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January 2008 Archives

January 3, 2008

DCA - Fun at the Snow White 70th Anniversary Exhibit

Back in November (yeah, I know, not a very up-to-date blog entry, is it?) Disney opened a Snow White 70th Anniversary exhibit in the Animation Building at DCA. The exhibit is in the main room of the building - sort of a maze-like set-up of walls with some photos and artwork and copies of cels from the movie. Interesting to see some of the sketches and concept art, and read snippets on how they come up with various ideas, etc.

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For those of you familiar with that part of the Animation Building, you know that there are a bunch of projection screens overhead, which usually are showing scenes, artwork, etc. from lots of Disney animated features - but for now it's only Snow White.

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Which brings me (finally) to the point of this blog entry...how to have some fun at the exhibit. On the outside of the exhibit's "walls" are life-size sketches of various characters from the movie. Life-size enough that with a little imagination and placement you can insert yourselves. :-) So Lee and I had a little fun with that when we were there a couple of weeks ago.

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Hmmm...I'm not quite sure I like the way Snow is looking at him!!! Though I can't blame her for wanting to upgrade to someone much more manly than the "girly prince" that Disney stuck her with...

Happy New Year, everyone!

January 15, 2008

The Toy Story Zoetrope

"The Toy Story *what?*" is what I'm sure you're all asking! At least, that's that *I* said when I saw the sign outside the Animation Gallery inside DCA's Animation Building.

According to a Pixar press release, the zoetrope is a "kinetic installation... an early cinema device that created the optical illusion of static images in motion. The 7' (high) x 12' (diameter) zoetrope, which is cycled to synchronize with the artscape installation, features characters from both Toy Story films and uses a series of strobe lights to make the Toy Story characters Buzz, Woody, Wheezy, and others revolve around a central spindle, out of which hordes of toy soldiers parachute down."

And from a Disney press release: "Originally created for the '20 Years of Pixar Production Art Show' at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Zoetrope creates the illusion of movement by presenting a rapidly changing sequence of images - actual three-dimensional models - of characters from both Toy Story films: Woody, Buzz Lightyear, cowgirl Jessie, horse Bullseye and even the little green Aliens. The figures are mounted on a spinning disk and lit with a strobe which creates a sense of continuous motion, as if the characters have actually come to life before your eyes."

Initially I thought it looked like a carousel - only with Toy Story characters instead of horses. But when you take a closer look, you can see that the characters' poses vary.

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We stood in the room for a couple of minutes, then all of a sudden the room lights dimmed and the lights inside the zoetrope became brighter. It started to spin, and music started to play. At first everything was just a blur, but then the strobe light effect began and the characters appeared to be moving in an animated sequence - Woody rode a bucking Bullseye, Jessie spun a rope up and down, Buzz walked on top of a ball, the green army men parachuted down, and my favorite, the penguins and the little green guys collaborated in a stunt where the penguins catapulted a green guy into the air and then he dove into a hole in the floor. One really interesting thing - the display was spinning counter-clockwise, but all of the action, except Buzz on his ball, appeared to be moving clockwise.

The "show" is a couple of minutes long, and it's really very cool to watch.

I took a video with my digital camera and put it on YouTube - unfortunately the quality suffered in converting it to something YouTube could handle, and the video frame rate doesn't match up with the strobe rate so the animation isn't as smooth, but it'll still give you the idea.

Toy Story Zoetrope video

January 21, 2008

Quick Trip to Disneyland

I made a quick commando-type trip to Disneyland/DCA on Friday - my objective was to take photos of as many menus as I could since I haven't updated them for AllEars in a while. (And if anyone out there is interested in helping with that in the future, please let me know!) I'm used to sticker shock when it comes to food prices at Disneyland, but I'd just like to say that I find the breakfast menu at Storyteller's Cafe to be ridiculously overpriced. $17.59 for a Mickey waffle????

But back to my day...I took my GPS runner's watch with me, since I was interested in seeing how far I walked - I hit all three hotels, Downtown Disney, and both parks, and covered 6.95 miles in 3 hours and 24 minutes. It was all the pictures that slowed me down! :-)

It was a beautiful, beautiful day - sunny and clear and in the mid-60s. Which isn't warm by southern California standards, but I'm sure most of the rest of the country would be really happy with those kind of temperatures in mid-January! (And no, this picture is not upside-down!)

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Despite the awesome weather the parks were quite uncrowded - the only attraction that had much of a line was (what else?) Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage - 55 minutes at 11:00 in the morning.

This is the final weekend for "it's a small world holiday" before the attraction goes into a lengthy rehab - it'snot scheduled to re-open until November. So I guess there's no reason to remove the holiday decorations inside - it'll be holiday time again when it reopens. :-)

Construction on Toy Story Mania at DCA continues - they are working on the walkways in front of the attraction now so you can't walk all the way around Paradise Bay - if you're at California Screamin' and want to ride the Sun Wheel you have to walk all the way around the Bay. No official opening date for the attraction has been announced - still listed as "Coming in 2008".

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January 26, 2008

Disneyland Resort - This and That

Disneyland has renamed "Early Entry" to "Magic Morning", and changed the days - it's now Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. It's still available to DL Resort guests every day it's offered during their stay, otherwise it is offered one day of most 3- 4- or 5-day park hoppers. There's more detailed information on the AllEars.net page HERE.

I was surprised that Disney's Electrical Parade (which will always be the Main Street Electrical Parade to me, even though it's at DCA) is still running - usually it ends after the holidays. But according to the schedule, DEP continues on weekends/holidays through March 9, then nightly through March 31 (and perhaps beyond, but that's as far out as Disneyland's calendar goes at the moment).

The new Pixar Play Parade starts at DCA on March 14.

In honor of the Snow White "Fairest of them All" 70th anniversary exhibit in the Animation Building, Snow White has a meet and greet spot outside, with the Seven Dwarfs' cottage as a backdrop. She seems to be very popular.

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Rancho del Zocalo in Frontierland has some good-looking desserts! They have coconut flan and tres leches cake, and a special chocolate praline "Year of a Million Dreams" cake (all $4.99 each). The tropical fruit plate ($4.59) also looks really good...if it's nice ripe fruit that would be delicious!

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There's a big crane on the south side of the Grand Californian where they are working on the new wing that will be part DVC and part regular hotel rooms.

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January 29, 2008

Healthier Snack Options

Last year Disneyland started offering a greater selection of healthier snack options in the parks, and there have been more fruit stands popping up around the parks. Toon Up Treats in Toontown now serves only fruit, drinks, and snacks, and there's a fairly new fruit/snack stand in Tomorrowland at the base of the Observatron. Traditional fruit stands like the Main Street Fruit Cart and the fruit cart in Critter Country have expanded their offerings.

In addition to the old standbys like fresh whole fruit ($1.75) and large dill pickles ($2.50) there's also boxes of grapes ($2.50), sliced apples with caramel sauce ($3.75), mixed fruit ($4.00) and even mango slices ($3.75). There's also pineapple spears ($2.50), organic fruit leather ($1.25) and slices of watermelon ($2.50).

Non-fruit choices include carrots with ranch dip ($2.75), veggie box with ranch dip ($4.00), trail mix ($4.00), and a bag of apple chips ($2.75). Bottles of Simply Orange and Simply Limeade ($4.50) are available, as well as Dasani water ($2.75) and PowerAde Option ($2.75).

Not all of those items are available at each location, but the Main Street Fruit Cart has an especially nice selection, as does Tropical Imports in Adventureland (where in addition to fruit they also carry a fine inventory of rubber snakes). Over in DCA the Fruit Stand at the edge of "a bug's land" has the best selection of healthy snacks, and also offers several types of Boudin sourdough bread - baguette, round loaf (both $5.50), and one in the shape of Mickey's head ($7.50).

Toon Up Treats Menu
Main Street Fruit Cart Menu

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About January 2008

This page contains all entries posted to Salute to All Things Disney but Mostly Disneyland in January 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

December 2007 is the previous archive.

February 2008 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.