Category Archives: Fantasyland

Rest In Peace, Robert B. Sherman

The world lost a Disney icon today–Robert B. Sherman who, along with his brother, wrote scores of songs for classic Disney music including Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Jungle Book, and the Aristocats. He also wrote a song I love–yes, LOVE–It’s A Small World. According to news reports, Mr. Sherman died peacefully at home. He was 87. His music will always be a part of my childhood memories. Thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Sherman’s friends and family.

To celebrate Mr. Sherman, I’m reprinting my post on the Pearly Band, a wonderful music celebration of Mary Poppins.


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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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!

Believe…In Holiday Magic

There’s nothing better than a cell phone video with crackling sound, right? Good, because I’ve got one for you. It’s the holiday fireworks. We were standing facing Small World. This would have been a better place to film from if I’d avoided the big light post but you know, we do what we can.

I’ll just give you a hint in case you don’t want to stick around for the whole long thing. The fireworks themselves actually start at about :34. My favorite part falls at around 8:49 to the end.


It’s A Small, Psychedelic World

The facade of Small World is really something to behold. The artistry of Mary Blair is incredible for one, and it’s so large and majestic.

Okay, maybe majestic isn’t quite the right word, but anyway.

Christmas Small World is just about as good as it gets.

Okay, I'm going back to "majestic"


The facade also makes an excellent projection screen for things such as The Magic, The Memories, and You, and of course, something I’ve dubbed Psychedelic Small World.

It’s a show that happens every 15 minutes in which a series of images are rather frantically shown on the facade along with festive music, like from the Nutcracker.


The show continues with various things

Looks like wrapping paper!

Some of it is just lighting up existing elements of the facade.

All neon-like

I'd call this more of a primary color set

Some of the pictures are easier to follow than others.

Either drums or a very confusing birthday cake

Some are much more straightforward

Dude, candy corn is for Halloween

And some use each panel to show a different story.

This gets confusing

And then after this big buildup, the whole facade goes dark and all at once does this:

I kind of think you have to be there to get the full effect

The frantic changing of images and hyped up music, coupled with the weirdness of some of the color schemes and pictures that move like maybe you’ve had too many adult beverages truly make this experience rather psychedelic.

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

Do you have any idea how hard that is to spell? Let’s just acronym-ize to BBB. Look! I made up a word!

Anyway, the BBB is like the ultimate thing for princessy girls. It’s a makeover studio where you can get all princess-ized (I’m making up words all over the place!). It’s located in Fantasyland right at the entrance to the castle. You can’t miss it because you run into this cart:

Hi! I'm at the entrance to Fantasyland!

You can see the BBB sign in the back. There’s a lovely display window giving you a taste of what you’re about to enter:

Child-sized Cinderella dress

And the BBB itself looks like a castle, right behind the castle. Or in front depending on which side of the castle you’re standing on.

Come in and get your hair done

Inside it’s like a regular store with princess overload. All kinds of princess dresses and accessories

And bored customers

Plus a few seasonal items

Still Halloweentime

But of course, the main thing at the BBB is the makeover. There are a few packages you can get, which involve a new hairstyle for your little princess, nails done, various accessories, and at the top level they’ll throw in a princess dress. The back area is a salon

For said makeovers

You can take as many pictures as you want, provided it’s your child who is being made over. Otherwise they kind of give you a weird look and you have to move along.

The packages are pricey, starting at around $50 up to $200, and the up-dos are pretty elaborate. Also you can get a sash.

There's not even a talent competition!

This is the kind of thing that makes me glad that Theo isn’t into princesses. It is very cute, but kind of a lot of money. The little girls all seem to love it though. They do have a package for boys that’s just like hair glitter. Oh, also they have the Photopass photographers there documenting everything in case you want the professional Disney pictures. It’s quite an interesting little place.

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