This Week in Disney History: May 3-9, 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:


May 6, 1988 - Norway opens in World Showcase at Epcot
Those who seek the spirit of western Scandinavia will find peril and adventure in the eleventh World Showcase pavilion, but they’ll also find the beauty and charm of a nation whose history and culture are shaped by the seas.

Built with support from the Norwegian government, four different styles of Norwegian architecture are incorporated into the pavilion. The Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, modeled after the Akershus Fortress in Oslo, serves authentic Norwegian cuisine for lunch and dinner, while letting Guests enjoy breakfast with the Disney Princesses in a medieval castle. Cultural representatives from Norway serve as Cast Members at these and other locations, including Kringla Bakeri og Café and The Puffin’s Roost, wearing traditional bunad costumes reflecting rural and folk influences.

After a dedication on June 3, the pavilion opened its signature attraction, Maelstrom, on July 5, 1988. This journey aboard a Viking ship through the history of Norway featured an encounter with mythical trolls, who sent riders plunging backwards towards a waterfall and into the North Sea.


Also this week in Disney history:

May 3
1926 - The El Capitan Theatre opens in Los Angeles, Calif.
1931 - “The Moose Hunt” (Mickey short with first appearance of Pluto by that name) debuts

May 4
1949 - “Seal Island,” the first True-Life Adventure, debuts
2005 - Disneyland Park closes to the public for a media event prior to launching its 50th anniversary celebration
2012 - Marvel Studios releases “The Avengers”

May 5
1986 - Country Bear Vacation Hoedown, a new version of the Country Bear Jamboree, opens at Magic Kingdom Park
2004 - The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror opens at Disney California Adventure Park
2005 - The “Happiest Celebration on Earth” begins at Disney Parks worldwide, commemorating Disneyland Park’s 50th anniversary

May 6
1940 - The Walt Disney Studios moves from Hyperion Ave. in Los Angeles to its current location in Burbank, Calif.
1973 - Lillian Disney helps dedicate “The Walt Disney Story” at Magic Kingdom Park
1988 - Norway opens in World Showcase at Epcot
1990 - The final episode of “DuckTales” airs on television
1991 - The Walt Disney Company becomes part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average

May 7
1950 - The first engine runs on the Carolwood Pacific Railroad, a model train line in the backyard of Walt Disney’s home in California (later providing inspiration for Disneyland Park)
2011 - Disneyland Park hosts the world premiere of “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”
2011 - The final Walt Disney World Grad Nite event is held in Magic Kingdom Park

May 8
1998 - Lagoona Gator, a new Typhoon Lagoon character, is introduced to the water park
2000 - The Millenium Dreamers Celebration, featuring 2000 kids from over 90 countries, begins at Walt Disney World

May 9
1941 - “A Good Time for a Dime” (Donald Duck cartoon short) debuts
1947 - “Sleepy Time Donald” (cartoon short) debuts
1953 - “For Whom the Bulls Toil” (Goofy cartoon short) debuts
1991 - Disney announces plans to build WESTCOT at Disneyland Park
2012 - ABC’s “Modern Family” debuts the episode “Disneyland” (shot on location at Disneyland Park)
2015 - Disney’s “Tomorrowland” movie premieres at Downtown Disney at Disneyland Park
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