Disney Studios’ Tomorrowland Films At Disneyland

Disneyland’s iconic it’s a small world attraction became a film set on Tuesday, February 4 for the 2015 Disney Studios release Tomorrowland. Appropriately, the attraction was appearing in a sequence set at the New York World’s Fair of 1964-65. The filmmakers had previously shot footage at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, where another of Disney’s World’s Fair attractions, The Carousel of Progress, is located.

For Tuesday’s exterior shoot, extensive portions of it’s a small world were masked with blue screens, presumably to allow artists and technicians to digitally insert the appropriate façade. The sequences shot all took place in the loading trough on the side furthest from the façade of the attraction. There was limited viewing, but the action for one sequence could be seen during several takes.

As guests (extras in period costume) descended a staircase and boarded the boats, a young boy with a heavy canvas satchel/backpack darted across the line, briefly hopping aboard a boat and disappearing up the ramp on the other side (see video and photos). This was shot from various angles, and included the use of a stunt double for the young boy.

Tomorrowland director Brad Bird was on site. During a break in the action, he briefly met with Disneyland park guests and posed for photos. Actor Hugh Laurie also greeted a few guests late in the day. Although anticipation was high, there was no sign of star George Clooney, although cast members reported that he was in the park that day. Adding some confusion was the presence of actor Gary Sinese in the park, who was participating in the flag retreat ceremony that afternoon with wounded veterans.

Highly visible were the mob of carefully costumed extras. The dress was straight out of the mid-1960s, with accessories to match. World’s Fair souvenirs were visible, along with a few extras wearing a distinctive pin with a T-shaped logo. This pin matched those given to members of the “Society” who followed The Optimist on line, with the exception of a reversed color scheme.

On Wednesday, February 5 further shooting was scheduled for inside the attraction. Tomorrowland is scheduled for release on May 22, 2015.

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