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Parenting in the Park
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Adrienne Krock, editor
Mary Poppins Sing-Along at the El Capitan Theater


When I first heard about the Mary Poppins Sing Along idea, I didn't think it sounded too original. After all, my friend Jen and I do this all the time, just ask our friends who have suffered through -- er -- enjoyed many in home screenings with us. Then I got a phone call from my friend "The Other" Adrienne and I agreed to check it out. Wow, I'm glad I didn't miss it!

The Show

When we arrived at 6 pm, the line of ticket holders for the 7 pm show had already started. We were greeted by a very friendly CM (Cast Member) named Dave who was oozing with good old fashioned Disney spirit! They started letting people into the theater at 6:15. If you want the details of the show, I'm going to refer you to Sue's column, [see right] which I'm sure wonderfully describes our experience much more eloquently than I ever could.

I particularly enjoyed two elements of the evening. I don't ever recall seeing Mary Poppins on the big screen and for me it was a treat. I have a new appreciation for the little details in the movie. This alone was worth the trip, however, I completely enjoyed singing along with the movie also. The best part was when the audience members adapted their voices to match the barnyard animals in "Jolly Holiday."

Mary Poppins [an actress brought in to portray her] instructs the audience on how to do the sing-along
Mary Poppins [an actress brought in to portray her] instructs the audience on how to do the sing-along

The Cost

We sat in the general admission seats of the theater. These cost $9 for adults and $5.75 for children 3 to 11. Discount tickets are available for groups of 20 or more at $5 each. Snacks cost $3.00 for bottles of Pepsi sodas and $3 to $4.50 for popcorn. Pretzels, hot dogs, nachos, and candy are also available.

VIP seating costs $19 per person. Each VIP guest receives a soda and a bucket of popcorn themed for the El Capitan although not specifically this event. VIP guests are able to sit in the center seats of the theater.

Personally, I don't see any reason to pay the $10 extra for adults and $13.25 for children for this package. I have seen three movies at the El Capitan, all in different areas of the general admission seating. I honestly believe that there are no bad views at the El Capitan. A soda and a popcorn would only cost $6.00 purchased separately. I would personally buy a big bag of popcorn to share and save even more money. In my opinion, the general admission seats are the better deal.

Bringing the Kids

When Matthew was three months old, we took him to the El Capitan to see "A Bug's Life," and our life was easy. I nursed him to sleep at the beginning of the movie and he stayed asleep for the whole movie. Now that he's almost two, we left him at home!

If you're trying to decide whether to bring children under five or six to this event, consider their temperaments and attention spans. Mary Poppins is a long movie: over 2 hours. By the time Jane and Michael were causing a run on the bank, several youngsters in the theater were getting loud and tired (especially one young lady sitting near us.) I also noticed several moms hanging out out on the floor near "Door 4" with their babies. This may not be the best choice for the younger set.

Everyone is encouraged to dress up as their favorite Mary Poppins characters. I spotted several children in a festive mood dressed as chimney sweeps, or Jane and Michael. I even saw some families with everyone dressed in costumes. The winner of the costume contest was a father son team dressed as penguins, complete with swim fins on their feet! 

If you have not purchased tickets yet, don't put it off any longer. If you're like me and originally shrugged off the idea of this event, reconsider. At this price, I think it's the best deal on an El Capitan special screening that I've seen and it's definitely worth it.

Wanted: Your questions and feedback! They will help me plan future columns! Write me at:


Also read these related columns:

Sue Kruse - also tells you about the event

TAG - Adrienne and Tony Phoenix discuss access issues for the El Capitan theater



Adrienne gathered experience taking kids to amusement parks when she worked as a day camp counselor and director. She was an elementary school teacher before she started her favorite job, being Matthew's Mom.

Adrienne and Matthew visit Disneyland several times a month, usually with Daddy, too.

Besides Matthew, Adrienne and her husband Kevin created and maintain The Happiest Potties on Earth website.

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