This Day in Disney September 30

September 30, 1961
Louis Armstrong Performs at Disneyland For the First Time

With the success of Disneyland Date Nites, which allowed the park to stay open until the wee hours, came Dixieland at Disneyland. Like Date Nite, guests could purchase tickets at a reduced price for nighttime access to the evening's jazzy festivities. On this evening in 1961, the Second Annual Dixieland at Disneyland was held, with the top names in Dixie music. Kid Ory, Teddy Buckner, Matty Matlock, The Young Men From New Orleans, Firehouse Five Plus Two and the Disneyland Strawhatters all sailed the Rivers of America on rafts and keelboats, performing during this unforgettable event. Dixieland at Disneyland proved to be so successful that in a few years it would feature a different Dixieland band on every stage in the park. This second Dixieland at Disneyland event was of particular historical significance because the legendary Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong, one of the original founders of this landmark musical genre and considered by many as the Father of Jazz, made his first of many Disneyland appearances on this night. This also marked the first time that Kid Ory and Louis Armstrong would perform together since they played in Kid Ory's band during the years around 1918-1920. In 1970, the great Satchmo said, "Every time he is a guest and my band plays at Disneyland, he still has the old power and tone that made him famous in New Orleans."

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This Day in Disney September 29

September 29, 1934
Mickey Plays Papa is Released

It was a dark and stormy night when Mickey Mouse was reading the frightening tale of "The Cry in the Night" to Pluto. Meanwhile, outside their home, a hooded figure approaches, leaving a basket with a baby in it along with an attached note which read, "Please give little Elmer a good home. He ain't much trouble." From the moment the baby is discovered, Mickey and Pluto's lives are instantly changed in the cartoon short Mickey Plays Papa, which stormed into theaters on this day in 1934. Immediately, the team gives it their all to entertain the infant mouse. Mickey does his best impression of silent film star Charlie Chaplin while Pluto gives the baby a bone and does tricks. Despite their best efforts, nothing entertains the baby until a series of accidents leaves Mickey with a stretched out nose, imitating big-nosed screen legend Jimmy Durante to the child's delight.
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This Day in Disney September 28

September 28, 1935
On Ice is Released

On this day in 1935, the Mickey Mouse cartoon short On Ice slid into theaters, and it seems like the whole Disney animated family wanted to get into the act. There was Mickey Mouse, ice skating and showing off for Minnie. Goofy decides to go ice fishing, but rather doing it the traditional way, he put chewing tobacco in the water. When they would come up to spit, he'd try to nab them. Donald Duck was particularly mischievous. He put ice skates on sleeping Pluto and then "meowed" to wake him up. If you keep a sharp eye out, you'll even spot a brief cameo by Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar gliding by.
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This Day in Disney September 27

September 27, 1985
The Journey of Natty Gann is Released

With America in the depths of the Great Depression, families drifted apart when faraway jobs beckoned. This is the setting for The Journey of Natty Gann, which was released on this day in 1985. Natty Gann, a courageous young girl (Meredith Salenger), confronts overwhelming odds when she embarks on a cross-country search for her father. During her extraordinary odyssey, she forms a close bond with two diverse traveling companions: a magnificent, protective wolf and a hardened drifter (John Cusack). During the film's release, Meredith Salenger, the teenage actress who portrayed the title role, recalled some similarities between herself and her character. "I understand her love for her father, her determination and her sensitivity. There's a lot of me in her," she said. Yet she also recalled, "I'm not as tough as Natty and I've never been a tomboy. That's why I took the boxing lessons. I had to learn how to be tough, and I had to learn how to throw a punch."
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This Day in Disney September 26

September 26, 1962
Almost Angels is Released

On this day in 1962, theaters filled with glee when Almost Angels was released. The film tells the story of Toni Fiala (Vincent Winter), an Austrian boy who joins the Vienna Boys Choir, where he proves to be unusually talented. He dreams of being accepted by the choirboys, but to succeed, Toni must contend with the jealousy of Peter Schaefer (Sean Scully), the head chorister, by singing a solo which Peter had long sung himself. This is particularly difficult for Peter to deal with now that his voice is changing. By the film's end, everyone gets along harmoniously and Peter begins to find happiness in a new role as composer and conductor. With beautiful music throughout the film, Almost Angels also stars members of the real Vienna Boys Choir, the most popular boys choir in the world. Based in Austria where the film was shot, the Choir is also one of the oldest, with its roots going back to 1498!
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This Day in Disney September 25

September 25, 1953
Marvin Davis Completes his Second-Generation "Hub" Layout For Proposed Disneyland

Disney Legend Marvin Davis was an art director at 20th Century Fox when he was laid off and then brought over to work in 1953 on conceptualization and architectural design for Walt Disney's upcoming park. Marvin designed the first layout plan for Disneyland and over the next month worked on more than 100 versions of the park. After trying many different designs, his work finally developed into a unique plan with Walt's idea of a "hub" that would be accessible to all lands. It was on this day in 1953 that Marvin completed his historical "hub" layout. With the addition of lands such as Critter Country, New Orleans Square and Mickey's Toontown, not ALL lands today are accessible directly from that hub in front of the castle, but certainly the hub continues to make for an easier journey to even the furthest of the lands. So it seems appropriate that a statue of Walt Disney now stands in the hub, with a watchful eye in the area that overlooks more of the lands of Disneyland than anywhere else.
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This Day in Disney September 24

September 24, 1937
Hawaiian Holiday is Released

Aloha! Everyone deserves a vacation, and that includes Mickey Mouse and the gang, so they head to the islands in Hawaiian Holiday, the Mickey Mouse cartoon short that surfed into theaters on this day in 1937. Kicking off with Mickey playing a Hawaiian guitar and Donald on the ukulele while Minnie does a hula dance, Goofy, the avid sportsman, decides to hit the waves and try his hand at surfing in typical "Goofy" fashion, while Pluto has some misadventures with a mischievous sea star and hermit crab. Well, as Minnie sings at the end of the featurette, "Aloha 'oe, farewell to thee!"
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This Day in Disney September 23

September 23, 1980
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Opens at Walt Disney World

Howdy folks! On this day in 1980, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad opened in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. With an elevation of 200 feet, Big Thunder Mountain forms a sculpture of redstone buttes, windswept canyons and towering peaks. While the Disneyland version of Big Thunder takes place in the town of Rainbow Ridge, which already existed in the preceding Mine Train attraction, the east coast version settled in the town of Tumbleweed. The legend goes that in Tumbleweed, gold hounds made a mad rush to Big Thunder, and all was well until a flash flood washed over the mountain and ruined any chances of mining more gold. The mine trains that transported the gold ore have developed a mind of their own and are running loose on the tracks. While aboard one of those trains, you just might spot that old rainmaker himself, Professor Cumulus Isobar, or Cousin Ed, floating around in his bathtub which got caught up in the flood. One trip aboard Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and you'll realize one thing is certain\xE2\x80\xA6 it's the "wildest ride in the wilderness!"
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This Day in Disney September 22

September 22, 1950
Camp Dog is Released

On this day in 1950, that ravenous coyote Bent-Tail returned to the big screen in the Pluto cartoon short Camp Dog. While campers are away, Pluto has his hands, or paws, full trying to protect a campsite and thwart the food-stealing plans of the father/son coyote team. Bent-Tail, who appeared in a total of four cartoon shorts as well as Disney Comics, first made his debut in the 1945 Pluto short Legend of Coyote Rock. In 1961, Bent-Tail and Junior made the transition to television in The Coyote's Lament, an episode of the Walt Disney Presents television series, which told the stories of the struggle of the coyote from its point of view. Whether on television or in Camp Dog, Bent-Tail and Junior did their best to keep audiences howling with laughter.
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This Day in Disney September 21

September 21, 1945
Hockey Homicide is Released

Hey sports fans! On this day in 1945, the Goofy cartoon short Hockey Homicide was released, which took place, according to the game announcer, "at the Elite Deluxe Sports Palace," where one of the biggest hockey games of the season brought together two of the top ranking teams in the league. In this absurdly silly demonstration of the sport, Goofy portrays the roles of athlete and spectator alike, including top stars Icebox Bertino, Fearless Ferguson and referee Clean Game Kinney, all named after members of the Disney staff. By the game's end, Hockey Homicide scored some big laughs with audiences, which of course was the short's "goal."
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This Day in Disney September 20

September 20, 1925
Alice's Tin Pony is Released

On this day in 1925, Alice didn't board an iron horse, an early term for a locomotive, but a smaller "tin pony," in the comedy short Alice's Tin Pony. Featuring Margie Gay as the live- action heroine in the cartoon world, this episode in Walt Disney's Alice series sees the young leading lady and her cat pal Julius at "Alice's Railroad" when a case, prominently marked "Big Pay Roll," is loaded onto the train. Soon a pegleg villain and his gang are in pursuit of the loot. Perhaps the moral of this story should be: It is unwise to have a sign posted on a railroad car reading "NOTICE: This car carries a big pay roll." At least with Alice and Julius onboard, everything is soon back on track.
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This Day in Disney September 19

September 19, 2003
Cold Creek Manor is Released

Wanting to escape city life for the saner, safer countryside, New Yorkers Cooper Tilson (Dennis Quaid), his wife Leah (Sharon Stone) and their two children move into a dilapidated old mansion still filled with the possessions of a previous family. Turning it into their dream house soon becomes a living nightmare when the previous owner (Stephen Dorff) shows up, and a series of terrifying incidents leads them on a search for clues to the estate's dark and lurid past. This is the plot of the Touchstone Pictures film Cold Creek Manor, which was released on this day in 2003. The film is a particular milestone for actress Sharon Stone. Her professional life was on hold after facing a series of personal challenges which spanned from marital problems to a life-threatening brain hemorrhage. With a sense of humor about her difficulties, Sharon once said, "If I go through anything else, they're going to write some country western song about me I think." Cold Creek Manor marked her triumphant return to the big screen.
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This Day in Disney September 18

September 18, 1989
Chip 'n' Dale Rescue Rangers Debuts in Syndication

It was on this day that the nutty duo, Chip and Dale, made their syndication debut in their own TV series, Chip 'N' Dale's Rescue Rangers. To learn more about the origins of this series, we turned to one of the show's original creators, Tad Stones, who told us how the little chipmunks became big stars on the small screen. "Jymn Magon and I presented an idea of a mixed group of animals that would solve 'crimes' that had big repercussions in the larger world. There was a near-sighted bald eagle, an Asian grasshopper martial artist, a chameleon secretary who could 'do plaid but it hurts,' a wild kangaroo rat from Australia, a somewhat oblivious mouse inventor and their leader, Kit Colby, a mouse who wore an aviator jacket. Both Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg liked the concept, but felt poor Kit was lacking in the leading man department. The show just wasn't there yet. DuckTales was a huge hit, of course, and the discussion turned to possible Disney characters who could headline their own series. As soon as we mentioned Chip 'n' Dale, Michael said, 'Put those guys in that show.' Jeffrey pronounced it a homerun and we were off to the races. But dividing the lead meant some rethinking of characters. The kangaroo rat got a new costume as Monterey Jack. Gadget made the transition unchanged, Zipper was inspired by a sketch I saw years before by Bruce Morris for Rescuers 2, Chip got Colby's jacket and Indiana's hat and Dale got Tom Selleck's Hawaiian shirt from Magnum PI."
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This Day in Disney September 17

September 17, 1932
The Whoopee Party is Released

On this day in 1932, Mickey Mouse and a wild assortment of his pals, have an uproarious bash in the cartoon short The Whoopee Party. There's not much of a storyline other than a grand time being had by all, with food, music and dancing. The mood is so irresistible that even the food and furniture dances along. Amongst the attendees are Minnie, who keeps the party festive with her cheerful piano playing, Clarabelle Cow, Horace Horsecollar and, in his second film appearance, Dippy Dawg, who in a few years would be known as Goofy. Even when the cops are called to the scene, they can't help but join in the overpowering merriment. Whoopee!
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This Day in Disney September 16

September 16, 1918
Walt Disney Enlists in Red Cross Ambulance Corps

On this day in 1918, 16-year-old Walt Disney enlisted in the Red Cross Ambulance Corps. A very patriotic citizen, Walt wanted to join the military, but he was too young. The military would not take 16 year olds. He had heard about a Red Cross unit that would take 17 year olds, and he knew that was for him. After his mother signed his passport application, he committed a little forgery, changing the birth year from 1901 to 1900, and he was thus able to get into the Red Cross, along with a friend from school. In 1918, Germany signed an armistice, however, the Red Cross Ambulance Corps still needed more drivers to help with post-war operations in France. Walt arrived in France and was put to work making deliveries, driving ambulances or chauffeuring important officers. By September of 1919, the Ambulance Corps had finished its work and Walt returned home, having seen the world.
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This Day in Disney September 15

September 15, 1997
Downtown Disney West Side Opens at Walt Disney World

On this day in 1997, people could forget all their troubles, forget all their cares and go to Downtown Disney West Side for the first time. That, along with the existing Downtown Disney Marketplace and Pleasure Island, continues to make up the Downtown Disney Area, an ever-changing destination committed to keeping the experiences exciting and new. The idea behind connecting the three sectors was to offer tourists from around the world more ways to spend their vacation while on Walt Disney World property, while also gearing the area for local residents looking for things to do with their nights and weekends. Today, Downtown Disney West Side continues strong with its top-notch restaurants, a 24-screen AMC Pleasure Island movie theater, other uncommon shops and the DisneyQuest Indoor Interactive theme park. Cirque du Soleil has also had a presence since the West Side opening and remains popular with the current breathtaking La Nouba live entertainment show. As Petula Clark sang in her popular song of the 1960s, "Downtown, everything's waiting for you."
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This Day in Disney September 14

September 14, 1964
Walt Disney Receives Medal of Freedom

On this day in 1964, Walt Disney was in Washington, D.C., for a special honor, to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. At a noon ceremony in the East Room of the White House, President Lyndon B. Johnson said, "What America is to be, America will be, because of our trust in and of the individual and of his capacity for excellence. Only those who doubt the individual can be dubious of America's survival and success in this century of contest. This belief is mine. It was this conviction that led President Kennedy to the establishment of the Medal of Freedom as our highest civilian honor for outstanding individuals \xE2\x80\x94 citizens who share an extra measure of individual excellence in the mainstream of our well-being and our advancement. On the talents of such citizens rests the future of our American civilization, for it is from the genius of the few that we enrich the greatness of the many. All Americans are proud, as I am proud, to salute today the great Americans here before me. Their lives and their works have made freedom stronger for all of us in our time." One by one, the recipients would step forward to receive their gold decoration, including Walt Disney, whose achievements were described as "Artist and impresario, in the course of entertaining an age, he has created an American folklore."
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This Day in Disney September 13

September 13, 1978
NBC Airs NBC Salutes the 25th Anniversary of "The Wonderful World of Disney"

Walt Disney Presents, Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, Disney's Wonderful World, Walt Disney, The Disney Sunday Movie, The Magical World of Disney\xE2\x80\xA6 these are some of the titles of the Disney anthology series that first aired as Disneyland on October 27, 1954, featuring Disney's classic theatrical films and original programming exclusively for the series. On this day in 1978, NBC Salutes the 25th Anniversary of "The Wonderful World of Disney" aired, as the series was then called, with a star-studded lineup. Ron Howard and Suzanne Somers served as hosts for the musical celebration. Clips of films and Disney stars reuniting and reminiscing were a highlight of the program, and included such Disney luminaries as Phil Harris and Scatman Crothers, who fondly recalled their voice work in The Aristocats, and Disney Legends Fess Parker and Buddy Ebsen, who shared memories of their time working on Davy Crockett. While this television special marked the 25th anniversary of the series (the 24th in reality), no matter what title The Wonderful World of Disney went by, it continued to bring joy to television viewers for decades to come.
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This Day in Disney September 12

September 12, 2005
Hong Kong Disneyland Opens

Today Hong Kong Disneyland (HKDL) celebrates its fifth anniversary. Introducing the Disney name into this vast country was a challenge, and the creators of HKDL went to great lengths to incorporate China's culture into the new park. At the time, Disney President and CEO Bob Iger said, "You can't take anything for granted. You can't expect that just because it is called Disneyland that people know exactly what it is and they are going to show up willingly. You have got to stimulate that a little bit." While the park features several similar landmarks to its American predecessor, such as Main Street, U.S.A., Space Mountain and Sleeping Beauty Castle, great care was taken to incorporate elements of the traditional Asian culture. A feng shui master assisted in the positioning of buildings and objects to create harmony and balance. Out of respect to the Chinese culture, the number four is absent from the hotels and parks, since the word for four sounds like the word for death in Chinese. The grand ballroom is exactly 888 square meters, because eight is a lucky number in China. With everything in place, Hong Kong Disneyland opened on this day in 2005, complete with musicians clanging cymbals, Chinese lion dancers on tall poles and fireworks bursting in the air. Vice President Zeng Qinghong of China declared the park Hong Kong's "eternal carnival."
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This Day in Disney September 11

September 11, 1892
Disney Legend Pinto Colvig is Born

A goofy man by the name of Vance DeBar "Pinto" Colvig was born on this day in 1892 in Jacksonville, Oregon. A master of sound effects, Pinto appeared in a number of Disney animated films and shorts, providing sounds for spitting grasshoppers, belching bugs and grunting hogs amongst other things, but today he is best known as the original voice of Goofy. Goofy wasn't the only Disney character he voiced, however, and Pinto performed for hundreds of personalities, including the role of the Grasshopper in the Silly Symphony The Grasshopper and the Ants, the voice of the Practical Pig in Three Little Pigs, Grumpy and Sleepy in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and also barks and sounds for Pluto. Besides the countless human sound effects he could imitate, he provided some well-known sounds with a battered old trombone he once purchased in a pawn shop with the intention of joining a circus band. After several attempts to play it he gave up, but instead used it for sound effects in various films. The battered condition of the instrument made it possible to produce sounds that would be impossible with a new trombone. In the 1930s, when the famous conductor of Fantasia, Leopold Stokowski, was visiting the Disney studios, Pinto had the opportunity to demonstrate some of his sound effects for the maestro. When he initially pulled out the beat-up old instrument, a startled look crept over Stokowski's face. After the impromptu presentation, Stokowski said, "Thank Heaven! I thought you were going to play it!"
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