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Something special from every October day of Walt Disney World’s 50-year history. – TouringPlans.com blog


50 of Walt Disney Worldth the birthday celebration has finally arrived! This month, instead of listing an unusual vacation and how to celebrate them at WDW, as there are already enough special things. – we list historical events: notable news, closings and much more that happened in October over WDW’s 50-year history with our thanks on the “This Day In Disney History” website, a fantastic resource for Disney historical facts).

October 1st

1971: WDW opens. “On the morning of October 1, we heard that we were preparing for the D-Day invasion. I boarded a helicopter with our Chief Operating Officer, Dick Nunis, and we took off early in the morning to check. the “invasion”. We were both very excited because we were able to see a long chain of car lights coming from the city of Orlando. But as they approached the property, they swerved through the back door. Almost all were employees. Everyone was afraid to leave their house. You could say the people of the first day were “disappointing.” We had almost as many employees as guests. ”-Executive Vice President Card Walker

1982: EPCOT opens.

1983: The Horizons pavilion opens at Future World at EPCOT.

October 2nd

1971: The Freedom Square Riverboat opens with Admiral Joe Fowler making his first trip across the American rivers of the Magical Kingdom. (The ship is named after Fowler, a retired admiral in the United States Navy who was responsible for overseeing the construction of both Disneyland and Walt Disney World.)

© Disney

1983: Innovative pavilions of The Living Seas and Morocco are held at EPCOT.

2016: The first performance of “Great Moments in American History” starring Muppets is presented outside the Hall of Presidents in Liberty Square.

October 3rd

1971: Peter Pan’s flight opens in Fantasyland.

1996: EPPCOT’s new “IllumiNations 25” is officially released to the public.

October 4th

1982: Fortune magazine publishes an article on EPCOT called “Disney Gambles on Tomorrow,” which states, “EPCOT’s success is critical to Disney’s future prosperity, as the well-known entertainment company has suffered from unusual recent events.”

October 5th

1982: EPCOT’s World of Motion is dedicated, sponsored by General Motors, the first company to sponsor an EPCOT pavilion. (It will close in 1996 and will be replaced by Test Track).

of Disney Parks

1992: Main Street Cinema closes after last showing “The Walt Disney Story.” (The location will be reused and reopened as a store in 1998).

October 6th

1971: The Sun Pavilion in the Magic Kingdom is officially dedicated to the “Tropical Serenade” attraction. (It will close in 1997 to renovate it and will reopen on April 5, 1998 as “The Enchanted Tiki Room … Under New Management”).

Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room

2016: WDW closes at 5 p.m. due to the threat of approaching Hurricane Matthew and remains closed until Friday, October 7.

October 7

1998: Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, the first interactive dark ride in the Magic Kingdom, opens into the space that used to be Take Flight.

2006: A female giraffe is born in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the first for her mother, a 9-year-old giraffe named Aibuin.

October 8

2003: Mickey’s PhilharMagic has its grand official opening at the Magic Kingdom, shown on the largest 3D screen ever built: 150 feet wide.

October 9th

2003: EPCOT hosts a special night press event for the opening of Mission: SPACE. Astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Jim Lovell and Wally Schirra attend in person, while Russian cosmonaut commander Yuri Malenchenko and NASA scientific officer Ed Lu share comments from the International Space Station.

2016: The Main Street Electrical Parade offers its latest performance.

October 10th

2011: WDW and Walt Disney Imagineering announce opening dates for the new Art of Animation Resort, which plans to offer 1,120 family suites and 864 rooms.

October 11th

1982: The American Adventure pavilion at the World Showcase has an official opening ceremony.

© Disney

October 12th

2003: The extraterrestrial meeting of aliens in Tomorrowland closes. It will be replaced by Stitch’s Great Escape!

October 13th

1998: The Key West Seafood restaurant is closed and will be replaced by the Rainforest Cafe.

2006: WDW’s annual shareholders are invited to experience the new EPCOT attraction, “The Seas with Nemo & Friends”.

Aquarium of the seas with Nemo and his friends

October 14th

1971: WDW opens 20,000 leagues under the sea, with twelve and 38 passenger submarines in a 11.5 million gallon water tank.

2009: At EPCOT, the “Sum of All Emotions” opens at Innoventions. Guests can design their own journey and then experience it with a giant robotic arm simulator.

2010: Disney’s Duffy the Bear makes his big entrance with Mickey Mouse at EPCOT.

October 15th

1998: Fantastic! debuts at Disney-MGM Studios. The 26-minute performance requires 88 people for the stage.

October 16th (It’s not something that happened at WDW, but it certainly impacted him):

1923: Disney Brothers Studio is founded in Los Angeles after Walt and his brother Roy signed with a cartoon dealer to produce the animated short series “Alice Comedies.”

October 17th (Okay, it’s not technically something that has happened at WDW either, but it has had a direct impact):

1965: The World Flushing Fair, New York, officially ends. The fair included 4 attractions developed by Walt Disney: General Electric’s Progress Carousel, Ford’s Magic Skyway, Pepsi-Cola’s It’s A Small World, and Illinois State’s Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.

October 18th

1971: President Nixon visits WDW to see his double Audio-Animatronic in the Presidents Hall.

October 19th

1989: EPCOT’s first exciting journey, Body Wars, opens in the new Wonders of Life pavilion. Cranium Command also debuts this day.

October 20th

1982: The Japan Pavilion at the World Showcase is officially dedicated.

October 21st

1982: The Río del Tiempo (later changed to the Grand Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Knights) is dedicated along with the Pavilion of Mexico.

October 22nd

1982: The formal celebration of the grand opening of the EPCOT Center begins.

1997: The Orlando Sentinel reports that sources have revealed plans to close Mr. Toad’s wild ride in favor of a trip through the Hundred Acres Forest with Pooh and his friends.

Photo courtesy of RetroWDW.com

October 23rd

1971: It begins on the first day of the grand three-day inauguration of WDW. Attending celebrities include Rock Hudson, Robert Stack, Walter Brennan, Fred MacMurray and Annette Funicello. The World Symphony Orchestra, made up of 144 musicians from 60 countries and 26 states, and under the direction of conductor Arthur Fiedler, performs in front of Cinderella Castle for 2,500 guests. The performance lasts an hour and a half and ends with the first official fireworks show at WDW.

1982: The first World Showcase night show, Lumiere Carnival, opens. It can only be seen from points between Mexico and Canada and will be replaced next summer by A New World Fantasy.

1997: John Lefante launches his “Save Mr. Toad” website the day after The Orlando Sentinel reports that Walt Disney World will replace the classic attraction with one by Winnie the Pooh.

October 24th

1971: It takes place on the second day of the grand three-day inauguration of WDW. The formal dedication of the contemporary Resort is followed by the dedication of the Polynesian Village Resort. A special luau takes place in Polynesia, followed by the debut of the electric water contest at Seven Seas Lagoon.

1982: The EPCOT Center is officially dedicated at 11 a.m., by Disney President E. Cardon Walker.

1997: The Orlando Sentinel publishes an article on the controversy over the closure of Mr. Wilderness Walk. Toad. Steve Guttenberg and Kirsten Dunst, protagonists of The Wonderful World of Disney’s upcoming “Tower of Terror,” come out firmly pro-Toad while Darius Rucker, lead singer of Hootie & the Blowfish, makes it clear that he’s a Pooh man.

2014: Disney has confirmed that it will remove the wizard hat from Disney Studios Hollywood in 2015.

October 25th

1971: WDW’s formal dedication takes place with Walt’s brother, Roy O. Disney. At 2 p.m., a grand parade kicks off on Main Street in the United States with a 1,076-piece band led by Music Man Meredith Wilson (the composer of “76 Trombones”).

2007: WDW presents the new Disney Studios Hollywood logo. The Park will officially change its name to Disney-MGM Studios on January 7, 2008.

Courtesy of Yesterland

October 26th

2011: Disney’s Animal Kingdom celebrates Bat Year at Conservation Station with activities for families.

October 27th

1996: It concludes the first International Wine and Food Festival of Epcot.

October 28th

1999: The Polynesian Resort officially changes the names of most of its long houses to more accurately reflect the Polynesian islands. In particular, Tonga became Hawaii and Hawaii became Samoa to better represent its relative geographical position between these islands.

October 29th

1971: A 90-minute NBC-TV special, The Grand Opening of Walt Disney World, takes a look at the new complex (filmed during the grand 3-day WDW opening on October 23, 24 and 25) and includes appearances from Julie Andrews, Glen Campbell, Buddy Hackett, Jonathan Winters and Bob Hope.

October 30th

1997: Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party takes place at the Magic Kingdom, the first time it is held the night before Halloween.

October 31st

1995: Mickey’s Not So Scary’s first Halloween party is held at the Magic Kingdom; tickets cost $ 16.95.

2008: The 37-year-old Hall of Presidents attraction closes to upgrade the lighting, sound, mechanical and projection systems. It will reopen in eight months and will feature the new animatronic of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama.

© Rikki Niblett

These are just a few of the most important events that happened in October at Walt Disney World and of course there is so much more to do at this special time of celebration.

Do you have a favorite of these events? Let us know in the comments.

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