Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Stopping for a Fill-Up

Most shots of Oswald's Filling Station are taken entering the park or passing by, and my collection is no different. But while sitting at the nearby seating area a few weeks ago, I realized that I never taken a shot of the building from this side perspective.  Suddenly, the composition seemed completely unique.  Rather than greeting visitors, the iconic Packard Coupe seemed to be wishing guests a friendly goodbye, and the towering signage and orientation of the automobile seemed to point the entry gates into more of a feature role, despite being located in the background.  At the very least, it was a different angle, and for a regular Annual Passholder, those different shots have become my goal each time I bring my camera to the Resort!

The classic Packard parked by Oswald's Filling Station.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Wine Country Trattoria

There are only a handful of restaurants from which I've never dined at Disney California Adventure, and the Wine Country Trattoria is one of them.  The best reason I can give is that this restaurant is a more formal sitdown establishment, rather than the usual quick-serve, and I've just never taken the time to dine. But it features a gorgeous and relatively secluded setting (given its location smack dab in the middle of the park), with a lovely Mediterranean atmosphere mixed with Napa Valley wine country.  The complex also includes the Alfresco Lounge upstairs and a couple of bars adjacent serving beer and wine.  A little swanky, a lot of style, and just a great atmosphere in which to enjoy a meal or a beverage.

The Wine Country Trattoria follows a Tuscan architecture theme and serves up delicious Italian cuisine.

This rustic, curving trellis offers shade to diners during the day time.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Splash Mountain Resplendent

Perhaps you'll agree, but I feel like there's a Lion King-esque feel to this shot.  Maybe it's the brilliant orange sky and the silhouette of Splash Mountain looking a little bit like Pride Rock, or maybe it's the setting sun in the background, or the general feeling of wilderness.  But when I was editing this photo, despite the subject matter being completely unrelated to the 1990s blockbuster hit, I couldn't help but mentally blare "The Circle of Life" inside my head.

In any case, I think it's a really simple but majestic shot of one corner of Disneyland at the end of the day.

Splash Mountain in silhouette as the sun sets behind it.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Soggy Tower Evening

It's always been my dream to take a nighttime photo of the Tower of Terror, and suddenly, a flash of lighting strikes.  It doesn't have to hit the actual building. Just a bolt (or two or three) in the background would certainly be dramatic enough.  Well, on this drizzly night, my dream didn't come to fruition, but the wet and luminous ground certainly provided a unique perspective.  So ah well, just another goal to aim for in the future!

A damp evening at the Tower of Terror.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Scenes from Big Thunder Mountain

I haven't posted photos from the redone Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in a while. Though it's been a few months since it reopened, it's still as popular as ever, and the ride is absolutely gorgeous, given its over-yearlong refurbishment. Here are some snapshots to enjoy!

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad splashes down in its climactic finale.

Whizzing by some flipping opposum.

I really liked how the light fell upon the rocks and the track in this shot, looking back, from the second lift hill.

Beware of critters loitering around Big Thunder Mountain!

A new explosive scene livens up the final lift hill!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Lizzie's Curios

It's not the most aesthetically pleasing building, but there's a beautiful charm about Radiator Springs Curios, a collection of knick-knacks and souvenirs and curiosities in architectural form.  The personal project of town-founder Stanley's beloved Lizzie, this shop offers a variety of toys and collectibles from the town.  The signage that adorns the exterior was actually collected throughout stops along Route 66, and the building is a cute tribute to the sights and treasures of the "Mother Road."

The most whimsical building in Radiator Springs is most definitely Lizzie's Curios shop!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Fly 'n' Buy

Timing is everything in photography, and though it's mostly impossible to get an empty daytime shot (especially in the afternoon), sometimes, the pathways just clear up enough to get a scene relatively people free.  This fortuitous moment enabled me to make the Fly 'n' Buy building more of the subject.

Besides that, don't those lovely blue skies just inspire you to soar up and take flight?  This scene certainly conveys the spirit of aviation to me. But maybe I'm a little subjective.

Condor Flats on a summer day is quite picturesque!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Carthay Tower II

I think I've written about how much I love the classic profile of the Carthay Circle Restaurant tower, modeled after the old Carthay Circle Theater.  Those sleek  Spanish Colonial Revival style lines are elegant and simple, but with just enough detail to carry interest. And they go pretty well with the art deco of nearby 1930s Hollywood Land and the uptown early 20th century Wilshire Blvd feel of the end of Buena Vista Street.  So for this shot, I simply focus on the topper. Because the image just conveys a feeling of happiness.

Glancing up at the new icon of Disney California Adventure.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Setting the Rivers Alight

Sometimes, you just have to sit back and let the sky be the star of the scene.  This photo was taken nearly seven months ago, during one of those rare days when I was actually at the parks to witness a dramatic sunset.  The skies seemed most fantastic toward the northwest, so for this shot, I cast most everything else in silhouette and just focused on the exposure of the skies to capture those brilliant hues of the setting sun!

Capturing a brilliant sunset over the Rivers of America.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Embarcadero Boutique

Over two years into this blog, I realized that I had never taken a shot of the San Francisco section of Pacific Wharf.  It's a small district to be sure, practically a mini-mini-land, and it's a remnant of the sort of disjointed "Golden State" mega-area that the original Disney California Adventure offered.  There's not a whole lot of immersive atmosphere, but the facades are certainly pretty and reminiscent of San Francisco's Victorian neighborhoods.  On this day, the warm sun and the pink hues made for just a very pleasant composition, and I tried to emphasize the two way perspective to make the shot even more interesting.

The Embarcadero offers gifts and toys, mostly suited to The Little Mermaid, its neighboring attraction.

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