Tuesday, September 1, 2015

After Hours at Carthay

The Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge represent swanky, elegant 1920s style, and it's nice to tour the ornate touches in both dining establishments.  From lovely light fixtures to luxurious wood trim to the overall warm tones throughout the spaces, this pinnacle of Disney California Adventure dining provides a rich and lavish experience.  Here are a few photos taken at the end of the night, upstairs and downstairs.

A look at the Snow White mural on the ceiling of the main dining room at the Carthay Circle Restaurant.

Retreating out the entry hallway. The famous photo of Walt Disney and Shirley Temple hangs on the wall.

Downstairs, the Carthay Circle Lounge is at peace after a busy day.

This is a rare sight, since the Lounge is usually bustling!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Toys in Luminous Color

We close out August with another installment of our Paint the Night series.  Continuing off the Little Mermaid segment, we transition into another modern classic, Toy Story!  Take a look at some photos of this fun parade unit as it makes its way through Disneyland.

Here comes the Toy Story portion! It's fronted by Jessie and some glowing ball twirling cowgirls.
It's a light filled rodeo!
Jessie stops to say hi. Note the "Disney Point!"

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Making a Summer Splash

I don't usually go on water rides when I'm at a theme park.  I wear glasses, and the feeling of water on them is irrationally annoying to me.  Plus, I usually have my camera  gear with me, so I don't like to risk getting that wet.

However, sometimes, circumstances just call for it.  A couple of weeks ago, I spend part of the afternoon at Disneyland enduring 100+ degree heat.  That was an occasion that called for a cooldown aboard a water ride.  And in that case, what better aquatic attraction than Disneyland's beloved Splash Mountain?

Riders zoom down Splash Mountain on a hot and cloudless summer day.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Tower Elevated

Here's another elevated Tower of Terror shot, taken from the back steps of the Hyperion Theater, which are really the entry steps--only they are located on the backside of the theater face.  This view affords a nice look at the Hollywood Tower Hotel, showing how large the structure really is.  Even high above ground level, the massing of the building still seems monumental.  And though the Tower may not look as sinister as it does at night, I still really enjoy this view and this time of day.

Soft, beautiful sunlight illuminates the Tower of Terror on a not-so-scary day.

Friday, August 28, 2015

A Canopy of Color

I love photographing the Jumpin' Jellyfish at night.  It's so luminous and colorful and whimsical, it makes for a fantastic subject.  In fact, the nighttime scene amplifies the attraction with colorful neon accenting the rainbow medley that covers the ride vehicles and structure.  So here's another shot of a ride that I rarely go on (it is, after all, oriented for children) but enjoy nonetheless.

The Jumpin' Jellyfish glows with color at night.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Island Mine Train

I think Disneyland Paris's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is the best for a variety of reasons, but the most visually spectacular is its setting.  Located in the center of the Rivers of the Far West, this E-Ticket races throughout the island in a wild and incredible journey through elaborate theming, mysterious mines, and dramatic geology.  It is unlike any other Big Thunder, and its layout is a complete repackaging of the ride.  The dramatic turnaround, for example, takes place in the first act rather than the final, and it is just one of many exciting moments on the ride.  I'm so glad I was able to ride this when I visited last year.  It made up for finding it closed for refurbishment the first time I visited Disneyland Paris nine years ago!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast

There are many differences between Disneyland Paris' Discoveryland and the Tomorrowlands of the other Magic Kingdoms, but one similarity seems to be the presence of a Buzz Lightyear laser shooting attraction.  In fact, this attraction finds a home in all five Magic Kingdom parks around the world.  In Paris, it is Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, and it is pretty much the same attraction as original Disneyland's Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters.  On the other hand, the exterior (like everything else in Discoveryland) is way cooler, and at night, it really comes alive with electricity!  Guess they've got plenty of crystallic fusion cells in there, don't they?

The entrance of Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, at Disneyland Paris.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Gathered for the Spectacular

The Disneyland Forever fireworks has been packing in the crowds all summer, and nowhere is this most evident than on Main Street, when guests rush out onto the street immediately following the early showing of the Paint the Night parade and gather to witness Disneyland's 60th anniversary pyro spectacular.  The resulting projections, fireworks, and light show quite astounding, and the communal atmosphere heightens the magic guests feel.  It's a lovely ambiance--one that I'm eager to experience trip after trip.

A Mickey burst explodes over the skies above Disneyland.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Peeking into the Airfield

The Grizzly Peak Airfield addition has really tied the entire area together nicely.  The rustic atmosphere extends all the way to Buena Vista Street, and the long views look more consistent, with the desert environment of the former Condor Flats no longer disrupting the wilderness feel of the Grand Californian and Grizzly Peak proper beyond.  The Imagineers have done a fantastic job with this little refurbishment. Sometimes, you don't need broad strokes for a significant impact!

Signage and details into Grizzly Peak Airfield.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Scenes from the Jungle Cruise

I love the Jungle Cruise. The wise-cracking skippers, the terrible puns, the goofiness of the entire attraction... they're all just groan-worthy fun.  But what I don't do often is take photos of the ride. Maybe it's because I'm usually at the parks later, when the light is not so great, or because I'm too busy listening for the next punchline, or because the angles for shooting are never great, since you literally have to turn around.  So here are a few shots from one of my favorite rides, complete with cornball spiel!

Ladies and gentlemen, what a treat this is!  We've entered the Elephant Bathing Pool, and it looks like the whole herd is out! That's practically unheard of!  But it's ok, folks. Take all the photos you want. They all have their trunks on.

This, here, is Bertha.  She's been enjoying these falls for sixty years, and it shows.  Look at all those wrinkles!  She really needs to see a pachydermatologist.  And it just goes to show you, kids.  If you take a shower long enough, you'll turn into an elephant.

Shhhh, quiet, everyone!  Don't make any sounds like a banana.  This guy finds it realy ap-peel-ing.  We'd better split!

Here we are at the African Veldt, where the hand of man has never set foot.  Looks like we've got some striped horses, some long necked cheetahs, and... hm, I've never seen those guys on the right before. They must be new.

Oh boy, looks like we've found the lost safari!  See that guy at the bottom? His name's Ahontas.  And it looks like that rhino is going to poke... Ahontas.  It just goes to show you: never get into an argument with a rhino.  He always gets his point across... in the end.

Looks like the local villagers are performing a little ceremony there.  Let me see if I can translate: You put your left foot in, you put your left foot out, you put your left foot in... hmm, sounds like a bunch of hokey pokey to me! 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Splashdown at Grizzly Peak

I posted some similar photos last month, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to toss up some more photos of Grizzly River Run at its climactic finale.  We've had some warm spells this summer, as Southern California does every year, and nothing is more refreshing on a hot day than an exciting water ride.  Just look at all those droplets of cooling, comforting water.  Perfect for beating the heat!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Harkening to Halloween Time

August is winding down, and soon it will be September, which means Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort is just around the corner!  Sure, the weather will still be warm, and the leaves won't change any color (except for brown if they finally give into this California drought).  But just the same, we're not long away from attractions like the Haunted Mansion Holiday or the festivities at Big Thunder Ranch or Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy.  Yes, Halloween Time will be coming next month. Are you excited?

A beautiful fall day at the Disneyland Resort during Halloween Time.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Mansion Details

It's not often that I'm at the Haunted Mansion early enough to capture daytime and sunlit photos of the structure.  This gives it a different and much more welcoming feel, and it also provides better light for the abundance of nice details that abound around the home of those 999 Happy Haunts.  Here are a few of those items in a brief photo tour around this eerie estate!

Coming upon the Mansion from New Orleans Square.
The pet cemetery is quaint and cute.
Little jokes abound on the tombstones.

Approaching the mansion from the switchbacks affords this nice frame of the tree-shaded facade.
Ornate wrought iron supports the balconies.
A very close-up of the wrought iron.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Rowing Down the River

Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes are not an attraction I do often.  The combination of proximity to water plus required manual labor do not fit well with my preferred mode of living, but recently, I decided to give them a try just for fun, because I hadn't been on them in a while.  As it turned out, the manual labor isn't really that bad (I knew that, but it was an excuse), and the position along the river affords some nice, unique views and angles that cannot be obtained any other way.  So here's a nice, leisurely day just above the surface of the Rivers of America!

Paddling along the Rivers of America.
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