I think one of my favorite things about World of Color is the fact that like so many things Disney, once is not enough. You can’t possibly see everything or hear everything, in just one viewing. It’s far too expansive. Even if you’re not fortunate enough to find yourself in one of the premier viewing areas of Paradise Park, the areas surrounding Paradise Bay offer different perspectives, still well worth your while. We actually watched the show for our second time across the bay in front of Midway Mania, which offered us a vantage point of the eighth wonder of the world, the backside of water! Yes, I went there. Maybe the experience isn’t for everyone, as you really cannot see much of the animation. But I found the withdrawn setting peaceful. The show certainly retains its enormity from this perspective, and the you can still feel the heat from the fire. Oh yes, there’s fire.
I had no idea what to expect when we brought our cameras to shoot pictures of World of Color. Because an HDR image is a composite, it’s much easier for editing to take pictures of objects that don’t move much, if at all. World of Color is constantly moving and changing, particularly in light levels. So I decided to take my best guess for camera settings and just keep shooting. After all, something had to turn out. To my surprise and delight, it went very well. Taking multiple pictures and combining them created a much more true to life result than a single image could. The show is truly breathtaking, and if you haven’t had a chance to see it yet you are in for a real treat. Just make sure to get your Fast Pass for it early in the morning for the best view!
I hope you all had a wonderful and safe Fourth of July weekend. It’s truly a blessing to live in a country that provides us the liberty to create and enjoy a place such as Disneyland. Here at the Opera House on Main Street U.S.A., the Disneyland Story Presents Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln. It seems no coincidence to me that Walt’s bench from Griffith Park, where the idea for Disneyland found its inception, was placed at the entrance to this homage to Lincoln. Lincoln was the Great Emancipator, and the sinew of our nation through the tumult of the Civil War, when it seemed our country would be divided. Walt had a deep respect for President Lincoln, and a love for this country. In Disney’s opening day speech he said,
“Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America…with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.“
May we not forsake those ideals, nor forget to dream, nor ignore the hard facts that have created this country. And may God bless America.
I don’t like having change jingling around in my pockets, so this is my favorite way to solve that problem at Disneyland. I really don’t recommend playing arcades while visiting Disneyland, but the Shooting Exposition is my one exception. I’ve always been drawn to games that put your aim to the test. I think it’s that it’s more rewarding because aim is more of a real skill than dropping a combo with a few buttons and a joystick, or hopping around a dance pad. Not that either of those are bad, they’re not. They just don’t strike me as a wise use of time while at Disneyland. The Shooting Exposition is different in that it fits with the theming of Frontierland, and is unique in its genre. I’ve found games like this other places, but none of them compares to Disney’s. The look, weight, and feel of the gun are all part of that Disney magic in the details. All the targets you hit provide some sort of cool interaction. If you hit the target in the sky, you’ll get a ghost rider riding across it. That’s my favorite target to aim for. So if you’ve got a couple of quarters jingling in your pocket or purse, give the Shooting Exposition a shot.
I love walking leisurely through the shops on Main Street. It’s so relaxing, and kind of a nice break from the hustle and bustle that sometimes overtakes Disneyland. This gallery inside Disneyana is definitely my favorite part. It’s filled with beautiful art that’s always being switched out with other beautiful art, so you can bet to see something new every time you stop in. It also happens to be right next door to a coffee shop, so the aroma of fresh coffee creeps in to combine two of my favorite things, art & coffee, for a magical experience. The cast members in Disneyana are wonderful too. When I set up for this shot, patiently waiting for an empty gallery, it drew some attention and gave the gang and me an opportunity to speak with a great cast member whose name I believe was Jimmy. He really engaged us in sincere conversation, and we had a really nice time talking with him. If said cast member reads this and I have gotten your name wrong, I’m very sorry. You are cool, even if my name remembering skills are not.
What once was the Orange Stinger has been transformed into the new Silly Symphony Swings. They officially opened last Saturday, with the premier of the World of Color, but they had a soft opening a couple of weeks ago. The ride, though similar to the Orange Stinger, offers a different and much more “Disney” experience. The music is amazing and can be heard from across Paradise Bay. The new design certainly feels much more in line with the spirit of Disney and the goal of the Disney California Adventure remodel. Did you know that this ride was hand painted? It’s a beauty to behold. Standing in line, waiting to ride it for the first time, I looked up and had to take a picture of what I saw. If you are wondering, this is not a true HDR image, but a Pseudo-HDR, which is made from one picture instead of multiple. If you get a chance to ride the swings, I recommend one of the outer seats.
It never ceases to amaze me how often the many beauties of the Disneyland Resort go unnoticed. Even while standing in line for extended periods, a vast majority of people fail to notice the myriad of details poured into Disney theming that create settings which carry us away to both fantastical, and idealistic worlds. When people visit art galleries or museums, it’s understood that time must be invested to take in and appreciate a piece. That’s how I view Disney. All of this theming is art, put forth from the brilliant minds of Imagineers. If people don’t stop to look around themselves, they are truly missing an integral part of the experience that can be had. I realize that many people do not have the luxury of visiting the resort with any kind of frequency, and as such, spend as much time as they have trying to get on all the rides their time allows. I often see these people stressing and hustling around the parks. While the three of us took pictures one day near Thunder Mountain, a father was power-walking his kids through. The kids stopped for a moment to see what we were looking at. Their father quickly noticed their lagging behind and abruptly stated, “We’re not here to sight-see, we’re here to ride some rides!” It gave us all a good chuckle at the time, but it really enforced this idea in my mind that people don’t take time to notice Disney’s attention to detail. I love the rides, but rides are not the only treasure within the parks. Sometimes looking up or turning around is all you have to do to see something you’ve never noticed before, like I did for this picture. Next time you go to DLR, try looking for things you’ve never seen and take them in. Art is capable of enriching our lives. Enjoy all that Disney has to offer.
There is no basketball court inside Space Mountain. There is, however, a pretty awesome roller coaster chock full of right turns. As a boy, I had no affinity for roller coasters. They simply scared me. It wasn’t until high school that I really rode them, and then it was love at first ride. My first experience on Space Mountain came in 2005, while I was at the park with my mom. We had thought the ride was still closed for its big refurbishment, but were told by a cast member in a Tomorrowland shop that they had just started its soft opening that day. I looked at my mom with a bursting excitement and enthusiasm in a plea to ride. My mom, definitely not a fan of roller coasters, agreed without noticeable hesitation. Great moms do that sort of thing. I had a blast, flying through banked turns and drops underneath the stars, and my mom survived. I think of that first time, every time I ride Space Mountain or walk by that shop in Tomorrowland. Thanks mom.