Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Iron Man Tech

It's been a record-setting month at Disney Photoblography, at least with regards to number of photos posted.  So it's only fitting to finish April with another flurry of photos!

Last week, I posted a few overview shots of the new Iron Man Tech exhibit at Innoventions, presented by Stark Industries and featuring the Iron Man armors as seen in the movies.  This time, here are some more detailed shots at exactly what can be found in this exciting new display!

The Mark XLII suit stands front and center, the new showcase of the exhibit.
Behind are older model suits, starting with the Mark I.
The Mark II is an improvement upon the clunky and field-assembled Mark I and retains the silver motif.
The Mark III armor is battle-tested and has sustained plenty of damage from battle with the Iron Monger.
The Mark IV is very similar to its immediate predecessor, with slight tweaks and improvements.
The Mark V armor is portable, fitting into a suitcase, and thus sleeker.
Some firepower is sacrificed to increase mobility, but the armor is still plenty strong!
As seen in Iron Man 2, it's one of the cooler looking armors, in my opinion.
Also from Iron Man 2 is the vibranium-powered Mark VI armor, much improved in all facets over the Mark V.
The Mark VII armor is featured in Avengers film.
It is the most advanced suit yet, at least of those that have been seen on the big screen.
Of course, that will certainly change when Iron Man 3 debuts this Friday

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Swashbuckler and His Swine

Imagine being so wildly content with life, so utterly happy and enjoying, that even the fact you're rolling around in mud with pigs is not enough to bother you.  Indeed, if we could all be so fortunate to have not a bother in the world!  With today's frenetic and often stressful society, it must be nice to be able to return to the simplicity of enjoying company, no matter what it's form!

Or maybe this is just the result of being really, really, really inebriated.  Either way, bottom's up to this buccaneer!

The carefree pirate cares not he's with hogs, as long as he's enjoying a pirate's life.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Lights from the Hollow

By nightfall, the meet-and-greet bustle of Pixie Hollow has largely passed. But in its place, a new magic arises.  The fountains and gardens around Pixie Hollow light up with a spectrum of sparkling, shimmering energy.  It's as though the buzz of a thousand fairies has cast a spell-binding spectacle within this small area, and every so often, the calm harmony of this magic ripples through Pixie Hollow, serenading guests with a lovely little light show. 

This is not an advertised feature of the Magic Kingdom, but again, sometimes, it's the little surprises that really cap a magical day.

The magical, colorful, luminous nature of Pixie Hollow at night certainly contains its share of pixie dust!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Lodge Hospitality

The Grand Californian Hotel is very much inspired by the famed Arts and Crafts movement of late 1800s and early 20th century, which means there's one underlying theme present throughout all the architecture and interior design--warmth.  That cozy, rustic, hearty feeling that takes you out of the artificial construction of the city and places you in the organic beauty of the wilderness wraps through each panel, fascia, and trim.  From the furnishings to the light fixtures to the ornamentation, everything is meant to put the guest at ease and wash away their worries.  And you know what?  I think it works... pretty darn well!

The peaceful middle of the night at the Grand Californian Hotel lobby.

Friday, April 26, 2013

A Bay in Paradise

Last Friday afternoon, I was wandering around Disney California Adventure, wondering what would be the best place to shoot during magic hour, as the sun was heading down low, that I hadn't taken pictures of recently during this time.  I mentally racked my brain for some place where the sun wouldn't already be impeded by obstructions, when all of a sudden, I realized I had walked around to Paradise Pier.  Looking west, I realized I had my answer--a beautiful light cast across the entire bay, and sunbeams peaking back at me through the trees.  What a sight it was!  I knew I had to capture it, and so I did.

The sun sets on Paradise Bay, bringing forth a golden glow across the entire area.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Fun Fair Flyers

Flik's Flyers is a novel twist on the old "balloon flight" rotating amusement park attraction.  Set inside A Bug's Land, these spinning carriages are pieced together from various over-sized human discards, showcasing the intrepid ant's ingenuity.  Designed for kids, welcome to adults, it's a whimsical ride in a land that doesn't take itself too seriously.

Flik's Flyers, with the Tower of Terror in the background.
Also, if you're a user on Instagram, I finally joined the bandwagon under the user name "disphotoblography" ("disneyphotoblography" was apparently already taken).  It's a shameless method of self promotion, but once I start using it when I'm at the parks, you'll see "exclusive" content that won't appear on this blog!  (In other words, if I take photos from the Resort from my phone that are especially nice, they'll wind up on Instagram.)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Evening at the Oasis

Right next to the exit of the Jungle Cruise, there's a little seating area beside the entrance to the old Aladdin's Oasis area.  It's not really an area I visit or notice much, but the other night, while exiting the Jungle Cruise, I was drawn to the simple beauty of this little courtyard-like space at night.  Pacing around, I found a particular angle I liked, set my camera down, zoomed my lens out wide, and snapped a few shots.  Pleased with the unexpected brightness, I played around, and the result is this photo.  It speaks to the spirit of adventure and the romanticism of the jungle, calm and majestic, but brimming with unknown excitement.  Plus, all the colors made for a really pretty composition!

Some play with overexposure results in this gorgeous and colorful scene next to Aladdin's Oasis.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Buena Vista Packard

There's a very distinctive prop near the entrance to Disney California Adventure. It's a 1937 Packard Coupe, a stylish, sophisticated, elegant American automobile.  The model year reflects the same year that Snow White and the Seven Dwarves debuted at the Carthay Circle Theater (by all accounts, this is coincidental, though).  The car itself serves as a regal relic of that bygone era that permeates the story of Buena Vista Street.  And it's a fun exercise to take photos of this gorgeous piece of American manufacturing.

The Packard is a representation of Dick Tracy's vehicle.
The hood ornament recalls the elegance of a bygone era.
Another angle of the gorgeous hood ornament.
A close-up at the left head light.  They don't make cars like this anymore.
The license plate doesn't happen to represent anything. This is literally a real car the Imagineers found.
Packard brand ended in 1959.
A pristine whitewall tire. Luigi might be proud!
The sleek lines of the front grill.
This car belies the romanticism of the 1930s... before the Great Depression, of course.
Sharp-eared guests might even notice a murder mystery playing on the radio from the speakers overhead in Oswald's Filling Station, to go along with the Dick Tracy theme!
Special thanks to Austen from Disney Park Secrets with help on some of the little fun facts related to this iconic piece of Buena Vista Street theming!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Stark Expo Presents

Last last Saturday (April 13th), Innoventions unveiled a new attraction--an Iron Man exhibit featuring seven Iron Man suits from the three movies produced by Marvel.  Along with it is an interactive motion capture exhibit that allows guests to virtually don the Iron Man suit and take it for a spin, going through projectile and flying exercises.  The exhibit is pretty neat, especially for comic book and Marvel cinematic universe fans, and this marks the first appearance of Marvel content at Disneyland park.  With Marvel now under Disney's fold, it certainly won't be the last, especially if the popularity of the exhibit says anything.

Different iterations of the Iron Man armor, from the original MK I to the brand new MK XLII, are on display.
It's interesting to see Innoventions busy after so many years of languishing as "that place to go inside when it's hot," but this is definitely a good thing.  I'll post more photos from the exhibit next week, focusing more in detail, but for now, enjoy these overview shots from the hall of armor!

View of the line of armor from the left side
The line of armor from the right.
The newest version in the foreground.
Getting fancy with an artful shot.  The detail and articulation is pretty incredible! Great costuming!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Tower to Soarin'

A staple of Disney California Adventure since the park opened, Soarin' Over California features a breathtaking IMAX flight through scenic locales throughout the state of California.  This gentle, gliding, giant motion simulator is a constant hit, and is sure to have decent lines on most days. It was so successful that the attraction was even brought over to Florida and branded as "Soarin'," at EPCOT.  It's definitely can't-miss feature of DCA!

The entrance way to Soarin' Over California.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Chipmunk Tree

On the west end of Mickey's Toontown, next to Gadget's Go Coaster, stands the Chip 'n' Dale Treehouse.  In its heyday, this was a fun playground area for kids, with a slide, exploration stairs, and ball pit. Unfortunately, over time, some of these elements were removed due to lawsuits or the threat of lawsuits, so today, it's simply a space where children can clamber up and inside of the tree where Disney's most loveable chipmunks live.  Feel free to drop on by and go nuts!

Chip 'n' Dale Treehouse, in Toon Town.

Friday, April 19, 2013

French Market Cuisine

A couple of months ago, the French Market, in New Orleans Square, updated their menu with some revised offerings. Among them are two new sourdough bread bowls--great, filling meals, especially on a cool day.  I've had the chance to try them, and I can say that they're mighty tasty.  Do they compare to the tried and true clam chowder favorite? Hard to say--it's more of a preference issue based on the ingredients. But I don't think you'll be disappointed ordering either new bread bowl!

The Slow Roasted Lousiana Beef is flavorful and full of tender meat and hearty peas and potatoes.

The Corn Chowder is exceptionally corn-y, and I actually would liked more chowder. But it's sweet and delicious!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Old Lagoon

Sometimes, I feel compelled to post a photo, not because it depicts a spectacular scene, but because it depicts a unique one, or frames a view I don't commonly see.  Such is the image below, taken from near the old loading platform of an area now called Fantasy Gardens.  For many decades, this area was home to a tracked boat ride called the Motor Boat Cruise that was essentially the aquatic companion to the Autopia.  Relatively light on theming but lush with verdant plants and vegetation, this provided a calm and relaxing drift through the waters bordering Fantasyland and Tomorrowland.  Today, not much happens here beyond diners staking out a spot to eat and soak in the sun.  But it's a serene spot, for sure, and that feeling of calm is what attracted me to the composition below.

The lagoon of the old Motor Boat Cruise.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Hub in Bloom

Last month, I noted the wonderful color and vibrance that is the center of Disneyland during springtime.  This month, I bring you some more photos from the area, with slightly different angles of the Partners Statue and more glimpses of those gorgeous magenta blossoms that surround the central hub at the Happiest Place on Earth!

And if you haven't seen it yet, be sure to check out my Springtime at The Hub video for a cinematic look at this invigorating time of year!

The Hub is alive with activity on this gorgeous day!
A closer look at Walt and Mickey.
The Matterhorn and Astro Orbtier loom in the background.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Animation Courtyard

In addition to being a wonderfully air conditioned space optimized to escape warm days, the Animation Courtyard is a splendid locale to relax and take in some breathtaking scenes and artwork from some of Disney's most well known classics.  Be it animation cels, conceptual art, rough sketches, or majestic canvases, there is plenty of eye candy to behold for those who enjoy the artistic creativity behind Disney and Pixar animated features.

Scenes from Fantasia, from the sprite that beckons spring to the infamous Chernabog.

Paintings from Finding Nemo.

Fantasia 2000 is also featured.

The Bear Necessities accompany scenes from The Jungle Book.

The Toy Story series gets its own treatment.

Most of it focuses on the third installment.

A "Character Close-Up"... of Mulan!
The wonderful scenes of Paris from Ratatouille.

Snapshots from the kitchen.

The eerie grandeur of The Lion King reminds everyone just how incredible this film was.

It's fantasic to see these scenes from Cars and then step into Cars Land a few minutes away!

The vibrant colors and enchanting ambiance of Tangled.

The Colors of the Wind are on full display with Pocahontas.

The Little Mermaid brings into part of her world.
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