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Thread: Court of Angels

  1. #1

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    Court of Angels

    Ok, well, if you don't know where I'm talking about, I'm sure you're not alone as I didn't even know this area had a name until recently. Does anyone know of the story of the Court of Angels or Court de Angels area in New Orleans Square? I know the staircase leads to Club 33, but was there any inspiration in having this quiet little courtyard off the main walkways of New Orleans Square. If you're not sure what area I'm talking about, below is a pic of my fiancee and I.

    Last edited by Anders; 12-08-2006 at 07:47 AM. Reason: spelling

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    Re: Court of Angels

    I cant answer your question but is he proposing to you in your avatar? That is so sweet.

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    Re: Court of Angels

    Quote Originally Posted by Pirateheatther View Post
    I cant answer your question but is he proposing to you in your avatar? That is so sweet.
    that's actually me proposing to her, but yes, the photo in my post above was taken moments after she said yes.

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    Re: Court of Angels

    anders i know this isnt the right thread but i just want to say. you guys make the perfect couple

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    Re: Court of Angels

    Wow, this has to be a record time for a thread to be derailed, but yes, again, congratulations to you two!

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    Re: Court of Angels

    I've derailed my own thread already! thanks to all for the congrats!

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    Re: Court of Angels

    I was wondering the same thing to, and oddly enough it is one of the most peaceful places in Disneyland ...


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    Re: Court of Angels

    I don't know if there's a particular special story for this romantic little spot, but from what I've read, Walt was very much a romantic...so when New Orleans Square was being built, he wanted it to have a very romantic atmosphere (hence Blue Bayou for example...the atmosphere was key in it's designs).

    And congrats

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    Re: Court of Angels

    I bet you smile everytime you write the word fiancee' don't you
    I would like to know if there's backstory for this area also, we took pictures there annually when I was younger. I love that spot



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    Re: Court of Angels

    Um, until this year, we took our family photos there annually. This year, we could not, but for a very good reason. Two reasons, actually.

    Firstly OogieBoogie's sister-in-law was in there one day taking pictures of his nephew, then we were late for our lunch, so we had to take off.

    Secondly, some cute blonde guy was just about to propose to his unsuspecting girlfriend another day, so and we were pushing it to get back to the Hearthstone to congratulate them.

    Maybe next year.

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    Re: Court of Angels

    Never ran across a Court of Angels there, but Pirates Alley next to the Cathedral is a popular place for engagements (some sober) and weddings.
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    Re: Court of Angels

    Quote Originally Posted by Anders View Post
    that's actually me proposing to her, but yes, the photo in my post above was taken moments after she said yes.
    I'm very happy for you both!

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    Re: Court of Angels

    Yep, we use that stairway as the "stage" for our kids Christmas picture each year. 15 years now...

    Never heard of a story behind it though.

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    Re: Court of Angels

    I don't know of the story behind it either, but there is some excellent Herb Ryman concept art of it in "a Brush With Disney" pages 184 and 185
    Last edited by Yendorb; 12-08-2006 at 12:48 PM.

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    Re: Court of Angels

    Quote Originally Posted by Anders View Post
    Ok, well, if you don't know where I'm talking about, I'm sure you're not alone as I didn't even know this area had a name until recently. Does anyone know of the story of the Court of Angels or Court de Angels area in New Orleans Square?
    Yes. I know a bit about it.

    First, its original name until just fairly recently was "Le Grand Courtyard." I have no idea why the powers that be decided to go with the Angel angle just a couple of years ago, but I remember it ticked me off when they did, and inserted the relief plaque on that one wall proclaiming its new name. Why? Because of the story and history behind this courtyard.

    It was designed by Disney Legend Herb Ryman, who was asked personally by Walt to provide some inspirational drawings and painting of various areas of the then in-design New Orleans Square, based on the style of actual courtyards that existed in the real French Quarter. He actually did 4 different versions of this particular courtyard, but basically they all looked the same...just in different mediums (pencil, pencil with watercolor wash, oil, etc).

    Walt Disney saw Herbie's "Le Grand Courtyard" and loved the painting so much than he ordered the Courtyard constructed exactly as Herb depicted it! No changes could be made! Here's that painting:



    And that's exactly how it got built and what it was officially named. I believe even the iron gates to the courtyard had "GC" on them for most of their lives. But a few years ago someone got the bright idea of changing the name for God knows what reason (I find a lot of Disney folks these days like to change things just for the sake of changing them and perhaps to be able to point to their friends and say, "I named that!" ).

    Here's a very early shot of Le Grand Courtyard from a 1967 Park postcard. They lady in it is Beverly...who used to run the One-Of-A-Kind Shop and later worked up at the Disney Gallery until she retired a couple of years ago. And the big doll on the bottom left is one of several Mary Blair originals that were sold at the Park back then:



    Herbie also designed the other courtyard of New Orleans Square...The Royal Courtyard. This was the courtyard for the 21 Royal Street Disney family apartments (now the Disney Gallery). Here's the art on that one:



    This courtyard is still there too. This was actually the "front" entrance to the apartments before they built the double stairways that exist above the entrance to Pirates now. At the base of that stairway was a small "speakeasy" just like Club 33's. You rang the bell and the receptionist upstairs would buzz open a little gate at the base of the stairs.

    I will never call Le Grand Courtyard the Courtyard of Angels. Sorry. It's always going to be Walt & Herbie's "Le Grand Courtyard" to me. To me...calling it anything else would be tantamount to calling Sleeping Beauty Castle something else.
    Last edited by Opus1guy; 12-07-2006 at 07:41 PM.

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