The Walt Disney Company has a rich and lengthy history with decades of amazing movies, shows and park experiences. To commemorate Disney’s 100th birthday this year, I am spotlighting the company’s history year by year in this new ‘Disney by the Years’ series.
Here is a quick rundown of everything that happened in the world of Disney in the year 1994. I hope you find this lookback in time helpful and entertaining.
Disney Company Headlines in 1994:
Tragedy struck the Walt Disney Corporation in April when the company’s President and COO Frank Wells died in a helicopter accident. Disney CEO Michael Eisner will temporarily absorb Weiss’ responsibilities.
Disney Movies Headlines in 1994:
Here is a quick rundown of what opened at the theaters in 1994 for Disney:
- January 14 – Iron Will
- February 11 – Blank Check
- March 25 – D2: The Mighty Ducks
- April 15 – White Fang 2: Myth of the White Wolf
- June 24 – The Lion King
- July 12 – Angels in the Outfield
- October 28 – Squanto: A Warrior’s Tale
- December 25 – Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book
- January 7 – Cabin Boy
- February 4 – My Father the Hero
- March 11 – The Ref
- April 22 – The Inkwell
- April 29 – When a Man Loves a Woman
- June 3 – Renaissance Man
- June 29 – I Love Trouble
- August 26 – It’s Pat
- September 2 – A Simple Twist of Fate
- October 7 – Ed Wood
- January 7 – The Air Up There
- March 4 – Angie
- April 8 – Holy Matrimony
- August 12 – In the Army Now
- August 19 – Color of Night
- August 26 – Camp Nowhere
- September 14 – Quiz Show
- November 11 – The Santa Clause
- November 23 – A Low Down Dirty Shame
Direct-To-Video Releases in 1994 Included:
Disney Parks Headlines in 1994:
The most notable news item related to Disney parks in 1994 was the company’s announcement that they would be starting up a new Disney cruise line.
Some of the major changes at Disneyland in 1994 included:
- Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin opened at Disneyland in January.
- The Skyway closes permanently at Disneyland Park.
Disney World Headlines:
One of the most notable Disney World news items occurred in February, when Disney leased out the former Disney Inn to the US Department of Defense. The hotel was renamed Shades of Green and made available to US military members and their family.
Equally as noteworthy, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge opened in May 1994 along with its popular Artist Point and Whispering Canyon Café restaurants.
Some of the other major changes at Disney World in 1994 included:
- The Muppets on Location: Days of Swine and Roses show closed in January
- The Kitchen Kabaret show in Epcot’s Land Pavilion was retooled and reopened as Food Rocks.
- The Mickey Mania parade replaced the 20th Anniversary Celebration Parade in the Magic Kingdom.
- The first run of Captain EO at Epcot ends in July. Fear not fans, it will be back in the future.
- The Legend of the Lion King opens in the Magic Kingdom.
- The Sunset Boulevard area of Disney-MGM Studios opens including the iconic Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ride.
- The popular 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride closes permanently at the Magic Kingdom.
- The American Journeys film in Magic Kingdom officially closes.
- Innoventions opens at Epcot.
- Spaceship Earth was refurbished during the year and reopened in November with a number of updates, most notably with a new narrator, actor Jeremy Irons.
- The Sports End-Zone food court opens at the All-Star Resort.
- The Pasta Piazza Ristorante restaurant replaces Sunrise Terrace Restaurant at Epcot.
- Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies in the Magic Kingdom and the Electric Umbrella in Epcot open in June.
Here is a complete rundown of every ride, attraction, restaurant and shop at the Magic Kingdom over the years.
Also, in 1994, Disney broke ground on the Celebration, Florida project which was a residential development just outside Walt Disney World.
Disney Television Headlines in 1994:
A number of new Disney television shows and original movies made their debut in 1994. These included:
- Aladdin The Series
- Walt Disney World Inside Out
- On Promised Land (Disney Channel Movie)
That’s all for 1994. Stay tuned for in-depth looks at additional years in the very near future!