Good morning, friends! Melissa of Disney on Wheels and I are so excited to kick off an almost-week of fun posts inspired by the musical talents of the Sherman Brothers. Ever since the finale of our Christmas in July series, Melissa and I have been brainstorming about a way to team up on another joint blog project. It’s funny… when you are looking for an idea it never comes but then out of nowhere someone will say something and boom! Something fun is born.
For the next four days, Melissa and I are going to be featuring posts about two men who have shaped movies we love, and attractions we can’t get enough of in the Disney theme parks. We hope you enjoy following along with us!
It seems strangely fitting to be writing a post about my dad today. Last night, we all heard the very sad news that Diane Disney Miller passed away, one of the two daughters who inspired Walt to create Disneyland in the first place. While my dad may not have created a series of theme parks (though I’m sure he wishes he did), he was the one who brought us (my mom, sister, and I) to Disney World time and time again when we were kids. I’ve talked about this before, but without those trips, I would not be sitting here writing this blog or hoping for some vacation days to get back down there and explore.
My dad has been visiting WDW since the 1970s (I have some awesome pictures I can hopefully put into a post next year) and he even went to the World’s Fair in New York. (Something I didn’t know until recently.) So it’s not a big surprise that he enjoys the Carousel of Progress so much. Now, my sister and I were not fans of the attraction at all but after he sat through multiple “girly” rides and stood in line for many characters, it was only fair to let him have this one, right? We’d acquiesce, get “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” stuck in our heads, and bank a few points so we could drag him on more rides and into more shops.
A happy trip to Disney World for everyone!
I don’t know if it was a product of getting older and just clinging on to nostalgia as much as I could, or the fact that I could not escape that addicting song (my coworkers at the Disney Store would sing it over and over again when we were closing at night) but somewhere down the line, I started to fall in love with the attraction and the song. Now it’s a must-stop on every trip I take with my husband, and we always try to snap a shot in front of the giant gear sign and text it to my dad. (Oh, progress!)
This brings us to three years ago, when we were planning a wedding, and I basically told my dad that we were going to dance to this song for our father/daughter dance. I think he was a little bit surprised, maybe even not so sure how it was going to work (it’s not exactly your typical choice), but he never argued.
I remember tweeting about this way back then and asking what versions were out there because it was REALLY difficult to find one that would work. Here are a few we listened to:
Performed by There Might be Giants, Meet the Robinsons soundtrack
Con: Did not like the weird lady yodel? Kind of distracting.
Sherman Brothers singing along with Walt. (How awesome is this?)
Con: As great as it is, too much talking…
Performed by Rex Allen, original narrator of Carousel of Progress attraction.
Pro: Good tempo, background vocals were quieter, clear voice.
Ding ding ding!
The moment at the reception where my dad and I danced is still one of my favorite memories. I didn’t care that a lot of our guests wouldn’t know the song or that it might not be as sentimental as they were used to. What was important is that it was important to us. The whole wedding day is really a blur but at some point I made an off-hand comment to my sister about having her and my mom meet us out there at some point since it was a FAMILY song. My sister totally made this happen and made the whole 3 or 4 minutes that much more special, and even more fun. I posted a few pictures on the blog a few years ago of this happening, but here are a couple more.
Now every time I hear “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” I am reminded of so many fantastic family vacations AND this wedding moment. So I have to thank the Sherman Brothers for creating such a timeless song. It may be an ear worm, but it carries so much meaning for me and always reminds me to move forward and embrace a new day.
Be sure to head over to Disney on Wheels to hear about Melissa’s once-in-a-lifetime experience!