The Pearly Band

So let’s file this one under the “things I never knew existed” category! Theo and I were coming through the castle after the Superman Ad incident, and saw a brightly colored band marching through.

Instruments, bright colors, and the back of some girl's head

They circled and then lined up in formation. I checked my Entertainment Guide and it made no mention of brightly-colored musicians gathering in front of the castle, so of course in the interest of this blog, I stopped to listen.

Also, Theo seemed interested so why not?

I cleverly discerned their name by reading the drum. Because I’m smart like that.

Funny how the drum so often gives away the identity of the performer

If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know that 3 minutes on Google is my standard at-home research methodology (if you’re new to the blog, my standard at-home research methodology is 3 minutes on Google), and according to my research, the Pearly band follows the traditions of London’s pearly kings and queens. I have no idea what that’s supposed to mean, since I’ve been to London a couple of times and I have NEVER seen any royalty dressed up like this playing instruments. But, you know, it’s Disneyland, so I’ll go with that. Apparently the “pearly” part refers to the mother-of-pearl buttons on their natty outfits.

When Mary Poppins arrived, it made a LOT more sense. Because there’s a pearly band in Mary Poppins, and apparently Disneyland has had their own Pearly Band since the movie released.

That’s one movie I really should see again, by the way.

Anyway, Mary Poppins immediately came over and started shaking hands with all of the waiting children.

Shaking hands with the kid next to us

Sadly I was so unprepared for this turn of events that I failed to get into a good position to see Mary Poppins shaking hands with my own child. Instead, in my panic, I ended up with this:



Anyway, when Bert came out with his portable chimney sweep vehicle, I knew we were in for a treat.

Sweeping the chimneys of Disneyland in style

After wheeling in his chimney sweeping cart, since apparently 47 Disney years later Bert’s still stuck in an archaic manual labor job, Bert joined with Mary for a jolly holiday.

This Bert looked nothing like Dick Van Dyke, but given Dick's current age, that's probably not a bad thing

They joined with the Pearly Band leader to sing a song, which I can’t remember because I’m writing this entry a week after the visit to Disneyland took place. Blogger fail.

La la la, some song from the Mary Poppins movie

There were more musical numbers, and then Bert revealed that his “trash can” was actually a cleverly-disguised banner holder/retractor, reading Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

Super California Surfers, Experts On the Ocean

Mary tried to get everyone to sing along, but she thwarted her own efforts by standing in front of the word we were supposed to be singing. Lucky for her, everyone in the crowd seemed to know it anyway.

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious has its own Wikipedia page. Seriously.

Then the fun went into high gear as Mary and Bert selected a few children from the audience and gave them each a chimney sweeper.

Honorary Chimney Sweeps, we will exploit your child labor and pay you nothing, just like Victorian England!

The kids actually did a fabulous job of keeping up with Bert and Mary.

Raise your knees high and crush the upper class! Let them sweep their own chimneys! Or invent forced-air central heating!

Mary led the children around the Pearly Band as a grand finale.

Let us skip and revel in the joy of central heating!

All in all, it was a wonderfully pleasant surprise to happen upon a performance I never even knew existed at Disneyland. I have to say, that’s one thing I’m loving about writing this blog–there’s just so much I never paid attention to!


10 responses to “The Pearly Band

  1. BruinKristin March 22, 2011 at 8:57 am

    So cool! I love finding things at Disneyland that I never knew existed, which happens to me all the time since with three child I’m oblivious to a lot around me! For example apparently we’ve been living under a Mickey rock and didn’t know until our last visit that the Disneyland castle was actually Sleeping Beauty’s castle and you can go inside and see a little exhibit of the Sleeping Beauty story. We’ve assigned Annika the Sleeping Beauty princess (that’s what you’re supposed to do right? assign your little girls princesses?) because she is such an awesome sleeper and of course she has her own “Princess Canopy” on her bed (but that’s a whole other blog). Anyhow it was Sleeping Beauty/Princess Arora in the Princess picture taking area who told us about the castle that we should visit! BTW have you used the Disney Photo editor online with the photo pass they give you? ALMOST worth the $$$ to buy a cute edited picture! Thanks again for the info and letting me ramble on and on about Disneyland…

  2. Kate March 22, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Hooray for Mary Poppins! She’s a favorite at our house.

  3. Kate March 22, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    OMG, as you can imagine I *love* the band name! I will definitely have to look for them when I finally visit Disneyland.

    Also, my cousin is a cast member in the Broadway Mary Poppins so that’s a double incentive to keep an eye out for them.

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  5. Julie March 23, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    Hi there. 🙂 I came across you through some link or another than I followed…
    I’m loving this. Your writing is fabulous. I grew up going to Disneyland, and now live half a continent away. In preparation for our upcoming vacation, I’ve been reading up, and your blog is going to top my list. Thanks for these great little notes on the “lesser known” Disney attractions – we’ll be sure to keep an eye out. I do hope you’ll keep up your blog – I’m having a grand time reading it. 🙂

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  7. Elena July 13, 2011 at 3:14 am

    I know the girl playing Mary Poppins! We went to high school together in Santa Cruz. She was tomboyish and played lots of sports, so it’s funny to see her all dolled up and working at Disneyland!

    That’s all 🙂

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