Disneyland Explored

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Music Mondays: Baby Mine (Dumbo)

In 1941, Walt Disney Productions released their 4th full-length animated picture, DUMBO. The baby elephant was originally named "Jumbo" by his mother, Mrs. Jumbo.  After his large ears are revealed, the other circus animals rename him "Dumbo" since they feel that the baby elephant will not be able to walk without stepping over his ginormous ears. They taunt and make fun of Dumbo. It becomes too much to bear one day that Dumbo's mother angrily lashes out at the other animals. The circus then locks up Dumbo's mother. Separated, Dumbo can only cry and sit outside Mrs. Jumbo's cage. 

To comfort her baby elephant, Mrs. Jumbo sings a lullaby to Dumbo, Baby Mine. The scene with this particular song can bring tears. It touches your heart to hear a mother sing a haunting lullaby to her baby. Dumbo has to leave his mom after she sings this song.

"From your head down to your toes,
You're not much, goodness knows.
But, you're so precious to me,
Sweet as can be, baby of mine."

Baby Mine was written by Frank Churchill (music) and Ned Washington (Lyrics). The original song in the movie was sung by Betty Noyes. It actually received a Best Original Song nomination for the 1941 Academy Awards. There have been many artists who have covered the song including Bette Middler, as part of the movie soundtrack for Beaches

Happy Music Monday!


Music Mondays: Jazz Loves Alice in Wonderland

Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland premiered in 1951. The theme song, Alice in Wonderland, plays during the opening and end credits. The music was composed by Sammy Fain and lyrics by Bob Hillard. Fain also wrote the music to You Can Fly (Peter Pan) and a couple standards you might know such as I'll Be Seeing You and Love is a Many Splendored Thing

I always associate the theme song from various Disneyland parades that featured an Alice in Wonderland section.  It is a pretty waltz. But did you know that it has become a jazz standard? It's simple melody make it easy for musicians to change the rhythm and make it their own. Jazz artists such as Chick CoreaDave Brubeck and Oscar Peterson have recorded their own versions of this song.  Perhaps the most famous jazz recording of Alice in Wonderland was done by the Bill Evans Trio with the 1961 release of Sunday at the Village VanguardTake a Monday break and enjoy this classic.

For many musicians, Alice in Wonderland is more than just a theme song from a Disney classic movie. You can do a search on iTunes, Amazon or YouTube and hear many versions of this theme song. Choose one or two and add it to your Disney music collection. If you have a favorite music version of Alice in Wonderland, let me know. 

Do you know how to get to Wonderland? 


The World of Color According to Mary Blair

I couple weeks ago, I was able to visit The Walt Disney Family Museum located at The Presido of San Francisco. My main purpose for this Disney adventure was to see their newest exhibit, MAGIC, COLOR, FLAIR the world of Mary Blair. I was excited to learn that there is now a separate building where special exhibits like this one can be housed. So, off I went to follow the whimsical trains on the pavement that led to the Diane Disney Miller Exhibition Hall. 

In this two-story building, they had a variety of Mary Blair art on display. There was an audio guide available, too, so you could really learn all about Mary Blair and her work. Seeing her art from her early years was fabulous. You can really see where she started and how experiences in her life influenced her style. 

I first learned about Mary Blair from the Disneyland attraction, "it's a small world". It was after visiting The Walt Disney Family Museum back in 2010 that I learned more about her work in Disney films such as Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella. It was Mary who Walt Disney tapped to help him with the "it's a small world" design for the 1964 New York's World Fair. She accompanied him and a group of Disney artists to countries in South America as part of a research tour. These trips influenced her flair for color, simple patterns and shapes. 

Mary Blair Exhibit, Walt Disney Family Museum March 2014 

I appreciated how the exhibit was laid out. It was colorful and simple just like Mary's style. There is some chronological order as the art is grouped by eras in Mary's work life. Her early years work were at the beginning of the exhibit and then you walked onto the main floor where you see the work she created during her time as a Disney artist. This middle section highlighted her work done in Disney classic films such as Alice Wonderland, Peter Pan and Cinderella. The second floor features her work as a Golden Books illustrator. You'll recognize some of them as they have become Golden Books classics. There are also some sketches as she worked on "it's a small world".

Art from Golden Book illustrations - I Can Fly

One of my favorite things to have seen is this painting that Mary had given to Walt and Lillian Disney. It had originally hung in the Disney family home.

Original Mary Blair portrait c. 1951 - Alice in Wonderland

In addition to this memorable piece, it was fun to see Mary Blair's hardhat. It has Mary Blair written all over it. 


The Mary Blair exhibit runs until September 7th. So if you get a chance go straight to the Diane Disney Miller Exhibition Hall. You can find some wonderful books about Mary Blair art over on Amazon, including a pre-order for the special hardcover book that was done by The Walt Disney Family Museum for this exhibit. Not only do I admire her colorful work and designs, but I also applaud her being a strong role model of leadership during her time. 

Halloween Time - Mickey Mouse Style

Happy Halloween!  

Finally got around to carving our pumpkins. One of the things that we do is to cut our pumpkin from the bottom. It looks better when your creation sit on the porch. We've found that we just like this method. Next, empty out the pumpkin guts...a favorite chore for some and not so fun for others. It's part of the smell of Halloween traditions.

The tools that help to make for easy carving and decorating are these reliable melon ballers. I have a couple different sizes and played around with the size of the circles. It's pretty easy once you take your melon baller, choose a spot, and just go for it. It goes fast, too.   

Once it gets dark and you get a candle in there, it looks pretty cool since the Mickey Mouse heads are backlit.

Wishing you lots of treats on this Halloween! 


My Disney Time

New Century Timepieces - Disneyland

While working at Disneyland, I became fascinated with Disney watches. Working at New Century Timepieces (now the Fortuosity Shop) on Main Street, USA exposed me to lots of the different Disney timepieces. There were a lot of variety of Disney characters and designs back in the 1990s. Some Disney watches were made to be "collectible" while other designs attracted fans of specific Disney characters. 

I simply began to purchase Disney-themed watches that I liked. Wrist watches were functional back then. If I was working at Disneyland, it was fun to wear a Disney watch. I chose to limit myself to certain designs and productions in my quest to start my personal Disney watch collection.

For 2013, I am going to share one watch a week from my personal Disney watch stash. It was fun looking through my watch collection and remembering some cherished moments associated with particular timepieces. A good number of my watches were only available to Cast Members. I have many watches that came with great packaging. There are some good Disneyland stories to tell, too.

My Disney Time starts tomorrow. The first watch is pretty special. See you real soon!


Disney on my Tree - Day 25

Merry Christmas! 

For this last entry of Disney on my Tree, I had to share my tree topper. I can't even remember when I got this but this angel is the star of our Christmas Tree. Angel Minnie Mouse is simply special all dressed in gold. Her wings and hands both move. She is the shinning star.

Wishing you lots of Christmas Cheer. With many blessings to you family, too!


Disney on my Tree - Day 24

"When you wish upon a star..." That's what the Disney Wonder horn plays when it leaves the dock. My family was lucky enough to take an Alaskan cruise aboard the Disney Wonder this past summer. It did feel like a wish came true with a once in a lifetime family vacation filled with Disney magic enroute to one of the most scenic states in our Union, Alaska. 

We chose these two ornaments to remember this dream vacation. The Disney Wonder is a very luxurious vessel so this resin replica conjures up many memories for my family. We had fun remembering the beauty of the ship, the fantastic broadway-like shows, Deck 9, and much more Disney magic. It was really a chance for us to disconnect in order to "connect" together.  

This second resin ornament is a reminder of the Alaskan ports we were able to visit such as Ketchikan, Skagway and Juneau. We did some zip-lining and my husband even had a chance to go dog sledding with Iditarod dogs.  We did see some very intricate totem poles and this ornament is a great Disney interpretation. 

On this Christmas Eve, don't forget to check out Norad to see where Santa is. They now have a great App, too.

Wishing you day filled with love and Christmas Cheer!


Disney on my Tree - Day 23

Day 23 is brought to you by one more Donald & Daisy Duck ornament. 

I love the tiny red Mickey Mouse ornament ball that Donald Duck is holding in his hand. The mistletoe that Daisy Duck holds over Donald's head adds another cute factor. She is ready for some Christmas cheer and Donald looks like he is ready, too. It's oh so cute on our tree. 

My kids like to refer 2 days before Christmas as Christmas Eve, Eve.

So happy Christmas Eve, Eve!


Disney on my Tree - Day 22

Day 22 is brought to you from 4 ladies dancing.

I bought these as Disney Store set one year when my kids were younger. My girls loved all the Disney Princesses. They had most of the costumes. They still love all the songs associated with these Disney classic characters. We thought this set was really fun because you got to see the Disney Princess as dancing ballerinas. We especially love the way their dancing costumes were true to their actual Princess outfits. 



Sleeping Beauty (Aurora/Briar Rose)

Hard to believe this is the last big Christmas weekend. Hope all your shopping is all done. My family is simply looking forward to a couple days together to shop, wrap, have a "picnic dinner" under our tree so we can enjoy our ornaments and share some special memories. 

Happy Saturday!


Disney on my Tree - Day 21

I am thinking about and celebrating kids today. We all have some inner child in all of us. Christmas really highlights the innocence and wonder of being a kid....and being a kid at heart, too. Mickey Mouse and friends bring both kids and adults together for all kinds of events and holiday fun.

Day 21 features this fun ornament I got back in 2008 from The Disney Store. It is actually heavier than you think. I love the Mickey Mouse iconic glove that serves as a balloon for Mickey and his friends. Looks like they are ready for a fun adventure.

Up, Up and away!

Back of Day 21 ornament features Donald Duck & Goofy.

Are you ready for the final big Christmas weekend? Find your inner child and go all out this Christmas. Better yet, enjoy Christmas through the eyes of a child in your life. They may be small but have such big hearts to share the season with you.

Merry Christmas!


Disney on my Tree - Day 20

Day 20! Oh my! 

This one is a favorite of mine. It's a 2000 Hallmark Keepsake entitled Donald & Daisy at Lover's Lodge. My husband and I went to Squaw Valley in Lake Tahoe for our honeymoon 19 years ago to this date. We did some skiing, drove some snow mobiles, and tried a little cross-county skiing. It was all SNOW fun!

Only 5 more days until Christmas! That's what my kids are singing today. I will just be happy to spend some time with them during the break. 

Get some holiday cheer on today!


Disney on my Tree - Day 19

Today's ornament reminds me of the just how close we are to Christmas. It's definitely    time to kick into full gear.

I love the old fashion Pie Eye Mickey and Minnie on their bike. Their legs are made up of springs. This ornament is very glittery, too. It's just plain cute. Mickey & Minnie are ready to go and get their Christmas on.

Wishing you lots of cheerful things today.


Disney on my Tree - Day 18

Today's ornament is brought to you by Donald Duck & Daisy Duck. This Hallmark Keepsake Ornament depicts Donald & Daisy Duck on a gondola. It always makes me think of romance.

It's a special one today because it also my wedding anniversary. Yes, we were married a week before Christmas. Our wedding invites had a Christmas theme and we had mini Christmas trees for our centerpieces. We invited Santa Clause and he happily showed up with a bag of toys in tow for our small wedding guests.

My wedding anniversary is another reason why we do Christmas so big at my house. It's simply the most wonderful time of year. My husband can still sweep me off my feet.

Happy Anniversary, MacSparky


Disney on my Tree - Day 17

We usually buy an ornament while we are on vacation to remember our fun trip. Finding and then putting up our "vacation ornaments" on the Christmas Tree brings back all those family moments. Great stories and laughter usually follows certain vacation ornaments. It makes tree trimming fun.

Day 17 is brought to you by this Walt Disney ornament that we bought to remember our trip back in 2004. Of course Disney would have specific ornaments to commemorate a special vacation. On the back of the ornament is Tinkerbell. I really love the Mickey with his camera around his neck and Minnie holding the colorful balloons. 

Only 8 more sleeps before Santa comes!


Disney on my Tree - Day 16

"Doo-Be Doo Be Do-Ba Doo-Be Doo Be Do-Ba Doo-Be Doo Be Do-Ba Doo-Be Doo Be Do-Ba...


Day 16 is brought to you by a Disney Channel character who is described as a "a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action". Perry the Platypus has become a favorite in my house. We are all fans of the Phineas and Ferb show on The Disney Channel. It is a show we can all enjoy together. We even own the Phineas and Ferb Holiday Favorites Holiday music. Perry the Platypus is a fun character for all ages. He may be quiet and small, but he is always up to protecting the kids he belongs to while honoring his call of duty as a super secret agent spy.

Today this ornament reminds me of all the kids eagerly awaiting Santa's arrival. It reminds me of being a parent. I am remembering young children who touched many lives, even for just a little amount of time but made big dents in many hearts. I am thinking about the teachers who all have an unselfish heart for looking after our kids in our schools. They are now Christmas angels.

Sharing in sorrow and faith.


Disney on my Tree - Day 15

Abra-ca-dabra! Magician Mickey is here to present Day 15.

This ornament reminds me of all my days spent at The Magic Shop on Main Street, USA - Disneyland. When I worked there, I was asked if I would be interested in working at The Magic Shop. Of course I said yes to a new adventure. You had to go through a week of training so you could learn all the tricks and products that the shop carried. This speciality knowledge allowed me to work as a "magic demo" in The Magic Shop.  I happily spent several summers in one of the smallest stores on Main Street. It was great fun working with a very small group of magic demos. I got to interact with an eclectic assortment of Guests who came in excited to see and learn about magic. 

This is a new ornament I purchased this year. It is a first of a series from Hallmark. Kind of excited about that. Such fond memories that Magician Mickey brings to me. 

Sending some cheerful thoughts your way today.