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Disneyland Explored

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Filtering by Author: Daisy Sparks

Music Mondays: Star Wars Main Title

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The world first heard the Star Wars theme song in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. It was written by composer, John Williams. It is one of the most recognizable theme songs in the universe. It is also known as "Luke's Theme."

"When I thought of a theme for Luke and his adventures, I composed a melody that reflected the brassy, bold, masculine and noble qualities I saw in the character."

              -John Williams

 

You can hear this theme song woven into other Star Wars movies that would follow Episode IV. It is a very majestic anthem that creates a feeling of hope. It was confirmed last year that John Williams is involved in scoring the music the The Force Awakens. It will be exciting to hear how he incorporates some familiar Star Wars melodies into the new movie. 

Several years ago the Star Wars Concert Tour happened and MacSparky and I were able to see it. There was a full orchestra plus a choir (for Phantom Menace music) that played to a full audience of Star Wars fans. Anthony Daniels (C3PO) was a master of ceremonies that evening. It was a memorable evening. If you ever get a chance to see a full orchestra play some Star Wars music live, it's really beautiful. Here's a link to a video clip of John Williams conducting the Boston Pops.

 

 

The Star Wars Main Title has gone to spawn a hit disco version known as Meco's Star Wars and Other Galactic Fun. Released in 1977, it would go on to be a number one hit that year. 

 

 

SNL even has a famous skit where Bill Murray is a lounge singer who sang these lyrics to the Star Wars theme song:

Oh Star Wars,
Nothing but Star Wars,
Give me those Star Wars,
Dont let them end.
Oh Star Wars,
If they should bar wars,
Please let these Star Wars
Stay.

The entire Star Wars music catalog from the movies is really a great collection to have. It's great for long road trips. That John Williams is quite a composer. Personally, I don't recommend listening to it while you are driving on the freeway. The Star Wars Main Title really makes you want to go into "light speed".

For many fans, this day is another reason to celebrate all things Star Wars. 

MAY THE 4TH BE WITH YOU!

-Daisy

My Day at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim - April 2015

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A couple weeks ago, my husband (MacSparky), daughter #2 and I were able to attend the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim (SWCA). My two Jedi's were so giddy. It is and continues to be heartwarming to watch these two strengthen their father and daughter bond with their shared love of the Star Wars universe. It was really amazing to see that it was not only my husband and daughter at this epic gathering, but many fathers and daughters who were in attendance experiencing the same joy. 

Walking towards the Anaheim Convention Center was already a fun experience. Seeing everyone go all out in their Star Wars gear made me realize I was in for an awesome day. How could you not smile when we walked behind these Merry Siths. 

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Fans all brought their game when it came to their attire. I wouldn't even call them costumes since there was so much love poured into the whole package. Character/movie mashups were everywhere, too. Here's a small sampling of what I saw on the SWCA.

There were plenty of exhibits on to view. The must see was The Force Awakens where there were costumes and props from the upcoming movie. The wait was long but worth it. You can check out MacSparky's post to view some of the great photos. The one thing that stood out for me was the use of 3D printers to create some of props. Technology and film making can always good together. 

Here's a gallery of more things I saw on the Celebration

Another interesting room we were able to visit was the R2 Builders area. A gathering of R2 builders showing off their creations? Let us see.

These next set of photos really is evidence that the Star Wars fans totally get each other. NERD NITE SPEED DATING at this event totally makes sense. How great would it be to meet someone who understands and shares your passion. This is a popular event and has been known to be the place where many relationships have begun. 

photo from SWCA

photo from SWCA

We were able to sit in one of the many interesting panels that were going on that day. We attended "Rebel Women Who Fought the Clone Wars" that featured line producer Athena Portillo, creative executive Rayne Roberts, production manager Liz Marshall, and senior concept designer Amy Beth Christenson from Lucasfilm. Dave Filoni stepped in to moderate the panel. From his questions, we all learned their stories of how they go to their current role. We got some insight into how their processes work. It was an awesome hour where we learned that these are the major players, all women, behind the success of Star Wars Rebels. They shared some artwork and also got us all excited about things coming to Star Wars Rebels. It was really a great session for anyone interested in film making and production work.

I got to meet Jason Swank, one the hosts of Rebel Force Radio. He hosted a variety of panels during the Celebration. He's got a pretty awesome job for being a Star Wars fan. If you want to find a great Star Wars podcast for fans, by fans, I would recommend checking out the Rebel Force Radio podcast. 

At the end of the Celebration, they announced that next year would be Star Wars Celebration Europe (London). The VIP tickets sold out in the first day they opened up registration. If it ever comes your way or have a chance to attend one of these Celebrations, I would totally plan to go. It's really an experience. 

My two Jedi's can't stop talking about it their day at the Star Wars Celebration. It definitely strengthened their Star Wars bond. We all made new friends, got some fun stuff, and made awesome memories. We are so excited about Star Wars Episode VII, The Force Awakens. We have plans for the midnight showing where we hope to see many of our Star Wars friends come out in full force. My daughter remarked: "That will be the first Star Wars movie I will see on the big screen." It made me realize that she has only experience the Star Wars movies via DVD and at home. She's only 13.. a Jedi in training. 

May the Force Be With You!

-Daisy

Album Art from The Legacy Collection: Disneyland by Lorelay Bove

Last night I attended a Disneyland Annual Passholder Event (more to come later). As we exited the Park, we were all given this lithograph.

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I liked that it is the size of an album cover (12 x12). It will be fun to frame. The art is whimsical. It was designed by artist, Lorelay Bove. Bove is an artist at Walt Disney Animation. She was recently featured in a Variety post: 10 Animators to Watch Illustrated.  Her work reminds me a little of Mary Blair's 1950 work in Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland.

Here is the only information we were given about this lithograph. 

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This morning, a friend sent me THIS information. According to that link, there will be a new Legacy Collection released to coincide with Disneyland's 60th Diamond Celebration. It is supposed to be released May 20th exclusively at Disneyland. This date is also two days away from the official kick-off of the Celebration (May 22nd). The big discrepancy with the news release and the above information from the Disneyland event is the May 6th release date. I am going to believe the press release but will be excited if the Disneyland flyer is correct. Either way, I am looking forward to The Legacy Collection Disneyland nd appreciative that I have its album art. 

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Do you have a favorite song from the Disneyland Parks?

-Daisy 

Music Mondays: There's A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow

Written by Disney Legends Richard and Robert Sherman, "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" is a cheerful song that you'll be humming. Walt Disney charged the song-writing duo to create a song for the GE Pavillon for the 1964 New York's World Fair

In the video below, you can see Walt and the Sherman Brothers making their pitch to GE in support of what WED had created for the World's Fair.

"Walt Disney was the eternal optimist, and he really believed that things could be better. And Bob and Dick Sherman wrote that song as a personal ode to Walt. They really meant it.... That was Walt's anthem, and they recognized that." - Marty Sklar

This memorable song can currently be heard at the Carousel Of Progress attraction at The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. It was the song that you heard when you entered the Innoventions (1998-2015) attraction at Disneyland. They Might Be Giants did a cover of the song for the movie Meet The Robinsons. It's not far from the original version and was the perfect song for this movie. I heard chords of the song in the extended Tomorrowland movie trailer that can currently be viewed at Disneyland

It's not a very long song and the lyrics are simple...and full of hope:

There's a great big beautiful tomorrow
Shining at the end of everyday
There's a great big beautiful tomorrow
And tomorrow's just a dream away

Man has a dream and that's the start
He follows his dream with mind and heart
And when it becomes a reality
It's a dream come true for you and me

So there's a great big beautiful tomorrow
Shining at the end of everyday
There's a great big beautiful tomorrow
Just a dream away

Wishing you a "great big beautiful tomorrow!"

-Daisy

Lights on! - Sleeping Beauty Castle

The other night we happened to be at Disneyland when they were prepping lights for an upcoming taping of Amercia's Funniest Video (AVF). It's the show's 25th Anniversary and they have a spectacular prize for the winner: "AFV’s $100,000 winners will compete for the chance to win a spectacular Grand Prize: A Vacation for 60 people where they could enjoy the 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration at Disneyland® Resort."

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Anyways, is this is how Sleeping Beauty Castle gets all lit up for a special event, I can't to see what's in store for the the Diamond Celebration that begins May 22nd. 

Wishing you lots of pixie dust today!

-Daisy

Music Mondays: When Can I See You Again? (Wreck It Ralph)

Last week, the Disney Parks blog released some new footage for the upcoming "Paint the Night" parade. This will be the evening parade that features the song, "When Can I See You Again" which was first heard at the end credits from the movie, Wreck It Ralph

This video has a good sneak peak of the song and new parade. 

It's a pretty catchy song written and performed by Owl City (Adam Young). It is the perfect tune the will have everyone dancing and singing at the end of night. Owl City has also written some special lyrics for this parade. However, some of the original lyrics are the perfect words that you might hear any Disney character sing to you. 

Yeah, it's been fun but now I've got to go
Life is way too short to take it slow
But before I go and hit the road
Tell me when
When can I see you again?

Happy Music Monday!

-Daisy

Disneyland Diary - April 16, 2015

My daughter invited me to go meet her for lunch at Disneyland. How could I pass that up? We ended up at Hungry Bear Restaurant in Critter Country. It's kind of away from everything and has great atmosphere. There was plenty of shade and seats. I had a yummy fried green tomato sandwich with a side of sweet potato fries. It was nice to sit by The Rivers of America and watch the Mark Twain go by on such a warm day. The real world felt far away from my view. 

My daughter and I just enjoyed an afternoon to walk around and take in the scenery. We went window shopping and looked at all the new merchandise. We did walk over to Tomorrowland to see the new Tomorrowland movie preview. We were a little too early for the preview but here is the new marquee at the Magic Eye Theater

Spring break just ended so a lot of work has to be done before summer starts. There were scaffolds and scrims all around the Buzz Lightyear attraction. 

Buzz Lightyear attraction exterior.

Buzz Lightyear attraction exterior.

We checked out Sleeping Beauty Castle to see what was going on. There is a stage and lighting towers for a taping of America's Funniest Home Video.

Finally, looks like there is one more piece that is waiting to be revealed on Sleeping Beauty Castle. What's under the curtain?

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Here is a print ad that shows 60th medallion above the Sleeping Beauty Castle entrance. The Diamond Celebration that begins May 22nd.

(c) Disney 

(c) Disney 

Thanks for letting me share my Disneyland day with you,

-Daisy

Disneyland Map (photo reproduction) - Peter Ellenshaw

It's a small world after all....

I've had this photo reproduction of the Disneyland map for awhile. I vaguely remember visiting the Disney Gallery and waiting in line to purchase and getting it signed by the artist, Peter Ellenshaw.

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I confess that I had to ask one of my Disney friends to assist me in remembering exactly what this was and whose signature it was. You see, during my time as a Disneyland Cast Member (1989-2001), there were lots of different opportunities and events to be able to purchase some really great Disneyana things. I have a small collection of specific Disneyland collectibles but I haven't really been able to appreciate most of them until about the last year. It's pretty recent that I have actually delved into Disneyland heritage and began to really learn about the individuals that had so much influence in drawing, creating and  building Disneyland. 

So pulling this particular piece out of my Disneyana stash and being able to identify it was a big deal for me. Learning the significance of this particular map and the artist behind has helped me appreciate it more, too. 

I learned that this map design was the one that Walt Disney had asked Ellenshaw to paint so he (Disney) could use for his television show to introduce Disneyland to the audience. 

(c) Disney

(c) Disney

(c) Disney

(c) Disney

A couple years ago at the D23 event, they had the color version of this map. "It is very unique because of the special glow-in-the-dark oil paint Ellenshaw used. The painting was done on animation storyboard, as opposed to canvas or wood. The glow-in-the-dark map shows the park at night when its viewed under black lights. " It was really cool to see the original and lit up under the black light. 

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I learned that Ellenshaw was a matte artist who was won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects for his work on Mary Poppins. He was also known for his work in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and The Black Hole. Ellenshaw was a very accomplished artist. He was inducted as a Disney Legend in 1993. 

If you want to learn more about Ellenshaw, here is a POST that had a good interview with him. There is also a beautiful book that is still in print: Ellenshaw Under Glass - Going to the Matte for Disney.

My sister hosted Easter Sunday last week. I was able to spend time with my brother-in-law's aunt. She happened to be Peter Ellenshaw's former daughter-in-law. She was married to Harrison Ellenshaw who is an artist, too, known for his work on Tron, Star Wars, and Dick Tracy. I've heard my brother-in-law always mention his uncle who worked on Tron but never really asked more questions.

Anyways, during our conversation, she told me a handful of her sweet memories of Peter Ellenshaw and some Disney stories, too. Her husband, Harrison, was there at Disneyland's Opening Day. She was able to authenticate my photo reproduction of the Disneyland map and signature, too. Over the years, I have casually run into her at family events. I have to admit I had a minor fan girl moment this Easter when I figured out who she was related to. 

I guess it's time for me to get my signed Disneyland map framed. I better go through the rest of my Disneyana box and see what else I might have in there. It's an opportunity to discover and enjoy the journey to learn more about Disneyland's history.

Have a Disney-kind-of-day!

-Daisy

Music Mondays: Seize the Day (Newsies)

This past Saturday, my youngest daughter and I were able to get up to Hollywood and see the evening performance of NEWSIES. WOW, what a show! The talented ensemble delivered a fabulous performance with the award winning choreography (Christopher Gatelli) and all to music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman

One of the signature songs from Newsies is Seize the Day. The song is sung towards the end of the first act. This number alone was simply amazing. The song has a great message of encouragement and hope. The dancing in this particular number will leave you breathless and in awe of the talented dancers. Here is a video clip to watch from the 2012 Tony Awards that shows you the energy of the Newsies cast. 

So channel these lyrics from Seize the Day for this new week:

Now is the time to seize the day
Stare down the odds and seize the day
Minute by minute that's how you win it

 

If Newsies comes to somewhere near you, get some tickets. We loved it and are hoping to see it again when comes to the OC next year.

Happy Music Monday!

-Daisy

You Spin Me Round (Like a record)

Last Christmas, our teen daughter asked for a record player. Santa left her a nice Crosley along with a couple of LPs. She figured it out how to play a record and then asked us: "How do you reply or rewind the song?" I'll leave it there. 

One of the biggest issues we've had since then is discovering where to purchase records. They also average about $20-30. We had to give our daughter a lesson on taking care of records, storing them, and cleaning them. She has a good collection right now that ranges from Beyonce, One Direction, Ed Sheeran and even Ella Fitzgerald. 

What's old is new again, right? There has been a boom in vinyl with the popularity of record players on the market. We have a friend who owns Erika Records and they can't keep up with demand. I remember her telling me that they had done some for Disney and so it was fun to see these the other day.

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You have to do a double take on these because they look like some kid of art that you would want to hang on your walls. If you've never seen a record, it would take you by surprise. There is an A and B side. From what I saw, these were the records available:

  • The Lion King
  • Frozen
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • The Little Mermaid
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Aladdin

I was able to confirm with my friend that her company created these. Erika Records specializes in these unique vinyl products. These particular ones were available at Off the Page (Disney California Adventure) and 20th Century Music Co. (Disneyland). 

I am excited to hear some classic Disney movie songs played through a record player. There is a "warmer" sound on this medium. It's more exciting to be able to share with my teenage daughter. There is something about sitting around a record player, watching it spin, and listening to some good music. 

Have a great weekend!

-Daisy

Diamonds are a Castle's Best Friend

Lately, something new seems to be added every week to Sleeping Beauty Castle in preparation for the Disneyland Resort 60th Celebration. Looks like its own version of diamond jewelry that adorns different sections of the Castle.

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I have a guest post over at DisneyAvenue so you can read more about Sleeping Beauty Castle birthday transformation and see more photos, too.

Happy Thursday!

-Daisy

Mickey Mouse Themed Gift Bags

I love decorative washi tape. I can never have enough. There are so many great designs out there and they are everywhere. It works like masking tape but it is pretty masking tape that comes in many widths and patterns. Washi tape is mostly made from the bark of trees that originate in Japan. It's really become popular in the last couple years so it is readily available just about anywhere. 

I like that you can tear it easily with your fingers. The hand torn look adds to its charm. It also adheres to most anything but will not stick permanently. So it is great to use for masking off areas if you need it. 

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The washi tape is my "go-to" plus some kraft bags when I need a simple package or want to decorate an envelope. Using Mickey Mouse colors of red, black, and bright yellow inks, I personalized these white kraft bags using some rubber stamps. I choose a variety of patterned washi tape from my stash. 

Quick and easy gift bags for my Disney friends. I had a bunch of photographs of our last Disneyland trip that I put inside these bags.  

 

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Happy Disney Crafting!

-Daisy

Music Mondays: Lost Boy

The story Peter Pan is forever related to Disney. There are now generations who don't even realize that the character of Peter Pan was created by J.M. Barrie and not Disney. Barrie wrote a play entitled, Peter and Wendy. It is also known as The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow up or Peter Pan.  

My teenage daughter recently discovered this song titled "Lost Boy" sung by an artist named Ruth B. She's been playing it all weekend and the song has stuck with me. It references the familiar story and Peter Pan characters. It's has a haunting melody and I like it. Listen to the song and words. 

 

My kids and I share a lot of music with each other. It's a big topic in many family conversations. We share a variety of classic, old and new tunes that also covers many genres. We share a huge iTunes family library. Music creates family moments for us. It's great when it can include some Disney-related music. 

Discover a new song and  support a budding artist sharing her music with the world. Check out LOST BOY