In this week’s edition of ‘This Week in Disney History’ we will explore historical events within the Walt Disney company that helped shape and form the company as it exists today. We will explore the week of March 12th – March 18th. I hope you enjoy this week’s edition as much as I love and enjoy writing about Disney history. I also hope you can have a passion for Disney history just as much as I have a passion for Disney history. I would also like to write other unique articles for the readers. If you have any suggestions or ideas on topics you would like to read, especially Disney history, please comment your ideas and I will happily consider them for future articles. After all, this is for you, not me.
This Week in Disney History: March 12th-March 18th.
- On March 12th, 1938, Disney’s first full-length animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, is released in the United Kingdom.
- On March 13th, 1928, Walt Disney travels by train from New York to California. This train ride is significant because while in New York, Walt Disney lost the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. After losing the rights to Charles Mintz and Universal Pictures, he hopped on a train and decided to head home. Then while on his ride he got a crazy idea, and telegraphed a message to his brother Roy which read: “LEAVING TONITE STOPPING OVER KC ARRIVE HOME SUNDAY MORNING SEVEN THIRTY DON’T WORRY EVERYTHING OK WILL GIVE DETAILS WHEN ARRIVE.” Walt told Roy not to worry because of an idea he had, and he would explain when he got home. What was that crazy idea you ask? By losing Oswald, Disney developed on that train ride one of the most famous, beloved, and well know Disney characters of all time; Mickey Mouse.
- On March 14th, 1948, famous comedian, and voice-over actor, Billy Crystal was born in Long Beach, New York. Crystal is the voice of Mike Wazowski from Monsters Inc., as well as the Mike Car from Cars.
- On March 15th, 2001, the 450-millionth guest was welcomed into the Disneyland Park in California. The lucky guest was Mark Ramirez of Texas, a civilian production management specialist for the U.S. Air Force. It was his first visit to Disneyland. Ramirez, his wife, and 3 daughters were all honored during a ceremony where he was presented a lifetime pass to the Disneyland Resort (Disneyland and Disney California Adventure), a stay at the new Disney’s Grand Californian Resort and Spa Hotel and a gift pack. He was also given the honor of changing the official attendance sign at Disneyland’s Train Station from 400 million to 450 million.
- On March 16th, 2002, The Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris, held its grand opening. During the grand opening, the 2nd Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster debuts. The Walt Disney Studios Park is Disney’s 10th theme park worldwide.
- On March 17th, 1999, Test Track officially opened at Epcot. The ride was presented by General Motors, and was the fastest ride Disney Imagineers have created.
- Finally, on March 18th, 1967, the well-beloved and famous Disneyland attraction, Pirates of the Caribbean, opened to the public. The debut kicked off with great excitement, as a group of marauding sea-dogs, led by Wally Boag, first sailed the ship Columbia before bursting through the new attraction’s doors with a battering ram! This was the last attraction Walt Disney worked on extensively before his death. March 18th, 2017, marks the 50th anniversary of the attraction. For more history of this amazing attraction, tune in to Back to the Future LIVE! – The Complete history of Pirates of the Caribbean.
“Why worry? If you’ve done the very best you can, worrying won’t make it any better. I worry about many things, but not about water over the dam.” – Walt Disney