Thursday, January 12, 2012

Downtown Disney opens at Disneyland Resort


Jan 12, 2001
Downtown Disney opens at Disneyland Resort

Eleven years ago today, the Downtown Disney District—an exciting dining, entertainment, and shopping promenade located adjacent to Disney California Adventure Park and Disneyland Park—first opened to guests on space previously occupied by the original Disneyland parking lot and Disneyland Hotel. Downtown Disney was constructed as part of a larger Disneyland Resort expansion and was designed to encourage locals to visit and increase resort visits. The “shoppertainment center” includes such stores as Disney’s Pin Traders, Fossil, Disney Vault 28, Sephora, to name a few. Restaurants include Rainforest Café, Napolini, Uva Bar, and House of Blues.

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th U.S. President, is born in a one-room log cabin in Hardin County, Kentucky. He is the first president born outside the original Thirteen Colonies. Lincoln will be the subject of such Disney attractions as Great Moments with Mr Lincoln (originally created for the 1964 World's Fair) and Walt Disney World's The Hall of Presidents - click here to read Lincoln's HOP speech. (Walt Disney was always fascinated with the life of Lincoln. As a young boy, Walt recited Lincoln's Gettysburg Address to his elementary class ... dressed as Abe!)

Walt Disney Productions files an application for a trademark of "Mickey Mouse" for use in books and newspaper comic strips.

At Todd Shipyards in Long Beach, California, the steel hull of Disneyland's newest ship Columbia is completed. It is the only three-masted windjammer constructed in the U.S. for over 100 years! The vessel will be transported to Disneyland and installed in the Rivers of America where the rest of the construction will be completed.

Siegfried and Roy appear on the TV special Disney's Magic in the Magic Kingdom. The illusionists make Sleeping Beauty Castle disappear!

Disney fans dress up in tuxedos and formal gowns to attend the Royal Ball held at the Disneyland Hotel in California for Cinderella's 50th anniversary. The night includes stories from the Disney legends that created Cinderella including the voice talents who brought Anastasia, Drizella and Cinderella to life.

Ilene Woods - the original voice of Cinderella - appears at a Cinderella Ball in Disneyland to celebrate the anniversary of the motion picture.

The Tokyo Disneyland CD Cinderellabration: Lights of Romance is released.

Disney announces that they’re producing The Sorcerer’s Apprentice as a live-action feature starring Nicholas Cage as the Sorcerer. The film will be based on Johann Wolfgang Goethe’s original poem, not the Mickey Mouse sequence in Fantasia.

As part of the massive grand opening of the new American Idol Experience attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios, American Idol winners David Cook and Carrie Underwood sing a duet for the media inside the new attraction's theater. Also in attendance are Idol celebrities including all 7 winners, Paula Abdul, and Ryan Seacrest. Although the new attraction will officially open February 14, guest park Mark Ellis (from Pensacola, Florida) is awarded a Dream Ticket during this day's gala premier of the attraction for his performance of "Superstition."

A Disney Cruise Line exhibit opens in the Visitors Centre of Meyer Werft (one of the largest German shipyards, headquartered in Papenburg). Meyer Werft is currently building the Disney Dream, which will hit the high seas in 2011.

Special Guests to Join Renowned Primatologist Jane Goodall for Safari VIP Weekend

Disney and the Jane Goodall Institute have worked together on a variety of conservation programs over the years, and we’ve been thrilled that Dr. Jane has been able to take time out of her extremely busy schedule to visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom from the park’s earliest days, including being an honored guest on opening day in 1998.

Dr. Jane Goodall Visits a Carving of David Greybeard at the Tree of Life

Here, Dr. Jane visits a carving of David Greybeard, a chimpanzee that holds a very special place in her heart, at The Tree of Life. In 2006, it was our pleasure to honor Dr. Jane with a Conservation Legacy Award from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund.

As Disney’s Animal Kingdom celebrated its 10th anniversary, Dr. Jane and 100 young people from 28 countries participating in the 2008 Jane Goodall Global Youth Summit at the Walt Disney World Resort took time out to join the festivities. The young people were representatives from Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, a program that engages hundreds of thousands of children and teens in almost 120 countries to make positive change happen for communities, animals and the environment.
Next month, Dr. Jane will be hosting a Walt Disney World Safari VIP Weekend, a fund-raising event for the Jane Goodall Institute. She will be meeting with her Guests during this special trip. More details about joining Dr. Jane February 18-21 are available at

Magic on the Water

Preparations continue for the arrival of the Disney Wonder to its new home in the Port of Los Angeles, as well as the inaugural voyage of the newest ship in Disney’s fleet, the Disney Dream in Port Canaveral, Florida. In the coming weeks, The Disney Gallery will pay tribute to all the ships on land and at sea, including some of those near and dear to our hearts at our very own Disney Parks.

Explore Castaway Cay Aboard the Disney Dream

This new exhibit, titled “Magic on the Water – The Art of The Happiest Fleet on Earth” will highlight nearly 60 years of nautical designs by Walt Disney Imagineers, from the smallest Storybook Land canal boat to the newest modern classic for the Disney Cruise Line, the Disney Dream.

From submarines and sailing ships to jungle launches and pirate bateau, water and watercraft have always played a key role in the design of Disney Parks. Through the years, the Disney maritime fleet has taken guests through uncharted jungles, under the polar ice caps, across lagoons to the Magic Kingdom and a World Showcase at Epcot, to a storybook land of enchanted fairytales and around the world on the happiest cruise to ever sail the seven seas.

“This particular exhibit is different from any other because it displays concept art from all our theme parks around the world. Tokyo DisneySea, Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Paris, all join Disneyland Resort art to form a display of various types of interesting watercraft, Disney style” says Walt Disney Imagineering Director, Concept and Show Design, Kim Irvine.

'Ariel,' by Larry Nikolai
'Pirates Dream,' by G. Scribner

Also in store for you as we launch this new exhibit will be Disney Cruise Line-inspired original art, giclees and deluxe prints by notable Walt Disney Imagineers, Disney Design Group and Disney-inspired artists including Jeremy Fulton, Greg McCullough, Larry Nikolai, Noah, Randy Noble, George Scribner, Mark Seppala, SHAG, and Darren Wilson.

Special Tip: On Saturday, Jan. 29, Jody Daily, Jeremy Fulton, Kevin Kidney, Larry Nikolai, Noah and George Scribner will be on hand for a special appearance and signing from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at The Disney Gallery. For details visit

So set sail with us on a retrospective voyage of memories – and prepare for an ocean of new ones.

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