Saturday, December 3, 2016

A Backdrop of Avalor

This holiday season, in a gazebo next to Goofy's Sky School, a photo op and meet-and-greet has been set up for Princess Elena of Avalor, Disney's first Latina princess.  This happened to catch my eye because of how pretty the backdrop was.  The cool blues and turquoise colors made for a lovely scene, with flowers to brighten up the space and add more vibrance.  And though this photo would be made better with Princess Elena actually in it, I still figured it might be nice to show off the scene.

The meet-and-greet area for Elena of Avalor is surprisingly photogenic, with beautiful cool colors.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Hanging Out for Carsmas

Christmas in Cars Land is a visually punny affair with loads of creative and beautiful ornaments and decorations that provide a fantastic environment full of festive cheer.  And since Main Street go rid of their overhead hanging wreaths last year (for Paint the Night), Cars Land has become of the king of Christmas wreaths, with their automobile inspired strands of wrench snowflakes, ribboned tires, and air filters.  It's a lovely sight, for sure, and representative of the high quality of this most fantastic land!

Merry Carsmas from Cars Land!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Blue13 Dance Company

The Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure features a host of live musical and dance performances to entertain guests looking for various ways of engaging holiday cheer.  One of them is the Blue13 Dance Company, a modern troupe that infuses Bollywood and South Asian traditional dance with a contemporary flavor.  And though the art itself originates from India, the dance company invites performers of all backgrounds interested.

At the Festival of Lights, the Blue13 Dance Company helps celebrate Diwali, the Festival of Lights.  With a bit of explanation of the culture and customs paired with some high energy performances, Blue13 gives a rousing show that has guests dancing and grooving right along.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

From Mickey to the Tree

This is a lovely, beautiful sight, with Mickey looking on toward the great Christmas tree at the head of Main Street, and the nighttime scene is full of Christmas spirit and beauty--AND THERE'S THAT DAMN BALLOON IN THE WAY, FLOATING RIGHT INTO THE FRAME, NOTHING I CAN DO ABOUT IT, AND NOT REALLY ABLE TO CALL FOR THEM TO LOWER THE BALLOON OUT OF THE FRAME WITHOUT SOUNDING LIKE A JERK, SO I JUST HAVE TO MAKE DO AND BE ANNOYED--and one looks upon this composition, with the night winding down at the Merriest Place on Earth, and one feels a sense of tranquility, imagining Mickey (and Walt) approving of the holiday tidings for peace on earth and good will toward men.

Mickey looks on toward an evening Main Street and the Town Square Christmas tree.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Jingle Cruising All the Way

Take a trip into a surprisingly festive jungle aboard the Jingle Cruise, a ride that involves the Jungle Cruise skippers discovering that their holiday decorations have instead been scattered all over the jungle, resulting in all the animals covered in Christmas gaudiness.  It's a zany ride filled with absurd jokes--even more than the regular Jungle Cruise--especially at night, when an already off-the-wall holiday setting gets a little more wild.

The mystery unwraps itself in the ancient Cambodian shrine, though at least the tiger gets plenty of presents!

Oh no, the monkeys have gone ape.

They're making banana bread!
Or monkey bread, depending on the skipper.
The mess around camp is the yeast of their worries.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Focused for a World of Holiday

It always catches you from a distance--those glowing colors and dazzling lights scream at your eyeballs all the way from the back of Fantasyland, beckoning you to come near.  And that initial glimpse consistently feels visually overwhelming, as though all the saturation in the world was thrust forth all at once.

I tried to capture the memory of the approach to It's a Small World Holiday in this shot, compressing the shot with a telephoto lens and really honing in on the facade.  This gives a different feel than most of my other shots, which are wide angle and actually make the building seem farther away, despite the camera being positioned closer (a reflection of how a telephoto compresses perspective).  So what do you think?  Is this framing a more spectacular composition, or do you prefer the wide angle view?

It's a Small World Holiday never fails to look spectacular during the holidays.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Silent Night on Main Street

During the Christmas season, what's better than Main Street aglow in holiday decorations and lights?  Not much in my opinion.  The beautiful sight makes for some warm fuzzies and stirrings of the spirit of the season.  Here are some snapshots I took a couple of weeks ago, making use of my telephoto lens to compress perspectives and offer more tightly focused shots, while at the same time blending multiple exposures together to bring out the range of light in the scene.  Gotta love those late nights at the Happiest Place on Earth!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Haunting the Holidays

If you love the Haunted Mansion Holiday--and many people do--then today is a treat for you.  Mostly because I'm posting more photos taken from aboard the ride.  It's a dual holiday treat when Jack and Sally take over the Mansion and wreck the halls.  Familiar scenes take on a twisted feel, and everything feels both spooky and jolly.  It all adds up to some great holiday fun!

Treats for Zero?  Plenty this Christmas!
We can't open the coffin yet? Fine, if you insist.
Madame Leota offers some thoughts on the 13 Days of Christmas.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Christmas in Frontierland

What does Frontierland look like during the holidays? Well, warm, rustic, red and green, and inviting.  Glowy wreaths adorn the facades, and they offer and welcoming and cozy appeal.  Here are a few photos of the decorations fit for the Old West.

The Pioneer Mercantile is aglow with Christmas decorations.
So is Silver Spur Supplies, which features luminous holly and trimmings.

Likewise, across the way, the Shooting Exposition offers some Christmas flair.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

The Return of ¡Viva Navidad!

It seems like only yesterday that it was a brand new show on the block, but ¡Viva Navidad!, at Paradise Pier in Disney California Adventure, has quickly become one of my favorite holiday traditions at the Disneyland Resort.  This lively and fun pop-up show brings Donald Duck, Panchitoo Pistoles, and José Carioca together for a spirited celebration of Christmas flavor from Mexico and Brazil.  With live musicians, dancers, giant puppet floats, and a drop-in appearance by friends Mickey and Minnie Mouse, it's a wonderful show to get people excited and energized into the Christmas spirit.

Here are some photos taken just a couple of weeks ago.  For a more complete description of the show, check out the link above from a previous post about this great little spectacle!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Partners with the Snow Castle II

The icicle lights of Sleeping Beauty Castle make a perfectly tranquil and soul-soothing backdrop for Walt and Mickey at the Hub at the end of the night.  The cool blues and purples of the castle contrast with the vibrant poinsettias planted all around the Partners Statue.  Framed by the street lamps that ring this heart of the park, this scene perfectly captures that restful holiday mood.  One might almost imagine Santa Claus riding across the sky just over the castle, reindeer guiding him over the night.

Standing before Walt and Disney, with the Sleeping Beauty Winter Castle behind them.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Christmas at the Seaside Village

Tokyo Disney Sea is spectacular enough just on its own, but when you add in a festive mix of Christmas spirit? Well, it's positively divine.  And in several parts of the park, the holiday ambiance is felt very strongly.  Take American Waterfront.  Representative of New York, San Francisco, and Cape Cod, it imbues a sense of nostalgic Americana from a bygone era, and its holiday setting follows that trend, with simple red and white and green string lights draped in a simple but nicely accenting manner.  And even though it's really Japan, one can't help but feel swept away to the turn of the previous century, to something out of a Norman Rockwell scene.

Christmas serenity in the New England portion of American Waterfront.

Monday, November 21, 2016

A Sparkling Christmas in Orleans

New Orleans Square has always had a moody and romantic ambiance that shines with an artistic nostalgia.  But during the Christmas season, it really dazzles.  The holiday decorations, lights, ornaments, and wreaths bring out a stunning environment, and late at night, after most people have left, it becomes positively magical strolling through those serene streets, just taking in the holiday atmosphere!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

A Beautiful Place to Be Headed

The Holidays at the Disneyland Resort is that magical time of the year when the Jungle Cruise undergoes a transformation and becomes even more corny and over the top in the form of the Jingle Cruise.  As the story goes, the skippes were expecting a shipment of holiday decorations, but they somehow got lost.  Turns out the shipment was dropped all over the jungle, draping everything with noel extravagance.  One of my favorite scenes involves nighttime at the dancing natives scene.  The Christmas lights are exceptionally photogenic, and the visual is certainly awe-inspiring. 

Just... try not to lose your head in wonder.

Headhunter territory sparkles with Christmas cheer during Jingle Cruise season.

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