Today In Disney History ~ June 24th

Today In Disney History ~ June 24th


Dedicating the Annette Funicello Stage From OhMyDisney

In the 1950s, Stage 1 on the Walt Disney Studios Lot was the home of The Mickey Mouse Club and its Mouseketeers. On June 24, 2013, that stage was officially renamed the Annette Funicello Stage, after the Disney Legend and former Mouseketeer who passed away earlier this year. “From this day forward, her place in our hearts and our history will be marked forever right here on this stage where it all began, when she put on those famous ears and became a Mouseketeer,” said Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger as he stood right outside of the Stage.
Annette’s family, friends, and fellow Mouseketeers gathered to pay homage to the icon. Among those who came to mark the occasion was fellow Disney Legend Richard Sherman. Richard and his brother Robert wrote Annette’s first Top 10 hit song, which caught the attention of Walt Disney. Of Annette, Richard said, “She was our lucky star.”
Those who knew Annette best said they were honored to have her name forever associated with the stage that started her career. “We couldn’t think of a better place to have something that’s just going to last forever,” said her son Jason Gilardi. “It’s just amazing. Everyone that walks down around Disney Studios is going to see it and be reminded of the wonderful woman that grew up here.”
After the dedication, film critic and historian Leonard Maltin played host at a special presentation entitled “Annette Funicello: A Life Celebration.”
Some of Annette’s former cast mates reminisced about their friend, the only Mouseketeer hand-selected by Walt Disney himself. Fellow Mouseketeer Tommy Cole said, “Anne was like our sister. We were family. And we really miss her.”
On the side of Stage 1 now hangs a sign with Annette’s signature, the same one that former Spin and Marty costars recalled her signing over and over again. In an attempt to put words to his friend, David Stollery simply said, “She was effortlessly genuine.”

TMSM Today in Graphic by Sherry Rinaldi DeHart

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Michele Atwood is the Owner/Editor of The Main Street Mouse and it’s subsidiaries and author of the books “Moving to Main Street U.S.A.” “How Many Sleeps Till Disney?” and “How Many Sleeps Till Disneyland?” Michele also contributes Disney news to the Joe Kelley Morning Show on 107.3 WDBO in Orlando. She and her family made the move from Michigan to the Orlando area to pursue their Disney dreams. Michele is a life long Disney fan, and has two sons who have followed suit, each going on their first Disney trip before their first birthday’s. Part of the goal Michele has for The Main Street Mouse is not only to keep members informed, but to create somewhat of a Disney Family by relating to others through personal experiences and opinions. Also, Michele is making it a priority to share stories of inspiration and hope to other Disney Fans in an effort to share the Magic and hopefully make a difference in the lives of others. ~ I enjoy writing personal perspective blogs, doing TMSM Meet Ups for our readers, and keeping the constant interaction going with others, sharing the Disney Magic to people when they can’t be at their Happy Place.

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