Disney in History

Historical Events

  • 1917-06-08 Walt Disney graduates from Benton High School

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1920-01-29 Walt Disney starts work as an artist with KC Slide Co for $40 a week

Animator Walt Disney
Animator
Walt Disney
  • 1922-05-23 Walt Disney incorporates his 1st film company Laugh-O-Gram Films
  • 1923-10-16 Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio founded
  • 1926-02-08 Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio becomes Walt Disney Studios
  • 1928-07-29 Test footage first created for Walt Disney's "Steamboat Willie" with Mickey Mouse
  • 1928-11-18 Walt Disney's "Steamboat Willie" released, first Mickey Mouse sound cartoon
  • 1930-08-16 The first color sound cartoon "Fiddlesticks" by Ub Iwerks (ex Walt Disney studio) is released
  • 1932-05-25 Goofy, aka Dippy Dawg, 1st appears in 'Mickey's Revue' by Walt Disney
  • 1932-11-15 Walt Disney Art School created
  • 1933-05-27 Walt Disney's short film "3 Little Pigs" released (Academy Award Best Animated film 1934)
  • 1937-12-21 The first full-length animated feature film and the earliest in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", premieres at the Carthay Circle Theatre
  • 1940-02-07 Walt Disney's second feature length movie, "Pinocchio" premieres (NYC)
  • 1940-02-23 Walt Disney's animated movie "Pinocchio" released
  • 1940-11-10 Walt Disney begins serving as an informer for the Los Angeles office of the FBI; his job is to report back information on Hollywood subversives.
  • 1940-11-13 "Fantasia" animated film by Walt Disney, starring Leopold Stokowski and Deems Taylor, is released

  • 1941-10-23 Walt Disney's animated film "Dumbo" released
  • 1942-08-21 Walt Disney's animated movie "Bambi", based on the book by Felix Salten, is released
  • 1945-02-03 Walt Disney's "3 Caballeros" released
  • 1946-11-12 Walt Disney's "Song Of South" released
  • 1950-02-15 Walt Disney's animated film "Cinderella" premieres in Boston
  • 1951-07-28 Walt Disney's animated musical film "Alice In Wonderland" released
  • 1953-02-05 "Peter Pan" by Walt Disney opens at Roxy Theater, NYC
  • 1954-01-26 Groundbreaking begins on Disneyland
  • 1954-04-02 Plans to build Disneyland 1st announced [see Jan 26]
  • 1954-07-17 Construction of Disneyland commences
  • 1954-10-27 Walt Disney's 1st TV show, "Disneyland", premieres on ABC
  • 1955-06-22 Walt Disney's animated film "Lady & the Tramp" released
  • 1955-07-16 "Golden Horseshoe Revue" 1st of 50,000+ performances, Disneyland
  • 1955-07-17 Disneyland televises its grand opening in Anaheim, California.
  • 1959-01-29 Walt Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" released

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1959-09-19 Nikita Khrushchev is denied access to Disneyland

Soviet First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev
Soviet First Secretary
Nikita Khrushchev
  • 1961-01-25 Walt Disney's animated film "101 Dalmatians", based on the novel by Dodie Smith and directed by Clyde Geronimi and Hamilton Luske is released in the US
  • 1961-07-04 Walt Disney is one of the two main speakers on the Independence Day in The Rebuild Hills at Skørping in Denmark
  • 1961-09-28 Walt Disney's movie "Grey Friars Bobby" premieres
  • 1963-12-25 Walt Disney's "The Sword in the Stone" is released

Film release premierFilm Premier

1964-08-27 Walt Disney's "Mary Poppins" directed by Robert Stevenson and starring Julie Andrews and Dick van Dyke premieres in Los Angeles

Actress and Singer Julie Andrews
Actress and Singer
Julie Andrews
Animator Walt Disney
Animator
Walt Disney
  • 1964-09-14 Walt Disney awarded Medal of Freedom at White House
  • 1965-11-16 Walt Disney launches Epcot Center: Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow
  • 1967-10-18 Walt Disney's "Jungle Book" film is released
  • 1969-05-27 Walt Disney World construction begins at Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, Florida
  • 1970-01-10 Preview Center opens at Walt Disney World, Florida - first building to open
  • 1970-12-24 Walt Disney's "Aristocats" is released
  • 1971-10-01 Walt Disney World opens in Bay Lake, Florida
  • 1971-10-04 Borden's opens a turn-of-century ice cream parlor at Disney World
  • 1971-11-19 Disney World's Fort Wilderness opens
  • 1971-11-29 1st pro golf championship at Walt Disney World
  • 1971-12-18 1st Candlelight Processional at the EPCOT Center, Disney World
  • 1973-12-15 Pirates of Caribbean ride opens at Disneyland
  • 1974-04-01 Pioneer Hall opens at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, Florida
  • 1974-04-08 Discovery Island opens at Walt Disney World, Florida
  • 1975-01-15 Space Mountain opens at Disneyland
  • 1975-03-22 Walt Disney World Shopping Village opens
  • 1975-07-01 WEDway People Mover opens in Tomorrowland, Disney World, Florida
  • 1976-03-02 Walt Disney World logs its 50 millionth guest
  • 1976-05-01 Empress Lilly, replica of a paddle steamer, dedicated at Walt Disney World, Florida
  • 1976-06-20 Disney's River Country opens at Bay Lake (closed 2001)
  • 1977-06-11 Main Street Electrical Parade premieres in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World
  • 1977-06-22 Walt Disney's "Rescuers" released, first Disney film to get a sequel
  • 1979-10-22 Walt Disney World's 100-millionth guest
  • 1980-12-30 "Wonderful World of Disney" last performance on NBC-TV
  • 1981-03-07 1st homicide at Disneyland, 18 year old is stabbed to death
  • 1981-07-10 Walt Disney's "Fox & The Hound" released
  • 1983-04-15 Tokyo Disneyland opens
  • 1983-12-25 1st live telecast of Christmas Parade at the EPCOT Centre, Disney World Florida
  • 1984-06-09 Donald Duck's 50th birthday celebrated at Disneyland
  • 1985-07-03 Tinker Bell's first nightly flight at Walt Disney World Resort, Florida
  • 1985-09-20 Walt Disney World's 200-millionth guest
  • 1986-01-15 Living Seas opens (Disneyland)
  • 1986-03-27 Disney-MGM Studio Tour groundbreaking
  • 1989-05-01 135 acre Disney's MGM studio theme park officially opens to public in Lake Buena Vista, Florida
  • 1991-03-20 Court awards Peggy Lee $3 million in suit against Disney
  • 1992-04-12 Euro Disney (Disneyland Paris) opens in Marne-la-Vallee, France
  • 1993-03-01 New expansion NHL team, owned in Anaheim, CA by Disney, receives its name, inspired by the 1992 Disney movie 'The Mighty Ducks'
  • 1993-03-12 Cleveland radio station WMMS-FM/101.7 is bought by Disney
  • 1993-08-02 Shamrock Broadcasting, a Disney company, officially takes ownership of Cleveland's WMMS-FM/100.7 & WHK-AM/1420

Music releaseMusic Premiere

1994-06-15 Disney's animated musical film "The Lion King" opens in theaters with $42 million

Actor and Comedian Rowan Atkinson
Actor and Comedian
Rowan Atkinson
Actor Matthew Broderick
Actor
Matthew Broderick
  • 1995-07-31 Walt Disney announces the acquisition of Capital Cities/ABC for $19 billion; network of properties now consists of Disney, ABC Sports, ESPN and ESPN2
  • 1996-11-25 After 24 years, Disneyland Main Street Electrical Parade, ends
  • 1997-11-14 Disney's "Lion King" sets Broadway record of $2,700,000 daily sale
  • 1998-04-22 Disney's Animal Kingdom opens at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida, United States.
  • 2001-01-12 Downtown Disney opens to the public in Anaheim

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2001-01-12 Disney Channel series "Lizzie McGuire" premieres starring Hilary Duff

Actress and Singer Hilary Duff
Actress and Singer
Hilary Duff

Film release premierFilm Premier

2003-06-28 "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl", directed by Gore Verbinski, starring Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom, premieres at Disneyland

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2005-03-13 Bob Iger is named CEO of Walt Disney International, succeeding Michael Eisner

CEO of The Walt Disney Company Bob Iger
CEO of The Walt Disney Company
Bob Iger

Film release premierFilm Premier

2005-03-18 "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody" premieres on the Disney Channel, starring Dylan and Cole Sprouse

  • 2005-09-12 Hong Kong Disneyland opens in Penny's Bay, Lantau Island, Hong Kong.

Film release premierFilm Release

2006-01-20 TV movie "High School Musical" released starring Zac Efron and Vanessa Hugdens, becomes Disney Channel's most successful TV movie

Actress and Singer Ashley Tisdale
Actress and Singer
Ashley Tisdale
  • 2006-01-24 Walt Disney International and Bob Iger announce it is buying computer animation film studio Pixar for $7.4 billion

Film release premierFilm Premier

2006-06-24 "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest", directed by Gore Verbinski, starring Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom, premieres at Disneyland - becomes fastest film to gross over 1 billion

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2010-11-10 Alan Menken, famous Disney composer, receives the 2,442nd star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Disney Composer Alan Menken
Disney Composer
Alan Menken
  • 2012-03-20 Disney movie John Carter records one of the largest losses in cinema history with a $200 million dollar write down
  • 2012-10-30 Walt Disney purchases Lucasfilm Ltd and its rights for Star Wars and Indiana Jones for $4.05 billion
  • 2013-11-25 Disney release “Frozen: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” (Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media 2015, 2014 Billboard Album of the Year)
  • 2016-10-28 Disney and Alessia Cara release the sing "How Far I'll Go" for the film "Moana"

Film release premierFilm Premier

2016-11-14 "Moana" animated Disney film directed by Ron Clements and John Musker with voices by Auli'i Cravalho and The Rock premieres in Los Angeles

Actor & Professional Wrestler The Rock
Actor & Professional Wrestler
The Rock
  • 2017-03-15 Disney refuses to cut gay moment in film "Beauty and the Beast" for Malaysian censors, instead pulls film from Malaysia
  • 2017-08-08 The Walt Disney Company announces plans to create its own streaming service, cancelling ties with Netflix
  • 2017-11-30 Disney announces it has cast Chinese actress Liu Yifei to play Mulan in up-coming live action film
  • 2017-12-14 The Walt Disney Company buys most of 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion

Famous Birthdays

  • 1882-04-18 Leopold Stokowski, British conductor (Philadelphia Orchestra, Disney's Fantasia), born in London, England (d. 1977)
  • 1891-11-10 Carl W. Stalling, American film composer (Disney's Silly Symphonies; Warner Brothers Cartoons), born in Lexington, Missouri (d. 1972)
  • 1893-06-24 Roy O. Disney, co-founder of the Walt Disney Company and brother of Walt (d. 1971)
  • 1896-11-03 Gustaf Tenggren, Swedish-American artist and chief illustrator for The Walt Disney Company during the 1930s (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia, Bambi, Pinocchio), born in Västra Götaland County, Sweden (d. 1970)
  • 1899-02-15 Lillian Disney, wife of animator Walt Disney, born in Spalding, Idaho (d. 1997)

Person of interestWalt Disney

1901-12-05 Walt [Walter Elias] Disney, American animator, (Mickey Mouse), producer and co-founder of Walt Disney Co., born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1966)

Animator Walt Disney
Animator
Walt Disney
  • 1912-10-31 Ollie Johnston, American animator and the last living member of Disney's Nine Old Men, born in Palo Alto, California (d. 2008)
  • 1916-05-16 Adriana Caselotti, voice of Snow White in Disney's animated film, born in Bridgeport, Connecticut (d. 1997)
  • 1928-11-18 Mickey Mouse, Disney cartoon strip character
  • 1930-01-10 Roy E. Disney, American film executive & CEO of Disney, born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2009)
  • 1942-03-07 Michael Eisner, American CEO (Walt Disney), born in Mount Kisco, New York
  • 1946-09-24 Carson Van Osten, American musician and comic strip writer (Disney), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2015)
  • 1946-12-14 Michael Ovitz, American president (Walt Disney Co) and co-founder (Creative Artists Agency), born in Chicago, Illinois

Person of interestAlan Menken

1949-07-22 Alan Menken, American Disney composer (Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast - 8 Oscars), born in New Rochelle, New York

Disney Composer Alan Menken
Disney Composer
Alan Menken
  • 1951-02-10 Bob [Robert] Iger, American entertainment executive (CEO of The Walt Disney Company), born in NYC, New York
  • 1954-12-11 Bradley Bryant, American golfer (US Senior Open 2007), born in Amarillo, Texas
  • 1956-04-18 David Edwards, American golfer (US Masters 1984 3rd; 4 PGA Tour titles), born in Neosho, Missouri
  • 1958-11-04 Anne Sweeney, American television executive (Disney), born in Kingston, New York
  • 1964-02-20 Jeff Maggert, American golfer (US Senior Open, Tradition 2015), born in Columbia Missouri
  • 1978-09-19 Nigel Mitchell, English TV presenter (Quizmania and Capital Disney), born in Kingston Upon Thames, England

Famous Weddings


LoveWedding of Interest

1925-07-13 Film producer and co-founder of Walt Disney Productions Walt Disney (23) weds Lillian Bounds (26) at Lewiston's Episcopal Church of the Nativity in Lewiston, Idaho

Animator Walt Disney
Animator
Walt Disney

LoveWedding of Interest

1995-10-07 Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger (44) weds journalist Willow Bay (31) in Bridgehampton, New York

CEO of The Walt Disney Company Bob Iger
CEO of The Walt Disney Company
Bob Iger
  • 2006-07-23 "The Young and The Restless" actor John Enos (44) weds Disney executive Jennie Lee on the patio of Hollywood hotspot The Cabana Club
  • 2012-07-26 NBA guard Rafer Alston (36) weds "Basketball Wives" star Ashley Walker at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida
  • 2013-09-10 TV personality Holly Madison (33) weds Insomniac Events founder Pasquale Rotella in a fairytale wedding at Disneyland

Famous Deaths


Person of interestWalt Disney

1966-12-15 Walt [Walter Elias] Disney, American animator and producer (co-founder of Walt Disney Co), dies of lung cancer at 65

Animator Walt Disney
Animator
Walt Disney
  • 1970-04-09 Gustaf Tenggren, Swedish-American artist and chief illustrator for The Walt Disney Company during the 1930s (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia, Bambi, Pinocchio), dies at 73
  • 1971-12-20 Roy O Disney, brother of Walt, dies of cerebral hemorrhage at 78
  • 1972-11-29 Carl W. Stalling, American film composer (Disney's Silly Symphonies; Warner Brothers Cartoons), dies at 81
  • 1977-09-13 Leopold Stokowski, British conductor (Philadelphia Orchestra, Disney's Fantasia), dies of a heart attack at 95
  • 1992-03-14 C V Wood Jr, theme park developer (Disneyland), dies of cancer at 71
  • 1994-04-03 Frank G Wells, US company director (Walt Disney Co.), dies in a helicopter crash at 62
  • 1994-08-05 Amy Sacks, producer (ABC sports, Disney), dies of Lupus at 39
  • 1997-01-19 Adriana Caselotti, voice of Snow White in Disney's animated film, dies at 70
  • 1997-12-16 Lillian Disney, widow of animator Walt Disney, dies of a stroke at 98
  • 2008-04-14 Ollie Johnston, American animator and the last living member of Disney's Nine Old Men, dies at 95
  • 2009-12-16 Roy E. Disney, American businessman (b. 1930)
  • 2015-12-22 Carson Van Osten, American musician and comic strip writer (Disney), dies at 70