This Week in Disney History: March 22-28, 2020

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 27, 1961 - Snow White Grotto opens at Disneyland Park
On the east side of the Sleeping Beauty Castle forecourt, a sometimes-overlooked side path leads to one of Fantasyland’s most charming and peaceful locations. In this garden-like setting filled with flowers and trees, a trickling waterfall is decorated by white, marble statues of characters from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” and nearby stands the famous wishing well of Disney’s first princess.

Imagineer John Hench designed the grotto, and was famously frustrated that the statues of Snow White and her dwarfs were carved to be roughly the same height. He solved the scale issue through use of forced perspective, placing the princess atop the waterfall to make her look better proportioned to her friends below. Adriana Castelotti, the voice of Snow White, rerecorded her performance of “I’m Wishing” for use as background music beginning with the opening of New Fantasyland in 1983.

Also this week in Disney history:

March 22
1935 - “The Golden Touch” (Silly Symphony) debuts

March 23
1969 - Disneyland Park hosts Herbie Day, featuring a parade of Volkswagen Beetles down Main Street, U.S.A. (promoting the film “The Love Bug”)
1990 - Touchstone Pictures releases “Pretty Woman”
2000 - Disney’s “Aida,” featuring music by Elton John and Tim Rice, opens in New York City

March 24
1956 - Astro-Jets opens at Disneyland Park
1972 - Country Bear Jamboree opens at Disneyland Park
1987 - Michael Eisner and French prime minister Jacques Chirac sign the Euro Disney protocol to bring the new Disneyland Resort Paris to France
2006 - “Hannah Montana” debuts on Disney Channel

March 25
1969 - President Nixon presents Lillian Disney with a special gold medal honoring Walt for “Distinguished Public Service and Outstanding Contributions to the Public and the World”
1990 - Disneyana Shop opens at Magic Kingdom Park
1994 - Walt Disney Pictures releases “D2: The Mighty Ducks”
1996 - John Lasseter is presented with an Academy Award for Special Achievement, recognizing “Toy Story” as the first fully computer-animated feature film

March 26
1994 - “Food Rocks” opens at The Land at Epcot
1995 - Disneyland Park hosts its first marathon and 5K run

March 27
1961 - Snow White Grotto opens at Disneyland Park
1986 - Bob Hope helps officiate the groundbreaking of Disney’s Hollywood Studios
1989 - The new Walt Disney World Casting Center opens
2005 - “Grey’s Anatomy” debuts on ABC
2009 - “Celebrate! A Street Party” debuts at Disneyland Park

March 28
1987 - First Disney Store opens at the Glendale Galleria mall near Los Angeles
1987 - Port of Entry opens at Epcot
1997 - The inaugural game is played at Champion Stadium
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