TBT: Disney Co.’s 91st birthday and other October WDW highlights

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Today’s TBT commemorates the 91st birthday of the founding of the Walt Disney Corporation, which happened on this date in 1923. Walt and his brother Roy opened the now world famous brand originally as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio.

It was in this same year that Walt created a short film, Alice’s Wonderland, featuring Virginia Davis and animated characters. About three years later, his company was renamed the Walt Disney Studio, from which Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and Mickey Mouse were born. One of these two characters saw demise, the other fame. We all know which was which, there.

Mickey also saw a name change in his time. He was originally “Mortimer” but Disney’s wife didn’t care for the sound of that. Mickey appeared in Disney’s first sound film, Steamboat Willie, in 1928.

Another big October date for Disney came in 1949 with the launch of the Walt Disney Music company; and then in 1954 when the ABC network aired Disney’s first regular TV series — a big hit, at that — titled Disneyland. A year later, in October 1955, the Mickey Mouse Club debuted on TV, too.

Then, in October 1971, Walt Disney World officially opened to the public, with the Magic Kingdom and two hotels in central Florida. Epcot opened in October 1982, and in October 2005, Bob Iger took over for Michael Eisner as CEO. This same month, Disney became the first to license TV episodes for download on iTunes.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.