Sunday, December 10, 2017

Dreaming of a Colorful Christmas

When night falls, It's a Small World Holiday Edition is a exploding extravaganza of mesmerizing color, dazzling the visual senses with a multi-chromatic deluge.  Normally elegant and simplistic, during the holidays, this beloved family attraction becomes a gaudy tribute to all things Christmas.  It's a sensational sight to photograph, and there are always fun, saturated angles to capture!  Here are another couple for your viewing pleasure.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Carthay Tree Meets Carthay Tower

As cozy on a neighborhood scale as most of Buena Vista Street is, the Christmas tree at the end of the block, over at Carthay Circle, is impressively massive.  It towers above everything else, rivaled only by the skyscraping [relatively speaking] Carthay Circle Restaurant tower just across the lane.  Dressed in bountiful tinsel and colorful large bulbs and topped with a bright, shining star, the tree is a reminder of classic Christmas from a golden era long past. 

What a beautiful sight it makes each evening at California Adventure!

The Christmas tree at Carthay Circle reflects the classic tinsel style of Buena Vista Street during the holidays.

Friday, December 8, 2017

The Floating Christmas Tree

During the holiday season, Tokyo Disney Sea's Mediterranean Harbor has its own massive Christmas tree in the form of the conical barge that plays a prominent role as Mickey Mouse's floating stage in FANTASMIC!  The shape is creatively suited to double as a Christmas tree too, and for the remainder of the evening, it projects out ornaments and decorations on its winding display screens.  All the while, smaller sail buoys drift around the harbor, serving as miniature satellite trees for the big centerpiece.  Pretty charming, I'd say!

A floating Christmas tree stands majestically in Mediterranean Harbor.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

New Orleans Noel Nights

Like I mentioned last month, New Orleans Square is magical at night during the holiday season.  The hanging Christmas lights and ornaments add sparkle and warmth to the French Quarter streets, and it feels like any view provides a scene of noel calm.  Here are a few more snapshots around the Louisiana neighborhood of Disneyland!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Holidays in Tokyo Toontown

Tokyo's Toontown is pristine.  And of course it is... it's Tokyo Disneyland, where everything is immaculate, because that's the Japanese standard of quality.  When you add Christmas to this, you get a truly charming and beautifully adorable iteration of the holidays.  Throughout the home of Mickey and Minnie and Donald and Daisy and Goofy and Pluto and friends, various holiday decorations have been set out, many in cartoonishly fun form, and they make for a pretty and whimisical sight.  Here are a few more snapshots from the Christmas scene in Mickey's neighborhood.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Christmases Along the Frontier

Christmas comes in many flavors in Frontierland.  It takes on a festive affair over at the Rancho del Zocalo.  But at the Golden Horseshoe, the scene feels more rustic, fitting for the Old West.  The same can be said over at the Shooting Exposition.  But at the end of the night, there's always that peaceful holiday serenity in the air.  That makes for a nice noel indeed!

A quiet Christmas scene at Rancho del Zocalo.
A rainy holiday evening in front of the Golden Horseshoe.
The Frontierland Shooting Exposition gets festive during the winter.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Cinderlla's Castle at Christmas

I'll be frank.  Although this blog boasts being one of the few with nice photos of all 12 Disney theme parks around the world, I don't really post much from Walt Disney World.  This is because my only cache of photos from Disney's Florida resort come from way back in 2009, when I was--lets put it bluntly--not a very good photographer at all.  As a result, compared to what I post today, nothing I really have feels worthwhile.

Fortunately, some parts of Disney World yield amazing photos regardless of photographer skill.  For example, the Cinderella Castle at night during Christmas time.  Since 2007, the park icon has been transformed by Castle Dream Lights during the holiday season, glistening with draped icicles of light.  It makes for a beautiful scene, and even if the example below isn't up to my usual standards of even exposure, I still think the scene is pretty majestic!

Cinderella's winter castle glistens in the holiday night.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

New York Holidays

The New York portion of Tokyo Disney Sea's American Waterfront features a beautifully gritty representation of the Big Apple at the end of the Industrial Age.  The automobile is beginning its dominance, but rail still has a large presence, and the low rise density is only occasionally interrupted by a standout tower (like the Hotel Hightower, for instance).  This is the nostalgic view of America's first metropolis.  An urban port of call with a neighborhood scale despite its big city emergence.  And during Christmas time, the charm is even more enhanced, taking on a Rockwell vibe.  After all, back in the early 1900s, Christmas in the city was quite the stylish thing to do!

Much like it's namesake, the New York City portion of American Waterfront is bustling by day.
In a certain way, this is Tokyo Disney Sea's Main Street, even though it's to the side.
By the end of the night, the streets have grown quiet.
But the Christmas decorations still add beauty and magic to the air!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Another Main Street Holiday

It's hard to beat the stroll through a bustling Main Street U.S.A. during the holidays.  The inviting storefronts, but lovely holly and ornaments and wreaths, the Christmas spirit and seasonal shopping... they all recall the days of old.  If Disneyland is Americana nostalgia, Christmas time amplifies that.  So here's another series of snapshots through the area.  Just a hint of the spirit of the season!

The Disneyland Railroad Main Street Station looks lovely amidst the afternoon sky.
Main Street's buildings are full of holiday ornaments.
A wreath on a gas-lit lamp evokes nostalgic feelings.
Stores and restaurants all down Main Street have gotten into the holiday spirit!
This year, the overhead wreaths are back, courtesy of not having to accommodate Paint the Night.

Friday, December 1, 2017

The World Bazaar Tree

Walking up a "Main Street" of any Disney Magic Kingdom Park during the holidays is always a cozy, nostalgic affair.  The turn of century Victorian-esque style plays very well to the classic Christmas ambiance.  And even at Tokyo Disneyland, where Main Street is not "Main Street" at all, but rather something called the World Bazaar, the atmosphere still sparkles with holiday spirit.  The only difference is the giant glass roof over everything to protect against snow. 

The World Bazaar--Tokyo Disneyland's Main Street--stands peacefully at the end of a holiday night.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Two Rides, Two Holidays

It feels especially appropriate to cast this favorite view of mine in a golden, autumn light.  The Haunted Mansion Holiday is a favorite bi-seasonal attraction, and the mansion feels a little extra eerie peeking out of the trees from a distance.  The warmth of the setting sun also feels appropriate to the palette of the fall in general.  It all makes for just a nice, pleasant, tranquil scene!

The Haunted Mansion Holiday in front of Splash Mountain.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Yuletide Royal Street

During Christmas time, one of the most beautiful places in Disneyland Park is New Orleans Square.  With its French Quarter charm mixed with a bouquet of twinkling lights and colorful holiday ornaments, this area is a truly romantic walk.  The spirit of the season is imbued with a sense of festival joy, and even at the end of the night, after the park has closed, the evening's energy still shines up and down Royal Street!

The classic New Orleans Square Christmas scene.
Royal Street glistens in the holiday spirit.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Roasting on an Open Fire

I wrote last year about what a vast improvement World of Color: Seasons of Light was over the previous Christmas World of Color iteration.  There's plenty of heart, emotion, joy, and especially warmth.  In fact, my favorite part of the show comes during a segment that starts off with Goofy plugging in a Christmas scene, followed by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's "Wizards in Winter" orchestrating a visual feast of colorful strobes, lasers, and fire.  It's the fire part that really wows the audience.  The flamethrowers shoot forth a pyrotechnic display that heats up Paradise Pier, punctuating in a giant blast that leaves a fiery plume in the air.  It's an impressive and spectacular display and certainly a climactic high point in the show.  And though the rest of the show is plenty of high quality as well, this moment is the most memorable for me.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Oogie Gingerbread Boogie

The gingerbread house at the Haunted Mansion Holiday is a brand new creation every single year.  The creative and whimsical designs of the past have made this little ballroom scene element an anticipated feature of the classic dual-holiday overlay at the Haunted Mansion, and this year, Oogie Boogie has taken over things with a gingerbread house that's full of creepy crawlies.  It's pretty fantastic, though perhaps not super palatable.  Here's a quick look at the sweet abode within an abode!

Oogie Boogie has major influence over this year's Haunted Mansion gingerbread house!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Tri-Reflection of the Season

When I visited Shanghai Disneyland last year near this time, I didn't really expect Christmas decorations.  I guess I thought that since western culture has heavily commodified the holiday, a geopolitical influences would dissuade the same sort of traditional Christmas decorations at this new Chinese park that the other Disney parks had.  But my worries were just meaningless concerns, because to my pleasant surprise, Shanghai Disneyland did have holiday decorations--primarily centered around Mickey Avenue and the Gardens of Imagination, and they added some nice charm to the experience!

One of my favorite scenes was this triple reflection within the Gardens of Imagination, Shanghai Disneyland's hub-as-themed-land.  With two prominent park attractions sandwiching a towering Christmas tree in front of one of the garden waterways, the scene was a mixture of holiday festivity and park grandeur.  And it didn't hurt that this was one of the few beautiful, blue sky moments I enjoyed at the park during my visit either!

Right to left, the Fantasia Carousel, a soaring Christmas tree, and the Enchanted Storybook Castle form quite a festive skyline during the holidays at Shanghai Disneyland.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

O Carsmas Night

Christmas in Cars Land is spectacular, because the town really goes all out with its holiday decorations!  Colorful lights, creative iterations of Christmas trees, holiday-themed visual puns everywhere, and the grandeur and majestic of Ornament Valley as a backdrop.  It makes for quite a lovely scene.  And the crowds agree--Cars Land is packed, especially during the holidays.  But at the end of the night, it's time to sweep away the dust and energy of the previous day and take the night to rest.  Tomorrow will be more of the same.

Clearing things out at the end of a holiday night on the main drag of Radiator Springs.

Friday, November 24, 2017

A Blue Buena Christmas

Christmas season started a few weeks ago at the Disneyland Resort, but now that Thanksgiving has passed, it's definitely well underway for even the Scroogiest of holiday deniers.  And by that, I mean the people who insist on taking one holiday at a time (I'm actually in that camp).  From today, it's a sprint into the holiday season, with its warm tidings and noel greetings and cheer and joy for all.  It can be a hectic time of year, but hopefully, we all have a chance to slow down and enjoy the spirit and heart of Christmas time!

The Buena Vista Christmas tree towers beside the Carthay Circle Restaurant.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

An Evening Outside the Theater

The Broadway Music Theater is a lovely, New York style entertainment building that houses the ever-popular Big Band Beat, an incredible live jazz and dance show featuring a host of talented performers, plus Mickey Mouse, Minnie, Daisy, and Goofy.  It's such a hot show that the park requires a lottery for those wishing to to have an orchestra level seat after the first showing, and guests wait in line throughout the day for the all-general admission first performance or the stand-by of subsequent shows. 

The theater building itself deserves some merit too.  It's elegant brick and stone facade glows with the bright lights of Broadway theater, and the New York style street scene is evocative of the golden age of jazz, back in the early half of the 20th century.  And at the end of the night, when the crowds have died down, it makes for a beautiful, romantic sight!

The Broadway Music Theater hosts one of the best Disney shows out there, Big Band Beat!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Many Faces of Ornament Leota

Madame Leota always has a penchant for the disembodied, but during Halloween through Christmas season, she's decoratively anti-gravitational.  In her seance room, she floats around within a giant Christmas ornament of a crystal ball, calling out to the spirits beyond, reciting the gifts she's received from her ghoul love.  And through it all, her expressions are varied and pointed!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Oh Christmas Buoy!

The holidays at the Disneyland Resort bring with them plenty of Christmas trees, and especially at Disney California Adventure, they come in different and creative forms.  There are the trees that look like trees--towering evergreens clad with tinsel and ornaments.  But there are more abstract forms, especially in places like Cars Land and even parts of Grizzly Peak.  The same is true in Pacific Wharf, where the "trees" are actually buoys, floating blissfully in the water.  Each topped by its own star, with string lights stretched from top to bottom, they are a serene reminder of the holiday spirit!

Floating buoys act as Christmas trees in the water of Pacific Wharf.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Dapper Day Fall 2017: The Variety

Dapper Day was a little less busy for me this fall. Compared to my previous few visits, when i was trying to capture as much as possible, I took it easier this time and photographed people either when it was convenient, if I knew them, or if they were in a particularly spectacular group.  So I figured I'd post most of the rest of my photos today to showcase the variety of styles that can be found at this biannual event! 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Under the Sea

Mermaid Lagoon is Tokyo Disney Sea's "kiddie area," but wow, is it a spectacular "kiddie area!"  Although there is an outdoor portion with a Vekoma roller coaster family roller coaster called Flounder's Flying Fish Coaster, most of the attractions are located in an indoor portion, beautifully lit, reflecting Triton's kingdom.  There are several flat rides here, along with a popular live stage theater, but it's pretty impressive how beautiful everything looks overall.  Compare that with a land like A Bug's Land, at California Adventure, which has similar content but much less elaborate theming, and you realize yet another reason why Tokyo Disney Sea is a wondrous Sea of Dreams.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Happy Birthday to the Mouse

Today is Mickey Mouse's 89th birthday, and he's certainly never looked better!  The Mouse that started it all made his debut back in 1928 in a little short film called Steamboat Willie, and the rest, as they say, is history.  Through the years, Mickey--along with his dear Minnie and his friends, Donald, Daisy, Pluto, Goofy, and the whole gang--have delighted audiences of all ages.  But without Mickey, Disney would not be the timeless cultural phenomenon it is today.  Happy birthday, Mickey!  It's sure swell!

Walt and Mickey in The Hub.
A partner through and through.
Mickey Mouse at an iconic moment in FANTASMIC!
Mickey Mouse Paints the Night.

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