This Day in Disney History: November 18
Welcome back to our continuing journey through the history of the Walt Disney company! Today we are looking at the events that occurred on this day in Disney history- November 18.
Today’s happenings focus on the debut of Disney’s biggest star- Mickey Mouse! From his 1928 appearance in Steamboat Willie, to various birthday celebrations the mouse has celebrated over the years, this day is all about Mickey! Let’s get celebrating!
Steamboat Willie Debuts (1928)
On this day in 1928, Mickey Mouse made his debut in Steamboat Willie.
The cartoon that would launch the greatest animated star of all time, Steamboat Willie was co-directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks. Steamboat Willie was also the film is the first animated short to use synchronized sound, which wowed the audiences of the time.
Although Mickey had previously appeared in two other shorts, Steamboat Willie is considered the Disney icon’s true debut. Because of this, the company celebrates November 18th as his birthday!
Walt Disney Receives Honorary Article
On this day in 1932, Walt Disney received an honorary Oscar for the creation of Mickey Mouse.
The honor was bestowed upon Walt at the 5th Annual Academy Awards. It was only second honorary Oscar ever awarded by the Academy. The award also happened to be given out on Mickey’s birthday!
Mickey Mouse 50th Anniversary Parade Debuts
On this day in 1978, the Mickey Mouse 50th Anniversary Parade debuted at the Magic Kingdom.
The new daytime parade featured the Main Street Philharmonic, larger than life gift boxes, birthday cards, and even a giant 50th birthday cake!
Oliver and Company Released (1988)
On this day in 1988, Oliver and Company was released to theaters. Disney’s take on the classic Charles Dickens novel “Oliver Twist”, the film stars Joey Lawrence, Billy Joel, Cheech Marin and Dom DeLuise.
Partners Statue Dedicated (1993)
On this day in 1993, the Partners Statue was dedicated at Disneyland.
The statue was sculpted by Blaine Gibson and unveiled in honor of Mickey Mouse’s 65th birthday. The dedication ceremony was officiated by Disney Legend Jack Lindquist (who also retired that day) and featured Roy Disney revealing the statue.
Radio Disney Launched (1996)
On this day in 1996, Radio Disney Launched.
Disney’s new radio channel, Radio Disney debuted with the 2 Unlimited song “Get Ready For This”. The radio station would go on to play top 40 music, as well as popular Disney songs and oldies.
Radio Disney would operate until 2020, when the station finally ceased operation.
Disney Confirms Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride Closing (1997)
On this day in 1997, Disney confirmed that Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride would shortly be permanently closed.
A staple of the Magic Kingdom since 1971, the attraction would be closed to make way for a new Winnie the Pooh ride.
The announced closure of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride would lead to fan protests known as “Toad-Ins”. Despite this, the attraction closed September 7, 1998.
PizzeRizzo Opens (2016)
Finally, on this day in 2016, PizzeRizzo opened in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The new Muppet themed pizzeria opened in the location formally occupied by the Toy Story Pizza Planet Arcade.
Thus concludes our journey though this day in Disney history- November 18! If you happen to see him, be sure to wish Mickey a happy birthday today!