- The company officially changes its name from Walt Disney Productions to The Walt Disney Company.
- After 8 years, The Journey of Natty Gann is the last video to use the 1978 Walt Disney Home Video Logo (Neon Mickey).
- After 4 years, The Sword in the Stone is last video to use the Walt Disney and You Promo.
- Walt Disney Home Video starts using the "Sorcerer Mickey" logo in May 1986 with its first such release being Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore.
- Walt Disney is inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame on April 21.
- January 31 - Down and Out in Beverly Hills (Touchstone Pictures; first R-rated release under that label)
- March 7 - Sleeping Beauty (re-issue)
- June 27 - Ruthless People (Touchstone Pictures)
- July 2 - The Great Mouse Detective is released to positive reviews and is a commercial success.
- August 1 - Flight of the Navigator
- October 3 - Tough Guys (Touchstone Pictures)
- October 17 - The Color of Money (Touchstone Pictures)
- November 21 - Song of the South (re-issue)
- December 19 - Lady and the Tramp (re-issue)
- July 2 - Clock Cleaners (re-issue)
- August 17 - Luxo Jr.
- February 2 - After 3 years of being off the air, the Walt Disney anthology series returns to TV under the name The Disney Sunday Movie. The series airs on Sunday nights on ABC. The series had not had a host since the passing of Walt Disney himself in 1966, but as of this incarnation, Michael Eisner takes over the hosting duties. The first installment is a TV-movie comedy entitled Help Wanted: Kids, featuring Cindy Williams and Micheal McKean. 
- February 14 - DTV Valentine airs on NBC.
- October 9 - The Fox Broadcasting Company (Fox for short) launches as the fourth major broadcast television network in the United States.
- July - Gladstone Publishing obtains the Disney comic license and starts publishing Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, Uncle Scrooge, and Walt Disney's Comics and Stories.
Theme park happenings
- January 15 - The Living Seas opens at EPCOT Center.
- February - The Country Bear Vacation Hoedown debuts at Disneyland, replacing the original Country Bear Jamboree show.
- March 8 - Alice's Tea Party opens at Tokyo Disneyland.
- May 17 - American Journeys debuts at Tokyo Disneyland.
- July 11 - Cinderella Castle Mystery Tour opens at Tokyo Disneyland.
- September 12 - Captain EO opens at EPCOT Center.
- September 18 - Captain EO opens at Disneyland.
- October 1 - Walt Disney World celebrates its 15th anniversary, which runs until September 30, 1987.
- January 7 - My Science Project (Touchstone Home Video)
- January 28 -
- March 4 -
- March 25 - The Sword in the Stone
- May 28 -
- June 25 -
- September 23 - Down and Out in Beverly Hills (Touchstone Home Video)
- October 14 -
- Sleeping Beauty
- Robin Hood (re-issue)
- Pinocchio (re-issue)
- Dumbo (re-issue)
- The Sword in the Stone (re-issue)
- Alice in Wonderland (re-issue)
- Ten Who Dared
- The Fighting Prince of Donegal
- The World's Greatest Athlete
- Canine Commando
- A Tale of Two Chipmunks
- The Unsinkable Donald Duck with Huey, Dewey, and Louie
- December 23 -
Direct to video releases
- January 28 -
- December 23 -
- January 4 - Charlyne Yi (actress and comedian)
- January 12 - Gemma Arterton (actress)
- January 15 - Jessy Schram (actress)
- January 24 - Ricky Ullman (actor and singer)
- January 24 - Mischa Barton (actress and model)
- January 29 - Sarah Jaffe (singer and songwriter)
- February 14 - Tiffany Thornton (actress and singer)
- February 19 - Ophelia Lovibond (actress)
- February 24 - Bryce Papenbrook (voice actor)
- February 25 - Justin Berfield (actor, writer, and producer)
- February 26 - Teresa Palmer (actress)
- March 4 - Margo Harshman (actress)
- March 6 - Eli Marienthal (actor)
- March 9 - Brittany Snow (actress and singer)
- March 17 - Olesya Rulin (actress)
- March 28 - Lady Gaga (singer)
- April 9 - Leighton Meester (actress and singer)
- April 10 - Alex Trench (former child actor)
- April 23 - Alisha Morrison (actress)
- April 25 - John DeLuca (actor)
- May 2 -
- May 12 - Emily VanCamp (actress)
- May 13 - Lena Dunham (actress, writer, director, and producer)
- May 16 - Megan Fox (actress and model)
- May 17 - Tahj Mowry (actor, singer and dancer)
- May 19 - Eric Lloyd (actor)
- May 21 - Myra (actress and singer)
- May 26 - Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey (actress and model)
- May 29 - Hornswoggle (wrestler)
- June 11 - Shia LaBeouf (actor)
- June 13 -
- June 18 - Richard Madden (actor)
- June 24 - Solange Knowles (actress, singer, songwriter, model, dancer, and DJ)
- June 27 - Drake Bell (actor, comedian, musician, voice actor, and record producer)
- June 27 - Sam Claflin (actor)
- June 28 - Maya Stojan (actress)
- July 2 - Lindsay Lohan (actress and singer)
- July 5 - Adam Young (singer, musician, songwriter)
- July 9 - Kiely Williams (singer, actress, songwriter, and dancer)
- August 1 - Elijah Kelley (actor, singer, and dancer)
- August 16 - Shawn Pyfrom (film, voice, and television actor)
- August 21 - Brooks Wheelan (comedian, actor, and writer)
- August 28 - Armie Hammer (actor)
- August 29 - Lauren Collins (actress)
- September 3 - Shaun White (snowboarder and skateboarder)
- September 5 - Andrew Ducote (actor)
- September 12 - Emmy Rossum (actress and singer)
- September 14 - A.J. Trauth (actor and musician)
- September 16 - Kyla Pratt (actress)
- September 26 - Sarah Freeman (voice actress)
- October 2 - Camilla Belle (actress)
- October 13 - Tom Attenborough (theatre director)
- October 22 - Kyle Gallner (actor)
- October 23 - Emilia Clarke (actress)
- November 10 - Josh Peck (actor and comedian)
- December 17 - Vanessa Zima (actress)
- December 23 - Noël Wells (actress and comedian)
- December 30 - Ellie Goulding (singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist)
- January 2 - Una Merkel (stage and film actress)
- March 25 - Gloria Blondell (voice actress)
- April 30 - Robert Stevenson (director)
- May 9 - Herschel Bernardi (film, Broadway and television actor)
- August 19 - Hermione Baddeley (actress)
- September 28 - Hal King (animator)
- October 11 - David Hand (animator and filmmaker)
- October 14 - Keenan Wynn (actor)
- November 2 - Paul Frees (voice actor)
- November 7 - Alan Hewitt (film, television and stage actor)
- November 11 - Roger C. Carmel (actor)
- November 21 - Jerry Colonna (comedian and singer)
- November 22 - Scatman Crothers (actor and voice actor)
- November 25 - Don Towsley (animator)
- December 13 - Heather Angel (actress)
- December 26 - Elsa Lanchester (actress)
- Kirk Wise - Co-director with Gary Trousdale for Beauty and the Beast, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Atlantis: The Lost Empire
- Jorgen Klubien - Storyboard Artist at Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios
- July 2 - Basil of Baker Street, David Q. Dawson, Ratigan, Olivia Flaversham, Hiram Flaversham, Fidget, Queen Mousetoria, Felicia, Miss Kitty, Thugs
- August 1 - David Freeman, Helen Freeman, Bill Freeman, Max, Dr. Louis Faraday, Carolyn McAdams, R.A.L.F., Bruiser, Puckmaren, Aliens, Jeff Freeman