Walt Disney has returned to Disneyland for the first time in decades, as Disney magic meets movie magic. The upcoming film “Saving Mr. Banks” began filming inside Disneyland today, with Tom Hanks portraying the role of Walt himself.
Twitter user Melissa Farley (@MelFarleyActor) managed to snap a first-look photo of Hanks, suited up for the role, as he passed by during production:
For comparison, here’s a vintage photo of Walt, with a few classic characters, in the park decades ago:
According to signs posted around the theme park, select areas of Disneyland that will be affected by the ongoing filming include Main Street, USA, Main Street Vehicles, Carnation Cafe, Plaza Inn, Sleeping Beauty Castle, Fantasyland, and Astro Orbitor.
Retro-dressed extras are also in the park as part of the shoot, as seen in this photo from @MouseWait:
Many of the extras were hired internally from Disneyland’s own Cast Members, having taken part in a casting call a few weeks ago.
(Click to enlarge)
The story told in “Saving Mr. Banks” is that of Disney wooing “Mary Poppins” creator P.L. Travers, played by Emma Thompson. The film began production in September, recently shooting in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, recreating the 1964 premiere of the film.
“Saving Mr. Banks” is scheduled for a holiday release, due to hit theaters on Dec. 20, 2013.