Disney Timeline

  • Walt Disney is Born

  • Walt graduates from Benton High School

  • Walt works as a member of the American Ambulance Corps in France. Walt lied about his age to be accepted.

  • After driving an ambulance through Europe, Walt returns to the US, moves to Kansas City and gets job at the Posman-Rubin Commercial Art Studio for $50 a month.

  • Walt meets Ub Iwwerks, together form Iwerks-Disney Commercial Artists. The small group survives for a month.

  • Walt & Ub work for the Kansas City Slide Company.Walt names the films "Laugh-O-grams."

  • Walt quits the Film Ad, then incorporates "Laugh-O-gram Films" with $15,000 from local investors. Walt persuades Ub Iwerks to leave the Film Ad.

  • Walt resigns himself to bankrupcy, moves to Hollywood planning to become a director.

  • Walt & Roy sign a contract with M.J. Winkler, a New York cartoon distributor.

  • Walt hires the first animator, Rollin Hamilton and moves into a small store with a window bearing "Disney Bros. Studio."

  • The first "Alice Comedies" reaches theaters.

  • Ub Iwerks moves to California to join Disney Productions.

  • His career as an animator is over.

  • Walt marries Lillian

  • Walt marries Lillian.

  • Walt renames the studio to the "Walt Disney Studio."

  • Walt Disney Studios authorized to make "Oswald the Lucky Rabbit" series. All rights were sold to Mintz distribution.

  • Walt, on a train ride, develops Mickey Mouse and along with Ub Iwerks creates a new cartoon, "Plane Crazy."

  • "Steamboat Willie," the third cartoon is created.

  • Walt pursues New York film companies to record the cartoon with sound.

  • Walt urges Ub to go forward with the fourth Mickey Mouse Cartoon "The Barn Dance."

  • "Steamboat Willie" opens at the Colon Theater in New York. Billed as "the first animated cartoon with sound," it gets rave reviews."

  • Walt makes a deal with Pat Powers, who wants to promote Cinephone, is struck. Walt returns to California with a contract and $2500.

  • Walt hires a lawyer for legal assistance in regards to the deal with Pat Powers.

  • Ub Iwerks signs a contract with Powers, stunning Walt. The lawyer negotiates an agreement to dissolve Iwerks' contract with Disney and is paid $2,920 for 1/5 interest.

  • Mickey Mouse turns into a national craze and Mickey Mouse Clubs spring up all over the country.

  • Walt breaks off negotiations with Pat Powers, suspecting him of being crooked. Disney could not afford a lawsuit, so they walk away and start anew.

  • Columbia Pictures signs with Disney, as Walt breaks all ties with Powers with a payment for relinquish of the 21 Disney cartoons.

  • Walt assigns Ub Iwerks to devise a comic strip.

  • Syndication comes from King Features and Mickey Mouse makes his first comic strip on January 13, 1930.

  • Pluto makes 1st appearance in a Mickey Mouse cartoon, "The Chain Gang."

  • Mickey Mouse is now known in every civilized country.

  • Walt suffers a nervous breakdown, caused by pushing himself and animators on the job.

  • The Mickey Mouse Clubs reach a million members.

  • Goofy makes 1st appearance in "Mickey's Revue."

  • Walt agrees to United Artists' proposal, a $15,000 advance on each cartoon.

  • United Artists agrees to grant Disney 2 years exclusive use of 3-color Technicolor.

  • "Flowers and Trees" appears at the Hollywood Chinese Theater.

  • The first class of the Disney Art School is held at the Chouinard Art Institue.

  • The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences awards "Flowers and Trees" to Walt Disney.

  • "Three Little Pigs," the 36th Silly Symphony, is produced.

  • Roy convinces Walt to produce 3 more "Pig" movies, "The Big Bad Wolf,", "Three Little Wolves" and "The Practical Pig." None were as successful as the first one.

  • "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" becomes a national rally cry.

  • Donald Duck debut's in a Silly Symphony film, "The Wise Little Hen."

  • Walt's staff grows to 187 employees.

  • Walt announces that "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" will be the 1st feature film. Work on "Snow White" is the center of attention.

  • Disneys sign a releasing agreement for shorts and for "Snow White" with RKO.

  • Lillian and Walt adopt Sharon Mae Disney.

  • Donald Duck gets his own series of short films.

  • Donald Duck gets his own series of short films.

  • "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" is seen by the public in Los Angeles. It makes a 3 week run at Radio City Music Hall, then some New York theaters."Snow White" grosses $8 million and wins an Academy Award.

  • Walt decides that Mickey Mouse should star in a feature of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice." Leopold Stokwski volunteers to conduct the music. Stokowski tells Disney to create a single Feature. Fantasia.

  • "Bambi" is started at the same time but is last to be released due to the time it took to draw the animals. The studio resembled a zoo at times with many animals on hand to be drawn. Video was captured and photos were donated for the film.

  • Flora Disney dies of asphyxiation due to a defective furnace. Walt & Roy blame themselves because it occured in the house they purchased.

  • The start of World War II causes business of "Pinocchio" to fall short of what is expected.

  • Burbank Studio construction continues, making it a workers paradise.

  • "Dumbo" is produced and finished in 1 year.

  • Walt originally planned it as a 30 minute film but expanded it into a feature film of 64 minutes. It makes an $850,000 profit.

  • Ub Iwerks returns to the Walt Disney Studios.

  • Disney employees grow to 1,000 workers.

  • High demand for war films occurs.

  • The draft takes 1/3 of Walt's artists. The army moves into the Disney Studios.

  • Elias Disney passes away while Walt is away, never really recovering from the loss of Flora. When Walt returns, the strike has ended but takes away Disney employees due to production slow down.

  • A picket line forms in front of the Walt Disney Studios, directed by Herb Sorrell.

  • "Bambi" is released but has disappointing numbers at the box office in both the U.S. and foreign cities.

  • The company's debt rises to $4.3 million.

  • "Pinocchio", "Fantasia", "Bambi" & "Dumbo" are playing in Europe, but no revenue is coming in due to the damaged economy.

  • Walt assigns all of his top talent to make "Cinderella," which had been in development for several years, along with "Peter Pan" & "Alice in Wonderland."

  • The Walt Disney Music Company is formed.

  • "Cinderella" debuts and is well accepted, the first hit for Disney Studios since "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs."

  • Disney Studios debt is reduced to $1.7 million.

  • Walt schedules "Alice In Wonderland" to follow "Cinderella."

  • The film was a disappointment in both London and America, while losing $1 million.

  • "Peter Pan" was the next cartoon in production.

  • Walt bought the rights to the play in 1939 and spent years trying to convert it into a cartoon.

  • Walt agrees to produce a Christmas show for NBC. It attracts a huge audience and TV's value impresses Walt.

  • "One hour in Wonderland" debuts on Christmas of 1951.

  • Script production begins on "Lady and the Tramp."

  • The Sword and the Rose" and "Rob Roy" are produced, Walt contemplates "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," a Jules Verne classic adventure.

  • Due to the success of the True-Life Adventure films, Walt receives many film propositions from naturalists.

  • Disney films are distributed by Buena Vista

  • Walt's vision of an amusement park begins. He decides that the name of the park would be called Disneyland.

  • Walt creates WED Enterprises to organize the project.

  • Roy & Leonard Goldman come to an agreement where ABC would give Disney a $500,000 investment in Disneyland in exchange for Disney's supplying a one-hour Television series.

  • ABC would become a 35% owner of Disneyland and would guarantee loans up to $4.5 million.

  • Disney's first "Adventures in Music" animated film, "Melody" is released. The film was made in 3-D, the first such film to be released in the US.

  • Walt commisions the Stanford Research Institute to find the ideal location for Disneyland. Anaheim, California is selected as the place.

  • "Davy Crockett" is the hit of the inaugural Disneyland season and "The Ballad of Davy Crockett" is #1 for 13 weeks, selling over 10 million records. More than 10 million Davy Crockett racoon skin hats are sold.

  • "Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier" profits almost $2.5 million.

  • Walt buys 244 acres of land near Anaheim, California, as the site for his theme park.

  • Plans for Disneyland park and tv show are announced. Walt states that the tv series would begin in October, 1954 and the park would open in July, 1955.

  • The television series opens with "The Disneyland Story" describing coming attractions of the park and tv show. The Television shows are introduced by Walt himself.

  • The Walt Disney Production animated feature film, "Lady and the Tramp" is released in the US by Buena Vista. It is the first cartoon feature filmed in CinemaScope and processed in Technicolor.

  • Problems occur with the Orange County building inspectors as they have no experience with theme park structures.

  • Disneyland opens as invitation only.

  • Disneyland welcomes its one millionth visitor

  • Disneyland television series opens its second season on ABC with "Dumbo."

  • Walt introduces "The Mickey Mouse Club" program, the first he ever designs strictly for children.

  • The Disneyland Hotel opens, on a 60-acre site next to Disneyland.

  • "Bambi" is re-released in theaters and earns $2 million.

  • The live-action film, "Old Yeller" is released.

  • "The Shaggy Dog" is released and is a surprising success, earning over $9.5 million in North America.

  • The Matterhorn, a bobsled racing ride, is opened, as well as the Submarine Voyage and the Disneyland-Alweg Monorail System. A Motor Boat cruise and a revamp of the Autopia is also opened.

  • The E-Ticket is introduced.

  • The loan from the Bank of America is finally paid off.

  • "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color" makes its debut on NBC with a new character, Ludwig Von Drake.

  • Enchanted Tiki Room opens at Disneyland

  • The "New Orleans Square" area opens at Disneyland. It cost US$18 million, and occupies 3 acres

  • Walt starts feeling weak, and returns to St. Joseph's Hospital.

  • Walt Dies