Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday the 29th

Ok, so it doesn't have the same ring at Friday the 13th but come on, it is tough figuring out something for Leap Day!

But anyways, back at the Hollywood Tower Hotel, the light effects really help add to the nighttime atmosphere and the foreboding feeling. And while Friday the 29th isn't maybe as scary as Friday the 13th, Leap Day isn't exactly a normal day...
I vote it becomes a holiday and everyone takes the day off. Who's with me?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Now arriving in Mos Espa

The Star Tours queue is one of the best in any of the parks, it is rich in details and the animatronic droids from C3PO and R2D2 to the G2 series droids are a great way to both bring the area to life and entertain the passengers. But there are also details to look for after you finish your ride on your StarSpeeder 3000. Tatooine Traders has the feel of a movie set with the backside of flats, etc. After you get done picking out a new Ewok and light saber to bring home, look closely near the doors as you depart and you can find this stencil...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Microsoft meets Harambe

Even Harambe is in the computer age, there's no escaping it now I'm afraid. This ad for the Kivuko Computer Training Centre can be found near the Tusker House... Looks like they have their WordArt skills in line, check out that killer lettering job.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Shipping chickens by rail

Looks like someone is shipping chickens on the Disney World Railroad today. At the Frontierland station there are all sorts of items waiting for the train. A few chickens, a couple crates of crackers and cakes, some barrels, etc. - these are just a few of those items waiting for the next train. Better go out on to the platform before someone loads this onto your spot on the train...

Monday, February 25, 2008

Attention all monster passengers...

Wondering how to get downtown from Monstropolis Transit Authority Station? Looks like you can get a bus every half hour. Just be sure to pay attention to the rules, that includes all you fire belching monsters. And don't forget to have a nice ride!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

That's one swanky pop machine

At the Plaza Inn just off Main Street one can get a great meal in at the buffeteria in a setting that rivals many of Disney's high-end sit-down places. It is always a don't-miss meal when I go there. With ornate stained glass, a solarium, and much more more, your tasty pasta meal just got a lot better. And just check out the pop machine - a far cry from your modern molded plastic machine with ads!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Popcorn of the future

I've always loved the Future World food carts, esp. the pair next to Imagination. Ever since I was a kid on my first visit I loved them, the space age look, the neat color patterns, etc. The colors may have changed slightly over the years and some were moved but they are still some of my favorite sidewalk food vendor carts, er, spaceships, er, well you get the idea!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Stained glass fish

White Water Snacks over at Grand Californian has a fun sign that would be right at home at a big classic lodge at a national park, esp. around the Rockies or up in western Canada. The rustic design with the use of iron and wood fit perfectly with the theme of the resort. And the (painted) stained glass fish in the rapids is a nice touch, there is something about the logo that has always be intriguing to me.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Anything but the accordion...

Back to Studio One - the Muppets have decreed that there will be no accordions on the set. So go take it outside before you get thrown out, maybe you can make a buck or two playing it on the Streets of America...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I'll take one of...

Golden Harvest Flour, Conductor Coffee - all of these can be found at the Prarie Outpost & Supply in Frontierland. If you look above the display racks there are all sorts of antiques up there on the shelf that lines the room, once again proving that sometimes the items that aren't for sale are more interesting than the ones that are...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Don't forget the down jackets

This looks way too familiar - I seem to recall trying to escape the snow and bitter cold and here we are being told to pack most everything I left at home. It appears, however, that Tashi's Trek and Tongba Shop has pretty much everything for the travelers that need to stock up for the journey to Everest.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Gone Fishin'

Now this is my kind of work schedule! Do they take an hour for lunch in there as well? At Fly N Buy across from Soarin' it appears that they operate air tours. Want go to the Devil's Golf Course? Can do. They'll even go to Barstow if you call ahead. Just keep in mind that all times are approximate...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

On this spot 40 years ago...

While everyone is standing around taking photos of the castle there is a plaque in the sidewalk that goes pretty much unnoticed. Right below your feet is a time capsule, placed under the sidewalk on the 40th anniversary and scheduled to be opened in 2035. It would be interesting to see what is contained in it considering what all has changed since 1995...

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Journey with us now to the dawn...

...of recorded time as we explore the amazing story of human communication.

This mural welcomes guests to the incredible Spaceship Earth, one of my all-time favorite rides. I had found a copy of the 1990's era script a while back and now, with the "new" Spaceship Earth opening this weekend, I figure it is as good a time as any to post it. I've ridden the new version and while they did a nice job retaining the feel of the ride, I'll always like this version the best... Maybe I'm a bit crazy but I can read the script or listen to the score and know exactly where I'm at in the ride. So step aboard your time machine for a terrific journey...

Like a grand and miraculous spaceship, our planet has sailed through the universe of time. And for a brief moment, we have been among its many passengers. From the very beginning, we have always sought to reach out to one bridge the gaps between communicate.

Across a lonely, hostile planet, our early ancestors spread out in search of food and shelter.

With the development of language came a vital key to our survival. For the first time, we could share and learn from one another. We bonded together in small tribes and prospered, no longer isolated, no longer alone.

Ages later, the Egyptians invented the first written communication - a complex language of hieroglyphic pictures and symbols. With the creation of papyrus scrolls, came the world's first piece of paper. Now, without ever leaving their palaces, pharaohs could deliver proclamations and decrees to subjects across the land.

Phoenician merchants established the earliest commercial highways trading goods and information at distant ports of call. To aid in record keeping, they created the first common alphabet and shared this new tool across the Mediterranean.

In ancient Greece, the spoken word was elevated to a fine art. Philosophers debated with one another in plazas and storytellers found a new forum for personal expression. The theater was born.

The mighty Roman empire bridged three continents with a vast system of roads - the fastest information highways the world had ever known. East, west, north, and south - all roads led to Rome. But these same roads were turned against Rome by invaders whose destruction left ages of knowledge and wisdom in the ashes that would become the Dark Ages.

But all was not lost. For far across the land, from Cairo to Cordoba, Jewish teachers and Islamic scholars continued the quest for knowledge. In libraries of wisdom, they debated ideas and shared new discoveries with all who would listen.

In Western abbeys, monks toil endlessly in lonely isolation copying ancient books of wisdom and revelations for future generations.

Finally, from the depths of the Dark Ages came the Age of Enlightenment - the Renaissance. And with this era, came a powerful new invention - the movable type printing press.

Scientists, explorers, and scholars spread their discoveries in books and essays. Poets, musicians, and artists fueled by the passion of the age created timeless works of beauty and majesty.

On this wave of inspiration, we sailed into a bold, new era of communication bringing an explosion of tools and technologies which would bridge people around the world as never before. And as our appetite for information and knowledge grew, the world began to shrink.

Today, we possess the ability to connect with one another instantly anywhere on the planet.

A new communications super network is being built before our eyes. Spaceship Earth glows with billions of interactions carrying news and information at the very speed of light.

But will these seemingly infinite communications become a flood of electronic babble? Or will we use this power to usher in a new age of understanding and co-operation on this, our Spaceship Earth.

Physical distance is no longer a barrier to communication. Today, the entire world is our next door neighbor. Our news is their news, their news ours. We share our hopes and concerns with the whole planet. We truly live in a Global Neighborhood.

Wondrous new tools will help us learn more about ourselves, each other, and the planet we share. Spaceship Earth will become our virtual classroom.

As we greet the 21st century, yet another revolution in communication is upon us - as profound as all the progress that has come before. By using our new communication tools to build better bridges between us, we will discover we all share the common bonds of hope and sorrow, dreams and joys.

Since the dawn of recorded time, communication has revolutionized our lives and changed our world. We now have the ability and the responsibility to build new bridges of acceptance and co-operation between us; to create a better world for ourselves and our children as we continue our amazing journey aboard Spaceship Earth.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Paint by number

I'll admit it - I wasn't the best in art class. So you can imagine how excited I was to find the old paint by number system in a very large way at the Backlot Express! Ok, so there are no numbers on the wall but it is the same sort of idea. Where are my brushes and paints? Even I can do this! Wait, there is shading involved, and shadows, and....

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Maple leaf fence

It isn't too hard to figure out that you're in Canada right now, the maple leaf fence might be a giveaway... If that doesn't do it the old laterns on wood posts and rock pillars that give the feel of a mining town in the Canadian Rockies probably help out. This is one of the more elaborate promanade lighting arrangements - many areas tend to focus the attention on the lamp itself, in Canada they tie the entire unit, lamp, posts, etc. together and it really gives a good sense of place.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Package for Mr. Clemens

Looks like a certain Sam Clemens is going to be receiving a package. This crate sits on the docks near Aunt Polly's on Tom Sawyer Island. Not sure if he ordered all of that sugar too but someone is going to be wired when they get eat all of that!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The first rupee

Who knew that Anandapur had its own currancy? This 100 rupee note hangs behind the counter in Bhaktapur Market, presumably it is the traditional first dollar, or in their case, rupee, the store took in on the first day.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Right off the train

I'll admit it - I still play with trains (both as a day job as a track engineer and as a diesel locomotive mechanic at the Minnesota Transportation Museum) so I really enjoy the railroad related details around the parks and appreciate Walt's love of trains. Here we are in the Baker's Field Bakery looking at a bill of lading from the Western Pacific, looks like your coffee is from Costa Rica and Guatemala today. Take a look around you - there are old photos, timetables, maps, and more handing on the walls. You are inside a replica of the famed California Zephyr train and surrounded by railroad memorabilia - a nice way to enjoy a midday break if you ask me!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Where the sun always shines...

At the Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory in Port Orleans French Quarter this huge sun beams down on the food court. Look up as you are making your meal selections and in the center of the lighting is the sun smiling down on you. But don't try to look up as you are walking with your food or you could end up with powdered sugar from those beignets all over the place...

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Down on the corner

In the UK they have street names for the paths through the pavilion - right now we're on the corner of Tudor and Lower Regency. It certainly helps make one feel like they are wondering around England, I recall these from the time I was there. I'm not sure if there is special significance to this intersection, as far as I can tell it doesn't exist in London proper but no doubt there are a number of such intersections around the country...

Friday, February 8, 2008

Botanical Tiki

The Polynesian has lots of fun tikis around the resort. This little guy has a big job - he's got that pot on his head to help out the gardeners with their display. It almost looks like there is a hidden Mickey in there as well...

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Gung hei faat choi!

Happy Chinese New Year! Over at DCA you can find a terrific neon dragon at the Lucky Fortune Cookery. Sadly, every time that I've been to DCA it is closed so I can't offer any tips on their food... Hopefully your local Chinese eatery is open long enough today for you to stock up on chow mien, pot stickers, sweet and sour chicken, cream cheese wantons and all your favorites for your new years party!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Going once, going twice...

Coming this Saturday at 9 AM - you too can go shopping for horses. Kane Auction Yard has 35 horses and they are up for grabs to the highest bidder. I'm not sure where you go but ask around on Main Street, someone there has to know the directions...

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Let the good times roll

It's party time! Mardi Gras is today and if you can't get down to New Orleans you can at least get to New Orleans Square. There's always a bit of a party atmosphere over there and today's their day to shine. So grab a big slice of king cake and a pile of sugar coated beignets, or at least a tasty Monte Cristo, and get going!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Es un barco

This small river barge sits beached just outside of the Cantina de Dan Angel - the Bonita Verdad adds a nice touch of color. There are pots of all sizes for sale on the on the boat, from little pots perfect for your kitchen table or big ones for the yard. Unfortunately they aren't open for business today, that's fine though since you can pick up some items for the home inside the at the Plaza de los Amigos.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Check the brakes...

Monahan's Freight Co. seems to have a bit of an issue. A tram has missed the tour garage door and gone through their wall. A bit of a bummer maybe but hey, they just got a new entrance for free! Those trams must be pretty sturdy - only a broken grill, headlights, and windshield. Fix those up and with a new coat of paint it is practically new.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

No parking

The sign says it all. The Swahili translation is a bit tricky, Hapana is No, Magari is Cars, Kuweka is still coming up a blank in my searching... Glad to know that the town of Harambe is making sure the streets are clear for visitors and travelers. Please remember to park around back of the businesses in designated parking stalls... Or better yet, use the the nature-friendly form of transportation - your feet!

Friday, February 1, 2008

It's dinner time!

While you are munching down some tasty grub at the Village Haus, Figaro is mighty excited about the prospect of a tasty fish dinner. Looks like he has quite the haul today, my cat would be very jealous of that feast! The Village Haus is a terrific place to eat and take a break from the crowds, and the wonderful theme work (not to mention views - the castle from one side, it's a small world from another...) lend to the fun atmosphere.