This Week in Disney History: April 19-25, 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:


April 22, 1998 - Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park opens
The lush canopy of the Oasis leads Guests to the enormous Tree of Life, whose creature-covered trunk provides a monumental welcome to the world's largest animal theme park.

Covering more than 500 acres, the seven distinct lands of Disney's Animal Kingdom feature exhibits, attractions and entertainment underscoring the importance of wildlife conservation. Whether flying on the back of a banshee, enjoying a rugged African photo trek aboard Kilimanjaro Safaris, thrilling through the Himalayas while avoiding the mythical Yeti on Expedition Everest, or swimming with Marlin and Dory through the big blue world of "Finding Nemo - The Musical," Guests can explore the wild worlds of creatures both real and imaginary.

Immersive exhibits like the Maharajah Jungle Trek let Guests observe beasts big and small up close, and the train ride to Rafiki's Planet Watch and Conservation Station provides a backstage look at how animals are cared for.

Also this week in Disney history:

April 19
1983 - “Disney Studio Showcase” television show on The Disney Channel premieres
1987 - Team Mickey’s Athletic Club shop selling sports fashions at the Downtown Disney Marketplace at the Walt Disney World Resort opens. It closed in January 2014.
1996 - Hollywood Pictures film “Celtic Pride” is released
1999 - Sales of tobacco products are discontinued at all four Walt Disney World theme parks, and smoking is prohibited except in designated areas

April 20
1945 - Goofy cartoon “African Diary” is released
1946 - Walt Disney Pictures premieres "Make Mine Music" in New York City
1991 - The Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant opens at Disney's Hollywood Studios
2000 - Walt Disney World announces plans for Mission: Space at Epcot
2012 - Disneynature film “Chimpanzee” is released

April 21
1930 - The animated short “Just Mickey” (aka “Fiddlin’ Around”) directed by Walt Disney debuts
1995 - Hollywood Pictures releases “While You Were Sleeping”
2006 - Disney Live! Mickey’s Magic Show, the second of the touring stage productions produced by Feld Entertainment, premieres in Columbia, S.C.
2008 - Disneynature is announced to produce nature documentaries for theatrical release
2009 - Characters in Flight opens in Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World
2017 - Disneynature film “Born in China” is released

April 22
1964 - The New York World’s Fair opens including four Disney shows
1998 - Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park opens at the Walt Disney World Resort
2002 - Primeval Whirl opens at Disney's Animal Kingdom
2004 - “Sacred Planet” film is released in IMAX theaters
2009 - “Earth,” the first film released under the Disneynature label, debuts
2010 - Disneynature film“Oceans” is released
2011 - Disneynature film “African Cats” is released
2011 - “Zokkomon” film produced by Walt Disney Co. India in Hindi is release

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 Disney's Hollywood 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"
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