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December 2014 Archives

December 2, 2014

Disney Pic of the Week: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When Disney decides to do something, they do it right. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is a prime example. It features the first ever swinging ride vehicles adding a thrill to every tight turn while telling the tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. A great ride for adults, it is perfect for the kids who have outgrown Goofy's Barnstormer but not quite ready for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Below you see the effect of the swinging ride as the train undulates through the curves.

Guests ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Guests ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in New Fantasyland.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/500s, f/16, ISO 3200, EV 0, 38mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow showing what it was like the day the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train opened.


December 3, 2014

Disney Pic of the Week: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Deb's Digest Blog

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train official Dedication Ceremony was held on May 2, 2014. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs was joined by Snow White and all Seven Dwarfs who proudly brought their freshly mined gems: buckets of glowing diamonds and jewels and wheelbarrows stacked with over-sized rubies, emeralds and sapphires. "It's my honor to dedicate the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, which we think will become an instant classic in New Fantasyland," said Staggs.

After the ceremony I was walking around the Mine Train and found a large group of Imagineers and Cast Members signing a large blue "gem". Once I realized what was happening, I knew this would be a great photo op. I asked if I could take a photo of the group and they kindly obliged.

The large blue gem is being held by Imagineer Ben VanBeusekon.

Others in the photo include: Imagineers Chris Beatty, Jon Georges, Pam Rawlins, and Dave Minichiello.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Imagineers and Cast Members


December 5, 2014

Meeting Talking Mickey Mouse at the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I have not waited in line to visit with a Disney character in a long, long time. If one happens to be standing by oneself, I will stop, converse and take a photo or two. There is one which I will wait for...Mickey Mouse at the Town Square Theater on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom. Not only do you get to meet Mickey, you also get to have a talk with the Big Cheese.

Meeting talking Mickey Mouse in the Town Square Theater at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Meeting talking Mickey Mouse in the Town Square Theater.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 2800, EV 0, 40mm focal length, bounced flash.

The technology which allows Mickey to talk is sensational. While not truely interactive like Crush over in Epcot, he does his best to carry on a conversation based on who is meeting with him.

Meeting talking Mickey Mouse in the Town Square Theater at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Meeting talking Mickey Mouse in the Town Square Theater.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 3200, EV 0, 24mm focal length, bounced flash.

After my wife had her photo and we had ours together, I stepped in for a Bro shot with my favorite Mouse.

Meeting talking Mickey Mouse in the Town Square Theater at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Meeting talking Mickey Mouse in the Town Square Theater.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 3200, EV 0, 24mm focal length, bounced flash, cropped.

Using FastPass+ makes meeting Mickey Mouse a fun experience without having to wait in a long line or having to change plans walking around the parks.

I gave my camera over to the Disney Photopass person on duty with everything preset. I had my flash unit pointed upwards to bounce the light off the ceiling. For more on using flash, click here: How to Use Bounce Flash.

December 9, 2014

Disney Pic of the Week: Christmas Lights

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When it comes to Christmas Lights, you would be hard pressed to find something as spectacular as the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney's Hollywood Studios. This display has evolved from a fairly static version when the Osborne Lights first appeared on Residential Street of the old Backlot Tour in 1995 to today's electronic light shows to up beat holiday tunes on the Streets of America.

Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 10s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 15mm Focal Length, Tripod.

Deb and I were thinking alike this week as you will see tomorrow.

December 10, 2014

Disney Pic of the Week: Christmas Lights

Deb's Digest Blog

As a Disney fan I can only think of one thing when someone mentions Christmas Lights and that's the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. As I am not so great with night photography, here's a photo Linda Eckwerth took last year, of the Osborne Family stockings.

IMG_0120.JPG


December 12, 2014

Christmas Light Photography

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Christmas tree in Lincoln Square, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Christmas tree in Gettysburg's Lincoln Square.
Nikon D70/18-70mm, 3s, f/8, ISO 200, EV +0.7, 40mm focal length, tripod.

I write about using today's digital SLR cameras at Disney themeparks and resorts. Keep in mind, you can use the photographic information, techniques and ideas anywhere in the world. Photographing Christmas decorations are just as challenging in your home town or other locations. In 2006, I visited Gettysburg, Pennsylvania close to Christmas and spent an evening photographing around Lincoln Square. The building with the lighted "Believe" sign is the Gettysburg Pub.

Below are links to articles I wrote on Photographing Christmas lights at Walt Disney World. I used the same knowledge in those articles to photograph the scene in Gettysburg. Each of the articles contains links to other Internet resources for more information on specific details, how to's and techniques to use for photographing your Christmas celebrations and lighted decorations:

Photographing Christmas Lights at Disney

Photographing Christmas Lights at Disney II

How to Handle Yellow (or Any) Light Color Casts (Yes, it's about Christmas lights)

December 14, 2014

Where in the World #360

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!

I'm back! Who missed me?

I thought someone was taking over while I was gone, but as you can guess, Deb was quite busy!

Hannukah starts this week! Enjoy your 8 nights of celebration!
From Millan.Net

Now for Challenge #359:
Where in the World #359

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

Where off to see the Wizard in Emerald City in The Great Movie Ride in Disney's Hollywood Studios!

Kristi Strembicki was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Kristi and to all our winners this week! Donna Frank, Ed Elder, Kerry A, Kim Meyer, The Kertes Family, Melissa Such, Johansen Family, Jim &Lorie Sonnen, Brendan Abel, The Strukel Family, Diane Doak, Maty Beth Tarbet, Stuart Savage, Kye Layton, Elaine Kleinhenz, Linda College, Linda Ranatza, Marsha Waidelich, Ken Jackson, Janet T Thorn, Carol Ney, Ellie Argaluza, The Gunnels Family, Linda Scrivano, Carla C, Sharon Pierce, Belicia Cullen, Scott Cullen, Maureen Handy, Megan K, Mickey Eckert, Maryann Eckenrode, Kris Nixon, Emily Hudson, Todd Johns, Aimee, Scott Greenbaum, Tracey , Lori Avirett, Karen Schlumpf, Team Hill, Carolyn Como, Torrey Beasley, Timothy Gallant, Ed Suscreba, K Beasley, Georgette Stippick, Jen Cerce, Jen Eacret, Phil Pybus, Susie Howard, Lorine Landon, Betsy Silvestri, Paul Scimeca , Pat Morin, Duskin Henard, Karen Adamakis, Arlene Vicek, Vanessa Stjohn, Ashley Collins, Phyllis, Jennifer Rowell, Jennifer Harmon, Deb Ragno, Lee Anastasi, Brian Miller, The Kahle Family, Jack Foley, Ryan Foley, Dave Freemyer, Paul Newman, John Warner, Paul Dickson, Theresa Rucando, Shelby Watson, Andrea Kruszewski, Tricia Petty, The Rider Family, Shannon Murray, Robert Wescovich, Chris Kelly, Gregg Mcglasson, Phil Badcock, Jan Rosato, Chris Thomas, Jackie Purcell, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Jennifer Hess, Ilene, Kristan Bertelmann, Stefan Owens, Maggie Klotz, Josh Weiss, Vicki Edwards, Kristyn Scibienski, Michelle Wilinski, Brian Mcwithey, Brian Yesutis, Vera And Izzy Williams, Doug Olson Family, Sarah Williams , Rob Jacob, Dawn Bach, Jeremy Hardy, Diane Curfman, Jessica Gruhlke, Kathryn Perkins, Becky Norman, Wayne Beck, Katie Bray, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Daniel Record, Mike Malampy, Maryann Romagnano, Jeff Blank, Chloe Mayhew, Kyra C., Jen Peterson, Russ Morgan, Ruben O'meara, Brian Gallant, Julia Marsh, Les Whitten, Cathy Connors, Chris Bauman, Brian Grabowski, Tom Swan, Karen Hotchkiss, The Emich Family, Matt Holley, Alison Rosenberger, Cameron Lange, The Holmes Family, Kelly Smith, Kate Fischer, Chuck Everson, Claire Gregory, Tricia Noble, Terry Fleming, Karen Spreitzer, Scott Sangston, George Mundy Jr, Karrie Duffey, Jay Caudill, Carri Marotto, Matthew Frey, Wade A.williams, Sarah And Chris, Carla Nale, Curtis Bille, Mike M., Ron Harper, Mark Franklin, Stephanie Linares, Nan Amor, Paul Ignudo, Jr., Mike Walter, Rebecca Keenan, Jim Thompson, Matthew Jadro, Kristin Dormuth, John Pasqueralli, Wayne Chadourne, Caroline Burmester, Annie Snodgrass, John Foggo, Dave Carriere, Maureen Tavrell, Emily &Family, Tammy Kennedy, Elaine Tomko-deluca, Larry Sprenkle, Lindsay Clayton, Grumpy's Groupies, Les Stewart, Team Bonnie Sue, Jodi Cook, Cary Burke, Madie Hovan, Steve Knapp, Sarah Haas, Rachel Hoover, Tracy Cegielski, Schuyler Etheridge, Patrick Broaddus, Smitty, Robert P. Flaherty, Joyce Eimer, Jim Finley, Kim Paulakos, Josh Carney, Farley Shane, Gallagher Family, Jo Ann Bailey, Walter N. Clark, Anastasia Macneil, Heather Pedulla, Jane Johnson, Jennifer Bogdan, Cheryl Costello, Maryann Daly, Shirley Garcowski, Shelly Borella, Tom Higbee, Jean Bussell, Trish Babler, Vicki Britt, Amy Fleming, Hillary Waldroop, Angela Johnson, Fred Shakeshaft, John Bickers, Patti Mccaffrey, Murr Family, Nicole Benoit, Shannon Wright, Jamesd (dzneynut, Lisa Pinder, Carrie Kenney, Emily Esker, Karen Kristoff, Kyle Burdo, Mike Cerce, Olszak Family, Patti Rogers, Will Gates, Erin Loring, Lizanne Fisk, Corinne, Jackie Graebel, Joseph M. Zafia, Michael Pyle, Eileen Miller, Rob Blundin, David Ballard, Jenn Durham, Bob, and Jennifer Mercier!

And now! The winner for November 2014 is:
From Millan.Net
(Not the drum roll I had in mind)
Kyle Burdo! Congratulations, Kyle! I will be contacting you about your prize!
__________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #360 Where in the world is this?

Next challenge! This is very new but quite famous so you most likely have seen it in photos if not in person.
Where in the World #360

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, December 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 soon, 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!

December 16, 2014

Disney Pic of the Week: Frozen

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The animated musical, Frozen, took the world by storm and surprised Disney by its success. It did not take long for Disney to catch up in merchandising, a Sing-Along version in Blu-Ray and DVD released recently and bringing the magic to its themeparks.

Over the summer, Disney's Hollywood Studios hosted Frozen Summer Fun which was so popular, the stage show, For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration Show at the Premiere Theatre has been kept on indefinitely. It is a show which mirrors the magic of all past animated films as it entertains both adults and their children.

Elsa and Anna sing in the For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration Show at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Elsa and Anna sing in the For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration Show.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/5.6, ISO 1800, EV 0, 210mm Focal Length.

Deb takes Olaf's song about summer to heart tomorrow.


December 17, 2014

Disney Pic of the Week: Frozen

Deb's Digest Blog

This week's Disney Pic of the Week is Frozen. This was a tough photo to choose with so many Frozen photo ops in the parks.

Here is the sand sculpture of Olaf which was outside Disney's Hollywood Studios this summer as part of Frozen Summer Fun. I thought this concept was great and offered many unique opportunities for families, kids and adults. I know I had a great time!


frozen-picofweek.jpg

December 19, 2014

Disney Christmas Wish

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Kissing Minnie & Mickey Mouse tree ornament purchased at Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Kissing Minnie & Mickey Mouse Tree Ornament.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 400, EV 0, 150mm focal length, tripod.
Wishing You a Christmas Full of Love & Happiness!

I will be taking my annual holiday break over the next two Fridays. See you all back for more adventures in photography at Disney for 2015.

December 21, 2014

Where in the World #361

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!

This week is Christmas! Merry, merry to everyone
From Millan.Net

Kerri Coggins, here's your Disney bear to get you through your Parks withdrawal.
From Millan.Net

And thank you to everyone for all your well wishes and notes about missing me & the game in the past couple weeks. :-)

Now for Challenge #360:
Where in the World #360

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

The Maleficent float in the Festival of Fantasy Parade at the Magic Kingdom!

Kristi Strembicki was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to [INSERT FIRST NAME OF FIRST WINNER HERE] and to all our winners this week! Virginia Pierce, Donna Frank, Linda Ranatza, Carol Ney, Becky Norman, The Kertes Family, Jan Rosato, Bill Mckim, Julia Wickware, Vera And Izzy Williams, The Gunnels Family , Mary Beth Tarbet, Christina, Betsy Silvestri, Alex Gamill, Eric Berger, Elaine Kleinhenz, Karen Adamakis, Elizabeth Rasmussen, Joyce Shipman, Kim Reith, Pat Schwier, Doug Byrd, Judy Simonsen, Krystie Damsker, Robin Mcconnell, Mike Kaczanowski, Theresa Rucando, Christina Trigiani, Tricia Petty, Ed Suscreba, Phyllis King, Karen Schlumpf, Jennifer Rowell, Jonathan Ward, Starr Cookson, Ellen Sullivan, Adam Milks, Amy Knox, Brenda Mclean, Dominique Alessi, Dave Freemyer , Kye Layton, Beth Saz, Melissa Such, Vanessa Stjohn, Joe Calomeni, Kathleen Barr, Team Hill, Jean Myers, Sharon Pierce, Jenny Brennan, Ken Savage, Karla Callen, Jamie Fahey, Tim Johansen, Diane Curfman, Elaine Anselm, Scott Greenbaum, Pollyanna Buff, Matt Wildey, The Emich Family, Robert P. Flaherty, Krista Serpi, The Parker Family, Sandie Albrecht, Russ Morgan, Kelli Maclean, Kris Nixon, K Beasley, Belicia Culllen, Lee Anastasi, Scott Cullen, Todd Johns, Debbie Conn, Julie Harrington, Jim Finley, The Double Family, Mickey Eckert, Chris Kelly, Susan Riddell , Jim Japczyk, Carolyn Como, Duskin Henard, Claire Gregory, Barbara Ajak, Robert Whittier, Maureen Handy, Matt Petty, Jen Cerce, The States Family, Sands Family, Janet T Thorn, Kenny, Bruce Hinterleitner, Ed Adams, Barclay Bakkum, Phil Vickers, Carla C, Deb Ragno, Nathan Y, Kay Connelly, Bryant O'meara, Eric Enli, Arlene Vicek, Mike Mondoux , Maggie Klotz, Andrew Schneider, Doug Olson Family, Colette Stanton , Lori Rienhardt, Jen Eacret, Herb Miller, Rider Family, Patty Newton, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Megan Krainski, Jamesd (dzneynut), Les Stewart, Tom Koval, Chloe Mayhew, Kristan Bertelmann, Emily Hudson, Jennifer Peterson, Andrew Carrieri, Candice Grimes, Mary Cast, Melissa Littman, Paul Knott, Mike Malampy, Anastasia Macneil, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Maryann Romagnano, Josette Gabel, Kerri Coggins, Pam Lorenz, Jeff Blank, Kyra C., Joseph Mcgee, Art Hutchinson, Kristyn Scibienski, Becky Hosinger, Bob Patterson, Cathy Connors, Mike Amor, Andrew Pettit, Matt Holley, Chuck Everson, Maureen Cronin, Chris Bauman, Sarah And Chris, Tricia Noble, Alan Mize, Karen Spreitzer, Alison Rosenberger, Patrick Broaddus, Dave Wang, Michelle Norris, Terry Fleming, Scott Sangston, Erin Hammer, Susie Howard, Susie Howard, Matthew Frey, Hillary Waldroop, Jim Thompson, Jeremy Reichelt, George Mundy Jr, Paul Ignudo, Jr., Caroline Burmester, Mark Proper, Barbara Remele, Debbie Desimone, Fred Shakeshaft, Rob Blundin, The Patterson Family, Maureen Tavrell, Rebecca Keenan, Nan Amor, Shelly Borella, Tom Swan, Kelly Smith, Deborah Wolfe, Tammy Rice, Dave Carriere, Olszak Family, Grumpy's Groupies, Amber Penske, Tyler Otts, Rebecca Smith, Dawn Bach, Josh Weiss, Michelle Palazzo, Sarah Calvario, Richard Beverly, The Foley Family, Caitlin, Shannon Murray, Mel Odonnell, Robert Hildebrandt, Sara Holloway, Lizanne Fisk, Matthew Jadro, Stephanie Linares, Robert Wescovich, Robert Wescovich, Lorine Landon, Smitty, Karrie Duffey, Vicki Britt, Sherry Trapp, Stefanie Vandiver, David Ballard, Theresa Maradei, Jackie Graebel, Kristen M Eby, Joseph M. Zafia, Cary Burke, Dale Kropa, Erin Loring, Ryan Filiater, Stacy Guarracino, Ron Harper, Joan Schroeder, Murr Family, Jennifer Harmon, Eileen Miller, Gallagher Family, Patti Mccaffrey, Jane Johnson, Darrell Shortt, and Kelly and Sheila Barnes!
__________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #361 Where in the world is this?

Next challenge! This is a toughie!
Where in the World #361

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, December 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 soon, 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!

December 23, 2014

Disney Pic of the Week: Christmas at Disney

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Visiting Walt Disney World any time of the year is magical...but, and I say this having experienced it several times, visiting during the Christmas holiday season is even more magical. All the parks and resorts get decorated in festive colors. Special parties, events and entertainment occur all over the resort. Disney characters dress in their holiday finest and special treats pop up even in the resorts.

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort puts a Gingerbread House in its lobby every year. I know, you can see Gingerbread house displays all over during Christmas time. Well, are those a story high? Do people work inside them? Can you buy Gingerbred goodies from the house's counter? You can at the Grand Floridian's.

Ginger Bread House in the lobby of the Grand Floridian Resort, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Ginger Bread House in the lobby of the Grand Floridian Resort.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/4.5, ISO 3200, EV 0, 65mm focal length, Intensify Pro.

Here I used some post-processing magic using MacPhun's Intensify Pro photo editing app. If you own a Mac, I suggest you check out Intensify Pro.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her wonderful memories of Christmas.

December 24, 2014

Disney Pic of the Week: Christmas at Disney

Deb's Digest Blog

Given that today is Christmas Eve, I'd like to take a moment and digress about my childhood memories of Christmas. It was our family tradition to go with my dad and buy a live Christmas tree during the day, on Christmas eve. My mom was home cooking. I remember it was always cold and sometimes, even snowing!

Once the tree was set up, we put the lights on it. My parents told me that when Santa brought our presents, he would also finish decorating the tree. Since he was going to work so hard, we had to leave him milk and freshly baked cookies -- oh and carrots for the reindeer. Every year, after dinner, my parents would give me new pajamas and slippers and then it was time to hang our stockings on the fireplace mantel, take the annual photo and go to sleep.

Visions of sugarplums certainly danced in my head as I dreamed of Santa and a few times, when I woke up in the middle of the night, I even saw him in our house!! When I think of Christmas as a child, I remember waking up on Christmas morning to find the tree fully decorated with beautiful lights, real tinsel, garland and ornaments and beautifully wrapped presents underneath. Thank you mom and dad for the wonderful Christmas memories I cherish so deeply.

Now, back to the Pic of the Week, Christmas at Disney!

One of my favorite Christmas memories at Walt Disney World was back in 2011. A few days before Christmas we decided to take our time and simply wait in the perfect spot for Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade! Perhaps we waited 90 minutes or so, but it was worth it. Here's one of my favorite photos of Christmas at Disney.

Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade Magic Kingdom 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays Everyone!!!

December 26, 2014

Day after a Disney Christmas

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Minnie & Mickey Mouse Christmas tree ornament purchased at Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Minnie & Mickey Mouse Christmas Tree Ornament.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 400, EV 0, 150mm focal length, tripod.

If your family is anything like Scott's family, this morning you have lots of new Disney themed gifts of all kinds. Scott will be back in a couple of weeks.

December 28, 2014

A Sampling of Disney's Aulani

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

Aloha! Venturing out of Waikiki to Olina where Disney's Aulani, a very large ocean-front resort sits, took about 45 minutes by car. The only tricky part is H1 East becomes 93 and then you need to make sure you know which exit to take. Luckily, we guessed better than what the GPS said. My advice, ask the locals before you head out. Also, make sure you're on Oahu, HI before you even attempt the trek.

Aulani-Interior.jpg

My mom's plan for the day was to meet with a Disney Vacation Club salesperson, learn more about Aulani, have lunch, shop, and poke around the resort. My plan was to gently nudge my mom into buying DVC. Long story short, she came really close. She got a phone call during the trip that detoured her mindset. And just the other day I asked if she was really planning to buy into DVC and she said she decided to invest in someone instead of something. That someone is me. Awwww.

I will say, Aulani is the only place that ever gave us flower leis the entire 10 nights we stayed in Oahu. We got some plastic shell leis at Hilo Hattie; they're nice but they don't smell pretty.
So, after the Disney Vacation Club fella showed us all room combinations, fed us cookies and water, and we made a pit stop, our parking ticket was validated for 3 hours. Yay!

Aulani-View.jpg

We set off to try eating at a counter service location so new that it wasn't on any of the maps. Ulu Cafe sits near the pool, diagonally across from 'AMA'AMA which is where we wound up eating because everything at Ulu Cafe was pre-made. If you have food allergies or dietary restrictions, you will have difficulty eating at Ulu Cafe.

'AMA'AMA is an open-air full service restaurant with a view of the magnificent Pacific Ocean. Normally I'm the one who has trouble finding something to eat but this time it was my mom whose order wasn't made properly. After 3 attempts, her chicken salad was prepared correctly and delivered by one of the most smug and non-Disney-like Cast Members I've ever met. Given my hundreds of visits to Disney Parks and Resorts, you know she really tipped the scale.

Aulani-Menehune.jpg
Menehune hide all over the resort.

While my mom settled the check, I ran off to find characters holding meet and greets on Manawa Island (pool area). Goofy was easily accessible. Mickey and Minnie were in a shaded area along a trail between pools. Luckily, I was able to get close to them without having to wait in line. Agh! Stop yelling at me. It's just like in the theme parks, you can take pictures from the side so long as you aren't in the way of people photographing their super model kids with the characters.

Aulani-Goofy.jpg


After the photo shoot, we headed back inside and contributed even more to Minnie's purse by way of Kalepa's Store aka the gift shop. Given that my mom behaved, I told her to pick out something for herself. She went crazy and chose a reusable bag for $5.00. Cheap date. I on the other hand got myself a hat, a t-shirt, 2 postcards, and a magic towel (wash cloth folded real small). For my cousin, I bought a hat. For some friends, I bought postcards. And for someone I have not yet decided on, a giant pencil with an equally huge sharpener.

Aulani-Merchandise.jpg

You've probably heard about the daily 'IWA, a newsletter/activities list for guests. Before I could search for it, one literally blew out the hotel doors and against the poles holding up the resort map. The Force is strong in me. What a little gem. It told me what the DVC salesperson wouldn't. Like? Well, like the fact that we could see Mickey and friends. Yeah, my mom flat out asked if Mickey was around and he said no, Mickey was nowhere to be found. I don't much care for fibs.

Before you make a day at Aulani, remember these tips. Get directions. Get your parking ticket validated at 'AMA'AMA or by DVC (otherwise you'll need to pay upwards of $35.00). Get the daily 'IWA.

Pool use is restricted to people staying at the resort. A bracelet program is used and monitored to keep tabs on swimmers. We didn't try going to any programs so I don't know if day guests are invited or not.

Questions on visiting Oahu? Ask away while my memories are still fresh.


Come on over and "Like" my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter, my handle is lisano1.

Where in the World #362

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!

Happy New Year!
From Millan.Net

Hunter Armstrong is down in Walt Disney World! And rubbing it in! :)

Now for Challenge #361:
Where in the World #361

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

The lion carving on the path to Conservation Station!

Kris Nixon was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Krist and to all our winners this week! Robert Hildebrandt, Hunter Armstrong, Lauren Groulx, Theresa Rucando, and Grumpy's Groupies.
__________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #362 Where in the world is this?

Let's end the year on an easy challenge.
Where in the World #362

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, January 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 soon, 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!

Return to Blog Central

About December 2014

This page contains all entries posted to Picture This! in December 2014. They are listed from oldest to newest.

November 2014 is the previous archive.

January 2015 is the next archive.

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