warning: this is going to be a really long post, with a shitton of pictures. cool?
the teen and i were pretty excited to score a pair of tickets for an advance screening of "saving mr. banks." and yes, we'd already seen it the week before at the disney parks blog meet-up, but that was a bonus that became available to us after we'd already gotten these tickets. not to mention that we'd really enjoyed the movie and were totally cool with seeing it again. but the best part of this screening? it was going to be at the walt disney studios in burbank, where neither of us had ever been. for disney crazies like us, it was like being called to the mother ship.
we got to drive through these gates:
and after finding a parking spot, we stepped out of the elevator and found a plethora of signage and smiling cast members who were more than happy to show us the way.
here, we picked up our tickets, wristbands and vouchers for our free copies of the "mary poppins" DVD.
there was a concession stand on one end of the room which offered popcorn, candy, soda, and movie-themed merchandise including a $40 mary poppins umbrella. the rest of the room was decorated with movie props, vintage movie posters and a photo op.
we were also given a copy of this map to use for our self-guided studio tour after the movie.
as we exited the will-call area, we came across this giant multiplane camera, invented by a disney animator back in the 1930s and used during the production of "snow white and the seven dwarfs."
then we got to look at some of the costumes used in "saving mr. banks."
just past that was something that i would have absolutely loved to visit. alas, it was closed.
we finally tore ourselves away and followed this sign out the door.
special guests were waiting to take a picture with us.
mickey was there too, but we'd gotten there too late to get in that line. a cast member told us not to worry, though - he'd be out and about again after the movie was over. and so we went into the theater to find our seats and get settled.
there were some fun things to look at in the lobby, too. things like one of the original scripts for "mary poppins" and little souvenirs from the movie premiere back in 1964.
also, the ever-present piracy warning.
before the movie started, we got to watch a clip from the star-studded premiere of "saving" that had taken place in the theater the week prior. we also learned that this was only the second time that the public had been invited to a movie screening at the studio, with the first having taken place in 2009 when "the princess and the frog" came out. kind of cool considering the disney studios have been in that location since the 40s.
yay for movie!
after it was over, we headed across the street to the animation building and began our walking tour.
up on the second floor, we headed towards "walt's suite," a recreation of walt disney's office using props from "saving." before that was a collection of movie merchandise from "mary poppins."
the line was pretty long to get in, although nothing compared to what it looked like later, as we were leaving. it was worth the wait, though, to get a gander at all of the fun props that were displayed there.
the next room was set up to recreate where a team of animators would get together and brainstorm about a movie. there were lots of drawings on storyboards on the walls, and a skylight above the table to allow lots of natural light into the room.
then we got to see a few things that were in walt's actual office, which was just down the hall and is now used by another production company.
a few photos of the real "mary poppins" VIPs.
a giant mickey rug greeted us as we descended the staircase to continue our tour.
tons of photos on the walls in every hallway tell the story of the disney company.
even the floor pays homage to the mouse.
how cool would it be to work here?
the wall had been recently updated to include the newest animated disney film.
outside, we followed the map to get to our next destination: stage a, where the original music from "mary poppins" was recorded. when you watch "saving," this is where p.l. travers first meets don dagradi, her co-writer, and the sherman brothers, who wrote all of the music.
parked outside was walt's limo.
making our way to the hyperion bungalow, we walked past the employee store. oh, how i would've loved to go inside and buy some stuff. i'm sure it's mostly stuff i could find at the disney store, but it would've been special, dang it.
inside the silverlake room in the hyperion bungalow was a recreation of p.l. travers' parlor from the movie. the bungalow was originally built in 1935 and had been part of disney's studios in hollywood on hyperion avenue. when the burbank studios were built in 1939-1940, the bungalow was moved to where it stands today. man, i love historic crap like this so hard.
sound stage 2, where most of "mary poppins" was filmed, was renamed as julie andrews stage 2 in 2000 after she came back to film "the princess diaries."
at disneyland, the speed limit in the parking areas is 14. here, it's 8.
at the corner of mickey avenue and dopey drive, also known as "pluto's corner," we found the big cheese himself.
continuing along mickey avenue towards legends plaza, we're pretty sure we came across the very spot where emma thompson and paul giamatti filmed one of their scenes in the movie.
disney legends such as julie andrews, dick van dyke, tim allen and robin williams along with countless others are immortalized here in bronze plaques that feature their handprints and signatures.
i couldn't resist the chance to hug minnie as roy o. disney looked on.
by then it was time to head out, so we headed back to the building where we'd checked in at the beginning of the evening to collect our DVDs.
it had been one hell of an awesome night. i'd love the chance to visit the studio again someday in the daylight, maybe when people are actually working so i can see all the hustle and bustle. and i know "general hospital" tapes there, too. lunch in the commissary on a weekday would be fab.
who's gonna hook me up? anyone? anyone?