FILMING SAVING MR. BANKS AT DISNEYLAND
This week the film production Saving Mr. Banks moved in and began filming in various locations throughout Disneyland park. The film tells the behind the scenes story of how the film Mary Poppins came to be. Hollywood heavyweight, Tom Hanks, will be playing the role of Walt Disney opposite Emma Thompson as P.L. Travers and Colin Farrel as Travers Robert Goff.
This was a rare opportunity for Disneyland guests to see an actual Hollywood film being shot inside the berm. The film required large portions of the park to be redressed to resemble what the park looked like in the 60’s as closely as possible. In order for this to happen, sections of the park were closed for hours at a time to allow large scale day shots inside Walt’s original Magic Kingdom. The last film given this level of access to the park was 40 Pounds of Trouble starring Tony Curtis.
Since Disneyland is open every day of the week, a very careful dance was choreographed to assure that the shooting areas were kept free of any modern looking visitors to the park. Extra security was brought in, Cast Members were assigned to stand behind ropes and inform day guests of what was happening.
Shooting inside Fantasyland required the entire area behind the Castle to remain closed. From Big Thunder Ranch, to the front of the Castle, to the Mad Tea Party, all was roped off for the first half of the day on Tuesday.
From time to time, extras, dressed in period costume, were herded from the shooting areas to backstage, allowing glimpses of the wonderful costumes.
We wonder how expansive the shots will be inside Fantasyland, since the land was completely redone in 1983 and hardly resembles anything from its early tournament style days.
Later in the week, the production moved to the front of the park. They were shooting a scene in which P.L. Travers is driven to the front gate of the park and greeted there by Walt. To pull this shot off, all but a few turnstiles off to the left were closed to day guests. The rest were dressed up, filled with period costumed extras, and used in the scene.
While day guests were kept far, far away, the shooting commenced.
It will be very interesting for Disneyland fans to see the movie when it is released in 2013. The park has changed so much since 1955, it will be neat to see how they bridge that gap.
We are interested to hear your thoughts. Are you looking forward to this film? Do you think Tom Hanks has the right look to play Walt?