Backstage Magic Tour Review - Part 2
by Kevin Klose
Our next stop on the tour was the Disney-MGM Studios. We were driven back stage, to the low “bungalow” type building seen on the Backstage Tour attraction, the one with the tram car that takes you through Catastrophe Canyon.
We stopped at one of the building and were taken inside the Costuming department. Upon entering, the receptionist made and announcement letting everyone in the building know that the tour was there. We were curios if this was a way to let them know to clean off their desks or to “look busy”. She explained that it was really to let Cast members who may be in the building for costume fittings know that there were guests arriving. This way they were not caught in their undergarments.
In the lobby were three small replicas of the dresses that the princesss “brides” wear in the Share A Dream Come True parade. It was interesting to see the amount of detail that goes into each outfit. This idea keeps coming up throughout this tour. Disney’s attention to detail is amazing. The amount of work that goes into each Princess’ undergarments is incredible given that guests never see this part of the costume. The other interesting thing about these replicas is that they are what is known as a “half size” model. Every individual piece of the costume is exactly half the size of it’s full size counterpart. If the costume was taken apart and the measurements doubled, you would be able to create a full size Princess costume.
Our next stop on this tour was unexpected. It was a computer area where costume patterns are designed and / or duplicated for future use. We were able to watch the fascinating process of recreating on of Imagineer Mary Blair’s original designs for the “it’s a small world” attraction at the Magic Kingdom. This is a painstaking process used to insure that during a repaid or a rehab, that the new piece is identical to the original. Again, the detail that goes into the process is mind boggling.
We were taken in to the actual costuming area. While we toured, 2 or 3 dozen seamstresses and whatever the male version of seamstresses are called, were working creating beautiful costumes. We were told that the majority of costumes for all Disney venues worldwide are created at Walt Disney World including the character costumes. One of the interesting facts given was that the majority of fabrics and color dyes used are trademarked. Yes, it’s true, that bright yellow used for parking lot attendants is a trademarked color. You can’t buy it. Don’t know about you….but I find that a relief.
As we continued our tour of the Costuming area, we got to see and hear the most interesting things. One of the most fascinating….we were shown this enormous table that actually cuts and labels pattern pieces from a roll of material. When creating costumes for a large group of cast members, the table/machine is programmed with all of the various sizes. A large roll of fabric, similar in size to a roll of carpet, is fed into the machine. The fabric is pulled out onto the table and plastic sheeting is pulled over the fabric to create a vacuum. The fabric is then precision cut down to the smallest detail and labeled. These pieces are bundled and distributed to the seamstresses. This is done so that each and every costume is identical accept for size.
At this point in the day, it was getting to be lunch time. As our restaurant of choice was Mamma Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano, we walked across the park to the restaurant.
The Backstage Magic Tour is limited to 20 participants. There were 12 of us on our particular day.
We were seated at a table set for 12 and while you are free to order your drink of choice (alcohol is extra), the rest of the meal is served family style. The opening course is a large salad of field greens with a light vinaigrette and crumbled cheese. The second course is an assortment of flat bread pizzas. Ours were plain cheese and a pepperoni and onion mix. The main entrees were a pasta with seafood fra diavolo, a pasta with chicken, artichokes and an Alfredo sauce and finally a grill chicken with assorted grilled veggies.. The first pasta was rather spicy and contained seafood. I was told that if there were any dietary restrictions, alterations could be made in advance. The finale to our great meal was a dessert selection. Several trays of desserts were brought out. Each tray contained the four most popular desserts from the menu. For twelve people, there were three dessert trays. Our luncheon was delicious and there was an abundance of food served. This lunch is included in the price of the tour, as well as you gratuity.
Stuffed and ready to relax for a few minutes, we were taken out a back door and magically, our tour buss was right there and ready to take us to our next destination,
We were on our way to the Magic Kingdom.
End of part two.
- List of restaurants participating in the 2015 Disney Dining Plan - This list will be updated as more restaurants are added. Epcot and Downtown Disney restaurants don't normally finalize their participation until later in the year.
- 2015 Magic Your Way Disney World packages released! - A Walt Disney World package is a resort room and theme park admission. The Disney Dining Plan may also be added.
- Happy 15th Birthday to Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith! - The attraction originally opened its doors at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 29, 1999.
- Victoria & Albert's will no longer accept Tables in Wonderland - This begins August 1, 2014.
- Summertime Pals Ink & Paint Cel release - This limited release will be available at the event, or pre-order by September 25 at 5:00pm EST.
- Haunted Mansion merchandise shop coming to Magic Kingdom - The former Yankee Trader shop will become a Haunted Mansion merchandise location in the near future. The decor will be inspired by Madame Leota and will carry items from the Haunted Mansion Authentic program, such as apparel, home goods, souvenirs and more.
- Merchandise Events and Artist Appearances/Signings for August - List of authors and artists coming to the theme parks for signings and merchandise releases.
- List of characters updated for Villains Unleashed! event - Over 50 Disney villains will be taking over the park until the 13th hour!
- Beginning today, PhotoPass print packages are no longer offered table-side at character meals - This includes Chef Mickey's, 1900 Park Fare, 'Ohana, Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, Disney's Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show and Tusker House Restaurant.
- Disney Visa cardholders can book Food & Wine Festival events early - Disney Visa cardholders can book special events two days earlier than the general public - on July 29 and July 30 from 7:00am-11:00pm EST.
- Tables in Wonderland adds blackout dates for several restaurants - The Tables in Wonderland program offers Florida Residents, DVC members and Annual Passholders 20% off of all food and beverage purchases at the participating Disney restaurants.
- Information on Holiday sleigh rides at Fort Wilderness - This horse-drawn "sleigh" ride is a fun way to celebrate the season.
- Marketplace menus for Epot International Food & Wine Festival - List of menu items for the marketplaces set up around World Showcase.
- Rehab planned in November for Magic Carpets of Aladdin - The Magic Kingdom attraction will be closed 11/10 - 11/21/2014.
- Food & Wine Festival Special Dining Experiences released - Bookings for these experiences begin July 31.
- 10 Places to Wait Out a Thunderstorm at Walt Disney World
- Disney Castaway Cay Challenge added to Princess Half Marathon Weekend - Runners who are registered for any of the Disney races (5K or longer) during the Weekend have the option to complete the Disney Castaway Cay Challenge when sailing on the Disney Dream February 23-27.
- Fantasia Miniature Golf Course rehab planned off and on for the next two weeks - Gardens Course closed 7/22-7/25/2014, 7/28-8/1/2014, 8/4-8/8/2014. The Fairways will still be open.
- Blog - I Can Go The Distance: Deciding is one thing, registering is another
- Save up to 30% on a Room Only reservation at Walt Disney World! - Valid for stays most nights 10/4/14 - 11/25/14 and 11/29/14 - 12/23/14.
- 2015 WDW hotel discount released for U.S. Military - Valid for stays most nights 9/28/14 - 10/3/15.
- All 3 remaining weekends sold out for Harambe Nights - July 26, August 2 and August 9 are sold out.
- Annual passholder discount for Spice Road Table - Through 9/17/14, Annual Passholders can get a 30% discount on their bill.
- 2015 Military Ticket Discount info released - Members of the military can purchase 4-day Magic Your Way tickets with Park Hopper option for $177 each.
- Changes to reservation times for Wishes Dessert Party - Reservations are all being set for 6:00pm, no matter when Wishes is taking place. The dessert party will actually take place one hour before Wishes.
- Frozen Summer Fun Premium package is sold out for all remaining dates - This package gives guests at Frozen Summer Fun Live reserved viewing for several events.
- Wild by Design tour to be discontinued after 9/26/14 - This tour takes place at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
- Fantasy Football Convention coming to ESPN Wide World of Sports - The convention will give attendees access to ESPN talent, a live fantasy football draft and more.
- Blog - Sneak Preview of What's Coming to the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
- Dates and pricing released for ICE! at Gaylord Palms - Using two million pounds of ice, this Gaylord Palms Resort special ticket exhibit will be transformed into the North Pole.
- Blog - Disney's Magical Express Age Limit Changes: A Parent's & Teacher's Perspective
- Blog - Five Reasons Why We're Not Seeing "Planes: Fire & Rescue" in Theaters
- Blog updated - I Just Spent $20 on FastPasses! Would You? - The author has taken the tour she discussed in the blog - check out her thoughts to see if she would do this again!
- Blog - July 2014 Magic Kingdom Construction Update
- Information for Food & Wine Festival special dining experiences - book 7/31 - Premium events will be announced July 24 and can be booked on July 31 beginning at 7:00am EST. To book, call 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378).
- Princess Half Marathon fills in less than 24 hours - The Princess Half Marathon, the Princess Enchanted 10K and the Glass Slipper Challenge are sold out, filling less than 24 hours after registration opened.
- Dolphins at Epcot will be offstage through August 7 - Guests will not be able to see the dolphins at The Seas with Nemo & Friends. The Dolphins in Depth Tour will be unavailable during this time as well.
- Changes in parking due to Downtown Disney Remodel - Speeds in the area will be reduced, as well as lanes closed. Buena Vista Drive will be expanded to 10 lanes.
- Blog - Disney Responds to Disability Access Service Lawsuit
- High-speed train will link Shanghai Disneyland to city
- "Clyde and Seamore Take Pirate Island" show cancelled at SeaWorld
- PBS plans Walt Disney biopic
- Release date set for 5th Pirates of the Caribbean film
- Man arrested at Typhoon Lagoon for molesting 4 teenage girls
- Standby line to be cut off in Anna and Elsa meet and greet
- Disney's second quarter injury report: 12-year-old boy cuts fingers on Pirates ride
- 30 years in prison for man who molested girl at SeaWorld
- Possible agreement reached between Disney and unions
- Disney's CEO Bob Iger honored as CEO of the Year by Chief Executive magazine
Today's Theme Park Hours
Epcot Future World:
Epcot World Showcase:
|9:00 - 11:00
9:00 - 9:00
11:00 - 9:00
9:00 - 10:00
9:00 - 8:00
9:00 - 8:00
9:00 - 8:00
Extra Magic Hours Morning: Animal Kingdom