Tag Archives: EPCOT

Photographer Leibovitz goes Disney

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This Week In Disney History – week of August 6, 2012

Hippies at Fort Wilderness? Oh my! What do you think of that?

Snow White….On Stage!

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs holds a very special place in every Disney fan’s heart, but it is often forgotten that this endearing tale of romance was once a stage production with as much acclaim as today’s Lion King or Beauty and the Beast demands.

A nationwide search was put on for a newcomer to play Snow White.

As a smaller production, Snow White was presented to the public at New York’s Little Theater on West 44th Street, New York City, on October 31, 1912. This version of the tale was based on the stories by the Brothers Grimm. It was written under the pseudonym of “Jessie Graham White” who was really producer Winthrop Ames. He did it justice, as the play was met with favorable reviews. If you are interested in obtaining a script for your own school or community production, click HERE and check it out.

The official program for the show’s tour stop in Chicago.

Few people know that the first major stage production of Snow White as a musical debuted in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1969. The show was highly successful, but due to financial constraints and conflicts, it did not make it’s debut in New York until October 18, 1979 at Radio City Music Hall. The original production opened there and closed November 18, 1979 after 38 performances so Radio City could put on their famous Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Snow White reopened on January 11, 1980, and closed after 68 performances on March 9, 1980, a total of 106 performances. A video recording of one of the shows was briefly available on VHS and Betamax (remember that?) from Walt Disney Home Video in 1981.

The Castle: the pre-show curtain.

Sources say that the show was directed and choreographed by Frank Wagner, produced by Robert F. Jani, executive musical director Donald Pippin, scenery by John William Keck, costumes by Frank Spencer, lighting by Ken Billington, conducted by Don Smith, orchestrations by Philip J. Lang, Queen’s presentation music arrangement by Ronald Melrose, masks and animal costumes by Joe Stephen, choral arrangements Jay Blackton, Don Pippen, production stage manager Jeff Hamlin, stage manager Neil Miller, and press by Gifford/Wallace, Deborah Morgenthal.

The Queen discovers Snow White’s beauty.

The music included:

  • Overture
  • “Welcome To The Kingdom” – Company
  • “Queen’s Presentation” – Company
  • “I’m Wishing” – Snow White, Greta, Villagers
  • “One Song” – Prince Charming
  • “With a Smile and a Song” – Snow White, Animals
  • “Whistle While You Work” – Snow White, Animals
  • “Heigh-Ho” – Seven Dwarfs
  • “Bluddle-Uddle-Um-Dum (The Washing Song)” – Seven Dwarfs
  • “Will I Ever See Her Again” – Prince Charming
  • “The Dwarfs’ Yodel Song (The Silly Song)” – Snow White, Seven Dwarfs, Animals
  • “Some Day My Prince Will Come” – Snow White
  • “Heigh-Ho (Reprise)” – Seven Dwarfs
  • “Here’s The Happy Ending” – Company”I’m Wishing”

Would you like to see the revival of this Disney classic return to the stage? Have you seen Snow White on stage before? Share your comments.

The Crone tempts Snow White with the apple.
“Someday My Prince Will Come”
“Will I Ever See Her Again?”
“I shall go myself…in disguise!”
“I’m Wishing”
“Heigh-Ho”
The Dwarfs Cottage.
Bring Back Her Heart!!!!

Disappear! Disappear!

Having visited Walt Disney World and EPCOT several times, one of my favorite attractions is the Maelstrom in Norway.

  

This enchanting boat ride begins by taking visitors back in time to a mythological and idealist version of the days of the Vikings.

Passing through scenes of the various sailors and Vikings, passengers suddenly find themselves in an enchanted swamp and are confronted by angry trolls. 

“Disappear! Disappear!” the Trolls yell, and then things really get strange as the boat is turned backwards in the current and sent plunging (still backward) down a waterfall. Passengers catch a look at some polar bears and living trees before coming to a near stop upon the very edge of yet another waterfall. This is especially interesting because it allows a glimpse of the main entrance to the Norway area. I recommend riding this at night just for the effect. The boat then rotates and passengers are reassured and back in a forward facing position, but only for a moment, for the boats plunge into the very stormy North Sea.  Passing dangerously close to an oil rig, things then calm down and the ride ends in a calm and peaceful harbor town where passengers disembark from the boats at the dock. There is then an option to watch a 6 minute film that highlights the history and rich folklore of Norway.

  

The next time you visit EPCOT and the Maelstrom, be sure to look for Hidden Mickeys on the attraction. 

  • In the ride’s loading area, the enormous mural includes many people and elements from Norway’s history. Hidden in this painting is a Viking whose helmet has Mickey Mouse ears, and another figure wearing a Mickey Mouse watch.
  • Inside the stave church, King Olaf II has a small Mickey embroidered on his tunic, near his right thigh.

During the development of this attraction, the representatives from Norway’s sponsors made it clear that it was not to be a troll-centric concept. That is to say, they wanted all aspects of Norway to be represented, not just the troll rich folklore, for Disney’s Imagineers wanted it to be focused more on the trolls initially.

What do you think?