Main

American Adventure Archives

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.

betsyross-1.jpg
betsyross-2.jpg

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.





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.

October 14, 2016

Lens Correcting inside the American Adventure

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I enjoy photographing with a Fisheye lens even when entering the American Adventure to listen to the Voices of Liberty.

Voices of Liberty performing in the American Adventure pavilion at Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Voices of Liberty performing in the American Adventure using a Fisheye Lens.
Nikon D750/Sigma 15mm, 1/125s, f/2.8, ISO 4000, EV 0.

Many photo editors can "correct" distortions in many lenses including fisheye ones. To test this in my editor of choice, Adobe Lightroom CC, I opened up the Lens Correction brick. After enabling profile corrections, the software found and used the profile for the Sigma 15mm lens I photographed with. Using the profile, Lightroom cropped and rotated the image to straighten the curves created by the fisheye lens. The results you see below.

Voices of Liberty performing in the American Adventure pavilion at Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Voices of Liberty performing in the American Adventure with Lens Correction.
Nikon D750/Sigma 15mm, 1/125s, f/2.8, ISO 4000, EV 0.

This is an extreme example but you get the idea. Check your software and see if it has Lens Corrections for any lenses you own.

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.

betsyross-1.jpg
betsyross-2.jpg

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

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!

piw-memorial-day.jpg


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.

IMG_1465.JPG
IMG_1463.JPG
IMG_1461.JPG
IMG_1462.JPG
IMG_1466.JPG

December 11, 2015

Celebrating 20 Years of All Ears

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

All Ears founder Deb Wills celebrated her 20th year since launching her website featuring information about Walt Disney World last weekend. I attended two of the anniversary events starting with the Anniversary Adventure held in Epcot on Saturday.

All Ears guests checked in for the event and received their name tags and lanyards to give them access to the American Adventure pavilion later that evening.

All Ears staff members check in guests in front of the American Adventure pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
All Ears staff members Glo (third from left) and Cathy (far right) check in guests in front of the American Adventure pavilion before the Anniversary Adventure on Saturday, December 5, 2015.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/3.8, ISO 180, EV +0.3, 35mm Focal Length.

First, the group was escorted over to the America Gardens Theatre for a performance of the Candlelight Processional with Whoopi Goldberg as the narrator.

Whoopi Goldberg narrates the Candlelight Processional in the America Gardens Theatre at Epcot's World Showcase on Saturday, December 5, 2015, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Whoopi Goldberg narrates the Candlelight Processional in the America Gardens Theatre on Saturday, December 5, 2015.

After the Candlelight Processional, people attending the event were welcomed by All Ears founder, Deb Wills, and Mouse Fan Travel President, Beci Mahnken, as they entered the American Adventure to enjoy a buffet dinner under the rotunda of the pavilion.

Deb Wills and Beci Mahnken welcome guests to the rotunda of the American Adventure and the start of the Anniversary Adventure on Saturday, December 5, 2015, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
All Ears founder, Deb Wills (on left), and Mouse Fan Travel President, Beci Mahnken, welcome guests to the rotunda of the American Adventure and the start of the Anniversary Adventure celebrating 20 years of AllEars.net and 10 years of Mouse Fan Travel on Saturday, December 5, 2015.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 1600, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length, Bounce Flash.

Deb kept promising special surprises for the night and one of them came out and took the stage. The a cappella group, Voices of Liberty, entertained us with a set of classic and international Christmas and holiday songs.

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
Voices of Liberty perform during the All Ears 20th Anniversary event in the American Adventure.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/160s, f/5.6, ISO 3200, EV 0, 32mm Focal Length.

Another surprise was the arrival of Scrooge McDuck, Donald Duck's Uncle, who posed for photos with the guests.

Scrooge McDuck made a special appearance during the All Ears 20th Anniversary event in the American Adventure at Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
All Ears founder Deb Wills and All Ears Editor Deb Koma pose for a photo with Donald Duck's Uncle, Scrooge McDuck.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 1600, EV 0, 55mm Focal Length, Bounce Flash.

With dinner over, we were all escorted behind the Disney Traders shop for an Illuminations Dessert Party. I enjoyed a comfortable seat as I photographed on the rail using a tripod and remote shutter release. This time of year, Disney adds what is called the Holiday tag. If you have never seen it, look for it on youTube. Here is a part of it.

Illuminations: Reflections of Earth Holiday tag fireworks in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Illuminations: Reflections of Earth Holiday tag fireworks.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1.6s, f/11, ISO 100, EV 0, 35mm Focal Length, Tripod.

After Illuminations, the group then went on Soarin' while I took advantage of the time to photograph around World Showcase for future blog posts.

The next day, the All Ears crew convened for a Meet and Greet on the Tomorrowland Terrace in the Magic Kingdom. These are always fun and people can talk with All Ears authors like Hidden Mickey guy, Steve Barrett, founder Deb Wills, editor Deb Koma and others.

Steve Barrett poses for a photo with Deb Wills during a Meet and Greet event on the Tomorrowland Terrace in the Magic Kingdom on Sunday, December 6, 2015, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Steve Barrett, poses for a photo with All Ears founder, Deb Wills, during a Meet and Greet event on the Tomorrowland Terrace in the Magic Kingdom on Sunday, December 6, 2015.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 360, EV 0, 100mm Focal Length, Bounce Flash.

The highlight of many a Meet and Greet: the group shot.

Fans of All Ears gather during a Meet and Greet event on the Tomorrowland Terrace in the Magic Kingdom on Sunday, December 6, 2015, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Fans of All Ears gather during a Meet and Greet event on the Tomorrowland Terrace in the Magic Kingdom on Sunday, December 6, 2015.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/50s, f/5.6, ISO 400, EV 0, 50mm Focal Length, Bounce Flash.

I now know how to make a group of Disney nuts excited. You just have to promise them a free Disney cruise. Not that they got one. ;-)

Another milestone was reached for All Ears. On to the next one in five years.

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 13, 2015

Photographing the American Adventure in Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Photographing the American Adventure audio-animatronics show in Epcot's World Showcase is just like photographing one with live performers. Disney lights their shows the same regardless of the kind of performers. Very moody with bright areas used to focus the audience's attention where the show's producers want them to.

I set my camera up to use Spot Metering and put the spot right on the brightest part of a scene. That is usually one of the performers. In the case of the American Adventure, they are audio-animatronic performers. The rest of the stage may go very dark. This is fine though are cameras are not as good as our eyes. I opened up the background in the photo below of Thomas Jefferson reading the opening sentences of the Declaration of Independence to Benjamin Franklin to show the words behind them better.

Thomas Jefferson reads to Benjamin Franklin during the American Adventure audio-animatronics show in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Thomas Jefferson reads the opening sentences to the Declaration to Benjamin Franklin during the American Adventure audio-animatronics show.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/80s, f/4, ISO 6400, EV 0, 24mm focal length.

Check your camera's LCD early, you may have to adjust your shutter speed if there are too many "hot spots" or "blinkys" occuring. If changing the shutter speed results in ISOs which are too high, adjust the Exposure Compensation (EV) button to dial in the correct exposure.

In the scene inside the Great Hall in Philadelphia at the Centennial International Exhibition of 1876 with Mark Twain and Alexander Graham Bell, there is better lighting on Mr. Bell than Mr. Twain but spot metering worked perfectly to capture them.

Mark Twain and Alexander Graham Bell in the American Adventure audio-animatronics show in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Mark Twain and Alexander Graham Bell in the Great Hall in Philadelphia at the Centennial International Exhibition of 1876 during the American Adventure audio-animatronics show in Epcot's World Showcase.

With President Franklin Delanor Roosevelt in full spotlight, the area behind and in front of him goes to black. This is very inpactful and told the audience this was a very important part of the show. Meanwhile, the 1939 gas station was lighted evenly with yellow-ish light simulating the electric lighting of the day and setting a mood of depression. Both fitting for the story about the Great Depression.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt gives a speech while people listen to him on a radio at a gas station in 1939 during the American Adventure audio-animatronics show in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt gives a speech while people listen to him on a radio at a gas station in 1939 during the American Adventure audio-animatronics show.

In the closing scene of the American Adventure show, Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain shake hands on the Statue of Liberty's torch overlooking New York Harbor. This was a scene I wanted to get as this was the first time Disney Imagineers had their audio-animatronics directly interact with each other. Though, as you can see, it is all in the angle. Zooming in to fill the frame, the camera had no trouble getting a good exposure.

Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain shake hands in the closing scene of the American Adventure audio-animatronics show in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain shake hands in the closing scene of the American Adventure audio-animatronics show.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/60s, f/4, ISO 3600, EV 0, 120mm focal length.

Stage lighting is very tricky. Watch your exposures, wait for the performers to stop and keep the shutter speeds up and you will get great photos of any stage show. Just remember, do not use flash! There is enough light on the performers in most scenes so it is not needed anyway.

May 1, 2015

Adjusting White Balance Inside the American Adventure

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

One of my favorite entertainers is the Voices of Liberty a cappella group at Walt Disney World. They perform shows inside the American Adventure under the rotunda at Epcoot's World Showcase. The area was designed for the acoustics and the talented singers take full advantage of them. But (isn't there always one?), the lighting for ambient light (no flash) photography is very challenging in the rotunda. The color cast is very yellow due to the incandescent lights as seen in the photo below.

Voices of Liberty performing in the American Adventure at Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Voices of Liberty BEFORE White Balance Adjustment.
Nikon D7100/24-120VR, 1/80s, f/4, ISO 6400, EV 0, 24mm focal length.


There are two ways to fix the color cast to bring it back to what our eyes see. You can take a Custom White Balance before photographing or change the white balance in post processing. Most photo editors allow you to change White Balance by either the use of sliders or by selecting a spot on the photo which should be white or gray with a dropper. Once selected by the dropper, the editor will alter the white balance based on the spot. It works very well and if not exactly correct, you can then adjust it via the sliders to your taste. That is what I did below. The spot I choose was one of the pillars behind the singers.

Voices of Liberty performing in the American Adventure at Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Voices of Liberty AFTER White Balance Adjustment.
Nikon D7100/24-120VR, 1/80s, f/4, ISO 6400, EV 0, 24mm focal length.

I use JPEG for my image size and quality so white balance works most of the time. If you use the image size and quality of RAW, adjusting white balance in post processing works even better.

October 2, 2014

Farewell to Epcot's Red, White & Blue Spirit of America

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps performing in front of the American Adventure in Epcot's World Showcase., Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps performing in front of the American Adventure in Epcot's World Showcase.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/16, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 32mm focal length.

Like many Walt Disney World fans, I was surprised at the announcement to replace Off Kilter, Mo'Rockin', World Showcase Players and the group I choose to highlight for the Disney Pic of the Week on Epcot Entertainers.

The Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps has been a part of my Epcot experience since 1983. It will be hard to not see them perform their American patriotic music and introduce the Voices of Liberty before each American Adventure show. They were as much a part of the American Adventure as the show was to me.

July 4, 2014

Flag Bearer outside the American Adventure

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

A Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps member carries the Spirit of '76 flag in front of the American Adventure in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps member carries the Spirit of '76 flag in front of the American Adventure.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/250s, f/11, ISO 200, EV +0.3.

Today, the United States of America is celebrating its 238th year since America declared its independence from England. Each day in front of the American Adventure in Epcot's World Showcase the Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps perform fifteen minute shows of patriotic songs and songs of the colonial era throughout the day.

TIP: After the Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps finishes, the Voices of Liberty, an a cappella group, will then be performing in the rotunda of the American Adventure pavilion.

For my fellow Americans, have a safe and fun holiday weekend.

June 8, 2014

Where in the World #335

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

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

When we talk next Sunday, Players, I will be in Walt Disney World! Well, depending on what time you're reading it. :)

Thank you for all the good wishes on my broken ankle. I also got tonsillitis this week, but I'm better now and hoping my karma will be better!
From Millan.Net

But don't worry! I'd have a great time at Disney if I had to jump on my husband's back and ride him like Seabiscuit. He'd have some complaints though. :)

Chloe Mayhew left for her Disney trip on Friday and Shelly Borella will be there when I am. Not that we're rubbing it or anything. Shelly, if that large group of yours needs all that time for bathroom breaks, at least use the Tangled restrooms. :)

Patti Mccaffrey, I never heard of that! Ouch, your poor ankle! From Millan.Net

Now for Challenge #334:
Where in the World #334

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

We're looking at the American Adventure pavillion in Epcot's World Showcase as Smitty so aptly said.

Vera And Izzy Williams, do you mean the song "America with your Golden Wings"? My husband loves that song: he once had it on replay for 5 times in a row or more. Sarah And Chris, you've seen people wave their cellphone lights during this song? I never have but I would love to see that!

Shout out to Rosemarie Novelo: your story made me laugh!
From Millan.Net

The Kertes Family was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to The Kerteses and to all our winners this week! Diane Tredore, Kristi Strembicki, Dee Dee Kenney, Donna Frank, Jim And Lorie Sonnen, Nan Amor, Bruce Jones, Ed Suscreba, Mary Beth Tarbet, Linda Ranatza, Carol Ney, Laurie Walker, Kenny, Jorge Caso, Phyllis, The Gunnels Gang, Betsy Silvestri, Melissa Such, Andrea Kruszewski, Daniel Record, Steve And Ruby Jordan, Courtney, Sharon Pierce, Craig Mitchell, Donald Leblanc, Janet T Thorn, Patti Odom, Robin Robinson , Kristi Paraday, Theresa Rucando, Kye Layton, Andrew Carrieri, Allison Caputa, Heather Keenan, Mary Ann Lamay, Kathleen Glovna, Jennifer Page, Ashley R. , Rosemarie Novelo, Kara Cummings , Sandie Albrecht, Cecilia Cocucci, Bridget, Michelle Boykin, Marguerite Garofalo, Vera And Izzy Williams, Rick Lahmann, Beth Sazama, Tricia Petty, The Parker Family, Mike Mondoux, Patty Carty, Mike Walter, Mike Amor, Chris Horne, Craig, Patti Gumiela, Eric Enli , Lenz Family, Wayne Beck, Jennifer Rowell, Belicia Cullen, Scott Cullen, Mike O'brien, Terri Vicknair, Maureen Wahtera, Tara Weaver, Eric Johnson, Jd Conti, Josette Gabel, Christine Brown, James Johnson, John Bickers, Tim Johansen, Deb Cumpstone, Lee Deroia, Mary Harpe, Pollyanna Buff, Bryan Fencl, Deb Ragno, Stefanie Vest, Lorine Landon, Pat Schwier, Melissa Gundrum, Laura V., Brian Mickle, Scott Greenbaum, Bruce Hinterleitner, The Long Family, Derek Carty, Brian Miller, Ryan Mccorristin, Jason Hocker, Emily Hudson, Carla C, Linda Scrivano, Maria Boyer, Lauren Kemble , Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Cathy Derecola, Sheryl Hicks, Heather Sabatino, Katie Bray, Lisa Pinder, Jon Landis, Amy Guerrini, K Beasley, Paul Dickson, Dennis O'reilly, Team Hill, Paul Scimeca, The Pearsall Family, Elaine Tomko-deluca, Gallagher Family, Cindy Pink, Trish Roam, Chris Kelly, Trish Roam, Cathy Connors, Ellen Sullivan, David Forister, Robert Wescovich, Robert Wescovich, Jim Finley, Maureen Handy, Julie Harris, John Stella, Herb Miller, Candice Grimes, Lisa , Amanda Campbell, Leach Family, Bill Schmid, Kerri Coggins, Kathryn Perkins, Bill Bingham, Chloe Mayhew, Dave Freemyer, Hobbes And Snorky, Dan Mangini, Louise Barton, Jeremy Hardy, The Kahle Family, Tom Koval, Judy Simonsen, Caroline Elliott, Bill Mckim, Lynette Michalos, Stan Kolis, Karen Ramirez, Cindy Tanner, Hilary Metzger, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Paul Newbiggin, Elaine Kleinhenz, Kris Nixon, Rob Blundin, Cynthia Hitchcock, Tyler Otts, Vicki Shearman, Claire Gregory, Sandy Reedy, Rob Hepler, Fran Rendulic, Diane Furtado, Virginia Pierce, The Emich Family, Haylee Smolek, Gerald Skanes, Larry Spernkle, Melanie Dalton, Bruce Nash, Grumpy's Groupies, Liz And Dave Fullerton, Mickey Eckert, Kirsten Miller, Grumpy's Groupies, Dawn Bach, Josh Willner, Maggie Klotz, Carolyn Como, Heather Pedulla, Demetrios Makres, Brenda Strohmeyer, Kerry A., Luis Rodriguez, Les Stewart, Bethany Angermaier, Chris Joyce, Doug Olson Family, Koren Family, Team Bonnie Sue, Cheryl Chambers, Morag Lemon, Terry Blair, Palicia Tipton, Wayne Chadourne, Al Sandal, Susie Howard, Sarah And Chris, Kevin Parmeland, Linda College, Shannon Murray, Amy Mccullough, Paul Ignudo, Jr., Jennifer Harmon, Lauren Thomas, Christopher Hall, Josh Carney, Wendy Barney, The Olszak Family, Sara Alaimo, Clay Anthony, Terry Fleming, Karrie Duffey, Shelly Borella, The Patterson Family, Jim Thompson, Maryann Romagnano, Courtney Moran, Darrell Shortt, Scott Sangston, Diana Grady, James Dezern, Hunter Armstrong, Caroline Burmester, Anastasia Macneil, Karen Bellamy, Team Meeker, Matt Holley, Kim Paulakos, Dave Carriere, Mike Cerce, Patti Mccaffrey, Gail States, Wade A. Williams, Christina Trigiani, Smitty, Mark Proper, The Hutchinson Family, Linda Bowles, Tyler Haeberle, Cathy Fleming, Gina Falzone, Andy Hickey, Shari Prater, Jonathan Ward, Tracy Discher, Jeff Blank, Julia, Leigh Mertz, Brian Grabowski, George Mundy Jr, Murr Family, Ron Harper, Josh Weiss, Joseph M. Zafia, David Ballard, Jennifer Bogdan, Heidi Goodhue, Dan And Elizabeth Johnston, Randi Balch , Jane Johnson, Timmy Saunders, Kyle Burdo, Barclay Bakkum, Shirley Garcowski, Kim Watson, Stephanie Dollar, Tom Higbee, Chris Bauman, Jeremy Reichelt, Amy Schweizer, Nicole Benoit, Vicki Britt, Jackie Klafeta, Terry Fleming, Jackie Graebel, Les Whitten, Fred Shakeshaft, Jo Ann Bailey, Danielle Harsley And Agnes Ciotti, and Tom Buck. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
__________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #335 Where in the world is this?

Staying in the parks.
 Where in the World #335

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, June 13th, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post.

See you next week, Players!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

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

September 5, 2013

Eat to the Beat Celebrity Concert

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Mik Kaminski of The Orchestra performs during an Eat to the Beat concert in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Mik Kaminski of The Orchestra performs during an Eat to the Beat concert.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/5.6, ISO 720, EV -1.0, 300mm focal length.

Mik Kaminski is the violin player for the band, The Orchestra, at an Eat to the Beat concert in Epcot's World Showcase on Thursday, October 20, 2011. Mik is one of the former members of the original Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) from the 1970's and 1980's. Eric Troyer is on keyboards and vocals in the background. A musical Disney Pic of the Week for Celebrity Concert.


July 5, 2013

Declaration of Independence in the American Adventure

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Ben Franklin listens to Thomas Jefferson reading from the final draft of the Declaration of Independence in a scene from the American Adventure in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida

Scott is off this week. Probably recovering from a good old American cookout in celebration of the 4th of July holiday in the United States of America. He wanted to share this scene from Epcot's American Adventure to remind his fellow patriots of the history behind our annual day of celebration and fireworks.

Scott will return in two weeks with more Disney photos to share.

November 9, 2012

Cast Member Magic at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Disney parks are wonderful.The attractions and rides are second to none in the world. As Lisa would remind us, without the Cast Members, the MAGIC we all associate with a Disney vacation would not exist. On my last trip, I meet three such Cast Members which created magic for my family and other guests.

While eating at Trail's End Buffet, I watched Chef Stephen going over foods on the buffet for a guest who had special dietary needs. Disney chefs are very good at helping guests with health concerns enjoy good meals at Disney restaurants. After he was finished, I talked with him a bit and asked if I could take his photo. He obliged, though a bit surprised. Thanks, Stephen!

Chef Stephen at Trail's End Buffet at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Chef Stephen at Trail's End Buffet.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/8, ISO 500, EV +0.3, 45mm focal length, bounce flash.

After enjoying a performance by the Voices of Liberty in the American Adventure, one of the performers noticed my daughter singing along and sought her out. My daughter was thrilled as she has sung in choirs since grade school.

Voices of Liberty Singer in Epcot's American Adventure, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Voices of Liberty Singer with guest in the American Adventure.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60, f/8, ISO 800, EV +1, 36mm focal length, bounced flash.

If any of you visited Walt Disney World towards the end of September this year, you know how hot and humid it was. So, it was with delight and relief when I entered the Fountainview Cafe in Epcot's Future World to order up a strawberry ice cream cone. The server was a College Program Cast Member who took pride in getting the ice cream correctly in the cone so it would not fall out. I know this as I had been watching her. Look at her concentration.

Fountainview Cafe Server making an ice cream cone in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Fountainview Cafe Server making an ice cream cone for a guest.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/80s, f/4.8, ISO 1600, EV +0.3, 62mm focal length.

These cast members helped make my last trip magical and give me and my family three reasons to keep going back.

August 10, 2012

Prime Epcot

Prime Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When I am in a photography funk and want to challenge myself, I take my favorite zoom lens off my camera and put on my Nikon 50mm f/1.8 prime lens. What I call the Nifty-Fifty. I did this for a day at Epcot and came away with some of the best photos I have taken there.

Prime lenses are fixed focal length, tend to be sharper than zoom lenses and have a larger aperture range. The aperture range allows for extreme selective focus by using it wide open like on this lovely flower I found near Spaceship Earth.

Blue flower near Spaceship Earth in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Blue flower near Spaceship Earth.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/640s, f/1.8, ISO 200, EV +0.3.

Without the ability to zoom in with the lens, I had to "zoom" with my feet. During a performance of the Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps in front of the American Adventure, I walked up and photographed the Fife player from three feet away. I did this quickly as I knew others were photographing the performance with their zoom lenses.

Fife player in front of the American Adventure in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Fife player in front of the American Adventure.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/250s, f/11, ISO 200, EV +0.3.

Another place I had to move in close was at Germany's Karamell-Küche shop where I found these scrumptious chocolate covered strawberries with Werther's Original Caramel wrapped around them.

Chocolate Strawberries in Germany's Karamell-Küche shop in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Chocolate Strawberries in Germany's Karamell-Küche shop.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/60s, f/2.8, ISO 200, EV +0.3.

Prime lenses are your best bet when it comes to dark rides like the Gran Fiesta Tour inside Epcot's Mexico pavilion. Here I photographed Donald Duck photographing me during the relaxing boat ride.

Donald Duck is one of the Three Caballeros of the Gran Fiesta Tour in Epcot's Mexico pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Donald Duck is one of the stars of the Gran Fiesta Tour.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/60s, f/1.8, ISO 640, EV +0.3.

I switched to Shutter Priority mode while watching the Matsuriza, the Taiko Drummers, in Japan to show the motion of the entertainer's arms and drum sticks. I could not get as close as I did for the Fife player so I used leading lines to draw viewers to the drum and drummers.

Taiko Drummers performing at Japan in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Taiko Drummers performing at Japan.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/20s, f/14, ISO 200, EV +0.3.

As you can see, prime lenses will challenge you and make you think before pressing the shutter. If you have used a prime lens at a Disney themepark, let me know your thoughts.

July 6, 2012

Patriotism at the American Adventure

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Member of the Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps saluting the American flag in front of the American Adventure in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Member of the Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps saluting the American flag in front of the American Adventure.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/13, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 28mm focal length.

When it comes to American Patriotism, the Walt Disney Company is a master at bringing on such feelings for the citizens of the United States. Performances of the Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps occur several times a day in front of the American Adventure pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase.

March 16, 2012

Rockin' Around Epcot's World Showcase

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Epcot's World Showcase features live musical entertainment daily and seasonally. Canada, Japan, Morocco and the United Kingdom have permanent stages while Mexico and the American Adventure have roving musicians. Today I am showing you the Rockin' part of World Showcase.

First up is the Celtic Rock band in Canada, Off Kilter. Lead by singer and bagpipe player, Jamie Holton (upper right below), Off Kilter's unmistakable sound pulls people in and their fun on stage presence keeps them there. Along with Jamie, (from top left) bass guitarist Mark Weldon, master guitarist Randy Holbrook and keyboardist Tony Escapa. Not pictured is drummer Scott Zymowski. Click the Photo for a Larger Version.

Off Kilter on stage in the Canada pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Off Kilter on stage in the Canada pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase.

Morocco is our next stop where Mo'Rockin take Arabic rhythms into a contemporary flair. I must admit while the music is good and lively. When the dancer appears, the interest of those around increase and she enjoys teaching little ones to dance, too. Click the Photo for a Larger Version.

Mo'Rockin entertaining in Morocco in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Mo'Rockin entertaining in Morocco in Epcot's World Showcase.

Twice a year, Epcot hosts festivals with special musical acts at the America Gardens Theatre in front of the American Adventure. In the Spring, there's the Flower and Garden Festival with a series of concerts called Flower Power. The Fall festival called Food and Wine has the Eat to the Beat concerts. These concerts feature bands from the 1970's and 1980's.

Last Fall, I enjoyed seeing one of my favorite bands from my college days. The Orchestra has former members of the popular band Electric Light Orchestra also known as ELO. If you are at Walt Disney World this May from 4th to the 6th, stop by and enjoy their unique rock sound featuring violinist Mike Kaminski (see below). Click the Photo for a Larger Version.

Former members of ELO make up The Orchestera performing during an Eat to the Beat concert at the America Gardens Theatre, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Former members of ELO make up The Orchestera performing during an Eat to the Beat concert at the America Gardens Theatre.

To make sure you catch all the entertainment found around Epcot, pick up an entertainment guide as you enter the park or in any shops or kiosks.

May 21, 2010

Indoor Tour of World Showcase, Part 2

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

It is still raining so we will continue our tour around World Showcase and continue in the clockwise direction.

Next up is the American Adventure. There is a lot of photograph inside the World Showcase host pavilion. The Voices of Liberty perform before the show, the American Heritage Gallery and the American Adventure theatre and show. When proceeding to the theater, you ride escalators or hike up a set of stairs through the Hall of Flags. Above you is hung a collection of the flags that have flown over the United States in all of its forms. It includes Revolutionary War flags, Colonial flags, and foreign flags that once had claim to the land. There are 44 flags in all.

There are 44 flags in the Hall of Flags you pass under to see the American Adventure in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
There are 44 flags in the Hall of Flags you pass under to see the American Adventure.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/25s, f/3.5, ISO 1600, EV +1.0, 18mm focal length

In looking through my Disney photo library, I came up short on an indoor photo for Japan. A quick search of my flickr contacts found not many of them had them either. Then I came across this photo taken in the Japan pavilion by Scott Rison who graciously is allowing me to use it here. Scott has recently started a flickr group called Disney's Human Element with the goal of showing what really makes Disney special.... its people.

Scott explains his photo this way, "In Japan's Pick-A-Pearl area, there is already a bit of excitement in what kind of jewel you'll discover (of course you'll get a pearl... but there's also size and color to consider). But to really make you feel like you've come across the "Crème de la Crème", the Cast Member plays a little ditty to celebrate your accomplishment."

A Pick-A-Pearl Cast Member celebrates a guest finding a pearl in Japan's pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A Pick-A-Pearl Cast Member celebrates a guest finding a pearl in Japan's pavilion.
Canon Rebel T1i, 1/160s, f/4.5, ISO 3200, EV 0, 32mm focal length

The Brass Bazaar is one of the shops you will find in the Morocco pavilion. These shops remind me of the beginning of Aladdin with all kinds of pottery, jewelry, brass, baskets, clothing, carpets and, of course, lamps. You'll find lots of textures, patterns and shapes to photograph. Lighting is good but I still needed a slow shutter speed for a proper exposure.

Shopping in the Brass Bazaar in Epcot's World Showcase Morocco pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Shopping in the Brass Bazaar in the Morocco pavilion.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/15s, f/3.5, ISO 640, EV +0.3, 18mm focal length

This side of Epcot seems to have more shops than indoor attractions. France does have a movie but that's hard to photograph with my equipment. Instead, I found the classic souvenir of France: a scale model of the Eiffel Tower.

Eiffel Tower souvenirs in the Souvenirs de France shop in France's Epcot World Showcase pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Eiffel Tower souvenirs in the Souvenirs de France shop in France.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/10s, f/4.2, ISO 1600, EV +0.3, 34mm focal length

Rugby is a huge sport in the United Kingdom. Fans are rabid about it. When I visited England a few years ago, ruby fields were as common as football fields are in the United States. One of the things travel photographers look for in a culture is the sports they play. I bounced my speedlight, a Nikon SB-600, flash off the ceiling of The Toy Story store to soften the light and shadows.

Rugby balls and sweaters in The Toy Soldier shop in the United Kingdom pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Rugby balls and sweaters in The Toy Soldier shop in the United Kingdom.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/60s, f/4, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 18mm focal length, bounce flash

Now we come to the last World Showcase pavilion on our tour, Canada. Again, there is a store and a Circle-Vision movie but not much else indoors. Ah, but if you happen to have reservations at Le Cellier, Canada's restaurant, you will see a Canadian Cast Member come out to call your name when your table is ready. Enjoy the cheese soup!

A Cast Member coming out to call out a party's name to eat at Le Cellier in the Canadian pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A Cast Member coming out to call out a party's name to eat at Le Cellier.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/15s, f/3.5, ISO 220, EV +0.3, 18mm focal length

Hope you have enjoyed our tour around Epcot's World Showcase and how to make a rainy day into a many photographic opportunities.


November 13, 2009

Sounds of Liberty

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Photography is a visual art which makes it a challenge to convey the other senses. Walt Disney World on the other hand fills our senses with the smell of buttered popcorn, feel of acceleration on Rock'n Roller Coaster, taste of a pineapple Dole Whip and then there is sound. As soon as you enter a Disney park you hear it. Each area has unique music being played in the background. Sounds are everywhere.

How do you capture sound in a photograph? You can photograph things which reference sound like musical instruments, CDs, iPods, fireworks explosions, cars smoking tires and so on. Another way is to show people playing those instruments, cheering, yelling or singing. The latter is what I did in the photo below of the a cappella group, The Voices of Liberty, who perform approximately fifteen minutes before each showing of the American Adventure.

The Voices of Liberty a cappella group perform in the rotunda of the Epcot's American Adventure pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The Voices of Liberty a cappella group perform in the rotunda of the American Adventure.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 800, EV -0.3, 18mm Focal Length

The Voices of Liberty sing American folk songs and patriotic music under the American Adventure pavilion rotunda which was built to enhance sound. If you have never heard them I encourage you to take the time on your next visit to Epcot. As their sound is a beautiful as they look.

Have any questions? My next trip to Walt Disney World is coming up fast. Is there something at the WDW resort you would like to know how to photograph? Let me know and I'll do my best to come back with information and a photo for you. Thanks!

July 3, 2009

Focus on the Fife and Drum

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

It is not a coincidence that I am featuring a photo of The Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps as Deb Wills did early this month. With this post happening the day before America celebrates it's 233rd birthday on July 4th, 2009, I wanted to add on to Deb's excellent post (psst, Deb I think this is called "synergy") and show you something which surprised me.

I've seen the Fife and Drum Corps on several of my visits yet never had I stopped to watch them. I made it a point to do so on my last trip and enjoyed their preformance immensely. I believe they do several different routines. The one I had the pleasure of seeing included a salute to each of the United States Armed Forces. They played each theme song for the Air Force, Army, Navy and the Marines. It was during their salute to the Marines that they took the formation of the raising of the flag on the island of Iwo Jima during World War II. Everyone applauded and it gave me patriotic goose-bumps to hear and see this as I had no idea that was coming.

The Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps performing outside the American Adventure in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
The Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps performing outside the American Adventure.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/200s, f/18, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 18mm focal length

Can't end a post without a little tip. You'll notice I used a small aperture of f/18 (remember the larger the f-number, the smaller the opening of the aperture), this was to make sure I'd have a large plane of focus or depth of field. Most good travel photos will use this technique. Another tip, when shooting in bright Florida sunshine, use fill flash. I didn't here and it would have helped to fill in the dark shadows. Next time!

Have a Happy and Safe 4th of July holiday to everyone in the United States of America!

Return to Blog Central

About American Adventure

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Picture This! in the American Adventure category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Canada is the next category.

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