Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Turning Another Year

Another year has come and gone, and it's time to turn the page to a new year.  This year will be the first time in several years where I will not be spending New Year's Eve at the Disneyland Resort.  But in the spirit of looking back, I wanted to share some photos from last New Year's Eve, around Carthay Circle.  Last year, the Tim Gill All-Stars provided jazz for the evening here.  It was a fantastic atmosphere and part of a great line-up of entertainment around Disney California Adventure that included the dance party of the recently halted Mad T Party as well as a special New Year's Eve version of World of Color right at midnight. 

Even though the Resort is notoriously crowded during this time of year, DCA still remains relatively calm. Of course, lines are much longer than during other times of the year, but the crowds never teeter toward that cattle herding stage where everyone is shoulder to shoulder and slowly waddling toward a common destination.  So for those who want to spend New Year's Eve at the Happiest Place on Earth, I do recommend ending it at Disneyland's sister park.  Get some Disneyland rides in the morning, then relax on the other side.  It will still be a wonderful way to ring in the new year!

Carthay Circle is lit up and decorated with balloons and a festive atmosphere.

The Tim Gill All-Stars provide jazz sets every hour.

There's great music, both vocal and instrumental!

The jazz music gives a classy feel to Buena Vista street, befitting the area's atmosphere.

The holiday garland around the land add to the celebratory ambiance.

Some guests even indulge in some impromptu swing dancing as they enjoy the vibe!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Frozen Dreams of Color

World of Color: Winter Dreams has been back for this year's holiday season.  Coming off the unprecedented success of Frozen, the show has been retooled with even more Frozen content.  As a consequence, from my point of view, it comes off a little more disjointed this year. And even though I did enjoy the film, I have to admit to being a little bit overloaded with all the Frozen content in everywhere these days.  Of course, the film's popularity continues to thrill children everywhere, so it's really a no brainer for Disney to continue pushing the content.  It's just that in this case, the end result wasn't quite as refined.  That is only my opinion, of course.  I'm sure there are many who love the new version of the show.  Here are a few photos I took from my recent viewing.











Monday, December 29, 2014

A Small World of Wonder

On my last trip to Disneyland, I realized that I had not shot It's a Small World Holiday from the right side of the ride.  I've shot it from the left side, where the boats exit and return to the loading station, and centered, but I had never thought to catch the side where the boats enter the show building.  So with that in mind, I headed over to see what shots I could get. Fortunately, there was a little nook where I could take a close shot to the facade without interrupting the line for the attraction.  And I like how the resulting picture came out! Hopefully, so do you.

A brightly lit facade as the canal starts into It's a Small World Holiday.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Story of Arendelle

Last weekend also marked the unveiling of a new addition to the Storybook Land Canal Boats.  Towards the end of the ride, where the windmill from The Old Mill was situated, there is now the beautiful kingdom of Arendelle, home to Anna and Elsa from Frozen. In the mountains beyond is Elsa's ice castle.  The portside palace is artfully recreated, and there are delightful bits of detail throughout.

Approaching Arendelle when guests first exit Monstro's tail and enter Storybook Lane.
I was only able to get nighttime shots, because I arrived too late to catch sunlight on this ride. But I'm moderately surprised and pleased that I was able to get pretty decent nighttime photos.  I guess that's the benefit of fast glass (these photos were shot using my Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 prime lens) and a good full frame camera with high ISO capabilities (my Nikon D600).  I hope you enjoy this newest addition to one of Fantasyland's classic attractions!

Approaching Arendelle again from the latter half of the ride.

The royal palace is beautifully lit up.

The port where Anna first met Hans is carefully recreated.

Elsa's ice castle glitters in the distance.
Even represented is Wandering Oaken's Trading Post... and Sauna!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Freeze the Night

Last Saturday was the soft open debut of "Frozen Fun," a collection of meet-and-greet's and activities in the backlot portion of Hollywood Land, culminating in the "Freeze the Night" dance party that replaced the former Mad T Party and ElecTRONica nighttime festivities that occupied the location previously.

This attraction doesn't officially debut until January; for now, the park is still finishing things up and testing show pieces, but the nighttime activities are pretty familiar to frequent goers of Disney California Adventure. They're just under a Frozen wrapping.

For this post, I wanted to share some photos from the Freeze the Night event, which is primarily a dance party for the whole family to enjoy.  However, there is also a dance exhibition put on by the "Ice Breakers" dance troupe, ice sculpture carving opposite the main music stage, and a meet-and-greet with Marshmallow over by where the House of Cards stage used to be, next to Studio 12.

And there is the obligatory singing of "Let It Go," done on this night by C.C., who co-emcees the event.  Love the movie or hate it because it's infiltrated every aspect of media, Frozen remains immensely popular, and the crowd on hand was certain with every chorus of this vocal performance. Here are some concert-style photos of the segment.











Friday, December 26, 2014

Believe! In Holiday Magic

It's Fireworks Friday, and even though it's the day after Christmas, it's still the holiday season. So lets take a look at some photos taken from Disneyland's Believe! In Holiday Magic pyrotechnics show.  These were all shot from the end of Main Street, right at the tip of Town Square, in front of the Main Street Christmas tree. It's actually one of my favorite vantage points, because it offers great framed look at the fireworks--as long as one doesn't mind being farther away!





















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