Saturday, December 31, 2016

DDW Pic 1941. Christmas - Jambo House

Christmas - Jambo House
Animal Kingdom Lodge has some of the most unique holiday decorations on property. The center of the Jambo House lobby is home to one of Walt Disney World's largest Christmas trees. It is adorned with hundreds of lights and many African inspired ornaments.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

DDW Pic 1940. Christmas - Bay Lake Tower

Christmas - Bay Lake Tower
Bay Lake Tower is the DVC building of the Contemporary Resort. There are some great Christmas decorations in the Contemporary, including a large gingerbread display. However, Bay Lake Tower has some nice holiday touches as well, including this Christmas tree in the lobby.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

DDW Pic 1939. Christmas - Riverside

Christmas - Riverside
Port Orleans - Riverside is a large, moderate category resort located on the Sassagoula River. It is connected to Port Orleans - French Quarter. The impressive lobby of Riverside has giant garland hanging over the check-in desks.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

DDW Pic 1938. Christmas - Caribbean Beach

Christmas - Caribbean Beach
The Caribbean Beach Resort is well decorated for the holidays. The gift shop in the main lobby has some fun, festive shelves of merchandise. I like this "pirates" display with the tropically themed Christmas trees.

Monday, December 26, 2016

DDW Pic 1937. Christmas - Yacht Club

Christmas - Yacht Club
The Yacht Club is one of the Epcot resorts, and is connected to the Beach Club. This hotel has some great Christmas decorations, including a model train set and village in the lobby. This nearby tree has some fun, nautical ornaments adorning it.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

DDW Pic 1936. Christmas - Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!

Christmas - Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!
Hollywood Studios debuted a new Christmas show this year called "Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!" It is an amazing production that features video projected onto the Chinese Theater, fireworks, lasers, and even snow. I snapped this shot during a scene that features both Santa and a Christmas tree.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

DDW Pic 1935. Christmas - Old Key West

Christmas - Old Key West
Old Key West was the first Disney Vacation Club resort. It has a South Florida theme, and is located on one of Disney's golf courses. This giant wreath is on the outside of the main lobby building. The fishing bobbers and nautical buoys are a nice touch.

Friday, December 23, 2016

DDW Pic 1934.,Christmas - Pop Century

Christmas - Pop Century
Pop Century is a fun value resort, connected to Art of Animation by a walkway. You can easily see the Christmas decorations at both hotels in one visit. This tree is in the main lobby of Pop Century.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

DDW Pic 1933. Christmas - Saratoga Springs

Christmas - Saratoga Springs
Saratoga Springs is one of the largest resorts at Walt Disney World. It is spread out over 65 acres, and is home to the Disney Vacation Club Preview Center. There is a nice size Christmas tree in the lobby.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

DDW Pic 1932. Christmas - Four Seasons


Christmas - Four Seasons
Although Four Seasons is technically not a Disney hotel, it is on Disney property. I visited earlier in the month to check out their Christmas decorations. This wreath hangs above the "water park" area of the resort.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

DDW Pic 1931. Christmas - Wilderness Lodge Villas

Christmas - Villas at the Wilderness Lodge
The lobby in the Villas at Wilderness Lodge has some great decorations for Christmas. Garland adorns the railings on each floor and there is a nice Christmas tree in the center. Combined with the fireplace, this spot really has the feel of the season.

Monday, December 19, 2016

DDW Pic 1930. Christmas - Swan

Christmas - Swan
The Walt Disney World Swan is home to one of the best "edible" Christmas displays around. It is made entirely of chocolate, and it took 480 man hours to create. You can actually smell this creation. as you walk through the hotel lobby.

DDW Pic 1929. Christmas - Art of Animation

Christmas - Art of Animation
Art of Animation is Disney's newest value category resort. It is one of the best themed of any category, with sections representing Finding Nemo, Cars, Little Mermaid, and the Lion King. This Christmas tree can be found in the center of the lobby.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

DDW Pic 1928. Christmas - Disney Springs

Christmas - Disney Springs
Like the resort hotels, Disney does a great job of decorating Disney Springs for Christmas. There are wreaths and garland everywhere, and several large Christmas trees. This is the spot where Santa Claus greets guests throughout the season.

Friday, December 16, 2016

DDW Pic 1927. Christmas - Kidani Village

Christmas - Kidani Village
This African inspired wreath is hanging in the entrance of the Kidani Village Resort. This area of the Animal Kingdom Lodge is well decorated for Christmas. It is tough to get a good shot of the lobby Christmas tree during the day, because of the way the sun shines through the giant windows. However, I have some great shots of the Jambo House tree, which I will save for a later post.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

DDW Pic 1926. Christmas - Animal Kingdom

Christmas - Animal Kingdom 
Like the other parks, Animal Kingdom has a giant Christmas tree. It sits right inside of the bag check area. If you look closely you can see animal ornaments, as well as some famous Pooh characters nearby.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

DDW Pic 1925. Christmas - Beach Club

Christmas - Beach Club
The Beach Club Resort is home to one the more unique Disney Christmas decorations. It is a Gingerbread Carousel that sits in the middle of the lobby. Each one of the four horses represents a different famous Disney character, including Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Donald.

DDW Pic 1924. Christmas - All Star Movies

Christmas - All Star Movies
All three of the All Star resorts have similar trees, wreaths, etc. However, they are all distinctly decorated using the theme of each hotel. This Christmas tree is at the entrance to the All Star Movies food court, and is decorated with movie "reels."

Monday, December 12, 2016

DDW Pic 1923. Christmas - Epcot

Christmas - Epcot
Just inside the entrance of Epcot, you will currently find topiaries of Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto. They are reminiscent of what can be seen at the Flower & Garden Festival. However, they are decorated for Christmas during this time of year.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

DDW Pic 1922. Christmas - French Quarter

Christmas - French Quarter
Port Orleans French Quarter has a fun New Orleans feel, and it is "decorated" year round with a Mardi Gras theme. This time of year, the decorations are expanded for Christmas. This shot includes a tree and a wreath in the main lobby.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

DDW Pic 1921. Christmas - Fort Wilderness

Christmas - Fort Wilderness
This snowman display can be found over at the Fort Wilderness Campground. It is right near the entrance to Mickey's Backyard Barbecue. This resort is home to so many great Christmas decorations. Many of them are set up by Disney, but many campsites are decorated by the guests.

Friday, December 9, 2016

DDW Pic 1920. Christmas - Kidani Village

Christmas - Kidani Village
Kidani Village is a DVC section of Animal Kingdom Lodge. It has a nice Christmas tree in the lobby, but the daytime light makes for a difficult photo. This is the entrance to the resort, where you can see some garland and a nice wreath.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

DDW Pic 1919. Christmas - Dolphin

Christmas - Dolphin
Although the Walt Disney World Dolphin is not a Disney owned resort, it is on Disney property, and it has some great Christmas decorations. The main lobby has this tremendous tree at its center. There is also a Christmas train that encircles it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

DDW Pic 1918. Christmas - Coronado Springs

Christmas - Coronado Springs
Coronado Springs has a great southwest theme, which is mixed with a Christmas motif during this time of year. Along with trees and wreaths, there is giant garland strewn across the entrance of this resort. I took this shot last week, while on my initial "resort decoration tour."

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

DDW Pic 1917. Christmas - All Star Sports

Christmas - All Star Sports
Although All Star Sports is considered a "value" resort, Disney certainly didn't skimp on the decorations. The trees, wreaths, and garland all have ornaments related to sports. The giant baseball wreath is my favorite.

Monday, December 5, 2016

DDW Pic 1916. Christmas - Boardwalk

Christmas - Boardwalk
Most Disney resorts have great Christmas tree displays inside their lobby areas. The Boardwalk has some nice indoor trees, as well as this large one on the lawn. I took this shot last week while enjoying the Christmas decorations at the resorts near Epcot.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

DDW Pic 1915. Christmas - Polynesian

Christmas - Polynesian
The Polynesian Village Resort Christmas decorations certainly have a tropical flare. There are wreaths, trees, and garland inside and outside of the main building. This Christmas tree, made of flowers and palms, is right outside of the front entrance.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

DDW Pic 1914. Christmas - Wilderness Lodge

Christmas - Wilderness Lodge
All of the Disney resorts have great Christmas decorations during this time of year, but one really stands out. The Wilderness Lodge has the "feel" of a resort in a much colder climate than Florida. With its big fireplace and giant Christmas tree, it is one of my favorite spots to visit in December.

Friday, December 2, 2016

DDW Pic 1913. Christmas - The Contemporary

Christmas - The Contemporary
There are several great gingerbread displays around the Walt Disney World Resort each Christmas season. This Frozen one can be found at The Contemporary, near the gift shop area. It is done in the style of Mary Blair, who was the artist behind "it's a small world." If you zoom in to the sign on the left, you can see the ingredients that went into this confectionery creation.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

DDW Pic 1912. Christmas - Magic Kingdom

Christmas - Magic Kingdom
This year, I've decided to go with a "theme" for the entire month of December. Each day, I will be posting a picture of Christmas decorations from a different spot around Walt Disney World. Disney does an amazing job of decorating the parks and resorts, and I thought it would be fun to photograph some of the many trees, wreaths, etc. that can be found during this holiday season. I am starting the month off with a shot of the Magic Kingdom Christmas tree, which I took this past weekend.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

DDW Pic 1911. Expedition Everest

Expedition Everest
Expedition Everest is one of the most unique coasters in the country. Riding it at night gives you the best experience. Since your eyes are already adjusted to the dark, you get a great view of the giant Yeti near the end of the attraction. I took this shot of the mangled track while riding last night.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

DDW Pic 1910. The Hall of Presidents


The Hall of Presidents
Since The Hall of Presidents will be changing after January, I plan on visiting several more times to enjoy the current show. Although I am looking forward to the new version, you never know how much will be changed. My hope is that the Lincoln and Washington animatronics will continue to have "speaking" rolls, along with the new President Trump. I took this shot of George Washington a few days ago. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

DDW Pic 1909. Rock 'n' Roller Coaster

Rock 'n' Roller Coaster
Rock 'n' Roller Coaster is one the most popular roller coasters in the country. It goes from 0-60 in under 3 seconds with g-forces similar to a space shuttle launch. Although it is known for its "thrill" factor, it is also home to some fun hidden Mickey's, found in this picture on the exterior of the building. If you look closely, you will see Mickey's on the singer's shirt, the guitar player's necklace, as well as on the head of the little boy in the car.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

DDW Pic 1908. Huck Finn

Huck Finn
The Huck Finn is one of the rafts that brings guests from the mainland to Tom Sawyer Island. This morning, I noticed it in an unexpected location, passing by Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. It must have been headed backstage to a maintenance area.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

DDW Pic 1907. The Land

The Land
The holidays are in full swing, and much of the Walt Disney World resort is decorated for Christmas. While enjoying the Living with the Land attraction at Epcot today, I noticed this "sandman." There is no snow in Central Florida, so this is the next best thing.

Friday, November 25, 2016

DDW Pic 1906. Pacu

Pacu
One of the fun things about visiting Animal Kingdom, is that you can learn something each time you are there. A few days ago, I learned about the pacu, which is a large, omnivorous relative of the pirhana. This fish can be found in the otter area on Discovery Island, across from Pizzafari.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

DDW Pic 1905. Pizzerizzo

Pizzerizzo
Pizzerizzo opened about a week ago in Hollywood Studios. Disney completely reimagined the old Pizza Planet into this new restaurant. It is themed to the Muppet's Rizzo the Rat, and has some great Muppets' gags throughout. If you look in the shadow to the right of the word Pizzerizzo, you will see a tribute to Pizza Planet.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

DDW Pic 1904. Starbright Holidays

Starbright Holidays
Disney Springs just debuted an amazing new nighttime Christmas show called Starbright Holidays. It utilizes 300 individual flying drones, that each have high intensity lights on them. The show is computer controlled and is a collaboration with Intel. The lights form several huge shapes in the sky, and this angel was part of the finale from last night.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

DDW Pic 1903. Flamingo

Flamingo
Hundreds of birds can be found throughout Animal Kingdom. The flamingos are certainly one the more interesting types that guests can see. I took this shot while giving a tour today. You can see a white ibis in the background, which is a common bird, native to Florida.

DDW Pic 1902. Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios
The Christmas season is in full swing, and the decorations are up at all four parks, as well as the resorts. In addition to the decor, there are several new shows this year that recently debuted. I took this shot of the Christmas tree outside of Hollywood Studios this morning.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

DDW Pic 1901. Liberty Bell

Liberty Bell
Yesterday's post was about the Liberty Belle riverboat. Today, I took a shot of the Liberty Bell itself. It is the only "other" one cast from the original mold. They even spelled Pensylvania wrong on this one.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

DDW Pic 1900. Liberty Belle

Liberty Belle
The Liberty Belle riverboat circles Tom Sawyer Island, and allows guests to enjoy unique views of Liberty Square and Frontierland. Yesterday, I was on the island when I snapped this shot. I liked using Big Thunder Mountain as a backdrop for the paddle wheel on the riverboat.

Friday, November 18, 2016

DDW Pic 1899. Fort Langhorn

Fort Langhorn
Tom Sawyer Island is one the most overlooked areas of Magic Kingdom, when it comes to details. Fort Langhorn has several interesting animatronics, including horses, chickens, and this sleeping man in the "guard house." You can actually see his chest moving up and down as he sleeps.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

DDW Pic 1898. Barnstormer

Barnstormer 
The Barnstormer is a fun little coaster that can be enjoyed by most Magic Kingdom guests. The height requirement is only 35" so only the youngest kids don't make the cut. I was standing near the exit of Dumbo when I took this shot of the coaster "flying" by.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

DDW Pic 1897. Animal Kingdom Lodge

Animal Kingdom Lodge
Animal Kingdom Lodge is so much more than just a hotel. It has amazing pools, top notch restaurants, and it's own African savanna. I like to visit this resort as often as possible. Today, I spent some time in the Sunset Lounge, where I took this shot of an osterich through a fence overlooking the savanna.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

DDW Pic 1896. Splash Mountain

Splash Mountain
Splash Mountain is one of the most detailed attractions in all of Walt Disney World. This eleven minute ride has five drops and some amazing animatronics. However, the exterior is also quite impressive. I took this shot near the exit last week.

Monday, November 14, 2016

DDW Pic 1895. Thunder Mountain

Thunder Mountain
Even when Disney is in the process refurbishing an attraction, they still keep the "story" alive. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad has been closed for months, and will reopen again soon. However, these signs on the construction walls have been entertaining. I particularly like the name of the "interim forman" listed at the bottom of this sign.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

DDW Pic 1894. Siamang Gibbons

Siamang Gibbons
The Siamang Gibbons are some of the most fun animals to observe at Animal Kingdom. Located in Asia, these fearless 4-year old twin sisters hang out 40-50 above the ground. I took this shot yesterday, while giving a tour.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

DDW Pic 1893. Tomorrowland Speedway

Tomorrowland Speedway
One of the fun things about Tomorrowland Speedway is the bleachers where people can sit and observe the "race." I often wait for my tour guests up there. I took this shot of Victory Circle from that area a few days ago.

DDW Pic 1892. Kora

Kora
While walking thru the Africa section of Animal Kingdom today, I heard some unique and beautiful music. At first, I thought it was simply recorded background music. However, I soon came upon this man playing the Kora, which is a 21 string African instrument. The performance was being wirelessly transmitted to speakers in the Harambe Market area.