I participated in a FROZEN/Pirate Fairy Press Event which included a tour of the Walt Disney Studios Saving Mr. Banks Walking Tour – Disney provided transportation and accommodations; all opinions are my own. Read more about this event here and by following the hashtag #piratefairybloggers on Twitter.
As it turns out, the portion we visited was a small bit of the original limited engagement tour that was available to fans for a very short time in December of 2013.
Upon arrival at the studio guests, who’d paid $50 for a ticket, were given a map of the tour which took them to nearly every corner of the lot. The special event combined a “Walk in Walt’s Footsteps” tour of the set, Animation Building, and a chance for photos with Disney characters and a copy of Mary Poppins 50th Anniversary on DVD. The evening culminated with a showing of “Saving Mr. Banks.”
One look across the Internet shows the show was a hit and loved by many and now that I’ve seen a small portion of it I can understand why. There’s so much history in the halls and grounds of Walt Disney Studios, it’s hard not to be wowed by it all. Every hallway and office is filled with historic photos of animators, directors, and actors who made history in that building.
Saving Mr. Banks Walking Tour
Walt Disney’s Formal & Working Offices
We spent some time in Walt’s Suite, a recreation of Walt’s suite of offices which were used in the film. Props were created from photos taken from Walt’s time in the offices and painstakingly recreated down to the statues and awards on the shelves.
Walt Disney’s Office Reception Area
Disney had a receptionist as well as a personal secretary. This is the receptionist’s waiting room.
Details on color, fabric, size, and more were meticulously recreated and the set looks very much like the photos displayed alongside. Granted, for the movie they took a few liberties with what Walt had on his desk, but the bulk of it is authentic.
Original 60’s Mary Poppins Products
I also appreciate the display of the original Mary Poppins products which were marketed and sold when the movie premiered. I remember many of them from when I was a young girl – so many times begging for them – but I don’t remember being successful in my pleas.
Mary Poppins Behind-the-Scenes Photos
I spent a lot of time looking at the photos that lined the hallways. Many of them were behind-the-scenes photos from the filming of “Mary Poppins.”
I think my favorite is this photo of some of the Chimney Sweeps rehearsing “Step in Time” on top of the roofs of London. Seeing the actors in their street clothes on a mocked-up set in the heat of the California sun reminds you just how hard these people worked to bring us the magic that is the movie.
Walt Disney Studio Tour
We spent some time outside on the Walt Disney Studios campus checking out some of the places used to film “Saving Mr. Banks,” as well. We stopped at Stage 1 where the arrival scene is filmed and then walked over and looked up at Walt’s window which overlooked the lot.
This was a tiny bit of the full experience. Check out Inside the Magic for a great pictorial of the complete Saving Mr. Banks Walking Tour including lots of pieces we didn’t see like Walt’s limousine and some of the carousel horses. Also, check out Nicki’s recap of the walking tour I participated in including photos on the WDS campus.
If you ever get a chance to tour the Walt Disney Studios, go. Especially if you love Disney or if you’re a history buff. Both? Then you’ll be like me – in awe and loving every minute of it!