"Childishness? I think it's the equivalent of never losing your sense of humor. I mean, there's a certain something that you retain. It's the equivalent of not getting so stuffy that you can't laugh at others." -Walt Disney
In the 1990s, Disneyland would sell these special envelopes to commemorate milestones and then have the US Postal office be available for stamp cancellation. Seems kind of foreign now in the age of technology and a paperless society. Here are some examples from my personal Disney stuff.
They are small envelopes that fit the size of dollar bills. Disneyland would issue them for some of the Park anniversaries, too. I think I have one from the 35th Disneyland Anniversary somewhere. They had some available last year at the D23 Expo. The special event envelopes were usually pretty inexpensive (maybe $5) and then you purchased the stamp. I thought they were interesting. To read the dates and also the price of postage of the different years makes it fun to look at.
Today, President Obama honored the 2016 Medal of Freedom recipients. This particular award is considered the highest civilian honor given by the President of the United States. According to Executive Order 9586, the recipient is someone who has "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors." The Medal of Freedom was established by President John Kennedy in 1963.
One of the 2016 recipients is Frank Gehry. If you drive by Disneyland on the 5 Freeway, you pass a Frank Gehry building. The Team Disney Anaheim Building was designed by Gehry. The building opened in 1995 and continues to be the home to a variety of Disneyland operations teams including Disneyland Casting.
This photo is of the main entrance of the building. If you have to go for an interview, this is where you would go and enter. The story that I heard about how the building got its yellow color is that Gehry was slow to choose the color for the main entrance of the building. He was being pressed when he saw a construction hat and said "That color. Scan the construction hat for that color." Again, that is just a story that I heard.
The side of this building that faces the freeway is actually an entirely different color. It is kinda of a green metallic and kind of shimmers as you drive by it. It's hard to tell that the other side of the building is a very bright yellow.
If you drive by the freeway side, sometimes you'll see some signs on the windows or decals that Cast Members have placed so they can see their office window when driving by. The inside of the building is full of cubicles to maximize the workspace. Most Cast Members who have an office with a window share that space with another person. I did share an office with someone when I worked in this building. My Disneyland job back in the 1990s was in Documentation and I shared an office on the third floor, yellow side, with an office mate.
On a final note, another Disney building that Gehry designed is the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.
Next time you pass by the green building near Disneyland on the 5 Freeway, know that it was designed by note only a famous architect, but a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient.
Congratulations, Frank Gehry!
One of our favorite things to do during the holidays is to sing songs on our karaoke machine. It brings everyone together, goofiness ensues, and lots of laughter is sure to happen. Hey, I'm Filipino, so we've had karaoke around our house since I can remember. Some would say karaoke is a part of the Filipino culture.
Did you know that Disney songs are some of the most popular songs for karaoke? Just about everyone knows some Disney song that they can sing to. There are many Disney classic songs that everyone can do a sing-along to as well. The Disney song library is so large and ever growing so it makes it easy for generations to enjoy karaoke together.
Check out this post, Disney Songs Ranked by Duet-Ability, from Oh My Disney and see if these are any Disney songs you might want to sing with someone during karaoke time.
Happy Music Monday!
My daughter and I watched the The Princess and the Frog over the weekend. It's her favorite Disney movie for many reasons and one of them being its music. Academy award winner, Randy Newman, composed the songs and score for the movie. The only exception is an additional song, "Never Knew I Needed," at the end of the movie that was written and performed by Ne-Yo.
One of the songs that my daughter and I really love is "Dig a Little Deeper." It takes place in the middle of the movie when lead character, Tiana, meets Mama Odie, the "Voodoo Queen of the Bayou". Tiana is seeking Mama Odie's advice and of course the answer comes out through this wonderful and high-energy musical number.
Mama Odie is voiced by actress Jenifer Lewis. Lewis is currently on the popular show, Black-ish (Ruby Johnson). The Pinnacle Gospel Choir is also featured in this musical number. The song is fun and the lyrics are simple yet can provide much encouragement under pressing situations.
Don't matter what you look like
Don't matter what you wear
How many rings you got on your finger
We don't care, no, we don't care...
...If they all knew what they wanted
What they wanted, need to do
I told 'em what they needed
Just like I be telling you
Happy Music Monday!
My oldest has a birthday coming up so I was looking back at some of the fun birthday things that we have done in the past. I came upon these scrapbook pages that captured her 4th birthday celebration. Back in 2000, there was a Mary Poppins Tea offered at the Paradise Pier Hotel. My daughter had been "Jolly Holiday Mary" for Halloween just a few weeks before so we decided that the Mary Poppins Tea would be a fun place to wear her costume again as well as have a very fun birthday celebration.
Remember that this is back in November 2000 when digital cameras and smart phones weren't around to capture moments and food. These are some photos of my scrapbook pages so you can see what this tea offering was like.
I remember that it was in a small setting so it was cozy. There were a variety of areas that were set-up for the groups/people attending. We had an area where there was a couch and some armchairs with a coffee table set up with lovely teacups.
Mary would come out to sing some songs. She visited all the tables. I remember that one of the funniest things was when Mary came to visit with us, she put sugar cubes in all of our tea. My daughter and her friend decided that they should follow and also put sugar cubes in our tea. They didn't stop at one extra sugar cube...we had very sweet tea that day.
Time goes by so fast! My sweet daughter still loves tea parties and all that is involved in the ritual. I guess the Mary Poppins Tea made an impression on her. The tea offering was discontinued due to some legal issues. Remember that Mary Poppins was created by P.L. Travers, not Disney. There is currently an afternoon tea offering at the Disneyland Hotel. But how could beat a tea party with Mary Poppins?
Apparently, when the actress who played Mrs. Banks, Glynis Johns, had her first meeting with Walt Disney in regards to Mary Poppins, Johns thought she was being cast as the lead role. Disney quickly saved the day and told Johns that there was a song especially written for her. It was enough to entice her to take the role of Mrs. Banks.
The funny thing is that there was no truth about this song. Apparently, the Sherman Brothers had already finished the Mary Poppins score and there not a song for the Mrs. Banks character. After Disney told them about this song for Johns, The Sherman Brothers took a song that they had had written called "Practically Perfect" but had scrapped from the score, and worked frantically to change the words. They worked their Sherman Brothers music magic and came up with the song, "Sister Suffragette".
We're clearly soldiers in petticoats
And dauntless crusaders for woman's votes
Though we adore men individually
We agree that as a group they're rather stupid!
Cast off the shackles of yesterday!
Shoulder to shoulder into the fray!
Our daughters' daughters will adore us
And they'll sign in grateful chorus
"Well done, Sister Suffragette!"
Happy Music Monday!
Another one of my finds while I was cleaning some of our bins were these two items.
When my husband, MacSparky, worked at Disneyland during the 1990s, he got trained to work on the Mark Twain. The Cast Members back then referred to the attraction as a "floating break room." If there was a 3-person rotation, they would be assigned 20 minutes on the dock, 20 minutes on the ship, 20 minutes off (like on a break). If it was a 4-person rotation, they would stay on the ship for another 20-minute ride or on the dock. Let's just say that it was an easy shift.
In the early 1990s, most attraction training materials were put together by lots of Cast Members and didn't have official marks. There was not a big centralized training department. There was official SOP paperwork that you had to sign off. Most of the time, Cast Members were the one who put together background info or additional training materials like this one that gives someone a general overview of the attraction.
Don't forget that all this was before computers are word processing was available. Photo copies of training and supplemental materials were what existed. Someone had to type all this out on a typewriter then it was copied for distribution.
Here are some photos of the inside of MacSparky's hat. The only Disneyland "mark" is the letters "WDW" that stood for "Walt Disney World." They were fitted hats, too.
According to the Disneyland website, it is now referred to as the Mark Twain Riverboat. It has been closed since last year in preparation for the new Star Wars themed land. It is scheduled to re-open summer 2017. We'll see if the Mark Twain Cast Members get new costumes and hats, too.
MacSparky has fond memories of his shifts on the Mark Twain. It was a more relaxed and mellow attraction in terms of Guest demand and popularity. He really enjoyed being able to take Guests up to the WheelHouse.
Here is Disney song that was released with the 1952 short animated film "Trick or Treat." The song is also called "Trick or Treat for Halloween" and plays during the opening credits. It was written by Mack David, Al Hoffman, and Jerry Livingston and performed by The Mellowmen. You might hear a familiar Disney voice as Disney Legend Thurl Ravenscroft is part of the singing quartet known as The Mellowmen.
The short film features Donald Duck and his nephews with their Halloween antics. Composer and Disney Legend, Paul Smith, is credited for the musical score for "Trick or Treat." In this short film, you can see classic Donald Duck in full character. Enjoy for your Halloween viewing pleasure.
Be safe and NICE to each other this Halloween.
Happy Music Monday!
I was cleaning through a bunch of our bins and came across MacSparky's actual Jungle Cruise hat. It's probably from around the early 1990s. Back then, the World Famous Jungle Cruise was guys only. You had to be male to be a Jungle Cruise Skipper. Not sure when this style hat went out and were no longer issued.
Just in case you needed proof...or as my kids would say, "receipts."
My family and I were able to attend Mickey's Halloween Party a couple weeks ago. In the last couple years, more dates have been added as the yearly event has become more popular. Many dates sell out early and it is rare that there are tickets available the day of. This year it started as early as September 23rd with another sixteen dates including Halloween (Oct 31st).
How does it work?
Mickey's Halloween Party is a separate, hard ticket event. It is an additional cost as it is a premium event. It's really a good value ($79-$99) if you don't have an Annual Pass, and just want a chance to go to Disneyland. You can enter the Park as early as 4pm and enjoy some of the daily offerings. The event ends at midnight.
There are special food offerings that are Halloween themed. All the entertainment is exclusive to these Halloween party nights. There is a special event map that provides a lot of information.
Here are some of my favorite things from Mickey's Halloween Party, 2016.
COSTUMES, COSTUMES, COSTUMES!
Seeing what costumes people wear is one of the highlights for my family. People get really into it and can get clever. There are groups of people who will all dress to the same theme. You know they all enjoyed thinking up their costumes together. Here are a couple of my favorites:
This was a family who came dressed as the floating lanterns from Tangled. They decorated their stroller to be the gondola from the scene. My husband spoke to the group. One of the ladies had the idea so it got done. Someone in the group owned a shirt shop and had these black shirts with the sun image on the front. Sorry, I didn't get a photo of that. It was really fun to see this group walking around the Park that evening. You knew immediately what they were.
This moment was by far the funniest of the evening for me. To witness this scene at this particular location made me laugh. It was just the perfect setting.
There are costume guidelines but so long as you don't have a mask that covers your face, than you are good. Seeing this family of dinosaurs walking around Disneyland made my night.
My family kinda went east on our "costumes" this year. We all dug deep into a vast Disney library of characters that included a Disney movie, a Pixar short and Disney animated feature.
My daughter dressed up as Mia Thermopolis from the Princess Diaries. My husband, MacSparky, and I dressed up as Tadashi and Hiro from Big Hero 6. MacSparky bought the logo hat and shirt from Etsy. Sorry we didn't get a great photo of that. My younger daughter went as Bambino, from the Pixar short, La Luna. Hey...when else and where can you get dressed up in some fun costumes at Disneyland?
Halloween Party Entertainment
There is exclusive entertainment for Mickey's Halloween Party. There was a new parade this year that was shown twice during the evening. Billed as the "Frightfully Fun Parade", it featured a variety of Disney Villains along with some themed floats and ghoulish dancers. The pre-parade anticipation was all about the arrival of the Headless Horseman that made his way through the parade route.
We came upon this interactive scarecrow in Frontierland. He seemed to be enjoying the evening by making remarks at Guests' costumes as well as having conversation with passerbys.
On the Rivers of America, the Cadaver Dans sang ghoulish songs all night.
Photo Ops with Disney Characters
There are plenty of locations where people could take photos with Disney characters dressed in their Halloween costumes. There were also locations where you could take photos with lesser known or not frequently seen characters.
Here's a photo of my sweet friend, Corrine, with Mickey & Minnie in their Halloween finery. Corrine went all out with her handmade and clever costume choice. It is a tribute to a classic DIsneyland attraction paying tribute to a famous Imagineer.
Where else can grown-ups trick-or-treat? When you enter, each Guest gets a small treat bag. There are designated treat stations throughout the park. You visit one and the area might have anywhere from 3 or more kiosks where you visit and "trick-or-treat." You'ld be surprised at how much candy you get. Some people love to visit them all and go back for more. We just went to get enough treats to snack through the night and then went on some more rides.
I think my favorite is all the different Halloween projections throughout the Park. It really adds to the atmosphere and are fun to see. At "it's a small world" and at the Castle, the projections have music that accompany the images.
If you attend or plan to attend next year, make sure you go in costume. You will have more fun being dressed up. Make an effort. Or even better, plan to go with friends/family and think of a fun group costume. Get there early and have dinner so you can get that out of the way; then you have time to take photos with characters, make your way through the treat stations, see entertainment, or get on some rides.
Trick or Treat!
Be someone's sunshine today!
I am a big fan of Lin-Manuel Miranda (In the Heights and Hamilton). So when I heard that he Miranda was writing some of the songs for the Disney's, Moana, I was super excited. It totally makes sense that he could write a song for the Moana character, Maui, who is voiced by Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock). This morning, Disney released a snippet in this video clip. The song is titled "You're Welcome."
Visit this post to view how Miranda even began to write a specific character song for someone like The Rock.
The Moana soundtrack is set to be released on November 18th. It's available for pre-order on Amazon. Other music written for Moana were composed by Opetaia Foa'i and Mark Mancina (Lion King, Brother Bear, Tarzan). Moana will be released in movie theaters on November 23rd.
Happy Music Monday!
Yeah for the middle of the week. Happy Wednesday!
October 16th is remembered as the start date of the Disney Company. in 1923, it was formally known as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studios and would soon change to the Walt Disney Studio. It would not be until 1937 that the Studio would release its first full length feature animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Snow White).
One of the songs from Snow White is "I'm Wishing." Written by Larry Morey (lyrics) and Frank Churchill (music), it is the song that Snow White sings while she is at the wishing well. Even though it is one of the first songs you hear, according to the definitive Snow White book, The Fairest One of All, this particular song was actually one of the last to be written. The music was also tailored to the vocal strength of Adriana Caselotti, who provided the voice of Snow White.
As Snow White sings her song, it echos in the wishing well. The Prince, who just happens to be riding through the forest, hears Snow White singing. As she finishes the song, The Prince, joins Snow White as he answers her wish. A bit frightened, Snow White runs from The Prince. He doesn't give up and he begins to sing "One Song."
These two songs help to introduce the characters of Snow White and The Prince to each other. It's the beginning of their courtship. Trivia: "One Song" is the only song that is sung solo by a Disney prince.
If you visit Snow White's Grotto at Disneyland, you can hear "I'm Wishing" playing in the background. According to this Disney Parks Blog post, Adriana Castelotti re-recorded her song for the 1983 New Fantasyland opening.
Happy Music Monday!
I was cleaning out some of my Disneyland work related bins and came upon this folder.
When I opened it up, I found these two fun pieces of paper. One is a decoder sheet to help figure out the petroglyphs that are strewn throughout the queue. The petroglyphs are referred to as "marabic" which is original to the attraction that is formally known as "Indiana Jones Adventure." The other sheet is a fun print.
The print has some Mara petroglyphs embossed around the border. I guess I need to use my decoder to figure out what it says.
The Indiana Jones Adventure premiered in conjunction with Disneyland's 40th Anniversary (1995). I feel like there were a couple more things that came with this folder but this is how I found it in my personal stuff.