The above photo comes from Inside the Magic. You should check out their article if you get the chance. This week has been a bit of a blur. We had a rehearsal on Monday evening to learn the music and record it. I’m not sure if they used the recording on the show or used our live voices because we did sing live. I don’t have pics from that rehearsal because backstage pictures at Disneyland are not allowed. Being a Disney employee/cast member, I knew the rules and complied. I loved the rehearsal as it was so good to be back together with my fellow Disney Employee Choir friends. The song itself was pretty simple to learn. By the fourth or fifth run through with the song’s arranger (Bruce Healey), we were sounding pretty good. I love singing in such a good choir! After the recording, those of us who didn’t work at Disneyland got fitted for costumes. I was pretty thrilled to be wearing the costume of a ride operator at the Tower of Terror attraction at Disney California Adventure!
One of my former bosses, Paula also sings in the choir and got the same outfit! Our dress rehearsal was on Wednesday morning with a call time of 3am. I was up at 1:30am that morning and the crazy schedule was going strong. Showbiz is interesting. There is a whole lot of hurry up and wait. I arrived at Disneyland a little before 3am. There was a slight delay in getting parked. However, I went to the costuming area and got dressed. Then, we went into the Magic Music Days Rehearsal Hall A and waited. I think it was probably around 4am before they started trying to figure out how we would stand on the risers. We were lined up by height and then separated into what looked best. By 4:45am, we made our way out to the risers. Once on the risers, the Disneyland Entertainment people spent some time rearranging us as we waited for the folks at Good Morning America to be ready for our dress rehearsal. We waited and waited. Eventually, we started a run through of the song only to be stopped by some technical difficulties. So, they sent us off the risers for some breakfast!
It was during the break that I saw others braking out their cameras. So, I followed and got some fun pictures. Here I am with the 50 on the clock for the It’s A Small World façade.
Here’s what the full façade looked like!
Also, during the break they shot off the fireworks that were going to go off at the end of our song. This was the best picture I got of the fireworks. After the break, we ran through the entire song several times and there were more changes in where people were standing on the risers. I was never changed during all the changes. One guy named John got moved so many times it became a running joke that whenever they looked to make changes, we’d all call out John’s name. Anyways, the rehearsal lasted until around 8am and then it was time to leave.
This morning, our call time was at 2am. So, my day began at 12:30am. As I drove down to Disneyland, I saw a sign that one of the freeways I was going to take had a full closure. Not cool! So, I had to take a slightly different route. However, at 1am, the traffic is non-existent and I made it to Disneyland in record time! Parking was much easier today. I had no problems getting in and getting my costume. Again, it was another day of hurry up and wait. It wasn’t until around 3am before we actually had any instructions. We made our way to the risers around 3:30am. There were a few potential shots of us they might want for the show. So, we practiced waving at the camera. First, we just waved…then, we waved and cheered. The guys that were running the show were so much fun to work with. They kept the energy going. With Good Morning America going on air at 4am PDT, we had to be ready for any last minute instructions. After practicing the waves, we had one run through and then got our breakfast break. Breakfast at 4am…kind of reminds me of those runDisney races.
Our break was cut short because GMA was wanting us for those wave shots. After those shots, we had some time. I again saw others breaking out their cameras. So, I figured it would be okay to do the same.
There’s the other side of the choir from where I was standing.
Then, more like the center section and part of my section.
Here’s what it looked like for us. I know the lighting is very bright. However, you can kind of make out the camera in the center. This is the camera that got used for the show.
I tried zooming in to eliminate some of the lighting. I think that the camera is a little clearer here.
Here I am on the risers with the It’s A Small World façade in the background.
This shows how close I was to the It’s A Small World sign that’s used at Disneyland.
Here’s some of the crew.
Anyways, at 5:15am, we had the first of 3 run troughs for the producers of GMA. After each time, we got the note to be more and more energetic. They said we were doing great, but wanted more. Sue and Shawn would make funny movements while we were singing to try to get a bigger response and it worked! So much so, Shawn did his best during the live taping.
On the risers, it was getting colder and colder as time went along. We were all ready for the live performance to be over so we could get back into warmer places. By the time it was time to go on air, we were all at the peak of our energy. So, it was a great time for the on air performance. With each practice, we kept getting encouraged to be more energetic and that lead to some craziness on the risers. Finally, we had the countdown to being on air. Here’s the video from the Disney Parks Blog of the segment…
Inside the Magic, posted this video, which wasn’t the same feed as GMA showed. However, it does have a more close up shot of the choir where you can see me pretty clearly. So, if you didn’t see me in the official GMA Sing a Long, watch this video. Then, go back and you’ll see me.
One thing that didn’t get captured in the television segment was the train that ran behind us. On the train were several cast members, the Fab 5 plus Chip and Dale, Tigger and Winnie the Pooh. They were super fun in the rehearsals. It was fun to watch them as the train went back to where it started. We all laughed at the sight of things like Mickey, Donald, Daisy Duck, Goofy and Pluto “rowing” the train back to its starting location. During a few practice runs, Pluto would just sit down while the other characters kept performing.
Anyways, we were all done by 5:45am. There were a few closing pictures of the choir with our Disneyland Entertainment helpers. Then, it was time to head backstage and head home. All of that work for around 25 seconds of television time. That’s showbiz!
I had a lot of fun. The segment turned out great! Now, I’m trying to recover from the crazy rehearsal schedule. Going to work tomorrow just won’t be the same. I hope you enjoyed this little recap. Have you ever had the chance to be on television? If so, what did you do?