Monday, April 30, 2012

Disneyland - Fantasyland Break Area - Costume Changes and the Disney Look

Through a pathway among the bushes at the back side of Storybookland was the entrance to a small covered break area.
It had old-school vending machines, including one that had Eskimo Pies and chocolate ice cream bars.
I loved those!
Orange picnic tables were available for taking a few minutes' rest from being on one's feet.
Chief among this break area's positives was the fairly constant flow of female cast members clad in classic Fantasyland style.
Blue skirt, knee-high white stockings, cute shoes and a neat white blouse with colorful trim and short sleeves, sometimes accentuated by a matching headband or bow.
We were mostly college-age folks, clean-cut and with cheerful dispositions.
Come on, it was the old Disney.
Way before political correctness.
Back when costume policies and grooming standards were still strongly supported and enforced. No facial hair for men.
No wild hair styles or excessive make-up or piercings for either sex.
It was, as the Disney University taught us, the "Disney Look."
Why the "Disney Look" in 2012 must now permit facial hair after 56 years is not an issue for my pay grade.
Why the Park long ago decided to allow its cast members to wear their costumes home instead of turning them in to Wardrobe at the end of the shift is beyond me.
Moreover, who designs the modern costumes?
If you are out there, hear my plea - "Do something for the poor folks in Fantasyland, Tomorrowland and just about EVERYWHERE over at California Adventure!"
I am sorry, but no one can really pull off the strange uni-sex olive pants, blousy shirt and frumpy hat that Fantasylanders must don today.
Think "poochy."
And this is true for folks who may be thin as a rail!
The entire kingdom of Fantasyland looks "poochy!"
Oh, Peter!
It's true, Wendy!
And what is with the hats?
It's as if "Newsies" collided with Lampwick after a particularly hard night of drinking at Pleasure Island.
Not a skirt or primary color to be found north of the drawbridge these days, I'm afraid.
Then there's poor, poor Tomorrowland.
Never a region to top the list of "best costume" award winners, this area is absolutely languishing in the modern era.
The flumpy silver jackets.
The 21st Century shirts from a futuristic bowling alley or full-service gas station.
Hey, it isn't like they aren't trying.
Here is an article about modern Disneyland costuming, to show that it is quite a process to outfit thousands of cast members.
No doubt, one or two stinker costumes are going to rear their ugly heads within such a wide and varied mix.
Anyhow, we really should applaud the fact that the Disneyland show continues.
There are pirates and Haunted Mansion hosts and hostesses, Riverboat Captains, Big Thunder miners, canoe explorers and even jungle skippers that actually look the part.
Soon they'll be bearded and mustachioed.
Not so bad for Pirates, I guess, but I'll miss the clean-cut, All-American look that Disneyland cast members once sported.
I know, I know, "But Walt had a mustache!"
Okay, you start your own animation and entertainment empire, design, build and launch an utterly new type of theme park against all odds and amass armfuls of Academy Awards, all while keeping the whole enterprise moving and afloat somehow - then you can wear any mustache you want.
Oh, and Walt could pull it off. Like Clark Gable or Caesar Romero or Douglas Fairbanks.
I am sure things will work out.
Not every change is the equivalent of "New Coke" or the Edsel or doubling the price of Netflix.
Look, most of the dwarves have beards.
So do Jafar, Stromboli, the Queen's Hunstman, Merlin, King Triton, Jack Sparrow, Captain Hector Barbossa and others.
Mustaches abound as well: Captain Hook, Mr. Darling, Gepetto, Mr. Potato Head (okay, he's Pixar), etc.
Of course, back in the 1980s, things were a bit different.
Let us close with a quote from one of the Three Little Pigs:
"Not by the hair of my chinny, chin, chin!"

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