I’ve had this shot for a few months now. It’s one of those that I wanted to wait on and it just so happens that after a wonderful evening at Disneyland yesterday, I found myself strongly inspired to go for it. I have always found this pathway to the Matterhorn intoxicating, with the luminous lamps bathing the walkway. The waterfall glistens faintly at night like a silk ribbon dancing in the whimsical night air. With all the warm, gentle glowing, the Matterhorn itself majestically stands, with all the confidence the first Disneyland peak ought to have.
Crazy things happen on Twitter some times. Crazy, unexpected, amazing things. We recently had the pleasant surprise and pleasure of such a thing. We were given the opportunity by a friend on Twitter to ask Mary Costa a question. If her name isn’t familiar to you, her voice certainly is, in the role of Sleeping Beauty. We were thrilled at the opportunity and gave it sincere thought. We decided on asking what the most challenging thing was to overcome in playing Aurora. We felt that it might not be a typical question for her and stories of overcoming are always inspiring. We were certainly not disappointed with her answer and hope that it moves you the way it did us. Here’s the e-mail we received from our friend:
“Hi! Mary said that she thought your question was a great one. Matter of fact, she had to think a moment. She then told me of how she and her father use to play around doing funny accents when she was growing up. She lived in Knoxville up until she about 15 (I think that was the age). Anyway, she had quite the southern accent in her normal speak. So, when she was on the sound stage rehearsing for Sleeping Beauty, she started doing the roll with her normal voice (thus with her regular southern accent). Marc Davis came out of the sound booth one of the first days and was asking her about her accent. She could tell that he and the other Disney people seemed concerned. He asked her if she had ever heard someone speak with a British accent and she responded perfectly in a British accent. And he looked amazed. He asked her how she did that and she told him how she and her dad use to play around doing different accents when she was growing up. Mr. Davis left momentarily and when he returned he asked her if there was anyway she continue to do that British accent for an extended bit. And it went from there. She continued to do the roll as Aurora with the British accent until it was complete.
So, the answer to your question was overcoming her southern accent was the biggest obstacle she faced in playing the roll of Aurora. She said that she had to remind herself during production of Vivian Lee. If a British actress could play a southern lady in Gone With the Wind, then surely she could do the opposite.”
I had never, ever seen this room before until just yesterday. Do you recognize it? It’s the handicapped viewing room for the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walk-through. Amazing right? I was completely blown away and completely in love. I’ve never been to Hearst Castle (something I hope to remedy soon) but this is just the type of thing I would expect to find there, not Disneyland. I’m not sure if this qualifies as a throne or not, having three seats and all. It sure has all the grandness of a throne. I could probably stare at it for hours and I did stare for a while, simply in awe. I sat in it too and it was surprisingly comfortable. I really love that Disneyland has so many wonderful surprises.
It’s hard to express how excited we get when we see beautiful clouds anywhere near Sleeping Beauty Castle. They play so well to the feeling of fantasy and really help you to see things with a different perspective. When I saw the way the clouds lined up behind the castle, I hurried down Main Street, dodging my way through the crowd. I made it to Central Plaza and wasn’t finding the shot I wanted. I wandered a little farther, past the Partners Statue, to where they rope off benches for fireworks and it hit me. I was in my own world and it seemed as though time did not exist. It wasn’t until a cast member walked up and joked with me that this shot would cost me $50 that I left my world of fantasy to enter back into reality. I laughed and told him I would need to write him a check, then made my way back to Michaela and Kevin, contented.
I love Fantasyland but sometimes I avoid going. It’s so crowded so often, it can be difficult to take your time to enjoy it. At the same time, I would say that many of the most magical things take place there, in the heart of Disneyland. When you walk across the drawbridge, under the castle gate, and enter a world of fantasy, you are met with the choice of which ride you wish to go on. Rides based on Disney classics that we all seem to have grown up on. You don’t have to dream about Neverland, you can fly there. You don’t have any strings to hold you down either. There are magic feathers and poison apples that all make for a wild ride. The very best thing about it though is seeing children and parents taking part in amusement together, having fun and making memories.
On any given day at Disneyland, the air may carry to your ear a tune from the Plaza Gardens Stage. That melody may come from a choir, an orchestra, or a jumpin’ swing band. It’s a unique facet of the park and the Plaza Gardens Stage has an incredibly rich history. Musicians the likes of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Artie Shaw, Harry James & Benny Goodman have graced this venue. All within a hop, skip and a jump from Sleeping Beauty Castle. Can you imagine anything more magical?
This is a shot I took back when we first started this photo adventure. The entire day had been gloomy and a little depressing for taking pictures. At the end of the day the clouds started to break back behind Fantasyland. They turned from a dull gray to a fluffy white. We hurried towards the back of the park in time for a Small World fantasy.
The Storybook Land Canal Boats are a more recent favorite attraction of mine. We’ve had the pleasure of riding with a few very good guides, which makes the ride a lot more fun. It’s similar to when you get a really good skipper on the World Famous Jungle Cruise. Remember, it takes people to make the magic happen.