Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Water break

The Disneyland Railroad station in New Orelean's Square and Frontierland not only has a passenger platform but also the water tower (seen here) and station across the tracks that doubles as a crew break room. This part of the Disneyland Railroad is not in the original location - due to the addition of New Oreleans Square in the mid-60's the track had to be shifted to its current location....

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tiger Forest

This hand painted sign greets you as you enter the Maharajah Jungle Trek with a friendly warning about the tigers in the forest ahead...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Desktop: Tropical escape

Depending on where you are right now winter has really taken hold and a post-holiday tropical escape probably sounds pretty good right now... The temple at the Mexico pavilion brings up all sorts of vacation possibilities, from a trip to the Yucatan to just taking a leisurely cruise on El Rio del Tiempo!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Futuristic palm tree

In Tomorrowland there are a number of futuristic palm trees - here is one by the TTA. If you look closely you can see one of the Blue Line trains in the background - what I would give to be relaxing on a trip above Tomorrowland right now! At night the green fronds and stainless steel/aluminum trunks glow in the lights adding to that futuristic feel...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Welcome to the reserve

This sign hangs above the queue for your safari adventure across the Harambe Wildlife Reserve, it is also translated into Swahili for those local guests that might not speak English.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Wanted: One Spud

Happy Boxing Day! It took a bit but I found a box photo - in the Toy Story Mania queue you can find the classic Wanted poster of the nefarious bank robber known as Mr. Potato Head, right from the first movie. I love that reward - I'd definitely take $50 Bzillion, just think of how many Mickey Ice Cream Bars that will buy...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! Hopefully it is joyful no matter where you are, whether it is up here in the frozen tundra or in the tropics. Today's photo is from Epcot in Germany - what can be better than Santa leaving you a teddy bear under the tree? Everyone, no matter the age, can use a good bear!

Here's to a wonderful holiday season, thanks for joining me on the last month of holiday celebrations around the parks!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Reindeer Food

It would appear that Santa's trusty herd of reindeer are enjoying the southern California air at Big Thunder Ranch at the Reindeer Round-Up. So just what do Santa's reindeer eat to get ready for their big night? Certainly all that hay they are eating can't be enough to make it around the whole world. Seems that some of them stock up on fruits and veggies while others pig out on the sweets. The question is - what did Dasher and Blitzen do to deserve the extra goodies and do the sweets make the night go faster?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

God Jul

Merry Christmas from Norway! Kringla Bakeri og Cafe's candle chandelier has been trasnformed into a huge wreath - another case of "don't forget to look up". Just don't forget to also order that sweet pretzel, either!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Hanukkah!

Happy Hanukkah to all who are celebrating. It's snowing hard on the Lower East Side of New York at the Chevy dealer as people head home to go eat latkes and sufganiyot...

Desktop: Packages filled with sweets

When I was at the Magic Kingdom a few weeks ago they were in the middle of filming for the Christmas parade. The first day I was there the filming had yet to start and the Confectionary had no sign of packages on the awning. Two days later the filming was underway and suddenly the awning was overflowing with presents!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Riding in style

Streetcar No. 1 is heading right for Main Street USA where Christmas is in full swing. The Main Street vehicles were all decorated with turn of the century bows, garland, etc. at Disneyland. If I recall right even the horses got into the act a bit...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A jazzy Christmas

At the always classy French Quarter resort the entry plaza has these wreaths lining the walk. There is a bit of a party feel to the wreaths - perfect for a trip to the Big Easy...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Ringo

The British are coming and they are bringing garland! The stores around the UK have a very classic touch. I can't really make the stairs at home look this good, which is too bad because it is a really nice touch! And yes, there was a track by the Beatles picking on poor Ringo...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mmmm - smells tasty!

In the lobby of the Grand Floridian the life sized gingerbread house is celebrating its 10th year. The tasty house sells holiday treats and even puffs out gingerbread smelling smoke out of the chimney. Look at the porch, the windows, the details are not only nice to look at, odds are on they could be edible as well!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Donald says let it snow...

Donald appears to be ready for the season with his winter gear and sled. And if you like the stylish Chirstmas stockings in the sled they are for sale just inside! This is just one of the many of the decorated windows along Main Street that add to the festive feel of the season, the decorators did a nice job with the northwoods feel on this one, it almost feels chilly!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Prehistoric Santa

Looks like Santa has a new sleigh and some scary looking new reindeer as well. Over at Chester and Hester's in Dinoland you can find this old Radio Flyer wagon with the green reindeer (complete with cardboard antlers!) and a very hungry looking Santa. Just one of the many crazy holiday gags around the already gag filled store...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Desktop: CIty of lights...

New York Street is all decked out for the season with enough lights to light up an entire suburb. The Osbourne Spectacle of Lights is really something that needs to be seen in person, the photos do not do it justice. There are the lights, the Disney snow, the crowds (you would think you were in New York the night I was there)... While I liked it better when it was in the Backlot (it was more spread out and wacky) it is still something you won't see anywhere else...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Pint sized Christmas tree

Just inside the gates at MGM there are some very creative trees. These trees are up on the light poles above everyone's head. It is pretty wild to see fully decorated trees on light posts but hey, this is Hollywood and nothing is impossible in this town!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Rosemary tree

The researchers at The Land got into the spirit this year with a tree made of rosemary plants. Not only is it a Christmas tree but it also has lights which, I would assume, are on if you go after dark when the greenhouses aren't getting the natural sunlight. It would also appear the chives are getting into the garland... It is a very festive and fun touch that got a laugh when the boat rounded the bend, nicely done!

Friday, December 12, 2008

What time is it?

This clock is making a better wreath holder than timepiece - television filming was underway for the famed Christmas parade and Main Street looked completely different from its normal holiday look for a few days, including this new use for the clocks...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Buon Natale

They are all ready for holiday parties in Italy - in Il Bel Cristallo the mask displays fit perfectly with their festive garland which also happens to have a number of masks incorperated into it...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

An art deco Christmas

A more subdued set of Christmas decorations further back in the Backlot near the Muppets. Much as the main decorations featured earlier this week were crazy I think I like the crazy a bit better!

Desktop: Donald's Tree Lot

Apologies for the delayed desktop and photos this week (nothing like unplanned out of town disasters at work to start the week) but here we go! Donald has set up a tree lot at the Magic Kingdom and is ready to supply you with your Christmas tree. The usually ornery duck has got quite the Christmas spirit when it comes to being an entrepreneur...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Don't forget to call home

Frosty is calling home to check in with friends and family during the holidays, don't forget to do the same! You might not be able to find as cool of a phone booth as Frosty (have to love the Chinatown ones in New York) but they won't be able to tell the difference on the other end of the line.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A tasty holiday Mickey

This jumbo white chocolate coated Mickey pretzel in the Main Street Confectionery is made up of tons of smaller pretzels. Well, maybe not actual pretzels because if it were every sugar addict (like me) would want a taste!

Friday, December 5, 2008

A natural wreath

At the Animal Kingdom the decorations take on a more natural look - this wreath is a good example of how they blended natural colors and textures with the traditional wreath...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Merry Christmas from the China Bowl

The fine folks at the China Bowl Restaurant just off New York Street have the place all decked out for the holidays. Even the delivery bike is complete with lights. With a battery pack there is no excuse for getting hit in traffic anymore!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Flying elephants instead of reindeer

This trio of banners are just a few that could be found last year around Downtown Disney, the Disneyland Resorts, etc. From snow to Dumbo to the marching toy soldiers they are all magical and were a fun way to add to the decor around the resorts!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A grand Hollywood Christmas

The main entrance to the Hollywood Pictures Backlot is totally decked out in over the top decorations. At night it looks especially good - while it doesn't compare to the extravaganza of lights around MGM (both Osbourne and the rest of the park) it is still festive.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Desktop: it's a small world holiday

it's a small world is absolutely fantastic over the holidays, the facade is all decked out in lights and the light and music show on the quarter hour is also a blast. Last year was the first time I had ever been to Disneyland over and this was certainly a highlight.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Jumbo Santa eraser

The entryway for Flik's Fun Fair is decked out for the holidays. While much of DCA does not have a lot of decorations, Flik's Fun Fair does have some neat decorations. From the cheesy Santa eraser topper to the lights to the candy canes and more it is all an oversized holiday adventure.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sorcerer tree

Outside the Fantasia Shop in the Disneyland Hotel is this cool little tree. What a great idea for a tree topper! The hotels are all decked out for the holiday and as you can see the shops get into the act as well. So if you are looking for a unique look for your tree here's an idea...

And a side note - Subsonic Radio has revved up their all holiday station so you can listen to holiday music from the Disney parks day and night from now till Christmas! It is the perfect cure for those of you that already have heard the same 20 tracks on the radio 50 times each by now.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Mickey wreath

Thanksgiving is behind us and it is time for Christmas! In Toontown this great Mickey Wreath hangs from a number of the lampposts. So where can I get one of these for my lamp out in the front yard? It would make a great addition to the neighborhood...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

For all of the readers here in the US - Happy Thanksgiving! So why in the world are we headed to the Port Orleans Riverside resort today? Well, for a number of years the family used to down around Thanksgiving. The crowds were traditionally light except on Thanksgiving and the Friday after. To avoid the rush we would always eat Thanksgiving dinner at Dixie Landings/Riverside - they shut down all the different food stations and just served up the traditional turkey. It was always a tasty meal and fun to explore a different resort for a couple hours. So no matter where you today, hopefully you are having a very enjoyable holiday.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Westerhn Pacific 804-A

Western Pacific 804-A has a notable place in railroading history. It lead the final run of the legendary California Zephyr train in 1970 between Salt Lake City and Oakland. The Imagineers pay tribute to the train with a recreation of 804-A and a pair of the cars from the train.

The original 804-A has been gone for over 30 years but a shell of another nearly identical locomtive was bought from Via Rail in Canada and provided the basis for Engine-ears Toys, Baker's Field Bakery, and Bur-r-r Bank Ice Cream. Be sure to keep an eye out inside the bakery for a mural with 804-A and the California Zephyr inside.

A side note for those of you looking for an excuse for a train trip - Amtrak revived the route in 1983 and it still runs today. While the route has changed in places you still can ride from Chicago to Oakland...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Transported by beams of light...

In the future, packages will be sent to distant worlds through beams of light... As you leave Space Mountain and return to Tomorrowland there is an all-too-short post show with archeologists sending alien dinosaur bones by beams of light. It if mighty hard to get good photos of this area but this is the receiving port where lab retriever has already retrieved a few bones for a quick snack. Is it just me or does the yellow sticker have a Death Star looking logo?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Desktop: Take a break in Morocco

In the Morocco pavailion there is a lovely courtyard (I swear it has a name but I'm drawing blanks...) that is perfect for a short break. The tile work is wonderful, as is the architecture and wood work. Throw in interesting lighting and a soothing fountain and it makes for a quiet and relaxing corner of Epcot away from the crowds.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Flying Saucers have been spotted...

Yet another tribute banner hanging from Innoventions paying honor to Tomorrowland rides of the past. The Flying Saucers were a crazy yet shortlived ride in the 60's. I could try to describe them here but you can read up and see photos over at Yesterland where Werner Weiss have it
covered. There has been rumor that this sort of a ride might make a comeback in DCA, I don't know the latest and greatest on that rumor but at one point I believe it was in the big master rebuilding plan...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Flash pictures

See, now the flash works so much better if you don't point it at your eyes! Rizzo is demonstrating the dangers of flash photography to the world on this sign over at the Studio 1 store. Some people, er, rats just never learn...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Some light reading

For all your that devour books Minnie has a few on her shelf in Toontown. My Fair Mouse, Of Men and Mice, A Minnie Course on Geneology... And you have to love those bookends. The pottery is an interesting touch, not sure if Minnie took a class on it or what the story is, will have to do more research the next time I'm down there I guess...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Crates for Dr. Jones

Another photo of crates! On the banks of the Jungle Cruise and the exit queue from the Temple of the Forbidden Eye is a pile of crates and barrels for the Professor. Besides adding to the interesting variety of stuff on the docks they also help explain where the temple is located - the Lost Delta in India.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Curb your dino

Hey - you there, can't you read the sign? Curb that dino already, man we can't have that thing crashing through this store? I mean seriously, we here at Chester and Hester's take pride at our mess but we don't need your dinosaur adding to it!