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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Part Six in our Series - 31 Facts About Mary Poppins You Might Not Know!

Wow!  Amazing!  We have been doing this series for six months now, and we are no where close to being done!  Looks like at least another couple months.  So, sit back, relax and enjoy these great Mary Poppins facts from the last 31 days. 

1.) The costumes by Tony Walton for the Uncle Albert scene were designed  to allow extra room for the steel and leather harnesses underneath.

2.) Teeter-Totter seats and boards were used to achieve the illusion of bobbing along near the ceiling.

3.) Bert and Uncle Albert tell traditional British music hall-style jokes.

4.) In May of 1962, Julie Andrews visited the Studio with her husband, set and costume designer Tony Walton.  She liked the storyboards, and contributed her own ideas about how the characters should be portrayed.  The filmmakers agreed with many of her suggestions, and the Sherman Brothers even rewrote songs to suite her interpretations.

5.) Mary Poppins turned out to be a family affair for Julie Andrews when Walt chose Tony Walton as the films costumer designer and overall design consultant.

6.) In 1963 Director Robert Wise and Screenwriter Ernest Lehman came to the Disney Studio to watch rough footage of Mary Poppins.  Based on her performance, they immediately signed Julie Andrews to star in The Sound of Music.

7.) Julie Andrews finished three films before Mary Poppins was even released (also the Americanization of Emily).

8.) When filming started, Mrs. Banks' first name was Cynthia.  P. L. Travers suggested the more British sounding "Winifred."

9.) Inspired by P.L. Travers, Mary Poppins used reverse psychology in the scene with Mr. Banks, making it seem like it was his idea to take the children to work with him. 

10.) Each scene was carefully written to convey firmness to convince Mr. Banks to do something he would never do.

11.) P. L. Travers insisted that Mary Poppins was to always be referred to by her full name and never simply called "Mary."

12.) "Sacked" is a British term for being let go, or fired from a job.

13.)  In 1965, with the film's huge profits, Walt created MAPO, which helped build attractions for the Disney theme park.  The name is formed from MAry POppins.

14.) "Feed the Birds" was one of the earliest songs written for Mary Poppins.  It isn't actually about feeding birds, but more about giving in general.

15.) "Feed the Birds" moves from Mary Poppins quoting the Bird Woman ("Feed the Birds. Tuppence a bag.") to Mary Poppins conveying the meaning of that simple gesture: an act of kindness takes a mere tuppence.  

16.) The orchestration grows from the sweet sound of the musette to the great swelling sound of the entire orchestra adding a gigantic pipe organ and choir.  

17.) Actress Jane Darwell came out of retirement to portray the Bird Woman.  She was 84 years old.
 Walt Disney cast her, remembering her Oscar-winning performance as Ma Joad in "The Grapes of Wrath."
She had appeared in more than 200 films including "Gone with the Wind."  Frail and in a wheelchair, Jane Darwell was given full star treatment.  Walt had her brought to the studio in a limousine.  Though Walt didn't usually watch shooting, he came to the set and watched the filming of this scene.

18.)The Bird Woman was Darwell's last motion picture role.  The Bird Woman scene was the last sequence filmed for the movie on September 6, 1963.

19.) Producer and co-writer Bill Walsh voices the Bird Woman's two lines to compensate for Jane Darwell's weak voice.  

20.) The set used for the bank consisted of the marble floor and only partial walls.  Matte paintings were added to create the upper ceilings.

21.) Character actor and voice artist Arthur Malet plays Mr. Dawes, Jr.  It was his first Disney film, but not his last.  He appeared with Dick Van Dyke in Lt. Robin Crusoe, U. S. N., and with David Tomlinson in "Bedknobs and Broomsticks." 

22.) Dick Van Dyke very much wanted to play the part of Mr. Dawes, Sr.  Walt asked the actor to do a makeup test, and make  donation to Walt's favorite educational project.  Van Dyke got to play the befuddled old bank president - and the California Institute of the Arts got $4,000.00.

23.)Van Dyke recorded his verses of "Fidelity, Fiduciary Bank" in one take.  When it was played back to them, the orchestra members fell on the floor laughing.

24.) The orchestra applauded the performers after every take.  A very rare thing in the movie business.

25.) Orchestra members even applauded Irwin Kostal's orchestrations.

26.) Disney nearly lost out on Mary Poppins altogether when movie producer Samuel Goldwyn optioned for the rights to the film in 1950.  A year later, Producer Goldwyn's rights lapsed.  Walt reopened discussions.

27.)Author P. L. Travers agreed to an early television adaptation of Mary Poppins on the Anthology Series, "Studio One."  Mary Wicks who years later voiced the gargoyle "Laverne" in the "Hunchback of Notre Dame." played Mary Poppins.

28.) The "run on the bank" scene was the largest shoot on the film with a total of 114 extras and eight bit players joining the cast.

29.) Betty Lou Gerson plays the "Old Crone" who frightens the children after they run away from the bank.  She narrated the opening of Disney's "Cinderella" and voiced Cruella deVil in the animated "101 Dalmatians."

30.) Karen Dotrice remembers Dick Van Dyke had a habit of doing pitfalls and other silly things to crack the kids up.  Van Dyke also made jokes right before dramatic or frightening scenes.

31.) In the scene that followed their running away, Julie Andrews' stand-in, Larri Thomas portrays the "beautiful lady" who blows a kiss at Bert.  The entire crew lobbied for her to appear in the film, and called her "Beautiful Lady" from then on.

 I can see why they chose her for Julie Andrews' stand-in!  She looks a great deal like her. 

I hope you enjoyed this segment of the Mary Poppins fun facts!  stop by again at the end of August for more Poppins information.  See ya then Pal!

Throwback Thursday!

Good looking guy, right?  Well, he is big, and powerful.........and real!  Oh yes, he may be located at Walt Disney World, but you kind of forget where you are when you are on the Wild Africa Trek at Disney's Animal Kingdom.  That "back stage" look at how things are with the awesome animals you see on this Trek, makes you forget where you are!
Learn things?  Oh yes!  We learned that these crocodiles keep their mouths open not because they are hungry and waiting for their next meal, but because they are cooling themselves. (Above)  Like the way dogs pant to cool themselves off, these guys and gals do the same thing. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sentimental Sunday-Character Encounters on the Open Sea!

Another busy week has passed.  Here we are, once again at the time for Sentimental Sunday.  Last week if you remember, we checked out our stateroom.  This week, we start meeting some strange characters on the open sea!  Hummmm.....not really strange but...a few of them a little goofy though!

First it was Goofy!  We just love the "Goof", and he was being his usual self!

Next it was "Captain" Mickey!  I wondered if Captain Henry knew Mickey was going for a take-over?!  ;-)

Next, I was about to get a wonderful hug from my favorite female mouse, the ALWAYS adorable, Minnie!

Here we are with Donald!  Donald is Paul's favorite!  They share a birthday, June 9th!!

A real character, but not a "character".........Paul with Clayton our Cruise Director.  He was such a great guy!

Here we are on Castaway Cay with two mischievous characters!  Chip & Dale!

Meeting Jack Sparrow was so awesome!  this guy was great!  He was totally in character, and being on the beach like that made it even more real!  Oh wait, that really was Jack!  ;-)


  Here we are on Pirate Night with the ever adorable Tinkerbell!  She is so tiny!!

                                            That crazy experiment run amuck............Stitch!

Here are two very shady character!!  (I don't mean the two in the middle either!)
Mr. Smee, and his boss Captain Hook! 

One more interesting "character" from Pirate Night!  Our bartender, Nikko!

Last, but not least is Peter Pan himself!  He was teaching us to crow!

Walt Disney World Picture of the Day!

From a past photo of the day - Taken from New Fantasyland - Cinderella Castle .

Sometimes B&W gives a photo just the look you were looking for , something from a storybook - from Moments of the Magic by Joe Diebold

Love this shot, and love the B&W effect!! 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Walt Disney World Picture of the Day!

Today's Disney‬ Pic from the Parks from Moments of the Magic by Joe Diebold

World Showcase View from the Japan Pavilion at night - taken just after Illuminations as the flames from around the world were still lit. One of the most peaceful views to take in when there is no one around .

Another awesome shot by Joe, and this one is one of my very favorite pavilions at Epcot!!


Not much to say about this, because you can just tell it's YUMM!    This is the Citrus Swirl from Adventureland which can be found at the Sunshine Tree Terrace.

 I know everyone loves Dole Whip.....and so do I, but I would always choose the wonderful and refreshing Citrus Swirl first!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Throwback Thursday!

I came across this "selfie" while looking for a picture of me done on my last trip in May of 2013.  I am on the people mover here, with my Minnie couture  collection"ear/hat".  Yup, I am a Disney nut!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Walt Disney World Picture of the Day!

Today's Disney‬ Picture from the Parks from Moments of the Magic by Joe Diebold

 From inside the Land Pavilion in EPCOT - I love looking up and seeing the "Hot Air Balloons" . My wife and I play a game - If we were stuck in any pavilion in EPCOT which one would you choose to be stuck in? - The Land always wins!! How about you?

Another Great shot Joe!!!

Wordless Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Walt Disney World Picture of the Day!

Today's ‪#‎Disney‬ Pic from the Parks from Moments of the Magic by Joe Diebold

Little Mermaid Castle (Prince Eric's to be exact) - this queue is very photogenic - such details of the story come to life.
todays #Disney Pic from the Parks from Moments of the Magic by Joe Diebold- Little Mermaid Castle (Prince Eric's to be exact) - this queue is very photogenic - such details of the story come to life

Monday, July 21, 2014

Memorable Monday-My Experience at Cinderella's Royal Table

This week on Memorable Monday, we travel back to the not-to-distant past of May in 2013 and my first experience at Cinderella's Royal Table.  I had clients who have dined there, friends who have gone and always spoke so highly of this location. On my "solo" trip to do "all things girly," this was one of the tops on my list!

I got to the park a little early, as I wanted to get early admittance so I could get some great pictures without a lot of people around.  I got some!!!  It was so nice being able to get pictures down Main Street with only a few people here and there. 
 I had a nice man who offered my take my picture with the Roy and Minnie bench statue.  I don't normally like to bother anyone, but he was alone and we started talking and he said "would you like your picture here since it's so nice and sunny today?"  I said, SURE!

I wandered around for about 40 minutes as my reservation was at 9am, but I got there at 8.  I encountered some interesting characters (CM's) starting their day.  I even went into the bathrooms over between Casey's Corner and Crystal Palace, and took a picture inside as I thought it was so "pretty."  One does not get the opportunity to see an empty ladies room at Magic Kingdom, ever! 

When you first arrive and check in, the first thing to get to do is get your picture taken with Cinderella!  How awesome! 

I went for breakfast on this visit, and it was delicious.

Climbing up the stairs to my dining area made me think about Walt Disney.......and his thoughts about this building.  Even though he never got to set foot in it, I really felt like he was there.

Princess after Princess stopped by my table!  It was so fun, and I am so glad I was able to experience this!

 My favorite Princess is Ariel, but I think my favorite picture taken was the one with Aurora (above.)
I am so happy that I took the time to enjoy this!  It made me feel like a Princess too.  I can only imagine the joy that "little" girls get from this awesome experience. 

See you next week for another Memorable Monday!