This Week in Disney History: March 26-April 1

There’s always a great, big, beautiful tomorrow at The Walt Disney Company, because every day is tied to a milestone in the heritage and rich history of a company that has been entertaining millions of people every year. Published every week, this interesting series features highlights from all the divisions of The Walt Disney Company. Let's see what happened this week:


March 31: 60th anniversary of the Grand Canyon Diorama at Disneyland Park
Leading up to the release of “The Grand Canyon” CinemaScope featurette slated for 1959, the team at WED Enterprises sought to give theme park guests an experience like no other. Leveraging the existing route of the Disneyland Railroad, they installed a 306-foot indoor diorama offering dimensional views of the Grand Canyon several months before the featurette would debut. Guests can view scenery from the South Rim as they slowly ride by in the train to the sounds of Ferde Grofé’s “Grand Canyon Suite.” When it opened this week in Disney history, it was billed as the “Largest Diorama in the World.” The Primeval World diorama on the Disneyland Railroad would be added in 1966 using elements from the Ford Magic Skyway at the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair.

March 26
1967 – “Man on Wheels” (television show) airs
1989 – “Super DuckTales” (two-hour animated show) airs
1994 – “Food Rocks” opens at The Land at Epcot
1995 – Disneyland Park hosts its first marathon and 5K
1999 – “Donald’s Dynamite: Opera Box” debuts in theaters with “Doug’s 1st Movie”
2001 – “SpectroMagic” (nighttime parade) returns to Magic Kingdom Park
2001 – “South Pacific” (television special) airs on ABC
2005 – “Little House on the Prairie” (five-part television series) airs on The Wonderful World of Disney on ABC
2009 – The Friar’s Nook opens in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park
2010 – “Harriet the Spy: Blog Wars” (television movie) airs on Disney Channel
2010 – “Waking Sleeping Beauty” (documentary film) is released in theaters

March 27
1957 – “Donald’s Award” (television show) airs
1959 – “Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom” (television show) airs
1961 – Snow White Grotto opens at Disneyland Park
1989 – The Walt Disney World Casting Center opens on Buena Vista Drive at Walt Disney World Resort
1998 – Walt Disney Pictures releases “Meet the Deedles”
2005 – “Grey’s Anatomy” (television series) debuts on ABC

March 28
1936 – “Elmer Elephant” (Silly Symphony) debuts
1941 – “A Gentleman’s Gentleman” (Pluto cartoon short) debuts
1941 – “Baggage Buster” (Goofy cartoon short) debuts
1953 – “Father’s Day Off” (Goofy cartoon short) debuts
1987 – The first Disney Store opens at the Glendale Galleria mall in California
1987 – Port of Entry retail store opens at Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort
1992 – “Newsies! Newsies! See All About It!” (television special) airs
1997 – ESPN Wide World of Sports has its grand opening and is officially inaugurated with a game between the Atlanta Braves and the Cincinnati Reds
1999 – “Balloon Farm” (television movie) airs on The Wonderful World of Disney on ABC
1999 – “Chérie, J’ai Rétréci le Public” (“Honey, I Shrunk the Audience”) opens in Discoveryland at Disneyland Paris
2001 – “My Wife and Kids” (television series) debuts on ABC
2002 – Kingdom Hearts video game series is first launched in Japan

March 29
1963 – Walt Disney Productions releases “Miracle of the White Stallions”
1970 – “Nature’s Strangest Oddballs” (television show) airs
1985 – Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade opens at Disneyland Park
1998 – “Safety Patrol” (television movie) airs on The Wonderful World of Disney on ABC
2002 – Walt Disney Pictures releases “The Rookie”
2011 – “Body of Proof” (television series) debuts on ABC
2012 – A stage musical version of “Newsies” officially opens on Broadway

March 30
1945 – “The Eyes Have It” (Donald Duck cartoon short) debuts
2007 – Walt Disney Pictures releases “Meet the Robinsons”
2011 – Town Square Theater opens on Main Street, U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom Park
2015 – “Star vs. The Forces of Evil” (animated television series) debuts on Disney XD

March 31
1944 – “Donald Duck and the Gorilla” (Donald Duck cartoon short) debuts
1958 – Grand Canyon Diorama is added to the Santa Fe and Disneyland Railroad
1968 – “The Mystery of Edward Sims” (two-part television show) airs
1991 – “Perfect Harmony” (television movie) airs on Disney Channel
2001 – Tokyo Disneyland Resort discontinues ticket books for admission
2012 – The Disney Fantasy sets sail from Port Canaveral on its maiden voyage
2014 – MyMagic+ debuts to all Walt Disney World Guests as part of its test and adjust process

April 1
1924 – “Alice’s Spooky Adventures” (Alice Comedy) debuts
1938 – “Moth and the Flame” (Silly Symphony) debuts
1960 – “The Mad Hermit of Chimney Butte” (television show) airs
1962 – “Spy in the Sky” (television show) airs
1973 – “Call It Courage” (television show) airs
1974 – Pioneer Hall, home of “Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue” opens at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground at Walt Disney World Resort
1992 – The second Company D backstage store opens at Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort
1995 – Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park opens at the Walt Disney World Resort
2000 – Indiana Jones et le Temple du Péril (Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril) in Disneyland Paris begins an 8-month period operating the roller coaster backwards
2001 – Two neighboring resorts are combined to become Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter and Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside at Walt Disney World Resort
2011 – Box Office Gifts opens on Main Street, U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom Park
2014 – “The Pirate Fairy” (direct-to-video animated film) is released

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