ANAHEIM, Calif. – Combining Disney animation with an attraction plucked from the heyday of the seaside amusement era, Silly Symphony Swings adds a touch of “sym-fun-ny” entertainment to the Paradise Pier area of Disney California Adventure park.
- Following the story of “The Band Concert,” the attraction’s central tower telescopes up and down to take riders on a smooth and spiraling experience, as if they are caught inside the cartoon’s swirling cyclone.
- The name Silly Symphony Swings pays homage to one of Walt Disney’s greatest creations – a series of cartoon shorts, called “Silly Symphonies,” which historians say revolutionized animated films. Relying mostly on music to tell their tales, this series of cartoons was honored with multiple Academy Awards and introduced audiences to several beloved Disney characters, including Donald Duck. Walt Disney Studios produced 75 “Silly Symphony” cartoons from 1929-1939. (“The Band Concert” was not among these cartoons, but it was associated with them because of its similar style.)
- The design of Silly Symphony Swings takes its cue from two architectural styles from bygone eras. Influences from both the Victorian and California Craftsman movements can be seen throughout the attraction. The California Craftsman style emphasizes the handcrafted skills of artisans, versus the more precise, machine-created design of classic Victorian architecture.
- The opening of Silly Symphony Swings in 2010 coincides with the 75th anniversary of the release of “The Band Concert.”
- In addition to Mickey Mouse, “The Band Concert” features several Disney character favorites, including a fife-playing Donald Duck, a flautist cow named Clarabelle and a clarinet-playing Goofy (though he was billed to audiences in promotional materials simply as “The Goof”).
- The soundtrack featured in the attraction – excerpts from Rossini’s opera “William Tell” – is the same musical score that Walt Disney showcased to audiences in “The Band Concert.”
- Standing atop the crimson and cream-colored carousel canopy is a sculpture of Maestro (or “Mouse-tro”) Mickey Mouse – just as he appeared in “The Band Concert” – with a conductor’s baton in hand and clad in his crisp, fire-engine-red bandleader’s uniform.
- The attraction features 32 single-seat swings for guests, and eight pairs of tandem seats for smaller riders and their responsible companion.
- Encircling the attraction are ornate, gilded artwork panels (known as “cartouches”) that depict famous scenes from “The Band Concert.” Also adorning the exterior are rows and rows of warm-glowing incandescent light bulbs to complete the retro look.
- In designing the attraction, Walt Disney Imagineering likened the look of Silly Symphony Swings to “an antique tin toy coming to life.”
- As the attraction spins, the colorful canopy begins to oscillate and undulate while the swing speed progresses. The tempo of the attraction’s soundtrack is synchronized to the start and stop of the experience.
- A wooden deck surrounds Silly Symphony Swings, allowing non-riders to watch the fun and enjoy a restful and shady spot amidst the excitement of Paradise Pier.
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