Disney History Timeline 1901-2021| Disney Resources

Looking for a specific Disney historical date? Look no further. Here are more than you will ever need to know! Here is what I was able to dig up about the Disney history so far. As always, I will be adding more and updating these periodically as I find new stuff. Be sure to check back regularly.

Disney History Timeline 1901-2021

Disney History

Disney Company History

  • Year of the founding of The Walt Disney Company: 1923
  • When was Walt Disney born? December 5, 1901
  • When did Walt Disney die? December 15, 1966
  • When did Roy Disney die? December 20, 1971
  • Year that Radio Disney was launched in: 1996
  • Year that the first Disney Store opened: 1987

Disney Parks History

  • What year did Disneyland open: 1955
  • What year did Disney World open: 1971
  • Year that Epcot was announced: 1978
  • What year did Epcot open: 1982
  • What year did Disneyland Paris open: 1992 (as Euro Disney Resort)
  • When did Euro Disney become Disneyland Paris: 1995
  • What year did Hong Kong Disneyland open: 2005
  • What year did Tokyo Disney Resort open: 1983
  • Year that Tokyo DisneySea opened: 2001
  • Year Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa opened: August 29, 2011
  • When did Shanghai Disney Resort break ground? 2011
  • What year did Shanghai Disney Resort open? 2016
  • When did the Disneyland Monorail open? June 14, 1959
  • Original run of Main Street Electrical Parade at Disneyland: June 17, 1972-November 25, 1996
  • Date the Main Street Electrical Parade returned to Disneyland: January 20, 2017
  • Year the Disneyland Hotel opened: 1955
  • Year Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel opened: 2000
  • Year that Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa: 2001
  • Year that Disney California Adventure Park opened: 2001
  • Cars Land opening at Disney California Adventure: June 2012
  • Year that Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room opened in Disneyland: 1963
  • Year that New Orleans Square opened at Disneyland: 1966
  • Year that It’s a Small World opened at Disneyland: 1966
  • Year that Space Mountain opened at Disneyland: 1977
  • Date that Star Tours opened in Disneyland: January 9, 1987
  • Year that Disneyland started using Disney Dollars: 1987
  • Year that Downtown Disney opened at Disneyland Resort: 2001
  • When was Walt Disney World announced? November 15, 1965
  • Year that the Reedy Creek Improvement District was created: 1967
  • Year that Space Mountain opened at Disney World: 1975
  • Year that the PeopleMover at Disney World opened: 1975
  • Year that Disney’s Hollywood Studios was announced: 1985
  • When did Disney’s Hollywood Studios open? Disney’s Hollywood Studios opened on May 1, 1989 as Disney-MGM Studios
  • When did Disney’s Animal Kingdom open? Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened on April 22, 1998
  • When did Blizzard Beach open? Disney’s Blizzard Beach opened on April 1, 1995
  • When did Typhoon Lagoon open? Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon opened on June 1, 1989
  • When did Disney Springs open? Disney Springs opened on March 22, 1975 (as Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village)
  • Year that Discovery Island opened at Disney World: 1974 (as Treasure Island)
  • Year that Discovery Island closed at Disney World: 1999
  • Year that River Country opened at Disney World: 1976
  • Year that River Country closed at Disney World: 2001
  • Year that the Polynesian Resort opened at Disney World: 1971
  • Year that the Contemporary Resort opened at Disney World: 1971
  • Year that Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground: 1971
  • Year that Disney World’s Grand Floridian opened: 1988
  • Year that Disney World’s Caribbean Beach Resort opened: 1988
  • Year that Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resorts opened: 1990
  • Year that Disney’s Yacht Club resort opened: 1990
  • Year that Disney’s Port Orleans Resort French Quarter opened: 1991
  • Year that Disney’s Old Key West Resort opened: 1991
  • Year that Disney’s Port Orleans Resort Riverside opened: 1992
  • Year that Disney’s Wilderness Lodge opened: 1994
  • Year that Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort opened: 1994
  • Year that Disney’s All-Star Music Resort opened: 1994
  • Year that Disney’s Boardwalk Inn and Boardwalk Villas opened: 1996
  • Year that Disney’s Coronado Springs resort opened: 1997
  • Year that Disney’s All-Star Movies resort opened: 1999
  • Year that Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (Jambo House) opened: 2001
  • Year that Disney’s Beach Club Villas opened: 2002
  • Year that Disney’s Pop Century resort opened: 2003
  • Year that Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort opened: 2004
  • Year that Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas (Kidani) opened: 2007
  • Year that Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary opened: 2009
  • Year that the Treehouse Villas opened: 2009
  • Year that Disney’s Art of Animation opened: 2012
  • Year that the Disney World monorail was extended to Epcot: 1982
  • Years that Fantasyland in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom was overhauled and expanded: 2012-2014
  • Year that Downtown Disney at Disney World was relaunched as Disney Springs: 2016
  • First year the Disney World Marathon was run: 1994
  • Year the Disney Vacation Club launched: 1991
  • Year that the Disney Cruise Line launched: 1998

Disney Television History

  • Year the Disney Channel began broadcasting: 1983
  • Year that Disney merged with ABC: 1996
  • Year that Disney first appeared on television: 1950 (An Hour in Wonderland)
  • Year that The Mickey Mouse Club made its TV debut: 1955
  • Year that DisneyXD was launched: 2009
  • Year that Disney Junior was launched: 2010
  • Year the Disney+ was launched: 2019

Disney Movie History

  • Year that Disney purchased Pixar: 2006
  • When did Mickey Mouse make his debut? November 18, 1928
  • Year Disney purchased Lucasfilm (Star Wars): 2012
  • When did Disney purchase Marvel? 2009
  • Year that Disney began production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: 1934
  • Year that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was released: 1937
  • Year that Walt Disney Home Video was launched: 1980
  • Year that Disney launched Touchstone Films in: 1984
  • Year that Disney launched Hollywood Pictures in: 1984
  • Year that Disney purchased Miramax Films in: 1993
  • Year that Disney launched Disneynature in: 2009
  • Year that Disney purchased the rights to The Muppets: 2004
  • Year that Disney purchased Fox: 2019

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About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of DisneyNews.us. My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other sites include DMR and VideoGamesStats.com.