August 29, 1964
Mary Poppins, the practically perfect tale directed by Robert Stevenson, about a magical English nanny, is released.
December 15, 1966
Walt Disney, the visionary whose pioneering spirit and inimitable creativity made the impossible possible, turning dreams into reality and building the foundation of The Walt Disney Company of today, dies at age 65.
December 25, 1969
The arena show Disney on Parade, in which costumed Disney characters put on lavish dance numbers, debuts in Chicago.
October 1, 1971
Walt Disney World Resort opens with the Magic Kingdom and two hotels near Orlando, Florida.
December 20, 1971
Roy O. Disney, who, with younger brother Walt Disney, co-founded the company that is now known as The Walt Disney Company, passes away.
March 22, 1975
Walt Disney World Village, a large outdoor mall with specialty shops all built by Disney designers, which later became Disney Village Marketplace, opens.
December 3, 1980
Tokyo Disneyland groundbreaking and site dedication takes place in Urayasu, just outside of Tokyo.
October 1, 1982
EPCOT Center, a major undertaking for Disney, costing in the neighborhood of $1 billion, opens at Walt Disney World Resort.
April 15, 1983
Tokyo Disneyland, the first international Disney theme park, opens in Japan.
April 18, 1983
The Disney Channel begins broadcasting with 18 hours of programming a day.
May 25, 1983
Fantasyland, one of the original lands of Disneyland, receives a complete remodel and opens to the public.
September 23, 1984
Michael Eisner and Frank Wells become chairman/CEO and president of Walt Disney Productions.
March 24, 1987
The agreement to build Euro Disneyland, later renamed Disneyland Paris, was signed in France.
March 28, 1987
The first Disney Store opens, in Glendale, California.
May 5, 1987
First Disney Dollars sold at Disneyland.
May 1, 1989
Disney-MGM Studios, later renamed Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Pleasure Island open at Walt Disney World Resort.
May 6, 1991
The Walt Disney Company joins the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
September 26, 1991
Hyperion Books, a Disney publishing company, releases its first book, Amazing Grace.
April 12, 1992
Euro Disneyland, the first Disney theme park in Europe, which was later renamed Disneyland Paris, opens.
April 18, 1994
Beauty and the Beast, the first Disney Broadway show, opens in New York.
June 15, 1994
The Lion King opens to a limited audience in Los Angeles and New York and nationwide on June 24, 1994.
December 5, 1994
Disney Interactive, a division first intended to develop, market, and distribute cartridge games and CD-ROM software, is formed.
May 22, 1995
Disney agrees to purchase 25 percent of the California Angels baseball team from Gene Autry.
July 31, 1995
Disney agrees to purchase Capital Cities/ABC for $19 billion.
September 1, 1995
Disney Online, a division of Disney Interactive created to develop The Walt Disney Company's online presence, is formed.
October 1, 1995
The Disney Channel begins operation in the UK.
January 4, 1996
Shareholders approve the Disney merger with Capital Cities/ABC.
February 9, 1996
Final FCC approval and filing of merger documents completes the Capital Cities/ABC acquisition.
February 22, 1996
Disney Online launches Disney.com.
July 17, 1996
Disney announces plans for Disney California Adventure park in Anaheim.
November 18, 1996
Radio Disney, a live 24-hour music-intensive radio network, debuts.
March 28, 1997
Disney’s Wide World of Sports, a professional-caliber sports complex at Walt Disney Word Resort that was later renamed ESPN Wide World of Sports, opened to the public.
November 13, 1997
The Lion King stage production opens on Broadway.
March 23, 1998
ESPN Magazine debuts.
April 22, 1998
Disney’s Animal Kingdom opens at Walt Disney World Resort.
July 30, 1998
Disney Magic cruise ship departs on its inaugural cruise.
March 31, 1999
Disney completes the purchase of the Anaheim Angels.
August 15, 1999
Disney Wonder sets sail on its maiden voyage.
September 29, 1999
Euro Disney announces plans to build Walt Disney Studios theme park in France.
February 8, 2001
Disney California Adventure park opens at the Disneyland Resort, in Anaheim, California.
September 4, 2001
Tokyo DisneySea opens at Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan.
October 24, 2001
Disney acquires Fox Family Channel and renames it ABC Family.
November 1, 2001
Disney acquires Baby Einstein, a company that creates products that bring the arts and humanities to babies.
December 5, 2001
100th anniversary of Walt Disney’s birth.
March 16, 2002
Walt Disney Studios theme park opens in France next-door to Disneyland Paris.
May 22, 2003
Disney sells the Anaheim Angels.
May 15, 2004
Disney acquires the Muppets properties and Bear in the Big Blue House.
June 15, 2005
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts launches Adventures by Disney.
September 12, 2005
Hong Kong Disneyland opens.
October 1, 2005
Robert A. Iger becomes president and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company.
October 12, 2005
Disney is first to license TV episodes, from ABC and Disney Channel series, for download on Apple’s iTunes Music Store.
February 9, 2006
Disney re-acquires Oswald the Lucky Rabbit from Universal.
March 14, 2006
High School Musical becomes the first full-length movie to be sold via digital download, on Apple’s iTunes Music Store, followed by theatrical features in September.
May 2, 2006
During its 50th anniversary celebration, Disneyland welcomes the honorary two-billionth guest to visit a Disney theme park.
May 5, 2006
Disney acquires Pixar Animation Studios.
September 12, 2006
Disney feature films are made available on iTunes.
August 1, 2007
Disney acquires Club Penguin, a virtual world for kids.
February 13, 2009
Disney XD, a new cable network, launches.
March 10, 2009
D23: The Official Disney Fan Club launches.
April 22, 2009
Disneynature label launches with the release of Earth.
December 31, 2009
Marvel Entertainment joins the Disney family.
January 26, 2011
The Disney Dream makes its maiden voyage.
April 7, 2011
The Walt Disney Company officially breaks ground on Shanghai Disney Resort.
August 29, 2011
Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawai‘i, opens to guests.
March 23, 2012
Disney Junior, a 24-hour stand-alone television network, launches in the U.S.
March 31, 2012
The Disney Fantasy makes its maiden voyage.
December 21, 2012
The Walt Disney Company completes its acquisition of Lucasfilm Ltd. LLC – the global entertainment company founded by George Lucas and the home of the legendary Star Wars franchise.
For more than nine decades, the name Walt Disney has been preeminent in the field of family entertainment. From humble beginnings as a cartoon studio in the 1920s to today's global corporation, The Walt Disney Company continues to proudly provide quality entertainment for every member of the family, across America and around the world. To learn more about the history of The Walt Disney Company, click through the timeline below.
When Adele met Fabrizio Petrossi, one of the Disney illustrators
90 years of the Walt Disney Company