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Tag Archives: The Walt Disney Company

November 17

November 17, 1999 – Disney Stockholders Approve Whole Acquisition of Infoseek

On November 17, 1999, Disney stockholders approved the plans for The Walt Disney Company to acquire the remaining stock of Infoseek, making it a wholly-owned subsidiary. 43% of the outstanding common stock of the company had been purchased a year prior; this, combined with Disney’s acquisition of Starwave Corp., helped create the portal service GO Network, which featured search engines, email, and news. With Disney completely owning Infoseek, the company merged with Buena Vista Internet Group, and stocks for the GO.com portal began trading on the New York Stock Exchange the next day. The portal was eventually closed on March 1, 2001.

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October 24

October 24, 2001 – Disney Acquires Fox Family Worldwide

“These assets are a perfect fit for our company. We paid approximately for a rare asset.” – Disney CEO Michael Eisner

On October 24, 2001, Disney completed the acquisition of Fox Family Worldwide, which they bought for $5.3 billion from News Corp. and Haim Saban. The announcement of the planned acquisition was presented by media outlets on July 23, 2001. The acquisition included several channels, such as Fox Family Channel and Fox Kids (rebranded as ABC Family and Jetix, respectfully). Upon the announcement of the acquisition, Disney began to shift content from ABC and other Disney broadcast channels to ABC Family, giving the channel enough programming to start off well.

October 20

October 20, 1993 – Ten New Inductees are Honored as Disney Legends

“The stuff Legends are made of…”

On October 20, 1993, ten new inductees were added as Disney Legends in a special ceremony held at the Walt Disney Studios. The ten inductees included Card Walker; former President of the Walt Disney Company; Donn Tatum, senior executive; Clarence Nash, original voice actor of Donald Duck; Jimmy MacDonald, sound effects wizard and second voice actor for Mickey Mouse; Pinto Colvig, original voice actor for Goofy; actor Buddy Ebsen, who was best known for his role as George Russel in the Davy Crockett series; Irving Ludwig, film distributor who helped form the Buena Vista Distribution Company; matte artist Peter Ellenshaw; Harper Goff, Imagineer and artist; and Blaine Gibson, Imagineer and sculptor, best known for the Partners statue in the Disney Parks. The ceremony was presided over by Michael Eisner and Roy E. Disney, and of those honored, Tatum, Nash, MacDonald, Colvig, and Goff were honored posthumously.

October 5

October 5, 2009 – Rich Ross is Named Chairman of Walt Disney Studios

“Rich has an outstanding record of creating high-quality family entertainment that delights audiences around the world.” – Bob Iger, President and CEO of the Walt Disney Company

On October 5, 2009, The Walt Disney Company announced that Rich Ross would be taking the role of Chairman of the Walt Disney Studios. Ross, who was then serving as the President of Disney Channels Worldwide, saw that he would not only be overseeing the worldwide production of the company’s range of films (including Walt Disney Animation, Touchstone, Miramax, and Disney/Pixar), but would also be head of Disney’s theatrical and music ventures. Ross was chosen for the role based on his work in expanding the performance of Disney Channels Worldwide, as well as overseeing the growth of Radio Disney. He joined Disney in 1996 as the Senior Vice President, Programming and Production for Disney Channel, and was named President of Disney Channels Worldwide in 2004. Ross would remain in the role of Chairman until 2012.

August 29

August 29, 1989 – Disney Announces Agreement to Acquire Muppets


“I have enjoyed running my own company, but now I am really excited about joining forces with Michael Eisner and the Disney organization and finding out how much more we can accomplish together for our audiences all over the world.”

On August 29, 1989, the Walt Disney Company announced that they had started negotiations with Henson Associates Inc. to acquire the Muppets. Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets, was working with Disney at the time on the new Muppet*Vision 3D attraction when the deal was discussed; under this deal, Henson would become a consultant to Disney to help develop special media pieces, such as television specials and movies. The terms of the deal were exclusive only to the Muppets and did not include characters from the Sesame Street series. Unfortunately, this deal would fall through in December of 1990, after problems arose with estate tax of Henson’s estate after his untimely passing. The merger was reopened and finally followed through in 2004.

August 19

August 19, 2011 – Twelve Inductees are Honored as Disney Legends

“The Spiral—stands for imagination, the power of an idea. The Hand—holds the gifts of skill, discipline and craftsmanship. The Wand and the Star—represent magic: the spark that is ignited when imagination and skill combine to create a new dream.”

On August 19, 2011, the twelve newest Disney Legends were inducted at a special ceremony during the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California. Among those honored were creator of the Muppets, Jim Henson; Disney merchandiser Bo Boyd; television show host Regis Philbin; entertainment entrepreneurs and original proprietors of the Disneyland Hotel Jack and Bonita Wrather; former Chairman of the Board for the Walt Disney Company, Ray Watson; star of the hit television series Zorro, Guy Williams; and the voice actresses for the Disney Princesses: Jodi Benson (Ariel); Linda Larkin (Jasmine); Paige O’Hara (Belle); Anika Noni Rose (Tiana); and Lea Salonga (singing voice for Jasmine and Mulan). Several were awarded posthumously, and those still living were in attendance to collect their statue and place their handprints on the special plaques that are placed in the Disney Legends Plaza.

May 19

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May 19, 2010 – Turtle Day is Celebrated in Animal Kingdom Park

“May is a fantastic month to celebrate turtles and tortoises.”

On May 19, 2010, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park held a special day of events to celebrate Turtle Day, which sought to bring awareness to turtles and tortoises and what guests can do to protect them. Activities that day included sessions to teach guests what threatens turtle habitats, interactive ways of using “turtle sight” to find food, and up-close-and-personal looks at some of the turtle and tortoise species that the park conservationists protect. 2010 was a particularly important year to highlight conservation efforts for turtles and tortoises, as Disney worked in partnership with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to offer assistance and resources to those animals hurt by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.