TIMEKEEPING 1996: It’s Time to Remember the Magic with the 25th Anniversary of Walt Disney World


“It’s Time to Remember the Magic!” As Walt Disney World approached its 25th anniversary, that was the tagline the company used for its marketing. Looking back at 1996, it seems more apt now than it did then. Most remembered for its controversial Cinderella Castle decoration, 1996 saw quite few changes to the rest of the … Read more

TIMEKEEPING 1995 – Blizzard Beach Storms In with Alien Encounter, ‘Ohana, Casey’s Corner, and More at Walt Disney World


1995 saw the Walt Disney Company still in turmoil after the tumultuous storm of events that befell senior management the year before. Michael Ovitz joined the company to fill the late Frank Wells’ spot. A fictional storm would usher in a new water park, while changes to the theme parks themselves were somewhat minor. 1995 … Read more

TIMEKEEPING 1994: Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Alien Encounter, and All-Star Sports Scare Guests

TIMEKEEPING 1994: Tower of Terror, Alien Encounter, and All-Star Sports Scare Guests

1994 wasn’t the best year for the Walt Disney Company. Frank Wells died in a heli-skiing accident on April 3. In July, Michael Eisner had a heart attack leading to quadruple bypass surgery. Jeffery Katzenberg, the head of the studios left the company to co-found Dreamworks. There were continued issues with the now renamed Disneyland … Read more

TIMEKEEPING 1993: EPCOT Center Gives Way to a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow… Plus Bill Clinton


By 1993 the Disney-MGM Studios was fully up and running, hotel capacity had been greatly expanded, and the Magic Kingdom had its first major addition since 1975. Plans were now on the table to update areas that had been struggling. Tomorrowland and Future World were both outdated and needed to be modernized, or even future … Read more

TIMEKEEPING: 1992 at Walt Disney World – Today’s Major Additions Are Tomorrow’s Controversy


1992 was a landmark year for Disney Parks, just not necessarily in the United States. Even with the focus on EuroDisney opening in April, the massive expansion Walt Disney World had seen for the last few years still had a lot of steam. Some of Disney’s most recognizable, and controversial, offerings opened in 1992.  Magic … Read more

TIMEKEEPING: 1991 – Walt Disney World’s 20th Anniversary… IN SPECTROMAGIC!


1991 was another year of expansion at Walt Disney World. While the older portions would see some minor changes, the resort also saw some new and memorable additions. New parades rolled down Main Street U.S.A, new shows debuted at Disney-MGM Studios, and new hotels greeted guests for the first time. These new offerings would see … Read more

TIMEKEEPING: 1990 – Here Come the Muppets and Crescent Lake Resorts Open


After a momentous 1989, Walt Disney World could have settled for a down year. It wouldn’t get that for a while. 1990 kicked off with the announcement of the Disney Decade, something that would become the butt of jokes for years to come. The year also started with the opening of a new hotel, and … Read more

TIMEKEEPING: 1989 – Disney-MGM Studios, Typhoon Lagoon, Pleasure Island, The Wonders of Life and More Open!


If any year can rival 1971 or 1982 as the most seminal in the history of Walt Disney World, it would be 1989. A new theme park, water park, and entertainment district added three new, separately ticked offerings to the resort. The company also did this without neglecting their existing assets, as both Magic Kingdom … Read more

TIMEKEEPING: 1988 – Maelstrom and IllumiNations at EPCOT, A Grand New Magic Kingdom Hotel


With three new ticket venues originally set to open in 1988 and delayed to 1989, one would think 1988 would have been a quiet year. However, with two hotels, a new land, a new pavilion, and a new nighttime spectacular, 1988 was a landmark year in itself. This would prove to be the pattern during … Read more

TIMEKEEPING – 1987: Magic Journeys to Magic Kingdom and EPCOT Becomes a Circus


After a busy 1986, Walt Disney World saw a relatively mild 1987 as construction continued on several large projects. While the resort was expanding outside its current offerings, the existing parks and resort saw modernization, with a variety of name changes and rearrangement of shops and facilities, as well as a few smaller changes to … Read more

TIMEKEEPING – 1986 – Disney World Celebrates 15 Years with Michael Jackson, Moonshine, and Manatees


The Walt Disney World Resort would hit a milestone in 1986. Not only was it the resort’s 15th anniversary, celebrated in a big way, but it would also mark a change in the very fabric of what a Disney World attraction would be moving forward. EPCOT Center truly became the complete version many fans are … Read more

TIMEKEEPING – 1985 – EPCOT Center’s “Mistake on the Lake” Debuts, Too Many Dragons, and Disney & MGM Strike Deal for New Theme Park

TIMEKEEPING – 1985 – EPCOT Center’s “Mistake on the Lake” Debuts, Too Many Dragons, and Disney & MGM Strike Deal for New Theme Park

1984 had been a year of change, but it was just the beginning. Michael Eisner and Frank Wells came into the company with a vision to expand its reach and utilize all of its assets, and they wasted no time in bringing that philosophy to Walt Disney World. EPCOT had been a priority as it … Read more

TIMEKEEPING – 1984 – EPCOT Gets a New World Showcase Pavilion and Magic Kingdom Gets Duck Parade


To be blunt, 1984 did not start as a good year for Walt Disney Productions. Attendance at EPCOT Center was lagging, and had cost more than double initial estimates. The newly formed Disney Channel was at about half of its estimated subscribers. The studio turned out stale films, the majority of which were failures. Management’s mantra … Read more

TIMEKEEPING – 1983 – Two of the Greatest Attractions Ever Fail to Save EPCOT Center from Financial Failure


1982 was a big year for Walt Disney World, but Disney was far from done. EPCOT Center ‘s debut changed the landscape, but the park was not completed with its first phase. Several key elements were put on the back burner in order to get the park open by October 1, and it would take … Read more



In a way, 1982 would see the final culmination of Walt Disney’s final dream, but in other’s it was a surrender of those dreams to reality. What was built would change the world and become a cultural icon, but not always in the intended way. EPCOT was not the futuristic city, but its addition changed … Read more

TIMEKEEPING – 1981 – Walt Disney World’s Tencennial


October 1, 1981 would mark Walt Disney World’s tenth anniversary, and to celebrate, the company launched the Tencennial celebration. The resort was also in full-speed development for EPCOT Center, with the park slated to open on Disney World’s 11th birthday. But with a milestone to celebrate, Disney is not a company to sit and let … Read more