Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Disneyland of Illusion: The Magic Castle

The Magic Castle is a private club for magicians and those who appreciate magic in Hollywood, California.  It first opened in 1963, so this year is its 50th Anniversary.

There are actually many connections between Disneyland and the Magic Castle, and there are some exhibits that Disneyland fans who visit the Castle will not want to miss.

Please note that photography is NOT allowed inside the Magic Castle, which is why I have no pictures of the interiors.

In the basement hall by the Hat & Hare Pub (my favorite pub; it has several cases with porcelain bunnies), there is an original miniature working model of the Pepper's ghost illusion in the Haunted Mansion.
This video of Marc Davis and Walt Disney explaining the illusion, is also on display.

The Hatbox Ghost is also in the same basement hallway, in the wine cellar.

On the 2nd Floor there is a painting in the hallway between the dining rooms and the Palace of Mystery of Milt Larsen as Walt Disney riding a train through the Magic Castle.  The painting is called "The Walt Disney of Magic" and the artist is Al Rosson.

A little way further, in front of the Parlor of Prestidigitation, there are production stills of Milt Larsen in the 1971 Disney film "Bedknobs and Broomsticks." 
Milt Larsen is listed as a "technical consultant" and had an uncredited role as a spectator at Emelius' Failed Magic Performance.

There's also a lovely dedication to Disney songwriter Richard Sherman in this spot.  As you may know, the names on the windows above Main Street in the Disney Parks feature Disney employees (also known as "Imagineers") who had a major contribution to the theme park.  It's a great honor to receive a window on Main Street; on your next trip to any Disney park, you may want to take note of some of the names on the windows; they're often a cute inside joke relating to that person's work.  

Not to be outdone, The Magic Castle also has a door for Richard Sherman.  His door at the Magic Castle is very similar to the Disneyland Door, but instead of Robert Sherman, The Castle adds Milt Larsen's name.  The Castle itself is also featured behind the piano.  The sheet music is Bon Voyage Titanic (a song from the Larsen and Sherman album 'Smash Flops')

The door reads:
"Snappy Songs and Witty Sayings
Richard Sherman and Milt Larsen
Class Songs For Class Acts
Mirth Music Magic And Mayhem Since 1951"

Also great fun is to request the songs "Grim Grinning Ghost's" or "A Pirate's Life For Me" from the piano-playing Invisible Irma while you have drinks in the Parlor.  It's a great way to bring the Happiest Place on Earth to the Most Magical Castle in the World!

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