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October 2012 Archives

October 2, 2012

Disney Pic of the Week - Storybook Circus

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

The Magic Kingdom is bursting at the seams with expansions to Fantasyland including a section deemed Storybook Circus. Here you'll find not 1 but 2 Dumbo the Flying Elephant rides with a big top tent filled with activities to keep you busy while you wait to soar. Casey Jr. Splash 'N' Soak Station is where kids can cut loose and get soaked. The former Toontown train station has been redesigned into the new Fantasyland/Storybook Circus Station.

Barnstormer featuring the Great Goofini, a kiddie coaster, welcomes all ages.

lkb-StorybookCircus-Barnstormer.jpg

Click back on Thursday for Scott's Storybook Circus photo.

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October 3, 2012

Making Lens Flare Work for You

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton


Tell me something, have you ever had sun streaks in your pictures? Did the person or thing you aimed at turn out dark? There's a way to successfully incorporate lens flare and keep your subject recognizable. No, I'm not talking about digital enhancements. I'm referring to manual exposure and good, solid photography skills.

You'll need a camera that allows you to select the f-stop, shutterspeed, and ISO. I used my Canon EOS 30D and Canon 17-40mm L USM. Start by selecting a film speed appropriate for the lighting condition. Keep in mind that you're going to have a small aperture and the ISO will have to help make up the difference of light reaching the film plane or sensor.

Choose a shutterspeed that's comfortable for you to hand-hold unless you're using a tripod. If you're using a digital camera, take your first test shot and view it in various sections on the LCD screen. From here you can determine what changes to make to your settings. Film users are used to bracketing so they've already taken a few shots while I type this paragraph.


lkb-LensFlare-BigThunder1.jpg

Closing down the f-stop will create more detail and sharpen the image. These photos are only a 1 stop difference.

lkb-LensFlare-BigThunder.jpg

No cross screen filter nor digital filter was used. Cool, huh!

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October 4, 2012

Elephant Games in Storybook Circus

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Guests being sprayed by elephants in Casey Jr. Splash 'N' Soak Station in the new Storybook Circus area in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Guests being sprayed by elephants at Casey Jr. Splash 'N' Soak Station in the new Storybook Circus.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/130s, f/32, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 100mm focal length.

Guests being sprayed by elephants at Casey Jr. Splash 'N' Soak Station in the Magic Kingdom. A wet one for my Disney Pic of the Week for Storybook Circus.


October 5, 2012

Tower of Terror 10 Miler at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I attended the inaugural Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10 Miler and Disney Villains Hollywood Bash last weekend. The weather was not the best for running with temperatures in the mid-70's F and very high humidity even though the race was run from 10pm to past midnight. The runners checked in at Disney's Hollywood Studios parking lot. There were a few large displays runners were posing for photos with.

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Inaugural 10 Miler sign in the Disney's Hollywood Studios parking lot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Inaugural 10 Miler Sign.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/125, f/2.8, ISO 2800, EV +0.3, 16mm focal length.

While the runners were out on the course being cheered on by runDisney people, cast members, volunteers and even Disney Villains, us party goers took advantage of short lines at Star Tours, MuppetVision 3-D, Toy Story Mania and Rock 'n' Roller Coaster. Using my smartphone, I followed a lot of the runners and getting updates on one special runner, my daughter.

A runner in the cool down lane after finishing the Tower of Terror 10 Miler in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
A runner in the cool down lane after finishing the Tower of Terror 10 Miler.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 0.4s, f/5, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 28mm focal length, tripod, slow sync flash.

There she is. Standing proudly with her medal as other runners walk past. After she drank the water and snacks supplied, we all went for a ride on the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

The technique I used was setting my flash to rear sync. This means the flash goes off just before the shutter closes. I had my daughter stand very still as other runners walked past. They show movement over the exposure while my daughter did not.

October 7, 2012

Where in the World #250

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

To all who come to this photo trivia game, Welcome! Along the way, the photos can make us relive memories and see details Walt's Imagineers put into everything we love in Walt Disney World!

Thanks for your wonderful messages, Carolyn Como and Karen Ramirez! I appreciate that!
I actually leave for Walt Disney World in 3 weeks, Patti Mccaffrey. My husband and I are going to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary! We're dressing up and having our picture taken in front of the castle; we even have bride and groom mouse ears for the picture. :)

On the other hand, Rob & April Vanderpool, Sharon Pierce, and Caroline Burmester are going through the "My Disney vacation is over" blues. Come on, Players, bring it in for a group hug. (Guys, you can give a manly chuck on the shoulder if that would be more comfortable for you.)
together

Penny Urell, look! It's your name again! :)

Here was the September 30th challenge:
 Where in the World #249

And here's the answer:
Where in the World Photo Fun
Copyright © Erin Blackwell

The Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
in Epcot's Norway pavilion! Home to Princess Storybook Dining which draws a sea of tiny Disney Princesses and their families there to meet their heroines in person!

Patterson Family, look at you speaking Norwegian! I'm impressed!

Brian Gallant was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Brian and to all the readers who got the answer right: Ed Elder, The Kahle Family, Kenny, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, The Kahle Family, Louise Barton, Lorine Landon, Jennifer Rowell, Chris Landon, Ashley Johnston, Kelly Zanauskas, Anna Warburton, Theresa Rucando, Kerry A., Carol Gamill, Pollyanna Buff, Jennifer Harmon, Curtis Bille, Jackie Kirner, Cindy Smith, Colette Stanton, Kristen Kempf, Jamie K, Melissa Bacon, Anne Marie Cronin, Dave Wang, Deb Ragno, Mary Beth Tarbet, Emily Jabas, Paul Dickson, Olivia Def, Robert Avnet, Stuart Hale, Lee Jourdan, Melyssa Mignone, Lee Jourdan, Noah Schweizer, Janet Thorn, Brian Nale, Lynette Michalos, Paula Massarelli, Belicia Cullen, Scott Cullen, Vera Williams, Christine Dagney, Erin Dagney, Emily Dagney, The Omeara Family, Gabriella & Matthieu, Kristen Moody, James And Kathy Berry, Lee Anastasi, Theresa Lucotti, Mike O'brien , Carolyn Como, Tommy Montgomery, Ken Maikowski, Nathalie Periard, Audra Miller, Kevin Miller, Linda "the Pooh" scrivano, Katie Marshall, Ken Clark, Mike Walter, Veronica Peterson, Angie Young, Kelly Cummings, Kara Cummings, Scott Welch, Dave Kanigowski, Hoekzema Family, Robert Noecker, Maureen Handy, Eva Mayhew, Gerald Skanes, Chris Connors, C.j. Connors, Debbie Connors, Jennifer Snook, Griffin Harpel, Emily Hudson, Jen Tremley, Patty Carty, Kim Skanes, Maggie Klotz, Chris Kelly, Cynthia Hitchcock, Ruth Woodhouse, Linda College, Morgan M., Laura V., Susie Howard, Patti Mccaffrey, Pam Vanaustin, Carri Marotto, Mackenzie D., Staci Plunkett, Teresa Plunkett, Nancy Johansen, Sandie Albrecht, Julie And Kody Rider, Erica Zielewski, Kim Mobley, The Kertes Family, Kathy Huckabee, Laurie Walker, Hillary Waldroop, Christopher Barnes, Les Stewart, Jenny Stoneburner, Mickey Eckert, James Chris Nichols, Heidi Burke, Evanna Huda, Clay Anthony, Karen Ramirez, Melodye Berry, Morag Lemon, Craig, Chloe Mayhew, Dan Johnston, Mike Haven, Sandy Kanigowski, Tricia Noble, Gallagher Family, Ashley Hill, Amber Slifer, Kristen Mccoy, Dale Knight, Jeremy Reichelt, Kristen Carde, Andrea Kruszewski, Betsy Silvestri, Anastasia Macneil, Andy Schumacher, Jennifer Cravener, Matthew Jadro, Nathaniel Clements, Rebecca Keenan, Patrick Broaddus, Emily Watson, Al Desimone, Debbie Desimone, Scott Sangston, Claire Gregory, Christopher Dotzman, Doug Andrews, Karen Martin, Kevin Jones, John Pasqueralli, Pecosace, Kelly Smith, Hobbes And Snorky, Lori Rienhardt, Walter N. Clark, Heidi Goodhue, Sharon Dale, Caryn Schill, Jim Fonseca , Jim Fonseca , The Hicks Family, Rob Jacob, Eric Holmes, Stephanie Dollar, Mike Sosnovich, John Menjes, Alan Mize, Matt Holley, Jack And Bill Foley, Mike Haeberle, Kelly Chipmunk Barnes, Rob & April Team Vanderpool, Kerrie Hogan, Kate Flanagan, Nancy, Jason Skow, Kerry Mccaffrey, Dawn Bach, Agnes Ciotti, Ruth Cookson, Jenny Brennan, Maryann Daly, William Edwards, Emma Ramsey, George Mundy Jr, Sharon Pierce, Caroline Burmester, Jenn Steele, Wendy T Faler, Trish Babler, Fred Shakeshaft, Paula B, Jeremy Mccaffrey, Mark Proper, Kristin Dormuth, Taylor Pocopanni, Annie Snodgrass, The Patterson Family, Mark Franklin, Kirsten Miller, Gerald Buford, Carolyn Duff, Lisa Zitek, Karen Smith, Ed Bene, Kyler Scott And Kevin Too, Emily Henderson, Ana Petersen, and Kathryn Willer. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.

That closes out September, which means: TIME TO DRAW THE MONTHLY WINNER! And the September 2012 winner is: Heidi Burke! Congratulations, Heidi! You win AllEars swag from Deb Wills!
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #250: Where in the world is this?

Staying in the parks!
 Where in the World #250

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, October 11th, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post.

See you next week, Players!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

Everyone who sends in a correct answer to a Where in the World Challenge this month will be entered in a drawing at the end of the month for some special AllEars® goodies!

October 9, 2012

Disney Pic of the Week: United Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Unitied Kingdom pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase is home to the Rose & Crown Pub and Yorkshire County Fish Shop restaurants. People can shop for British sporting goods, clothing, ancestry, tea and music. Speaking of music, the Hide Park garden in the back of the pavilion is the new home of the British Revoluion band who get guests rocking with British pop hits of the 1960s to the 1980s.

The British Revolution rocking the United Kingdom pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The British Revolution rocking the United Kingdom pavilion.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/60s, f/16, ISO 560, EV +0.3.

Lisa will be here on Thursday sharing her Disney Pic of the Week of United Kingdom.

October 10, 2012

Newbie and the Geek Take Walt Disney World: Reservations

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton


Before I jump into what's new, those of you just joining us can catch up here. Newbie and the Geek Take Walt Disney World

During one of our earlier phone calls, Yoli mentioned using a travel agency to book her flights to and from Orlando. As if! Please, I knew that would never happen because I can't sit still long enough to let someone else do the research. Just ask my high school reunion committee who have dubbed me Super Sleuth because I found a whole bunch of classmates, and it wasn't easy. Fast forward to a phone call in early September. I called Yoli to go over airfare I had found given that she wanted to fly in and out of the same airport (such a diva) and, AND!, limit her airport choices from 5 (LAX, SNA, BUR, LGB, and ONT) to 3 (Los Angeles, Santa Ana, and Ontario).

While my pal lounged in the shade by the pool while being fanned and fed grapes by two gladiator-like studs (scratched record sound). Wait, this is Yoli we're talking about, right? They fed her popcorn, not fruit. Also, she might have been sitting at her fluorescent-lit desk at work. It's alright, I called when she was just going off the clock. While my pal half-listened, I pummeled my way through nearly every airline's website plus Kayak looking for flights that landed in and took off from MCO around the same time as mine. The other contingents were price, route, layover locations for time and ease of reaching the next gate. Many, many, many screens and options led me to twist Yoli's long-distance arm into breaking her rules and finding a price she liked ($291.00), routes I approved (Phoenix & Charlotte), and layovers that are liveable (90 minutes & 73 minutes). She'll land about 2 hours before me and go home an hour after me. Oh, and she's flying out of one airport and landing at another. Tee hee hee. Thanks, US Airways.

With that giant task out of the way, I could go back to training her and asking millions of questions. I swore I had ordered a free Disney Parks Vacation Planning DVD for her months and months ago but she didn't receive anything. Back to the website, this time I had it shipped to my house so I could see exactly what she would see ahead of time. I swear this is the only type of micro-managing I've ever done. It's really not my style. Well, I watched said DVD and as a regular visitor I thought they could have done better including eliminating very old footage of entertainment at World Showcase.

Yoli's birthday was last month. A portion of her 7-day Magic Your Way We Don't Have to Park Hop ticket is her birthday present. Another portion is her Christmas present. The rest she paid me back for. When I'm wealthy, I can do more. Since we have this ginormous trip ahead of us, I couldn't send her just a birthday card. She also got the book Walt Disney World Little Known Facts About Well Known Places. She loves it. She also has the Disneyland edition. I want the Disneyland edition. (pouty face).
WDW-LittleKnownFacts.jpg

Wouldn't you know it, just a few minutes after I came home from mailing her present, the mailman delivered the vacation planning DVD from Disney. I laughed then I watched it. The following weekend it made it's way to the post office and eventually into Yoli's hands. I have no idea if she's even watched it yet. Yoli, are you doing your homework?!?!?!?

The other pieces of this planning puzzle are hotel reservations, finding a good deal on a rental car, a few more ADRs, secretly planning surprises, and coordinating with friends. I jumped in head first to find us a place to stay near the airport on the night we arrive. Whoa. What? You're staying off-site the first night? Yep. Are you insane? In this situation, no. Hear me out before you throw me into Yzma's laboratory and shove potions down my throat.

Yoli lands around 10 PM. I land around 12 PM. If we were to stay on-site, we'd arrive close to 1:30 AM after collecting luggage and the rental car. It'll be pitch black out and my Californian amiga would be deprived of that fantastical rush we all get when we see and drive under or past the giant purple signs with Mickey and friends welcoming us. I've got to do this trip right by my friend. I can hear you all agreeing with me. Yes, Sheryl S. in New York, it would suck if she missed out on that experience. Thank you for understanding.

Many, many, many days and hotel website comparisons later, we have, fingers crossed, a decent room booked a short drive from the airport. We'll be able to get a good night's rest (given we can actually calm down) and be ready for our magical adventure to commence.

As for the rest of our stay, we are officially booked onsite and it came as a not-as-easy-as-it-should-have-been task. Like many of you, I was going loca waiting for Disney to announce discounted resort rates for January. After studying historical discount release dates on Mousesavers.com, my best guess was early October for the news. I was right! On October 4th, the first set of deals was released for Disney VISA cardholders. The weird part is my happy anxiousness vanished and I wrote to my pal John Ames from MouseFanTravel. He got me some numbers which seemed a bit off to me. John planned on calling Disney back in the morning to check things out further. Call it a Gibbs-esque gut feeling, I HAD to call Disney and find out immediately. Also, I'm just really nudgy sometimes.

I talked to a very nice Cast Member originally from Santa Barbara, CA now living in central FL. She came up with the exact same prices as John but (and here's where the course changed) she said my hotel was only 5% off. I read the ad to her but she very nicely repeated the discount. Reservation agents can't receive e-mail but they can go on the Internet. Luckily, she obliged my request and I read her the advertisement's URL letter by letter, slash by slash, and underscore by underscore until it popped up on her monitor. She began reading it aloud and when she got to my resort said, "Uh oh." Immediately, she asked to put me on hold and spoke with her supervisor. When she came back she had good news, they were going to take care of me but had to book the reservation now. It took longer than usual because to get the deal meant booking us at a different resort at the proper discount and then having another reservations location "upgrade" us to the right hotel so the discount stuck. Phew!

But what about John?! I asked if he could be credited and the Cast Member said no so I tried calling him but he couldn't pick up. If this situation happens to you, let your travel agent know you booked your resort or package but want him/her to still handle it for you. They'll have you sign a consent form that literally allows them to take over your reservation. This way the agent gets his/her commission and if you run into any problems while on vacation, he/she will handle them for you as well as special requests.

NewbieGeek-JohnAmes.jpg
If your travel agent doesn't answer his/her phone, there's probably a good reason.

As for Advance Dining Reservations, I have made only 2 so far. Parks aren't crowded in January and I don't foresee long waits for walk-ups. It would be nice too if Yoli saw a restaurant that interested her. My friend is a picky eater, like a kid, so sometimes I send her menus to read and sometimes I ask sneaky questions. Here's the perfect example, I asked Yoli if she eats sushi or fish sticks. She said she eats fish sticks. Well, there really aren't any fish stick meals in the parks per se but (who knows where I'm heading with this?) Yorkshire County Fish Shop in the United Kingdom pavilion serves fish and chips. Ha! It's a small step out of her kiddie meal box. Heck, we can split the order, walk it off and then try pastries in France. I'll just tell her they sell fancy cookies. She'll bite.


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October 11, 2012

Crown and Crest - United Kingdom Epcot

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton


It's a jolly holiday shopping in the UK. Inside Siamese twins shoppe, Crown and Crest, you will find merchandise relaying to soccer, pubs, and the Beatles. You can also find your Family Crest of Arms and purchase it.

This crest is affixed to a wall over the door leading to the next store. Hey, I rhymed!
lkb-UK-CrestOrderKing.jpg

Disney Pic of the Week - United Kingdom, Epcot

Keep up with my freelance writing and photography via my Facebook page.

October 12, 2012

Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at Fort Wilderness Resort

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue dinner show playbill from the Pioneer Hall balcony in Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue dinner show playbill from the Pioneer Hall balcony.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/50s, f/3.5, ISO 4000, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

My wife and I have attended the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue dinner show at the Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground six times since our honeymoon back in 1983. Back then the Hoop-Dee-Doo was considered a hidden treasure most people not staying at Fort Wilderness knew about. I will not go into a lot of detail about the show. Jack Spence wrote up an excellent guide (click here to read) which covers everything you need to know about going and enjoying the show.

The Pioneer Hall is the location for the three nightly Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue dinner shows. It is a rustic log building themed after the theaters found in pioneer towns during the time of Davey Crockett. Inside is setup to make you feel like you've entered another time and place. Servers dressed in pioneer garb take you to your table where a garden salad already awaits with red and white checkered napkins.

Tip: When you first check in, your party will be asked to have a souvenir photo taken which you can later purchase at your table. The photo package consists of one 6x8, four 4x6 inch prints and a souvenir folder and costs $29.95. There is no obligation to buy.

Pioneer Hall in Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Pioneer Hall has been home to the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue since 1974.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/100s, f/3.5, ISO 1600, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

Once all are seated and drinks have been served, the Pioneer Hall Players enter from the front doors everyone came through. Whooping it up and making noise as they make their way to the stage. There they launch into the Hoop-Dee-Doo song encouraging all to clap and sing along. You'll get the chorus pretty fast.

Tip: During any stage show you are photographing, you need to take your exposures directly from a performer's face. I use spot metering to do so and adjust the exposure using the EV button. Notice all the stage photos in this article are set to EV -0.6 (-2/3). That properly exposed for the performer's skin.

The Pioneer Hall Players on stage performing the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue dinner show in Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
The Pioneer Hall Players on stage performing the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5, ISO 1400, EV -0.6, 82mm focal length.

The Pioneer Hall Players are Jim Handy (out front in yellow shirt) and Johnny Ringo. In back from left, Flora Long (yellow dress), Dolly Drew (red dress), Six Bits Slocum (brown suit) and Claire de Lune (purple dress). You will get to know all of them throughout the course of the show.

During dinner, Flora Long and Jim Handy sang a couple of songs accompanied by a banjo player in the middle of the lower dining area. They even got everyone to join in and twirl their napkins overhead. You will also be asked to clap, stomp your feet, yell and even toot at various times during the show.

Pioneer Hall Players whoop it up with the audience during the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue dinner show in Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Pioneer Hall Players whoop it up with the audience..
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5, ISO 1800, EV -0.6, 85mm focal length.

Before a skit of the Legend of Davey Crockett, a few audience members were asked to volunteer for a part in the play. They were taken backstage and given costumes to wear. All the ones who were at this show did great from the little Davey Crockett to the Can-Can dancer.

Tip: Wait for the performers to stop on stage to photograph them. This happens at the end of songs or, in the case of the Hoop-Dee-Doo, after a really bad joke or pun (see below).

A volunteer guest on stage during the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue dinner show in Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
A volunteer guest on stage during the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 1400, EV -0.6, 300mm focal length.

Even after 29 years, this show still is as entertaining and funny as ever. The food is very good and is all you can eat. We sat in the Balcony (Category 3) which is set up so you can swivel your chair around and look down at the stage. Performers even come up to visit at times so everyone feels like they are a part of the show.

October 14, 2012

Where in the World #251

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

To all who come to this photo trivia game, Welcome! Along the way, the photos can make us relive memories and see details Walt's Imagineers put into everything we love in Walt Disney World!

Patti Mccaffrey, it's Thanksgiving in Canada already?! This year is flying by, I can't believe it. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and the same to all our Players in Canada!

Smiley from millan.net

While we're talking about wishing people things: Chris Kelly is headed for her Walt Disney World trip! Bon Voyage from all your fellow Players, Chris! We are living vicariously through you! Rob and April Vanderpool are probably stowing away in your luggage; just add airholes and they'll be fine!

Team Hill and the Hoekzema Family: so you found my Flickr stream! Glad you liked it. :) I can't believe I didn't think of people finding those pictures... not the sharpest tool in the shed. ;) Did you see my dogs? They're headed for the next Disney trip too!

James and Kathy Berry, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, thanks for the happy 20th wishes! You are having big anniversaries this year too; I know it's a cliché, but it ends up being so true, doesn't it? Where did that time go?!

Amanda Campbell, you were going to take your 3 month old daughter on her first Disney trip and now you're not.... what did she do? Order a Princess dinner on your credit card? Kids, huh?! The things they get into!

Here was the October 7th challenge:
 Where in the World #250

And here's the answer:
Where in the World Photo Fun
Copyright © Erin Blackwell

Chloe Mayhew, you gave the technical answer. I hope you don't mind if I share it: "The sign above the ticket taker thingy :) at the Magic Kingdom. You can see this when you are exiting the Magic Kingdom." I know: ticket taker thingy. Someone has been studying the Imagineering guides! :)

It's a sad sign, isn't it? Even when I'm in the beginning of my trip, I get a little hitch when I see it! And if it's the end of the trip...!

How about that big sign on World Drive as you're leaving that says "See You Real Soon!' That's a heartbreaker! I always act with great maturity whenever I see it as we leave:

Smiley from millan.net

I don't wanna go! Please! Go back! No, the street signs aren't purple anymore! They're green! GREEN! The magic is fading!

Kids, do not behave this way. :)

Jodi Cook was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Jodi and to all the readers who got the answer right: Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Alan Mize, Emily Esker, Larissa Huda, Evanna Huda, Scott Cullen, Belicia Cullen, James And Kathy Berry, Cindy Cristofora, James And Kathy Berry, Jenny Brennan, Kenny, Anne Marie Cronin, Louise Barton, Marilyn Garfinkel, Paul Dickson, The Evangelist Family, Christina Trigiani, Dan Kubeja, Scott Greenbaum, Betsy Silvestri, Mike Haeberle, Jamie K, Rob & April Team Vanderpool, John Menjes, Curtis Bille, Patti Gumiela, Dawn Bach, Pecosace, Emily Jabas, Tinkerbell Wells, Tj Mahan, Michelle Raimist , Tim Johansen, Dale Knight, Sara Powell, Angie Young, Team Hill, Andy Hickey, Katie Marshall, Kevin Carter, Agnes Ciotti, Sara Grover, Kara Cummings, Gerald Buford, Spencer Sutton, Cristina Honeycutt, Mary Beth Tarbet, Courtney Payne, Jason And Melinda Lenz, Jim Dewalt, Amanda Campbell, K Beasley, Diane Curfman, Chris Masse, Kelly Cummings, Vera Williams, Tracy Discher, Hoekzema Family, Sandie Albrecht, Karrie Duffey, Craig, Maureen Handy, Sharon Pierce, Stuart Hale, Hobes And Snorky, Pam Vanaustin, Kris Nixon, Jeremy Hardy, Chris And Alison, Chloe Mayhew, Patty Newton, Madison Hovan, Kim Skanes, Gerald Skanes, Paul Knott, Jared Orth, Emily Hudson, James Chris Nichols, Carolyn Como, Rebecca Keenan, Heidi Burke, Doug Olson Family, Susie Howard, Erika Loboda, Tricia Noble, Joy Ousterout, Dan Johnston, The Omeara Family, Ghost Host, Mike Venere, Patrick Broaddus, Wayne Witherspoon, Mary Thatcher, Heather Hynes, Debbie Desimone, Al Desimone, Josh Carney, Erin Hammer, Kristen Mccoy, Mike Pennington, Cathy Mager, Karen Smith, Rob Blundin, Veronica Peterson, Hayley Valk, Hillary Waldroop, Kerri Coggins, Matt Holley, Lauri Phillips, Emily Henderson, Brian Nale, Diane Ramos, Leigh Mertz, Sharon Dale, Carla Leger, Cheri Palmisano, Bruce Arnold, Victoria Finnegan, Betsy Dross, Jennifer Bogdan, Angela Clark, Kerry Mccaffrey, Patti Mccaffrey, Derek Carty, Patty Carty, Chris Kelly, Jane Johnson, Dave Kanigowski, Sandy Kanigowski, Jackie Klafeta, Mickey Eckert, Evald Olson, Liz Moreau, Margie Larmon, Josh Weiss, Jenn Steele, and Les Stewart. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #251: Where in the world is this?

Well, well, well. Who do we have here?
 Where in the World #251

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, October 18th, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post.
See you next week, Players!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

Everyone who sends in a correct answer to a Where in the World Challenge this month will be entered in a drawing at the end of the month for some special AllEars® goodies!

October 16, 2012

Disney Pic of the Week - Festival of the Lion King

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton


Elephant, warthog, giraffe, and lion impersonators gather and sit on football stadium-like seating inside a theater. Center stage fills with acrobatic monkeys, soaring birds, stilt walkers, Timon, and a "family" of talented singers. This is, Festival of the Lion King. Located in the Camp Minnie-Mickey portion of Disney's Animal Kingdom park, the spectacular show for kids of all ages, has up to 8 performances per day.

Bring your cameras. You may use a flash for still photography but not a light for videotaping.

lkb-FestivaloftheLionKing-MonkeySwing.jpg
Aren't the tumble monkeys adorable!

Scott will swing in on Thursday with his best shot.

Keep up with my freelance writing and photography via my Facebook page.


October 17, 2012

Caption Contest - The Little Mermaid

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton


You've seen the movie. You've seen the live show. Now see what you can come up with for a funny caption. I'll pick a winner to receive a special prize. This contest is open to all ages in all countries. Send in your caption by October 31, 2012 by properly filling out the Comment section below.


lkb-CaptionContest-LittleMermaid.jpg


C'mon over and "Like" my Facebook page.


October 18, 2012

Finale of the Festival of the Lion King

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Festival of the Lion King finale in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Festival of the Lion King finale in Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 1600, EV -0.3, 28mm focal length.

The Festival of the Lion King takes you through a journey featuring the music from the animated movie. The finale is a crescendo of song, movement and colors which captivate audience members of all ages and is my Disney Pic of the Week for Festival of the Lion King.

October 19, 2012

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror in HDR

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

For those of you who have attended a special event at Disney's Hollywood Studios like Star Wars Weekend or maybe an ESPN Weekend, you know about the area past Rock 'n' Roller Coaster and to the side of the Tower of Terror. I had only been back there during the day previously.

Three weekends ago, I attended the Villain's Bash Party in conjunction with the inaugural running of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10 Miler by runDisney. This gave me an opportunity to bring in my tripod and do some shooting for a couple of hours before my daughter, who ran in the race, crossed the finish line.

First, I want to show you what I considered the best one shot exposure. As always, the Exif data is below the photo.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Night.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 13s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 40mm focal length, tripod.

From that setting I bracketed around it eight more exposures in one stop intervals (1/2s, 1s, 2s, 4s, 8s, 25s, 60s, 120s). The last two are approximate as I was using my Apple iPhone's Stop Watch App to know when to close the shutter. I processed the nine photos in Photomatix Pro 4 Plugin for Aperture. I applied a favorite preset, adjusted to my liking and finished processing in Aperture 3.4 photo management and editing software.

The final image looks is a bit more HDR-ish than I was looking for.

An HDR Image of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
An HDR Image of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Night.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 40mm focal length, tripod.

You can see how the shadowed areas were opened up and the combined exposures caught light changing over the time it took to take the photos which was done manually. I have been struggling with night time HDR images for awhile now. Still a work in progress. Any suggestions or comments are appreciated.

October 21, 2012

Where in the World #251 Part Deux

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

To all who come to this photo trivia game, Welcome! Along the way, the photos can make us relive memories and see details Walt's Imagineers put into everything we love in Walt Disney World!

Chris Kelly, did I call you a woman? Smiley from millan.net Sorry about that, big guy. (Gives Chris a manly chuck on the shoulder.) Wait until you see the HUGE mistake I have to confess to later on in this post.

Meanwhile, everyone wave to Chris on his Disney World vacation! We know you're having a great time!

Amanda Campbell, you enjoy that Princess dinner when you go! Shake things up; dress your little girl as Princess Nancy! (Nancy Tremaine, the woman who actually married the Prince at the end of Enchanted.) I'm a big Idina Menzel fan, so... actually, I should do that for the Halloween party when I'm in Disney. Wouldn't that be a riot? "Hi, I'm Princess Nancy. You know, from Enchanted?" And after all, isn't it great that after all the Snow Whites, Cinderellas, Aururas, and Jasmines, we have a Disney princess named NANCY? (I want to do this so bad now, I can taste it.)

Jodi Cook, thank you for your wonderful note! I'm so glad you like the Challenge!

All right, Players: confession time. I did a bad, bad thing.

As I was making up this week's challenge, I messed up the file with last week's answers. I AM SO, SO SORRY! I can't believe I did that! I can't apologize enough. You can see I was going through the file because I remember Chris', Jodie's and Amanda's replies. But I don't have the winners.

I feel horrible.

So here's what I'm going to do:
1) We'll have a backup file from now on in case I make such a brain dead mistake again.
2) I'm re-running the challenge so you can get your answer in.
3) I'll put everyone in twice for the monthly drawing.

I really am sorry, Players.

Here was the challenge:
 Where in the World #251

Mea culpa, Players. Smiley from millan.net

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, October 25th, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post.

See you next week, Players!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

Everyone who sends in a correct answer to a Where in the World Challenge this month will be entered in a drawing at the end of the month for some special AllEars® goodies!

October 23, 2012

Disney Pic of the Week: Halloween

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Magic Kingdom turns into a Halloween lovers dream each year at this time. Pumpkins, scarecrows, maize and corn stalks line Main Street USA. Many evenings here are reserved for fun and trickery at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Parties with a parade not to be missed if you are visiting the resort.

Walt Disney World goes all out including changing the statues around the Partners statue with holiday themed replacements. Donald Duck changes into his Musketeer costume and is surrounded by complimentary colored flowers.

Musketeer Donald statuette in the Magic Kingdom for Halloween, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Musketeer Donald statuette in the Magic Kingdom for Halloween.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/160s, f/16, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 16mm focal length.

Lisa will be here on Thursday with her Disney Pic of the Week photos of Halloween in the Disney parks.

October 24, 2012

View from a Monorail

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton


Riding around on the monorail just for the sake of doing so is a nice way to relax and see things from a different perspective. It's even better when you can find yourself a window seat without standing passengers in your compartment.

There are 3 routes to enjoy. For those rushing back to their vehicles from the Magic Kingdom or who've just arrived at the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC), take the express train. This is the shortest ride and only serves two stops, Magic Kingdom and the Ticket and Transportation Center.

The second longest ride makes 4 stops and is referred to as the monorail resort route. Stopping at the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC), Polynesian Resort, Grand Floridian Resort, Magic Kingdom, and Contemporary Resort/Bay Lake Tower (BLT). You can get off or on at any of these enormous resorts and go shopping, enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner, check out the overall themeing, or watch the Electrical Water Pageant.

Your third option takes passengers from the Ticket and Transportation Center to Epcot and back. This is the longest and most scenic of the routes. Monorails actually loop above Future World giving Guests a bird's eye view of the beautiful and colorful landscaping.

I picked up my Canon EOS 30D with Canon 17-40mm L USM lens, set it to Shutterspeed Priority at 1/500, the ISO at 400 which I later upped to 500, and grabbed a few shots before feeling crowded. If you're traveling with a point and shoot camera with manual controls, you can do just as I did. Otherwise, you can try Sports Mode. No matter what you shoot with, keep the lens as close to the monorail window as possible to reduce reflections.


lkb-MonorailRide-SpaceMountain.jpg
Space Mountain is viewable from both the express route and resort route.


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The world's largest BLT, although not at all easily digested.


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Take a gander at Chef Mickey's, a buffet with characters.


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Space Mountain again? Yes, so you can see the express route track, literally.


lkb-MonorailRide-BayLake.jpg
Bay Lake ripples between the Contemporary Resort and Fort Wilderness. Catch the free ferry service from Ft. Wilderness to the Magic Kingdom.


Hop on board my Facebook page.


October 25, 2012

Trick-or-Treating at Fort Wilderness

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton


As soon as I started editing my photo, a certain song began playing in my head. I'll spare you this time by just saying it is from the Villains' Dance Mix and Mingle.

Halloween at Walt Disney World is wicked fun between the special holiday park and resort treatments and Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Guests at Fort Wilderness trick-or-treat throughout the campsite by visiting other Guests' campsites.

lkb-Halloween-FtWildernessTrickorTreat.jpg

A few years ago, my friend Terri and I were invited to spend Halloween evening/night with our friends Carol & Gary Cruise. They hunkered down at Fort Wilderness, decorated, and handed out candy, we even brought some. It was awesome! I would jump at the chance to do this again if our vacations ever realign.

Disney Pic of the Week - Halloween

What are you handing out this? I have Rice Crispy Treats, Starburst Jellybeans, Welch's Fruit Snacks, and Dots.

Keep up with my freelance writing and photography via my Facebook page.


October 26, 2012

More Halloween Fun in the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

It is that time when I can get out photos from past Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Parties I have attended the last two years. Remember last year when the Cadaver Dans paid us a visit and those great special effects at the Haunted Mansion? Here are a few more photos to share with you.

A collage of Halloween fun during a Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Halloween fun during a Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.

From top left going clockwise; The Headless Horseman leads off the Boo To You Parade, Ghost of Lady Renata in front of the Haunted Mansion, HalloWishes grand finale behind Cinderella Castle and a zombie marching in the parade on Main Street USA.

October 28, 2012

Where in the World #252

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

To all who come to this photo trivia game, Welcome! Along the way, the photos can make us relive memories and see details Walt's Imagineers put into everything we love in Walt Disney World!

Thank you, Players, for your understanding for my mistake last week!

And Happy Halloween to everyone who is celebrating it!

Smiley from millan.net

As for this week, I am in Walt Disney World vacation! Everyone wave to me! Hi from Disney World! Smiley from millan.net

Kelly Mager is here too. You know we are both thinking of all of you! (In between kiosks a the Food and Wine festival.) ;)

Seriously though, if you are at Walt Disney World now and you see me with my AllEars backpack, say hi! I'm carrying AllEars swag like our trading cards and buttons!

Claire Gregory, I can't believe we're going to miss each other by a week!

Here was the challenge:
 Where in the World #251

And here's the answer:
Where in the World Photo Fun
Copyright © Erin Blackwell

It's the camel from Mickey's Mickey's Jammin Jungle Parade. in Disney's Animal Kingdom. Actually, it's Mickey's JINGLE Jungle Parade. when they decorate the floats for Christmas.

Players, I love it when you talk with Imagineers' jargon. I had quite a few entries for "one of those paradey/floaty thingies". I don't know how you memorize technical specs like that!

Danielle Ciotti Harsley was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Danielle and to all the readers who got the answer right: Emily Hudson, Ed Elder, Betsy Silvestri, Chris Kelly, Mary Beth Tarbet, Jenny Brennan, Kerri Coggins, Chris Masse, Team Hill, Amanda Campbell, Annie Snodgrass, Morag Lemon, Vera Williams, Larissa Huda, Jamie K, Hayley Valk, Diane Arsenault, Sara Powell, John Pasqueralli, Karen Ramirez, Angie Young, Wendy T Faler, Vicki, William, Thomas, And Elizabeth Edwards, Cynthia Hitchcock, Kye Layton, Claire Gregory, Maureen Handy, Theresa Rucando, Katie Marshall, Pam Tees, Kelly Cummings, Jerry Weldon, Kris Nixon, Megan, Hobbes And Snorky, Diane Curfman, Tom Koval, Clay, Lee Anastasi, Jennifer Rupert, Jason Geberdt, Sharon Dale, Trina Noggle, Nathalie Periard, Angela And David Blevins, Hoekzema Family, Carrie Henderson, Peg Howard, Kellie Harpel, Amber Slifer, Diane Ramos, Debbie Desimone, Tricia Noble, Stephanie Linares, Erin Loring, Lindsey Nozal, Kristen Mccoy, Jaclyn Kelch, Kelly, Dan And Elizabeth Johnston, Jenifer Moyer, Jackie Graebel, Mark Franklin, and Jared Meeker. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.

Remember, you are all actually entered TWICE in the drawing!
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #252: Where in the world is this?

Now a new challenge!
 Where in the World #252

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, November 1st, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post.

See you next week, Players!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

Everyone who sends in a correct answer to a Where in the World Challenge this month will be entered in a drawing at the end of the month for some special AllEars® goodies!

October 30, 2012

Disney Pic of the Week - Haunted Mansion

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton


Do you like ghost stories? Well then, come closer and listen as I make up a spooky story about Disneyland's Haunted Mansion.

Back in the 1960's, many years before my parents met, Walt Disney began building the Haunted Mansion in Anaheim, CA. As construction began on the house, strange noises could be heard in the distance. These sounds came and went like the wind. One day, a construction worker had had enough of being distracted by the spooky sounds and went to find out from where they came. Armed with a glue gun, he faced his fears and when the noise became louder and closer he screamed out to his fellow workers, "It's just the gosh darn Santa Ana winds throwing dirt against boulders."

Now you know...something.

This statue of a young boy with his head in his arms sits near the Haunted Mansion's entrance. He is permanently ashamed that he referred to Donald Duck as Daffy Duck! Learn from his mistake or the same could happen to you.

Oh, I made up 2 stories. Good for me!

Return if you dare. Sinister Scott will unveil his Haunted Mansion photo on Thursday.

lkb-HauntedMansion-DL-BoyStatue.jpg


Keep up with me via my Facebook page.


October 31, 2012

Scary Sights at Disney Parks

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

Disneyland, The Happiest Place on Earth and Walt Disney World, The Most Magical Place on Earth are both fantastical dreams come to life. Through the imagination and hard work of Walt and Roy Disney, legions of Imagineers, construction workers, designers, architects, plumbers, electricians, Cast Members, and countless others, we are able skip our way into Disney Parks. Everyone wants to have the greatest vacation ever.

If we love Walt Disney World and Disneyland so much then why do we mistreat them? We're all human and we can easily put a drink down for a moment to tie a shoe or search thru a handbag for towelettes, and then wander off and forget all about the $2.59 soda. It happens and I'm not pointing a finger at those forgetful moments.


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An empty cup is usually a sign of intent versus a full or half bottle or cup. Found at the exit from the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland.


Unfortunately, there are a large number of Guests who don't use the readily available trash cans and recycling cans located all over the parks, resorts, and everywhere else on Disney property. I find the situation exceptionally scary.


lkb-litter-Toontown-trashcan.jpg
How many times have you had to edit a photo or move your traveling companions aside because a trash can was in the shot? They're everywhere for our convenience.


lkb-litter-lollipopstick.jpg
A lollipop stick in the queue for the Jungle Cruise at Magic Kingdom. I found lollipop wrappers in the queue as well.


lkb-litter-PUSH-AK.jpg
Pipa, the talking recycling can at Animal Kingdom's Conservation Station entertains and educates kids and adults alike about the importance of recycling.


Nationally, cigarette butts account for one-quarter or more of the items tossed onto streets and other roadways, San Francisco and other cities report. - The New York Times, Leslie Kaufman, 5/28/2009.

"...cigarette butts in the landscape bed off our patio." - Review of Disney's Boardwalk Inn, Trip Advisor, Dutchess2245, 10/15/2012

"The transition to become smoke-free will allow Disney to better accommodate the increasing number of guests requesting non-smoking hotel rooms, DiPietre said.

The ban follows a 2000 measure that restricted smoking throughout Disney's theme and water parks, limiting smoking to designated areas, DiPietre said.

Guests caught smoking after the ban could face cleaning surcharges as high as $500, DiPietre said." - USA Today, Jim Ellis, 5/3/2007

Smoking is allowed in designated areas complete with ash trays. Those who choose to smoke are accommodated so there's no reason to find cigarette butts anywhere other than in an ash tray.

lkb-litter-cigarette.jpg
Found in Epcot's China pavilion

Not all trash is found on the ground or even at eye level. I saw this plastic bottle sticking out from the high wooden beams that help support Sunshine Tree Terrace in Adventureland. Tossing bottles or any other object to land on or get stuck on something isn't funny. It's disrespectful.

lkb-Trash-bottleabove.jpg

I have often picked up bottles, cups, napkins, and other trash and thrown it away. The biggest cleanup I did was after a family threw french fries and ketchup packets all over the floor. Mom, dad, and the kids decided that this was the way to clean the table at Disneyland's Golden Horseshoe. I was disgusted.

When I lived in CA, I considered (and still do) Disneyland my home away from home. It was "my park" just like California natives consider it to be their park. There's a feeling of pride, security, and family when you are consistently in the same place. I bet Floridians and even those of us who visit Walt Disney World often have those same feelings. So let's set a good example and keep our Disney Parks clean. How embarrassing would it be if Mickey Mouse fined you for littering?!

lkb-litter-DarthVader.jpg


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About October 2012

This page contains all entries posted to Picture This! in October 2012. They are listed from oldest to newest.

September 2012 is the previous archive.

November 2012 is the next archive.

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