Sunday, August 28, 2016

Entering Halloween Time

In a couple of weeks, Disneyland will once again be transformed for the more sinister, as Halloween Time invades and turns the park into the Spookiest Place on Earth.  There will be plenty of autumn hued trim around the parks, especially since the 60th Anniversary celebration will have officially concluded by then.  And sure, the fall snap in the air doesn't really appear in Southern California until late October, but I'm still looking forward to Halloween Time.  Are you?

Mickey's Halloween Party, end of night, from a few years ago.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Submarines and Sunsets

From a sunset taken during the winter to a sunset actually taken in the summer, we return today to the lagoon of the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage and take a look at the beautiful golden hour of a common August day.  Here, from the steps of the Disneyland Monorail exit, palm trees, snowy peaks, and peaceful waters coexist in a classic Southern California scene.  Even though plenty of guests are passing by in the main walkway below, the scene still manages to retain a sense of serenity.  Guess the Happiest Place on Earth can do that to you...

The sun sets over the Matterhorn as a Finding Nemo submarine drifts by.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Another Paradise Bay Sunset

No matter how many times I photograph Paradise Bay during golden hour and sunset, it doesn't get old.  Those deep azure hues, the warm and shiny sun, and the lovely waterfront atmosphere make for a dreamy composition.  And with the clouds playing different textures upon the sky, even shots of the same thing take on different characters.  So here's another Paradise sunset.  It may have been taken in the winter, but it still carries the vibe of a summer day.

Just another glorious sunset on Paradise Bay.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Toontown Firehouse

Mickey's Toontown is so goofy and wacky, I wonder how much good its fire department really would do.  Chances are that any flames being through would dance around haphazardly squirted jets of water, most likely to whimsical music, as the building personifies fear and worry at its impending fiery demise.  Of course, at some point the fire fighters would figure out a silly manner to control the taken-on-a-life-of-its-own fire hose, and all would be saved. 

Or was I thinking about the classic cartoon, Mickey's Fire Brigade again?

The Toontown Fire Department is a colorful facade.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Teeming at Tokyo Disneyland

The crowds of the Tokyo Disney Resort can be seen in full effect in the photo below.  Though it may not look much different than a day at the parks stateside, it's important to know that Tokyo Disneyland has wider walkways and thoroughfares than its domestic partners, and a full cluster of people around The Hub means a FULL cluster.  That was one of the major eye-opening experiences at Tokyo Disney when I visited last year.  Though I knew that their parks were busier than U.S. parks, I didn't fully comprehend until witnessing it first hand.  The Japanese LOVE their Disney parks, and they flock en masse on those busy days.  And yet, things still run in an orderly manner, because that has been so programmed into Japanese culture.  It's nice to be able to navigate through full crowds and still not necessarily feel oppressed.  The politeness and classy behavior of the locals makes the crowds more bearable.

Walt and Mickey stand in front of the Cinderella Castle in Tokyo Disneyland.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Twilight at the Tower of Terror

Blue hour upon the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror creates an ominous presence, as the sunny, inviting golden rays of the afternoon light fade away, and the eerie shroud of night starts to take hold.  From this vantage point off the stairs of the Hyperion Theater, the radiant rocks of Cadillac Range in Cars Land form a sharp contrast against the cool saturation of the Tower of Terror and the deepening dusk sky.  This moment of transition provides a fun moment to take in--it's Disney at the cusp of night.

The warm to cool hues of the scene create a vibrant blue hour upon the Tower of Terror.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Cooped Up in the Coffin

We're a month away from Disney's Halloween Time.  It's my favorite time of year, not just at Disney parks, but in general, since I love scary spooky time activities.  At Disneyland, though, festivities are a much more family-friendly affair, for obvious reasons.  There is fun and good spirit (pun intended) to everything, so in that intention, here's a photo of a grim creature trying to escape his final resting place inside the Haunted Mansion.  This has always been one of my favorite scenes in the ride due to its photogenic and silly morbid nature.  I'm glad I've finally gotten to the point where I'm able to capture scenes like this onto photographs.

In other words, is it Halloween season yet?

A ghoul can hardly contain himself inside the Haunted Mansion.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The 60th Celebration Morn'

The morning of the 60th anniversary kickoff was a cloudy affair.  Like the May 24-hour days the previous two years, the morning blue hour gave way to morning gray, as the sunshine was unable to really find its way to the ground.  Fortunately, one benefit the clouds did provide was some great sky texture, and so, despite failing once again to get some nice Disneyland sunrise shots, I did get a nice snap or two of the early morning ambiance and that nice texture in the skies.

Early morning at Sleeping Beauty Castle at 2015's 24-hour day.

The Waterfront of Yesteryear

The awe of Tokyo Disney Sea includes the construction of a seemingly close to life size scale cruise liner "just because."  Well, effectively, anyway.  There is no actual attraction on board the Columbia, though a fantastic Teddy Roosevelt Lounge can be found.  But when you think of nostalgic old American waterfronts, you think of those luxury steamliners of the Atlantic, so the Oriental Land Company, majority owners at the Tokyo Disney Resort, simply had one designed and produced.

At night, the Columbia forms a beautiful sight, sitting still in the water, waiting for a new adventure.  And her setting is quite beautiful too, with a wonderful iron arch bridge bringing guests into her port.  This scene just echoes with serenity for me, reminding me of wonderful late night memories at this "Sea of Dreams."  It's just lovely.

The Columbia sits docked at port in the still of the American Waterfront night.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Bachelors on the Twain

While the Mark Twain is docked because of the Rivers of America closure (for "Star Wars" Land-related renovations), the Royal Street Bachelors have been offering several sets of live music each day during the summer season.  Hearing great jazz emanate from this stately riverboat has provided fantastic ambiance to the Rivers of America.  The Dixieland tunes really take guests back in time and enhance the romance of the river.  Here are a few shots of the musicians!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Chateau Illuminated

Seeing Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant lit up in spotlights is a beautiful sight. This whimsical and majestic castle is most surreal out of all the Disney castles, and it is gorgeous at night as it is in day.  At the end of the night, the castle is actually closed off in preparations for the nighttime spectacular, Disney Dreams.  This makes for a nice way to get a relatively uncluttered shot of the castle, even if there are people in front of you, because they're all gathered in the foreground and out of the pathway leading to the actual castle.  Such is a foreign concept to local Disneylanders in Anaheim, but that's how Paris does things!

Guests wait in front of EuroDisney's Sleeping Beauty Castle prior to Disney Dreams.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Ramone and Flo's

Beautiful Radiator Springs is spectacular at night.  All that neon makes for a splendid sight.  No matter what angle you photograph, it's always quite right.  Because the scene is always illuminated with colorful light.

Flo's and Ramones glisten in Radiator Springs.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Another Cruise Through the Jungle

It's been a while since we've taken a cruise through the jungle aboard the World Famous Jungle Cruise, so lets see what those zany animals are up to back there in the wilderness of Adventureland!

It's the Indian elephant bathing pool, where the whole herd is out with the trunks on.
Such a sighting is pretty unherd of!
Bertha has been under that waterfall for decades, providing that if you shower long enough, you'll turn into an elephant.

These apes are just monkeying around.  Better split before they really go bananas.

This is the second most feared animal in the jungle, the African bull elephant.

Of course, number one is his mother-in-law.

Over in the African veldt, these guys don't look too familiar.  They must be gnu to the jungle.

Of course, we have the pride of lions protecting that sleeping zebra whose so tired that he's resting in peace.

The other zebras are old ones.  You can tell because they're still in black and white.

And of course, headhunter territory is a terrible place to beheaded.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Volcano Over the Harbor

Mediterranean Harbor is an absolute dream--reminiscent of the Italian Riviera, full of gorgeous, romantic scenery.  It's a sprawling area, the most sprawling of all the Disney entrance areas--save EPCOT's Future World if you want to be technical, and it always provides a wonderful, welcoming front.  Even as it curls around toward Mysterious Island and wraps in front of the looming shape of Mount Prometheus, it is full of beauty and splendor.  And at night, all of this spectacular majesty comes even more alive!

Glistening Mediterranean Harbor at night, with Mount Prometheus looming over everything.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Merrily on Our Way to Nowhere at All

I was walking through Fantasyland a week and a half ago, looking for scenes to snap, when I happened to notice the shadows working out to allow a fun idea reflecting Mr. Toad's wanderlust.  In The Wind and the Willows, the crazy amphibian enjoys putting around in his motorcar all over the place, with reckless regard for other people's safety.  Certainly, that must mean Mr. Toad has plenty of destinations in mind.  What better to symbolize that than with the cardinal directions of a weather vane, and what better to show that as a thought than to juxtapose its shadow--or non-physical form--beside Mr. Toad to give the idea of a thought bubble!

Well, I like the idea at least.

Mr. Toad seems to ponder where he should careen off to next, as represented by the shadow of the weather vane a little off to the side on the chimney.

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