Mahalo Disneyland for 60 Magical Years! - COMPLETED

Login to post comments
90 posts / 0 new
juneau biscuits's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/08/2015
Posts: 297

PirateGirl wrote:
Great trip report Len. I'm really enjoying your pics of Disneyland. They are beautiful. I will put Disneyland on my bucket list. Maybe that will be a trip I'll take once I retire in about 8 years. laugh

Mahalo PirateGirl! Those 8 years will fly by, so you'll be there sooner than you think...LOL!

juneau biscuits's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/08/2015
Posts: 297

I can't recall the exact year I first visited Disney California Adventure, but I do remember being somewhat underwhelmed. There were hints of creative inspiration....the postcard motif at the entrance gate, the Golden Gate bride replica lit up at night, and of course, the debut of Soarin'. Other than those few bright spots, DCA struck me as a low budget Disney park, hastily slapped together with bits and pieces from whatever the company could cobble together. Comparing the layout and theming of both Disneyland and DCA, one could see the vast differences and decisions made that put them apart at the farthest ends of the spectrum. Whereas Disneyland's layout guides you down Main Street, past the hub, and straight on to Sleeping Beauty Castle, DCA's entry path lead you to Sunshine Plaza who's reigning carrot was a sun icon above a rather plain looking fountain. The whole thing felt and looked like a visual dead end. You could actually imagine then CEO Michael Eisner telling his Imagineers to just slap something in that space...the visitors won't care, they'll still come in droves. Well, the visitors did care, and they did come in droves...to Disneyland! It was a running joke among my wife and I, that we would run over to DCA for lunch and to take a relaxing break before heading back to DL. DCA was pretty much a rest stop for us, albeit one with an expensive entry fee. My biggest disappointment associated with this second gate was that it wasn't Disneysea. Now I know if that particular park would have been built, it would have been in Long Beach, but the thought of having a park resembling Tokyo's version always makes me a bit melancholy.

Flash forward a feel years later with the park in full renovation mode thanks to a generous 1.1 billion dollar budget signed off by new CEO Bob Iger. Gone are the large letters spelling out C-A-L-I-F-O-R-N-I-A replaced by an art deco style entrance that immediately sets the stage for these classy upgrades. Gone too are the large postcard tiles and the homogenous mix of stores and eateries. Paying tribute to the California that existed when Walt arrived on the west coast, the strong theming and overall composition immediately transports one back in time to an era of fun, whimsy, and style!

Disney California Adventure 2016-Storytellers Tribute @ Carthay Circle 02 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Storytellers Tribute @ Carthay Circle by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Visitors are greeted by the ragtime music of the Five & Dime Swing Band..a colorful cacophony of sight and sound. Along with the red trolleys and costumed cast members, the immersive feel of DCA starts out with a bang!

Disney California Adventure 2016-The Five & Dime Swing Band 02 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-The Five & Dime Swing Band 07 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-The Five & Dime Swing Band 03 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-The Five & Dime Swing Band 05 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Photog Meets Photog @ Fiddler, Fifer, & Practical Cafe by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Your Local Friendly Officer of the Law by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Daisy Duck & Friend Takes a Stroll by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney is known for there attention to detail, and they did not skimp this area during the redesign. Things like store decor and popcorn carts add to the overall ambiance of the time period.

Disney California Adventure 2016-Store Wall Detail by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-The Popcorn Cart Cranker by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

The centerpiece of the newly redesigned park is, of course, Carthay Circle Restaurant. Based on the movie theater that premiered "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves", this epic recreation is a visual highpoint of DCA.

Disney California Adventure 2016-Carthay Circle Restaurant Signage by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Hollywood Land & Carthay Circle by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Carthay Circle Restaurant Beyond the Trees by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Carthay Circle Beynd the Fountain by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Allie's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/26/2012
Posts: 5477

Gorgeous!

juneau biscuits's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/08/2015
Posts: 297

Allie wrote:
Gorgeous!

Thank you so much Allie!

juneau biscuits's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/08/2015
Posts: 297

Besides being a visual icon, Carthay Circle boasts a mighty fine restaurant too. We celebrated Sue's birthday there and the experience was delightful. While Napa Rose has the edge in food quality, I would say the theming and overall execution of the restaurant's interior is visually superior. Taking its cue from the exterior, the art deco inspired details truly transports you back in time. We started off with the signature Fried Biscuits (not bad, but nothing I would order again) and a sweet corn dish soup smothered in sour cream (this dish would be a definite repeater). Thick cut Pork Chops was our entree selection...very good, but again, nothing super outstanding. Our waiter Bryan was extremely nice and provided top notch service. Looking through the photos I took, I have to say Carthay has a great looking bunch of cast members working there...LOL!

Disney California Adventure 2016-Carthay Circle Restaurant Dining Area by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Carthay Circle Restaurant Cast Members Stephanie & Deanne 01 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Carthay Circle Restaurant Bar by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Cast Member Bobbi Serves It Up @ Carthay Circle Restaurant by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Cast Member Danny Serves It Up On the Rocks @ Carthay Circle Restaurant by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Appetizers @ Carthay Circle Restaurant by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Waiter Bryan @ Carthay Circle Restaurant by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

While the high prices may deter some folks, and the food is solid if not overly spectacular, Carthay Circle is something everyone should try at least once (if it fits into your budget). It's a beautiful restaurant and definitely worth experiencing!

Disney California Adventure 2016-Celebrating Sue's Birthday @ Carthay Circle Restaurant Bar by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Offline
Joined: 08/01/2012
Posts: 2037

Wow spectacular pictures Len. The Carthay Circle Restaurant looks amazing. Thanks so much for sharing.

juneau biscuits's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/08/2015
Posts: 297

Disney California Adventure 2016-Eureka Mill @ Night by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

I love the area known as Grizzly Peaks! I could be happy with a whole park that is designed similar to this area. While I miss the now gone Condor Flats (love that name), the newly redesigned Grizzly Peak Airfield fits nicely as a transitional space between the Peak and Buena Vista Street. There's an open airy feel here that reminds me of Andy Griffith's Mayberry and its small town homeyness. Soarin' Around the World is still the big draw here, and the newly updated ride means long, long lines. Grizzly River Run is still getting guests wet, but truth be told, I haven't rode it since I started lugging around my Nikon DSLR...lol! My good friend Eddison, an amazing photographer, gets some crazy cool shots as he's going down those rapids, but some men are just born with nerves of steel (mine are more like house grade aluminum). Taste Pilot's Grill has been replaced by Smokejumpers Grill...a really cool restaurant celebrating the legacy of those airborne firefighters of yore. Sue and I ate there for lunch and found the sandwiches (both a burger and chicken) quite ono (Hawaiian for delicious) with the french fries nice and hot! The downside was the crowds..plenty of 'em, so finding seats was a challenge. We ended up in the dining area outside which I don't recommend as it can get mighty hot. But inside tables are very limited, so you just have to make due.

My love for this area makes this post photo heavy...so excuse the bandwidth drain!

Disney California Adventure 2016-The Legend of Grizzly Peak by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Grizzly Peak Refreshments Area by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Eureka Mill Daytime by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Eureka Mine Shaft No. 2 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Grizzly River Run 01 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Grizzly Peak Airfield by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Grizzly Peaks Prevent Forest Fires Signage by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Fill Her Up with Condor Premium! by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Grreetings from Grizzly Peak! by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Grizzly Peaks Billboard by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Smokejumpers Grill by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Smokejumpers Grill Interior 01 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Grizzly Peak Airfield Always On Alert by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Rushin' River Outfitters by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Smokejumpers Grill Menu Detail by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Smokejumpers Grill Menu by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney's California Adventure 2016-Smokejumpers Grill Dining Area 02 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney's California Adventure 2016-Waiting in Line @ Smokejumpers Grill 01 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Grizzly Peak Park Service Truck by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Soarin' Around the World 01 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

My strong dislike for Chip and Dale is ironic since they always seem to appear at character breakfasts or when I'm taking a photo...LOL! I will admit I like them in this particular shot...

Disney California Adventure 2016-Chip & Dale @ Eureka Mill by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

juneau biscuits's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/08/2015
Posts: 297

PirateGirl wrote:
Wow spectacular pictures Len. The Carthay Circle Restaurant looks amazing. Thanks so much for sharing.

Thanks PirateGirl! Yes, Carthay Circle is one of the best looking restaurants in a Disney park for sure!

jtownpluto's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/29/2013
Posts: 337

The park pictures are wonderful, as usual! And the Carthay Circle is just spectacular. Did you two try any of the rides?

juneau biscuits's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/08/2015
Posts: 297

There were two special parties I did at DCA, both on my first day at the park. The first was the Frozen Dessert Party. The $60.00 price tag gets you into a pre-show event with sweet treats, photo ops, and alcohol (wine, beer, and hard liquor). Since I don't drink, I gave my complimentary ticket to another guest to enjoy. I had a snow cone (called shave ice in Hawaii) which was pretty tasty. I only ate one since the room was air conditioned and the dessert put a chill in my bones. There were 5 or 6 dioramas where families could have their pictures taken against the backdrop of Arendelle and other assorted winter scenery. Olaf made an appearance to the delight of the children and the event was capped by a cool snowstorm in the middle of the room. Being the only adult, I didn't get much out of it other than the treats (which wasn't the reason why I signed up). Come showtime, we were escorted to the Hyperion Theater for priority seating. Now, priority seating at some other events (looking at you Candlelight Processional) doesn't mean much, and can often be disadvantageous for photographers (sort of looking at you World of Color Dessert Party). But priority seating for Frozen Live! truly lived up to its billing as we were first to arrive and allowed to choose whatever seats we wanted! I choose front row...smack dab in the middle!

Disney California Adventure 2016-Cast Member Jazmin Serves Up Treats @ Frozen Dessert Party by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016- Asstd Treats @ Frozen Dessert Party by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Snow Finale @ Frozen Dessert Party by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Children Celebrate the Snow @ Frozen Dessert Party by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Frozen Live! is a well produced stage show with great vocal talent, first rate scenery, and high production values. Does it surpass Aladdin for me? No, but that's because I don't have a strong emotional attachment to the film (and that is purely a subjective issue...I know it strikes a chord in many of the younger audiences). One thing that did bother me though out the play, and found it a major distraction, is that the actress who plays Anna...looks much older than the one who plays Elsa! This really kept me from suspending disbelief and buying into the play's reality. I do want to clarify that Anna had a great voice, and she is very talented...but it would have worked better for me if Disney had casted a younger actress.

Disney California Adventure 2016-Frozen Live @ The Hyperion 02 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Frozen Live @ The Hyperion 01 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Frozen Live @ The Hyperion 03 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Frozen Live @ The Hyperion 04 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Offline
Joined: 08/01/2012
Posts: 2037

You are so right about Anna. She looks old enough to be her mother!!! I would like to meet that casting director who selected her. WOW!

jtownpluto's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/29/2013
Posts: 337

The shot of the three little girls dancing in the snow is just magical! And yes, Anna looks very old. It's nice that Disney hires based on talent, but it's tough to make believe she's a "young" woman.

juneau biscuits's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/08/2015
Posts: 297

jtownpluto wrote:
The park pictures are wonderful, as usual! And the Carthay Circle is just spectacular. Did you two try any of the rides?

Mahalo jtownpluto! We've pretty much rode every ride at DCA, but we passed on California Screamin' this go around. Sue was a big fan of thrill rides, but that's starting to damper as we get up there in years...LOL! Soarin' Around the World is still our fave, although Radiator Springs Racer is a very close second.

juneau biscuits's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/08/2015
Posts: 297

As mentioned earlier, the other hard ticket event I attended was another dessert party, this time for the World of Color.The first time I saw this show was during its premiere back in 2010. I watched it twice. The first with friends while I recorded the entire thing on my video camcorder (I dabbled a bit in videos, but eventually went back to still images. I found that I rarely, if ever, watched my recordings once I got home). I thought the show was pretty cool, if a little underwhelmed by the narrative (which was pretty much nonexistent). The early shows were basically pretty pictures from Disney movies projected on water. The second time was with Sue which was strictly as a spectator (no cameras). As the show started, my wife turned to me and said "This is so cool!" The colorful images and cascading waters popped up one after the other...and other...and other. After about 10 minutes of this, Sue turned to me and asked "How long is this show?"...LOL! I found myself getting a bit antsy around the 15 minute mark and was ready for it to end a good 5 minutes before the actual finale. My problem with WOC is the lack of a narrative or strong story line. It really ends up being a bunch of images that have no connection other than being Disney produced. I liken this show to a summer blockbuster with lots of action and great special effects. Interesting for a bit, but no real story or characters to get me invested. So why did I even book this event you might be asking yourself? Pretty much to take pictures with my DSLR. Unfortunately, the area reserved for this party, while very nice, is not conducive to taking good photos. We're more off to the side of the show, directly behind a couple of huge speakers. While the photos are a total loss (hence I've only posted a couple), I must say the desserts and service were excellent. Being by myself, I was seated with this wonderful retired couple from Oregon. We started talking and I really enjoyed my time with them. So, I still give the event two thumbs up!

Disney California Adventure 2016-WOC Dessert Party Asstd Goodies.jp by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-World of Color Dessert Party Pre-Show Festivities by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

The Pacific Wharf area is another favorite area of mine at DCA. I love the variety of foods this place offers, and I'll pretty much head there by default to have the Clam Chowder in a Sourdough Bowl at Boudin Bakery. The mexican food at Cocina Cucamonga is also darn tasty and who can go wrong with a sundae or ice cream cone from Ghiradelli's?

Disney California Adventure 2016-Paradise Pier 01 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Backside of Pacific Wharf by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Pacific Wharf to Paradise Pier by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Lucky Fortune Cookery by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-California Screamin' Launch by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-The Kellogg's Truck by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Bakery Tour Ready to Start a New Day by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

I like the theming of Pacific Wharf too...nothing in your face or over the top. The Imagineers took a very subtle and relaxed approach which lends itself to the feel of the time period.

Disney California Adventure 2016-Cast Member Vanessa Welcomes Guests to The Little Mermaid Ride by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Cast Member Reynaldo Serves Up Bread @ Boudin Bakery by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Clam Chowder in a Sourdough Bread Bowl @ Pacific Wharf Cafe by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Cast Member Larry @ Your Service by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

juneau biscuits's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/08/2015
Posts: 297

Due to the short time I was allotted at both parks, there are still many areas I did not photograph or explore. For DCA, I barely glanced at Paradise Pier, but part of the reason being its my least favorite area. I understand how it fits into the period of California when carny games were popular, but it comes off as unimaginative and "low budget" to me. Mickey's Wheel is definitely the centerpiece of the pier, but even the ride itself is nothing you can't experience at a local state fair or carnival. And while I love Hollywood Studios in Florida, I don't spend a lot of time at the California version either. We did see the "Pete's Dragon" 4D preview at the Sunset Showcase Theater which was pretty cool. And the obligatory multiple rides on Tower of Terror is a must. Shoots, if I had known that the end was coming for the ride's theme, I would have taken a bunch of pictures, but as it is, I only got a couple of the cast members.

Disney California Adventure 2016-Sunset Showcase Theater Lobby by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Cast Member Dean & Pete's Dragon Greets Visitors @ Sneak Preview by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Cast Member Viona Greets Tower of Terror Victims by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Cast Member Sarah Says Goodbye to Tower of Terror Victims by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

I use to scoff at waiting to take pictures with Disney characters. That was before I got into photography, and now, I laugh at a 45 minute line! Make it a Marvel character, and I'm willing to camp out all night if necessary (okay, I'm getting carried away, but what do you expect from a comic book nerd?). Captain America and Spider-Man were both there for pic ops and autographs. One thing I noticed is how much better the costumes looked at DCA compared to their Universal counterparts. The main reason is that Universal probably has the license only for the comic book look while Disney can do the actual movie versions. The difference is night and day since the movie takes real world aesthetics into consideration. While waiting, I struck up conversation with this family in front of me from New York. Super nice people and it helped the time go by faster. It also occurs to me that I'm becoming more like my mom as I get older. I'm talking more and more to strangers I don't even know...LOL!

Disney's California Adventure 2016-15th Precinct Welcomes Captain America by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Captain America Strikes A Pose 01 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Spider-Man Meet & Greet 02 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Spidey & His Two Sidekicks by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Captain America Strikes A Pose 03 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Sue did her "Mad Hatter" thing again at some of the Hollywood stores (more like I coerced her into trying on hats for my Flickr collection...hah)! Not as big a selection as we found at WDW, or maybe we've gone through most of the hat designs. I wonder if I can convince my wife to do Disney sweatshirts next...haha!

Disney's California Adventure 2016-The Mad Suehatter 25 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney's California Adventure 2016-The Mad Suehatter 24 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney's California Adventure 2016-The Mad Suehatter 23 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

juneau biscuits's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/08/2015
Posts: 297

Disney California Adventure 2016-Welcome to Carsland Sign by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

The current "Piece De Resistance" of DCA is Cars Land by a wide margin! Now, I don't even like Pixar's Cars...I still think its their weakest animated film to date. But regardless of how you feel about the movie, Carsland is an amazing area, a true testament to the skills and creative geniuses of the Imagineers. This plays literally feels like Radiator Springs come to life. Not sure if the fact that its based on a CGI animated film (as opposed to the traditional hand drawn animation) that enabled Disney to make such a seamless transition from screen to park reality. I'm thinking that the more realistic, three dimensional nature of computer generated images provides a much better blueprint for bringing characters and environments to life (of course, the amazing job they also did on the Beast's castle at the new Fantasyland at WDW pretty much punches major holes in my theory). I just can't imagine being able to faithfully reproduce the stylistic backgrounds of Eyvind Earle from Sleeping Beauty with this degree of accuracy (although I would love to see Disney try).

From a photography standpoint, you can't take a bad picture here. Every inch of space, every angle has been maximized for visual impact and storytelling. Disney's attention to detail is a company trademark, but here it's taken to a new level. The downside of all this "theming goodness" is the place is literally packed from dawn to dusk. This is one area that security begins to close down access almost immediately at park closing. On the first night, I made the mistake of shooting Pacific Wharf first, and 15 minutes after closing, a guard would not allow me to enter Carsland. While getting shots without any people in is challenging, the quick closures does usher people towards the front much faster, clearing out areas for isolated images.

Disney California Adventure 2016-Welcome to Radiator Springs by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Flo's V8 Cafe by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Radiator Springs Curios by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Radiator Springs Firehouse by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters replaces the much maligned (and deservedly so) Luigi's Flying Tires. Sue and I road Flying Tires when it first opened, and the ride has all the thrill of waiting in a dental office to have your teeth cleaned. Okay, it wasn't that bad, but it struck me that even 50 years, Disney still can't get this type of floating ride to work (Flying Saucers anyone?). I probably won't be alive when the Imagineers give it another shot, but hopefully the third time's a charm! I had to dig into the vaults for this photo of me wearing a souvenir hat from Flying Tires back in 2013 (now I wish I had actually bought the darn thing as I'm sure it'll be a sure fire collectible).

Disney California Adventure 2016-Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

DCA July 2013 68 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney's California Adventure 2016-Taking a Spin On Mater's Junkyard Jamboree by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Radiator Springs Curios 02 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Flo's V8 Cafe 02 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Backside of Flo's V-8 Cafe by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Luigi's Casa Della Tires by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Flo's V8 Cafe Menu Display by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Cozy Cone Motel Rounds the Corner Beyond Radiator Springs Curios by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Curios Side View by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney's California Adventure 2016-Quiet Night @ Mater's Junkyard Jamboree by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Radiator Springs Racers Ride Interior 03 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Gas Pump Beverage Dispensers by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

juneau biscuits's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/08/2015
Posts: 297

Disney's California Adventure 2016-Radiator Springs Racers Entrance Sign by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

If Cars Land is the "cream of the crop" out in DCA, then Radiator Spring Racers is the "cherry on top of the sundae" (and that is the last of the cliche phrases for this TR...maybe)! Is this an E-Ticket ride? Absolutely. Racers has jumped to the top of speed rides, surpassing both Test Track and Rock 'N' Roller Coaster. What gives Racers the edge? For me, it's the depth of immersion felt through the entire ride. From the audio-animatronics that brings the citizens of Radiator Springs to life to the incredible desert landscapes as the track takes you out into the open air. The car acceleration is no slouch either, but not as fast as the WDW rides. Overall, this ride puts Cars Land on the map in a big way. If you have to ride only one ride in DCA, this is the go to guy!

Disney California Adventure 2016-Radiator Springs Racers Entrance by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Radiator Springs Racers Cast Members Ruth and Nadine by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Radiator Springs Racers Ride Interior 01 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters Cast Members Christian & Heidi by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Making the Turn @ Radiator Springs Racers by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Radiator Springs Racers Ride Interior 02 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Radiator Springs Racers Ride Interior 05 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Radiator Springs Racers Ride Interior 06 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Radiator Springs Racers Ride Interior 07 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Radiator Springs Racers Ride Interior 04 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

It's pretty amazing what the Imagineers did with the limited space to transform it into Ornament Valley. I'm sure this area took a big chunk of the billion dollar renovation budget and it shows. Day or night, this place never fails to take your breath away!

Disney California Adventure 2016-Ornament Valley Panorama by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Ornament Valley Sign by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Deserted Path Along Ornament Valley by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Deserted Path Along Ornament Valley 02 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-You Are Now Leaving Ornament Valley by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disney California Adventure 2016-Cast Member Dave w: Cars Mdse by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

danijrod's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/23/2014
Posts: 414

Your photos are so colourful. I love the carsland ones and your right how it looks so much like the film. I really want to visit DCA someday and your TR is making me want to go even more. Don't stop the cliche phrases they are great! clapping

juneau biscuits's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/08/2015
Posts: 297

Disneyland's Diamond Celebration marked 60 years of operation since its initial opening back in 1955. In honor of this milestone mark, the park dressed up Sleeping Beauty Castle in appropriate party fashion, and brought in special events such as "Paint the Night" parade. But other than the slew of commemorative merchandise, not much differed from a standard day here in Anaheim.

For most regulars at Walt Disney World who have never been to the West Coast version, I think the size of the park would be the first thing that strikes you as disarming (for want of a better word). The park will seem very small, almost miniscule, when compared to WDW. Sleeping Beauty Castle will do anything but overwhelm you. Its size, in comparison to Cinderella's Castle, will seem quaint in appearance. I visited DL first as a youngster, so the castle always looked immense to me. I was surprised how huge the WDW counterpart was when I finally made it to Florida as an adult. Although WDW is the clear winner in terms of size and scope, there is something about the smaller, more intimate feel of Disneyland that cannot be overlooked. While both Main Streets are very similar, I prefer DL's layout for some reason. It feels more like how a small town main street would look and feel (again, it could be nostalgia playing a big factor in my preferences. I really love both parks for a variety of reasons).

"Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln" has the dubious distinction of being both my least and most favorite attraction on Main Street. As a kid, I could have cared less about a president making speeches or a civil war. As an adult, I love and appreciate what this man did for our country during one of the most turbulent times in America's history. It's a one man show, so it cannot compare (spectacle wise) to the sheer majesty of the Hall of Presidents in Liberty Square. But I can always hear Paul Frees' incredible voice as he narrates the story of Lincoln combined with a beautiful montage of paintings, just before the curtain pulls back, ready to showcase an amazing lifelike replica of our 16th president. In the waiting room, along with a scale model of the capitol building, there is a display of maquettes which are based on the actual "Spirit of..." statues found at Epcot's The American Adventure.

Beginning with this final portion of my TR focusing on Disneyland, I'm using larger images per the suggestion of a fellow forum member. I was worried about eating up to much bandwidth, but looks like that's, by and large, not an issue here.

Disneyland 2016-Sleeping Beauty Castle 01 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Sleeping Beauty Castle 02 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Esmeralda Greets You @ Candy Palace by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Night Watch On Main Street USA by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-They Went Thataway! by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Train Station Entrance by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Moonlight Over the Train Station by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Your Local Neighborhood Magic Shop by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

juneau biscuits's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/08/2015
Posts: 297

I'm pretty much fearless now when it comes to asking cast members to pose for picture taking...LOL! But a special shout out for the gang at the Photo Supply Company. Sue and I were there to pick up our free 5X7 pic and I started talking geeky camera stuff with Marcus. Bella soon joined the conversation and I ended up asking the entire group (including Ryan and Brenda) to pose for a photo. They happily obliged and, staying in character, really hammed it up!

Disneyland 2016-Quiet Night @ the Photo Supply Co by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Bella, Brenda, Marcus & Ryan @ Photo Supply Co 02 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Bella & Marcus @ Photo Supply Co 02 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickrr

I'm a big fan of Mary Poppins, but I always seem to have difficulty in finding her during those "Meet & Greet" ops. On my first day at DL, I almost immediately ran into Bert, gussied up in his "Jolly Holiday" attire. I'm thinking that Mary is not far away, but after waiting around for 10 minutes, I accepted that she wasn't going to show. I headed to Fantasyland to try and get in line for Peter Pan. This is the one ride where I start questioning the sanity of waiting 45 minutes in the blistering sun for a ride that lasts little more than a minute. I don't feel this pain in any of the other queues, so curse you Captain Hook! It's no secret that this is the toughest dark ride to try and photograph (although I have major issues with Haunted Mansion too), and my first try was a total bust. The few photos here was from my 2nd attempt, but even these were only okay. After the ride, I headed back to Main Street, and lo and behold, Mary was coming out of one of the secret doors to meet guests on Main Street. I was fortunate enough to catch her before the crowds arrived, and was able to get some decent shots! Woohoo...game over!

Disneyland 2016-Mary Poppins 01 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Bert Tips his Hat by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Mary Poppins 02 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Peter Pan Dark Ride 01 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Mermaids from Peter Pan Ride by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Peter Pan Dark Ride 02 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

juneau biscuits's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/08/2015
Posts: 297

And here are some images from the "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln" attraction...

[Disneyland 2016-5-Piece Band on Main Street USA by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-An Evening with Mr. Lincoln by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Cast Member Siobahn @ Great Moments with Lincoln by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Spirits of America Maquette Display by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln Show 04 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln Show 03 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln Show 05 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

JMed's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/16/2014
Posts: 3794

WOW!!! Those Mary Poppins pics! muchlove muchlove muchlove

__________________

"I do not like the cone of shame."

"I want adventure in the great wide somewhere. I want it more than I can tell."

"It seems to me that we have a lot of story yet to tell."

Jennifer Huotari | Create Your Badge

The Huotari's Disney Adventures | Promote Your Page Too

juneau biscuits's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/08/2015
Posts: 297

JMed wrote:
WOW!!! Those Mary Poppins pics! muchlove muchlove muchlove

She's one of the best Mary Poppins I've ever seen!

juneau biscuits's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/08/2015
Posts: 297

Not sure if I prefer Main Street during the day with its constant activity of vehicles and cast performers, or at night, when the lights accentuate and enhance the magical quality that is Disney!

Disneyland 2016-Market House & the Lone Guest by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Disneyland Fire Dept. Engine No. 1 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-The Banjo & the Drummer by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Main Street Cinema by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Dusk On Main Street USA by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

jtownpluto's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/29/2013
Posts: 337

Your pictures take my breath away, especially the after closing, empty street scenes. Something haunting and poignant about them, with magic bubbling underneath. Thanks for sending some magic my way!

juneau biscuits's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/08/2015
Posts: 297

jtownpluto wrote:
Your pictures take my breath away, especially the after closing, empty street scenes. Something haunting and poignant about them, with magic bubbling underneath. Thanks for sending some magic my way!

Glad you are enjoying the photos jtownpluto! Main Street is definitely a different creature at night...

juneau biscuits's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/08/2015
Posts: 297

My all time favorite shop on Main Street is the Emporium. I always start and end my Disney park trips at this location. I hardly have time for shopping anymore since I got bit by the camera bug. But, I always make time to pick up one (and only one) t-shirt for each trip. I use to bring home 3-4 shirts in the past, but it's ridiculous the amount of clothes I have sitting in my dresser draw. I shouldn't even be buying any, but it's hard not to bring home something that commemorates the trip. Here was my choice (which clearly represents the Diamond Celebration):

Disneyland 2016-Emporium Display by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Diamond Celebration T-Shirt Front by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Diamond Celebration T-Shirt Back by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Another thing that I truly love about the Emporium are its amazing window displays. Through YouTube, I knew Disney had created all new, highly interactive, rotating scenes of various Disney classics including Peter Pan, Cinderella, Frozen, and Aladdin. It was one of my goals of the trip to capture some images, but of course, I had totally forgotten and was only able to quickly snap a few shots as we were exiting the park. People were giving me strange looks as I was half shooting, half wiping down the windows...LOL! The reflective nature of glass always makes photographing these displays a challenge (I had to eliminate some glare and strange light spots in Photoshop)!

Disneyland 2016-Frozen Main Street Window Display 01 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Aladdin Main Street Window Display 02 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Peter Pan Main Street Window Display 01 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

I always make it a point to have breakfast at Carnation Cafe sometime during the visit. The prices are pretty reasonable for DL and the food is always tasty. Service is excellent...I've never had a bad experience. I got some of the cast members together for a group shot while waiting for our table to be called. The other photos include a cast member from the Plaza Inn which is known for the fried chicken, and a couple of greeters at the Market House.

Disneyland 2016-Carnation Cafe Cast Members Daisy, Amie,Elizabeth, & Anderson 01 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Breakfast @ Carnation Cafe by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Cast Member Katie @ Plaza Inn Restaurant by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Cast Members Brandee & Javier on Main Street USA by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

I had a chance to see the new, more contemporary Disneyland band. There was quite a bit of controversy and lash back to the dismantling of the original group. I heard a lot of the band members had years of service only to receive a pink slip. It's seems even Disneyland is not immune to the cost cutting methods of corporate America. I'm not enough of a regular park goer to judge which band is better, although I thought this group brought energy, fun, and professionalism to their performance.

Disneyland 2016-The Disneyland Marching Band Does It Thing! 01 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-The Disneyland Marching Band Does It Thing! 07 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-The Disneyland Marching Band Does It Thing! 03 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-The Disneyland Marching Band Does It Thing! 04 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

juneau biscuits's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/08/2015
Posts: 297

I was privy to not one, but two great marching bands in Anaheim! Besides the aforementioned DL band, guests were treated to performances down Main Street by the Disneyland 2016 All-American College Band! These photos were taken while people were securing spots along the curb for the upcoming "Paint the Night" parade. By this time, I had met Eddison Esteban, a fantastic photographer who lives in California (check out his Disney Resort Images page on Facebook). We were sitting down, a ton of photo gear next to us, as this lively group of college performers put on an incredible show!

Disneyland 2016-Disneyland All-American College Band 01 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Disneyland All-American College Band 02 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Disneyland All-American College Band 03 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

As the sun began to fade, the lights of Main Street slowly came to life. Vendors with their carts full of goodies, and cast members hawking the traditional balloons began to fill the area.

Disneyland 2016-Vendor Cart on Main Street USA by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Balloons Light Up the Night by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

As night rolled in, a quiet hush enveloped the crowd (not really, but it sounds dramatic...LOL)! Then, a cacophony of sound and light suddenly explode to announce the start of "Paint the Night" parade! Sad to say, I'm not a real good parade shooter. I take a ton of images, but when it comes down to processing them...FAILURE! Not sure why. The parade is visually interesting...a cross hybrid between a traditional DL parade and the Electrical Light classic. I think one of my issues is that I tend to shoot parades with a long telephoto lens, so getting the entire float into the frame is a challenge. Pros like Eddison (and Tom Bricker) have two camera bodies with a telephoto and wide angle lens so they can keep switching as the floats move closer. A lot of my shots are of the performers since I prefer shooting people and faces. Folks on the forum have probably seen a gazillion of the parade pics already, so I'll post the few that I have and move on...

Disneyland 2016-Paint the Night Parade 01 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Paint the Night Parade 02 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Paint the Night Parade 03 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Paint the Night Parade 04 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Paint the Night Parade 05 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Paint the Night Parade 07 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Paint the Night Parade 09 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Paint the Night Parade 08 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Just before the parade ended, Eddison told me to get ready to rush the middle of the street to set up for the fireworks show. I was ready, but the ensuing madness and crowds proved to be very difficult and challenging. I nearly lost track of Eddison, but somehow managed to set up my tripod in the middle of utter chaos (Eddison didn't even bother trying, he shot handheld). I didn't have a chance to shoot the aerial night show at WDW last Christmas, so I was looking forward to trying my hand this go around. As you can see from my two mediocre pics below, it did not go very well. Unlike WDW, where you can lock down optimal spots if you're willing to camp for a few hours, DL's smaller size severely limits options. Eddison mentioned that prime areas near the hub are now reserved for VIP guests. My question is, at the prices Disney charges for admission, why is every guest not VIP status???

Disneyland 2016-Fireworks Above Sleeping Beauty Castle 01 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Disneyland 2016-Fireworks Above Sleeping Beauty Castle 02 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr

Allie's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/26/2012
Posts: 5477

Ok I love all your pictures, seriously. But I think those band shots are my favorite. So much personality in them! muchlove

juneau biscuits's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/08/2015
Posts: 297

Allie wrote:
Ok I love all your pictures, seriously. But I think those band shots are my favorite. So much personality in them! muchlove

Here's one more for you Allie!

Disneyland 2016-The Disneyland Marching Band Does It Thing! 06 by JUNEAU BISCUITS, on Flickr