Friday, December 15, 2017

The Jewel of Christmas

The winter castle at Disneyland is a beacon of joy and majesty and the spirit of the Christmas season, and its glowing presence reinforces the beauty of the holidays.  With its icicle lights and diamond tipped spires, it conveys a lavish facade, but one that brims with nostalgia and charm and radiance.  It's a symbol of the yuletide light, and it never fails to make a cozy impression.  No matter what the angle, the castle always looks grand and glorious!

Luminous Sleeping Beauty Winter Castle and a partial reflection.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Christmas Carthay Circle

Carthay Circle is one of the last sights a guest of Disney California Adventure sees before exiting the park.  The only latter visuals are the main way of Buena Vista Street itself and the entrance gates.  But it is Carthay Circle that the energy of the neighborhood resides.  This central meeting point--the "Hub" of DCA, so to speak--literally radiates the crowds.  So at the end of the night, when everything is the calm, there's a striking effect to behold.  Add to this the holiday season, with its vintage wreaths and giant Christmas tree and colorful bulb lights, and the atmosphere sparkles with the noel spirit!

Quiet Carthay Circle at Christmastime night.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Nooks of Mickey Avenue

At the end of my first night at Shanghai Disneyland last year, I found myself swept by security back to Mickey Avenue, the entrance area of the park, where--surprisingly--I was completely free to take whatever photos I wanted unbothered for a solid couple of hours.  This is most likely due to the private, after-hours party a local corporation was holding over in Tomorrowland.  In any case, I was able to take my time and photograph whimsical and charming Mickey Avenue in its holiday tranquility.

I ended up grabbing most of my overall Shanghai Disneyland cache of "empty park" night shots in this one session, and I found myself growing enamored with the strange but charming parts of Mickey Avenue that were off the main boulevard.  The nooks and crannies--few as there are--of a land that's a mixture of Main Street, U.S.A. and Toontown.  With the holiday decorations, the ambiance was especially alluring, as you can see below!


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Christmas on the Main Drag

There are a lot of views looking down Radiator Springs in Cars Land at night, in the direction of the Courthouse.  But I don't see as many views looking the other way, toward the entrance of the land, taken from the Courthouse.  But it's a beautiful vista as well, and during Christmas time, the luminous decorations and hanging holiday wreathes make for a charming and tranquil view--especially at night, after everyone has left.  During this time of the year, Cars Land literally glows with the spirit of the season, and behind the visual puns and flashy eye candy, there's an authentic and touching charm to it all!

Glistening neon and Christmas decorations light up Radiator Springs.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Castles Around the World

Today marks the 2000th post of this blog.  Nearly five and a half years ago, I started Disney Photoblography as a means of sharing my photography hobby and my love of Disney parks.  At the time, I figured that posting a photo a day would be a manageable task, though I had no idea how long I'd be able to stick with the habit.  Never did I imagine that I would still be doing this regularly five years later--let alone be maintaining that once-everyday scheduling.

Back in 2012, I also never imagined that five years later, I would have accomplished a bucket list goal of visiting every Disney theme park in the world--a task I humorously achieved twice because Shanghai Disney opened after attaining the goal the first time.  But I'm both blessed and proud to be have been able to travel to Disney parks all around the world and be able to capture the beauty and magic of each of these parks. 

On this milestone post, I figured I'd do something unprecedented and share photos from all six Disney resorts in one post.  In particular, the iconic castles of each Magic Kingdom Park.  Each has its own character (even the clones), and even as one of them will look different within a few years, it's a fun way of looking back at my fortunate travels.

Who knows what this blog will be like by the time it reaches its 4000th post (if it even makes it that far), but given that I honestly never imagined it reaching 2000 posts, never say never, right?

The original... Sleeping Beauty's Castle opened with Disneyland Park in 1955.
When Walt Disney World opened in 1971, its Magic Kingdom Park featured a soaring Cinderella's Castle.
Tokyo Disneyland opened in 1983 with a clone of Florida's Cinderella Castle.
Disneyland Paris' 1992 opening brought a fantastical and elegantly unique Sleeping Beauty Castle.
When Hong Kong Disneyland opened in 2005, it took on a clone of the original Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle.  But this icon will be transformed the next couple of years into a brand new structure.
The Enchanted Storybook Castle of Shanghai Disneyland marked the first time a Disney castle was not dedicated to a single princess when it opened last year, in 2016, instead serving as the castle for multiple princesses.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Dreaming of a Colorful Christmas

When night falls, It's a Small World Holiday Edition is a exploding extravaganza of mesmerizing color, dazzling the visual senses with a multi-chromatic deluge.  Normally elegant and simplistic, during the holidays, this beloved family attraction becomes a gaudy tribute to all things Christmas.  It's a sensational sight to photograph, and there are always fun, saturated angles to capture!  Here are another couple for your viewing pleasure.


Saturday, December 9, 2017

Carthay Tree Meets Carthay Tower

As cozy on a neighborhood scale as most of Buena Vista Street is, the Christmas tree at the end of the block, over at Carthay Circle, is impressively massive.  It towers above everything else, rivaled only by the skyscraping [relatively speaking] Carthay Circle Restaurant tower just across the lane.  Dressed in bountiful tinsel and colorful large bulbs and topped with a bright, shining star, the tree is a reminder of classic Christmas from a golden era long past. 

What a beautiful sight it makes each evening at California Adventure!

The Christmas tree at Carthay Circle reflects the classic tinsel style of Buena Vista Street during the holidays.

Friday, December 8, 2017

The Floating Christmas Tree

During the holiday season, Tokyo Disney Sea's Mediterranean Harbor has its own massive Christmas tree in the form of the conical barge that plays a prominent role as Mickey Mouse's floating stage in FANTASMIC!  The shape is creatively suited to double as a Christmas tree too, and for the remainder of the evening, it projects out ornaments and decorations on its winding display screens.  All the while, smaller sail buoys drift around the harbor, serving as miniature satellite trees for the big centerpiece.  Pretty charming, I'd say!

A floating Christmas tree stands majestically in Mediterranean Harbor.


Thursday, December 7, 2017

New Orleans Noel Nights

Like I mentioned last month, New Orleans Square is magical at night during the holiday season.  The hanging Christmas lights and ornaments add sparkle and warmth to the French Quarter streets, and it feels like any view provides a scene of noel calm.  Here are a few more snapshots around the Louisiana neighborhood of Disneyland!


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Holidays in Tokyo Toontown

Tokyo's Toontown is pristine.  And of course it is... it's Tokyo Disneyland, where everything is immaculate, because that's the Japanese standard of quality.  When you add Christmas to this, you get a truly charming and beautifully adorable iteration of the holidays.  Throughout the home of Mickey and Minnie and Donald and Daisy and Goofy and Pluto and friends, various holiday decorations have been set out, many in cartoonishly fun form, and they make for a pretty and whimisical sight.  Here are a few more snapshots from the Christmas scene in Mickey's neighborhood.


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Christmases Along the Frontier

Christmas comes in many flavors in Frontierland.  It takes on a festive affair over at the Rancho del Zocalo.  But at the Golden Horseshoe, the scene feels more rustic, fitting for the Old West.  The same can be said over at the Shooting Exposition.  But at the end of the night, there's always that peaceful holiday serenity in the air.  That makes for a nice noel indeed!

A quiet Christmas scene at Rancho del Zocalo.
A rainy holiday evening in front of the Golden Horseshoe.
The Frontierland Shooting Exposition gets festive during the winter.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Cinderlla's Castle at Christmas

I'll be frank.  Although this blog boasts being one of the few with nice photos of all 12 Disney theme parks around the world, I don't really post much from Walt Disney World.  This is because my only cache of photos from Disney's Florida resort come from way back in 2009, when I was--lets put it bluntly--not a very good photographer at all.  As a result, compared to what I post today, nothing I really have feels worthwhile.

Fortunately, some parts of Disney World yield amazing photos regardless of photographer skill.  For example, the Cinderella Castle at night during Christmas time.  Since 2007, the park icon has been transformed by Castle Dream Lights during the holiday season, glistening with draped icicles of light.  It makes for a beautiful scene, and even if the example below isn't up to my usual standards of even exposure, I still think the scene is pretty majestic!

Cinderella's winter castle glistens in the holiday night.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

New York Holidays

The New York portion of Tokyo Disney Sea's American Waterfront features a beautifully gritty representation of the Big Apple at the end of the Industrial Age.  The automobile is beginning its dominance, but rail still has a large presence, and the low rise density is only occasionally interrupted by a standout tower (like the Hotel Hightower, for instance).  This is the nostalgic view of America's first metropolis.  An urban port of call with a neighborhood scale despite its big city emergence.  And during Christmas time, the charm is even more enhanced, taking on a Rockwell vibe.  After all, back in the early 1900s, Christmas in the city was quite the stylish thing to do!

Much like it's namesake, the New York City portion of American Waterfront is bustling by day.
In a certain way, this is Tokyo Disney Sea's Main Street, even though it's to the side.
By the end of the night, the streets have grown quiet.
But the Christmas decorations still add beauty and magic to the air!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Another Main Street Holiday

It's hard to beat the stroll through a bustling Main Street U.S.A. during the holidays.  The inviting storefronts, but lovely holly and ornaments and wreaths, the Christmas spirit and seasonal shopping... they all recall the days of old.  If Disneyland is Americana nostalgia, Christmas time amplifies that.  So here's another series of snapshots through the area.  Just a hint of the spirit of the season!

The Disneyland Railroad Main Street Station looks lovely amidst the afternoon sky.
Main Street's buildings are full of holiday ornaments.
A wreath on a gas-lit lamp evokes nostalgic feelings.
Stores and restaurants all down Main Street have gotten into the holiday spirit!
This year, the overhead wreaths are back, courtesy of not having to accommodate Paint the Night.

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