Walt Returns to Disneyland for Filming of Saving Mr. Banks

Written by Norman Gidney. Posted in Disney News, Disneyland Resort, Features, In the Parks

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Published on November 09, 2012 at 5:03 am with 36 Comments

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.

The Pumba lot along Disney Way was closed and used for Cast and Crew parking for the film.

SMB, Saving Mr. Banks

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.

Disneyland

The front gates, without pumpkins.

filming of Saving Mr. Banks staring Tom Hanks

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.

Disneyland Castle

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.

Filming Saving Mr. Banks in Disneyland

From time to time, extras, dressed in period costume, were herded from the shooting areas to backstage, allowing glimpses of the wonderful costumes.

vintage decoration and clothing during film shooting in Disneyland

Notice the tournament style banners in front of the castle?

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.

extras from the film, Saving Mr. Banks at Disneyland

extras from the film, Saving Mr. Banks at Disneyland

extras from the film, Saving Mr. Banks at Disneyland

extras from the film, Saving Mr. Banks at Disneyland

Saving Mr. Banks at Disneyland

extras from the film, Saving Mr. Banks at Disneyland

extras from the film, Saving Mr. Banks at Disneyland

Look at how awesome that blue dress with the green bow is! There are a lot of really great period costumes.

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.

Saving Mr. Banks

Grip trucks were parked to the right of the entrance just outside the esplanade.

Filming Saving Mr. Banks at Disneyland

Grip trucks for Saving Mr. Banks

Film Logo, Saving Mr. Banks

While day guests were kept far, far away, the shooting commenced.

Saving Mr. Banks filming at Disneyland, California

Saving Mr. Banks filming at Disneyland, California

Saving Mr. Banks filming at Disneyland, California

This Cast Member was so friendly and adorable.

Front Gate filming at Disneyland of Saving Mr. Banks

vintage vending carts at Disneyland during filming

Extras manning the old popcorn and cotton Candy carts

Tom Hanks as Walt Disney in Saving Mr. Banks

Suddenly, Tom Hanks came walking up dressed as Walt!

 

Tom Hanks as Walt Disney in Saving Mr. Banks

Tom Hanks as Walt Disney in Saving Mr. Banks

Tom graciously waved to the crowd and in an instant was gone.

Massive camera rigs were then moved backstage.

Some of the set dressings were still up when guests were allowed back into the area

They even had the old style Mickey Mouse balloons!

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?

We have a full In The Parks update for you today as well – HERE

About Norman Gidney

Norman Gidney, also known as Fishbulb, produces and edits many of the articles on MiceChat. Tune in every Tuesday for the Orlando Parkhopper and every Friday for In The Parks. But you'll also find his photos in the Weekly Round Up, SAMLAND, and numerous other columns on the site.

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36 Comments

Comments for Walt Returns to Disneyland for Filming of Saving Mr. Banks are now closed.

  1. Wow. These pictures look fantastic!

    Tom Hanks is a good actor, and he looks right for the role. I wonder if he’ll try to change his voice to sound like Walt, or if he’ll just sound like Tom Hanks. Either way, I think I can accept him.

    I really like the idea about redressing the set and using CGI for the rest of it–if that’s the way they end up going. Maybe the scenes inside the park will be so short that CGI won’t be necessary. After all, this isn’t a story about the park; it’s a story about Mary Poppins.

    That brings me to my final point: Why do all this work just for a movie about the making of another movie? How about a biopic of Walt himself, with Hanks in the lead role?

  2. I wish that the vintage Disneyland entrance letters were permanent. I think they look great, plus they’re a nice way to announce “This is Disneyland” in a colorful way.

  3. Some of the set dressings were still up when guests were allowed back into the area

  4. I think Tom Hanks will be great in the role. He is such a gifted actor and the look in the pictures above was not that bad. The clothing and some of the old touches really brought back memories from those special Disneyland trips when I was young. Really looking forward to this movie.