Thursday, November 3, 2011

Back from Vaca at Walt Disney World

Yes, this is a blog about Bit Part Actors, but I just spent a week with a full cast of the best actors and actresses on the planet. The cast members at Walt Disney World.

Everyone (if you know anything about Disney) knows that all of the employees of the Disney organization are called "cast members." You don't apply for a job there, you audition for a part, and hey don't wear uniforms, they are costumes, etc. Each ride is a "show" and they follow a script. 

We spent five days and four nights at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort. Highly recommended for a relaxing atmosphere that is needed after a day at one of the theme parks. And the combination of going in October, plus a AAA discount, made our trip quite affordable. Think about this...the room at a Disney moderate resort (they have value, moderate and premium), a day in a theme park (usually about $85), and the Disney Dining Plan that paid for almost all of our food, was only about $100 per person/per day.

We spent a day at the Food and Wine Festival in Epcot. Held in the fall, the festival includes many extra-cost demonstrations, some concerts, and booths scattered around the park where you can buy samples of food and drink from different countries. I was very happy there!

While at Epcot, we visited the Mexico exhibit. I am amazed every time I walk in there. Inside, no matter how hot and bright the day is, you are brought OUTSIDE at night, to a Mexican plaza with shopping stalls and a restaurant. It is fun! They also have a short boat ride. Please be careful stepping into your boat...

The ride is basically a travelogue of Mexico, and it stars Donald Duck, Jose Carioca, and Pancito, from the 1944 Disney animated feature, The Three Caballeros. This feature was very similar to a 1942 feature, Saludos Amigos, featuring Donald and Jose. These travelogues were made to bolster our ties with South America during World War II.

Of course, Donald Duck was voiced by Clarence 'Ducky' Nash (1904 - 1985). Ducky would usually walk around with his Donald marionette and let Donald speak for him. Nash had quite a career for basically only playing a single role...but who among us wouldn't have done the same thing, given the chance?

IMDb lists 188 titles for Nash, plus 7 more as himself. In addition to Donald, he also voice Donald's nephews a few times, plus a bat, a bullfrog, Figaro in Figaro and Cleo (1943) and a sequel, and that's about it from 1934 to 1983.

In my collection I have The Reluctant Dragon (1942) which was released as a DVD titled Behind the Scenes at the Walt Disney Studios starring Robert Benchley (1889 - 1945). It is a priceless look at how things were done to create the wonderful animated features we grew up with. Ducky Nash is featured recording a scene as Donald with Clara Cluck, voiced by Florence Gill (1877 - 1965). 

What fun! I can't wait to go back. Maybe next fall, as long as the economy keeps the prices down!