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Disney Pic of the Week Archives

August 23, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Landscape Epcot

Deb's Digest Blog

Well, it's become clear that even though I came up with this topic, I keep changing what it means.

So here is my Epcot photo of the Flower and Garden China Bears. It was near impossible for me to get all 3 in one shot so I took a panorama.

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August 22, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Epcot Landscape

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Okay, I cheated this week for Epcot's Landscape Photography photo. Yes, I choose this photo from The Land's Soarin' Around the World presentation using the widest lens I own, a 15mm Fisheye lens.

Soarin' Around the World in The Land pavilion in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Soarin' Around the World in The Land pavilion.
Nikon D750/Sigma 15mm Fisheye, 1/125s, f/2.8, ISO 6400, EV 0.

The characteristics of a Fisheye lens is on full display here as it curves everything around it's center focal point. Using the people's feet above and the edge below you get a grand view of Monument Valley. Hope you can forgive my cheating here.

Deb will be here to share her Epcot Landscape photo tomorrow. I bet she does not cheat.





August 16, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Animal Kingdom Landscape

Deb's Digest Blog

For Animal Kingdom I had to look back into my archives. These days it is difficult to get a panoramic or landscape photo without people in it.

Here is one I found from Camp Minnie-Mickey where Pocahontas and her Forest Friends performed several times a day. I needed the panoramic feature to get the entire stage area.

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August 15, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Disney's Animal Kingdom Landscape

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Of all the parks, Disney's Animal Kingdom has wonderful landscape photography locations if you know where to look. Below is a photo taken back in 2009 which is why you do not see the recently added seating for the night time Rivers of Light show. I photographed Expedition EVEREST late in the day which is why you see the golden light of the setting Sun and the almost full Moon raising behind it.

Expedition EVEREST and Moon reflected in the water at Disney's Animal Kingdom , Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Expedition EVEREST and Moon reflected in the water at Disney's Animal Kingdom .
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/25s, f/22, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 44mm Focal Length.

In this case, while the lens I used was not very wide, I did use another trait of landscape photography called hyperfocus or hyperfocal distance. A really cool concept to learn.

Deb will be here to share her Disney's Animal Kingdom Landscape photo tomorrow.






August 9, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Landscape Magic Kingdom

Deb's Digest Blog

As Scott mentioned yesterday, Disney Imagineers are experts when it comes to "forced perspective". It tricks the eye into believing something is larger /taller than it really is. Walt was famous for this as he tried to deal with the space limitations at Disneyland.

Here is a recent example from the New Fantasyland, the Beast's castle! The architecture makes it look much larger than it really is.

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August 8, 2017

Disney PIc of the Week: Magic Kingdom Landscape

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

For the next few weeks, Deb and I will be sharing our landscape photography from Walt Disney World. The definition of Landscape Photography is showing spaces within the world, sometimes vast and unending, but other times microscopic. That's pretty broad. Must people think of vast expanses showing mountains, deserts, oceans and other such places when it comes to landscape photos.

Given that information, you can see where such photography is a challenge at any Disney themepark. As vast as the Walt Disney Resort is, the places where guests visit are certainly not "vast expanses". Luckily, Disney Imagineers are experts in forced prespective which helps a great deal. You can see forced prespective in action below in the photo of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D750/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 1250, EV +0.3, 16mm Focal Length.

Landscape photography is also known for the use of wide angle lenses which go from approximately 24mm to as wide as 16mm. Depending on your camera sensor's size it could go as wide as 10mm.

Deb will be here to share her Magic Kingdom Landscape photo tomorrow.





August 2, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: 2000s

Deb's Digest Blog

Here's a great throwback to the 2000s, paper fastpass! Boy do I miss them! Really enjoyed making magic for folks by giving them away if I wasn't going to use them.

Mission: Space FastPass

August 1, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: 2000s

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Picture This! Photoblogger Scott on the Wild Africa Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Picture This! Photoblogger Scott on the Wild Africa Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Copyright Disney 2011. Used by permission.

I am cheating a bit here as the Wild Africa Trek started in 2010 and I did not do it until early 2011 but...Disney's Animal Kingdom is our 2000s decade park so I am going with it. Back in old 2011, you recieved a CD in the mail from Disney with photos taken from the Trek. I am assuming today you get them posted online.

To read about my adventure, here are the links:

Photographing on the Wild Africa Trek, Part I

Photographing on the Wild Africa Trek, Part II


Deb will be here tomorrow with a photo from the 2000's at the Animal Kingdom and I bet she gets the decade right.





July 26, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: 1990s

Deb's Digest Blog

Despite ANY fears I may have, I am determined to ride every single ride at Walt Disney World at least once.

The look on my face is sheer terror! I rode Rock 'n' Roller Coaster just twice! Linda, of course, thought it was a BLAST!

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July 25, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: 1990s

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Lobby of the Tower of Terror in the Disney/MGM Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Black and White photo of the Tower of Terror's lobby in the Disney/MGM Studios.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/15s, f/3.5, ISO 1600, EV -0.6, 18mm Focal Length.

The old Disney/MGM Studios arrived on May 1st, 1989. My favorite attraction/ride in this park did not arrive until 1994. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror was an instant hit with me being a fan of the Rod Serling serial television show from the 1950's and 1960's. I often would convert my color photos for the Tower of Terror to Black and White as most of the shows were filmed in.

Deb will be here tomorrow with a photo from the 1990's at the Studios.





July 19, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: 1980s

Deb's Digest Blog

The 1980s... sadly I never stepped foot in the Magic Kingdom or Epcot during the 80s. So, once again I have to go elsewhere for a photo.

Did you know Epcot once had real elephants in Future World? It did, in a special event called the Daredevil Circus Spectacular.

Here is a photo a friend of mine recently found of said spectacular...

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If you are sitting there scratching your head about this, here's a link to a Jim Korkis article you'll find informative.


July 18, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: 1980s

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Mural seen in the queue as guests wait to ride the Maelstrom in Epcot's Norway pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Mural seen in the queue as guests wait to ride the Maelstrom in Norway.
Nikon D70/50mm, 1/20s, f/2.5, ISO 1600, EV +1.

While I visited Walt Disney World many time during the 1980's, I did not get a digital SLR camera until 2005. For my 1980's photo, I found something I photographed in 2009 which was there back in the 1980's. The Maelstrom ride in Epcot's Norway pavilion opened in 1988. It was the first dark and thrill type ride in Epcot and was very popular. Only thing that could possibilty replace it would have been a maga-hit like Frozen which it did in 2014.

Deb will be here tomorrow with a real photo from the 1980's and it's huge!





July 12, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: 1970s

Deb's Digest Blog

1970s... when it all came to be in Florida. I actually did visit a few times in the early 70s. Sadly cameras, film and developing were very expensive then, especially for someone in college.

The following is an official Disney photograph of Roy O. Disney and some friends.

1971Roy.jpg

If you have any photos from the 70s you would like to share with me for my archive, please let me know in a comment (I won't publish it). Thanks


July 11, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: 1970s

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Liberty Square dedication plaque in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Liberty Square dedication plaque in the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/4, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 28mm Focal Length.

I did not visit Walt Disney World until 1983. For my 1970's photo, I found something I photographed in 2010 which was there back in the 1970's. The Liberty Square dedication plaque (not sure about dedication but that is what I am calling it.) is found as you enter Liberty Square from the Hub.

Deb will be here tomorrow with a real photo from the 1970's.





July 5, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Patriotic

Deb's Digest Blog

I vividly remember the time I met Betsy Ross at the American Adventure. Her story was told as part of the 4th of July festivities back in 2010. Here are 2 photos featuring Betsy Ross in the American Adventure Rotunda.

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I'm not sure if she appeared after that time, but I know I never saw her again.

July 4, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Patriotic

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I have always been very concerned about conservation issues facing my country's natural resources from renewable ones like forests to saving ecological crown jewels in America's National Parks. The scene during the audio-animatronics show called American Adventure in Epcot's World Showcase with President Teddy Roosevelt and Jon Muir is my favorite. It reminds me of how long people have been talking about balancing industrial progress and population growth with conservation of the environment.

The American Adventure show in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The American Adventure show in Epcot's World Showcase.
Nikon D70/50mm, 1/30, f/2.8, ISO 800, EV 0.

It is people like them from America's history we have to thank for the farsightedness of preserving unique wild areas, geological wonders and historical places. I hope Americans never lose that vision as they celebrate the United States of America's 241st Birthday today.

Deb will be here tomorrow with her Patriotic photo.





June 28, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Live Performances

Deb's Digest Blog

While there are many live entertainers I have totally enjoyed over the years there is one special one I have to share with you. It's not a photograph but a video.....

When the Dapper Dans did Boy Bands!


The World Disney World Dans:

The Disneyland Dans:

Hope you enjoyed! What is your choice for Live Entertainment??

June 27, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Live Performances

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I am sticking with Disney's Hollywood Studies for this week's theme of Live Performances. It is my all time animated, now live action Disney movie, Broadway musical and, of course, the live show in the Theater of the Stars: Beauty and the Beast, Live on Stage. The costuming is Disney theme park big but the talent over the years continues to be top notch and the music is, well, timeless.

Beauty and the Beast Stage Show in the Theater of the Stars on Sunset Blvd. at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Beauty and the Beast Stage Show being performed in the Theater of the Stars.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250, f/5.6, ISO 2800, EV +0.6, 300mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow with her Live Performance photo.




June 21, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Studios Yesterland

Deb's Digest Blog

Many things have come and gone since Disney's MGM Studios / Disney's Hollywood Studios opened in 1989. From shows, to attractions, to special events, there have been many many changes.

One that is often overlooked is the "Super Soap Weekend". Beginning somewhere around 1999, this special weekend was generally held in the fall. Stars from the Soap World came to the Studios and had special presentations, autographs signings and more. The last Super Soap weekend took place in October 2008.

While not a Soap fan, I was often curious about the weekend celebration so in 2006 I decided to fly down and see what the buzz was all about. Just like Star Wars Celebrations, and ESPN Sports Weekends, Soap fans wanted to get an up close and personal look at the stars and attend the activities.

Here are two photographs from Super Soap Weekend:

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Even Super Soap Star Susan Lucci attended the events!

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Did you ever attend a Super Soap weekend? Tell us about it in the comments below.


June 20, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Studios Yesterland

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

On my last trip to Disney's Hollywood Studios, the Streets of America were walled off in preparation to its transition into the new Star Wars and Pixar areas. It did make me a little sad as those streets, comprising the cities of New York and San Francisco, was a favorite place to stroll through. Full of details only Hollywood directors and producers would insist on. Yet, they still found ways to remind you where you actually were.

Venture Travel Service was found on the Streets of America at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Venture Travel Service was found on the Streets of America.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/250, f/8, ISO 5000, EV 0, 22mm (35mm DX) Focal Length.

When my wife and I first visited what was then called Disney-MGM Studios, she was a full-time travel agent so stopping by the Venture Travel Service store front was a must on every visit.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her Studios Yesterland photo.

June 14, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Studios Characters

Deb's Digest Blog

There have been so many great characters that have visited the Studios.

A VERY long time ago, May 2002 to be exact.... I stumbled upon Miss Piggy doing Meet and Greets! I only saw her this one time and managed to get a few photos. Anyone else remember seeing her? Was this the only location?

miss-piggy.JPG

PS I didn't look at Scott's photo for this week until after I selected mine. Great Minds Think Alike!

June 13, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Studios Characters

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

It will be a sad day for me if Muppet characters disappear from Disney's Hollywood Studios. Even after all these years, I still enjoy Muppet*Vision 3D and all the fun zaniness of the Muppets Courtyard area.

Muppet characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Muppet characters found around Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Deb will be here tomorrow to with her Disney Hollywood Studios' Characters photo.

June 7, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Launch Bay

Deb's Digest Blog

I took this photograph the very first time I visited the Launch Bay. Lucky for me, the procession was just beginning.

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June 6, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Launch Bay

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The building I talked about last week was re-imagined into the Star Wars Launch Bay to promote the universe of Star Wars for past and future movies, animated series and other tie-ins. Inside you will find Star Wars movie models, wardrobe and props on display as well as video games based on the movies and Meet and Greets with famous Star Wars characters.

Star Wars movie models, wardrobe and props on display inside the Launch Bay at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Star Wars movie models, wardrobe and props on display inside the Launch Bay.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125, f/4, ISO 5000, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow to with her Star Wars Launch Bay photo.

May 31, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Animation Courtyard

Deb's Digest Blog

Like everything else at the Studios, the Animation Courtyard has undergone a number of changes over the years.

At one time, you could get a glimpse as some very cool autographs and hand prints back in that area.

Jim Korkis wrote the story about these hand prints his blog: The Hidden Hand-prints of The Magic of Animation I was fortunate enough after reading about these to go and take photos of the hand-prints.

Here is one I really like by Ward Kimball:

animation-handprints-3.JPG

Sadly, this area no longer exists today. Does anyone know what happened to these hand prints and autographs?

May 30, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Animation Courtyard

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When Animation Courtyard first opened, it was home to the Art of Animation building which housed a working animation studio. I remember seeing Disney animators working on backgrounds for movies like Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast. Others animators would be inking cells for sale in Walt Disney World stores. It was a heady time as Disney Animation was coming out with hit after hit through the 1990's.

Over the years, computer animation technology became the norm and the Art of Anmation building lost its studio as Disney consolidated operations in their California studio. The building has recently been re-purposed but that is a story for next week.

Archway into the Animation Courtyard with the Art of Animation entrance in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Archway into the Animation Courtyard with the Art of Animation entrance from 2011.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/60, f/16, ISO 720, EV +0.3, 82mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow with her Animation Courtyard photo.

May 24, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Echo Lake

Deb's Digest Blog

The Imagineers left quite a few nods to the glamour days of Hollywood when they built Disney's MGM Studios and Echo Lake is a place where you can find all kinds of nuances. Think Rocketeer!

There have been a few times, over the years, that Echo Lake was rumored to be demolished, but it's still here in 2017! When I think of that area, I always think of Dino Gertie's and smile.
Come on now, who doesn't smile at the thought of green dinos and ice cream :)

echo-lake.jpg


P.S. Jim Korkis wrote about Echo Lake a few years ago for AllEars. Take a look and see if you can find any of the artifacts still around.

May 23, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Echo Lake

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I have been asked so I am sure Disney Hollywood Studio Cast Members get asked all the time why there is a dinosaur along the shore of Echo Lake. Dinosaur Gertie's Ice Cream of Extinction stand was part of the park's opening day. The link leads you to a Jim Korkis article about the the history of Gertie and the reason for including it in the park.

Recently, the stand is no longer in operation and may disappear as construction continues for the new Star Wars and Pixar additions.

Dinosaur Gertie's Ice Cream of Extinction stand on Echo Lake in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Dinosaur Gertie's Ice Cream of Extinction stand on Echo Lake.
Nikon D750/50mm, 1/125, f/16, ISO 450, EV 0.

Deb will be here tomorrow with her Echo Lake photo.

May 16, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Sunset Blvd.

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

After walking down Sunset Blvd. in Disney's Hollywood Studios with all its shops full of Hollywood tie-ins and California styled counter service eateries, everyone is confronted by the tall Hollywood Tower Hotel where screams can be heard which thrills many but scares off a few. I often wish Disney could have somehow figured out a way create this area in Black and White.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Tower at the end of Sunset Blvd. in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The Twilight Zone Tower of Tower at the end of Sunset Blvd.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/320, f/9, ISO 100, EV +0.3, 16mm Focal Length.

I converted this photo to Black and White as I always find it fitting to cast the The Twilight Zone Tower of Tower that way as a nod to the old TV show.

Deb will be here tomorrow with her Sunset Blvd. photo.

May 10, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Hollywood Blvd

Deb's Digest Blog

I'm a tad embarrassed to admit this to you, but Disney's Hollywood Studios is probably the park I have photographed the least. That face became abundantly clear when I realized I have very few older photos of good ole' "MGM".

However, I DO have a press kit from WALT Disney Imagineering dated 1989, that has some interesting photographs.

Here is one of Hollywood Blvd with the following caption: "THE EXCITEMENT OF HOLLYWOOD is captured for vacationers visiting the Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park. Aerial view shows Hollywood Boulvard from Crossorads of the World (foreground) to the Chinese Theater, plus back-lot and soundstages where guests get to peek at actual motion picture and television production. The new Walt Disney World theme park features attractions, shows, street entertainment, shops and restaurants celebrating Tinseltown and the making of movies and TV shows."

hollywood-blvd.jpg

May 9, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Hollywood Blvd.

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Things change at Walt Disney World over time. Right now a lot of things are changing at Disney's Hollywood Studios. A few years ago a big change occurred all over Walt Disney World when Kodak, a long time sponsor, was replaced by Nikon. This changed all the Picture Spots and the photography store on Hollywood Blvd. Of course, in keeping with the art deco architecture of the era.

The Nikon Photography Store on Hollywood Blvd. in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The Nikon Photography Store on Hollywood Blvd.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/400, f/10, ISO 200, EV 0, 24mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow with her Hollywood Blvd. photo.

May 3, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Train

Deb's Digest Blog

My selection for Pic of the Week trains is none other than the wildest ride in the west!

train-btmrr.jpg

That about wraps up our month of transportation photos. Next up, Disney's Hollywood Studios!

May 2, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Train

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The trains at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World give people an enjoyable and relaxing experience. They are also a good way to bypass Main Street USA when the parade is going on. Walking the path between Tomorrowland and Fantasyland, people can photograph the trains as they slowly leave Fantasyland station. If the engineer spots anyone, he will put on a show!

The Roy O. Disney Steam Train at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The Roy O. Disney Steam Train putting on a show at the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/200, f/8, ISO 200, EV 0, 55mm (82mm DX) Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow to with her Disney Train pic.

April 26, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Trams

Deb's Digest Blog

I really was hoping to find a very creative photograph of one of Disney's trams, unfortunately, I did not. Isn't it funny how you think you have a zillion photos of something and then when you try to find them you come up empty? Ok, maybe not funny, usually frustrating, but I had to laugh that I had no tram pics. This one was taken April 2017 at Animal Kingdom.

tram.jpg

April 25, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Trams

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Most Disney Trams get you from your car in a hot parking lot to one of Disney's great themeparks. Yet, my favorite Disney Tram is found on a remote private island owned by the Disney Cruise Line in the Caribbean called Castaway Cay. There, the trams take you from the ship to family beaches and, in the case below, the adult beach called Serenity Bay.

Castaway Cay Tram about to make a stop at Serenity Bay, Disney Cruise Line, Bahamas
Castaway Cay Tram about to make a stop at Serenity Bay.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250, f/14, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 28mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow to with her Disney Tram pic.

April 19, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Monorail

Deb's Digest Blog

If you are anything like I am when it comes to photos at Walt Disney World, you spend time waiting for that perfect shot. Whether it is your family, an attraction, animal or perhaps the monorail!

I end up with lots of photos like this. Getting set up, making sure the camera is doing what it should, taking a few practice shots:

monorail1.jpg

So imagine my surprise just a few weeks ago as I exited the Odyssey building and found a monorail coming around the bend!

monorail2.jpg

Ah... finally....

April 18, 2017

Disney PIc of the Week: Monorails

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

After a long and fun day at Epcot, seeing a monorail entering the station for the trip back to the Ticket and Transportation Center before heading to the Magic Kingdom to catch a late fireworks show is a very welcome sight. The seats are comfortable and the ride smooth.

Monorail Green entering the Epcot station, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Monorail Green entering Epcot station.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/160, f/6.3, ISO 1600, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length.

Raise your hand if you have ever fallen asleep on the Epcot to TTC track or visa versa. I know I have.

Deb will be here tomorrow with her monorail photo.

April 12, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Bus

Deb's Digest Blog

Here's a bus you don't see anymore, in fact it's been years since I have. Back in 2002, Epcot had a "Disney Characters on Holiday" bus. It would circle around World Showcase and periodically stop. The Characters would all get out and pose for photos and sign autographs. I have some fond memories of those character buses.

character-bus-2002.jpg

April 11, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Bus

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Disney buses are the most used mode of transportation at Walt Disney World. They meet us at the airport, transport us to all points within the resort and go out of their way to accommodate guests from newborns to the elderly. However, I must admit, the bus pictured below was a very special one for my wife and me as it took us from Disney's Wilderness Lodge to the Christening Cruise of the Disney Dream cruise ship back in January 2011.

Disney Cruise Line bus at Disney's Wilderness Resort, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Disney Cruise Line bus at Disney's Wilderness Resort.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/320, f/9, ISO 800, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow with her Disney Bus pic.

April 5, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Watercraft

Deb's Digest Blog

Here's an oldie but a goodie... wish I had gotten to ride this more than once before it was gone.

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Anyone have any great Keel Boat photos to share??

April 4, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Watercraft

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

One of the reasons I enjoy staying at either the Port Orleans Riverside or French Quarter Resorts is the ease of getting to Disney Springs using the water ferries on the Sassagoula River. They are a relaxing way to travel to and fro the resorts and the re-imagined shopping and entertainment complex.

Memphis Miss water ferry on the Sassagoula River near the Port Orleans Riverside resort, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Memphis Miss water ferry on the Sassagoula River near the Port Orleans Riverside resort.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60, f/11, ISO 200, EV 0, 82mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her watercraft photo.

March 29, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Photographers Choice

Deb's Digest Blog

Epcot's 25th Anniversary. One of my favorite photos from the re-dedication ceremony is this one of Disney Legend Marty Sklar with Spaceship Earth as the background.

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Hard to believe that was 10 years ago as Epcot celebrates 35 in October!

March 28, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Epcot at Night

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Night time in any Walt Disney World park or resort is magical. Use of lighting and shadows enhances the architecture's colors and shapes. The Morocco pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase is beautiful at night. The patterns found on the fountains and in the buildings is hard to pass up photographing them. The lighting after dark gives the buildings a golden color against the night sky. I tried to show this in the photo featuring the pavilion's water fountain and Koutoubia Minaret (prayer tower) raising high in the background.

Morocco pavilion at night in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Morocco pavilion at night in Epcot's World Showcase.
Nikon D750/Sigma 15mm Fisheye, 1/15, f/2.8, ISO 6400, EV 0.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her night time photo from Epcot.

March 22, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Epcot Yesterland

Deb's Digest Blog

There are many "yesterlands" in Epcot making it hard to select just one. Cranium Command was a great attraction that I miss. The Wonders of Life was a great place to hang out.

epcot-yesterland.jpg

What is your favorite Yesterland from Epcot?

March 21, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Epcot Yesterland

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Remember the hysteria as the year 2000 approached? People were worried computers would stop working and computerized systems from air traffic control towers to thermostats would cause all kinds of problems. I sure do as I was running the computer systems for a manufacturing company. Meanwhile, Disney proudly waved a Mickey-handed wand over Spaceship Earth proclaiming the coming of the 21st Century (even though technically it didn't start until 2001), I was holed up in my company's computer room just in case something happened. Luckily, nothing did and we all went on with our lives.

Not at Epcot, however, as I took this photo in October 2001, way after 2000 had come and gone. Do you remember what came after this?

Spaceship Earth with the Mickey wand from 2001 in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Spaceship Earth with the Mickey wand of 2000.

Since digital, for me, was still a few years down the road, this was taken with a Nikon 8008s SLR camera and a Sigma 24-70mm lens as I used it until the lens literally fell apart.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her Epcot Yesteryear photo.

March 15, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Test Track

Deb's Digest Blog
EXHILARATION!

Remember that very first time you rode Test Track??.

You exited the building and took off on the track, veering left and right, and ramping hard left as you went past the front of the building.....

test-track.jpg
WOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

March 14, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Test Track

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The "crash test" in Test Track is a cool way to exit out onto the high banks especially after it got the Tron Effect-like updates back in 2012.

Test Track pavilion in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Test Track pavilion in Epcot's Future World.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/250s, f/4, ISO 10000, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her Test Track photo on our tour of Epcot's Future World.

March 8, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Journey Into Imagination

Deb's Digest Blog

I had the recent opportunity to examine the Journey Into Imagination Press Kit by Kodak and was able to scan the photos. See if you know the area of the pavilion this photo is from. Scroll down for answer. If only I had a digital camera back then.

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"The Magic Palette, one of several color video painting and drawing devices, entertains Dreamfinder and Figment as they experiment with the attractions in Image Works at Journey Into Imagination Epcot Center. The row of palettes is one of eleven different activities in the Image World, a hands-on special-effects area of the pavilion presented by Kodak"

March 7, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Imagination

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I was pleased when Disney decided to bring back my pal, Figment, to the Imagination pavilion. You can see him again inside the pavilion and outside, too.

Imagination pavilion in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Imagination pavilion in Epcot's Future World.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 560, EV 0, 26mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her Imagination photo on our tour of Epcot's Future World.

March 1, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Universe of Energy

Deb's Digest Blog

Here's an interesting photo I found of the outside of the Universe of Energy. At one time, in the early 2000s, the Flower and Garden festival would feature larger than life insects and bugs. From spiders to bees, to lady bugs.. they were great sculptures to see.

Here is one in the water feature out front of the Universe of Energy.

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February 28, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Universe of Energy

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Back when Epcot first opened in 1982, the concept of using solar panels to produce electricity was still a new and expensive proposition. The Universe of Energy's roof is filled with such panels which partially power the huge vehicles filled with guests through the attraction teaching when, where, how and what energy is.

Universe of Energy pavilion in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Universe of Energy pavilion in Epcot's Future World in HDR.
Nikon D750/Sigma 15mm Fisheye, 1/320, f/9, ISO 100, EV 0, Cropped.

Today, Tesla will soon be selling solar roofs which look no different then non-solar ones. "Now, that's progress!", to quote another famous Walt Disney created attraction.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her Universe of Energy photo on our tour of Epcot's Future World.

February 22, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Mission Space

Deb's Digest Blog

I'm the first to admit I am not a fan. I wanted to be! I always dreamed of going into space as a kid growing up with Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. I will say Mission Space allowed me to experience a rocket launch but that's about it. The rest is a blur.

Here's a nod to the past:

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Oh and if you want to check out my report "To Boldly Go Where I Will Never Go Again", here you are!

February 21, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Mission: SPACE

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

With clouds above, I used a set of 5 photographs from -2EV to +2EV to create a High Dynamic Range (HDR) image of Mission: SPACE in Epcot's Future World.

Mission: SPACE pavilion in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Mission: SPACE pavilion in Epcot's Future World in HDR.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, f/16, ISO 220, EV 0, 19mm Focal Length, HDR Image.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her Mission: SPACE photo on our tour of Epcot's Future World.

February 15, 2017

Disney Photo of the Week: Living Seas

Deb's Digest Blog

While not an opening day attraction, the Living Seas grand opening was held in January 1986 with Michael Eisner, Diver Mickey Mouse and Diver Frank Wells.

In the early days of the Living Seas, you walked along banister lined curves that displayed historical photographs and artifacts of famous undersea explorations. Here was one the displays from the movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

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February 14, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: The Seas with Nemo & Friends

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Seas of the world are ever moving, always in motion. I really liked how Disney captured that trait of the sea at The Living Seas when it first opened and kept it with the re-imagined The Seas with Nemo & Friends in Epcot's Future World. The sign to the attraction sits in the middle of a rugged sea shore reminisent of the western United States. "Waves" randomly splash up onto the rocks around the sign. Sea Gulls from the movie, "Finding Nemo", declare nearby, "Mine, mine, mine" ad nauseam.

The Seas with Nemo & Friends pavilion in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The Seas with Nemo & Friends pavilion in Epcot's Future World.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length, Polarizer Filter .

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her The Seas with Nemo & Friends photo on our tour of Epcot's Future World.

February 8, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: The Land

Deb's Digest Blog

Like most of Future World, I get lost looking through my photo galleries for each pavilion and start remembering times past and things that would make me smile. I've always loved The Land, there is/was so much do to in one building. One of my favorite "original" attractions is still there, the Living with the Land boat ride. Although I do miss the live Cast Member narrating, change is inevitable and at least the attraction is still there. (Yes, I love Soarin' but I go back to the early days.)

There was one small "attraction" that was very cool back in the 2000s... the Junior Chef Program, presented by Nestle Toll House. A small area in the back of the pavilion was set up as a mini kitchen where a couple times a day junior chefs would make Nestle Toll House cookies.

This photo was taken November 2005. Does anyone have additional information about the Junior Chef Program? How long it was in the Land? Other specifics? Please share them in the comments below.

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February 7, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: The Land

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The old adage when visiting Walt Disney World is to always look up when inside a pavilion, attraction and even shops. In The Land pavilion at Epcot's Future World, the huge atrium has balloons "floating" high above the seating area for the Sunshine Seasons food court. I have taken many photos of them from the walkways but never from directly below them until now.

Season Balloons in The Land pavilion in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Season Balloons in The Land pavilion.
Nikon D750/Sigma 15mm Fisheye, 1/125, f/2.8, ISO 100, EV 0.

Each of the balloons circling the Earth balloon depicts a season.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her The Land photo as we continue our tour of Epcot's Future World.

February 1, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Spaceship Earth

Deb's Digest Blog

From aerial photos we turn our attention to Epcot for several weeks. Today, Spaceship Earth!

Spaceship Earth is arguably the most photographed building in all of Epcot, perhaps only 2nd to Cinderella's Castle in all of Walt Disney World. I enjoyed going back through my gallery of photos. From beautiful topiary displays, the magical wands of "2000" and "Epcot", the Lights of Winter Arch, to the Fountain of Nations dancing water... there is much to love. And I haven't even talked about the attraction yet.

Here is one photo that just stood out to me as I looked through all my pictures:

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January 25, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Disney Springs Aerial

Deb's Digest Blog

I was fortunate to ride the Characters in Flight balloon this past November. Here's the view from high above....

Off in the distance on the left is the Tower of Terror, the Swan and Dolphin and then Spaceship Earth.

Closer you can see the West End of Disney Springs including Spiltsville, Curl, Disney Quest, Cirque du Soleil, House of Blues and the back of Wolfgang Pucks.

To the far right is the parking lot you'd want to use when seeing Cirque du Soleil.

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January 24, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Disney Springs Aerial

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I visited Disney Springs twice last year and both times the weather grounded the Characters in Flight balloon ride. I wanted to get an updated aerial view since the transformation from Downtown Disney for this week's aerial topic. Unable to do so I went back and found this aerial taken back in 2011 when it was still called Downtown Disney.

Aerial view of Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
erial view of Downtown Disney now known as Disney Springs.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60, f/3.5, ISO 3200, EV +0.3, 28mm focal length.

I still hope to get Disney Spring aerials sometime this year. Stay tuned!

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her Disney Springs aerial photo.

January 18, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Epcot Aerial

Deb's Digest Blog

For this photograph, I was trying to find pictures I had taken while riding the monorail from the TTC that goes through much of Future World. Well, where most of those photos are remains a mystery.

However I did find this photograph of the original Test Track in my Test Track folder. This was certainly taken from the monorail as it circled Future World.

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January 17, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Epcot Aerial

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The aerial subject this week is Epcot. I am recycling an image I took during Epcot's 30th Anniversary celebration which still represented much of what I remember seeing when I first visited 29 years prior.

Future World from the monorail over Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Future World from the monorail over Epcot.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/125, f/16, ISO 200, EV -0.6, 16mm focal length.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her Epcot aerial photo.

January 11, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Magic Kingdom Aerial

Deb's Digest Blog

When the topic of aerial photos came up for this month, I wasn't sure I would have much to choose from. Luckily I have been slowly (very slowly) archiving all of my photographs and remembered one I took several years ago from the 2nd floor balcony of Pinocchio's Village Haus.

Here's a look at Dumbo, circa 2005, before it's move to the New Fantasyland. I love how the elephants glide so gracefully through the air on the right. (Be sure to click for larger photo).

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January 10, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Magic Kingdom Aerial

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Deb Wills asked Deb Koma, AllEars.Net Newsletter Editor, for ideas for the Disney Pic of the Week segment on the Picture This! blog. She gave us a bunch we have used over the last two months. Then, I came upon a series called Aerial Photos. Now, considering I was not going to rent a helicopter and Disney does not allow drones except for their use, I had to dig around my photo library. There, I discovered some "aerial" photos to share.

First up is the Magic Kingdom. Six years ago, a friend of mine invited me to his Magic Kingdom view room in Disney's Contemporary Resort. He did not get a chance to finish his sentence when I agreed. It was December and not the greatest of days either. Still, this photo of Cinderella Castle came out very good from an angle only seen from the resort.



Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom photographed from Disney's Contemporary Resort, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida

Cinderella Castle photographed from Disney's Contemporary Resort.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/200s, f/10, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 170mm (255mm DX) Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow with her Aerial Photo of the Magic Kingdom.

January 4, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Best of 2016

Deb's Digest Blog
Happy New Year Everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are ready for 2017!

As I went through all my Photos of the Week it was hard to pick a favorite or best picture.

For me from a photography standpoint, my Best of 2016 was from the Meerkat Training:


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Be sure to click on the photo for a larger image.

I happened upon the Meerkats at Animal Kingdom just as their feeding and enrichment was beginning. It was great to watch as the first one timidly emerged from the hole to see is everything was safe. A few more minutes went by before the 2nd one peered out.

After about 10 minutes, the animal keeper had them all running back and forth for their "meatballs". Just image how FAST this little meerkat was jumping up for food! I managed to get him on 2 legs and mouth wide open. If this isn't an action shot, I don't know what is!

January 3, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Best of 2016

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

As we begin 2017, Deb and I looked back and picked each other's favorite Disney Pic of the Week photo from 2016. I really liked a lot of them but after a few years of not being at Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival, this photo of a monorail cruisng over the colorful flower beds in Epcot kept catching my fancy. For me, it brings the two things I love most about being at Epcot: color and the promise of a bright future for all of us.

Monorail Yellow moves over the Flower and Garden Festival in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Monorail Yellow moves over the 2016 Flower and Garden Festival.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 180, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her Favorite Disney Pic of the Week photo from 2016.

December 28, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Christmas at Disney

Deb's Digest Blog

Way back in 2001, most folks didn't think twice about the Disney Christmas Special being filmed in advance. Well, may you did, but I don't think I did.

So as I entered the Magic Kingdom on December 2, 2001, Cast Members had roped off an area in front of the castle. Most people just walked on by. I decided to stand on the sidewalk and see what was going on. Lo and behold, WDW was filming part of the Christmas Special.

Here is the one I took of Mary Lou Retton, first US woman to win Gold in an Olympic Game (1984), with Goofy and Minnie.

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December 27, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Christmas at Disney

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I strongly recommend those coming to Walt Disney World for the first time during the holiday season to see a performance of the Candlelight Processional in Epcot. The Candlelight Processional is the telling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator with music sung by a mass choir and performed by a 50-piece live orchestra. The choir is made up of the Voices of Liberty, volunteer Disney Cast Members, who make up the "tree", and high school chorus' from all over the United States.

Candlelight Processional takes place in the America Gardens Theatre across from the American Adventure in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Candlelight Processional being performed at the America Gardens Theatre in Epcot's World Showcase.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/400s, f/3.5, ISO 3200, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her Christmas at Disney photo.

December 21, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Favorite Holiday Entertainment

Deb's Digest Blog

Without a doubt, my favorite Holiday Entertainment at Walt Disney World is the beautiful Candlelight Processional at Epcot. It is almost impossible to experience this show and not come out feeling a little lighter, a little brighter, and a little warm and fuzzy inside.

I have been fortunate to see many narrators over the years including Phylicia Rashad, Whoopi Goldberg, Eartha Kitt, Marlee Matlin, Neil Patrick Harris, Blair Underwood, and others.

By far my favorite narrator has been Jodi Benson.

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Here's Jodi's opening and closing remarks from the 2014 Candlelight:

December 20, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Favorite Holiday Entertainment

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When I was at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party earlier this month, I enjoyed a new a cappella group for the first time. Voiceplay performed on the Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland and sang traditional and non-tradtional Christmas songs. To hear them perform a mashup of several Christmas favorites was both funny and totally awesome.

Voiceplay performing on the Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland during a Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Voiceplay performing on the Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland during a Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/5.6, ISO 2500, EV -1.0, 28mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her Favorite Holiday Entertainment.

December 14, 2016

Disney Pic fo the Week: Favorite Holiday Decor Ft. Wilderness

Deb's Digest Blog

I have lots of Disney decor photos from Fort Wilderness, but this one struck my funny bone.

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Hot Cocoa Hot Tub...............

December 13, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Favorite Holiday Resort Decoration

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I have admired it from buses, ferries and monorails on previous trips. This year, I finally got off the monorail at Disney's Contemporary Resort and walked out to photograph the large Christmas tree outside the resort. The timing was perfect as the Sun had set and blue hour was coming on. I did not have a tripod with me so I used a Disney Quadpod (aka garbage can) to help steady my camera using a slow shutter speed.

Christmas Tree at the Contemporary Resort, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Christmas Tree outside the Contemporary Resort.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/25s, f/8, ISO 6400, EV 0, 24mm Focal Length.

Tomorrow, Deb will share her Favorite Holiday Resort Decoration.

December 7, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Holiday Parade Float

Deb's Digest Blog

Might as well keep the nostalgic posts coming for the holidays. Did you ever see Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade in Animal Kingdom? I always got a chuckle from this float:

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And here's a video of the parade:

December 6, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Holiday Parade Float

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

My favorite time of year is Christmastime. Saying that it should come to no surprise my favorite holiday parade float would involve Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade which is part of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. Up until last week, I had never photographed the parade.

I quizzed a Disney fan photographer, whose Christmas parade photos I had always admired, for his best tips. They helped me come away with this photo of Mickey and Minnie Mouse on the lead float as they traveled down Main Street USA with "snow" coming down all around them.

Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade during Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Mickey and Minnie Mouse on the lead float of the Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade.
Nikon D750/50mm, 1/125s, f/2.8, ISO 5600, EV 0.

I will detail how I photographed the parade on my blog this Friday.

Tomorrow, Deb will share her favorite holiday parade float.

November 30, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Holiday Landscape/Plants/Arrangements

Deb's Digest Blog

When I saw this topic on our list for Photo of the Week I knew exactly what I was going to hunt for in my archives! One of my favorite things, now in yesterland, were the themed trees in Camp Minnie-Mickey in Animal Kingdom.

Oh, there was Donald and his nephews, Goofy, Finding Nemo, Festival of the Lion King, Pocahontas, Pooh, Minnie, Stitch and many more. (Scroll past the photo for a video).

Here is the top of Minnie's Tree:

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I took this video back in 2012 - see if you can guess who all the trees belong to!

November 29, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Favorite Holiday View

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The complete title for this Disney Pic of the Week was Favorite Holiday Landscape/Plants/Arrangement. I condensed it down to Favorite Holiday View.

My favorite is definitely the Main Street USA Train Station after going through the Magic Band/Turnstiles. I had to wait to get a clear photo which did not include any fellow guests as this is one of the most popular photo locations in all of Walt Disney World. Back in 2008, early December was one of the less busy times and I did not have to wait long. That is not the case today. Be prepared for a long wait.

Main Street Train Station decorated for the Christmas holidays at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Main Street Train Station decorated for the Christmas holidays.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/200s, f/18, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 18mm Focal Length.

The train with holiday garland adds to the theme as does the beautiful Mickey Mouse symbol made up of hundreds of red poinsettia plants. See what I did there? I got a landscape with plants and the plants are arranged all in one photo.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her Favorite Holiday Landscape/Plants/Arrangement photo.

November 23, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Thanksgiving

Deb's Digest Blog
From all of us to all of you:
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November 22, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Thanksgiving

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I searched all over the Magic Kingdom one day for a suitable subject to photograph for this Disney Pic of the Week about Thanksgiving. I went through all the shops on Main Street USA and the Holiday Shop in Liberty Square to no avail. After a ride in the Haunted Mansion, I walked past the Liberty Tree Tavern, which is home to a very Thanksgiving-like dining experience, and spotted the harvest decorations one would see on a table for a family's Thanksgiving day dinner in the United States.

Harvest decorations outside the Liberty Tree Tavern in Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Harvest decorations outside the Liberty Tree Tavern in Liberty Square.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/160s, f/6.3, ISO 100, EV 0, 62mm Focal Length, Fill Flash.

Notice even with an aperture of f/6.3, the background is out of focus. That is because I got very close to the decorations before taking the photo.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her Thanksgiving photo.

To my fellow United States citizens, have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving holiday!

November 16, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Face Painting

Deb's Digest Blog

During the summer of 2014, Animal Kingdom held a series of night-time parties called Harambe Nights. One of the fun things to do was to have your Face Painted. Here I am with Shelley and Catherine after we had been "painted".

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November 15, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Face Painting

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

While I did not get a photo of someone getting their face painted, I did get the next best thing. A portrait of a Face Painter stationed just outside the entrance to Disney's Kilimanjaro Safari. As you can see she is also advertising her Face Painting skills.

Cast Member Face Painter in the African village of Harambe at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Cast Member Face Painter in the African village of Harambe.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/4.5, ISO 250, EV 0, 56mm Focal Length.

She makes the perfect person for the Disney Pic of the Week about Face Painting.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her face painting photo.

November 9, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Artisans

Deb's Digest Blog

For several years during Holidays Around the World, Reinhard Herzog set up his custom made glass ornament shop at Epcot's Germany pavilion.


The master at work:

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It is fascinating to watch the art of glass blowing as he took ground glass and made it into beautiful ornaments.

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Do you have a favorite Disney artisan? Who is it?

November 8, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Artisans at Work

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Back in 2011, I had the pleasure of photographing the famed Disney character artist, Don "Ducky" Williams, during the "Everything's Just Ducky!" 15th Annversary AllEars.net Event in Epcot's Odyssey restaurant. He talked for nearly an hour all the while producing sketch portraits of Disney characters. It was a joy to watch a person who clearly loved his job. So much so that he keeps showing up years after his "retirement".

Don 'Ducky' Williams, famed Disney character artist, with a finished a portrait of Ariel during an event in Epcot's Odyssey restaurant, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Don "Ducky" Williams, famed Disney character artist, with a finished a portrait of Ariel during an event in Epcot's Odyssey restaurant.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/8, ISO 2500, EV 0, 200mm Focal Length, Bounced Flash.

Ducky makes the perfect person for the Disney Pic of the Week about Artisans at Work.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her Artisan photo which will really blow you away.

November 2, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Gardeners

Deb's Digest Blog

I guess I have always been too fascinated watching gardeners at work at Walt Disney World, that I have very few photos of them.

As I looked back through my Flower and Garden festival pics, I came across this 2010 photo of Mother Nature herself! I mean, if she isn't the ultimate gardener, who is? And yes, her name tag says Mother Nature, so it must be so.

gardners.jpg

November 1, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Gardeners

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

This week's theme was to focus attention to all those wonderful Gardeners who keep Walt Disney World looking colorful and lush from the resorts to the themeparks and the roadways in between. I did not find any photos of them in my archives nor did I locate any on my last trip. Instead, I will show you the results of one of my favorite locations in Epcot.

Behind Spaceship Earth, there is a garden which changes throughout the year. During the annual Flower and Garden Festival, it gets particularly colorful as it was last March.

Flower garden behind Spaceship Earth in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Flower garden behind Spaceship Earth in Epcot.
Nikon D750/Tokina 16-28mm, 1/50s, f/16, ISO 6400, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length.

I shall keep my eye out for WDW gardeners on future trips as I do enjoy the results of their fabulous work.

Tomorrow, Deb will share the quintessential gardener.

October 26, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Signature Dining

Deb's Digest Blog

Several restaurants came to mind when I thought about Signature Dining. But of all the places I have dined, none can boast the view found at California Grill in the Contemporary Resort.

signature-dining.jpg

Can you think of any place to dine at Walt Disney World with a better view?

October 25, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Signature Restaurant

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Signature restaurants at Walt Disney World stand for fine dining and feature unique experiences, menu choices and are the most expensive places to eat on property. For those on the Dining Plan, meals at a signature restaurant take two dining credits per meal. It has been my experience the extra cost at a signature is more than made up in the quality of the restaurant, service and food and drink served.

I recently dined at the newest signature restaurant at Walt Disney World called Tiffins in Disney's Animal Kingdom. Tiffins is found on the path which will eventually lead you to the future Pandora attraction. Here is a collage of photos from the experience.

Collage of photos from Tiffins restaurant in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Collage of photos from Tiffins restaurant.

From top left, Tiffins napkin on the Travel Log (aka menu), Berkshire Pork Tenderloin entrée, wall art created from photos and items brought back from Africa by Imagineers when doing research for the Animal Kingdom and Berbere-Spiced Lamb Chop entrée.

The food and ambiance was excellent. Check out the Nomad Lounge for a before or after dinner cocktail which is right next door.

Tomorrow, Deb will share one of her favorite Signature Restaurants.

October 19, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Table Settings

Deb's Digest Blog

Thinking of table settings in Disney restaurants, I immediately thought of the recently redesigned Flying Fish. As you'll see, even the silver wear keeps with the theme.


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October 18, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Table Settings

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Table settings is an art. Managers and/or Imagineers go to great lengths to match a Disney restaurant's theme to the table settings put in front of their guests. On the Disney Cruise Line ships, this is quite evident. I found the table settings in Palo, an adult only restuarant on the Disney Dream cruise ship, blended perfectly with the decor and themeing of the restaurant.

Table settings in the adult only restaurant, Palo, on the Disney Dream cruise ship, Disney Cruise Line, Bahamas
Table settings in the adult only restaurant, Palo, on the Disney Dream.
Nikon D700/Nikon 28-300VR, 1/60s, f/4, ISO 280, EV +0.7, 28mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow with her Disney table setting photo.

October 12, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Food Preparation

Deb's Digest Blog

Today, I take you to the Food and Wine Festival tasting preview, where I watched that amazing Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey-Caramel Sauce be made.

This photo is of the chocolate-almond truffle as it comes out of the liquid nitro! And just seconds later, the chef takes the ladle and smashes the frozen goodie to put warm whiskey caramel sauce on top!

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October 11, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Food Preparation

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

There a few show kitchens at restaurants in Walt Disney World. None more unique than that in Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria in Epcot's Italy pavilion. There, you can see pizzas made from start to finish.

Chef making a pizza in Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria in Epcot's Italy pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Chef making a pizza in Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/3.5, ISO 1800, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length.

I have featured this photo before in a post called: Making Pizzas at Via Napoli.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her Disney restaurant food preparation photograph.

October 5, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Cocktails

Deb's Digest Blog

I'm not much of a cocktail drinker, wine is my preference. However in the last few years I have acquired a deeper appreciation of fine bubbles :)

During a recent lunch at Chefs de Francein Epcot, I decided to begin with the Cocktail des Chefs - blanc de blanc sparking wine and black currant ($9.99), I found it quite refreshing and enjoyable.

A votre santé !
cocktail.jpg

October 4, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Cocktails

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I am not a big drinker but, when I visit Castaway Cay during a Disney Cruise, I make a stop at Serenity Bay's Castaway Air bar for the island's signature cocktail, Konk Kooler. I have it on good authority, you get more to enjoy with the sipper cup, too.

Bartender fills up a Konk Kooler Sipper Cup at the Castaway Air Bar on Serenity Bay on Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line, Bahamas
Bartender fills up a Konk Kooler Sipper Cup at the Castaway Air Bar on Castaway Cay.
Nikon D750/Nikon 16-35VR, 1/125s, f/4, ISO 180, EV +0.3, 22mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share one of her favorite Disney cocktails.

September 28, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: People Watching

Deb's Digest Blog

One of my favorite "People Watching" activities involves character interactions. This photo comes from a Star Wars Weekend in 2015. I wish I had video of Minnie and Mickey's reaction when this mini Darth Vader approached!

Just use your imagination :)

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September 27, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: People Watching

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

This week's topic is a tricky one. We all love to people watch at Walt Disney World. From the very young to the very old, people are just entertaining as they move about the parks and resorts. As a photographer, one has to take into account a person or persons privacy. Disney property is private and not subject to the laws of public domain and access. If I do see an interesting subject, I will politely ask if I may take their photo. If they agree, I take the photo(s) and then hand them a contact card. Most people will email me and I will send them a digital copy with a permission note so they can get it printed if they wish.

The only time I do not do that is when someone has been brought "on stage" with cast members. This happens a lot and I have had the pleasure of being volunteered for a few shows as have members of my family. It is quite fun. When participating on stage, I feel fine in photographing the event as the person or persons has agreed to be on stage. Such was the case on Main Street USA when the Philharmonic was putting on a concert and asked this young lady to join them.

Main Street Philharmonic playing in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Main Street Philharmonic having fun with a guest at the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 100, EV 0, 145mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her people watching moment with you.

September 21, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Ice Cream

Deb's Digest Blog

Recently I had the opportunity to sample 4 of the YUMMY ice creams sold at L'Artisan des Glaces. This great ice cream and sorbet store is located in the French area of World Showcase, Epcot.

Starting at the top center is the Mixed Berries sorbet. Following clockwise is the Cinnamon with Caramelized Pecan, their newest flavor which is Candied Peanuts with Chocolate, Peanut Butter Fudge and finally coffee!

I must say these were wonderful to taste!

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What is your favorite flavor???

September 20, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Ice Cream

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

On a typical warm weather day at Walt Disney World, what is the one dessert or snack everyone loves to get? Ice cream you say? I think most of us would agree.

At Tutto Italia restaurant in Epcot's Italy pavilion, if you do not want one of their Italian desserts, you may order an ice cream one with a crunchie, candied stick like my daughter did here.

Ice cream dessert at Tutto Italia restaurant in Epcot's Italy pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A guest with her Ice cream dessert at Tutto Italia restaurant.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5, ISO 1100, EV +0.3, 72mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her ice cream delight.

September 14, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Bikes

Deb's Digest Blog

I have several photos of bicycles found at Walt Disney World. This is one of my more recent finds. I have no idea if it has been there a short or long time, but it was semi-new to me.

Do you know where this photo was taken?

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September 13, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Bikes

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When you walk around either Africa or Asia in Disney's Animal Kingdom, you will see pedal bikes all over the place. Some are very ornate and colorful while others are plain and utilitarian like the one I found leaning against a building in the African village of Harambe.

A bike leaning against a building in Harambe at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A bike leaning against a building in Harambe.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/8, ISO 1000, EV 0, 98mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share another bike photo at Walt Disney World.

September 7, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Rocking Chairs

Deb's Digest Blog

A variety of locations came to mind as I thought about this week's focus, Rocking Chairs. There are those great chairs in Frontierland and Liberty Square that you can sit on and people watch. I think there were some at Aunt Polly's over at Tom Sawyer Island.

I'm sure other locations come to mind when you think of rocking chairs.

Here's one you probably didn't think about... I vividly remember the time I met Betsy Ross at the American Adventure. Her story was told as part of the 4th of July festivities back in 2010. Here are 2 photos featuring Betsy Ross and her rocking chair in the American Adventure Rotunda.

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I'm not sure if she appeared after that time, but I know I never saw her again.

September 6, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Rocking Chairs

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

After a few hours of walking around any Walt Disney World park, a rocking chair to sit down and relax in is a very welcome sight. I found a member of my party really relaxing over on Tom Sawyer Island in the Magic Kingdom back in 2009.

A guest takes a nap in a rocking chair on Tom Sawyer Island in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A guest takes a nap in a rocking chair on Tom Sawyer Island.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/60s, f/20, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 44mm Focal Length.

I am not sure the rocking chairs are still there. Can someone confirm this for me?

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her favorite rocking chair location.

August 31, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Favorite Animal

Deb's Digest Blog

It didn't take me long to decide what animal to feature in this week's Pic of the Week, it has to be the collared lemur!

I have been going to Animal Kingdom every year since it opened in 1998. In all that time, I have only seen the collared lemurs ONCE! They are nocturnal and are usually sleeping in the trees. You can find them in the same area as the ringed-tail lemurs (black and white). I think they are still in Animal Kingdom. If anyone knows for sure, please let me know.

It was hard to select which one photo to share - hope you like the one I have chosen. I just love the eye contact! The photo was taken January 2013. Let me know if you have ever seen these lemurs!

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August 30, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Favorite Animal

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

A Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) photographed during a Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom. It is not often you see a Cheetah standing. This one even stood out in the bright sunlight.

Cheetah on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Cheetah on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Nikon D700/80-400VR, 1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 560, EV +0.3, 400mm Focal Length.

Predators have always been my favorite type of wildlife and Cheetahs are my favorite ones.

Deb will here tomorrow to share her favorite animal in Disney's Animal Kingdom.

August 24, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Rhino

Deb's Digest Blog


Rhinos rank among the most endangered species on Earth.

There are five kinds of rhino: white, black, Indian, Sumatran and Javan. Two types, black and white, reside on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Animal Kingdom. I believe these are white rhinos. If I am wrong, please let me know

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August 23, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Rhinoceros

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

A White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) kicks up mud ahead of him as he leaves a wallowing pit photographed during a Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom. Rhinoceroses like to wallow in mud to keep bugs off of them and get protection from the Sun. May not look great but it gets the job done.

White Rhino in a wallowing pit on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
White Rhino in a wallowing pit on the Kilimanjaro Safari.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/500s, f/7.1, ISO 200, EV 0, 300mm Focal Length.

Deb will here tomorrow with her photo of a rhinoceros.

August 17, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Elephant

Deb's Digest Blog

African elephants have been part of Animal Kingdom since it opened. These massive animals can be seen as you ride the Kilimanjaro Safari.

The Walt Disney World Resort's animal care team welcomed the first African elephant calf to be born at Disney's Animal Kingdom in May 2003. You can see photos of some of the first elephants born at Animal Kingdom HERE.

This photo is from 2006.

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August 16, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Elephant

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom, the one animal everyone riding with me which seems to bring out the most excitement, are the African Elephants. Especially, if they see the smaller ones as these two are.

Two young African elephants photographed on the Kilimanjaro Safari through the Harambe Reserve of Africa in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Two young African elephants photographed on the Kilimanjaro Safari.
Nikon D7100/24-120VR, 1/500s, f/4, ISO 100, EV +0.3, 120mm (180mm DX) Focal Length

Tomorrow, Deb will share a little history of the African Elephant at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

August 10, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Giraffe

Deb's Digest Blog

Did you know that the first animals in Animal Kingdom arrived in the Summer of 1996. They were two young giraffe named Miles and Zari.

-- Reticulated giraffe will have a pattern of large spots, similar in shape, with little "background" color shown so that you might wonder if the giraffe is all brown. Other giraffes have a wide variety of spots on their body of different shapes and sizes, the background color is also darker. Every giraffe has a unique pattern!

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A few years ago, a second giraffe species, Masai, was introduced at Animal Kingdom.

-- The Masai giraffe has jagged edges along their patches. They are also the tallest of all the giraffes.

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Here they are side by side. Can you tell which is which?

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August 9, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Giraffe

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

My daughter's friend came with us to Walt Disney World about fifteen years ago. She brought with her a disposal camera with thirty-six film exposures. I was told she loved giraffes and I made sure we did an early excursion on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom the first day of our visit. Well, we came around the corner where the giraffes like to forage in the tall trees and came upon six of the tall herbivores. Before I could stop her, she fired off all thirty-six exposures in the camera. She had on a smile as wide as could be she was so happy seeing them up close and roaming freely.

That is what beautiful animals can do for us, humans. Bring pleasure and excitment. Just like the two young ones I photographed a few years later. Both of these reticulated giraffes had been born at the Animal Kingdom.

Two young reticulated giraffes seen on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Two young Reticulated Giraffes seen on the Kilimanjaro Safari.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/500s, f/3.5, ISO 200, EV -0.7, 28mm Focal Length, Intensify CK.

Deb will here tomorrow to tell you the differences between the two giraffe species found at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

August 3, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Beach

Deb's Digest Blog

Since we have been highlighting the Disney Cruise line for the month of July, I had to return to DCL for my Photo of the Week.

Back in December 2003, I was walking around at Castaway Cay and behold, this beautiful sand castle was just sitting on the beach.

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August 2, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Beach

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When it comes to a Disney beach, you would be hard pressed to find a better one than Serenity Bay's Adult Beach on Castaway Cay. It's one of the perks of any Caribbean cruise on the Disney Cruise Line.

A couple of chairs on the Serenity Bay Adult Beach on Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line, Bahamas
A pair of chairs on the Serenity Bay Adult Beach on Castaway Cay.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/18, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 28mm Focal Length

Tomorrow, Deb will share a beach from a different Castaway Cay location.

July 27, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Summer

Deb's Digest Blog

Being totally inundated with all things Frozen, it is hard to think of Summer without thinking of Olaf! Here's a photo from "Olaf's Summer Cool Down" at Disney's Hollywood Studios!


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July 26, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Summertime

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I think we can all agree that BF (Before Frozen), when someone asked for a photo about summertime, a snowman would be the last thing that would come to mind. After the Walt Disney Studios animated feature, Frozen, was released, it is hard not to think of the cute little snowmand Olaf made by Elsa. Heck, he even showed up on Castaway Cay. Can you hear him singing?

Olaf hanging out on Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line, Bahamas
Olaf hanging out on Castaway Cay where it is always Summertime.
Nikon D750/Nikon 16-35VR, 1/125s, f/8, ISO 180, EV +0.3, 18mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow with her photo about summertime. I bet you can guess what it will be..wink, wink.

July 20, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Nassau

Deb's Digest Blog

Just about any cruise I have been on that travels to the Bahamas or the Caribbean makes a stop in Nassau. I have been a few times and prefer to stay on board and enjoy my own version of a "day at sea".

I love watching as the ship pulls into port. I know for sure I am in Nassau when I see "Senor Frogs" bar!

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July 19, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Nassau

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I have enjoyed a couple of excursions in and around Nassau, the capitol of the Bahamas. The last one was to the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island. After the tour, I enjoyed a lunch in one of the resort's restaurants and then explored the resort on my own before having to catch a shuttle back to the ship. Besides pools, water slides and a casino, the resort boasts a large aquarium.

The rope bridge over the Shark Pool was a fun place to see and hear reactions as people, both young and old, would walk, run and even bounce over the Hammerhead Sharks swimming less than ten feet below their feet.

People walking on a rope bridge over the Shark Pool at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island on Nassau, Disney Cruise Line, Bahamas
People walking on a rope bridge over the Shark Pool at the Atlantis Resort.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 560, EV 0, 24mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow with her photo from Nassau.

July 13, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Castaway Cay

Deb's Digest Blog

There is no doubt the Disney Cruise Line offers one of the very best private islands for their guests. From the first time I saw Castaway Cay, I fell in love.

One of my favorite memories is seeing the Flying Dutchman pirate ship which anchored off shore for a few years. Hence, my pic of the week!

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July 12, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Castaway Cay

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Every Disney Cruise Line Caribbean itinerary has a stop at Castaway Cay. Some even have more than one day there. It is my personal favorite of all the Disney Cruise Line Ports of Call. You don't have to worry about anything. Just be happy!

Mickey Mouse making friends on Castaway Cay during a Disney Dream cruise, Disney Cruise Line, Bahamas
Mickey Mouse making friends on Castaway Cay.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/16, ISO 250, EV +0.6, 40mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow with her photo from the Disney Cruise Line's private island.

July 6, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: The Disney Magic

Deb's Digest Blog

I love seeing the Disney Magic in port! It never grows old no matter where in the world I see her. This photo is from 2002.

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July 5, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: The Disney Magic

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When I started vacationing on the Disney Cruise Line, it was on the Disney Dream which is much larger than the Disney Magic. When I first walked onto the Magic, the size of the lobby looked small. I will say after a few hours, I didn't notice and enjoyed the Magic for the unique cruise ship that it is.

Lobby of the Disney Magic cruise ship, Disney Cruise Line, Bahamas
Lobby of the Disney Magic .
Nikon D750/Tokina 16-28mm, 1/125s, f/4, ISO 2500, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length, Macphun Intensify CK.

Deb will be here tomorrow with her photo of the Disney Magic.

June 29, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: The Disney Dream

Deb's Digest Blog

I was very fortunate to be able to attend the Christening of the Disney Dream at Port Canaveral, January 26, 2011.

It was a beautiful day with so much excitement in the air. The Disney Characters shared the stage with Bob Iger and the ship's Godmother, Jennifer Hudson!

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As the ship rolled in, the band played, Cast Members on the Dream were cheering and waving flags, the fireworks went off, and everyone was cheering!


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June 28, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: The Disney Dream

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Each ship of the Disney Cruise Line can be identified by the character or characters on their bows sterns. For the Disney Dream, the scene is one taken from the animated classic, Fantasia, with Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer's Apprentice "cleaning" the ship.

Sorcerer's Apprentice Mickey Mouse cleans the bow of the Disney Dream cruise ship, Disney Cruise Line, Bahamas
Sorcerer's Apprentice Mickey Mouse cleans the bow of the Disney Dream.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 450, EV 0, 105mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow with the media event which launched the Disney Dream.

June 22, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Full Service Restaurant

Deb's Digest Blog

This month we have focused our Disney Pics of the Week around food. We started with snacks, then quick service and this week it is restaurants. I have numerous favorite restaurants at Walt Disney World, some have been in my top 5 for a very long time.

If you asked me my favorite place to dine over the last few years, I'm certain I would have said the Flying Fish Cafe. In addition to the signature dining experience I was always welcomed like a member of the family.

It is under a major renovation now and will open later this year. It certainly won't look the same, but I hope it still has a familiar "feel".

With the long rehab and closure, transitions occur. Some Cast Members have left Disney to pursue other interests, like Chef Tim Keating. I hear a few Cast Members may retire, and others have found new homes.

At the same time, lots of familiar faces will be at the Fish when it reopens and I look forward to seeing everyone again. Congrats to the new Chef Tim Majoras! I have many fond memories of Chef Tim and look forward to trying his new dishes.

I also look forward to being greeted by the smiles of the welcome team. Having my favorite barkeeps suggest a new wine to try. And of course, having Stig recommend one of his new wine finds that you can't get anywhere else :)

Therefore, my Disney Pic of the Week is the Flying Fish Cafe:

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June 21, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Full Service Restaurant

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

As Downtown Disney transitioned to Disney Springs, The Landing area was born with new restaurants and lounges. The Boathouse restaurant is an upscale, waterfront dining experience. Yes, it is expensive but I highly recommend it if you can afford it.

The Boathouse restaurant in The Landing area of Disney Springs, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The Boathouse restaurant in The Landing area of Disney Springs.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 28mm Focal Length

Tomorrow, Deb will share another sit down restaurant.

June 15, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Quick Service

Deb's Digest Blog

It's hard for me to pick just one Quick Service restaurant to highlight. Like Scott said yesterday, my favorite in the Magic Kingdom is Columbia Harbor House!

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So instead of what my favorite is, I want to share a few pictures of the one I think has the best themeing - the Backlot Express - a warehouse of good eating! This is one of the more interesting dining locations in all the parks. You can site inside and be protected from the weather or you can sit in covered areas outside, or even totally outside.

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The props include everything from a paint department, an automotive department, movie set backdrops, and props from all walks of life and cultures. Star Wars weekend fans will also remember that this became a great hangout in the evenings with themed food and beverages!

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Scott and I will be back next week where the topic is Restaurants!

June 14, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Quick Service

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Have I ever mentioned the Columbia Harbour House is my favorite quick service restaurant at Walt Disney World? No? Well, it is. Below is one of the signs outside the restaurant which is very ornate like many signs back in the late 1700's.

Columbia Harbour House counter service restaurant in Liberty Square at Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
One of the signs outside the Columbia Harbour House counter service restaurant.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/250s, f/8, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 28mm Focal Length

Tomorrow, Deb will share another quick service restaurant.

June 8, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Snack

Deb's Digest Blog

My favorite all time Walt Disney World snack has to be the Beavertails that used to be found in Canada back in the mid-late 90s. Alas, I have no photos of the beavertails or the kiosk.

So, what is the next best thing... Why, it's the last snack I had....

A Salted Oatmeal Cornflake cookie from Sprinkles in Disney Springs!

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June 7, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Snack

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Snacks and Walt Disney World go hand in hand. Walk anywhere in the resort and you will find all kinds of sweet concoctions. I found these Maleficent candied apples in the Confectionery on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom. They look absolutely evil-ly good.

Maleficent candied apples in the Confectionery on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Maleficent candied apples in the Confectionery on Main Street USA.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 3200, EV 0, 250mm Focal Length

Tomorrow, Deb will share a another snack.

June 1, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Memorial Day

Deb's Digest Blog

This week's theme for Pic of the Week had me stumped. I did a few google searches for images and saw lots and lots of poppy flowers and flags at grave sites I looked through my Disney photos and found nothing that said Memorial Day to me.

Memorial Day is about remembering those who have died for our freedom, and there was a group in Epcot that always made me stop and pause, and remember.....

First, allow me to share a very small bit about the history of Memorial Day and then use a bit of "photographer's license" to use a photo from Disney that reminds me of Memorial Day.

Did you know that Memorial Day was in response to the huge loss of life of the Civil War. "Gen. Logan, commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans made it official. On May 5, 1868, he issued General Orders No. 11, which set aside May 30, 1868 "for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion."

Did you know that on Memorial Day, it is customary for the the US flag to fly at half staff until noon, ad then be raised until sunset?

My photo selection is of the American Adventure Fife and Drum corp. (I know they represented a different era but I said I was using "photographer's license", remember? )

Every-time I heard them play I would stand and watch. It always made me feel very patriotic. I always took a few moments to thank those who have died fighting for our freedom!

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May 31, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Memorial Day

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I am re-sharing this photo from the Magic Kingdom Flag Retreat Ceremony I photographed one October a few years ago. To me, it embodies the spirit of Memorial Day as a World War II veteran is honored and the fallen remembered.

Veteran of the Day and Disney Security pay homage as the flag is lowered during the Flag Retreat ceremony in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Veteran of the Day and Disney Security pay homage as the flag is lowered during the Flag Retreat ceremony in the Magic Kingdom.

Tomorrow, Deb will share some interesting facts about Memorial Day.

May 25, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Wilderness Lodge Lobby

Deb's Digest Blog

One of my fondest memories of the Wilderness Lodge is from the late 1990s.

I went to sleep one night and the next morning woke up to the entire lodge being decorated for the holidays. Tears filled my eyes. It really was Disney Magic.

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What are your fond memories of the Wilderness Lodge?

May 24, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Wilderness Lodge Lobby

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Disney never plans anything without a backstory. Disney's Wilderness Lodge is full of stories about the American West. Each of the two large totem poles in the lobby tell a tale from Native American lore. The one pictured below is the Raven totem.

The Raven totem pole in the lobby of Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The Raven totem pole in Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/25s, f/8, ISO 6400, EV 0, 15mm Focal Length.

For more information, search for "Jim Korkis Wilderness Lodge totem pole". You will find details to the totem's stories.

Deb will here tomorrow with her view of the Wilderness Lodge Resort lobby.

May 18, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Contemporary Lobby

Deb's Digest Blog

Disney's Contemporary Resort opened on October 1, 1971 within walking distance to the Magic Kingdom.

Since Scott recently did a blog on Leading Lines, I thought this photo would tie in perfectly to Leading Lines and Pic of the Week: Contemporary Lobby.


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May 17, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Contemporary Lobby

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Back in 1971 when Walt Disney World opened, Disney's Contemporary Resort was the signature place to stay. It was ultra-modern and futuristic. The lobby reflected its theme with the use of clean lines and a minimalist style. During the first decade of the 21st century, the resort went through some renovations including the addition of The Wave restaurant. The entrance, in which, added color and flare to the Contemporary's lobby.

Entrance to The Wave restaurant in Disney's Contemporary Resort lobby, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The Wave restaurant in Disney's Contemporary Resort lobby.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/100s, f/3.5, ISO 6400, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length.

Deb will here tomorrow with her view of the Contemporary Resort lobby.

May 11, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Grand Floridian Lobby

Deb's Digest Blog

Depending on the time of year, my senses come come alive in the lobby at the Grand Floridian. From the smell and taste of fresh gingerbread, to looking up at the beautiful ceilings, to listening to wonderful music.

If you happen by on select evenings, there is a piano player in the lobby. I always stop for a bit to listen, it's a great treat.

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What do you think of when you imagine the lobby in the Grand Floridian?

May 10, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Grand Floridian Lobby

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When you step into Disney's Grand Floridian Resort lobby, it is like taking a step back in time to the elegance of Victorian era Florida resorts from the late 19th century. You may hear the sounds of an orchestra playing from a balcony overlooking the lobby adding to the timelessness of the resort. Details abound and the staff always has fresh flowers throughout the lobby.

Flowers in the lobby of Disney's Grand Dloridian Resort, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Flowers in the lobby of Disney's Grand Dloridian Resort.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/5s, f/5, ISO 200, EV 0, 32mm Focal Length.

Deb will here tomorrow with her view of the Grand Floridian Resort lobby.

May 4, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Polynesian Lobby

Deb's Digest Blog

I was one of the many disappointed when the announcement was made the Polynesian Lobby would be totally renovated. The waterfall and the plants were so beautiful.

As I went in search of a waterfall photo, I came across this one taken during the month of December. I do like Poinsettias. Hope you do as well.

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May 3, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Polynesian Lobby

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When the new Polynesian Village Resort lobby was revealed it sported a more open one from the last one which was dominated by a large tropical landscape including a waterfall cascading down through beautiful flowers. A few months later, a Tiki god was added to the center of the new lobby. The Tiki god is the mascot of the resort.

Tiki god statue in the lobby of the Polynesian Village Resort, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Tiki god statue in the lobby of the Polynesian Village Resort.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/3.5, ISO 5000, EV -0.3, 28mm Focal Length.

Deb will show you some of the old Polynesian Resort lobby tomorrow.

April 27, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Trees

Deb's Digest Blog

Who remembers this Orange Tree that used to appear during the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival in World Showcase??

Here is what the placard explained: "Sun and Citrus: From 1643-1715, France was ruled by King Louis XIV. Known as the Sun King, he is also recognized for building the infamous Palace of Versailles, which houses one of the most magnificent orangeries in Europe>"

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April 26, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Trees

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

What is not to like about Castaway Cay? Disney Cruise Line's private island in the Bahamas is the prefect place to enjoy this week's theme: Trees.

Below is a simple click of palm trees with the tops of colorful umbrellas found near the beach on Castaway Cay. Enjoy!

Palm trees and beach umbrellas on Castaway Cay during a cruise on the Disney Magic ship, Disney Cruise Line, Bahamas
alm trees and beach umbrellas on Castaway Cay.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/320s, f/9, ISO 100, EV 0, 35mm Focal Length, Intensify CK.

Deb will show you a different kind of orange tree tomorrow.

April 20, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Flower and Garden

Deb's Digest Blog

I must have hundreds of photos of Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival. The American Adventure had a great patriotic display in 2002. It featured American Flags, Stars, and Mickey and Minnie. This is one of my favorite Flower and Garden Displays. Enjoy this look back.

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April 19, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Flower and Garden Festival

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Each year's Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot features a different display in front of Spaceship Earth. in 2016, Daisy Duck was part of the display with her own vegetable stand.

Daisy Duck's vegetable stand in front of Spaceship Earth at Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Daisy Duck's vegetable stand in front of Spaceship Earth.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/4, ISO 280, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length, Intensify CK.

Deb will show you patriotic Flower and Garden pics tomorrow.

April 13, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Topiaries

Deb's Digest Blog

It is fun to look back on the transformation of the Topiary since the Flower and Garden Festival began.

Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs weren't always in Germany. Here is a photo of them in Future World from 2002. They all look really different now don't they?

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April 12, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Topiaries

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Each year during the annual Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot, Disney brings out many topiaries to decorate both Future World and World Showcase.

The topiaries come in many sizes from very small to extremely large like the Dragon I photographed in Epcot's China pavilion in front of the scaled replica of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest.

Dragon topiary in front of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest in the China pavilion at Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Dragon topiary in front of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest in the China pavilion.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 25mm Focal Length, Intensify CK.

Last week's theme was Spring and I missed posting it so I have added it for this week. So you get a Two-fer from me today.

When I think of Spring at Walt Disney World, the first thing that comes to mind are the floating flowers in the ponds between Epcot's Future World and World Showcase. Thought I would throw in a monorail in Spring yellow, too.

Monorail Yellow moves over floating flowers in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Monorail Yellow moves over floating flowers in Epcot.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/250s, f/16, ISO 160, EV 0, 35mm Focal Length.

Deb will travel back in time for her topiary photo tomorrow.

April 6, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Spring

Deb's Digest Blog

When I think of "spring", I immediately go back to my youth growing up in New Jersey. Spring ALWAYS meant Spring Training which meant Baseball! Yankees and Mets baseball.

For my pic of the week, here is the Home Run Hotel located at the All Star Sports resort:

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March 30, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Yesterland Disney's Animal Kingdom

Deb's Digest Blog

For a relatively young park, Disney's Animal Kingdom has certainly seen its share of changes since it opened April, 1998. Just a few include....

Simply name changes. Gorilla Falls to Pangani Exploration Trail and Countown to Extinction to Dinosaur.

Animals were transitioned elsewhere: Capybara, Gunther's Dik-dik and the Two-Toed sloth, to name a few.

The original outdoor theatre that once housed Journey into the Jungle Book and Tarzan Rocks became enclosed and now is the home for Finding Nemo the Musical.

One entire land disappeared, Camp Minnie-Mickey to be replaced by Avatar in the future.

So finding a Yesterday photo of Animal Kingdom wasn't too hard...

Here is a photo of the walk around "artimals". These lovely colorful creatures simply walked around the Discovery Island area back in the day. At one time they were a mini-parade called "March of the Artimals". Some of the costumes became part of Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade. However since that parade ended, I haven't seen these artimals anywhere around.

Here is a photo I took back in 1999:

Animal Kingdom Walk Around Artimal

March 29, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Yesterland Disney's Animal Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When it comes to Disney's Animal Kingdom, there is only one Yesterland photo that comes to mind. While Finding Nemo - The Musical is an excellent and colorful stage show. I still miss Tarzan Rocks!. Its mix of part rock and part stunt show was high energy and very entertaining. Below is a photo taken back in 2000 when Tarzan swung over the audience at the end of the show.

Tarzan and Jane swing on stage at Tarzan Rocks in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Tarzan and Jane swing on stage at Tarzan Rocks!

Hope you have enjoyed this look back at all the parks the past four weeks.

March 22, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Yesterland Disney Hollywood Studios

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When Disney-MGM Studios (now called Disney's Hollywood Studios) opened in 1989, it was full of references from the 1988 mega hit Walt Disney movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit. There is very little left of Roger Rabbit today at Disney's Hollywood Studios including an area where guests would pose with various character cut-outs from the film as seen below.

Guest posing with Jessica Rabbit at Disney/MGM Studios in 1989, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Guest posing with Jessica Rabbit at Disney-MGM Studios in 1989.

Can anyone identify this area? It is still there and does have one "heavy prop" from the film hanging around. Put your answer in the Comments, please.

Tomorrow, Deb will share her Yesterland post for Disney's Hollywood Studios and/or Disney-MGM Studios tomorrow.

March 16, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Yesterland Epcot

Deb's Digest Blog

I love Walt Disney World history and so I was very excited when my friend Kay told me she had found a huge collection of her WDW photos from the 1980s! Here's some information on Epcot's Daredevil Circus 1987-1988.

One of the finds were photos of Elephants in Epcot! Kay remembered there was a Daredevil Circus that not only included the elephants but also trapeze acts and much more.

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As we talked I recalled a flyer I had from the 80s which talked about the circus.

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A google search turned up several articles on the Daredevil Circus as well as some video.
One of the articles I found, written by Lenn Millbower a former Cast Member, actually called it a "spectacular disaster" due to the tremendous amounts of problems with the show.

"That’s why, those of us who worked in Future World at Epcot in the 1980s —this Examiner was an operations lead—were surprised to learn that the beloved CommuniCore Fountain would be torn up and replaced with a stage for a circus so it could support “36,000 pounds of elephant pachyderm.” We were also told that the beautiful fountain would never return. ... And the fountain? It was rebuilt and runs to this day." (http://www.examiner.com/article/a-ground-level-view-of-the-epcot-daredevil-circus-spectacular-disaster)

Here is one the the Disney Photos that was used in promotion of the show:

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Here are links to the videos I found on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3pTRxr4U58
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gw8tQZUuZdE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hY58CMPYYBo

So while this Yesterland Epcot blog does not contain my own photos, I hope you will find the information as interesting as I did.

March 15, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Yesterland Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Of all the changes that has occurred at Walt Disney World since I started visiting back in 1983, Future World in EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow) as it was known then has changed the most. In my opinion, not for the better. I remember it as a place of hope and openess. The plazas around the lands were open just like I envisioned future cities to be. The monorails moving quietly overhead and around the futuristic buildings. Walking through the gates and up to Spaceship Earth's geodesic sphere was humbling and exciting. Today, the plazas have been closed in with paths and the Leave a Legacy stones. I hear guests thought the openess made the park feel to large and intimdating.

I really miss the EPCOT symbol water sculpture in front of Spaceship Earth. Today, there is nothing but a rock water fountain. While it is nice, I feel there should be something more there...like it was in 1989.

Epcot symbol water sculpture in front of Spaceship Earth in 1989, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Epcot symbol water sculpture in front of Spaceship Earth in 1989.

Tomorrow, Deb is combining her Yesterland's posts for the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. Some really cool stuff!

March 8, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Yesterland Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

First, let me define what "yesterland" photos are to me. It is any Disney photo I took before I purchased my first digital SLR camera in 2005. In other words, I fired up my scanner and went through a bunch of prints I have in photo albums and boxes for this series. Deb and I will be sharing yesterland photos from each of Walt Disney World's parks over the next four weeks.

My first photo is from the 1992 Magic Kingdom parade called the Surprise Celebration Parade which has part of Walt Disney World's 20th anniversary.

King Mickey float in the 1992 Surprise Celebration Parade in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
King Mickey float in the 1992 Surprise Celebration Parade in the Magic Kingdom.

My thanks go to Jim Korkis' article Walt Disney World Chronicles: The 20th Anniversary for the following information:

Towering 35 to 40 feet, a series of larger-than-life inflated Disney characters would be the centerpiece of a new parade called the "Surprise Celebration Parade". These balloons were cold-air filled, meaning there was no helium used. These huge figures were "borrowed" and refitted from Disneyland's "Party Gras" parade the previous year, which had celebrated Disneyland's 35th birthday.

Actually, once they were placed on the floats, the entire float unit was 55 to 65 feet high and towered above the Magic Kingdom's Main Street USA.

For Walt Disney World, there would be a surprise Grand Marshal each day, selected from the park visitors, leading the procession. The Grand Marshal group rode on the Roger Rabbit float that began the parade. To tie in with the festivities' theme, Roger wore a jester's cap, something he did not wear at Disneyland.

He was followed by Minnie Mouse's float, which was unchanged from its Disneyland appearance. Goofy's was unchanged as well. However, Disneyland's Sorcerer Mickey Mouse was transformed into King Mickey and Donald Duck no longer wore a party hat, but played the drum.

There were floats without balloons, like one featuring a pineapple and King Louie and Baloo the bear from the film "Jungle Book". Chip 'n' Dale rode on palm tree carts.

Deb will be here tomorrow as she visits her Magic Kingdom yesterland.

March 2, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Macro er Mulligan

Deb's Digest Blog

Yes, while the official theme of this week's Disney Pic of the Week is Macro; I changed mine to Mulligan. It is a golf term that basically means "I'm taking a do over".

I tried taking numerous photos with my macro setting on the camera and compared the photos to the regular settings and I saw no difference. So, I'm going to keep practicing and sometime in the future I'll return with my "do over" for Macro!

In the mean time, I'll leave you with one of my favorite photos from the month of February. I finally had the chance to meet Rapunzel and we had "The Best Day Ever!"

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March 1, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Macro

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I do not own a Macro (or Micro in Nikon speak) lens and have never brought one to Walt Disney World. It would be interesting to explore Disney through such a lens. Imagine the detail you could find with one.

Like last week, you can get a Macro like image by cropping which is what I did below with the butterfly I found one day in Epcot's World Showcase. With insects, you have to be patient and wait for them to stop moving long enough to get a good, sharp image.

Butterfly on a flower bush in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Butterfly on a flower bush in Epcot's World Showcase.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 200, EV 0, 300mm focal length, cropped.

In the past on my personal photography blog, I have explored a few ways to create Macro images: Close Up Photography 101

I rented a true Macro (Micro) lens once, too: Weekend with Macro

Here are more Macro tips: Quick Overview of How to do Macro Photography

Many smartphones and cameras today have Macro capabilities and settings. Check to see if your's does.

Deb will share her peek at a small world tomorrow.

February 24, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Panorama

Deb's Digest Blog

In 2013 I was fortunate enough to go on an Adventures by Disney to Scotland: A Brave Adventure. As we traveled through this beautiful country we went to many of the places the Pixar*Disney team visited as they researched the movie.

One of the places we visited was located in the Isle of Lewis called the Callanish Standing Stones, which were erected around 3000 BC. It was an amazing place.

You can actually see these stones in the movie Brave. Here is a concept artwork image for Brave in which the stones are featured.

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I took this panoramic photo with my Iphone. Be sure to click on it for the larger image.

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Hope you enjoyed my choice for Pic of the Week: Panorama

February 23, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Panorama

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I have written about how to create a proper panorama photo in the past and how NOT to create them. I did fail to mention the easiest way to create what I call pseudo-panoramics.

A pseudo-panoramic is done by cropping an image taken with a wide angle lens in a panoramic aspect ratio like 16x9 or 18x6. While you could use any lens to do this, a wide angle image works out better. The photo below of Epcot's Spaceship Earth at night was done in the 16x9 ratio or sometimes referred to as the HD (High Definition) ratio as that is the ratio used for High Definition televisions.

Spaceship Earth at night in Ecpot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Spaceship Earth at night in Ecpot's Future World.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 10s, f/16, ISO 200, EV -1.0, 16mm focal length, cropped.

Many smartphones and cameras today have panoramic modes. Look to see if your's does.

Deb will share her panorama tomorrow.

February 17, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Portraits

Deb's Digest Blog

Scott saved me this week with his definition of portrait~! Here is Suzy (from Cinderella) in the 2014 Magic Kingdom parade "Celebrate a Dream Come True". She walked right to where I was standing!

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February 16, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Portraits

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The definition of a portrait is a painting, drawing, photograph, or engraving of a person, especially one depicting only the face or head and shoulders. In our case, photography is our medium of choice. While the dictionary uses "person", I would substitute "subject" as portraits do not necessarily have to be human.

Take for instance my portrait of an Asian Tiger (Panthera tigris) on the Maharajah Jungle Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom. The tiger was posing perfectly for me in between short cat naps.

Asian Tiger (Panthera tigris) on the Maharajah Jungle Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Portrait of an Asian Tiger on the Maharajah Jungle Trek.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/250s, f/4, ISO 400, EV +0.3, 160mm (240mm DX) focal length.

For more on taking portraits at Walt Disney World, visit these links: Animal Portraits and More on Portraits (of the human kind)

Deb will share her portraiture skills tomorrow.

February 10, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Action

Deb's Digest Blog

This was a hard one for me as I don't do very well taking "action" shots. However, recently I happened upon the Meerkats at Animal Kingdom just as their feeding and enrichment was beginning. It was great to watch as the first one timidly emerged from the hole to see is everything was safe. A few more minutes went by before the 2nd one peered out.

After about 10 minutes, they animal keeper had them all running back and forth for their "meatballs". Just image how FAST this little meerkat was jumping up for food! I managed to get him on 2 legs and mouth wide open. If this isn't an action shot, I don't know what is!

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Be sure to click on the photo for a larger image.

February 9, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Action

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Action photography is something I do all the time in my role as team photographer for an American Hockey League team. You can either capture action with a fast shutter speed to freeze the action. This lets people see and study the action in ways they can not do by watching the action. Or, you can use a slow shutter speed which blurs the action giving the photo a sense of motion and speed.

I went the slow shutter speed method when I photographed Expedition EVEREST in Disney's Animal Kingdom. I wanted to give the sense of speed and thrill this ride gives riders.

Guests fly down the side of Expedition EVEREST in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Guests fly down the side of Expedition EVEREST.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/15s, f/22, ISO 100, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

I processed this photo with Macphun's Intensify Pro CK using the Soft HDR filter.

Deb will be here tomorrow with some action of her own.

February 3, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Close Up

Deb's Digest Blog

I had a fun time finding a photo for this week's topic. One of my absolute favorite things to do is wander around Animal Kingdom with my zoom lens! Here is one of my favorite shots of the ring-tailed lemur.

"Look Ma No Cavities!"
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Click on the photo for a closer dental inspection :)

February 2, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Close Up

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

For the next few weeks, Deb and I will be sharing general photography themes. I am going to add past tips I have written about for each one. Starting with "Close Up".

The best tip I can give a new photographer is to get close and fill the frame. People will see an immediate improvement in their photographs using this advice.

Here are few ways to get close up:

1. Move closer by walking up to your subject.
2. Use a longer focal length.
3. Crop in post-production.

In my Close Up photo below, I used a long lens of 300mm to photograh the dancer in front of The Little Mermaid float in the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade at the Magic Kingdom to get in close and fill the frame. Don't you just love the colorful costumes in this parade?

Dancer in front of The Little Mermaid float in the Disney Festival of Fantasy parade at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Close up of dancer in front of The Little Mermaid float in the Disney Festival of Fantasy parade.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 160, EV 0, 300mm focal length, fill flash.

Note the use of fill flash to add a little sparkle to her eyes.

Deb will be here tomorrow with her Close Up.

January 27, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: All Star Resorts

Deb's Digest Blog

Our Disney Pic of the Week topic is the All Star resorts and I just have to post my favorite photo found in the All Star Sports food court. My dear friend Steve Barrett, Mr. Hidden Mickey, has a place of honor in the artwork.

"It's me holding a yellow Hidden Mickeys book with a magnifying glass on the cover, and a tiny classic Mickey is on my shirt! "
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Next time you are in All Star Sports, see if you can spot Steve's image!

January 26, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: All Star Resort

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The All Star Resorts were the first Value Resorts built at Walt Disney World. The three complexes were called Movies, Music and Sports. I remember the excitement when I realized I could afford to take my young family to WDW and stay on property. If I had a say (and I often did not) in which All Star resort we would stay at, I choose Sports. I mean, how cool is it to see your city's college pennant on the side of a resort wing? For me it was very cool. Go Syracuse University Orange!

Guest wing at the All-Star Sports Resort with college pennants, Orlando, Florida
Guest wing at the All-Star Sports Resort with college pennants.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/320s, f/9, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

Deb will be here tomorrow with for take on the All Star Resorts.

January 20, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: POP Century

Deb's Digest Blog

Congratulations Connie Brush! Your answer was chosen at random as the winner of an AllEars Prize Pack!!!!! Thanks to everyone who played along!!!

The Answer is : This is on the side of a small building in the 50's section of Pop. It is a bed for Lady. Just across from her larger than life Icon!

I'm adding a twist to this week's Disney Pic of the Week. I've got a quiz for you! Let's see how well you know POP Century!

Below is indeed a photo taken recently at POP Century.

What is this and where at the resort can you find it?

Leave your answer in the comments below.

I'll pick a winner at random from all the correct answers to receive an AllEars prize pack. Remember you must answer both questions! You must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Comments must be received by Sunday, January 24th at midnight eastern time.

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January 19, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: POP Century

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Every Value Resort at Walt Disney World has huge letters spelling out the resort's name in the bus transportation area. The Pop Century Resort has fun giant POP signs which are impossible to miss as you get off your bus after a day in the parks. As I waited for a bus to get to a park one morning, there was very good light and some clouds to set off a mighty POP.

Huge Pop Century Resort logo sign, Orlando, Florida
Huge Pop Century Resort logo sign in the Bus Transportation area.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/320s, f/9, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 28mm focal length.

Deb will be here tomorrow with a POP quiz.

January 13, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Art of Animation

Deb's Digest Blog

The Art of Animation Resort officially opened on May 31, 2012. There are many things to love about this resort so it was hard to decide on just one photo!

Here is a photo from the grand opening featuring Meg Crofton and Disney characters.

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January 12, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Art of Animation

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Value resorts at Walt Disney World have many things in common including larger than life icons based on the themes found at each resort section. At the Art of Animation Resort, the Lion King section is overlooked by the King himself, Simba.

Statue of Simba overlooks The Lion King section of the Art of Animation Resort, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Simba overlooks The Lion King section of the Art of Animation Resort.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/320s, f/8, ISO 200, EV 0, 120mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow with her photo from the Art of Animation.

January 6, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Favorite Photo from 2015

Deb's Digest Blog

When Luck is On Your Side:

Like Scott, I went back through my photos of the week posted in 2015 to see what my favorite was. It was a tough choice but I selected this one:

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This is from Winged Encounters at the Animal Kingdom. I caught this military macaw in flight.

However, I must admit, a lot of luck had to do with this photo as I shot with rapid fire. Always a great moment when you download your pics and find one that shouts Pick Me! I was thrilled!.

January 5, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Favorite Photo from 2015

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I went through all my Disney Pic of the Week entries for 2015 and found my favorite one. It also happens to be my wife's favorite character, too.

It was so nice of Donald Duck to acknowledge me between greeting guests at Disney's Hollywood Studios. I had been patiently waiting for an opportunity for about ten minutes when he got a break between guests. That's when he gave me the thumbs up and I returned the gesture to let him know I got the cherished memory.

Donald Duck greeting guests at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Donald Duck giving Scott a "thumbs up" at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/160s, f/6.3, ISO 200, EV 0, 135mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her Favorite Picture of 2015.

December 30, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Goodbye to 2015

Deb's Digest Blog

I've been thinking about this one for a while. I toyed with doing a collage of all the things that we said goodbye to, in 2015.

But as I look at Walt Disney World in a broader sense I've decided that my 2015 Goodbye is to Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Its a far cry from the DISNEY MGM Studios that opened and in 2016.....

...the park will embark on major change the likes of which we can only imagine right now. What will remain? What will be re-themed? What will be new? What will disappear?

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What will you miss most from the Disney MGM Studios and Disney's Hollywood Studios and why ??? Leave a comment for me below.

Did you visit this Preview Center? I'd love to see photos of everything including the model.

December 29, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Goodbye to 2015

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

As the Norway pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase prepares for Frozen Ever After, we bid goodbye to the Maelstrom boat ride through Norway's lore, wildlife and off shore oil platforms. Before boarding the longboats, the queue was overlooked by huge murals giving a preview of the ride's scenes.

Mural in the queue to ride the Maelstrom in Epcot's Norway pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Mural in the queue to ride the Maelstrom.
Nikon D70/50mm, 1/20s, f/2.2, ISO 1600, EV +1.0.

Deb will be here tomorrow to give her Goodbye to 2015.


December 23, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Christmas

Deb's Digest Blog

I went back into my archives for this 1972 Christmas Parade photo from the Magic Kingdom:

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Merry Christmas to all !

December 22, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Christmas

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Main Street Trolley Show in the Magic Kingdom takes on holiday theme around Christmas time (which for Disney starts after Halloween and goes through December). The show features Christmas songs and dance routines. The performers have on holiday colors and festive smiles. They still go Clang-Clang down Main Street USA but not until the very end.

Holiday version of the Main Street Trolley Show in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Holiday version of the Main Street Trolley Show.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/10, ISO 100, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

Deb will be here tomorrow for her Disney Christmas photo.

December 16, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Holiday Lights

Deb's Digest Blog

When I think of holiday lights at Walt Disney World, I can't help but remember the amazing Lights of Winter arch in Epcot. I was memorized by the synchronization of the lights, the fountains and the music. This may have been my first digital camera, not sure.

This photo was taken in 2001. Enjoy

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If anyone has photos or video they would like to share, please leave me a note in the comments below.

December 15, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Holiday Lights

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Frozen Holiday Wish returned to the Magic Kingdom for the 2015 holiday season. During the show, Queen Elsa uses her power and two hundred thousand LED lights to transform Cinderella Castle into a frozen palace. In my mind, this is the greatest Disney holiday light display.

Cinderella Castle as an ice palace in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Cinderella Castle transformed into an ice palace in the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/20s, f/8, ISO 800, EV -0.67, 28mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow to show us a holiday light display from the past.


December 8, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: All Ears 20th Anniversary

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Attended the All Ears Net/Mouse Fan Travel Anniversary Adventure inside the rotunda of the American Adventure at Epcot's World Showcase. Surrounded by lovely holiday garland and wreaths, me and a couple hundred guests enjoyed a buffet and special holiday performance of the Voices of Liberty, an a cappella group, singing Christmas Carols from around the World.

Voices of Liberty perform during the All Ears 20th Anniversary event in the American Adventure at Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
All Ears fans and guests enjoy a performance of the Voices of Liberty during the All Ears 20th Anniversary event in the American Adventure.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 3200, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length bounce flash.

As always, Deb and her crew put on a wonderful event.


November 25, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Disney Thanksgiving!

Deb's Digest Blog

I had to go back into my archives to find a unique "Thanksgiving" photo to share with you.

America on Parade, which ran from June 6, 1975 - September 6, 1976, featured a section on America's discovery with Christopher Columbus and the pilgrims. As part of that section there was also a giant 18' tall turkey. I've got two photos of the turkey to share with you

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!

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If you have any photos of thanksgiving at Disney OR America on Parade you are willing to share, please let me know!

November 24, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Holiday Shopping

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

This week starts the official beginning of the holiday shopping season with Black Friday (the Friday after Thanksgiving Day in the United States). Though it seems each year, it is more like as soon as Halloween is finished, Christmas shopping commences. Well, no sense complaining as we jump into Holiday Shopping at Walt Disney World.

The Celebrity 5 & 10 shop on Hollywood Boulevard in Disney's Hollywood Studios has a place where you can get several kinds of gifts personalized by Cast Members.

Disney's Hollywood Studios cast member personalizes a Christmas tree ornament for a guest, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Disney's Hollywood Studios cast member personalizes a Christmas tree ornament for a guest.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 1600, EV +1.0, 38mm Focal Length.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Shopping this week!


November 18, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Cinderella Castle

Deb's Digest Blog

It didn't take me long to decide what photo to share for this week's Disney Pic of the Week.

Back in 2009, Scott took this amazing photo of the Cinderella Castle as a Rainbow Ice Castle. He was kind enough to donate several copies to me for a breast cancer fundraiser. Because of both the beauty of the photo and Scott's kindness...this is my choice for photo of the week!

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November 17, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Cinderella Castle

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When it comes to icons, Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom is hard to beat. I know photographers all over the Internet who try and capture Cinderella Castle in unique and new ways. Not sure it can be done. I am not immune to the quest. I even think this photo might be unique. Though I doubt it.

Spires and towers of Cinderella Castle poke above trees in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Spires and towers of Cinderella Castle poke above trees in the Magic Kindom.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/800s, f/5.6, ISO 100, EV +0.3, 210mm Focal Length, Tripod.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share another Cinderella Castle photo I am very proud of for the good it did for her.

November 11, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: The Great Movie Ride

Deb's Digest Blog

I love the fact that the Sorcerer Mickey hat is gone and the view down Hollywood Blvd is once again like it was when the park opened.

Here is a photo I recently took.

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Now compare it to this photo from the 1980s! It looks like the trees haven't grown at all, doesn't it?

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November 10, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: The Great Movie Ride

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Back in February of this year (2015), the Sorcerer's Hat was about 80 percent removed from Disney's Hollywood Studies. I knew the next time I would visit, the view down Hollywood Blvd. would be very different. Or would it? For Star Wars Weekends and Frozen Summer Fun, Disney placed a large stage in front of the Chinese Theatre.

My next visit was just after Labor Day and the conclusion of the Frozen special events. The stage was only partially removed. By the time I returned later in the week, it had been fully removed. This allowed me to finally get a clean view down Hollywood Blvd. for the first time since 2001 of The Great Movie Ride now sponsored by Turner Classic Movies.

It is nice to see the return of Disney's Hollywood Studios "castle" to it's rightful place.

The Great Movie Ride at the end of Hollywood Blvd. in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The Great Movie Ride at the end of Hollywood Blvd.
Nikon D750/Tokina 16-28mm, 30s, f/16, ISO 100, EV 0, 25mm Focal Length, Tripod.

Deb will be here tomorrow to show us something interesting about the Great Movie Ride.

November 4, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Tree of Life

Deb's Digest Blog

I vividly remember the first time I saw the Tree of Life. It was mid-April during a Cast Member preview. I stood in awe - overwhelmed by its magnitude and all the carvings.

The photo below is from a Disney Media Relations "newspaper" that was sent to journalists during the construction phase of the park. It shows the framework for the Tree of Life.

It was described as follows: "Towering 14 stories above Safari Village is the Tree of Life, 170 feet in diameter at its root base and surrounded by shimmering pools and greenery filled with a host of birds and small mammals. The trunk of the tree is intricately carved with a swirling tapestry of animal forms that symbolize the richness and diversity of animal life on Earth."

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What were YOUR thoughts the first time you saw the Tree of Life?


November 3, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Tree of Life

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Tree of Life continues to dominate people's attention as they emerge from the Oasis and travel over Discovery River bridge into Disney's Animal Kingdom park. Imagineers over time have added new viewing locations, waterfalls and animal carvings. While I like the new ones, my favorite view of the Tree of Life is this waterfall you pass after leaving the It's Tough To Be a Bug show. Look for it on your next visit.

Waterfall at the base of the Tree of Life in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Waterfall at the base of the Tree of Life.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, f/8, ISO 1600, EV 0, 25mm Focal Length, HDR Image.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her view on the Tree of Life icon.


October 28, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Spaceship Earth

Deb's Digest Blog

In order to keep construction employees and support personal working at the Epcot Center Site well informed, a publication entitled "Epcot Center Construction News" was published periodically beginning February 1982. The 4 page basically black and white publication was full of construction photos including many of the employees.

This photo of Spaceship Earth under construction is from the initial publication. I hope you enjoy it.

My collection of this publication has several holes. If anyone has other issues of this publication and is willing to send me scans, please contact me via the comment form below and I'll email you back. Much appreciated!

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October 27, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Spaceship Earth

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Though we continue with Epcot, Deb and I are now going to be sharing photos of each Walt Disney World park "castle" or icon for the next four weeks. Starting with Spaceship Earth.

Like a grand and miraculous spaceship, our planet has sailed through the universe of time; and for a brief moment we have been among it's passengers.

So begins the narrative as people travel through time and space inside Spaceship Earth. Riding in time machine vehicles, guests learn about the history of human communication and how it has served to take Man from caves to today's technology, which allows us to get information and to communicate almost instantly anywhere on Earth. Spaceship Earth was the first ride I went on in Epcot and still remains one of my favorites even as the script and the ride technology has changed over the years.

Late day sunlight mixes with lighting on Spaceship Earth in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Late day sunlight mixes with lighting on Spaceship Earth in Epcot's Future World.
Nikon D750/Tokina 1-28mm, 1/125s, f/2.8, ISO 5000, EV +0.3, 16mm Focal Length.

Tomorrow, Deb is going to take you for a trip back in time to the beginning of Spaceship Earth.


October 21, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: The Seas with Nemo and Friends

Deb's Digest Blog

As Scott mentioned yesterday, the Seas with Nemo and Friends was an evolution of the Living Seas pavilion. The remake was quite refreshing offering new ways to learn about the sea and breathe life into what was once a tired, old poorly attended Living Seas pavilion. The overall theme is now tied into the animated feature "Finding Nemo"! It was officially dedicated in January 2007.

I love the themeing of this area outside and inside. One of my favorite exterior locations is where the Sea Gulls are... as they chant "Mine Mine Mine"..... Thus, my photo for Pic of the Week: The Seas with Nemo and Friends

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Be sure to check back next week for more Disney Pic of the Weeks Featuring Epcot!!

October 20, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: The Seas with Nemo and Friends

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Like Test Track, The Seas with Nemo and Friends evolved from the original The Living Seas pavilion which opened with Epcot back in 1982. The popularity of the movie, Finding Nemo, made the transition an easy one for Disney. It was nice to see people of all ages enjoying this pavilion on my last visit.

A Yellow Tang swims in one of the aquariums inside The Seas with Nemo and Friends in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A Yellow Tang swims in one of the aquariums inside The Seas with Nemo and Friends.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5, ISO 3600, EV 0, 85mm Focal Length.

Which character in Finding Nemo was a Yellow Tang and where did we first see it?


October 14, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: The Land

Deb's Digest Blog

Let's do another Step Back in Time. This black and white photo is from a press kit I own called "The Land, Presented by Kraft". It only has three photos but lots of press releases about the pavilion.

When the Land opened on October 1, 1982, the highlights were:

Listen to the Land Boat ride
Harvest Theater - playing Symbiosis
Farmers Market (counter service dining)
The Good Turn Restaurant (now known as Garden Grill)
The Kitchen Kabaret

My photo of the week is of the Kitchen Kabaret, a musical revue on basic nutrition featured at The Land,

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Learn more about Kitchen Kabaret in our Epcot Archives!

Til next week.....

October 13, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: The Land

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Land pavilion in Epcot's Future World is the home to the popular Soarin' ride. It is also the home to the best and healthiest quick service restaurant, Sunshine Seasons. After checking out the wall menu (see below), you can get your food at one of the stations. With such a variety, everyone traveling with you should find something good to eat.

The wall menu for Sunshine Seasons counter service restaurant at The Land in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The wall menu for Sunshine Seasons counter service restaurant in The Land pavilion.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/3.5, ISO 4500, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length.

I find Sunshine Seasons a nice alternative to the other quick service locations at Walt Disney World.


October 7, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Test Track

Deb's Digest Blog

For my Test Track blog, I'm going to share a pre-opening photo and also a couple photos from the Cast Preview held in December.

This first photo is of the huge banner that was outside the pavilion during construction. Many people, myself included, were anxious to see what this new attraction was all about.

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In the Spring 1997 issue of the Magic Key Newsletter (for Magic Kingdom Club Holders) the headline said "Test Track on Track for Summer 1997! Of course, we all know now, that date slipped on by and no new attraction.

Finally in December 1997, a Cast Preview was held.

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I was very fortunate to be able to ride Test Track during the soft opening. During that time, a Test Dummy was greeting folks at the exit. I have no idea if the "Dummy" stayed around during the early days, as it was months before I would return to WDW.

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Want to relive more of the original Test Track? Visit our archives!

Or check out the lastest 2.0 version if you haven't visited in a while!

So there you have my photos (from my old film camera) for this week's Pic of the Week - Test Track!


October 6, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Test Track

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Not everyone likes to see changes at Walt Disney World. I do as I like to see today's Imagineers try to out-imagine their predesessors. Take today's Test Track in Epcot's Future World. Test Track was the successor to the World of Motion which was one of the original attractions when Epcot opened on October 1, 1982. It was a delightful ride through the history of Mankind motion from the discovery of the wheel to a breathtaking IMAX sized launch of a NASA Space Shuttle.

The first version of Test Track, call it 1.0, was about the testing of cars. The queue had all kinds of displays showing how cars, car parts and people (played by crash dummies) were tested. The ride continued the story as you rode a test vehicle through all kinds of road, environmental and high speed tests. It was very popular. Guests loved going around the banked curves at up to 65 miles per hour.

The lastest version, 2.0, of Test Track sponsored by Chevrolet is about designing vehicles. In the queue, you see all kinds of concept vehicles (like the one pictured below) and what went into their design. There are interactive displays along the way to show the start of the design: A Line. Before going on the ride, your party designs the car or truck of their dreams and take it for a ride on the Test Track.

Chevrolet concept car in the queue for Test Track in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Chevrolet concept car in the queue for Test Track.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/3.5, ISO 720, EV +0.3, 32mm Focal Length.

I really like how Test Track has evolved over the years. Exactly how I feel a Disney attraction should.


September 30, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Mission Space

Deb's Digest Blog

I wanted to love Mission Space, I really really did. As a young girl watching America's space program unfold, I so wanted to be the first woman astronaut. Well, that didn't happen.

So when Mission Space was announced I thought I would finally get to "experience" a real liftoff.
Well, I went opening day and rode. Unfortunately it left me pretty wobbly and dizzy. While I loved the liftoff, the rest wasn't so pleasant. In fact, after my opening day experience, I wrote an article called : To Boldly Go Where I Will Never Go Again"!

When the Green Option became available I had to try it one more time. Sadly, this didn't work for me either. So my fondest memory of Mission Space, was waiting for it to Blast Off in 2003!!

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September 29, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Mission: SPACE

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

For the next few weeks, Deb and I will be exploring Epcot's Future World pavilions. Starting with the modern version of a trip to Mars.

Mission: SPACE in Epcot's Future World is a very good re-enactment of a trip to Mars for a themepark environment. I know when it first opened it was a little intense for a lot of people. Disney had gotten the help of NASA astronauts in development of the ride. To those astronauts, Mission: SPACE probably seemed tame. Goes to show you the difference between people like us and them.

After a few tweaks, most people started to really enjoy the experience. While some, as Deb will tell you tomorrow, never did.

Mission: SPACE in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Mission: SPACE in Epcot's Future World.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/16, ISO 1250, EV -0.3, 55mm Focal Length.

I have always liked this late day photo I took back in 2011 of Mission: SPACE.

September 23, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Toy Story

Deb's Digest Blog

I'm back with another Tokyo Disney Sea photo. They have an area of the park called "Toyville Trolley Park" which is where you'll find Toy Story Midway Mania! Here I am at the entrance to Toy Story...........

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September 22, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Toy Story

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When Walt Disney Studios teamed up with Pixar to bring us the Toy Story movies, the technological innovation changed the industry. Yet, it was the story and the characters in the story which made the movies so well liked. Woody, Buzz, Jessie, Bullseye and the rest of the Toy Story gang not only entertained us but made us feel for them. It was quite a feat making computer generated images into movie stars.

Today, you can find Toy Story characters and attractions in every Disney resort worldwide. Even on the cruise ships of the Disney Cruise Line where I photographed Woody and Jessie performing in the Walt Disney Theatre on the Disney Dream.

Woody and Jessie from Toy Story performing in the Walt Disney Theatre on the Disney Dream cruise ship
Woody and Jessie from Toy Story performing in the Walt Disney Theatre on the Disney Dream.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/8, ISO 800, EV -1.0, 135mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow with proof of Toy Story's worldwide appeal.


September 16, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: The Little Mermaid

Deb's Digest Blog

The first thing that comes to mind when I hear the Little Mermaid is the star -- Jodi Benson. I have had the privilege to meet her briefly on several occasions and she is always so kind and gracious with her fans.

This photo was taken in front of the Journey of the Little Mermaid Ride at the media event when the New Fantasyland opened in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, December 2012

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Here's a bonus photo from her induction ceremony as a Disney legend taken in August 2011.

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September 15, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: The Little Mermaid

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Little Mermaid was the first Disney movie I took my first born child to. It did not take me long as I watched to realize Disney animation was back making wonderful stories, sharing beautiful songs and creating dazzling scenes after a long drought. The Disney renaissance had begun.

Near the entrance to Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid in the Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland, you can see Prince Eric's seaside castle. At night, bathed in blue light, you can almost hear Ariel singing to him.

Prince Eric's seaside castle shines at night in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Prince Eric's seaside castle shines at night in Fantasyland.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 20s, f/16, ISO 400, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length, Tripod.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share with you the voice of the Little Mermaid.


September 9, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Pirates of the Caribbean

Deb's Digest Blog

Pirates of the Caribbean, one of the quintessential Disney attractions!

In the late 1950s, Walt Disney introduced the concept of a pirate adventure to his staff at Walt Disney Imagineering. Like so many other of his ideas, it was far ahead of the current technology needed to achieve the desired effects. It was not until the mid 1960s that the show moved closer to reality. Pirates of the Caribbean opened at DISNEYLAND® Park in New Orleans Square in February, 1967 and in Walt Disney World on December 15, 1973.

You can find this great attraction at Disneyland (a must see!), Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris.

Digging deep into my archives, I found this official Disney photo of the construction site of Pirates of the Caribbean at Walt Disney World!

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September 8, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Pirates of the Caribbean

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

This week's Walt Disney Studios film is one which comes directly from one of Disney Imagineering's best shows: The Pirates of the Caribbean.

Debuting in 1967 at Disneyland, it was the most immersive and technologically advanced attraction of its time. I remember Walt Disney gleefully describing how they got the audio-animatronics to work in a coordinated manner on the TV show, The Wonderful World of Color.

Jumping ahead to 2003, a movie based on the attraction called Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl was released featuring Captain Jack Sparrow portrayed by Johnny Depp who became so popular, Disney decided to change the attraction to incorporate the character. A first in Disney park history.

And it all started with pirate skeletons...

Pirate skeleton in the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Pirate skeleton in the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/60s, f/1.8, ISO 10000, EV +0.6.

Deb will be here tomorrow time shifting to the beginning of pirates at Walt Disney World.


September 2, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Cinderella

Deb's Digest Blog

I wanted to find a unique photo for this week's Pic of the Week Cinderella. I thought about a parade photo, or a meet and greet photo and then decided on something special I had forgotten about.

Last year when I stayed at the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel, I had some time to wander around the hallways. I was quite surprised when I came upon an area devoted to Cinderella and had several paintings as well as beautiful reproductions of her glass slipper, the coach and other items.

I love this painting of Cinderella and the Fairy Godmother. To me, it shouts Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo! So it's my choice for this week Pic of the Week:

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September 1, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Cinderella

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

All this month, Deb and I will be sharing photos based on Walt Disney Studios movies.

For the last few years, Disney has come out with a live cinematic version of an animated classic. This spring, Cinderella was released and featured a golden carriage. In advance of the film coming out in theaters, the carriage was displayed on the Streets of America in Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Golden carriage from the live action movie, Cinderella, on display in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Golden carriage from the live action movie, Cinderella, on display on the Streets of America.
Nikon D7100/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 220, EV +0.3, 24mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow sharing a special Cinderella image.


August 26, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Yellow

Deb's Digest Blog

When I think of yellow in the Disney Parks, I think about the beauty beginning of the Festival of Fantasy Parade in the Magic Kingdom. Preceding the opening float with Belle and the Beast are beautiful dancers in white and yellow.

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This photo was actually taken during a media preview for the parade.

What do you think of for YELLOW in the parks?

August 25, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Yellow

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Ah, Castaway Cay Port of Call on a Disney Cruise Line cruise in the Caribbean is about as perfect a place on Earth as one can find. What makes it so is the fun of having Disney characters sharing it with you. With this week's subject being Yellow, here is Pluto at Mount Rustmore.

Pluto at Mount Rustmore on Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line, Bahamas
Pluto at Mount Rustmore on Castaway Cay.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 200, EV +0.7, 145mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow with her Yellow photo.


August 19, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Green

Deb's Digest Blog

If you haven't figured it out by now, Scott and I try to find unique photos for our Disney Pic of the Week selections. We sift through our entire Disney universe of photos to bring you ones we feel our special for the Pic of the Week.

This week's color is green. My first thought was "ah ha! A Green Army Man!", then quickly decided no.. too common.

As I was looking at my recent Animal Kingdom photos, I found this one from Winged Encounters -- a Military Macaw. Military Green fits perfectly in today's topic.

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Check back next week as we conclude our Disney Pic of the Week Month of Colors!

August 18, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Green

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

We have all heard about Little Green Men from Outer Space. For this week's color, Green, I get to share with you exactly that. Though you know him better as Yoda, the Jedi Master from Star Wars. Below he is wielding a light saber on the side of a Chevy Spark. This car was on display on the Streets of America in Disney's Hollywood Studios during the 2014 Star Wars Weekends.

Green Chevrolet Spark with Yoda and Star Wars graphics on display at Disney's Hollywood Studios during Star Wars Weekend, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Green Chevrolet Spark with Yoda and Star Wars graphics on display during Star Wars Weekend.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 200, EV 0, 24mm focal length.

Thought you might want to see a closer look at Yoda.

Green Chevrolet Spark with Yoda and Star Wars graphics on display at Disney's Hollywood Studios during Star Wars Weekend, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Green Chevrolet Spark with Yoda and Star Wars graphics on display during Star Wars Weekend.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/160s, f/5.6, ISO 200, EV 0, 70mm focal length.

Deb will be here tomorrow where she smartly decided against a cliche Green subject into something to lift the spirit.


August 12, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Blue

Deb's Digest Blog

This week we are showcasing the color BLUE as our Disney Pic of the Week. This is one of my favorite BLUE photos......

I'm in Tokyo Disneyland with a cold but very blue sky, with my blue Sully hat and scarf on, wearing my blue jacket, holding a blue FastPass and under the blue sign for Monsters, Inc Ride and Go Seek! It's an awesome ride in Tokyo!

Oh and just ignore the green Animal Kingdom lanyard I'm wearing, please.

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August 11, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Blue

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

This week's color is Blue. I changed it up some and instead of showing you a blue building, character or ride, I decided to go with my favorite time of day to photograph: Blue Hour. I also like to find brown/yellow to contrast the deep blue sky with. The Aztec Pyramid in the Mexico pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase was the perfect subject.

Blue hour over the Aztec Pyramid in the Mexico pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Blue hour over the Aztec Pyramid in the Mexico pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/100s, f/4, ISO 6400, EV -0.3, 24mm focal length.

Back in 2010, I did another Disney Pic of the Week for Blue. It still is one of my favorite posts here on Picture This! featuring Susie the Little Blue Coupe.

Deb will be here tomorrow to get all wrapped up in her Blue photo.


August 5, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Red

Deb's Digest Blog

As Scott mentioned yesterday, for the next few weeks we will be focusing on COLORS! It has been interesting to look through my photos for those that represent the various colors.

For this week's color of RED, I return to Tokyo and the Legend of Mystica show at Tokyo DisneySea. This is probably the most amazing water show I have ever seen at a Disney Park. The Disney characters unlock the gateway to the world of Mythica and meet fabulous creatures such as dragons and unicorns. It takes place in the Mediterranean Harbor. There are several locations along the harbor that a float pulls up and entertainers come onto a platform on the land and perform part of the show. And, just when you think there can't be any more.. even more floats come out on the water!!!

I happened to be in Minnie's section and she's my Disney Pic of the Week for RED.

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If I have raised your curious now take a look at this magnificent show.

August 4, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Red

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Colors is to Disney as air is to breathing. They go hand in hand. For the next few weeks, Deb and I are going to explore colors at Disney.

Starting off with Red, I am traveling to Disney's California Adventure and featuring the Red Car Trolly 717 on Buena Vista Street. Did you know, the number 717 stands for Disneyland's July 17 birthday? Now you do.

Red Car Trolley 717 on Buena Vista Street at Disney's California Adventure in Anaheim, California
Red Car Trolley 717 on Buena Vista Street at Disney's California Adventure.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/320s, f/9, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow with her Red photo.

July 29, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Doors

Deb's Digest Blog

This week we focus on DOORS! Both Scott and I have gone a step away from traditional doors. Yesterday he showed you a special door handle and today I share with you an enchanted door!

Disney parks are known for the great imagineering of magic, wonder, and special effects.

To me, the Magical Door in Enchanted Tales with Belle in the Magic Kingdom is one of my favorites.

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Do you have a favorite door at Walt Disney World? What is it?

July 28, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Doors

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Doors are fascinating. Useful and practical. They are often used in metaphors about life. Walt Disney once said this about his company, We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.

This is such a fun quote. My photo today shows the handle of a door which would make me curious to try it to see what it was inside. Why would a musical symbol called a clef be used on a door? For those of us who have gone through this door to experience Mickey's PhilharMagic know it is a delight to the senses and dazzles our imaginations. Something I believe Walt would have been proud to have at the Magic Kingdom.

A Clef handle for a door to Mickey's PhilharMagic auditorium at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A Clef handle for a door to Mickey's PhilharMagic auditorium.
Nikon D70/50mm, 1/60s, f/1.8, ISO 1250, EV -0.3.

Deb will be here tomorrow to show you a magical door found at Walt Disney World.


July 22, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Lights

Deb's Digest Blog

This week our Disney Pic of the Week is LIGHTS! If you have never taken the time to look at the light fixtures at Walt Disney World, in the parks, the resorts, all over... you are missing a huge part of the themeing.

See if you can guess where this light fixture is located, I'll give you three clues.

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Clue #1 - It IS at Walt Disney World in Orlando

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Clue #2 - It is located in a resort

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Clue #3 - It is in the Polynesian Village Resort

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Still not sure ?????


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ANSWER: It is found in Trader Sam's Grog Grotto!

July 21, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Lights

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I am confident that when it comes to lights and lighting, Disney uses about any kind of light you could think of and probably a lot we never knew about. From the amazing lights used on Cinderella Castle to create the Ice Castle during the holidays to the lights which illuminate the exit paths if a ride stops and guests have to leave their ride vehicles, there are millions of lights used at Walt Disney World and Disneyland.

Below is one example of a light we see all the time driving around our cities and towns. A simple traffic light which became the center of attention during the Pixar movie, Cars. By it's only flashing yellow during parts of the movie, the light signified loneliness and isolation. When the light was turned on for full use, the town of Radiator Springs came alive with activity and hope.

Traffic light in the center of Carsland at Disney's California Adventure, Anaheim, California
Traffic light in the center of Carsland at Disney's California Adventure.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 400, EV -0.3, 28mm focal length.

Deb will be here tomorrow to quiz you on a light she found in a new, fun location.


July 15, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Benches

Deb's Digest Blog

The Disney parks go all out when it comes to themeing and that includes details like the trashcans, light fixtures, concrete color, and background music.

Benches also are a huge part of the story in the parks. Imagine my surprise when I entered Tokyo Disneyland and found this familiar Roy and Minnie Bench!

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And just for comparison, here is the one found in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World...

Minnie Mouse shares a park bench with Roy Disney in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.


July 14, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Benches

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Next to trashcans, benches are very plentiful at Walt Disney World. This is a good thing as anyone who has spent a day walking around a Disney park will testify. Park of the "magic" of Disney is that you will rarely find a bench which is wet. This is because cast members will dry off benches in the morning or after a rain.

Cast Members drying off benches in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Cast Members drying off benches in the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/125s, f/14, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 18mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow to show us a famous Disney bench which traveled overseas.


July 8, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Trash Cans!

Deb's Digest Blog

This week we are featuring Trash Cans of Walt Disney World. While there were many many themed trash cans I could pick from, I had to go with this one!

The JAMMitors of Epcot!

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The JAMMitors are a trio of Custodians that entertain crowds with musical comedy by banging on trash cans. They have been performing in Epcot since 1996. In addition to their "regular" show, they become the Jammin Chefs during the Food and Wine festival and have a special Flower and Garden show as well.

They have 10 minute sets each day in Future World East near the Innoventions Breezeway. Check the times guide for show times.

July 7, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Trashcans

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Trashcans at Walt Disney World are everywhere. You can not walk 20 feet without coming upon one. Sadly, Disney has found in their American parks, such an abundance is needed. When photographing there, it is hard not to get a trashcan in a wide angle composition. This is what happened to me when I was setting up to photograph the Katoubia Minaret Prayer Tower in Epcot's Morocco pavilion.

Trashcan outside restrooms in Epcot's Morocco pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Trashcan outside restrooms in Morocco.
Nikon D70/Tokina 12-24mm, 1/2s, f/2.8, ISO 1600, EV +1.0, 12mm (18mm DX) focal length, tripod.

Of course, trashcans can come in handy for photography. Check out my past article about Quadpods: No Tripod? No Problem!

Deb will be here tomorrow to share musical trashcans.

July 1, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Cast Costumes in Disney's Hollywood Studios

Deb's Digest Blog

One of the great things about Disney's Hollywood Studios are the Citizens of Hollywood, also known as the Street-mosphere players!

These improv entertainers can be found on Hollywood Blvd at various times during the afternoon. There are a wide range of characters who love to interact with everyone. My personal favorite is Dorma Nesmond, but alas, I can not find my photo with the delightful Dorma.

Here are 2 lovely ladies of Hollywood that I encountered on a recent visit. If anyone knows their names, please share in the comments below.

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Who is your favorite Citizen of Hollywood???

June 30, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Cast Costumes in Disney's Hollywood Studios

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Three years ago (how time flies!), I hosted an All Ears Photowalk which included a backstage tour of the Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show. Our hosts for the tour was two of the stunt drivers we had been photographing at the last show. As you can imagine, their costumes were very different and fire proof.

Backstage at the Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Meeting a Stunt Driver backstage at the Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/8, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 28mm focal length.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share a CM from Disney's Hollywood Studios.


June 24, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Cast Costumes at Animal Kingdom

Deb's Digest Blog

There are so many beautiful Cast Member costumes at Animal Kingdom I had a hard time deciding what to post. This one, is perhaps the newest... it is for Cast Members at the Harambe Market which opened in late May, 2015. This is an open air location in Africa serving African streetfoods and a nice selection of South African wines.

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June 23, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Cast Costumes in Disney's Animal Kingdom

Cast Costumes Animal Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

If you have never ridden the Wildlife Express out to Rafiki's Planet Watch (formerly Conservation Station), I encourage you to do so. It is usually not as crowded as the rest of the park, the train ride gets you off your feet for a few minutes and the displays, petting zoo, characters, peak behind the scenes and cast members are delightful. A few times each day, a Cast Member comes out dressed in his/her Naturalists attire to share a show and tell about one of the creatures being cared for. I have seen a lizard, a bird of prey, a spider and, in the photo below, a snake. It is of particular interest to kids as they enjoy seeing and learning about such creatures.

Cast member sharing information about a snake at Rafiki's Planet Watch in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Cast member sharing information about a snake at Rafiki's Planet Watch.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/20s, f/3.5, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 18mm focal length.

Tomorrow, Deb will share a very happy CM at someplace new in Disney's Animal Kingdom.


June 17, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Cast Costumes Magic Kingdom

Deb's Digest Blog

So this week we are all about Cast Costumes in the Magic Kingdom. I know I have lots of these, but can I find any? No, well, none that I like.

However, I'm going to fudge a bit this week. I was looking around the D23.com website and found this cool photo from Tomorrowland (at Disneyland) in the 1960s. Hope you like this blast from the past (groan)

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June 16, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Cast Costumes Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Not sure if I am supposed to use entertainment Cast Members but I am. Main Street USA is my second favorite place to find, interact and photograph Streetmosphere cast members. You have characters like the Mayor, Town Councilors and, if you are lucky, you can meet a Suffragette (think Mrs. Banks from Mary Poppins).

Each one of them are in costumes fitting the time period of Main Street USA. Including this Town Councilor who was looking to get my vote for his upcoming election.

Town councilor greeting people on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Town councilor greeting people on Main Street USA.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 32mm focal length, Fill Flash.

Deb will be here tomorrow no doubt showing you a real Cast Member at the Magic Kingdom.

June 10, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Cast Costumes Epcot

Deb's Digest Blog

Scott, I loved your Via Napoli photo yesterday!

As someone who takes thousands of photos at Walt Disney World, I thought it would be easy to find a photo for this week's subject, Cast Costumes Epcot. Turns out I don't take many Cast Member photos and I will work on changing that because the costumes are integral to the themeing and the story!

On October 1, 2012, Epcot celebrated it's 30th Anniversary. There was a ceremony that day at the America Gardens Theatre. At one point, a male and female Cast Member from each country in World Showcase came on stage. This is a photo from that ceremony showing some of the costumes found in the countries.

I hope you enjoy this look at the Cast Members and their costumes from Canada, United Kingdom, France, Morocco, Japan and America.

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June 9, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Cast Costumes Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

There are thousands of different costumes at Walt Disney World. Each different park, land, attraction, restaurant, resort and transportation type has unique costuming requirements. Deb and I thought it would be fun to share a cast member costume from each Walt Disney World park. Now, you would think that would be easy. I have shared some cast member photos here in the past as Lisa (remember her?) took many photos of CMs. Me, not so much.

In looking through my Disney photo library I did find I liked to photograph the servers at restaurants. At Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria in Epcot, the servers from Italy have always been willing to be photographed. Though I am sure wondering why I would want them in a photograph. The brightly colored costume of the server you see below really goes with the restaurant's decor and his wonderful disposition.

Via Napoli server in brightly colored costume serving up a pizza in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Via Napoli server in brightly colored costume serving up a pizza.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/30s, f/3.5, ISO 1400, EV +0.3, 28mm focal length.

Deb outdid me this week as you will see tomorrow. Though I did get a pizza.


June 3, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Metal

Deb's Digest Blog

Wow, finding a metal photo was a tough one for me. I know there are plenty of metal objects at the parks, but I wanted something a little more significant.

Then I remembered one of my favorite photo ops in all of Walt Disney World which is at the Contemporary Resort. If you haven't had your photo with this great metal sculpture put it on your list!

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June 2, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Metal

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When it comes to metal, there are tons of it at Walt Disney World. Yet, every year Disney Imagineers find ways to make metal into things which make us smile. Which is what I did when walking in from the Magic Kingdom parking lot and was met by a shiny, smiling Mickey Mouse.

Metallic Mickey Mouse greets guests walking in from the Magic Kingdom parking lot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Metallic Mickey Mouse greets guests walking in from the Magic Kingdom parking lot.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/320s, f/9, ISO 200, EV 0, 34mm focal length.

Deb shares with us a special metallic Mickey tomorrow.


May 27, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Sand

Deb's Digest Blog

It didn't take much thought to decide where to look for my Disney Pic of the Week: Sand. I immediately went to my Disney Cruise Line Photos.

Here is a picture from Disney's private island, Castaway Cay of this great sand sculpture. In the background is the Disney Wonder.

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See if you can spot the different candies and also a few Hidden Mickeys!

May 26, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Sand

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

While you can not swim at the beach on Cresent Lake in front of Disney's Beach Club Resort, you can still play beach volleyball in the sand. These guests were having a ball, literally, the day I walked by.

Guests playing beach volleyball at Disney's Beach Club Resort, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Guests playing volleyball in sand at Disney's Beach Club Resort.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/16, ISO 720, EV +0.3, 58mm focal length.

Deb is taking us to a tropical destination with lots of sand tomorrow.


May 20, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Glass

Deb's Digest Blog

One of my favorite stops during Holidays Around the World in Epcot is in Germany! Glassblower Reinhard Herzog has an outdoor area where he makes hand blown ornaments for purchase, you pick the colors! It is fascinating to watch him!

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May 19, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Glass

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Have you ever thought how much glass is at Walt Disney World? From the windows of the monorail to the gifts made of glass found on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, there are millions of things made of glass. As I was waiting for my time at the Be Our Guest restaurant in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom, I saw this magnificient stained glass window right out of the movie, Beauty and the Beast.

Stained glass window at the Be Our Guest restaurant in Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Stained glass window at the Be Our Guest restaurant in Fantasyland.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/60s, f/3.5, ISO 2100, EV 0, 24mm focal length.

Deb will show us how something of glass is made tomorrow.

May 13, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Wood

Deb's Digest Blog

Wood -- what would you have selected for your Pic of the Week for this category? I remember years ago, perhaps late 90s, seeing a wood carver in Canada making one of the totem poles that later became part of the area. Unfortunately, I can't find any photos of that.

But what I did find in my search was this photo of the Viking Ship Play Area that once existed in Norway! It was a great spot for kids to run around and let off steam. Slowly the boat was first closed off, then partially removed, now just about fully removed.

Scott actually had a blog showing a portion of the ship in 2009.

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May 7, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Jiminy Cricket

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I have always found certain characters are easier to find if you check in with a park's Guest Services. I did that when my children were little as they usually wanted to see a special character or two on our trips. That was before I found AllEars.net who has a handy Character Meet and Greet FAQ to answer all your questions about characters at Walt Disney World including the likest places to find them.

Besides parades, I had never seen Jiminy Cricket at a Meet and Greet until I traveled out to Rafiki's Planet Watch with my niece's young sons. There we found Jiminy in his snazzy suite and cane as well as Pocahontas and Rafiki. It is usually not too busy there with short or non-existent lines to meet them.

Jiminy Cricket greets young guests at Rafiki's Planet Watch in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Jiminy Cricket greets young guests at Rafiki's Planet Watch.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/80s, f/4.2, ISO 200, EV 0, 32mm (48mm DX crop) focal length, bounce flash.

I took this photo back in 2009. I recently found out Jiminy Cricket had taken a short vacation from Rafiki's Planet Watch but he has returned.

May 6, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Hard to Find Characters

Deb's Digest Blog

My choice of hard to find character is one I don't think you'll be able to find in the United States. You see, she is VERY popular in Tokyo Disney.

Angel is Experiment 624 and she is Stitch's love interest. Like Stitch she can be good or mean. Angel was introduced as a character in Lilo and Stitch: The Series.

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And here's a bit of trivia I found online: "Angel makes a brief cameo appearance in Stitch's Great Escape! at the Magic Kingdom when Gantu showcases the galaxy's criminals to the guests. "


April 29, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Daisy

Deb's Digest Blog

As Scott mentioned yesterday, my photo archive is also short on photos of Daisy! How can that be?

Here is a colorful photo of Daisy that I took last year in Tokyo. Here she is in Tokyo Disney Sea in the Arabian Coast.


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The folks in Asia LOVE their characters!!!!

April 28, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Daisy Duck

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Looking through my Disney photo archive, it turns out I do not have very many photos of Donald's favorite gal, Daisy Duck. I did find one with Minnie and Daisy from the Christening Cruise of the Disney Dream.

Daisy Duck and Minnie Mouse on the Christening Cruise for the Disney Dream cruise ship
Daisy Duck and Minnie Mouse on the Christening Cruise for the Disney Dream cruise ship.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 400, EV 0, 250mm Focal Length.

Don't they look great together?


April 22, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Goofy

Deb's Digest Blog

This week's Disney Pic is all about Goofy. I enjoy seeing the characters in different attire. Star Wars Goofy is one of my favorites.

Since he is Goofy after all, sometimes he can still be gentle, even as Darth Goofy!

After the photograph, scroll down a bit to see folks singing him happy birthday.

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April 21, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Goofy

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Of the Fab Five, I think Goofy gets some of the best outfits and he tends to show up where you least expect him to. As I was walking out of the Pirates of the Caribbean, I spotted Goofy in pirate garb near The Pirates League where young and old can get made into a pirate.

Pirate Goofy hanging out near the Pirates League in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Pirate Goofy hanging out near the Pirates League.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/5.3, ISO 2500, EV 0, 105mm focal length.

Tomorrow, Deb finds Goofy in what I consider his best outfit ever. Of course, that is my opinion.


April 15, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Donald

Deb's Digest Blog

Donald, our subject for this week, is such a great character to photograph! He's really fun at a meet and greet!

Here is my Donald Pic of the Week taken in May 2008 on the Disney Panama Canal Cruise (east to west). As we got into the Mexican Riviera, Donald's costume became themed to our ports of call.

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April 14, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Donald Duck

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Donald Duck is lucky. He blows his top and everyone laughs. Yet, he has a warm heart and is beloved by many. He even took some time out from meeting guests at Disney's Hollywood Studios to give me the thumbs up.

Donald Duck greeting guests at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Donald Duck greeting guests at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/160s, f/6.3, ISO 200, EV 0, 135mm Focal Length.

Thank you, Donald, for being you.


April 8, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Liberty Square

Deb's Digest Blog

Yesterday, Scott shared a photo of the new Memento Mori Relics from Regions Beyond. If you haven't gone inside yet, you must! It is filled with Haunted Mansion items. Fun to browse even if you don't want to buy.

So now, onto my Disney Pic of the Week......

One of my favorite things about Disney Parks is when the unexpected happens. A couple years ago I was walking around Liberty Square when a Cast Member (Michael) appeared. He began ringing a bell to get folks into the Columbia Harbor House for lunch. Next thing I knew, he was on a knee and singing to a young guest while her friend rang the bell. I'm thinking it was her birthday.

My Disney Pic of the Week for Liberty Square is of this great magic making Cast Member, Michael:

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April 7, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Liberty Square

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom is home to the Haunted Mansion and its new gift shop called Memento Mori Relics from Regions Beyond. Memento Mori features merchandise of the Haunted Mansion and you can even get a ghostly photo of yourself.

Memento Mori Relics from Regions Beyond gift shop in Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Memento Mori Relics from Regions Beyond gift shop in Liberty Square.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/60s, f/16, ISO 220, EV +0.3, 11mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow with a special moment from Liberty Square.

April 1, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Frontierland

Deb's Digest Blog

One of the most overlooked areas in Frontierland is the Railroad Station! You can find it between Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad!

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March 25, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Adventureland

Deb's Digest Blog

There are many great things I love about Adventureland. It happens to be raining today as I write this, so I'm looking for bright colors! I think the most colorful attraction in Adventureland is the Magic Carpets of Aladdin. I love the various design elements and so for my Pic of the Week, I offer this collage... oh and beware of the spitting camel!

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March 24, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Adventureland

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Have you ever noticed the attractions in Adventureland have elements of water as part of the story? Waterfall in the pre-show of the Enchanted Tiki Room and boats in Pirates of the Caribbean and Jungle Cruise. While guests ride in the boats, it is what they experience...a trip into the time of pirates and a trip past an ancient idol on the Mekong river in Cambodia in Southeast Asia.

An ancient idol on the Magic Kingdom's Jungle Cruise, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
An ancient idol on the Magic Kingdom's Jungle Cruise in Adventureland.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 900, EV 0, 150mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow with another Adventureland attraction featuring water.


March 18, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Tomorrowland

Deb's Digest Blog

This week's Pic of the Week is the Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland! I couldn't find a photo I really liked so instead of one of my own... let's revisit the Tomorrowland of 1987! It is quite different from today!

Click on the image for a higher resolution photo~

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Hope you enjoyed this "blast from the past!"


March 17, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Tomorrowland

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Predicting the future is tough enough but when attractions are built showing the near future, time tends to catch up and even pass those attractions. Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress premiered during the 1964 World Fair, traveled back to Disneyland and then moved to its current location at the Magic Kingdom in 1975.

The first sections of the show usually do not need updating as their time is in the past. The last section is supposed to show modern day living and has been updated a few times over the show's run. The latest change has started to look dated to me. Even Grandma's Virtual Reality gaming device seem a bit "old".

Grandma playing a game in Tomorrowland's Carousel of Progress at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Grandma playing a game in Tomorrowland's Carousel of Progress.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 3200, EV -0.3, 116mm focal length.

I would really like to see this updated using the turn of the 21st Century decades like the 1964 original did for the first decades of the 20th century. No matter what the future holds in store for the Carousel of Progress, I know it will always be a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow.


March 11, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Fantasyland

Deb's Digest Blog

Do you remember where in the Magic Kingdom you could find Ariel before the New Fantasyland opened?

In Ariel's Grotto, of course. Located next to Pinocchio's Village Haus, this meet and greet area opened in October 1996. This photo is from 2001.

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Ariel's Grotto closed in April 2010 to make way for the new Fantasyland Expansion of Ariel's new home :) to the right of Under the Sea - the Journey of the Little Mermaid!


March 10, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Fantasyland

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

New or Old, Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom is full of Disney's beloved animated fairy tales brought to life for us to enjoy. The expansion of Fantasyland which is now complete brought in a mix of the older and newer Disney classics including a new counter service run by the one guy in town who's got it all down...Gaston's Tavern from Beauty and the Beast. I highly recommend his Warm Cinnamon Roll.

Gaston's Tavern in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Gaston's Tavern in Fantasyland.
Nikon D7100/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/200s, f/8, ISO 100, EV +0.3, 11mm Focal Length.

I used a program from MacPhun called Intensify Pro to add a soft HDR filter to the photo. I guy like Gaston deserved it.

Deb will be here tomorrow with a past Fantasyland favorite.


March 4, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Main Street U.S.A.

Deb's Digest Blog

When I think of Main Street U.S.A. in the springtime, I remember fondly watching Mickey's Main Street Happy Easter Parade. I managed to catch the last showing of this parade in the year 2000. The parade always reminded me of spring with the bright colors, costumes and Easter egg floats.

Since this Pic of the Week is all about Main Street, I give you the logo float from 2000:

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I wasn't able to find any information on this parade other than it ended in April 2000. Please share any info you may have in the comments below. Thanks.

March 3, 2015

Pic of the Week: Main Street USA

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Walking on Main Street USA takes you back in time. The architecture of the buildings, the background music and the smells coming from the Main Street Bakery. For me though it is just a static set until the cast members make it come alive.

The Dapper Dans, a barbershop quartet, sings to guests on Main Street USA and are as colorful as their outfits. Check the daily entertainment schedule as to when they will be performing.

The Dapper Dans singing on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The Dapper Dans singing on Main Street USA.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/25os, f/14, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 28mm Focal Length.

Deb will be back tomorrow sharing a look at a special Main Street USA parade.


February 25, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Finding Nemo the Musical

Deb's Digest Blog

Finding Nemo: The Musical, is one of my favorite shows at Walt Disney World. I love the music, the puppertry, the costumes, the songs.... all of it. It was hard to find just one photo for this Disney Pic of the Week, but I managed.....

Here are Nemo, Dory, Gil, Peach in one of the aquarium scenes:

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February 24, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Finding Nemo - The Musical

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

It was just last June when Finding Nemo - The Musical was featured as the Picture This! Disney Pic of the Week. It is such a fun show, we are going it again. That okay with you, Dude?

Dory sings to Marlin in Finding Nemo - The Musical at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Dory sings to Marlin in Finding Nemo - The Musical.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/200s, f/4, ISO 2500, EV -1.0, 120mm focal length, cropped.

Here is my other photo from the show: Finding Nemo Singing in Disney's Animal Kingdom.


February 18, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Beauty and the Beast, Live on Stage

Deb's Digest Blog

Beauty and the Beast, Live on Stage is one of my favorite shows at Disney's Hollywood Studios. However, it wasn't until I went to look for this week's Photo of the Week, that I realized I have not seen the show in quite some time.

I have ALWAYS loved Lumiere and so my pic this week is of him on stage, from 2002!

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Who is your favorite character from Beauty and the Beast?

February 17, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Beauty and the Beast, Live on Stage

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Beauty and the Beast, Live On Stage is presented several times a day in the 1,500-seat Theater of the Stars on Sunset Boulevard in Disney's Hollywood Studios. Like the movie, this live stage show mini-version is still my favorite at Walt Disney World.

Belle with the magic rose in Beauty and the Beast, Live On Stage in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Belle with the magic rose in Beauty and the Beast, Live On Stage.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, f/5.6, ISO 1800, EV +0.3, 300mm focal length.

I have a tough photographic history with this show. I talk about my battle with White Balance and how I solved it here: The Red Beast. For those wondering, yes, I used an Expodisc to set my white balance for the photo above.


February 11, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Festival of the Lion King

Deb's Digest Blog

I was one of the many upset when Camp Minnie Mickey closed in Animal Kingdom. I still miss parts of that area.

Yet, change can be good and in this instance I think it certainly was. The expanded Harambe Village gives the Festival of the Lion King theater area a new look and feel. It really is part of the village now! I especially love the view from the bridge as you slowly approach Harambe.

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Did you know that the impressive floats that serve as set pieces are actually recycled from The Lion King Celebration parade that ran at Disneyland from 1994-1997? The parade featured six floats but only four were utilized for "The Festival of the Lion King". You can read more about this in a Jim Korkis Blog!

February 10, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Festival of the Lion King

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The inside of the new home of the Festival of the Lion King live stage show in the Harambe Theatre is an exact replica of the old one. The lighting and staging are pretty much the same. In other words, why change a good thing.

A stilt walker performer in the Festival of the Lion King show in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A colorful stilt walker performing in the Festival of the Lion King show.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, f/5.6, ISO 6400, EV +1.0, 190mm focal length.

Did you know, Flash Photography is allowed during the Festival of the Lion King performance? I talked about it in his blog: Flash Monkey


February 4, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Frozen Sing-Along

Deb's Digest Blog

Yesterday Scott shared his Frozen Sing-Along photo and here is mine. I went for something a little different. This is one of the Arendelle Historians.

I though this show was very well written, well produced and a great cast. Kudos to all involved!


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February 3, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Frozen Sing-Along

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Disney was caught off guard by the popularity of the animated musical, Frozen. It took time to develop something quickly for the parks but still of high quality. Last summer, the stage show For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-along Celebration debuted at Disney's Hollywood Studios as part of Frozen Summer Fun. This was going to be a two month run. Like everything else about Frozen, this show became too popular to shut down. As of this writing, there is no plans to stop the show and after attending one, myself, I have to agree.

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

Here are a couple of tips for photographing a lighted stage show at Walt Disney World:

1. Take your exposures directly from a performer's face. I use spot metering to do so and adjust the exposure using the Exposure Compensation or EV button.

2. Wait for the performers to stop on stage to photograph them. This can happen at the end of songs or an act.

Click this link for a blog post I wrote about photographing stage shows at Disney themeparks: Photographing a Live Stage Show at Disney


January 28, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Animal Kingdom

Deb's Digest Blog

In 1998, when Animal Kingdom was in its infancy, there were walk around "characters" called Artimals. If I recall correctly, they walked around the Discovery Island area. The costumes were intricate and so brightly colored. They only appeared for a short time.

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Did you ever see these Artimals? Do you have photos to share? If you know more about these Artimals, please leave a comment below.

January 27, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Disney's Animal Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Changes are in the air over at Disney's Animal Kingdom, too, as Disney prepares the park of a new night time entertainment experience. Even the Tree of Life is having every one of its leaves replaced. That is like 103,000 of them! The image below was taken in October of 2014 before the leaf changeover had begun.

The Tree of Life on Discovery Island in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The Tree of Life on Discovery Island in HDR.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm focal length, HDR Image.

I took this photo a little after noon and the Sun angle was not very flattering on the tree. I knew a single photo would not capture the tree's carvings which were in deep shade. Instead, I took a series of five photos from two stops underexposed to two stops overexposed and combined them into a High Dynamic Range image. Much better.

January 21, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Disney's Hollywood Studios

Deb's Digest Blog

As Scott mentioned yesterday, there are so many changes happening right now at Disney's Hollywood Studios! Wouldn't it be nice to know what we can get excited about? Yea, I know, but it is being kept very quiet!

For my pic of the week, I go back to one of my favorite Disney Parks shows of all times, the Hunchback of Notre Dame. I loved this show and made a point to see it on every visit (which at the time wasn't very often).

Fifteenth century France is brought to life before your eyes on the Backlot Theater stage, with colorful sets and brightly costumed performers in a magical musical staging of The Hunchback of Notre Dame -- A Musical Adventure. The show closed on September 28, 2002.

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Now close your eyes and hear the bells.................


RELATED LINKS:

Hunchback of Notre Dame Archive

The Final Bell Tolls

January 20, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Disney's Hollywood Studios

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

As I outlined in my 2014 Walt Disney World Photo Review, Disney's Hollywood Studios is going through some changes. The biggest one people who have visited the parks within the last thriteen years will notice is the removal of the large Sorcerer Mickey Hat at the end of Hollywood Blvd. As of last week, the process of removing it from in front of The Great Movie Ride had begun. I would like to bid it a fond farewell as my Disney Pic of the Week.

Sorcerer Mickey Hat in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Sorcerer Mickey Hat in Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/6s, f/3.8, ISO 1600, EV +1.0, 20mm focal length.

Seems the search lights are no longer used at the Studios so this photo, taken in 2009, is how I want to remember the Sorcerer Mickey Hat.

January 14, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Epcot

Deb's Digest Blog

CONGRATS TO Nicole N. ! You are the lucky winner of an AllEars.net Prize package! Your comment was selected by random number generator! Please go to the Contact Us page (http://allears.net/forms/feedback.htm) and send your shipping address! We must hear from you no later than January 26, 2015, to claim your prize. Thank you!!

By now you may have gathered that I enjoy stepping back in time and finding unique photos of Walt Disney World, or at least photos of attractions that are no longer around.

This is perhaps my favorite photograph of Epcot. It was taken in March 2003. Back then, it wasn't unusual to see something unique or special around Innoventions Fountain. I fondly recall the orchestra conductor dressed in purple that would come out when Yanni's song played and he would direct the fountains. This was back in the late 1990s. Alas, I have no photos of him. If you do, please let me know!

But one I do have is this man who I only saw the one time. I almost missed him as he was initially turned toward Spaceship Earth. He was moving his head side to side as if trying to figure out what he was looking at.

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A few moments later he turned around - A Cave Man!!!! It was really a special moment. Glad I had my camera out!

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What is your favorite structure to photograph at Epcot?

What would YOU like to see in our Disney Pic of the Week for 2015?! We welcome your ideas as we develop our schedule for the upcoming year. Leave your comments below. On January 19, 2015 we will select on person at random who left a comment to receive an AllEars Prize Package! We must hear from you no later than January 26, 2015, to claim your prize.


January 13, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

CONGRATS TO Nicole N. ! You are the lucky winner of an AllEars.net Prize package! Your comment was selected by random number generator! Please go to the Contact Us page (http://allears.net/forms/feedback.htm) and send your shipping address! We must hear from you no later than January 26, 2015, to claim your prize. Thank you!!


Spaceship Earth looms over Epcot at 180 feet (55 meters) in height. The geodesic sphere has a total of 11,520 full and partial silver isosceles triangles on its surface forming 3,840 points. Disney uses light at night to create a multicolored sphere using those triangles and points which is just too hard NOT to photograph. I have photographed this very composition several times over the years. On my last trip, I noticed the orange color for the first time.

Spaceship Earth at dusk in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Spaceship Earth at dusk in Future World.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/3.5, ISO 6400, EV -0.7, 28mm focal length.

What is your favorite structure to photograph at Epcot?

What would YOU like to see in our Disney Pic of the Week for 2015?! We welcome your ideas as we develop our schedule for the upcoming year. Leave your comments below. On January 19, 2015 we will select on person at random who left a comment to receive an AllEars Prize Package! We must hear from you no later than January 26, 2015, to claim your prize.

January 7, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Magic Kingdom

Deb's Digest Blog

Scott showed you the Magic Kingdom as it is today in his Pic of the Week. I'm going to go back in time to a place that no longer exists.

My Pic of the Week Magic Kingdom is Minnie Mouse's House from Mickey's Toontown Fair in 2003.

Minnie Mouse House in Toon Town

January 6, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Going to start out 2015 by visiting each Walt Disney World park starting with the Magic Kingdom.

The Fantasyland expansion has brought many new photographic compositions like this mashup of two Disney animated movies, The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. Ariel's figurehead on the bow of a ship outside the Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid attraction with the Beast's castle in the background which is behind the Enchanted Tales with Belle attraction.

Ariel figurehead outside Journey of the Little Mermaid in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Ariel figurehead outside Journey of the Little Mermaid.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 450, EV 0, 82mm Focal Length.

Deb is going to travel back in time and space tomorrow for her Magic Kingdom photo.


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 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 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!


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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 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.

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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 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