The Disney Look... to the past! (April 23-29)

It's Monday once again, and it's therefore time to take a look back... back to the Disney Past!:

This Week in Disney History: April 23-29


April 26, 2008 - "Walt & El Grupo" premieres at the San Francisco Film Festival
In 1941, as "Pinnochio" and "Fantasia" failed to deliver the box office success of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," Walt Disney dealt with financial hardships at his fledgling studio and a fractured animation department that had struck against him. Meanwhile, President Franklin Roosevelt was increasingly concerned about the rise of Nazi and Fascist influences in South America, and he called upon Walt to take a cultural "goodwill tour" of the continent. Using it as a research opportunity for possible story projects, Walt brought a group of 16 all-star studio staffers and artists _ El Grupo, as they dubbed themselves. "Walt & El Grupo" tells the story of their ten-week trip through vivid historical footage and photography, correspondence, artwork created during the staff's travels and the vivid memories of the people they interacted with. Upon returning, Walt set to work on "Saludos Amigos" and "The Three Caballeros," which laid a framework for a quarter century of innovative and memorable film work that followed.



April 29, 2009 - Imagineers Rolly Crump and Don Edgren honored at Disneyland Park
Rolly Crump (pictured) and Don Edgren , two extraordinary Imagineers whose work indelibly impacted Disney Parks worldwide  were honored with windows on Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland Park. Crump started at the Walt Disney Studios in 1952, working in the animation department before joining WED Enterprises, now known as Imagineering. A key designer on the Enchanted Tiki Room, the Haunted Mansion and "it's a small world," Crump later developed multiple projects at Walt Disney World including The Land and Wonders of Life pavilions at Epcot. Edgren joined WED Enterprises in 1961 after supervising the structural design of early Disneyland attractions, including the Matterhorn Bobsleds. He led the engineering team for New Orleans Square and Pirates of the Caribbean, then devoted his energies to designing Walt Disney World and oversaw the engineering of Space Mountain, completing seemingly impossible tasks with his trademark can-do attitude.

Also this week in Disney history:

April 23
1957 -- Midget Autopia opens at Disneyland Park
1986 -- Leaders host the groundbreaking ceremony for Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
1990 -- Mickey's Birthdayland closes at Magic Kingdom Park

April 24
1989 -- "The All New Mickey Mouse Club," taped at the Disney-MGM Studios, debuts on Disney Channel
2009 -- Imagineer and Disney Legend Marty Sklar announces his retirement, effective July 17

April 25
1930 -- "Wild Waves" (Mickey Mouse animated short) debuts
1952 -- "Let's Stick Together" (Donald Duck animated short) debuts
1997 -- Touchstone Pictures releases "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion"

April 26
1940 -- The animated short "Tugboat Mickey" debuts
1991 -- "Dinosaurs," a television series from Disney and Jim Henson, debuts on ABC

April 27
1951 -- The Goofy cartoon short "Cold War" debuts
2001 -- Rocket Rods permanently closes at Disneyland Park

April 28
1997 -- King Stefan's Banquet Hall, located in Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park, becomes Cinderella's Royal Table
2006 -- The very first Food & Wine Weekends are held at Disney California Adventure Park
2009 -- "The Boys: The Sherman Brothers' Story" debuts at the Newport Beach Film Festival

April 29
1994 -- Disney's All-Star Sports Resort opens at the Walt Disney World Resort
1994 -- Astro Orbiter opens at the Magic Kingdom Park


All pictures and info are subject to the copyright of the Walt Disney Company. All rights reserved.

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