Disney History – January 01

This Day in Disney History January 1

1938

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Rose Bowl Parade Float - 1938
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Rose Bowl Parade Float – 1938

1938: Disney had its first presence in the annual Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California

From The Walt Disney Family Museum:
Walt’s first entry in the Parade dates back to January 1, 1938 with a float celebrating his newly released film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Snow White’s live-action reference model, Marge Belcher, rode on the float dressed as Snow White, and was accompanied by performers costumed as the seven dwarfs.
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1959

Fantasyland Autopia - Circa 1959 Disneyland
Fantasyland Autopia – Circa 1959

1959: Fantasyland Autopia opens at Disneyland

The attraction opened January 1, 1959 and closed September 7, 1999

From D23:
This attraction was added to take some of the pressure off the Tomorrowland Autopia, which always had a long line. Its main difference was that you saw different scenery on your ride. The attraction was later combined as part of Tomorrowland Autopia in 2000.
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From Wikipedia:
The Fantasyland Autopia began originally as the Junior Autopia in 1956. Unlike the original Autopia, the Junior Autopia track had a center guard rail. It closed in 1958, and reopened in 1959 as the expanded Fantasyland Autopia. It was a duplicate version of the Tomorrowland Autopia and featured the same theme of the original until 1991, when part of the Disney’s Afternoon Avenue makeover of Fantasyland, the ride was transformed into the Rescue Rangers Raceway. The theming was kept until 1992, when the promotion ended. The ride remained open on an interim basis until 1999, when both the Tomorrowland and Fantasyland Autopias were closed.
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1966

Walt Disney as Rose Parade Grand Marshall - 1966
Walt Disney as Rose Parade Grand Marshall – 1966

1966: Walt Disney is the Grand Marshall of the Rose Parade

From D23:
On this day in 1966, everything was coming up roses for Walt Disney, when he served as the Grand Marshal of the 77th Tournament of Roses Parade, in Pasadena, California.
[read more] – you need to log into a D23.com account to access article (D23 General Membership is free)…

From The Walt Disney Family Museum:
Walt Disney would begin the final year of his life as the Grand Marshall of the 1966 Tournament of Roses Parade. Mickey Mouse sat beside Walt as they traveled down Colorado Boulevard. They were followed by the City of Burbank float, itself a tribute to Walt Disney.

Walt Disney would not live to see the 1967 Rose Parade, but the organization he created would continue to be involved with the Tournament of Roses.
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Watch Video:
From YouTube:
In the video Walt Disney and Mickey go by in a convertible.

Did You Know?
The Disney family is the only family to have more than one member serve as Grand Marshal: Walt Disney was the 1966 Grand Marshal, then his nephew Roy E. Disney held the post in 2000. Additionally, Mickey Mouse was the grand marshal for the 2005 parade.
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