Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Golden Horseshoe

When the afternoon rolls deep, and the sun starts hanging low, the glow of magic hour can be precious.  And at the Golden Horseshoe, that glow truly becomes golden.  This famed Disneyland staple, home to Billy Hill and the Hillbillies as well some fun running skits between the town sheriff, mayor, and bank robber outside, has seen its share of Disney history.  And through it all, it stands stately and elegant.

The Golden Horsehorse stands golden in the late afternoon light.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Afternoon at the Cafe

The crisp afternoon air beckons an evening of neon color and energy. But before that arrives, there is the lazy moments of the end of the day, when the sun has set low but not completely, and a warm, vivacious glow envelopes the land.  In this setting, Flo's V8 Cafe stands as a romantic symbol of snazzy diners of eras bygone, a classic and smooth tribute to doo-wop diners.  Flo's is sleek and cool, to be enjoyed at an easy pace.  What an afternoon for it!


March has been a pretty busy month for this blog, with more photos posted this month than any other month before. I hope you've enjoyed it, and if so, please continue to spread the word to friends and family about Disney Photoblography.  Share on Facebook or retween on Twitter. Pin on Pinterest. Bump the blog with a +1 on Google.  And feel free to share feedback and requests on photos you'd like!  And remember, you can always access the site at!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Paradise Park

As popular as it is at night--being the viewing area for World of Color, Paradise Park is typically a quiet respite during the day time, uncrowded, calm, and relatively peaceful.  Most people are off enjoying Paradise Pier's attractions and restaurants, and unless a showing of Goofy's "Instant Concert" is on, the park is a place to walk through rather than linger.  Still, it's a beautiful area, and a fantastic place to just relax.

Beautiful Paradise Park on a beautiful day, with The Little Mermaid and Golden Zephyr rides in the background.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Ghostly Chambers

Disney aficionados know the lines by heart--that famous spiel from the Ghost Host as they're guided along a supernatural journey through a ghoulish estate.  Here are just a few lines to accompany a couple of photos entering the Haunted Mansion:

When hinges creak in doorless chambers, 
And strange and frightening sounds echo through the halls...
Whenever candlelights flicker 
Where the air is deathly still-- 
That is the time when ghosts are present, practicing their terror with ghoulish delight!

Guests of the Haunted Mansion are welcomed into this grand and gloomy foyer, prior to the Stretching Gallery.
Welcome, foolish mortals, to the Haunted Mansion. 
I am your host, your... ghost host. 
Kindly step all the way in please and make room for everyone. There's no turning back now.

Our tour begins here in this gallery where you see paintings of some of our guests as they appeared in their corruptible, mortal state.
Is this room actually stretching? Or is it your imagination, hmm?
This, then, of course is when guests drag their bodies away from the walls and lay them to rest in the dead center of the room. And their spectral trip to meet 999 happy haunts begins...

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Whirling Mad

I don't do spinning rides well.  They make me dizzy very easily, and I don't deal well with dizzy.  So I don't typically ride the teacups at Disneyland.  That doesn't prevent me from enjoying them, though.  The colors and energy and wonderful atmosphere make for quite the photo op, and who knows... maybe one day, I'll be brave enough to venture a ride on one of the spinning cups to catch some dynamic on-ride shots!  I'll just need to make sure I bring some Dramamine...

Guests take a spin aboard the Mad Tea Party.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Carthay Circle Lounge

Dining at the Carthay Circle Restaurant is pretty much reservation only. But on the ground level, all guests are welcome to enjoy a relaxing time at the Carthay Circle Lounge.  Nine months after opening, this swanky, elegant area has proven to be a popular hit and has become pretty busy throughout the day.  A quiet respite from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the park, patrons of the lounge can enjoy fine cocktails and delicious snacks.  And although it is a separate menu from the upstairs restaurant, the fare is still quite delectable.  The Carthay Circle Lounge is definitely a great place to unwind and enjoy a slower pace within Disney California Adventure!

The main hall of the lounge.

The bar area to the right.
The other wing of the bar area.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Nemo Lagoon

When I was a child, the submarine ride was one attraction I never got to experience.  My parents, who had been to Disneyland before I was born, were never fans of the classic Tomorrowland ride, because it was cramped, dim, and claustrophobic--so they said.  So sadly, the submarines were never really part of my Disneyland nostalgia.  And when they were shuttered in 1998, my early teenage self felt like I had lost my chance at experiencing a classic mainstay.

One can imagine my anticipation, then, when Disney announced that the submarines would return.  Even with a Finding Nemo overlay, I felt like it would be great experience to take a ride aboard what had been one of the Magic Kingdom's original E-Tickets. And though I did not expect and now do not consider the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage to be up to modern E-ticket standards, I still found it a fun, enjoyable experience once I finally had the chance to dive down 8-0 fathoms and witness the wonders of the deep sea ocean!  All in all, it's nice to have the submarines around.  The lagoon felt pretty empty all those years without them.

A monorail passes by overhead as a Finding Nemo submarine cruises across the bay.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Jamboree the Night Away

You'd think the party might stop when the sun goes down, but at Mater's Junkyard Jamboree, the dancing has only begun.  Partners swing each other round and round while Mater acts as emcee.  In those cute baby tractors, it's excitement and fun for everyone involved!  Eventually, things will quiet down, for as long as there's people, there's bound to be swinging!

The rambunctious and jolly swing dance party at Mater lasts well into the night!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Critter Country Warmth

Winter might not provide a lot of daylight for photographers, but one advantage it does afford is a sort of extended magic hour.  Because the sun is naturally lower across the sky during this time of year (since it is angled from the south), it reaches the same angle that creates magic hour lighting sooner before actual sunset than during the middle of the year.  So when I found myself over by the Hungry Bear Restaurant closer to the middle of the afternoon rather than the end, I was still able to capture a healthy glow of sunlight like in the picture below!

The warm afternoon light reflecting off Splash Mountain creates a cozy atmosphere.

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Sacred Courtyard

A few weeks ago, with my new wide angle lens in tow, I decided to revisit one of my favorite "secrets" in Disneyland Park, the Court of Angels.  This lovely courtyard is typically an oasis of calm amid a bustling and festive New Orleans Square, and at night, there is a special magic and charm that permeates the entire space.  Here are some photographs showing different angles of the "Court des Anges," as its properly known.  It is a most enchanting outdoor room indeed!

Thursday, March 21, 2013


There's gold up there, I tell ya! Gold! But to get it you, have to brave swirling waters and frigid falls.  The river's turbulent, but that's what washes the treasure out! Oh, and there be grizzlies ahead! You can't see them, but you can sure here them, and it's their river, so if you do catch wind of them, best thing to do would be to run!

Don't let that deter you from the gold, though!

The Eureka Gold and Timber Company serves as the start of Grizzly River Run's lift hill.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Springtime at Disneyland

Welcome to the first day of spring! At Disneyland, spring is a time of renewed energy and the beginning of the long busy season that pretty much lasts through summer.  Everything is in bloom, and nowhere is this more evident than at The Hub, where the tree blossoms have finally emerged in a wonderful pink splendor.  This makes for a beautiful sight, and I've often found myself lingering around this area, just enjoying the crisp Southern California air and azure skies during this time of the year. 

Walt and Mickey look on, as trees are in bloom around them.
The vibrant color just makes everything seem so much happier.
This becomes my favorite time of the year to shoot at The Hub during the day. Everything is gorgeous!
And to cap off the celebration of the beginning of spring, here's a video I made last year that touched off my idea for Point and Shoot Productions.  It's a "moving pictures tour" of one fine spring day around The Hub, and I hope you enjoy it!  (Feel free to share it with anyone who welcomes the arrival of springtime.)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Paradise Bay

A little tidbit if you've never noticed this... almost all of the photos posted on this blog are in 1080p--that is, in 1920x1200 pixel format.  There have been a few exceptions, when I've posted square-shaped photos at 1920x1920 pixels, but by and large, whether they're in landscape or portrait orientation, the size has been in that "1080p" ratio and spec.

What I've never done before, until now, was post a full blown panorama.  But this picture is so nice when viewed in its full width that I feel a need to post it as its complete panorama.  This view of Paradise Bay was taken later in the afternoon, as evidenced by the World of Color Fountains already partway up, but I still think it's a great scene.  It was composed of three separate shots taken off my new Nikon 16-35mm f/4 wide angle zoom lens, then stitched together in Photoshop.  The result is a nice, sweeping view of Paradise Bay.  Not a bad vista, I think!

A panorama of Paradise Bay, as viewed from Paradise Park.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Carthay Circle

There is something to be said about how Carthay Circle has breathed life into the entrance of Disney California Adventure as its predecessor never did.  This beautiful, lively plaza is a hub of energy.  With shops and restaurants surrounding it, a lovely fountain anchoring it, and the Red Car Trolleys navigating around it, the Circle is the place to be at Buena Vista Street.  Most certainly, the mission of this area has been accomplished.

Carthay Circle is a beacon of life and activity.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Through the Gateway

With Disney Photoblography's week-long coverage of Fantasy Faire now concluded, what better way to get you back to normalcy than a post from Cars Land?  The area around Radiator Springs Racers truly never gets old to photograph. The vibrant red rocks, inspired by the famed monumental geology of the American Southwest, create an epic environment.  And on a beautiful, sunny day, they never fail to transport guests into the world of Radiator Springs and the beautiful landscape of Ornament Valley.  It's all spectacularly superb!

Willy's Butte, seen through the archway entering Cars Land from Pacific Wharf.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Fantasy Faire Evening

Well, it's been a week full of Fantasy Faire updates, and I hope you've enjoyed the coverage from Disneyland's newest addition.  It certainly is gorgeous, in my opinion, and thank you to those who have shared or retweeted or said positive things about these blog posts. I sincerely appreciate it!  I'll cap this off with some more evening shots of Fantasy Faire, with hardly anyone in them.  One can almost imagine a medieval village clearing out as dusk descends, as people return to their homes for the evening!

Beyond the Royal Theatre is the old pathway to Frontierland, which is preserved in the Fantasy Faire addition.

Looking out toward Sleeping Beauty's Castle affords a different context now.
The plaza in the cool evening air.

The empty queue to the Royal Hall, after the princesses have gone home.

And a final look, toward the Royal Theatre.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Snippets from Fantasy Faire

In addition to the two Royal Theatre shows--one retelling Tangled and the other re-enacting Beauty and the Beast, plus the Disney Princess meet-and-greet inside the Royal Hall, Disneyland's new Fantasy Faire also features some lesser profile surprises and activities.  Here's a look at a few of them!

Next to the Royal Hall is a nifty peek-in type feature called Clopin's Music Box.  Guests can turn a crank to activate a moving diorama featuring the famous jester from The Hunchbank of Notre Dame, as well as a few surprises!

Clopin's Music Box is a cute and free moving diorama.

"Hidden Mickeys" of sorts abound in the form of characters from other Disney movies, in the background.

There is are also a couple of short "mini-shows" that manifest within the plaza.  The first is a fun "Lost and Found" bit that encourages audience participation.

Mr. Smythe congregates at the center of Fantasy Faire to initiate a lost and found question session.

Can the crowd help identify certain items that he has found?

With the help from his lovely ladies, Mr. Smythe produces items like Ariel's fork thingamajig.

In a nod to the tongue-in-cheek fourth wall breaking nature of Fantasy Faire, one of the lost items is a lightsaber.

There is also sort of "Prince and Princess Proclamation" ceremony that involves teaching chosen children (or any child who happens to jump in, really) how to behave properly as members of royalty.

Mr. Smythe addresses the crowd from beside the Owl Newel Post.

The chosen princes and princesses must learn how to do the Royal Bow and Royal Curtsy.

There's also the Royal Wave to learn.

Last but not least is the Royal Kiss. Fortunately for the kids, it's just blowing a kiss to their subjects.

Then, Mr. Smythe moves over to the Rapunzel's Tower monument and reads the official proclamation.

And with that, the children are officially princes and princesses!
All in all, these are lovely and not-prominently-advertised attractions that help fill Fantasy Faire with a plethora of things to engage in and observe.  And as I've mentioned before, it adds up to a pleasantly surprising and wonderful addition to the Happiest Place on Earth!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Royal Theatre Presents: Beauty and the Beast

On Tuesday, I mentioned that the Fantasy Faire's Royal Theatre features two shows retelling stories from Disney animated features.  Here's a look at the Beauty and the Beast theater show, which like the Tangled show, is hosted by Mr. Smythe and Mr. Jones and features a spirited, funny, wholly enjoyable production that breaks the fourth wall in tongue-in-cheek fashion at times but was still a hit with children and adult alike during my viewing.

As is the case two days ago, the following photos technically contain visual spoilers of the show, but content-wise, should not yield any surprises unless the reader has never seen Disney's Beauty and the Beast.  I don't think the actual show experience shouldn't be tarnished for anyone who reads on, but I must be technical with my disclaimer.

The show opens with a song and dance number from Mr. Smythe and Mr. Jones.
Belle is introduced as the special guest and begins her story.
In a poor provincial town, Belle is courted by town brawny man, Gaston.
Because Mr. Jones doesn't quite have the physique, he is "aided" with some props and a stand.
After returning home to find her father missing, Belle ventures to the nearby castle in search of him.
She meets Lumiere, portrayed in puppet form.
Suddenly, the Beast shows up, terrifying Belle, and orders her to leave the castle at once.
Mrs. Potts and Cogsworth admonish Beast, noting Belle can break the curse if Beast can bring her to love him.
To assist in the manners makeover, a "Monsieur Jonet" appears to teach Beast to "Be Your Best."
It briefly breaks into a slapstick vaudeville dance bit.
Belle then re-appears in her beautiful ball gown.
The famous dance scene is done to the tune of "Tale as Old as Time."
Beast shows his gentler side.
And Belle realizes her feelings have changed.
Gaston returns, however, to fight Beast. The melee is briefly halted in comedic fashion, though, as Mr. Smyth and Mr. Jones get a little too heated, much to Belle's chagrin.
After resetting, Beast, despite being mortally wounded, hurls Gaston to his doom.
A distraught Belle consoles Beast in his dying moments, proclaiming her love.
This breaks the curse, and Beast is revealed in his human form!
There is much rejoicing as the final dance number caps off the show.
And of course, all ends happily ever after.
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