Annual Passholders treated to "Wednesdays with Walt," Tim O'Day and Miriam Nelson
On July 15, 2015, Tim O’Day sat with Miriam Nelson during “Wednesdays with Walt” to talk about her career and her involvement with the opening of Disneyland. Nelson, a choreographer and dancer who is 95 and still tap dances, was responsible for the dance routines during the “Dateline Disneyland” special that aired on ABC when Disneyland opened in 1955.
Nelson had never choreographed anything outdoors before and when asked how she would do it, she said that she would just have to yell louder. One problem was that the dancers would practice in an area, and the next day it would be changed. The director would ask the dancers to move back, and she would say that they could not. The director would then say that they moved back yesterday, and Nelson would point out that there hadn’t been a tree in the way yesterday.
“Everything was a catastrophe,” says O’Day about opening day at Disneyland.
He showed a Rambler commercial that had someone saying “This is ridiculous” at the end of it.
In spite of the difficulties, “it worked” says Nelson.
Nelson choreographed Disneyland’s first parade and went with the Golden Horseshoe Revue t the foreign correspondents’ dinner at the White House when Nixon was president. She has worked with Rita Hayworth and Kim Novak. She was also involved in films like Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Double Indemnity.