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Saving Mr. Banks: A Tour of Walt Disney Studios

Saving Mr. Banks is the first feature-length theatrical drama to depict the iconic entrepreneur Walt Disney. He is played by two-time Academy Award® winner Tom Hanks. The film recounts Mr. Disney’s more than 20-year quest to secure the rights and turn the books written about the character Mary Poppins, by P.L. Travers, into a film which ultimately garnered 13 Academy Award® nominations and 5 Academy Awards®.

It also catapulted Julie Andrews, who was a highly regarded stage actress not yet seen in films, to Hollywood stardom.

P.L. Travers’ father, Travers Goff, was a banker and is the basis for the patriarch of Mary Poppins, Mr. Banks, whom the magical nanny comes to aid in the film. And so we have Saving Mr. Banks.

Join me on this short virtual tour of the Walt Disney Animation Studios, where much of both the original Mary Poppins and Saving Mr Banks were filmed. 

  • Walt Disney Animation Studios Virtual Tour 1 of 9
    Walt Disney Studios Street

    The corner of Mickey Ave and Dopey Drive.

     

    Photo credit: ©MamaLatinaTips.com

  • Stage 1 2 of 9
    Walt Disney Animation Studios Stage 1

    Every scene of Mary Poppins was filmed on sound stages.

     

    Stage 1 was used for part of the Banks family home and for Uncle Albert's home.

     

    Sound Stage 1 (originally named Fantasia, as some images from Fantasia were filmed here) is now called Annette Funicello Stage 1, after the iconic Mouseketeer. The Mickey Mouse Club was filmed here from 1955-1958.

     

    Photo credit: ©MamaLatinaTips.com

  • Stage 2 3 of 9
    Walt Disney Animation Studios Stage 2

    Stage 2 is named after Julie Andrews. Both Mary Poppins and The Princess Diaries movies were filmed in part here. The bank where Mr. Banks worked in Mary Poppins, as well as some of the Banks' family home, were filmed here.

     

    Stage 2 was also used for the movie Armageddon. They removed some of the floor boards and dug into the earth to create the surface of the asteroid. They didn't fill up the hole, though. They just covered it, and years later they uncovered it again to use it for the watery cave sequence in the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. 

     

    Photo credit: ©MamaLatinaTips.com and ©Walt Disney Animation Studios

  • Stage 3 4 of 9
    Stage3-collage-f

    Stage 3 was used to film many special effects, such as flying, Admiral Boom's house, and the rooftop sequences in Mary Poppins. Read more about it here.

     

    Parts of the film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea were filmed here, too.

     

    Photo credit: ©Walt Disney Animation Studios

  • Mickey Mouse Park 5 of 9
    Disneylandia-Collage-f

    The ABC building across the street from the studios is located in the original spot where Walt Disney considered building Mickey Mouse Park, a little park with a train where children could meet Mickey Mouse.

     

    Photo credit: ©MamaLatinaTips.com and ©Walt Disney Animation Studios

  • Walt Disney’s Office 6 of 9
    Walt Disney's Office

    The Saving Mr. Banks art department studied detailed, archival photographs of Walt Disney's formal and working offices to replicate how they appeared in the early 1960s.

     

    Some of the Disney Academy Awards® were loaned from the display at Walt Disney World Resort to adorn the set of Walt Disney's office.

     

    Richard Sherman, who wrote the now-classic songs for Mary Poppins with his brother Robert, was a consultant on Saving Mr. Banks. He recalls that Walt Disney was very fond of the song "Feed the Birds." Disney would call the Sherman Brothers up and ask them to come play the song. It became a regular ritual on almost every Friday. (See more from Mr. Sherman in the special features included with the 50th Anniversary Edition of Walt Disney's Mary Poppins, now on sale.)

     

    Photo credit: ©MamaLatinaTips.com and ©Walt Disney Animation Studios

  • Stage A 7 of 9
    Stage-A

    Stage A is where P. L. Travers, played by Emma Thompson, meets the Mary Poppins team for the first time in Saving Mr. Banks.

     

    In order to achieve an authentic look for her portrayal of author P. L. Travers, Emma Thompson chose to have her own hair permed in tight curls for the film instead of donning a wig. Tom Hanks also grew his own mustache to match Walt Disney's.

     

    Photo credit: ©MamaLatinaTips.com and ©Walt Disney Animation Studios

  • Studio Theater 8 of 9
    Theater Collage

    The Studio Theater was used as a sound mixing stage for films and then, in 2009, re-opened after an extensive renovation.

     

    The scene being filmed here outside the studio theater depicts Walt Disney talking with his secretary about the list of invitees for the Mary Poppins premiere.

     

    Photo credit: ©MamaLatinaTips.com and ©Walt Disney Animation Studios

  • Saving Mr. Banks 9 of 9
    Saving Mr. Banks Poster

    Showing in selected theaters December 13th and opening nationwide on December 20th, don't miss Saving Mr. Banks, a fascinating, funny, and touching film about much more than the creation of a cultural treasure. Get the Saving Mr. Banks e-book for free right here.

     

    Photo credit: ©Walt Disney Animation Studios

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Mama Latina Tips for Walt Disney Animation Studios TourSilvia cooks yummy Mexican food, plays with her kids, and takes pictures at MamaLatinaTips.com.  Read Silvia’s Disney Adventures in Español at Disneylandiaaldia.com.  Follow her on TwitterPinterestGoogle+Instagram, and Facebook.

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