Monday, December 28, 2009

Just a tiny break

Darn that scheduling thing, I had a note to go up on 12/26, but it didn't post. I'm taking an eensy break until 1/1! I'm compiling some research to go with all my photos of the park. See you guys soon!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Disneyland Nov. 2009

Lights over New Orleans Square


Here's wishing you all a lovely Disney holiday!

Disneyland has decorations up until January 3rd.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

King of the Christmas party

Disneyland Nov. 2009


This wreath hangs in the front of New Orleans Square. The jester gets to overlook it all, and every year I am amazed that it doesn't fall down.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Decorations on Main Street

Disneyland Nov. 2009


Here are the tops of Main Street USA all decked out. You can see the giant tree lit up in the background.

Main Street USA decoration facts:
- 7,410 total feet of ribbon is used to make 812 bows. That’s 1.4 miles of ribbon!
- 79,000 ornaments all throughout Main Street.
- 2,015 feet of garland
- 10,395 lights make everything sparkle and just a little bit brighter.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Main Street Christmas Tree

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They don't kid around with Christmas trees!

I'm dashing off to Disneyland for the evening right now, but I will definitely look up information and facts about this giant tree when I return tonight. Assuming I'm not crashing from all the sugar anyway. :)

Edit: Okay, here's a few facts:
- there 2,000 ornaments on the Christmas tree- it's 60' tall and weighs 13 tons.
- the tree has 60,000 lights
- the lighting and the electrical alone weigh over 5,000 pounds
- up until a few years ago, they somehow carted down a real tree from Northern California. They are now using an artificial tree to be more "green"

Monday, December 21, 2009

Soft lights

Disneyland Nov. 2009


Just a few more days of Christmas decorations, I promise. I'll only post until Christmas Day, not until when Disneyland takes them down.

This wreath and light are tucked over by Fantasyland. I sat by this wreath while contemplating the very long line for It's a Small World. I decided to pass on the ride and get hot chocolate instead.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Giant snowflakes

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These giant blue snowflakes sit atop the entrace gate. They are among the first Christmas decorations you'll see (other than a few in Downtown Disney). They set the tone. I really wouldn't mind have some of those fake caps of snow to put around the house this time of the year. I guess that isn't impossible considering I live with a propmaker.

I haven't got a shot of this at night yet, but I'm going to the park for a birthday celebration Tuesday night and will try to grab one!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Honey Pot Tree in Pooh's Corner

Disneyland Nov. 2009

If you remember, my favorite place to get treats is Pooh's Corner over in Critter Country. This tree is tucked away in a corner. The bulbs are covered in honey. Bows, hunny pots, and pine cones complete the decorations.

Friday, December 18, 2009

It's a Small World Wreath

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Lots of different wreaths adorn the area around It's a Small World. There are lots of colors and themes.

I'm beginning to feel pangs of sympathy for the people that have to take all these decorations down.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin

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Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin is one of just a couple of rides in Toontown. Because of it's popularity, it actually has a Fast Pass. As you might guess, it's based on the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. You board a cartoon cab and race through scenes from the movie. The line for the ride is entertaining too. As entertaining as lines can be. Lots of props and fun scenes from the movie.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Tree in Toontown

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I can't resist close-ups of ornaments on Christmas trees and wreaths. This brightly decorated tree can be found in Toontown!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Goofy's Playhouse

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Another area in Toontown for the kiddies to crawl around, play, and most importantly, get exhausted!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Donald Duck's Boat

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Since Christmas is approaching at a frightening pace, I will be sharing lots of Disneyland's Christmas decorations until then. It is the holidays, and I also have lot of photos of the decorations. :)

Even though I am a fan of pink and purple, I think I like the colors of Donald Duck's decorations better. He has a boat in Toontown; it's called The Miss Daisy. You can climb a rope ladder, scale a staircase, or just take photos from the outside like I did.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Minnie's Christmas Tree

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Is anyone surprised that the tree outside Minnie's house in Toontown is pink and purple?

Nah, I didn't think so.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sandy Claws

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The Christmas formula


Jack Skellington spent many hours figuring out just how Christmas worked and what it was about. He didn't get it quite right, as is evident by the "Sandy Claws" note. This giant list is rolled down the front of the Haunted Mansion for the holiday.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Mickey's Toontown

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The decorated hills of Toontown


Mickey's Toontown is stylized, a fake town based on a cartoon town seen in the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Spend just a little time in this back area of the park, and you'll begin to think that the hills are real. They have that kind of effect. You can visit Mickey's house, Minnie's house, and Donald's boats. There are few rides back here that are fun to check out. Everything is decked out for the holidays!

Keep an eye on time if you want to visit this area of the park; it usually closes early because of fireworks.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Jack Sparrow, Captain

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Cap'n Jack Sparrow


The appearance of Jack Sparrow and the Pirates of the Caribbean flicks was what brought Pirate's Lair into existence. This painting of Jack was also added to the wall in the queue area for the ride. This is one of the very few photos I have of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride because I haven't quite got manual settings down and there is no way I'm going to take flash photos and blind the other passengers.

Animatronic Jack Sparrows were added throughout the ride right about the time "Dead Man's Chest" came out. Somewhere on the net there is a video of Johnny Depp riding through to see the additions, and his reaction to the animatronic version of himself is quite funny.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Treasure!!

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I really wouldn't mind having some of that treasure!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Welcome to Pirate's Lair

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Okay, this might have been the more appropriate photo to post first. Ah well.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Bones and treasure

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Of course there have to be skeletons and treasure on a place called Pirate's Lair...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Pirate's Lair

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Shipwrecked


In 2007, Tom Sawyer's Island became the Pirate's Lair. You still get to it by raft, though a rowboat may be more appropriate. Of course, it doesn't transport as many people though. ;) Many of the new elements of course, reflect the new Pirates of the Caribbean characters. You can visit the Dead Man's Grotto, Smuggler's Cove, and a Shipwreck among other destinations.

"Many a pirate's boot has trod upon this slip of land. And many's the adventure begun here. Keep your wits about you in your travels on the island, for there's treasure and danger here in equal measure. X Marks the spot you seek. Good luck, matey!"
—— Explorer's Map of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

Friday, December 4, 2009

Just a lamp

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They might just be lamp posts, but look up at them anyway. You never know what you'll see...

(I just realized this didn't actually publish yesterday).

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Even fairies sleep

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Tinkerbell's bed

Of course Tinkerbell has a tiny, adorable bed. What else would you expect? I found this gem by looking up in the Tinkerbell store. I can't remember if it's open any longer though. It was tucked into the side of Sleeping Beauty's Castle in Fantasyland, but I think it's been incorporated into the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique (yeah, that's actually the name).

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Balcony over Rancho del Zocalo

Disneyland Nov. 2009


You know one tip that should be included in my list?

Look up. In Frontierland, you'll find charming balconies like this one over the Rancho del Zocalo restaurant (you can probably tell - we eat there a lot). In New Orleans Square the balconies showcase rocking chairs and sometimes, folks will throw beads at you. In the stores even, there are often lovely displays around the top few feet of the walls. Keep your eyes peeled, they barely leave an inch untouched at Disneyland. I'll post some of my "looking up" finds over the rest of the week.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Over New Orleans Square - Daytime View

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And this is what the decoratiosn look like during the daylight hours...

Monday, November 30, 2009

Over New Orleans Square

Disneyland Nov. 2009


New Orleans Square is decorated in decadent style for the holidays. Strings of lights and giant ornaments hang across the shops. Decorations practically drip from the balconies. Even the light posts are dressed up with feathers, masks, glitter, and ornaments.

A couple of weekends ago I was determined to get a decent shot of the street after the sun went down. The moon happened to be in the perfect place, so I stood in the same spot for about fifteen minutes and played with my camera. I used a trash can as a makeshift tripod. I think this is one of the best Christmas light shots I've ever taken.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Frontierland Christmas

Disneyland Nov. 2009

Just outside Rancho del Zocalo restaurant


I like the subtle touch of the Christmas decorations in Frontierland. They are rustic and just blend perfectly. These garlands are a perfect example!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Storybook Land Canal Boats

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Tiny village in Storybook Land


One of my favorite rides, or maybe my absolute favorite, is the Storybook Land Canal ride. I love miniatures, I love Disney, so cruising through miniature lands of all my favorite Disney characters? Pretty darn perfect. Once you float through Monstro the whale's stomach, you tour a host of tiny villas: Pinocchio's village, Toad Hall, the Sultan's Palace, Cinderella's village, the dwarf's cottage, and Prince Eric's castle among others. I learned something new on my last trip to Disneyland. They decorate the tiny homes with tiny Christmas decorations. Itty bitty wreathes, garlands, and trees!! I nearly died of cuteness.

Little tip - if your boat guide's name tag notes that they speak French and the other guests are willing, ask them to give the tour in French. It's too funny.

Friday, November 27, 2009

It's a Small World

Disneyland Nov. 2009


A handful of attractions and areas really get dressed up for the holidays at Disneyland, and it's a small world is one of them. The inside and outside are transformed; even the song is different. Here are the facts about the transformation straight from the copy of Backstage Pass I just received:

- it takes 20 cast members working 17 10-12 hour days straight to transform the interior
- the outside is dressed in 350,000 watts of light
- 150,000 mini lights are used just in the trees, hedges, and topiaries
- 25,0000' of extension cables and 18,000' of electrical tape are used

Wow. As you can imagine, the line for this attraction gets a lot longer this time of year, plan accordingly.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

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None of my photos from Disneyland really say Happy Thanksgiving, so how about a Christmas wreath? Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Treats from Pooh's Corner

Disneyland Nov. 2009


Part of any trip to Disneyland is the traditional eating of lots of sugar. And they make it remarkably easy to do. My favorite place to get candy or chocolate covered Rice Krispie treats or cookies is Pooh's Corner over in Critter Country. Appropriately, it's right by the exit of the Winnie the Pooh ride. I recommend the chocolate covered pretzels because they are also covered in nuts and caramel. Yeah, the thought of it makes my teeth ache.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lily lights

Disneyland Nov. 2009


Over in New Orleans Square, right by the train station and the mint julep bar, you'll find these lily lights. Pretty by day, prettier by night. I played around with the manual settings on my camera and captured this, which is easily the best photo I've taken of a light.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sleeping Beauty's Winter Castle

Disneyland Nov. 2009


Saturday night I got to see the Christmas lights of Disneyland at night for the first time. We were over in Tomorrowland when it got fully dark. We started the walk over to Critter Country to get some chocolate covered pretzels at Pooh's Corner, and I caught a glimpse of one of the castle turrets. This is cheesy, but it took my breath away. It was magical. Yep, I said it. The dancing blue lights are breathtaking. The castle is transformed with LEDs and lots of artifical snow and icicles. We paused beside the moat and enjoyed the reflection of the lights in the water.

You can make magic happen at your house too. Do you have room for 80,000 LED lights? And big pockets for the accompanying electric bill.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Deck the castle

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Sleeping Beauty's Castle


Last year, the first time I saw the Christmas decorated castle I thought it was just gorgeous. Somehow we weren't able to stay until dark, so I'd never seen it or anything else actually lit up. But last night, I finally did. And the castle? Absolute magic once the sun goes down. Enjoy the daytime shot for now, and hopefully I got a few of the castle last night that will do it justice.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hidden tree in New Orleans Square

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This little nook in New Orleans Square is almost a guaranteed place to catch five-ten minutes of quiet and relative peace. On busy days, the only folks back here are usually the caricature artists and a handful of people exiting the gallery upstairs. On less busy days, there is no one. If I'm feel overloaded or worn down by the crowds, if we're in the area, we usually pop in here. As you can see, it is beautifully decorated for the holidays.

Today, after I complete a goal, my reward is a trip to Disneyland. I have two goals there: take tons of photos and try the new BBQ place in Big Thunder Ranch.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Disneyland Christmas

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Christmas in New Orleans Square


Even if you are in a bah humbug mood and get annoyed with anyone or any company putting up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving, do a Google search for Disneyland Christmas. As you might guess, they do it up right and proper. The decorations went up November 13 and will be up January 4. I hope to be visiting this weekend! I will be sharing lots of my favorite Disneyland Christmas photos over the next weeks.

New Orleans Square has my favorite decorations. Every balcony and store window and lamp post are dripping with glass ornaments, feathers, and lights. I wandered around taking tons of photos, my goal this year is to get more photos at night!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Little Mermaid

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Ariel


Ariel, looking out over her small grotto. Here's to 2011!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ariel's Grotto

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King of the sea


After the Tinker Bell movie, the little flying fairies moved their Pixie Hollow into the home of Ariel's Grotto. It opened in November 2008. It happened quietly too, I visited once and it was Ariel's home and then next time, it was a forest of giant fake blades of grass and a pretty light show. At least Ariel's going to get an attraction.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Under the sea

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Little Mermaid window display on Main Street

I've been talking about Finding Nemo, so what about another Disney ocean sensation? The Little Mermaid doesn't have a ride, and I've never thought that was very fair. She's my favorite princess, I'm a slightly biased. I mean, there was Ariel's Grotto. That was something. But recently some little pixies took over that area.

So imagine my delight when I popped into California Adventures a few months ago and saw a sign proclaiming "The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Adventure, Coming Spring 2011." I'm pretty sure I jumped up and down and squealed like a five year old. I can't wait until 2011...just a couple of years away. Until then, I'll just admire this window display on Main Street.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Finding Nemo

Disneyland

Submarine from Finding Nemo


Let me just go ahead and spoil something for you. You do find Nemo on this ride.

The Finding Nemo ride took over the Submarine Voyage which was around until 1998. Nemo and his dad Marlin took over in June 2007. The ride still has parts of the of the original. You take off through a coral reef from the original ride. You spot Darla (the scary fish-killing niece) and soon you dive deeper in a fury of small bubbles. The entire gang from the movie starts showing up via projections on silk scrims. Marlin and Dory search fror Nemo throughout the ocean. Along the way they meet Crush, jellyfish, Bruce the Shark and his friends, scary fish with sharp teeth, Nemo, and a humpback whale. The submarine is in danger several times. Don't worry, you get through okay.

After you escape a whale, you head towards port. The sub captain says, "We better get out of here before we see a sea serpent or mermaid." This refers to the prior attraction which featured four mermaids and a gigantic sea serpent. Keep your eyes peeled because right after he says this, you can see two coral formations - one shaped like the sea serpent's head and the other shaped like a swimming mermaid.

It's a really adorable ride. Super fun sculpts and the projections are flawless. It is definitely worth at least one ride!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

In a yellow submarine

Disneyland Halloween


I climbed in a yellow submarine the last time I was at Disneyland for Finding Nemo's Submarine Voyage. This ride opened just a couple of years ago, and I'll be honest - the line is usually a bit too long for me. However, because of a long delay at the ticket booth (we were renewing our passes and a new cast member was processing), we got a pass to get in the front of any line for any ride. We didn't even complain about the wait, just stood there patiently, but they just handed it to us anyway. After careful consideration, we decided on Nemo because we've only been on it once. I almost always pass over it once I see the line. It was nice to walk past the over an hour line and crawl right into a submarine. I took this photo just as we were chugging away into the deep ocean.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Snow White's Lanterns

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Okay, so maybe they are not Snow White's own personal lanterns, but they do adorn Snow White's scary adventures ride. I like these because they are simple and kind of majestic. I'm done posting this round of lights at Disneyland. I shall post some more next month.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Flower lights in Fantasyland

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These lights can also be found towards the Alice in Wonderland ride in Fantasyland. They are a very blue glass lilies that are illuminated to a lovely shade of aqua at night...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tarzan's Treehouse base camp

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This little lantern is found at the base camp at the bottom of Tarzan's treehouse. Even if you don't feel like climbing up the steps and walking around the treehouse, check out this area at the bottom. And this tip goes for everything at Disneyland, look closely. You'll find something new in the details every time.

Adventureland is my favorite part of the park at night time. With the presence of actual trees and just the right amount of lighting, it feels somehow disconnected from the rest of the park. It's a little dimmer than other lands. It feels like you're in your own tiny world. With a few hundred of your closest friends.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Glass stars

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Lights in Rancho del Zocalo restaurant


The lights in the Mexican restaurant in Frontierland are like paper lanterns - but made of glass. There are several of them, dozens probably, hung up in the restaurant. At night, they throw pinpoints of light all over the walls. It is sparkly and lovely.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

More lights in Fantasyland

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Lights in Fantasyland


These lights are my second favorites. They look like they have tissue paper bits folding into the glass. They are like mosaics and are quite beautiful night or day.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Lights of Disneyland

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Lights over the spinning tea cups


One of my favorite details at Disneyland is the lighting. Every land or ride has its unique touches to make the lighting match. Each place is unique.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fogs and light

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A total accidental capture from Pirates of the Caribbean.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Browsing on Main Street

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Magic Carpet Ride


I always enjoy looking at the window displays on Main Street. As with all things at Disneyland, the attention to detail is impeccable!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Turning towards Christmas

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Believe me, I get as grumbly as anyone when the Christmas decorations show up just after Halloween. Or often, they show up at the beginning of October. I don't mind it at Disneyland though!