This Week in Disney History: Oct. 5-11


Oct. 7, 2002 - 'a bug's land' opens at Disney California Adventure Park
Bugs aren't so different from people; they like to cut loose and have a good time, too. And to show you, Flik and his friends from the 1998 Disney?Pixar movie "A Bug's Life," are inviting everyone to enjoy their insect-sized carnival. Walk through an overturned cereal box into Flik's Fun Fair, featuring five attractions sure to delight any pint-sized entomologist. Enjoy the bumper-to-bumper action on Tuck & Roll's Drive 'Em Buggies, splash through Princess Dot's Puddle Park and take a snack-filled journey aboard Heimlich's Chew Chew Train (mmm, candy corn!). Flik's Fun Fair, along with the 3-D attraction "It's Tough to Be a Bug!" and the former Bountiful Valley Farm area, were joined to create this expanded land. Several of the original "A Bug's Life" cast members narrate their attractions, including Dave Foley as Flik, John Ratzenberger as Tuck & Roll, and Joe Ranft as Heimlich. Many larger-than-life clovers tower over Flik's Fun Fair, but you may need bug eyes to spot the one with four leaves.

Oct. 11, 2003 - The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter closes at Magic Kingdom Park
Come inside the Tomorrowland Interplanetary Convention Center and seize the future with X-S! This mysterious corporation from another planet has invited you to witness a demonstration of its newest technology, an intergalactic teleportation system. But inside the secured laboratory, the demonstration goes wrong, and a menacing, carnivorous alien is accidentally beamed in. It escapes, and the chamber plunges into darkness. In-house special effects and binaural sound embedded into the seats make it feel like the menacing alien is on the prowl. Opened in late 1994, Disney Imagineers and George Lucas partnered to create this intense, darkly humorous sensory thriller, which utilized the former Mission to Mars theatres. The attraction reopened in 2004 as Stitch's Great Escape, which uses many of the same effects, but thankfully, Experiment 626 is hungry for chili dogs instead of people. Skippy, the cuddly alien criminal who gets teleported during the pre-show, played a similar role in Alien Encounter.

Also this week in Disney history:

Oct. 5
1932 - "Touchdown Mickey" (Mickey Mouse cartoon short) debuts
1949 - Walt Disney Pictures releases "The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad"
1955 - The Disneyland Hotel opens
1996 - The American Film Institute Showcase is officially dedicated at Disney's Hollywood Studios
2002 - Walt Disney Pictures releases "Tuck Everlasting"
2008 - Miley Cyrus celebrates her 16th birthday during a private event at Disneyland Park
2011 - Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, Pixar chief executive and Disney board member, passes away at age 56

Oct. 6
1983 - Walt Disney Pictures releases "Never Cry Wolf"
1989 - A new Disneyland Park marquee sign, colored pink and blue, debuts at the Harbor Blvd. entrance

Oct. 7
1991 - The Disney Vacation Club preview center opens
1994 - Touchstone Pictures releases "Ed Wood"
1995 - Disneyland Paris links up a communications line with the Mir Space Station
1998 - Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin opens at Magic Kingdom Park

Oct. 8
1989 - The Contemporary Cafe opens at Disney's Contemporary Resort
1993 - The Disney-owned Mighty Ducks of Anaheim play their first NHL game at the Anaheim Pond (now Honda Center)
2003 - "Mickey's PhilharMagic" officially opens at Magic Kingdom Park
2010 - Walt Disney Pictures releases "Secretariat"
2010 - The nighttime street party ElecTRONica debuts at Disney California Adventure Park

Oct. 9
1942 - "The Olympic Champ" (Goofy cartoon short) debuts
1988 - "The Magical World of Disney" debuts on NBC
2003 - The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Michael Eisner, along with NASA and HP leaders and two astronauts onboard the International Space Station, officially dedicate Mission: SPACE at Epcot
2003 - "Wishes," the new fireworks show, officially opens to Guests at Magic Kingdom Park

Oct. 10
1929 - "The Barnyard Battle" (Mickey Mouse cartoon short) debuts
1931 - "The Barnyard Broadcast" (Mickey Mouse cartoon short) debuts
1952 - "Trick or Treat" (Donald Duck cartoon short) debuts
1957 - The first episode of "Zorro" premieres on ABC

Oct. 11
1946 - "Bath Day" (Figaro cartoon short) debuts
1959 - Rainbow Caverns Mine Train closes at Disneyland Park
1982 - Epcot leaders dedicate the American Adventure
1998 - Journey Into Imagination and Image Works close at Epcot
2003 - The last regular performance of "Fantasy in the Sky" fireworks is held at Magic Kingdom Park