Saturday, December 13, 2008

Trip Report - December 11, 2008

If you’re looking for Christmas decorations, amazing Castle and fireworks photo’s you’ve come to the wrong place, better try the Miceage. My trip reports are more obscure and odd. Today’s report is no exception.

Mornings are nice a quiet still, week days just before the Holiday rush are rather pleasant, the crowds don’t start till noon-ish and stay reasonable all day.

Breakfast of champions! I always manage to time the pancakes just right to get them “hot off the griddle” yummy-yummy!

The river sure is peaceful early in the day, makes you forget you’re in Anaheim just off the 5 freeway.

The headwaters of the river that runs thru Bear Country (or Critter whatever). This area has eluded both my old camera and my newer one. It never seems to want to focus, is it a magical river?

Bear Country is actually very nice when it’s not wall to wall people.

Here you go, there’s a few Christmas Decorations. Didn’t this used to be an Arcade? I guess I should know that?

Well I finally did it, I rode the Pooh ride. It was better than I expected, yes its mostly plywood cut outs, but it's cute and the “Heffalumps and Woozles” sequence is mind bending to say the least.

Alice and the Mad Hatter have been out in the park every time I visit lately and they really are becoming quite popular. A few minutes after this photo they had about 20 guests in a line with them dancing to “Tea for Two” with the band playing along. This really added to the mood and everyone was having a grand time. It’s all in the details…

My favorite little ticket booth is doing just fine.

I took this next set of 6 photos for Jason over at Disneyland Nomenclature (link). He had commented that certain elements in the shop “Mlle. Antoinette's Parfumerie” in New Orleans Square were chosen by Walt, the shop is now called “Jewel of Orleans” but it does have all the original interior. Here is an article about the shop from the Summer 1976 Vacationland magazine. Here is the entire Summer 1976 issue in case you are interested (link-68mb).

The nice ladies running the shop mentioned to me that the giant perfume bottle out front was also original; just the name has been changed.

A brief stop in Tomorrowland finds the Monorail track-crack has been repaired, well, kind of. Actually, I could do a better Spackle job than that. I’ve been reporting on this for 3 months now (link). I hope things are not “declining by degrees” in Tomorrowland.

As a kid I changed a lot of my allowance money into quarters in this little booth. When do you think was the last time it was open? 1992 is my guess…

For some silly reason I keep trying to take pictures of Dumbo at night while its moving. My lower end digital camera doesn’t have a clue what to do and neither do I. Its just mesmerizing to watch all those Dumbo’s flying around in circles!

There was an extra treat near the end of an already perfect day. Fantasmic was not running, I didn’t ask why, I don’t care why and can you believe I’ve never even seen it! This meant the Mark Twain was running at night and New Orleans Square was not a "circus after dark". It’s been 20+ years since I’ve been on the Mark Twain at night; I had forgotten how nice and peaceful it is. Once you leave the “square” it feels so authentic it’s amazing.

One last comment, I didn’t get a photo because you can’t take pictures inside the Haunted Mansion. As part of the Christmas overlay, they have a fun gingerbread coffin (with a gingerbread ghost inside) on the table in the ballroom scene. Just as your Doom buggy is entering that area you can smell gingerbread… It’s all in the details.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Trip Report - November 6, 2008

I was lucky to get to the park on Thursday for a couple of hours. Boy was it a beautiful day! It was overcast in Newport Beach (where I was working) and hot and windy at home, but Disneyland was picture perfect, I swear they order that way! City Hall had the longest line of the morning.

Low crowds in the early part of the day; this is the best way to see the park.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, the only “attraction” I rode that day, it’s truly becoming one of my favorites.

The Rivers of America sure is peaceful in the early morning hours, hard to believe you’re in Anaheim.

Time to visit my bridge and fence obsessions. Lets's look at the Plaza Gardens Bridge, there have been previous repairs done this year (previous post link) and honestly the repairs make no sense to me.

As you can see, they only replaced some of the floor boards, yet they were all in the same (old & worn) condition. Why just replace some? They did do a nice job “weathering” the boards so they look old.

While maintenance did repair the rotting fence posts they must have missed this! About a two foot section of the lower support beam is completely rotted out! I do hope they will be returning to this soon to fix it. It does appear there is a steel support under the bridge, but come on, this is the kind of thing I expect at Magic Mountain, not Disneyland!

This is the second bridge just north of the Plaza Gardens Bridge. Its looks just as worn as the Plaza Gardens Bridge and I suspect it will get some maintenance soon.

This stuff must require constant maintenance due to the weather.

The third bridge (located just north of the other two) looks fine. It must be fairly new and I gotta say, it’s not nearly as charming as the other two.

Lots of banging and sawing to be heard upstairs in the castle! I also saw a couple of guys come out of the door with blue prints in their hands.

Three fences is doing just fine, although it could use a little assistance from the landscaping department.

What used to be Titan’s Gardens, its now part of Pixie Hollow. I actually like this fountain and gardens much better. I completely avoided the actual “Hollow” area, it was packed!

Boy do they keep that little horseless carriage spotless!

Look what I found backstage, a HUGE Christmas tree!

Now a couple of short videos. First, new Purple/Blue Monorail, dare I say “It glides as softly as a cloud”

Look who I ran into sneaking out of the Pixie Hollow area, aren't they cute!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Trip Report - September 11, 2008

Going to Disneyland on September 11th was a little odd, but all the guests seemed to be having a grand time. The crowds were thin all day. When I arrive at the parking lot the attendant told me it would be a light day, 29 thousand expected for both parks, how do they know that?

New Guide cover, I think it’s super!

Too bad the map inside still has the old Monorail. Well, I guess the old Monorail is still clunking around the beam for a while longer.

I was greeted by these two while trying to take a photo of the flag pole. The “heads” sure look neat up close, I bet those cost some serious $$$.

The flag at half-staff with a grey overcast sky in the background, somber indeed.

This is the way I like Adventureland, where you can actually see the ground.

My favorite first stop when I arrive at the park at opening, the River Belle.

Yummy stuff. I always try and time it just right to get my pancakes fresh of the griddle.

Oh boy, the best $11 breakfast I’ve found at any Disney property.


That one raft kept circling the Island at a pretty good rate of speed, I want to do that!

I’ve seen this carriage before, what it ever used as an attraction?

This one I’m pretty sure was used as an attraction at one time. It’s great they still have these things, I would die to see all the stuff they have back stage and in storage!

Let’s talk bridge for a moment. I did a post back in July comparing one of the bridges from the hub to the Plaza gardens. Comparing it with older photos, it seems to be very original. In the previous Plaza Gardens bridge post (link) you can see the floor boards of the bridge appear to be very old and worn (millions of feet will do that).

Maybe it’s just pure coincidence or maybe the Mouse reads my blog, but that little worn bridge is now covered and under construction!

Here’s a peak behind the curtain, yup, they are replacing the floor boards!

Here’s a quick video where you can hear the saws and hammers banging. Also notice the other wooden bridge to the north of this one.

This bridge escaped my notice on my last visit, but check it out, it looks pretty worn out too. The maintenance guys better take up shop here next.

Actually, this bridge looks in worse shape than the other one.

Since I seem to be pointing out some maintenance issues, this is disturbing. This shot of the Monorail is just to give you a reference point.

I sure HOPE that’s just paint that’s cracked.

The whole beam in this spot shakes pretty good when the monorail rolls over this area. Note to self; do not eat under the beam.

Time for Lunch (yes I like to eat at Disneyland). Rancho del Zocalo is one of my favorites. I just love the food and the atmosphere. Did I mention there were no crowds?

Lots of pretty flowers.

Soft Chicken Tacos Monterey, another deal at just $12 including drink (with AP discount).

Three Fences is doing well. It could use a visit from the gardening folks pretty soon.

What in the heck is with this? Someone take that can of blue paint away from the maintenance people!

Is this a promise or a question?

Esmeralda is looking well.

Here’s the prophecies she read for me.

The Dapper Dans are singing there hearts out, boy do they sound good with that hidden sound system!

I hope you enjoyed the trip as viewed from my odd perspective. See you tomorrow on Bonus Sunday!