LP Lotion: Disneyland Rolls Back the Clock for Saving Mr. Banks
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Some guests arriving at Walt Disney’s original Magic Kingdom in Anaheim found themselves stepping back in time for two special days in early November. On Tuesday and Wednesday, November 6 and 7, a film crew shooting Saving Mr. Banks took over selected areas of Disneyland. The major motion picture covers events in the sometimes stormy negotiations that took place between Walt Disney and P.L. Travers as he acquired the rights to her creation, Mary Poppins. Tom Hanks plays Walt Disney, and Emma Thompson is cast as the feisty British author. The two days of filming depicted a visit to Disneyland that took place in the summer of 1961.
Despite the presence of stars Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson, there were few incidents with the public to mar the experience. A large perimeter was created for the film crew, although sharp eyed guests could spot the stars making their way from location to location. The large crowd of extras dressed in early 60s finery was hard to miss, as they headed back and forth during breaks from filming.
Disneyland looks quite different now than it did over fifty years ago, although some iconic locations needed only the addition of period specific props and carefully costumed extras. The costumes extended even to the appearance of Disneyland cast members and the beloved Disney characters. The first day included scenes shot on Main Street, before public hours, and an extensive sequence in Fantasyland, which shut down a large area of the park for some five hours. The second day was spent mostly at the main entrance of Disneyland. Both days featured the kind of weather for which southern California is famous: clear blue skies and balmy breezes. Ironically, the very next day, Thursday, saw overcast and intermittent rain. According to insiders, the two-day shoot went off without a hitch. Indeed, the second day wrapped several hours early with all scenes needed, as well as a few extra sequences.
Please note that the following photos are not all presented in the order in which they were shot.
This was about as close as guests could get to most of the shooting locations during the filming of Saving Mr. Banks at Disneyland.
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Somewhere back there were stars Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson.
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Tom Hanks, taking a break in the shade of a portable tent. (He has removed his jacket.)
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Hanks prepares to head back to the carousel.
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Hanks, barely visible in the crowd at the front of the park on the second day of filming.
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Guest Scott Evans caught Hanks greeting the public as he headed to a location.
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