Thursday, June 29, 2017

DDW Pic 2122. Macaws

Macaws
Scarlet macaws are found in The Oasis, which is toward the front of Animal Kingdom. These South American birds can live up to 75 years in captivity, and can mimic human speech. In addition to the ones found in The Oasis, another group of macaws can be seen flying in and out of Discovery Island throughout the day.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

DDW Pic 2121. Cinderella Castle

Cinderella Castle
I've taken hundreds of Cinderella Castle photos over the years. However, this was a "first." I took this shot right after the new Happy Ever After fireworks show ended. The details in the projected images and patterns is incredible.

DDW Pic 2120. Lion

Lion
Kilimanjaro Safaris at Animal Kingdom is an attraction that should be experienced both during the day and at night. Certain animals are more active at night, including the lions. I took this shot of a female lion a few weeks ago. A male lion was also awake and active that night, but there wasn't enough light on him for a good photo.

Monday, June 26, 2017

DDW Pic 2119. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train continues to be the most popular attraction at Magic Kingdom, in terms of "wait times." The best way to keep your wait under an hour is to use FastPasses or get there very early. If you do walk thru the standby queue, you will come across this sign as you are entering the building.

DDW Pic 2118. Pirates

Pirates
Although Pirates of the Caribbean is one of the most popular attractions at Walt Disney World, it is a tough one for photography. Whenever you mix darkness and motion, getting a clear picture is a difficult proposition. However, I was able to get this shot of the classic "jail cell" scene a few days ago.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

DDW Pic 2117. Goofy

Goofy 
Most Disney characters have specific locations where they meet guests. However, often times you can see them walking through the parks on the way to their meet-and-greet spots. I took this shot of Goofy near the ABC Commissary in Hollywood Studios.

Friday, June 23, 2017

DDW Pic 2116. Confectionery

Confectionery
The Confectionery is one of the first "shops" that guests encounter after entering Magic Kingdom. If they don't see the sign over the door, they are certainly drawn in by the sweet smells. I took this shot yesterday morning, before the official opening of the park.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

DDW Pic 2115. Liberty Square

Liberty Square
It was a beautiful morning as I walked thru Liberty Square in Magic Kingdom. The water was calm and reflecting, and the sky was blue. It made for a nice landscape photo.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

DDW Pic 2114. Restaurant Marrakesh

Restaurant Marrakesh
Morocco has always been one of my favorite World Showcase countries at Epcot. When you walk to the back of that pavilion, you truly feel like you've been transported to a different part of the world. This is the exterior of Restaurant Marrakesh, a unique table-service dining location.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

DDW Pic 2113. Gorilla Falls

Gorilla Falls
Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail in Animal Kingdom is home to some of the most interesting animals at this park. You can find hippos, zebras, monkeys, meerkats, and the amazing gorillas in this area. I noticed this display while visiting today. It compares the human skull to male and female gorilla skulls.

Monday, June 19, 2017

DDW Pic 2112. Polynesian

Polynesian 
The Polynesian Village Resort was one of the two original hotels at Walt Disney World. There have been some major upgrades and refurbishments done at this resort over the last 45 years. However, the theming is still very much the same as it was in 1971. This tiki god statue can be found in the main lobby, which is also known as the Great Ceremonial House.

DDW Pic 2111. Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean
Disney likes to promote its current movies in the theme parks whenever possible. This can be seen in merchandise, special character greetings, and even movie posters. This banner in the Pirates gift shop gives a subtle nod the current movie, "Dead Men Tell No Tales."

Saturday, June 17, 2017

DDW Pic 2110. Jawa

Jawa
Star Wars Launch Bay is a great place for fans of this franchise to meet characters, see memorabilia, and shop for souvenirs. Jawas can be found in the Cantina section of the pavilion, interacting with guests and posing for pictures. As scavengers, they have also been known to trade "goods" with earthlings in the area.

Friday, June 16, 2017

DDW Pic 2109. Be Our Guest

Be Our Guest
Be Our Guest restaurant has been open for more than 4 years, and it is still one of the most popular spots at Walt Disney World. There are three well themed seating areas in this restaurant. This rose can be found in the West Wing.

DDW Pic 2108. Ostrich

Ostrich
Kilimanjaro Safaris is such an incredible attraction for so many reasons. For me, I like the fact that you see such a variety of animals, and they can be in different spots each time you ride. This was the case last week when this Ostrich was sitting so close to our path.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

DDW Pic 2107. Flight of Passage

Flight of Passage
The new Flight of Passage attraction at Animal Kingdom has one of the best "signatures" of any theme park ride found at Walt Disney World. If you exit through the lower corridor, you will spot these three handprints on the right hand wall. They were put there by James Cameron, Jon Landau, and Joe Rhode. James and Jon are the men behind the movie Avatar, and Joe is the Disney imagineer behind the design of Animal Kingdom and the new Pandora area.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

DDW Pic 2106. Oscar's

Oscar's
After entering Hollywood Studios, you will find Oscar's Super Service. It looks like a gas station and service center that you'd find in the 1930s. In actuality, it's the area where you can rent personal vehicles like  strollers and scooters. Oscar's is the perfect name for a spot located in a park dedicated to movies.

Monday, June 12, 2017

DDW Pic 2105. Italy

Italy
The Italy area at Epcot is known for great food and wine, as well as some nice gift shops. There are also some fun outdoor displays and statues to be found. I took this shot of a mule pulling a cart a few weeks ago.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

DDW Pic 2104. Maharajah Jungle Trek

Maharajah Jungle Trek
One of the main reasons I love Animal Kingdom so much is because I always see something different whenever I visit. This was certainly the case when I visited the Maharajah Jungle Trek a few days ago. This was the first time I saw a tiger come this close to onlooking guests. I snapped many shots of Milosi, the male Sumatran, that morning.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

DDW Pic 2103. Pongu Pongu

Pongu Pongu
Pongu Pongu is the new "Tiki" bar found on the moon of Pandora in Animal Kingdom. Located next to the Windtraders gift shop, this spot serves some unique beverages and snacks. The Na'vi name Pongu Pongu translates to "party party" in English.

Friday, June 9, 2017

DDW Pic 2102. Carousel of Progress

Carousel of Progress 
There are very few attractions in Walt Disney World that are as "classic" as Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress. This is the only attraction in Florida that Walt physically worked on. It debuted at the 1964 World's Fair and was at Disneyland from 1967 to 1973, before being moved to the Magic Kingdom in 1975. I took this shot of the grandma from the Christmas scene last week.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

DDW Pic 2101. Trident of Poseidon

Trident of Poseidon
Walt Disney - One Man's Dream is a walk-thru exhibit at Hollywood Studios that honors the man behind the magic. Of recent times, Disney has displayed props and/or costumes from current Disney movies in this area. A few weeks ago, I took this shot of the Trident of Poseidon from the latest Pirates of the Caribbean film.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

DDW Pic 2100. Expedition Everest

Expedition Everest
A few days ago, I visited Animal Kingdom and rode Expedition Everest with my son. I was able to carefully take a few on-ride photos. I snapped this one right near the top of the big drop, looking out toward Asia.

DDW Pic 2099. Awakenings

Awakenings
Awakenings is the nightly "projection" show that takes place on the Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom. It is a 5 minute production, set to music, that repeats every 10-15 minutes. I had the chance to catch the latest version of the show tonight. There was a short tribute to the new Pandora area, and I was able to snap this shot of a Banshee flying by.

Monday, June 5, 2017

DDW Pic 2098. Port Orleans

Port Orleans
Port Orleans - French Quarter is a moderate class resort with a New Orleans theme. We visited last night to see a friend perform at the Scat Cats club, located right near the main lobby. I took this shot in the adjacent food court area.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

DDW Pic 2097. Dinosaur

Dinosaur
The Dinosaur attraction at Animal Kingdom is one of the more "thrilling" rides at this park, and my son and I ride it often. However, I noticed this detail for the first time today. There is writing on the right hand wall, near the beginning of the ride, with an interesting hidden tribute. The sector numbers and letters have meaning. CTX refers to the original name of the attraction, Countdown to Extinction. The WDI is Walt Disney Imagineering. Finally, the AK98 refers to Animal Kingdom and the year that it opened......1998.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

DDW Pic 2096. Disney Springs

Disney Springs
Today, we caught a movie at Disney Springs, and then did some window shopping at a handful of stores. We went into Uniqlo for the first time, and found it to be very impressive. This 25,000 square foot building is located in the Town Center area. I took this shot from a second floor window.

Friday, June 2, 2017

DDW Pic 2095. Haunted Mansion

Haunted Mansion
Although Haunted Mansion is my favorite attraction, it is very difficult to get clear photos on such a dark ride, especially due to the motion of the "doom buggy." However, while riding today with my son, we stopped in the staircase scene for about a minute. Of course I had to take this shot, which would normally be impossible.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

DDW Pic 2094. The Seas

The Seas
The Seas with Nemo & Friends is located in the second largest aquarium in the United States. It is also home to one of my favorite hidden Mickeys. I took this shot while giving a tour last week.