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Tag Archives: Walt Disney World

September 2

September 2, 2004 – The Art Exhibit “Echoes of Africa” Opens in Epcot’s American Heritage Gallery

On September 2, 2004, the new art exhibit “Echoes of Africa” opened in the new art gallery in the American Adventure pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase. Featuring important pieces from the Disney-Tishman African Art collection, this collection has been studied extensively and brought about some anthropological breakthroughs. Dr. Lizzetta LeFalle-Collins served as the guest curator for the collection, having curated several important exhibitions for the American Federation of the Arts in New York and the California African-American Museum in Los Angeles. The collection originally belonged to Paul and Ruth Tishman, with Disney acquiring the collection in 1984.

August 29

August 29, 2008 – Olympian Michael Phelps Celebrates in Walt Disney World

“To top it all off with a parade at Disney World is just incredible.”

On August 29, 2008, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps celebrated his triumphant return from the Beijing Olympics by being featured in the “America’s Homecoming Parade” through Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park. Traveling in a red Corvette amongst red, white, and blue confetti, Phelps was joined by Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

August 25

August 25, 2008 – Disney Finalizes Sale of Land to Four Seasons

“Sip your morning coffee as you look toward the lush greenery that surrounds Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club Orlando from your room’s private balcony, which also offers some of our best views of the nightly Magic Kingdom Park fireworks display.”

On August 25, 2008, the Walt Disney Company finalized the sale of almost 300 acres in Orlando, Florida, to the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. Four Seasons would use this land to build the Four Seasons Resort Orlando hotel, a vacation homes section called Residence Club, a championship golf course, and a variety of single- and multi-family vacation homes. The main hotel had 444 rooms, and was designed by the firm Wimberly, Allison, Tong & Goo; it opened on August 3, 2014, and was included as part of the Golden Oak residential community.

August 19

August 19, 2014 – The Marketplace Boat Dock and Saratoga Bridge Open in Downtown Disney

“A beautiful day to debut a new bridge and boat dock at Downtown Disney.”

On August 19, 2014, the Marketplace Boat Dock and Saratoga Bridge opened in Downtown Disney’s Marketplace area. Part of the expansion project of the area, the bridge offered a connection between Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and the shopping area, while the boat dock provided guests ease of access to the West Side and Pleasure Island. The ceremony for the opening was held early that morning, with Keith Bradford, Vice President of Downtown Disney, on hand for the ceremonies.

August 13

August 13, 2017 – The Attraction Ellen’s Energy Adventure Closes

“Let me get this straight: you brought me back billions of years so you could show me…nothing?”

On August 13, 2017, the Epcot attraction Ellen’s Energy Adventure officially closed. Opening on September 15, 1996, the attraction was located in the Universe of Energy and featured a mix of a film and audio-animatronics, hosted by comedienne Ellen DeGeneres. Originally replacing the Universe of Energy attraction, this updated attraction also featured Bill Nye “The Science Guy,” Jamie Lee Curtis, Alex Trebek, and Johnny Gilbert, teaching guests about how energy is produced, the current sources of energy, and the search for new, renewable sources of energy. Guests sit in a special seating area and watch a series of films, as well as an audio-animatronic diorama featuring a primeval world; the seating sections split apart at this point to move through the diorama before reassembling for the final two films. The attraction was closed to make way for a new Guardians of the Galaxy-themed roller coaster attraction.

August 9

August 9, 2007 – Walt Disney World Announces Name Change for Disney-MGM Studios

“Disney announced the new name for the Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park at Walt Disney World, and the winner is… Disney’s Hollywood Studios.”

On August 9, 2007, Walt Disney World announced that the Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park would be undergoing a name change to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The park opened as Disney-MGM Studios on May 1, 1989, and was intended to be a theme park and a working studio. Disney entered a licensing agreement with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, but that agreement ended long before the name change, which gave Disney no need to have another studio listed as part of one of their theme parks.

August 5

August 5, 2000 – The Port Orleans Resort Restaurant Bonfamille’s Café Closes

“Bonfamille’s Café is Port Orleans’ charming courtyard restaurant café established in the early 1900s by the Bonfamille family where visitors are invited to sample soft of the best of Port Orleans’ cuisine.”

On August 5, 2000, the resort restaurant Bonfamille’s Café closed in Disney’s Port Orleans Resort in Walt Disney World.  This full-service restaurant opened on May 17, 1991 when Port Orleans Resort opened (which eventually became Port Orleans French Quarter), with Boatwright’s Dining Hall serving the Dixie Landings Resort (now known as Port Orleans Riverside). The restaurant featured Southern fishes, such as Bayou Crawfish Pasta, Chicken ‘n’ Sausage Creole, and Jambalaya.

August 1

August 1, 1997 – Panchito’s Gifts and Sundries Opens in Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

“Chase down Disney souvenirs, native crafts, and more at this Three Caballeros-themed store named for the Mexican charro rooster.”

On August 1, 1997, the gift shop and general goods store Panchito’s Gifts and Sundries opened in Walt Disney World’s Coronado Springs Resort. Named for the character from Saludos Amigos, the store features a variety of Disney apparel, pins, and general snacks and amenities.

July 31

July 31, 2012 – The Restaurant Bistro de Paris Closes in Epcot’s France Pavilion

“Gourmet restaurant located at the 2nd floor.”

On July 31, 2012, after almost 30 years of operations, the restaurant Bistro de Paris closed. Open on June 3, 1984 in the France Pavilion of Epcot’s World Showcase, it was originally created due to the success and demand for reservations for Les Chefs de France, and was located in the upstairs area of the restaurant. It specialized in gourmet French cuisine, featuring such dishes as filet mignon and crème brulee. After it closed, it was renovated and reopened in December of 2012 as Monsieur Paul.

July 29

July 29, 2000 – Disney Celebrates First Anniversary of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster

On July 29, 2000, to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the popular roller coaster Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Disney created a guitar in the parking lot of Disney-MGM Studios Park out of 80 Corvettes, the signature car of the attraction. Using red, white, black, and silver cars, the formation resembled that of the Stratocaster, the guitar that covers the front of the attraction.