From our friends at The Oh My Disney blog. Get unprecedented access to the making of Mary Poppins with the Saving Mr. Banks Multi-Touch Book, just released in the iBook Store. Featuring a forward by Mary Poppins composer, Richard Sherman, and exclusive treasures from the archives, you can discover the story behind the film with original letters from Walt Disney, film sketches, concept art, storyboards, demo recordings, behind-the-scenes photo and video, and more. This book is literally a treasure trove of all things surrounding the amazing journey of bringing Mary Poppins to the silver screen.
Watch the trailer to learn more about it, and don’t hesitate to download this one-of-a-kind book today. Did we mention that’s it’s free? A little early Christmas present from Disney. Just a FYI, this book is available for the iPad only. If anyone downloads it, please feel free to share you experience with others through our Facebook page.
Saving Mr. Banks opens in select cities this Friday, everywhere December 20.
At one time no vegetation would grow on Discovery Island at the Animal Kingdom. No tree, shrubs, flowers or plants. It was completely barren. One day a tiny ant planted a seed and made a wish. He wished for a tree to grow on the barren piece of land, a tree large enough to provide shelter for all of the animals. The ants’ wish came true and a tree began to grow. It continued to grow until there was room beneath its limbs for all of the animals. As the tree continued to grow upwards, the images of all of the animals that took shelter beneath it appeared on the trunk, roots, and branches.
For those of you who don’t know what this is, it’s the backstory to the Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom. When Animal Kingdom was being developed Imagineers knew that they were going to need a central icon to represent the park. One of the first concepts was a Noah’s Ark icon and another was a three leveled carousel featuring animals of the land, sea and sky. But the Tree of Live was the final choice. The early designs for the tree only called for it to be 50 feet high and was going to have a playground for children to play in. But as the Imagineers kept throwing around ideas the tree began to evolve. Original concepts included a restaurant called Roots Restaurant to be located beneath the tree but this idea was abandoned in favor of a theatre to be placed beneath it. This still caused problems with engineering because the foundation needed to be able to withstand hurricane forced winds and a large room built beneath the tree. So the idea for the tree was put on hold.
But one day an Imagineer was watching a show about off shore oil drilling in the Gulf and immediately knew what could be used to build the Tree of Life that could withstand the winds it needed to. A oil drilling platform would be large enough to house a large room and a narrow center section that would be capable of supporting the branches. The next problem was the branches. The Imagineers thought that the branches would have to be made of a rigid, non-flexible material. When the concept was loaded into a computer and the drawings were rendered, the tree looked like a dome because all of the branches would be mass-produced in identical sizes. The Imagineers came up with a flexible injection molded fiberglass to create the branches for the tree. The branches would vary in sizes just like branches of a real tree would.
After the tree was completed it stood 145 feet tall and 165 feet across. It had 12 primary branches, 45 secondary branches, 756 tertiary branches and 7,891 end branches. The Imagineers worked to come up with a leaf that could withstand the climates of Florida like heat, cold and moisture and could resist the effects of UV light. 102,583 leaves cover the tree with each leaf over a foot long.
If the making of the tree wasn’t enough there are also over 320 animals carved into the tree. It took ten artists working full time for 12 months to complete all of the carvings. One day during the building Jane Goodall visited the park and asked if there was a chimp on the tree. The team immediately added David Greybeard to the tree in the roots near the entrance to Tough to be a Bug. Disney also honored Goodall with a plaque at the Tree of Life.
We all could use a good deal, right? I will also venture to say, we all could use some extra Disney accessories too! Sometimes finding cute extras for our wardrobe at a good price isn’t always easy to do, but if you shop at Forever 21, you know that they’re reasonably priced. I’ve seen various Disney t-shirts and sweatshirts while walking through the store, and they’re always under $20! Not bad!
Now, Forever 21 has different Mickey Mouse themed accessories to fit into your Disney wardrobe! The line from Mickey & Co is packed with things you didn’t know you needed until you saw them… like Mickey Mouse high top sneakers!
The line has a retro feel to it. If you thought fanny packs were a thing of the past, think again! A Mickey Mouse fanny pack would be great to take to a Disney Park, it’s hands free, and festive too! They also have Mickey striped leg warmers, and Mickey suspenders. They say old fashions always come back around! So, if you’re looking to add some Mickey fun to your wardrobe, check out the new items at Forever 21, you never know what you could find!
Well, 2013 is quickly wrapping up, and soon folks will be deciding what they’re going to do to ring in the New Year. If you’re going to be near the Disneyland Resort, there are a few options for you, if you choose to celebrate the New Year, Disney Style!
Disney Parks have some delicious ideas for you, so I wanted to share with our readers:
We’ll start with the Napa Rose celebration. Actually, there are two: an early seating from 5:30 – 7 p.m. with a four-course dinner (think grilled hand-harvested sea scallops and 28-day-aged prime New York beef … Chef Andrew Sutton’s fabulous Wine Country Feast of seasonal classics) and festive decorations. Cost is $125 plus tax and gratuity. The perfect way to start the party early when you have plans later in the evening.
The late seating commences with bubbly at 8:15 p.m. and a dinner dance party with live music – they’re adding a dance floor in the lounge area with hundreds of silver, gold, red and black balloons to create a magical party. Plus hats and party favors, of course.
Start with honeyed profiteroles with goat cheese and cranberry jam, followed by imported Osetra caviar parfait layered with Skuna Bay salmon tartare, cucumber pearls and crème fraîche. You’ll move on to three more courses before a 30-minute “intermission” for dancing, followed by two more courses (including dessert). It’s all perfectly timed to take you to midnight. Dancing goes ‘til 1 a.m.
The five-course tasting menu is $220 plus tax and gratuity (no children’s pricing), plus $65 for a flight of world-class wines for pairing. Chef Sutton also has a delicious vegetarian menu. For reservations, call 714-300-7170. Valet is complimentary.
Other celebrations, special tastes for New Year’s Eve:
Look for menu specials in Disneyland park at Carnation Café on Main Street U.S.A. (surf and turf with shrimp and sirloin steak); at French Market (roasted pork chop with Calvados applesauce, braised greens and sweet potato soufflé); at Blue Bayou (a seafood pot pie); and Cafe Orleans (flat iron steak with bone marrow demi-glace, garlic mashed potatoes and acorn squash).
Flo’s V8 Café at Disney California Adventure park will offer meat loaf with Coca-Cola barbecue sauce and two sides.
Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel has a prixe fixe, three-course menu for $65 that includes spinach salad with warm bacon vinaigrette, filet and lobster and chocolate paté.
Storyteller’s Café at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa has a prixe fixe two-course dinner with with porcini-rubbed rib-eye with scampi-style prawns, mashed potatoes and Cabernet demi-glace, and a duo of dark chocolate and Bailey’s crème brûlée with espresso cookies for $29.99.
And who can resist a New Year’s Eve cupcake? Especially the New Year’s Cupcake with dark chocolate cake, Nutella filling, Belgian white chocolate frosting with black and silver decorations, silver disco dust, a chocolate Mickey, chocolate truffle and bow tie? That’s a party on a plate! Look for it at Jolly Holiday Bakery, Fidler, Fifer & Practical Cafe and Pacific Wharf Café at Disney California Adventure park, and White Water Snacks at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.
Last year, Disney Parks introduced a new way to send holiday greetings from the Disneyland Resort to your friends and family: The Merrier Card Maker! The customizable, interactive greeting returns this year, bringing holiday cheer with the help of Mickey Mouse and his friends.
The site is fun and easy to use! So give it a go and send some cute Christmas Greetings to your family and friends! Click here to get started creating. ~ http://www.disneyholidaycard.com/
So many of us Disney Fans really feel like we missed out on getting to see more of Walt Disney, and being able to witness how he was when he was here. I know for me, it makes me sad to think that Uncle Walt was gone quite a few years before I was born. I love to see old clips and such of Walt, to see his personality, his humor, his wit, etc. I came across this video, and I thought it was great! It’s a clip from when Walt Disney was on the 1956 CBS game show, What’s My Line?. You can see from the video what a fun guy Walt was, and how he enjoyed interacting with others. I hope you like this clip as much as I do! Enjoy!
New Balance showed the world their 2014 runDisney 860 running shoes featuring Sorcerer Mickey and Pink Minnie . Now they are announcing two more!
In addition to Mickey and Minnie shoes, NB will be releasing new Goofy and Cinderella character designs for their super fast 890v4 models!
Here’s a behind the scenes look!
Are you a Star Wars super fan? How would you like to get your hands on Han Solo’s DL-44 Blaster? The prop that was used in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi is up for auction at Invaluable Online Auction House. This particular blaster didn’t actually fire, but there was a heavier model used for the scenes where Han was shooting. Sadly, the blaster that fired is believed to be lost.
Invaluable said that the blaster has been inspected by a well-respected Star Wars expert, who vouches for its authenticity. The starting bid for the blaster is $200,000 and bidding runs through Dec. 21, 2013. It says that the value is estimated somewhere between $200,000 – $300,000.
Star Wars memorabilia has always been a favorite for the auction block. Last year, a Snowtrooper helmet used in Empire sold for $276,750 ($225,000 plus $51,750 as buyer’s premium and taxes). The year before that, a camera George Lucas used during the filming of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope sold for a record $625,000.
Invaluable has other various Star Wars items up for auctions as well. From unopened figures, story board cards, to Yoda’s puppet hand used in Episode I – The Phantom Menace.
As a life long Star Wars fan, this of course got me to thinking, what piece of memorabilia would I love to have from the Star Wars Universe. I’m a big fan of Darth Vader, I would love to have his Light Saber from Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back. But I’m sure that would be the obvious want of any fan, to have one of the sabers from the films. So I started to think of other scenes in the movie and what would be a really cool piece. Han Solo frozen in carbonite would be awesome to have. Now I know there are many replicas of this out there, from mini refrigerators to desks. An artist friend of mine, who has worked for Lucas and the Star Wars Universe for many years, has a full scale replica of this in his office. I think it would be great to have one of the original props from Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back.
I remember reading a forum post years ago about this particular prop. The post spoke about a store named Starabilias, which was located in Downtown Disneyland. The post stated they had one of the original props hanging from the ceiling and it sold for $25,000 and that was 10+ years ago. I can’t even imagine what it would be worth today.
So what’s on your Star Wars Memorabilia wish list?
Castaway Cay is a Disney Cruise Line guest favorite for travelers from all around. Castaway Cay is Disney’s own private little island exclusively for the lucky folks who get the opportunity to take a Disney Cruise! Let’s say you’re on a Disney Cruise Ship, next stop, Castaway Cay! So, now that you’re going to be at Castaway Cay, what do you do there? Disney Parks had some suggestions that we wanted to share with you, here goes!
Start your day off relaxed with yoga on the beach. Be one of the first off the ship and to the peaceful Serenity Bay for morning yoga, one of the many fitness classes included in your cruise. You’ll practice relaxing yoga techniques on the warm sand of this pristine beach, just steps away from calm, turquoise waters.
Get wet from head to toe with swimming, snorkeling and floating. Castaway Family Beach is home to special swimming and snorkeling lagoons for those who want to cool off. You can drift on floats or in inner tubes, swim with tropical fish and search for sunken treasures, including a hidden Mickey!
Get up-close and personal with stingrays. Castaway Ray’s Stingray Adventure gives you the chance to feed, touch and snorkel with stingrays in a private lagoon. This up-close encounter also includes a fun info session led by a marine specialist with interesting facts about stingrays.
Enjoy the crystal clear water from above. Parasailing, water cycling, paddle boating, paddle boarding, kayaking and sailboating are all ways you can enjoy the ocean without even getting in it. Of course, I recommend at least dipping your toes in these warm, tropical waters!
Make a huge splash at Pelican Plunge. Just a short swim from shore, venture to the floating Pelican Plunge for tons of get-wet fun. A giant “bucket dump” is sure to soak you, and two water slides – one open and the other enclosed – take you on a twisting ride into the lagoon.
Take a photograph with your favorite Disney friends. Enjoy lots of photo ops with Disney characters in their island attire. Character meet-and-greets in front of iconic backdrops like the ship and Mt. Rustmore make for great family pictures!
Explore the 1,000-acre island on foot or bicycle. There are a number of paths to the island’s interior that can be explored either on foot or bicycle. The morning runDisney Castaway Cay 5K is a great way to get to know the island and take in the lush tropical landscape, without costing you a thing!
Send “snail mail” from the Bahamian post office. Castaway Cay has its own post office where you can send a message to family and friends back home. Bahamian stamps are required, making it even more fun to mail a souvenir postcard to yourself to commemorate your time on the island!
Climb the 40-foot-tall observation tower. For a breathtaking view of Castaway Cay and the ship in the distance, you can journey down the bike trail toward the interior of the island and climb 47 steps to the top of the observation tower. Don’t forget your camera!
Join in on a unique family activity like only Disney can do. One-of-a-kind island activities are great ways for your family to have fun together. Cheer on a new “friend” in our crab races or excavate artificial whale bones and other fossilized treasures in the Family Whale Dig.
I hope this list gives you a little insight, and maybe some ideas for your next visit to Castaway Cay during your magical Disney Cruise! For more info, check out VisitCastawayCay.com.
There is a lot of rehearsal, planning and timing that goes into putting together a Disney parade. Every fan has those special floats or characters they look forward to seeing as the parade goes by. There is a special set of characters that come out for the Holiday parades that a lot of people enjoy seeing. I’m talking about the Toy Soldiers. If you have ever seen a Disney parade that had the Toy Soldiers marching in it, your probably thought how cool is it to see these toys come to life. I mean what child when playing with there toys, doesn’t envision them coming to life? Becoming one of these Toy Soldiers it a lot of work. They work hard, train and practice. The below video shows how much work these Toy Soldiers go through in order to be a part of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.