Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Today at Disneyland: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

Today was an exciting day for someone who has loved Julie Andrews since she was very young...we had the opportunity to see her in person at Disneyland. Viewed from a few feet away, Julie was just as lovely and gracious in person as one would expect having seen her on film over the decades.

Julie was visiting the park to have a newly refurbished horse at King Arthur's Carrousel rededicated in her honor.

She also signed copies of her new autobiography, HOME: A MEMOIR OF MY EARLY YEARS. Although we arrived at the park at the appointed time for distribution of the wristbands needed to participate in the booksigning, we were told some people had been in line for over four hours and apparently many of those people still did not receive wristbands. Obviously, Julie Andrews matters to a lot of people. :) No worries, though, as instead we went and were among the first guests who gathered for the Carrousel ceremony.

A view at the Carrousel:

We were among the first of what turned out to be quite a big crowd surrounding the Carrousel. Although our view was partially obscured by cast members, we were happy to be there and we managed to get a few nice photos of the event.

Here's legendary Imagineer Tony Baxter waiting for the start of the ceremony:

Julie was just as lovely off the screen as on:

Admiring Jingles:

Here's a closeup of Jingles. Julie was given a gorgeous, smaller-scale replica of the horse:

I have a feeling future riders are going to be racing for the chance to ride the carrousel horse belonging to Mary Poppins herself!

The rededication was held in appreciation of Julie acting as Disneyland's 50th anniversary ambassador. She gave a nice speech talking about what Disneyland means to her and reminiscing about her first visit, in 1962, with Walt as her tour guide.

And another shot:

Imagineering Ambassador Marty Sklar was present at the ceremony. Here, he greets some fans:

Marty, incidentally, just released an open letter addressing the It's a Small World controversy.

Below, Julie with Disneyland President Ed Grier (the tall man with his back to the camera). Unfortunately, based on what I read Ed is only seen in the park for ceremonies such as this, which is quite a contrast from his predecessor, Matt Ouimet.

Finally it was time for Julie to leave -- I wouldn't be a bit surprised if she was headed to a pre-book signing lunch at Club 33!

It was a wonderful way to spend a spring morning at the park.

The Orange County Register's 9-photo slideshow can be found here.

April 14th Update: Scroll down here for more photos and information on Julie Andrews' day at Disneyland.

July 2009 Update: Here are closeups of the carrousel horse.


Blogger Mrs. Happy Housewife said...

You must have had a grand time. Julie Andrews looks lovely, especially for her age. When a woman gets older, one can really tell if she lived hard, i.e. Carrie Fisher, Kathleen Turner, Margot Kidder. Those women are much younger, yet appear more aged than Julie Andrews.

The horse is so pretty. I love carousels.

5:02 AM  
Blogger Irene said...

Gasp! Oh my gosh. OK, I am now officially jealous. I so wanted to do this but I could not take the time off work as we started SAT testing at school this week.

Great photos. I figured the wrist bands would be gone based on what I had been reading on various Disney sites.

You lucky duck you :)

7:38 AM  
Blogger J.C. Loophole said...

I'm sorry to hear you weren't able to get wristbands- but still- wow! Great pictures. Lucky you! Mary Poppins still remains one of my favorite Disney live action films, and due in no small part to the lovel and talented Mary herself.

3:15 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I'm so glad you all enjoyed! I love carousels too, Mrs. HH. :)

It's fun, I was talking to a client about it today and we each vividly remember first seeing MARY POPPINS at the exact same theater in Long Beach, CA -- do you remember the Crest Theater, Irene?

Best wishes,

3:29 PM  
Blogger Irene said...

Actually I don't remember the Crest because I did not grow up in Long Beach but in Los Angeles. I moved to Long Beach when I got married in 1980.

I saw Mary Poppins as a Senior in High School with my Mom. It was Grad Night at Disneyland. My best friend and I were going to Grad Night together unless we got asked by a boy and then we were free to go with said boy (never thinking that we would actually be asked). Well, my friend was asked to go and I wasn't. I was too chicken to go by myself so instead my mom (who was terrific) took me to see Mary Poppins in Inglewood. I remember us both walking out of the theater singing Let's Go Fly A Kite :)

I also loved it that Julie Andrews won the Oscar that year for Best Actress after being passed over for the My Fair Lady role. What a moment that was!

7:34 PM  

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