Photo: First Look at Tom Hanks playing Walt Disney in Disneyland while filming for “Saving Mr. Banks”

in Disney, Entertainment, Events, Movies, Theme Parks

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.

UPDATE (11/8/12) – Here’s an excellent collage of photos snapped during filming by @thedisneyresort, including a ’60s style Snow White (portrayed by an actual Disneyland “friend of” the character):

(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.


  1. This looks great Ricky! I think they managed to get a pretty good look with his hair style and suit. I’m very much looking forward to seeing this.

  2. Christina

    Are they hiring actors to portray Snow White and any other characters in the movie or are they “friends of” people who work at the park?

    1. Ricky Brigante

      Not sure specifically about Snow White, but existing Cast Members are definitely a big part of the extras in the park today.

    2. EricJ

      Think the picture of Thompson and White is from the filming of the premiere, at Grauman’s. (The real one, not the Studios.)

      1. Ricky Brigante

        Yep, says so just above the photo. 🙂

  3. Peter F

    I imagine they will digitally remove the snow from the castle, cause that is quite anachronistic

    1. Yeah, those seasonal and contemporary decorations will have to be dealt with somehow.

  4. Michel L. Mendonça

    What about the Partners statue? That has to go too.

Comments are closed.