credit: D23 Official Site

“It was definitely a Disney day to remember, proving you’ll never know what surprises will await at a D23 event.”

On August 20, 2016, the Disney fanclub D23 held an official event to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the little-known Disney film The Reluctant Dragon. The film, released in 1941, starred Robert Benchley as himself trying to pitch the titular story at the Walt Disney Studios, and ultimately takes a tour around several areas while trying to find Walt; this gave viewers a chance to see how an animated film gets made, thanks to tours around the Ink and Paint Department and the Sound Effects stage. Almost 400 D23 members were present at the Walt Disney Studios for a viewing of the film, and were able to see several artifacts from the Archives that were present in the film, including the bust of Robert Benchley. Also present for the event were members of the Walt Disney Archives, including director Becky Cline; voice actors Bill Farmer (Goofy) and Bret Iwan (Mickey Mouse); Animation Research Library manager Fox Carney; film producer and director Ted Thomas; Disney historian Les Perkins; Imagineer Tony Baxter; and Steve Vagnini from D23. There were special events on the lot after the screening and presentations, along with autograph sessions with several of the Disney Legends in attendance.

June 25

June 25, 2010 – The Documentary Archiving the Archives: Forty Years of Preserving the Magic Premieres

“We’re excited to honor Dave [Smith] and the Archives, and to give our members a close-up look at some rarely seen ‘jewels in the crown’ of Disney history.” – Head of D23, Steven Clark

On June 25, 2010, the documentary film Archiving the Archives: Forty Years of Preserving the Magic premiered at a special D23 event at the Disney Studios. The film, honoring the Walt Disney Archives’ 40th anniversary, took a look at how founder Dave Smith started the archives, and the impact it has on the Disney legacy. The premiere event also featured appearances by Disney President and CEO Bob Iger, as well as film historian Leonard Maltin to honor Smith and his contributions.