Monday, October 31, 2016

DDW Pic 1881. Animal Kingdom Lodge

Animal Kingdom Lodge
Animal Kingdom Lodge is an amazing resort for many reasons. Its most unique attribute is that it basically sits on a large, African savanna, with dozens of animals. This huge wall of giant windows can be found in the main lobby of the resort. Guests can see the savanna through the windows or walk outside for a closer view.

DDW Pic 1880. Carolwood Pacific

Carolwood Pacific
One of the best pieces of historical Disney memorabilia is found in a spot where relatively few guests ever visit. The Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge has an area off of the lobby called the Carolwood Pacific room, named after Walt's backyard train. Two of the actual cars from this railroad are on display here. Due to their proximity to a window, it is always tough to get a clear photo. This is a hidden treasure that should not be missed if you find yourself at this resort.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

DDW Pic 1879. Stormalong Bay

Stormalong Bay
Stormalong Bay is one of the most elaborate pool areas on Disney property. It has a lazy river, a pool volleyball area, and most of it has a sand bottom. I took this shot today, while enjoying Stormalong Bay with good friends.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

DDW Pic 1878. Beach Club

Beach Club
The Beach Club is one of my favorite resorts for several reasons. First off, it has one of the best pool areas in Central Florida. Next, there is access to many excellent restaurants all around the Boardwalk. Finally, it is a very short walk into Epcot, which is especially inviting during the Food and Wine Festival, which is ocurring right now.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

DDW Pic 1877. Narcoossee's

Narcoossee's 
Narcoossee's is one of the best restaurants on Disney property, with excellent food and great views. You won't see it in this photo, because I was standing on the outside deck of the building overlooking Seven Seas Lagoon. This one view allows you to see Space Mountain, Bay Lake Tower, and The Contemporary, as well as several watercraft.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

DDW Pic 1876. Boardwalk

Boardwalk
The Boardwalk Resort is one of my favorites to set up a remote office, and work from my iPad for a few hours. There are many great places to sit, and good spots to grab coffee or a bite to eat. As I walked into the lobby today, I took a closer look at this giant chandelier. I've walked under it numerous times, but never realized how impressive it was. The horses are nearly actual size and each one has a mermaid style backend.

DDW Pic 1875. The Seas

The Seas
It is always fun to visit The Seas with Nemo and Friends at Epcot. This aquarium has 5.7 million gallons of water, which makes it the second largest in the country. I have taken many shots of this large "hidden Mickey, but this one taken a few days ago may be the first with a diver standing on Mickey's head.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

DDW Pic 1874. Fireworks

Fireworks
Last night, we had dinner at Coronado Springs. As we were getting ready to leave, we heard fireworks going off nearby. When we got outside, I realized they were from the nearby Star Wars show at Hollywood Studios. Although we couldn't hear the music accompaniment, we had a great view of the fireworks. I took this unique shot with the resort bus driving by.

DDW Pic 1873. Festival Center

Festival Center 
The old Wonders of Life pavilion at Epcot closed more than a decade ago. However, this impressive dome-shaped structure continues to be used for festivals and other special events. I visited yesterday, during the Food and Wine Festival, and took this shot of the inside of the dome.

Friday, October 21, 2016

DDW Pic 1872. Yeti

Yeti
One of the best themed areas in any Disney park is around Expedition Everest in Animal Kingdom. Many of the items displayed in the queue were actually obtained at roadside stands in the Himalayas. Even the gift shop is filled with elaborate details, including this Yeti "display" in the center of the store.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

DDW Pic 1871. Balou

Balou
Although Balou is a beloved Disney character who has been around for a long time, he has become an even bigger star with the popularity of the recent  "live action" Jungle Book movie. Of course, he can be found greeting guests at Animal Kingdom. I took this shot yesterday, shortly after he emerged from a backstage area.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

DDW Pic 1870. Seven Seas Lagoon

Seven Seas Lagoon
Yesterday afternoon, I left the Magic Kingdom on a "motor launch" on my way back to the Grand Floridian Resort. I had a seat near the captain, and a great view of the lake. You can see the gold flag on the bow of the boat, which indicates the route that connects the Magic Kingdom to the Floridian and the Polynesian.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

DDW Pic 1869. Frontierland

Frontierland 
As I was walking through Frontierland today, I took a closer look at this silo and weathervane. As I approached, I realized that it was basically a camouflage for several speakers. There was instrumental country western music coming from the silo. This is an example of Disney hiding modern technology in appropriately themed structures around the park.

Monday, October 17, 2016

DDW Pic 1868. Jungle Cruise

Jungle Cruise
This skull totem poll is something I've walked by hundreds of times, but never really paid much attention to. While waiting for my tour guests to exit Jungle Cruise today, I took a closer look. It is another example of a fun, overlooked detail. I uses the Tadaa app to give it the SLR "depth of field" look.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

DDW Pic 1867. Gorilla

Gorilla 
When my tour guests are and joying and attraction, I typically wait for them near the exit. One of my favorite spots is at the exit of Kilimanjaro Safaris. This is a place where you can see male gorillas roaming the terrain. I took this shot a few days ago, and framed it with some large leaves from a nearby plant.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

DDW Pic 1866. BB-8

BB-8
Although the major "Star Wars Land" expansion at Hollywood Studios is still years from completion, this park already has many great Star Wars offerings. We enjoyed the "A Galaxy Far, Far Away" show on the main stage this afternoon. I was able to snap this shot of BB-8 toward the end of the show.

DDW Pic 1865. Town Square

Town Square
Main Street, USA at the Magic Kingdom is loosely based on Walt Disney's memories of growing up in Marceline, Missouri in the early 1900s. This billboard found on the backstage gate just past Tony's Town Square pays tribute to his boyhood town. You can see the name of the boat is the P.S. Marceline.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

DDW Pic 1864. Pinocchio Village Haus

Pinocchio Village Haus 
There are four large "quick service" restaurants in the Magic Kingdom. Each one has unique and detailed theming. The Pinocchio Village Haus is in the center of Fantasyland, and features painted scenes from that movie on its walls. I took this shot while giving a tour yesterday.

DDW Pic 1863. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
There are many dark rides at Walt Disney World that I've never been able to get clear pictures in, because of the low light levels and the motion. However, when the attraction temporarily stops while I'm riding, the camera comes out quickly, and I start shooting! This happened yesterday while riding Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

DDW Pic 1862. Mickey Pumpkin

Mickey Pumpkin
One of the Best things about Halloween season at Magic Kingdom is the amazing decorations found on Main Street, USA and the hub. There are hundreds of jack-o'-lanterns and Mickey pumpkins throughout the area. I took this shot the other night, prior to watching the Main Street Electrical Parade.

Monday, October 10, 2016

DDW Pic 1861. Wishes

Wishes
Although I've taken hundreds of pictures of the Magic Kingdom fireworks, it has been a while since I have seen Wishes. A few days ago, we went to see The Main Street Electrical Parade in one of its final performances. Of course, we stayed for the fireworks afterwards. We had a great view, right in the middle of Main Street.

DDW Pic 1860. Bay Lake Tower

Bay Lake Tower
Bay Lake Tower is one of the newer Disney Vacation Club resorts, and it sits adjacent to The Contemporary. I took this shot while walking to the Magic Kingdom last night. I always like the lighting for photos at Bay Lake Tower around sunset.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

DDW Pic 1859. Main Street Electrical Parade

Main Street Electrical Parade 
The Main Street Electrical Parade has had several stints at the Magic Kingdom. However, it will be leaving for the final time after tomorrow night. We had the chance to enjoy it one last time tonight.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

DDW Pic 1858. Fantasyland

Fantasyland
This spot in New Fantasyland allows you to get a picture of the two prominent attractions in that area. You can see the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train coasting by, as well as Prince Eric's Castle, from Journey of The Little Mermaid, in the background. I took this shot while giving a Magic Kingdom tour yesterday.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

DDW Pic 1857. Adventureland

Adventureland 
Today, I found myself in the exit area of Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room, waiting for my tour guests. I liked the way that The Magic Carpets of Aladdin was framed by the nearby foliage and building. The blueness of the sky is also a highlight of this photo.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

DDW Pic 1856. Rapunzel's Tower

Rapunzel's Tower
There are so many attractions featuring amazing details at Walt Disney World. However, these details can be found beyond just the attractions. This shot of Rapunzel's Tower, which I took on Sunday, is of the elaborate "Tangled" restrooms found in Fantasyland.

Monday, October 3, 2016

DDW Pic 1855. Food and Wine Festival

Food and Wine Festival
Disney does a nice job of rewarding annual pass holders during many of their special events. This year, if you attend the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival at least three times, you can pick a free glass tumbler. There is a special room in Innoventions East, where you go for the free offering. In the waiting area, they have posted a timeline and highlights of the previous 20 Food and Wine Festivals.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

DDW Pic 1854. Liberty Square

Liberty Square
Yesterday, I caught a unique view in Liberty Square that is rarely seen by guests. It was a busy day at Magic Kingdom, and the line was long for Haunted Mansion. Since they are still doing work on refurbishing part of the queue, they used this secondary area to prevent the line from extending too far into the main walkway of Liberty Square. It actually went down a ramp toward the Rivers of America, and through an old structure that is normally off limits to guests. In the old days, it was the Mike Fink Keelboats loading dock. That attraction has been gone for many years, but it is nice to see the building get some use.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

DDW Pic 1853. Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom
Today we say happy 45th birthday to the Magic Kingdom. This park opened on way back on October 1st, 1971, and is more popular now than ever. Disney hung a banner near the front of the park, to commemorate the occasion. This location is also the most popular spot in the world for photographs.

DDW Pic 1852. Streets of America

Streets of America
The Streets of America had been part of Hollywood Studios since the park opened in 1989. However, this area is in the process of being demolished to make way for the new Star Wars "land." You can see from this shot that half of the street is now gone and the view has changed drasticallly as you approach MuppetVision*3D. I took this photo while giving a tour on Wednesday.