For many children, and adults, Walt Disney World can be an overwhelming place, filled with countless new sights, sounds, smells, textures, in an endless stream of stimuli. Sure you can surprise your family with trip to Walt Disney World, but you may have a better overall vacation experience if you give your kids some time to prepare in advance. At-home preparation for you kids might take the form of meeting costumed characters, practicing table manners, or learning to sleep in a particular crib, but one of the easiest, and most effective, ways to get a child ready for a Disney vacation is to show him movies related to your upcoming trip.
Cinderella is a must see before visiting Walt Disney World.
You’ll have a better understanding and appreciation of what’s happening in the parks if you’re familiar with the stories depicted in what you see there.
Some of these suggestions will be obvious. Your child will no doubt have a better grasp on something like the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor if he’s, you know, actually seen Monsters, Inc. Other suggestions will be more tangentially related to specific attractions, but will give a your kids a greater comprehension of the tone and flavor of Walt Disney World.
As always, use these recommendations with the caveat that you are the best judge of what’s appropriate for your specific child and his current developmental stage. For example, while most preschoolers will adore The Little Mermaid, a child who’s in fear-of-the-ocean mode might have a full-scale meltdown at the sight of Ursula. Similarly, some kids might be ready for a Star Wars marathon at age four, while others will need to wait until eight, nine, or even older. If there’s a movie that you haven’t seen since your own childhood, it might be worth doing a quick preview on your own before subjecting your child to potential overload.
You’ll no doubt note that many Disney and Pixar films are not mentioned on my list (Bambi, Hercules, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Up, etc.). This bears no reflection on the quality of the films, nor on their place in the canon, but rather speaks to their current relative lack of representation at the Walt Disney World parks and resorts. There are also a few non-Disney films listed here because, in my opinion, they do a particularly good job of evoking an atmosphere or time period represented at the parks in a more succinct way than any actual Disney film does.
Read the rest of this entry »
Photo copyright Disney
Until now, no actor (or animatronic, for that matter) has ever attempted to impersonate Walt Disney in a feature film. That’s all changed, as Disneyland fans can now glimpse the company’s faux founder (in the form of Oscar-winner Tom Hanks) as featured in the newly-released trailer for Saving Mr. Banks.
The Disney-produced film tells the lightly-fictionalization of Mary Poppins author P. L. Travers (played by Emma Thompson) and her early-60s visit to Los Angeles, when Walt convinced her to grant the movie rights to her “practically perfect” nanny. In the film (as in reality) Travers is demanding enough about the use of her creations to give J.K. Rowling a run for her money, which proves stressful for Walt and his creative crew (including the songwriting Sherman Brothers, played by Jason Schwartzman and B.J. Novak).
Read the rest of this entry »