Friday, September 12, 2014

The Magical Songs at Disney Parks

Q: There have been so many fascinating documentaries about the making of the Disney parks and individual movies, but I do not recall ever seeing a documentary about the musicians who contribute to the Disney experience with their music. Music in the parks and at their events is such an integral part of the experience. It would not be a true Disney experience without the music! Who are the people that provide these experiences for us? Cheryl, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 

A [Dave Smith]: Music has indeed been an exciting part of our parks, and while there is no documentary film, the contributions of composers have been mentioned in books. At first Walt Disney used his staff composers — such as Oliver Wallace, George Bruns and the Sherman Brothers — to write the music he needed for Disneyland. Perhaps the most prolific of the composers for Disneyland and the later parks was Buddy Baker; he remained a staff composer until 1983. In more recent years there have been people like George Wilkins, Bob Moline, Don Dorsey, Russell Brower, Bruce Broughton, Joel McNeely, Edo Guidotti and Richard Bellis creating the music.

More to see at Marcio Disney History Youtube Channel [Marcio Disney]

Now we have an amazing documentary about the Sherman Brothers (which I love the most) called The Boys. Check out the trailer:

Here you can see the complete scene with the Sherman Brothers and Walt Disney together playing "It's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow"

A Night With Richard Sherman - I love the version of "It's a Small World" in this video :)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Mickey Mouse Revue

Q: In 1973 my wife and I visited the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World on our honeymoon. We saw and loved an attraction called the Mickey Mouse Revue. If I remember correctly it was similar to the Country Bear Jamboree. On subsequent visits we could no longer find it. Could you tell us what happened to it? 
Ronald, Boca Raton, Florida 

A [Dave Smith]: The Mickey Mouse Revue, an Audio-Animatronics® attraction featuring Disney characters performing some of the most memorable Disney songs, was created for Walt Disney World, opening in 1971. In 1980 the attraction was removed and sent to Tokyo Disneyland, where it played from 1983 to 2009. Mickey's PhilharMagic is now in the former location of the Mickey Mouse Revue in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.

There´s 2 videos above about Mickey Mouse Revue. The first one is the original version in the Magic Kingdom and the second one is the Tokyo Disneyland version.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Madame Leota and her Floating Crystal Ball

Q: In the 2007 revamp of the Walt Disney World Haunted Mansion did they replace the original Madame Leota crystal ball to make it float? And, if so, is the original in the Archives? 

A [Dave Smith]: Yes, the floating Madame Leota crystal ball that was installed in the 2007 refurbishment uses an internal projection to make the effect more realistic, so the former prop was replaced. It is now part of the Archives.

Madame Leota is the spirit of a psychic medium, conducting an otherworldly séance in an attempt to summon spirits and assist them in materializing and was played by Leota Toombs (face) and Eleanor Audley (voice). Before Leota Toombs was chosen for the face of the medium in the crystal ball, Imagineer Harriet Burns was tested for the part. Leota Toombs also played the Ghost Hostess who appears at the end of the attraction, though it is unknown whether or not she and Madame Leota are meant to be the same character.

"Serpents and spiders, tail of a rat / Call in the spirits, wherever they're at. / Rap on a table, it's time to respond / Send us a message from somewhere beyond. / Goblins and ghoulies from last Halloween / Awaken the spirits with your tambourine. / Creepies and crawlies, toads in a pond / Let there be music from regions beyond. / Wizards and witches, wherever you dwell / Give us a hint by ringing a bell."

For Disneyland´s Haunted Mansion Online Audio, Click Here!

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