17 Disney Facts That Are Too Much Fun Not To Share — So Here They Are

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The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror really could’ve been a totally different ride!!!

1. Walt Disney won his very first Oscar in 1932 for the short Flowers and Trees, which also happened to be the very first cartoon released in color.

Everett Collection, Disney

2. Dopey almost replaced Mickey Mouse in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice in Fantasia.

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When Fantasia was in pre-production, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs had just been released and was becoming a major hit. The thought was to have Dopey play the Apprentice instead of Mickey because of this. But Walt always wanted Mickey for the role and liked that he represented the “everyman.”

3. The final ballroom dance scene in Beauty and the Beast reuses the animation from the final dance scene in Sleeping Beauty. But contrary to popular belief, it wasn’t done to save money — it was actually done to save time.

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According to Gary Trousdale, who co-directed the movie, they decided to do this since they were short on time and had to deliver the movie to the studio, saying, “We were just days from our final deadline to deliver, and we had an entire dance sequence (the last scene of the movie, not the ballroom) to do. Everyone was booked and busy…so we took the Sleeping Beauty dance, re-sized and re-positioned it, and gave the note, ‘Note to Clean-up: Clean up Aurora as Belle; clean up Prince Charming as Beast.'”

4. Robin Hood is notoriously known for being a movie in which the reuse of animation was very obvious — reportedly because the film had a very small budget. One of the movies that included reused animation was Snow White (for some of the Maid Marian sequences), and the artist who did those transformations for the film was none other than Don Bluth.

A Fox/ Disney/ youtube.com

Bluth would famously leave Disney a few years later and set up his own rival production company, creating such classic animated movies as An American Tail, The Land Before Time, and Anastasia.

5. The animated version of Robin Hood was not Disney’s first film about the character. In 1952, the studio made a live-action movie about him titled The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men.

Disney/ Courtesy Everett Collection

6. Mickey and the Beanstalk was supposed to be a full-length movie — but production of the film was stopped because of War World II.

Courtesy Everett Collection

After the war, Walt and the studio decided to revive the film as a featurette (included in Fun and Fancy Free) to mark Mickey’s return to the screen; Mickey had not been in a theatrical short since the early ’40s.

7. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was originally supposed to be a full-length movie, but at the time — in the late ’40s — the studio didn’t have the budget for it.

Disney/ Courtesy Everett Collection

Throughout the 1940s, Walt Disney Studios had struggled financially — mainly because of War World II — so the studio realized that making a full-length version of the film was something it really couldn’t afford. Instead they decided to make it a featurette packaged with a Wind in the Willows featurette.

8. The classic Mickey Mouse hat was originally created for The Mickey Mouse Club in 1955. The design of the hat was inspired by the 1929 animated short Karnival Kid.

Disney / Courtesy Everett Collection, Disney

The hat, which was designed by Roy Williams, would be later be replicated and sold at Disneyland.

9. Disneyland’s iconic churros — arguably the most famous park treat — aren’t as old as the park itself. They were actually first introduced in 1985.

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The idea to bring churros to the park happened because of Jim Lowman, a cast member who was in charge of overseeing Disneyland’s food and beverages in Fantasyland at the time. He was looking for a quick and easy snack that would appeal to teens in the upcoming Videopolis dance club area.

Jim stumbled upon churros when visiting the Long Beach Grand Prix in 1985, and then contacted the vendor of them about bringing them into the park. Initially, they did a test run of the churros in the park, and they were an instant success.

10. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is actually a result of two rides Disney had in the works.

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When Disney needed a new attraction for its Disney’s Hollywood Studios (then-known as Disney-MGM Studios), it thought about creating a ride around Mel Brooks. The plans got pretty far along, even meeting with Brooks several times to hash out the ideas. Eventually, the idea morphed into a comedic, haunted-hotel dark ride where guests rode around in a hotel elevator that went off its tracks.

Ultimately, Brooks decided he didn’t want to be involved in the project anymore and pulled out. Imagineers then combined the haunted-hotel idea with a falling elevator ride that was meant to go into Disneyland Paris. Without Brooks, they knew they could go with a darker tone and decided to theme it to The Twilight Zone.

11. The iconic boulder-rolling scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark is an homage to a very similar thing that happened in the 1954 Scrooge McDuck comic, “The Seven Cities of Cibola.”

Paramount / Courtesy Everett Collection

In the comic, Scrooge, Huey, Dewey, and Louie travel to a lost city where they find an emerald idol. However, noticing it is booby-trapped, they decide not to take it. What they don’t realize is that they have been followed by the Beagle Boys, who decide to steal the idol, which sets off a giant boulder that chases after them.

George Lucas was a big fan of the Scrooge McDuck comics (which were created by Carl Barks) growing up and told Edward Summer, a writer who put together a book of Barks’ Scrooge comics, that the boulder scene in Raiders was a “conscious homage” to “The Seven Cities of Cibola.”

12. In a sort of full-circle moment, the Raiders logo would go on to inspire the DuckTales one:

13. Michael Eisenberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg turned down The Little Mermaid when it was first pitched. At the time, they were making a sequel to Splash and were concerned about making two mermaid movies.

Disney, / ©Buena Vista Pictures/courtesy Everet / Everett Collection

The two changed their minds when they read the two-page treatment for it and realized they had the makings of a classic Disney fairy tale. And if you’re wondering, the sequel to SplashSplash, Too — was a pretty forgettable made-for-TV movie that didn’t even star Tom Hanks or Daryl Hannah.

14. Anika Noni Rose had only one request when voicing Princess Tiana in The Princess and the Frog: that they make the character left-handed just like herself.

Walt Disney Co. / Courtesy Everett Collection

15. In 1985, The Black Cauldron was the first Disney film to use the now classic Walt Disney Pictures logo with the castle, blue background, and falling star:

16. Tangled was the first Disney Princess movie to be rated PG.

Walt Disney Co. / Courtesy Everett Collection

But, it wasn’t Disney’s first animated movie to be rated PG. The Black Cauldron was the first Disney animated film to get the rating.

17. And finally, The Golden Girls (Dorothy, Blanche, Rose, and Sophia) almost had a cameo in Ralph Breaks the Internet in the Oh My Disney scene.

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According to the film’s directors, Rich Moore and Phil Johnston, when putting together the movie they learned the classic TV characters were very popular on the Oh My Disney website (the TV show is a Disney production, in case you didn’t know). But they ended up cutting them out because they thought it would be confusing to anyone who hadn’t been on the site.

After the film’s release, Johnston said not having them in the scene was a huge regret.

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