March 23, 2023

Today in Disney History: Love Bug Day at Disneyland

On this day in 1969, Love Bug Day was held at Disneyland. To celebrate the release of Disney’s “The Love Bug,” the story of an anthropomorphic 1963 Volkswagen Bug over 100 decorated Bug’s gathered at the park for a parade. The cars were judged in categories such as most psychedelic, toylike, comical and best personality. Morton and Barbara Allen of Studio City, California, won the grand prize of a brand new 1969 Volkswagen Bug. The prize was presented by “The Love Bug” stars Dean Jones and Michele Lee. Other prizes included portable color televisions, Kodak Super-8 movie cameras and projectors, and Polaroid cameras. 

March 22, 2023

Walt “Quote” Wednesday

Welcome to Walt "Quote" Wednesday on the Walking Down Main Street, U.S.A. blog. Each Wednesday, I’ll share a random quote from Walt Disney from various sources such as books, websites, etc. Great care will be taken to ensure the sources are reliable and the quote is accurate and real.

"I just want to leave you with this thought, that it's just been a sort of dress rehearsal and that we're just getting started. So if any of you start to rest on your laurels, I mean just forget it, because . . . we are just getting started."

This quote came from a speech given by Walt Disney at the Disneyland Hotel on July, 18, 1965 for Disneyland's Tencennial Awards Presentation. 

Today in Disney History: Milt Kahl Born in California

Milt Kahl was born on this day in 1909, in San Francisco, California.

Milt joined Disney in June of 1934 as an animator. He worked on various animated short films as well as most if not all of the classic animated feature films between 1937, with "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" through 1986, with "The Great Mouse Detective. He also worked on live-action / animated classics such as "The Song of the South", "So Dear to my Heart," and "Mary Poppins. Milt was one of Walt's most trusted animators and part of the group Disney dubbed his "Nine Old Men." 

Milt passed away on April 19, 1987 in Mill Valley, California due to pneumonia. He was 78 years old. He was posthumously named a Disney Legend in 1989, in the Animation category.

Source(s): Disney Legends (, Disney A to Z ( and Milt Kahl (

March 21, 2023

Today in Disney History: Mission to Mars Opens at Disneyland

The Mission to Mars attraction officially opened (updated) on this date in 1975. Previously known as Rocket to the Moon (July 17, 1955 - September 5, 1966) and the Flight to the Moon (August 12, 1967 - January 5, 1975). After man landed on the moon in 1969, Disneyland was looking for a new mission. The sponsorship of McDonnell Douglas remained as did the actual attraction with the exception of now going to Mars instead of the Moon. The attraction consisted of around 100 passengers that sat in a circular theater with screens on the floor and ceiling to show them where they had been and where they were going. The attraction closed on November 2, 1992 and was supposed to be the new location of an attraction called Alien Encounter but it is believed the space was too small. After the remodel of Tomorrowland in 1998, Redd Rocket’s Pizza Port occupied the old location.

Source(s): Rocket to the Moon (, Mission to Mars (, Mission to Mars Opens at Disneyland (

March 18, 2023

Today in Disney History: Pirates of the Caribbean Opens at Disneyland

The Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at Disneyland opened on this day in 1967. Located in New Orleans Square, it was originally envisioned as a walk-through wax museum style attraction. After the success of the boat ride concept of it’s a small world at the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair the attraction plans were changed. Set in the bayou of Louisiana, guests travel by boat through scenes of treasure, ships and a Caribbean town being plundered by Pirates to the song, “Yo Ho (A Pirates Life For Me).” Although refurbishments have been done throughout the years with some things added or updated the ride is essentially the same today as it was back when it opened. 

Strike yer colors! Your adventure begins in a shadowy bayou, where you’ll board a weathered barge. Plunge down a waterfall in the dark and float through the spectral world of Pirates Grotto. Dead men tell no tales—but they guard their treasure for all eternity. 

Navigate cannon fire between a fort and a 12-gun galleon. Glide into port and behold brazen buccaneers drunk on pillaged plunder. Skulk past the well-armed lass who commands a colorful auction of villagers’ goods. 

Sing along as sea roving scalawags serenade you with their classic shanty, “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me).” Witness flames engulf the town and pass prisoners trapped in their jail cell, doggedly trying to escape. 

Keep a spry eye out for sly Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, as he schemes to get his hands on the spoils. 

If ye be seekin’ adventure, ay—you’ve come to the proper place!” - Disneyland website

On the same day as the Pirates of the Caribbean, the Blue Bayou Restaurant opened in the same building as the attraction. 

A Pirates of the Caribbean attraction can also be found at Walt Disney World (1973), Tokyo Disneyland (1983) and Disneyland Paris (1992). A new version based on the films opened at Shanghai Disneyland in 2016. 

Go for a ride on the Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland - 

Video by DocumentDisney (YouTube)

Source(s): Pirates of the Caribbean (, Pirates of the Caribbean Attraction (

March 17, 2023

Today in Disney History: Plane Crazy (With Sound!) Is Released

Plane Crazy premiered at the Mark Strand Theater on this day in 1929. It was the first Mickey Mouse cartoon made but the third one to be released. It was test screened on May 15, 1928 as a silent film, but not generally released until 10 months with sound added. A Walt Disney Studio production and distributed by Celebrity Productions. 

Inspired by Charles Lindbergh's exploits. Mickey Mouse along with his friends, build a plane and go on an adventure with Minnie Mouse. 

Directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks. Produced by Walt Disney. Music by Carl Stalling. Animated by Ben Clopton (Assistant Animator), Edna Disney (Ink Artist), Lillian Disney (Ink Artist), Hugh Harman (Animator), Rudolf Ising (Animator), Ub Iwerks (Animator), Carman Maxwell (Animator), Hazel Sewell (Ink Artist). Starring the voice of Walt Disney (Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.)

The animated short film has a running time of 5 minutes and 53 seconds.

Check out Plane Crazy below:

Source(s): Plane Crazy (, Plane Crazy (

March 16, 2023

Today in Disney History: Harper Goff Born In Colorado

Harper Goff born on this day in 1911, in Fort Collins, Colorado. He studied art at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles, California. After school he moved to New York City, New York where he worked as a magazine illustrator. After World War II where he advised the U.S. Army on camouflage, he moved to California and worked as a set designer for Warner Bros. 

Harper was a train enthusiast and that is what got him in the door at Walt Disney Productions. On a trip to London in 1951 he happened to be visiting a model train store, the same store Walt Disney was visiting. They were both interested in the same train set, and when Walt heard Harper was an artist he told him to contact him when he returned the United States.

Harper was initially hired to sketch storyboards for a True-Life Adventure short called "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea." After seeing Harper's designs, Walt decided to make it into a feature film which won an Oscar for Best Art Direction-Set Direction, Color and Best Effects, Special Effects.

Harper also helped with much of the conceptualization and design of Disneyland. Many of the Main Street, U.S.A. buildings and layout take inspiration from his birthplace of Fort Collins, Colorado. He also had a big influence on the Jungle Cruise attraction as well as Adventureland. Later on he would contribute to several areas of Walt Disney World. 

In his spare time Harper liked trains and played the banjo in the Dixieland band Firehouse Five Plus Two, with other Disney staff, led by Ward Kimball. 

Harper passed away on March 3, 1993 in Palm Springs, California due to heart failure. He was 81 years old.

Harper was posthumously named a Disney Legend in 1993, in the Film and Imagineering category. He was also honored with a window above The Bazaar in Adventureland at Disneyland. It reads, "Oriental Tattooing By Prof Harper Goff - Banjo Lessons."   

Source(s): Disney Legends (, Disney A to Z ( and Harper Goff: The "Second" Imagineer (The Walt Disney Family Museum)

March 15, 2023

Walt “Quote” Wednesday

Welcome to Walt "Quote" Wednesday on the Walking Down Main Street, U.S.A. blog. Each Wednesday, I’ll share a random quote from Walt Disney from various sources such as books, websites, etc. Great care will be taken to ensure the sources are reliable and the quote is accurate and real.

"I hope we never lose some of the things of the past . . . I love the nostalgic myself"

This quote came from remarks by Walt Disney at Florida Press Conference on November 15, 1965 in Orlando, Florida. 

Today in Disney History: Jack Lindquist Born In Illinois

Jack Lindquist was born on this day in 1927, in Chicago Illinois. After graduating high school, Jack enlisted in the United States Air Force for a couple years before attending the University of Southern California. He was working in the advertising business in Los Angeles, California when he received a call from Milt Albright asking for suggestions of an available advertising manager and he suggested himself. So just about two months after the opening of Disneyland he was now an employee.

He started as Disneyland’s first Advertising Manager and held various positions over his career including Director of Marketing, Vice President of Marketing for Disneyland and Walt Disney World, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Entertainment, overseeing the parks in the United States as well as Tokyo Disneyland and then Euro Disney, now Disneyland Paris. He ended his career as the first President of Disneyland from 1990-1993. Jack retired from The Walt Disney Company on November 18, 1993 after 38 years with the company. 

Some of his contributions to Disneyland and The Walt Disney Company through the years included, advance ticket sales for New Years Eve events, Grad Nite at Disneyland, park anniversary tie-ins and giveaways, “I’m Going to Disneyland” ad campaign and Disney Dollars just to mention a few. 

Jack was honored with a window on Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland on the second story of City Hall that reads, “J.B. Lindquist Honorary Mayor of Disneyland - Jack of all trades - Master of Fun.” He was named a Disney Legend in 1994, in the Attractions category. 

In 2010, Jack published his autobiography, “In Service to the Mouse: My Unexpected Journey to Becoming Disneyland’s First President: A Memoir.”

Jack passed away on February 28, 2016 in Anaheim, California from natural causes. He was 88 years old. 

Source(s): Disney Legends (, Remembering Disney Legend Jack Lindquist (Disney Parks Blog), Jack Lindquist, First President of Disneyland, Dies at 88 (

March 14, 2023

Today in Disney History: Howard Ashman Passes Away in New York

Howard Ashman passed away on this day in 1991, in New  York City, New York, from complications due to AIDS. He was 40 years old. He was born on May 17, 1950, in Baltimore, Maryland. After graduating from Indiana University, he moved to New York and worked as an editor and began writing plays.

In 1986, Ashman joined Walt Disney Feature Animation to work on music for the animated feature film "Oliver & Company" (1988.) For "The Little Mermaid" (1989), Ashman along with Alan Menken wrote all the songs for the film. They received Academy Award nominations for Best Original Song for "Kiss the Girl" and "Under the Sea," winning for the latter. He was the Executive Producer on "Beauty and the Beast" (1991) along with writing songs, winning the Academy Award posthumously for Best Original Song for "Beauty and the Beast." "Beauty and the Beast" was released after Ashman's death and was dedicated in his honor. Prior to his death he also wrote songs for the upcoming feature film "Aladdin" (1992) including "Arabian Nights," "Friend Like Me," and "Prince Ali."

Ashman was posthumously named a Disney Legend in 2001, in the Music category. In 2020, Disney + released a documentary on Howard Ashman, directed by Don Hahn titled “Howard.”