Dec 15, 2011

Jolly Holiday

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A charming name for the new bakery coming to The Hub area at Disneyland. Its theme will be based on Mary Poppins. This, apparently, is one of the signs of the apocalypse. Who knew, right?

Complaints range from Mary Poppins having nothing to do with Main Street to it being yet another character based thing to Mary Poppins flies and is magical and belongs in Fantasyland. I've even seen complete misunderstandings of what the name "Jolly Holiday" refers to.

Let's be perfectly frank and honest here. This is not the first reference to London to take up residence on Main Street. Pongo is apparently the mascot of the Main Street Firehouse, and 101 Dalmatians took place in London in the 1950s. This is a far more egregious slight to theme than Mary Poppins. The Disney Poppins is from 1910, the same era as Main Street. It was very much the fashion to copy London in those days. There was much travel (cruise ships) between America and England as well.

Jolly Holiday has been misinterpreted to have something to do with Christmas. Nope, it's British English for a happy vacation. Holidays in England are vacations here.

As for being character based, who really cares? Given the high traffic nature of the bakery, it's highly unlikely that it will become a character meet-n-greet location. As for theme, there will more than likely be only a handful of references to Mary. A portrait, some knick-knacks and the weather vane. It will be subtle, not in your face. This is not an attempt to bring Mary into Main Street. She's already been there for years. This is just a bakery, and Mary Poppins provided a cute theme that worked within the area.

To be perfectly honest, it isn't really Main Street even. It's the Hub. This area is a confluence of all the themes. They kind of join and mash together here which only further allows for the whimsy and magic of Mary Poppins to join with Main Street.

This is not corporate branding or trying to shove a character down our throats. This is not the erosion of the company and name Walt built. Walt broke theme as well, and not just for monetary constraints. He did it because it worked better. He was not building historically accurate places, but idealized, dream like versions of them. The best bits and nothing else. Your happy fuzzy memories. That allowed him leeway on theme in the broader lands while he could still be very accurate in small details like trim, and architecture. This allowed him to create a place that felt real and recognizable while still being able to have it his way.

I think Mary Poppins belongs in the Hub Area. It will look splendid and be a very popular, great location.

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