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Tag Archives: World’s Fair

August 14

August 14, 1939 – Donald Duck Day is Celebrated at the 1939 World’s Fair

Image courtesy of the New York Public Library

Image courtesy of the New York Public Library

“Donald Duck arrives at National Biscuit Company Exhibit: presents gifts to first 500 juvenile guests and meets Judy Canova.”

On August 14, 1939, it was declared Donald Duck Day at the 1939 World’s Fair, held in New York’s Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. A three foot model of the famous duck was flown in from the Disney Studios to make an appearance beginning at noon. Donald was on hand to show his latest short film, Donald’s Penguin. Donald was also, in tribute to his popularity, awarded an honorary doctorate as the Doctor of International Friendship (D.I.F) from the Professor of American History at Yale University.

January 15

January 15, 1975 – The General Electric Carousel of Progress Attraction Opens in Walt Disney World

carouselofprogress

“There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow, just a dream away!”

On January 15, 1975, the General Electric Carousel of Progress attraction opened in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom park, located in Tomorrowland. Based on the original 1964-65 New York World’s Fair attraction, the attraction closed in Disneyland on September 9, 1973 and was moved to Walt Disney World. It greatly changed when it moved to Florida, with one significant change being the theme song of the attraction changing from “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” to “The Best Time of Your Life,” which was a reflection of the new philosophy of General Electric. Although General Electric ended their sponsorship with the attraction in 1985, the attraction was kept open and still continues to operate. In 1993, the attraction underwent a rehabilitation, which brought back the original theme song, and also added a specific holiday to each of the four segments. In 1994, it was renamed Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress.

July 1

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July 1, 1966 – The Primeval World Attraction Opens on the Disneyland Railroad

PrimevalWorld

“…travel back in time back to the fantastic Primeval World – land of the dinosaurs.”

On July 1, 1966, the diorama on the Santa Fe and Disneyland Railroad Primeval World opened in Disneyland. The original attraction was featured at the 1964 New York World’s Fair, as part of Ford’s Magic Skyway. The attraction appears to have been inspired in part by the “Rite of Spring” segment from the 1940 animated feature Fantasia. Using Audio-Animatronics, several dinosaurs are brought to life in a misty swamp area, including an Apatosaurus, a Pteranodon, a Tyrannosaurus, and a Stegosaurus. As more is learned about dinosaurs (such as the renaming of the Brontosaurus to the Apatosaurus), it has created several inaccuracies in the attraction, including the fact that the Stegosaurus and the Tyrannosaurus did not exist in the same time period. A version of the attraction has been created for the Western River Railroad in Tokyo Disneyland, appearing just before the arrival at Adventureland Station.