Sunday, January 31, 2016

DDW Pic 1613. Star Wars Fireworks

Star Wars Fireworks
Hollywood Studios now has a nightly fireworks show called Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular. I saw it for the first time last night. It is truly one of the best fireworks shows I've ever seen. Set to Star Wars music, the power and energy of this production never lets up. This shot, with the emphasis on red, was during an "Empire" segment.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

DDW Pic 1612. Star Tours

Star Tours
Star Tours at Hollywood Studios has a great queue line. It includes a full size StarSpeeder as well as a handful of droids. This one can be found on the left side, just prior to the second FastPass touch point.

Friday, January 29, 2016

DDW Pic 1611. Gorilla

Gorilla
I have posted several pictures of different animals this week from Pangani Forest Trail at Animal Kingdom. However, the "main attraction" of this area is the gorillas. This is a male silverback relaxing in his enclosure.

DDW Pic 1610. Colobus Monkey

Colobus Monkey
I took this fun shot of a colobus monkey a few days ago in Animal Kingdom. This is one of the first exhibits guests see on the Pangani Forest Trail. I apparently hit the shutter button just as this guy was yawning.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

DDW Pic 1609. Meerkat

Meerkat
Although Pangani Forest Trail at Animal Kingdom is known for gorillas, there are some other interesting animals there as well. Here is a meerkat on lookout duty. There is always at least one that is constantly scanning the area for possible predators. Although there isn't any danger in this protected environment, they are instinctually "nervous" animals.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

DDW Pic 1608. Golden Weaver

Golden Weaver
This is a Taveta Golden Weaver from the Pangani Forest Trail in Animal Kingdom. There are 140 of these birds in this aviary, and each one is identified twice per day. This species builds their nests upside down to protect themselves from predators. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

DDW Pic 1607. Elephant

Elephant 
Since my birthday is coming up, I decided to theme this week to my favorite park, Animal Kingdom. I spent some time there today, and took a bunch of photos with my new Nikon camera, which has a powerful telephoto lens. This first shot is an elephant from Kilimanjaro Safaris.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

DDW Pic 1606. Spaceship Earth

Spaceship Earth
Today, I was able to take several good shots inside of Spaceship Earth, including this one from the computer room. This is normally hard to do because of the low light levels and motion. However, the vehicles slowed down a few times, allowing me to get some clear photos.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

DDW Pic 1605. Zootopia

Zootopia
One of my favorite attractions at Walt Disney World is Walt Disney: One Man's Dream. This historical walk through Walt's life and achievements ends with a brief movie about the man. However, of recent times, Disney has been using the Walt Disney Theater to promote its newest movies. As much as I miss seeing the "Walt" movie, I certainly understand why they use this space for previews. Today, I caught the most recent of these for the upcoming movie, Zootopia. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

DDW Pic 1604. Chinese Acrobats

Chinese Acrobats
One of the things that makes Epcot great is the live entertainment. The Jeweled Dragon Acrobats are an amazing group of talented young people who perform many times each day outside of the China pavilion. This acrobat was about 15 feet up on top of 6 chairs when I took this shot last night.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

DDW Pic 1603. Baymax

Baymax
Up until last summer, guests at Hollywood Studios were able to meet Baymax and Hiro from the movie Big Hero 6. That meet-and-greet was removed to make way for the new Star Wars - Launch Bay attraction. However, Baymax recently showed up in Epcot's Innoventions West to greet guests once again. He is in the area across the breezeway from the "Character Spot."

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

DDW Pic 1602. Wilderness Lodge

Wilderness Lodge
Today was another cool, crisp day in Central Florida. I spent some time at Wilderness Lodge this morning. You can see that the pool area is very quiet when the temps are in the 50s!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

DDW Pic 1601. The Plaza

Add caption
I took this shot toward Main Street from the top level of Tomorrowland Terrace today. You can see The Plaza restaurant on the left and Crystal Palace in the distance. The air was crisp and clear today and good for photos. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

DDW Pic 1600. Boma

Boma
Today, we had the chance to eat at Boma, at Animal Kingdom Lodge, for the first time. We enjoyed breakfast there, as we celebrated my wife's birthday. It is an excellent buffet with a huge number of food choices. Although it features African inspired dishes, there are plenty of traditional "brunch" items as well. 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

DDW Pic 1599. Polynesian

Polynesian
The Polynesian Village Resort has undergone some major refurbishments over the last few years. One of the updates was the Volcano Pool and the surrounding area. I took this shot this morning, just before meeting up with my tour guests.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

DDW Pic 1598. Dream Along with Mickey

Dream Along with Mickey
The Dream Along with Mickey show takes place on the castle stage many times each day. It features a bunch of the popular Disney characters and princesses. I took this shot during the finale of a show earlier this week.

Friday, January 15, 2016

DDW Pic 1597. Fantasyland

Fantasyland
I took this shot today from the cell phone charging area in Fantasyland. This is the building that is home to Peter Pan's Flight. It is on your left when heading into Liberty Square. 

DDW Pic 1596. Sir Mickey's

Sir Mickey's
This beanstalk can be found in Fantasyland, on the side of Sir Mickey's. That gift shop is partially themed to the 1947 movie "Mickey and the Beanstalk." At this angle, it almost looks like it is extending high into the sky. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

DDW Pic 1595. Pluto's Toy Palace

Pluto's Toy Palace
Pluto's Toy Palace is on Hollywood Boulevard at Hollywood Studios. This spot is actually part of the large gift shop known as Mickey's of Hollywood. The entire area is themed to the 1930s. I took this shot yesterday afternoon.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

DDW Pic 1594. Lumiere

Lumiere
Enchanted Tales with Belle has some of the most advanced technology of any Magic Kingdom attraction. The Lumiere figure is an incredible animatronic. I took this shot while enjoying the experience with family yesterday.


Monday, January 11, 2016

DDW Pic 1593. Adventureland

Adventureland
This river runs through the south side of Adventureland. I was standing between the Swiss Family Treehouse and Jungle Cruise when I took this shot a few days ago. From the serenity of this photo, it is almost hard to believe that there were thousands of people roaming the pathways of the Magic Kingdom so closeby. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

DDW Pic 1592. Sunset Boulevard

Sunset Boulevard
In continuing with yesterday's restroom theme, here is a shot of a restroom area in Hollywood Studios. It is located on Sunset Boulevard, and certainly keeps with the Hollywood theme. I took this shot a few days ago.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

DDW Pic 1591. Tangled Restrooms

Tangled Restrooms
Walt Disney World is known for incorporating themes into their attractions, restaurants, and hotels. However, in this case, they have done an amazing job at theming a restroom complex. There is much detail to be found inside and outside of these "Tangled" restrooms in Fantasyland. This poster is hanging on the outside of the building. 

Friday, January 8, 2016

DDW Pic 1590. Enchanted Tiki Room

Enchanted Tiki Room
Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room is a classic attraction with historical significance. The Disneyland version contained the very first audio-animatronic figure. I took this shot of the outdoor pre-show area a few days ago.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

DDW Pic 1589. Casey's Corner

Casey's Corner
Most of the photos I have of Casey's at the Magic Kingdom are from Main Street, USA. Today, I took a shot of the other entrance, on the Crystal Palace side. This door takes you into the dining area of the restaurant. This is also a good way to enter the Emporium, as well as to bypass Main Street when you are heading for the park exit.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

DDW Pic 1588. Plaza Ice Cream Parlor

Plaza Ice Cream Parlor
The Plaza Ice Cream Parlor is a great spot for dessert on Main Street, USA. Disney uses a "smellitzer" to pump the waffle cone smell into the air, which draws guests in by the dozens. This picture on the far right wall is an example of the early 1900s time period depicted by this shop.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

DDW Pic 1587. Thunder Mountain

Thunder Mountain
One of the things I love about Disney is how well they create landscapes to fit the theming of each area of the parks. I took this shot near Big Thunder Mountain today. You can see that they have "built" a desert right in the middle of Central Florida.

Monday, January 4, 2016

DDW Pic 1586. Galactic Outpost

Galactic Outpost
With the inevitable success of Star Wars - The Force Awakens, there has been a merchandise blitz like we've never seen for any previous movie. There is Star Wars merchandise to be found in just about every retail store on Disney property. In addition, there are now a handful of dedicated Star Wars locations. Recently, Disney gave D-Street at Disney Springs a makeover, and it has been converted into the "Galactic Outpost."

Sunday, January 3, 2016

DDW Pic 1585. The BOATHOUSE

The BOATHOUSE
We had the opportunity to dine at The BOATHOUSE for the first time today. This waterside restaurant is part of the new Disney Springs makeover of Downtown Disney. The food is very good and there is a fun nautical theme. There are many antique boats docked here, as well as the ability to take a ride In an "amphicar." I'd certainly recommend this spot and look forward to dining there again in the future.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

DDW Pic 1584. Discovery Island

Discovery Island
Discovery Island sits deserted in the middle of Bay Lake. It was once an active wildlife park, but it has been closed since 1999, the year after Animal Kingdom opened. I took this shot of a shack on the island from the shore of Fort Wilderness.

Friday, January 1, 2016

DDW Pic 1583. Five Year Anniversary

Cinderella Castle
When I started Digital Disney World five years ago, I had no idea if it would last. This website continues to allow me to stop each day and write about my passion for a few minutes. I want to say a a huge thank you to everyone who has enjoyed my daily posts. To mark this occasion, I thought it was appropriate to post a recent shot of the icon of the park that started it all.