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The Wonderful World of Disney

Specials 1950 - 2017

  • 1950-12-25T06:00:00+01:00 on ABC (US)
  • 60 mins
  • 7 hours, 0 mins
  • United States
  • Animation, Children, Family

Walt Disney, one of Hollywood's most ambitious producers, was first approached to do television in 1950, when The Coca-Cola Company offered him a one-hour special. The one hour special, "One Hour in Wonderland," aired December 25, 1950 on NBC and garnered 90% of the television viewing audience. A second special, "The Walt Disney Christmas Special," aired December 25, 1951 on CBS. When Walt had drawn up plans for a theme park, known as Disneyland, he found a hard time obtaining funding; critics, including Walt's brother Roy, thought that it was unfeasible and that it would be a fiasco. At the same time, the ABC television network offered him a deal for a television anthology series. Walt wouldn't agree to it unless they put up partial financing for Disneyland (a term that had kept CBS and NBC from signing with him). ABC agreed, and also paid him $50,000 per program, an exorbitant sum for the time. The show, titled Disneyland, premiered on October 27, 1954 and was an immediate success. The program showcased original works from the Disney Studios. Cartoons, documentaries, educational shorts, all were shown to a captive worldwide audience. Variety was the key to its success, as it kept most of what it did fresh, multi-cultural and constantly changing its entertainment.

8 episodes

Special 1 One Hour in Wonderland

  • 1950-12-25T06:00:00+01:00 — 60 mins

One Hour in Wonderland is a 1950 television special made by Walt Disney Productions. It was first seen on Christmas Day, 1950, over NBC (4–5 pm in all time zones) for Coca-Cola, and was Walt Disney's first television production. It featured Walt as host, with Bobby Driscoll, Kathryn Beaumont, Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy (who appeared on radio for Coke), and other celebrities who worked with Walt, including the Firehouse Five Plus Two jazz band. This special was actually a promotional film for Disney's upcoming theatrical feature, Alice in Wonderland. Kathryn Beaumont, who was Alice's voice, was dressed like her for this special.

Special 2 The Grand Opening of Walt Disney World

  • 1971-10-29T05:00:00+01:00 — 60 mins

The Grand Opening of Walt Disney World is a musical television special celebrating and highlighting the opening ceremonies of the Walt Disney World Resort.

Special 3 A Disney Halloween

  • 1983-10-01T05:00:00+01:00 — 60 mins

A Disney Halloween was a 90-minute Halloween-themed television special that included portions from both Disney's Halloween Treat (1982) and Disney's Greatest Villains (1977) featuring classic short cartoons and excerpts of various villains from Disney feature films. It was hosted by an offscreen narrator and the Magic Mirror from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Special 4 Donald Duck's 50th Birthday

  • 1984-11-13T06:00:00+01:00 — 60 mins

Donald Duck's 50th Birthday is the 1984 television special broadcast on The Magical World of Disney on November 13, 1984 on CBS. As the title suggests, it was produced for the 50th anniversary of the Donald Duck character. Donald is shown in both animated and costumed form, interacting with emcee Dick Van Dyke and other cast members. The film not only shows Donald's life, but also depicts an extensive international tour that Donald went on in 1984 as well as showing various celebrities of the day wishing Donald happy birthday. The tour culminates in a parade in Donald's honor at Disneyland.

Special 5 Disneyland 60

  • 2016-02-21T06:00:00+01:00 — 60 mins

Walt Disney, one of the ultimate dreamers, used his uninhibited imagination and determination to create what became the springboard for all of the Walt Disney Company's spirited and wildly successful creativity that followed -- his crowning achievement: Disneyland. The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60 will celebrate the inventiveness and inspiration of Disney's big, bold creation with a glamorous, star-studded Diamond Anniversary event. Acclaimed actor Harrison Ford, who portrays Han Solo in the Star Wars film franchise, will give viewers an exclusive preview of Star Wars-themed lands being developed at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts. New details of the ambitious plans to bring Star Wars to life at both resorts will be revealed during the show, with Master of Ceremonies Derek Hough. Hough, a six-time Dancing with the Stars champion, will be joined by past champion Witney Carson as the pair leads a team of dancers down Main Street U.S.A. to an enormously popular Oscar®-nominated song from a classic Disney animated motion picture. Music legend Sir Elton John will perform two sensational songs in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Park, the Oscar®-nominated song "Circle of Life," from Disney's The Lion King, and the new song, "Wonderful Crazy Night," from his upcoming album. The Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by music and artistic director Gustavo Dudamel, will join the celebration performing "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" from Walt Disney's acclaimed animated film Fantasia. The special takes place in the heart of Hollywood at the Dolby Theater and throughout some of the most iconic locations at Disneyland Park, including Sleeping Beauty Castle and Main Street U.S.A., and Cars Land, a themed area of Disney California Adventure Park. It will also showcase two dazzling displays of technology – the "Paint the Night" Parade and "World of Color–Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney" in Disney California Adventure Park, along with many more.

Special 6 Operation Disneyland

  • no air date — 60 mins

A 14-minute documentary produced for ABC closed-circuit television, which looks at the technical challenges behind broadcasting the opening ceremonies of Disneyland park.

Special 7 Magical Holiday Celebration

  • 2016-11-24T06:00:00+01:00 — 60 mins

Join Emmy Award-winners Julianne and Derek Hough for this magical two-hour special from Walt Disney World Resort. They join “Descendants 2” star Sofia Carson to kick off the holiday season in a way only Disney can, showcasing extraordinary music performances, special appearances and some unforgettable Disney magic moments.

Special 8 Magical Holiday Celebration 2017

  • 2017-11-30T06:00:00+01:00 — 60 mins

Join Emmy Award-winner Julianne Hough and multi-platinum recording artist and television personality, Nick Lachey as they host the magical two-hour event from the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. They join co-host, Jesse Palmer to kick off the holiday season in a way only Disney can, showcasing incredible music performances, special appearances and some unforgettable Disney magic moments including an extraordinary castle lighting spectacular.

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