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This month is a big one is Disney Parks History. October of 1971 brought us Walt Disney World!!! The Walt Disney World Resort consisted of The Magic Kingdom, the Contemporary Resort, the Polynesian Village, and Fort Wilderness. When the Magic Kingdom gates opened at 10am that day, the first guests were William Windsor, Jr accompanied by his wife, Mary and their two sons, Jay and Lee; the park was dedicated by Roy O. Disney, brother of Walt. Then, exactly 11 years later on October 1, 1982 Walt Disney World expanded as EPCOT Center (later renamed Epcot) opened giving WDW a second park! Epcot was dedicated by Cardon Walker, CEO of Disney.
Here are some other notable October Park History moments:
October 1, 1960 – The Dixieland at Disneyland evening concert show is first held at Disneyland, at the Rivers of American in Fontierland.
October 1, 1992 – The Splash Mountain attraction and Grandma Sara’s Kitchen restaurant open Critter Country at Tokyo Disneyland.
October 1, 1994 – The name of Euro Disneyland is officially changed to Disneyland Paris.
October 1, 1995 – Disney’s Vero Beach Resort opens in Florida, part of the Disney Vacation Club Resorts. This is Disney’s first oceanfront resort, and first vacation destination not built at a theme park.
October 1, 1999 – Disney officially begins the now popular the Pin Trading tradition.
October 1, 1999 – The Tapestry of Nations parade premieres in Epcot.
October 2, 1981 – The live stage show Disney World is Your World begins performances on the Tomorrowland Stage in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.
October 2, 2009 – A ticker-tape parade is held for Buzz Lightyear at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World to celebrate his return from 15 months in the International Space Station. Also appearing in the parade was astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Fincke.
October 3, 1971 – The Peter Pan’s Flight attraction opens in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.
October 3, 2005 – In Disneyland, in the forecourt of Sleeping Beauty Castle, ten of the original cast members of “The Mickey Mouse Club” along with 1,000 “honorary” Mouseketeers form the world’s largest pair of “Mouseketeer ears”.
October 4, 1956 – Disneyland welcomes its five-millionth guest, 4-year-old Debra Rutherford.
October 5, 1955 – The Disneyland Hotel opens, on a 60-acre site next to Disneyland. It was the first hotel of bear the Disney name, but was not initially owned by the Disney Company, they would acquire it in 1988.
October 6, 1989 – A new “Disneyland” marquee is installed at Disneyland, replacing the original sign placed there in 1958.
October 7, 2002 – “A Bug’s Land” area opens at Disney’s California Adventure.
October 8, 2003 – The fireworks show Wishes: A Magical Gathering of Disney Dreams also premieres at the Magic Kingdom.
October 9, 2003 – The Mission: Space attraction celebrates is grand opening in Epcot at Walt Disney World. Ceremony was attended by Michael Eisner (CEO of Disney), Carly Fiorina (CEO of HP), NASA Administrator Sean O’Keef, along with several astronauts and 2 crew members aboard the International Space Station
October 11, 1955 – The first ticket books are made available at Disneyland. They cost US$2.50 per adult ($1.50 per child), containing tickets A, B, and C, for eight rides.
October 12, 1986 – The Golden Horseshoe Revue show closes in Disneyland. It is the longest running show in the Golden Horseshoe Saloon, at nearly 50,000 performances.
October 12, 1995 – Walt Disney World welcomes its 500-millionth guest.
October 14, 1971 – The 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride opens in Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.
October 15, 1971 – The cover of Life magazine shows 1500 Disney employees and characters in front of Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World.
October 15, 1998 – “Fantasmic!” premieres at the Disney-MGM Studios at Walt Disney World.
October 19, 1989 – The Wonders of Life pavilion opens in EPCOT Center at Walt Disney World. It includes the Body Wars (EPCOT’s first “thrill ride”), and the Cranium Command show.
October 22, 1979 – Walt Disney World welcomes its 100-millionth guest, 8-year-old, Kurt Miller.
October 23, 1982 – The Le Carnival de Lumière nighttime show debuts on World Showcase Lagoon.
October 25, 1965 – Florida Governor Hayden Burns confirms reports that Walt Disney Productions is purchasing large amounts of land in Florida.
October 30, 2010 – The Disney Dream cruise ship is complete and is launched at the Meyer Werft shipyard at Papenburg, Germany. It can hold a maximum of 4,000 passengers and just shy of 1,500 crew members.