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Orange Bird Photo Hunt



Entries in Disneyland (48)


Trip Report- Disneyland/Disney Cruise 10-2011

We’ve never done a trip report before. But recently all of us have visited multiple properties and thought it would be fun to share a few things.

My wife and I enjoyed the Disney Cruise with another couple. Before boarding The Wonder out of Los Angeles we hung out at Disneyland for a couple days. My wife had just finished working and playing for a week at Walt Disney World. I was so proud of her ability to compare all six domestic parks so well. How attractive is that.

California Adventure was all-walls, as I mentioned in the previous post. Ok not all walls but there were plenty of walls, each adorned with those great attraction posters. What better way to enjoy a plywood maze than with great stylized artwork. Really, these posters are fantastic.

Both ladies in the group were/are pregnant (that’s right, my wife and I are expecting our first). The other guy and myself are artists/designers so the geeky art talk was great.

The Little Mermaid ride was a deeeelight. Really. We all agreed it was the highlight of the day. And the highlight of the ride for me was those dang cute animatronics. Especially the two Scuttle figures. I love the classic nature of the ride and feel it’s a win for everyone– perhaps especially for us fans of traditional disney rides. Later in the week I had a great conversation with a famous Little Mermaid animator who had some great comments about the ride. Look for that conversation in the next post.

Grizzly River Run. I realized how much I love the Grizzly River Run which I had not been on for over ten years. I do wish there were some fun animal animatronics though. Hint hint to Disney. Maybe some fun Nature’s Wonderland gags goin’ on around the rapids?

Cars Land. Of all park real estate this could have been built on, they chose the least offensive. They didn’t violate sacred ground. In other words, it didn’t go in Disneyland, Magic Kingdom, or Epcot. Although I’m sure management can picture its duplicate right on top of the Tomorrowland Grand Prix, Magic Kingdom. Quick grumble: Just because something is well crafted... doesn’t mean it is well designed. The rock work and other construction is very well crafted. But it seems they are not getting far enough away from that carnival-ish ride style that already plagues DCA...? We’ll see.

Buena Vista Street. I am digging this. See the previous post. ‘Twill be a wonderful little place. Just the charm this park entrance needs. Sorry to all those lovers of the “oversized postcard” look. That is long gone already. Side note: Complaints are floating around that the Monorail doesn’t fit the 1920s setting. True. But somehow I think it will all work out nicely. Remember, the track was there long before BVS. And remember, the futuristic Monorail has been passing by the turn-of-the-century main entrance of Disneyland for decades. Good enough reason? Anyway, just keep thinking of the charm of the Red Car Trolley.

Hooray for the usuals. Jungle Cruise, Tiki Room, Matterhorn, Splash Mountain, Storybook, etc. Pirates was closed and Mansion was holiday-ized. I do like that Jack Skellington animatronic, I must say.

The Colors of Mary Blair. I’m lovin’ the Mary Blair exhibit at the old Bank on Main Street. What a charming charming collection that is. No wonder Walt’s favorite artist was Mary Blair. Also, I’ve found in recent times that the Cast Members there and at the Opera House next door are quite helpful and knowledgeable. Hooray for that.

A bit of Epcot at Disneyland! This is a treat for anyone waiting to see Mr. Lincoln (who is also a treat). You might recognize these if you've visited The American Adventure at Epcot's World Showcase. These are miniature versions of the life-size statues on the East coast.

The moral of this part of the post: There are great things for us lovers of the old-school to enjoy and  to look forward to. Alllllthough at the same time we must continue to ignore some of the cluttery crap that has found a home in our beloved park.

Star Tours (not the cluttery crap I was referring to). Ok this enhancement is better than many fanboys might give it credit. According to this fanboy at least. Do I love the loose timelines and Jar Jars? No. But the place looks great. And how can a screen look so bright and crisp? I'm super happy that the ride pilot is a great C-3PO animtronic and not "ACE". And really, Star Tours 2.0 is the least of Tomorrowland’s problems. I didn’t see a single Rocket Rod go by the whole time I was there. Hee hee.

West Side. This is where the group decides to leave me for a couple hours. And why they don't want to watch me photograph the architectural remains of things that have been gone for forty years... your guess is as good as mine.

Spoiler alert for upcoming posts: I did some mystery solvin' for things like Frito Kid, the various extinct shooting arcades, and other former attractions and areas. Ahh the joys of finding things I have never before been able to find. Not to mention the joys of people cleaning tables telling me I'm wrong about the building I'm looking at. For the record... I was right about those buildings.


For fun. Walt in the driver seat of the old milk truck with some Boy Scouts and some girls.

More walls. Club 33 was not blocked but the exit of Pirates was. I found it interesting to see a temporary Club 33 sign on the temporary wall. For the record... Walls are not always a bad thing.

Spotted. Reese Witherspoon, her ex-husband Ryan Phillippe, their daughter, and another girl were climbing out of a Splash Mountain log as we were climbing in the same log. Shortly after we saw them buying their ride photo. Then we saw them buying bottled water. Oh those fancy Hollywood celebrities.

Trip Report Part 2 (Disney Cruise) coming next. 


Related posts:

The Era of Big and Tacky
Buena Vista Street Model
Disneyland Meets EPCOT Center
America Sings



Not Having Fun at Disneyland 

Sit back and let your eyes feast on these beautiful vintage pics of people NOT having fun at Disneyland. Ok, they WERE having fun at Disneyland except for the moments they were being photographed. Probably. 

Oh how I loved Boy Scout Days at Disneyland. I was a Boy Scout (and a Cub Scout) and lived for this one day a year. For some dumb reason I thought it was fun to wear my uniform in public at Disneyland. As if I were more important than on other non-uniformed days in the park. This is not me in the photo.

Lady, take better care of that guide map!

I'm sure the Color Gallery in Tomorrowland was loads and loads of fun. Secretly the lady and guy wearing a purse were loving it.

Nice white tuxedo and Test Track hat, kid.



I'm lovin' the double steering wheels. (Midget Autopia)

Walt is definitely not having fun.

For all those Guest Relation people who say "Walt hated Disneyland because he didn't get it right until he made Magic Kingdom"... you are still wrong. Despite his expression in this photo. Also, he never saw the Magic Kingdom.

For all you that say early Disneyland was no fun... you now have your proof. No, actually it was very very fun.


The funny thing about all these photos is that they came from Disneyland souvenir books. Books that Disney sold in the park. I used to photograph the parks for Disney and they were always so particular about the people in the shots. First of all, we had to introduce ourselves, ask the people to sign a waver, then ask them to pose a certain way. (Unless we hired professional models to act like they were guests). Additionally there were a million guidelines about diversity. There had to be non-white people somewhere in each shot. Age diversity was big, as was (believe it or not) weight diversity--not only skinny people in every pic. And of course smiles. That was huge with management. Occasionally it was asked of me, “can you Photoshop an even bigger smile on that person?”

I do prefer the very candid shots of the old days. Much more natural. Although it's always nice to at least look like you are not miserable.


Photos from the collections of the staff. ©The Walt Disney Company.


Related posts:

EYE CANDY: National Geographic Aug '63
EYE CANDY: National Geographic Aug '63 [Part 2]
1962 Disneyland Souvenir Map - High Res
Early Tomorrowland... so beautiful.
Vintage Disneyland Home Movies- Meeting Walt Disney Himself
Disneyland 1955 Model Close-ups




Vintage-izing Your Park Pics

It seems that every time I take photos of the parks I have high expectations that the photos will look stunning the moment I see them on a large screen.  Inevitably I find myself disappointed at just how booooring the pics turn out. "Golly... these look outright crummy!", I shout. 

I’m no professional photographer and I always expect to need a bit of post-production magic to make the shots look half-decent. But lately I’ve realized something else. The kinds of park photos I can’t stop staring at all come from olden-ages when unassuming tourists used actual film and entirely non-digital cameras. No really, they did. Add to that a few decades of fading hues and we get beautiful and interesting imagery.  Since I don't have one of those cameras and I don't know if stores actually sell film anymore, I'm left with digital pictures and Photoshop.

So here are a few pics I shot (all within the last year) adjusted to look not only much older but much more interesting (assuming you and I share similar taste). To the photography purist, I disclaim: no specific film or process was meant to be replicated here. These are simply supposed to look older and better than the originals. And if they look like they belong on Daveland or Gorillas Don't Blog, then mission accomplished.

So it's really isn't that difficult to do. Old photos generally have less saturated colors.  Often the blacks are not solid black but more brown, reddish, or blue in color. 



Just one of many ways to pull off the effect. Note that there are a bunch of other "vintage" photo styles you can replicate, this being just one. (Video by Mitch).