This Week in Disney History: Aug. 31-Sept. 6


August 31, 1938 – Walt and Roy O. Disney secure land in Burbank, Calif., for a new studio
While Walt was the dreamer and innovator, his successes were inextricably linked to his older brother Roy, whose financial acumen turned those visions into reality. With the studio’s early operations buoyed by Mickey Mouse cartoons to Silly Symphony shorts, the blockbuster box office returns of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” fiscally liberated Walt and Roy for the first time in their careers. Working out of a cramped studio on Hyperion Avenue in Los Angeles’ Silver Lake district, the profits allowed the brothers to purchase land to accommodate their rapidly expanding workforce. They made a $10,000 deposit on 51 acres in Burbank near Griffith Park, opening their new studio in December 1940 – and it remains in operation today. The new animation building was utilized for nearly every Disney animated production from 1941 through 1995, when Walt Disney Animation Studios moved to its current home across Riverside Drive, the Roy E. Disney Animation Building.

September 4, 2001 – Tokyo DisneySea opens
Built adjacent to Tokyo Bay, the sister park to Tokyo Disneyland honors the spirit of exploration. Nautical themes tie together seven exotic “ports of call,” beginning in Mediterranean Harbor, where Venetian gondola boats cruise canals and the windows of Tokyo DisneySea Hotel MiraCosta (also opened on this date) add lively energy. Across the water, the smoldering volcano Mount Prometheus begs for a closer look. Mysterious Island is home to the high-speed thrill ride Journey to the Center of the Earth. Escape and you can venture to the Lost River Delta, featuring the Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull, or discover the American Waterfront, whose New York Harbor features the Tower of Terror, created with a completely different mythology from its counterparts in other Disney Parks. Last year, Tokyo Disneyland debuted an all new version of “Fantasmic!” in Mediterranean Harbor, and this summer opened Toy Story Midway Mania! on the American Waterfront.

Also this week in Disney history:

Aug. 31
1935 – The animated short “Pluto’s Judgment Day” debuts
1938 – Walt and Roy O. Disney make a $10,000 deposit on 51 acres in Burbank, Calif. for a new studio
1948 – Walt Disney issues a memo outlining ideas for a “Mickey Mouse Park,” which eventually developed into Disneyland Park
2009 – Disney announces its purchase of Marvel Entertainment

Sept. 1
1939 – The Donald Duck cartoon short “The Autograph Hound” debuts
2001 – River Country closes at Walt Disney World Resort
2005 – Disney Editions releases “The Kingdom Keepers” by Ridley Pearson
2007 – An updated version of the Circle-Vision 360 film “O Canada,”starring Martin Short, officially opens at Epcot

Sept. 2
1933 – “Puppy Love” (Mickey Mouse & Pluto cartoon short) debuts
1959 – “How to Have an Accident at Work” (Donald Duck cartoon short) debuts
1979 – Big Thunder Mountain Railroad opens at Disneyland Park
1985 – Adventure Thru Inner Space closes at Disneyland Park
1991 – Casting Center opens at the Disneyland Paris Resort

Sept. 3
1988 – “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee” debuts on television
2001 – The animated television series “Disney’s The Legend of Tarzan” debuts

Sept. 4
1942 – “How to Play Baseball” (Goofy cartoon short) debuts
2001 – Tokyo DisneySea and Tokyo DisneySea Hotel MiraCosta officially open
2001 – DisneyQuest in Chicago closes
2006 – Tower of Terror opens at Tokyo DisneySea

Sept. 5
1927 – The first Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoon short, “Trolley Troubles,” debuts
1930 – The Mickey Mouse animated short “The Chain Gang” debuts, featuring a dog character who would eventually become Pluto
1966 – Flying Saucers close at Disneyland Park
1994 – 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea closes at Magic Kingdom Park
1995 – Disney Ice (now Anaheim Ice), a public ice skating complex and training home of the Anaheim Ducks, opens
2001 – Touchstone Television’s “The Amazing Race” debuts on CBS

Sept. 6
1976 – "America on Parade" entertains Magic Kingdom Park and Disneyland Park Guests for the last time
1993 – The television series “Adventures in Wonderland” debuts on Disney Channel
2010 – The Maliboomer attraction closes at Disney California Adventure Park