Anyway, yesterday we took the day off, because Disneyland was celebrating the 50th anniversary of It's A Small World, and we wanted to be there for the festivities...which were way, way, way more subdued than we would have expected for the fiftieth anniversary of such an iconic attraction. Yes, I know that Small World isn't exactly popular among the types of people who tend to not enjoy Disneyland, but exactly. Ideally, most of the people at Disneyland are the types who enjoy it, especially in this age of the ubiquitous annual passport. Sigh.
What little they did do made for a pretty awesome fan experience, though. They had Richard Sherman (half of the song-writing team who wrote the song) come do a Q&A session, which was broadcast over Google+, I think, but that didn't really matter to us, because we were determined to be there in person! And we were! We got there really early, which had us feeling a little guilty, because we got a phone call shortly after we woke up, asking if we could babysit the kids--we probably would have been done babysitting by the time the thing started. But we're glad we got there early, because we were well-positioned to watch the event up close, and we made a new friend while we were there!
The questions were pretty much the type of thing you hear a lot from that kind of event--what's your inspiration, what's your process, what was Walt like, etc. etc. (The Sherman Brothers got a lot of inspiration from their father who was also a musician, their process involves first figuring out the concept for the song (what's the theme, what's the message, etc.), Walt never gave compliments, etc. etc.) I did learn one thing I didn't know before, which is that when Walt Disney asked them to write a song for the Small World attraction, they had a few ideas in mind, starting with a very simple tune. But it was too simple, so they worked frantically to hash out the other ideas before Walt came in to hear what they had...but they couldn't get them to work out, and suddenly there was Walt. So they played the one idea they had, Walt said, "That'll work (his highest form of compliment)," and a classic was born. (Part of why we didn't get a lot of new information is that the speakers were facing away from us, so we couldn't hear a lot of what was said.) Mr. Sherman also declined to answer the question about which Disney attraction soundtrack (other than It's A Small World) was his favorite, because he knew all the musicians personally and didn't want to hurt anybody's feelings.
The best part happened after the Q&A. We were standing behind the little stage area that had been set up in front of It's A Small World, and Mr. Sherman's family was at the event, waiting "in the wings," as it were. When things were wrapping up, Mrs. Sherman was walking by where we were standing, and somebody commented on her beautiful vest that was like a tapestry depicting children from around the world. She told us all that it used to belong to one of the women who designed the attraction (I think she said the name was Harriet something (Burns, Athena thinks); I should really know more about it...), and the woman's family passed it on to her when she died. She let us all take pictures of it, and then she suggested that we'd all want pictures with her husband. She started to invite us onto the stage, but the Disneyland cast members stopped her, and she apologized saying, "They won't let me." She was such a sweet lady.
The Q&A was followed by a sing-along cavalcade, where the idea was that we'd all sing along to "It's A Small World" as Mr. Sherman and the Disneyland Band went down the parade route. In practice, it didn't work out so well--nobody was singing! We were so disappointed! Mr. Sherman tried really hard to get people to sing, but they didn't. We started watching at the beginning, and when we noticed the lack of singing, we determined to follow the cavalcade and sing at the top of our lungs in an attempt
Well, after that we desperately needed to catch our breaths (walking down a parade route and singing at the top of your lungs takes a lot out of you), so we sat on a bench for a while, and then we went to Downtown Disney for lunch, and to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier. We were not surprised to see lots of ever-popular character, Explosions. I think overall, I liked the character interaction in the movie, but there were so many action sequences that...well, the visuals were stunning, anyway.
When we finally got home, we discovered that there was in fact a new chapter of UQ Holder! to translate, which we tried to finish that night, but we were just way too braindead. We weren't even sure exactly why, but it might have had something to do with sunburn. (Even though we bought sunscreen on the way to the park. It smelled really nice, like orange creamsicles.)
And all the while, I haven't had any time to tell everybody about how amazingly adorable Anubis is! Oh my goodness! His story is only half as many chapters as everyone else's, so we made it all the way through on Wednesday when we had our miraculous day off. And I want to tell everybody all about it, but I think this entry might already be long enough. Hrrrm.
Today I'm thankful for getting to go to the Small World anniversary celebration, getting to see Richard Sherman in person (he performed "It's A Small World" and "Feed the Birds"), getting to listen in while people talked to Mrs. Sherman, getting to see the new Captain America movie, and finally managing to finish that chapter of UQ Holder!.