Disney Timeline 1901-2024 | Disney History

Last Updated on: February 18th, 2024

Disney Timeline 1901-2024 | Disney History

Disney is a name that is synonymous with magic, wonder, and childhood memories. From its humble beginnings as a small animation studio in the 1920s, Disney has grown into a vast entertainment empire that encompasses theme parks, movies, television shows, and much more. Over the years, Disney has captured the hearts and imaginations of people of all ages, becoming a beloved part of popular culture and a symbol of Americana. The history of Disney is a story of innovation, creativity, and a relentless pursuit of excellence, and it continues to inspire and entertain people all over the world. This article will explore the rich history of Disney, from its early days to its present-day status as a global entertainment juggernaut.

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 Timeline 1901-2024

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

Disney by the Years Series

For a more in-depth look at an Important year in Disney history, please click on a year below:

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.