Inside the Walt Disney Archives & Studio Walking Tour
As I prepare to write this post it’s almost bitter sweet, I now realize that I have fewer posts left to write from my press trip in February and I’ve been sharing about it for the past month. It’s been an unforgettable experience and its been so great sharing with you all. Today I get to share about my time in the Walt Disney Archives and our Studio Walking Tour. We were lucky to get the opportunity to sit in the archives and listen to some recordings of P.L. Travers in her meetings with the Sherman Brothers. This was in connection with our Saving Mr. Banks coverage.
We were treated to some Disney history and while listening to the recordings we got to hear first hand some of the inspiration behind the movie Saving Mr. Banks. We hear Travers give her opinions on every aspect of the film. She was very vocal and a bit difficult. We also heard the rare moments when she starts to sing along to songs she liked and once she even tapped her feet. The gentleman who talked with us also shared a little tid bit. In the movie Saving Mr. Banks, we see that Travers has a limo driver that she eventually befriends and she also visited Disneyland with Walt Disney himself. However her chaperone for the trip was actually a Disney employee Bill Dover – head of the story department – and he was the one who took her to the park. They did remain close and she would write him letters for years after the film was created. It was in one of those letters that she shared that when she saw Mary Poppins the second time she was able to appreciate it more.
This bookcase in the archives was huge and it was filled with so many books based on Disney characters. The resources in here alone is amazing. They had so many great items that any Disney fan would love to explore and see. When Disney movie makers are making movies and looking for ideas they can go visit the archives and find information relating to certain eras, find old recording and just look at the rich history of the company. Here’s some of the items that were on display while we were visiting.
As another part of the Saving Mr. Banks experience we got a walking tour of the replica of Walt Disney’s office from the movie. Filmmakers visited the archives when making the film to make sure everything was as accurate as possible.
We also got a walking tour from Mr. Jeffery Epstein Marketing Manager at D23. He took us around the Disney Studios lot to all the places that Travers would have visited and scenes we would recognize from Saving Mr. Banks. Like I stated in my review I spent a lot of time during the movie bragging to my husband about where I had been when looking at the movie. If you’re not a member of D23 I suggest you join. They have a free membership as well as a Silver and Gold level membership. It’s the ultimate club for Disney fans and they offer exclusive perks as well. Head over to the D23 website and join today, after all it’s free.
The original water tower that used to supply water to the studio. It’s now empty.
One of the stages used to film Mary Poppins. It’s now the studio for ABC Trophy Wife
This is the “Shorts” building. It’s where they create the Disney Shorts.
The upper corner is the office of Walt Disney
There’s a scene in the movie where Travers (Emma Thompson) is sitting in the grass making some sort of little house and her limo driver brings her a cup of tea it was shot right under that tree. You could still see where she was digging in the ground a little.
Another scene from the movie was filmed here. Walt (Tom Hanks stood there when he was talking to his assistant about not inviting Pamela to the Hollywood Premiere of Mary Poppins)
Some of the signs on the lot. Jeffery shared with us that none of the signs actually point to where they say they do but they are all part of the charm of the Disney studios lot.
It was such an honor to be able to walk around on the lot and to listen to those recordings. I really enjoyed my time there. Also be sure to check out my review of Saving Mr. Banks and enter the giveaway to win a copy of the BluRay.