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April 29th - May 3rd in 223 Photos!


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  • Trip Report April 29th - May 3rd in 223 Photos!

    Hi Everyone! My partner Mark and I spent a wonderful and fun five days at DLR recently and here's my trip report. I'm a videographer (among other things) for my profession and have always previously taken a really good consumer HD camera on our treks to DL or WDW. But I've been wanting to improve my compositional eye, as it were, and decided to get a new Prosumer dSLR still camera (Nikon D5000 - highly recommended for pro-photo neophytes such as myself) and HEADED OFF TO DISNEYLAND WITHOUT A VIDEO CAMERA!!! I needed an intervention, nearly, to get on a plane without one... but I'm happy with the photos we took and I hope you enjoy them!


    We arrived a little early Wednesday afternoon at the Grand Californian so we checked in (as much as we could), stored our bags and headed out to DL as quickly as possible.

    Not terribly thrilled with the "celebrate" floral Mickey.

    Finally here!

    I know a lot of people hate this display and I have to admit it was kind of a blight on the view. But I love, love, love the balloons abstracted like this in this photo.

    Jumped on the Disneyland Railroad for a round trip. This is one of my favorite photos... he seems so happy! Snapped this one just as we were seated on the train.

    First stop.

    This was taken IN MOTION!!! The new camera rocks. But my favorite part of this is the access panel on the side of the buck! It would be such a beautiful, pastoral image if it weren't for this one little detail reminding us of the artifice that is Disneyland.

    After our train trip we started down Main Street. Here I looked back over my shoulder and snapped the clock tower. I'm so happy I finally have a lens with such a narrow depth of field! It's an 18-200mm AF-S DX VR for any camera geeks out there.

    A bicycle built for four.

    Framing out some blue walls in the hub. Love how the light hits the shingles!

    For some reason we always head left into Adventureland first.

    I'm a big Haunted Mansion geek but the Indy wait was inexplicably only 15 minutes... and in reality less than 10!

    We meet again, my love. This is the first time we've seen DL's updated mansion without the holiday overlay! Leota floated in THREE AXIS! I've never seen her do this before... only ever up and down, I think, in MK. Very cool. But it only happened for this one ride. For the duration of our trip going forward she was stationary on her stand. What up with that?

    Here's a statuary tease for you... more and better later. We leave DL for some dinner and some rest. We had gotten up at 3:00 AM New York time, after all. And we had some wine and apps in our future so we needed to save our strength.

    Our room was ready. Both of these were shot from our GC balcony. We had a great room. Thanks for the hookup GC folks!

    Love this restaurant... but our favorite way to enjoy it is in the lounge.

    Called "Black Chicken." We like very bold, very big wines and this Biale didn't disappoint.

    Hot chocolate. Mmmm.

    Apple tart. That's right, I called it a tart.

    We quit smoking last year (hardest thing ever but we did it!) and decided to treat ourselves by sharing a good cigar. It was a fun treat and, thank goodness, didn't cause any backsliding. A one-time thing.


    (And the photos will get better, promise.)

    Personal Site | Professional Site | Follow My Tweets

  • #2
    Day two part one

    We decided to do another new thing for us by riding the monorail into DL from the Downtown Disney station.

    Left over from last night or did some poor kid's day suck so early in the morning?

    Blue arrives for us.

    Snap fast or you'll miss it.



    Too bad you can't ride it.

    Far superior to WDW's! (But you knew that, huh?)

    We were, apparently, enjoying ourselves.

    Mark illustrates the name of our next ride. Nothing else, I swear.

    Monstro Bites!

    I want to go to there.

    Got no strings.

    We had the pleasure of seeing a surprising number of adult women who'd been Bippidi Bobbidi Boutique'd. The shiny, curly hair extensions made me feel like I was in the Bronx.

    No king here.

    Definitely no king here.

    Who is that man over there? OMG!! He's coming this way!!

    Oh. It's just Mark.

    Mark snapped this one of me coming back from a pit stop. This was not posed, believe it or not. I was in motion! I heart my camera.

    By the way, you've been seeing me in my homemade Haunted Mansion T-Shirt. Can you see the pattern? Know what it is?

    Into Toontown. We'd never spent much time there before... just a quick ride on Cartoon Spin. But the theming is completely and totally amazing! Perfection!

    Our eyes meet through the crowd and I question everything I know about love. And mice.

    Smart bird. Eggs stay warm even when she's away.

    I've had a little Goofy Gas from time to time.

    Please now make your own organ joke.

    Sing along with me.

    On the wings of love
    Up and above the clouds, the only way to fly
    Is on the wings of love
    On the wings of love
    Only the two of us together flying high
    Flying high up on the wings of love

    Who you callin' chicken!?

    Please now make another of your own organ jokes.

    Chip and Dale are still roommates? Really?

    I was strangely drawn to snap this photo.

    Nuts! Have you ever noticed when you meet the boys they each accuse the other of being nuts via the whirly finger next to the head gesture?


    And with that we leave Toontown.

    Our timing was pefect at Innoventions. The ASIMO show was just starting.

    ASIMO is awesomo!

    "Do not point the camera directly into the sun. There is a risk of fire." Really? Really. And how, then, am I supposed to get some of that lens flare goodness?

    Back to the hotel for an afternoon rest. All alone!

    GC is truly an Arts & Crafts orgy!

    A quick bite at Storytellers. We were very disappointed that our salads had apparently been prepared long before we ordered them. No matter how fresh the ingredients and how cool the refridgeration the whole thing still sort of congeals together. Ewww.

    Personal Site | Professional Site | Follow My Tweets


    • #3
      Re: April 29th - May 3rd in 223 Photos!

      Wow. Oh wow.... this is one of the great things about this site... the phenomenal photographers on this site who are kind enough to share their work and make the rest of us only wish we could take real pictures with our cheap little point and shoot cameras... :lol: Eh, even if I had a better camera, it takes an eye to "see" those shots and to capture them!

      Totally amazing!! I love all of your shots!! I look forward to seeing more!

      Help me get more security in Pingvinivlle! Click here!

      Originally posted by AGhostFromThePast
      all you need to know about the mommy stick is.. out of all the bad things that could happen to you... it's right between wetting yourself and death.


      • #4
        Day two part two

        After a rest we went over to Disney's little half day parklet, California Adventure.

        Can you see the moon?

        Is it me or does this seem a little forced? Thank you I'll be here all week.

        Had I only known I would've dialed "M" long, long ago.

        I've never been gifted with more absolute, pure joy at a Disney park than when watching this baby interact with Goofy. And I am not prone to like children, either... and it made me all googly and full of love.

        Can you believe this? If you do not own Disney stock how can you look at this photo and not run out and buy some!?! It's trading right now at levels not seen since 1990! Look at this baby's face. Instant customer for life.

        Best. Photo. Ever.

        I love how Imagineers use just enough actual, dimensional sculpture to sell the rest of the detail painted in 2D.

        I've always considered CA's ToT a lesser facsimile to WDW's because the amazing "ambulatory elevator" gag in Florida rocked my world so much the first time I rode it. But I have to admit this one has a lot more re-ride appeal because the experience is seamless and doesn't fade with repeated rides. In Florida 1) once you know what's coming it's not that big of a deal and 2) poor upkeep and light leeks blows the traveling gag before it ever begins.

        I'd never noticed the doll before. Damn she scary!

        I heart anthropomorphic boilers.

        Mr. Incredible had a little tights problem I don't think prudent to name. But it starts with another word for dromedary and ends with toe.

        This ride grows on me over time. The door factory bits are great. I just wish it was a little more plussed.

        Another example of how perfect our timing was... after spring break and before the summer heat, baby! The longest we ever waited for anything was for Toy Story Mania and that was only about 30 minutes.

        Sugar Salt & Fat! My favorite!!

        For the most part I didn't (obviously) take many on-ride photos. This was on purpose so I could just sit back and enjoy. But the line was so short on Monsters I couldn't resist a second ride thru with the camera out.


        Roz. Odd that her parade appearance is more detailed than her ride figure, huh?

        Pluto made our day. We weren't even anywhere near him... he was with a child taking photos yet somehow saw us pointing our camera and had the presence of mind to turn and wave! Who's a good boy!?

        Am I the only one uncomfortable with toilet paper companies sponsoring the bathrooms? Isn't this a little icky? "Wow, that paper is so soft Martha... we'll have to remember how great our butts feel when we get home to our Piggly Wiggly!"

        We left out the front door to take this shot.

        Believe it or not we'd never been inside World of Disney. This store is JAWDROPPINGLY MASSIVE! But they really got my dander up by not having any 40th Anniversary HM stuff except for one kinda boring shirt.

        We love Vault 28 and spend way too much money there every time we're in So Cal.


        I'm sorry it's so blurry but trust me this is John Lasseter talking to John Stamos! We were having dinner in the main dining room at Napa Rose. First comes Stamos and then Mr. L himself! (Paul Scheer from Best Week Ever was also in the house but meh.)

        I had my camera in my Vault 28 bag at my feet. Once Lasseter came in and sat down I took it out and started snapping. I only got 2 or 3 photos taken before FOUR WAITERS and A MANAGER all bum rushed me like I was some sort of criminal. As they told me "No photos allowed!" I was reviewing the pics I'd snapped and decided not to yell, "Fascist Commie Pigs!" because I thought I'd gotten the shot. Well I got it but it is obviously not up to par. Still it was a magical end to a magical day.

        Ah, good times.


        Personal Site | Professional Site | Follow My Tweets


        • #5
          Thank you, penguinsoda!

          You made my day!!!
          Personal Site | Professional Site | Follow My Tweets


          • #6
            Hang in there!!!

            Still about 100 photos remaining, I'm embarrassed to admit. Hang in there!
            Personal Site | Professional Site | Follow My Tweets


            • #7
              Re: Day two part one

              Originally posted by ABOMIBOT View Post

              Mark illustrates the name of our next ride. Nothing else, I swear.

              Monstro Bites!

              LOL, :lol:, these are my absolute favorite. They are hilarious!! Excellent job, keep up the good work, can't wait for the rest.


              • #8
                Re: April 29th - May 3rd in 223 Photos!

                Aw squid!

                Thanks for your sharing your photo report.

                I should have went on early May instead of late April when Spring Break was still alive. Squid! Believe it or not, it was crowded, loaded with kids and strollers, a little annoying, but easily ignored. Also, I didn't have a good night's sleep on that day and I was freaking tired! I was kind of sleep walking too, so I didn't really notice everything in much detail and I trouble paying attention, due to lack of enough sleep.

                Walt Disney's Original Magic Kingdom!


                • #9
                  Re: April 29th - May 3rd in 223 Photos!

                  Loved them, loved them, loved them! Thanks for including the lobby shot of the GCH as it's one of my favorite places on Earth. (Hotel Lobby Geek.) I've clicked you onto my "favorite places" because I'm going to be coming back. Thanks so much for putting these up!


                  • #10
                    Day three - all disneyland all day!

                    This was Friday May, 1st. Pirates was supposed to remain closed until Saturday but we were lucky enough to get to ride it six or seven times that day!

                    Things were starting to get busier, of course, the closer to weekend we got. But I love it when it's bustling!

                    Allow me to take this opportunity to thank Mark for 11 fantastic years of love, happiness, and unbridled permissiveness of my Disney Parks fanaticism! I've made a convert out of him.

                    His balloon is trying to pull him off to Neverland!

                    A man child and his balloon.

                    You dance divinely.

                    Kiss me you fool.

                    We were SO EXCITED for the castle walk through!!!

                    It did not disappoint! Amazing!

                    The perfect blending of nostalgia, old fashioned stagecraft and modern technology! So relieved when they get something so pitch-perfectly right!

                    I thought it would never be as good as the Blu-Ray walk through animation. Boy was I wrong.

                    I love this long exposure shot of the dancing spinning wheels.

                    I think this was my favorite diorama. The loop was very long!

                    I tried to get Divine Miss M's shadow but the exposure was so long in the low light and her appearance so short she is invisible in every photo.

                    I nearly lost my iPhone! It was sliding around on the floor of our train the last half of the ride!


                    Love this shot.

                    Columbia's Masthead. Does she have a name?

                    We're on a raft to the island.

                    I stood in front of this building on the island and took a series of photos to turn into a panorama. It's huge. HUGE! 10 feet wide at 300dpi! If I can get it's file size down small enough without making the image too small I'll post it in a separate reply to this thread.

                    ARRGGHH! Gurrrrgggglllleeee!!! Love it.

                    Spooky low angle.

                    Here is the first of three good statuary shots I promised in the Day One post. Are we all to be surrounded by our prey in death?

                    Croaked. You guys!

                    Dog, God. God, dog.

                    Blowing southerly.

                    Jungle Cruise! We had a skipper who rarely turned back to look at us.

                    Staring at her back the whole ride got me thinking dark, dark thoughts...

                    We took a break and came back for a fun Friday night!

                    The magic hour!

                    Very crowded but palpable excitement!

                    A little blurry... almost didn't post this one. But the sky color is so pretty. Dusk is such a marvelous time in DL!

                    A man and his mouse.

                    I love the extensive depth here. In the foreground is the Walt & Mickey statue, then people, then the drawbridge, the castle, more people and finally the Carousel.

                    Amazing how still everyone was when you look at how blurry the person in the gray shirt is walking into frame left just behind the foremost teacup, huh?

                    Happy Unbirthday, everyone!

                    Beckons us back once again. Everyone should shoot at least one dutch angle George Romero shot of the mansion, right?






                    And so ends a lovely and very long day.

                    END OF DAY THREE
                    Personal Site | Professional Site | Follow My Tweets


                    • #11
                      Final day

                      Last post, folks! If you've made it this far you sure are a glutton for photographic punishment! Don't blame me if your ISP bills you for exceeding your "unlimited" bandwidth.

                      These photos are all of Paradise Pier and the Pixar Play Parade. We shot these and then put away the camera for a fun, care-free final night in Disneyland. Your loss but our gain, sorry.

                      Let's begin the end!

                      I love it. Start the hate flames but I cannot tell a lie. Black and red and Disney all over!

                      I *so* wanted to ride it but we were a day or two early.

                      I'm still shocked that they would do this in public view. Utterly shocked. Granted, how could they do otherwise without hemorrhaging even more money? I'm a shareholder, after all, and want to see good quarterly results. But bad show.

                      Really bad show. (But fascinating!)

                      We're headed there next.

                      We rode it twice in a row. We looked so incredibly uninterested in our first ride photo (why do they place the cameras in such a boring spot?!?) we made absolutely sure we looked excited the second time around. I confess I wanted to show my boobies but we were a day early for an unattended Flash Mountain scandal.

                      This scruffy but adorable cat was chasing a bee just outside the Blue Sky Cellar.

                      PIXAR PLAY PARADE

                      I was really looking forward to this and it sure didn't disappoint (unlike a cheesy DL un-parade which shall remain nameless). We had a great time and an even better seat.

                      Thus ends my epic trip report! If you want to see any of the video I've shot during past visits here are two links you might enjoy:

                      October 2007 Pastiche

                      Long, straight cuts with natural sound. A "you are there" video.

                      For better quality, click through to YouTube and watch in High Quality!

                      [ame=""]YouTube - Disneyland October 2007 Pastiche[/ame]

                      Walt Disney World
                      MICKEYTRON 2008

                      High energy music video of our trip. Features our lighted EL-Wire "MickeyTron" costumes for MNSSHP.

                      If you're computer can handle it I'd recommend you click through to YouTube and watch in High Definition!

                      [ame=""]YouTube - MickeyTron 2008 - A DisneyWorld Vacation[/ame]

                      THANKS FOR PLAYING!!!

                      Personal Site | Professional Site | Follow My Tweets


                      • #12
                        Re: April 29th - May 3rd in 223 Photos!

                        Awesome!! the pictures are so fantastic!! they are so pretty!!


                        • #13
                          Re: April 29th - May 3rd in 223 Photos!

                          What a wonderful report! Thanks so much!
                          "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals.
                          Homer Jay Simpson


                          • #14
                            Re: April 29th - May 3rd in 223 Photos!

                            Amazing pictures . Looks like you had a great time!


                            • #15
                              Re: April 29th - May 3rd in 223 Photos!

                              I love the monorail and space mountain photos!! really good!!

                              Come Celebrate with us, we can't wait to meet ya!


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