Saturday, May 31, 2008

A toad lamp

This little toad lamp can be found near the exit to Mr. Toad's Wild ride. It just adds that much more to the feel of being in Toad Hall when you board/exit the ride. Even though you just have a wall between you and the rest of Fantasyland, you get the feel that you are walking into Toad Hall once you step inside the door. Now, which way to the kitchen for a light snack?

Friday, May 30, 2008

Take the skyway

This map of Tomorrowland sits near the floating granite orb. Look at it closely, notice anything odd? How about the fact that the skyway is still shown on the map? Outside of the actual buildings this has to be one of the last references in the park to the departed ride...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Viva Italia

Yet another reason to remember to look up when you are at the parks. This scene can be found above the checkout counters in the often bypassed World Showcase Plaza store. It has a bit of everything Italian in it from the gondolas to the Leaning Tower of Pisa and more.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Paparazzi ice cream

Even the big shots of the news and entertainment world need an ice cream break some days. So slow down and go join them with a double scoop of chocolate or mint chip and get the latest news and gossip over on Sunset Boulevard...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Twiga Travel Agency

Stop paying too much for those safaris! Use Twiga Travel to see all the great animals you want to see on your vacation to Africa. But do they book your safari with Kilimanjaro Safaris is the big question...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Kayak the Grizzly River

For the more adventurous travelers you can take on the Grizzly River in a kayak! Or maybe not, I think I'll stick to the rafts for negotiating those rapids and drops. They did a great job tying in the old mining equipment to the new whitewater attraction around the base of the attraction - they are using an old mining car to help transport some of the kayaks to the water...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Don't Panic

Grab your towels folks, it's Towel Day and we're off for an intergalactic adventure!

Here we were cruising through the queue for Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters and my sister quickly points to one of the walls. The sign is your standard welcome to the future space rangers but underneath is the number 42.
And of course 42 is the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything. It would seem that a few of the Imagineers are fans of Douglas Adams and the adventures of Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect, and the rest...

A side tidbit of trivia, Astro Blasters opened up within months of Disney released the movie version of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Haven't seen the movie? What are you waiting around for? Go check it out and I'll meet you at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Station clock

Every train station has to have a clock, and every big train station deserves a large, classical clock. In this case, we're in the Magic Kingdom monorail station. It not only is a subtle detail but also helps set the tone for your impending trip down Main Street, starting that transition from the futuristic monorail to the turn of the last century. Now, if they can just figure out what time it is...

Friday, May 23, 2008

All-American trash

Continuing the ongoing look at trash cans around the parks we have an installment from Epcot. This one, over in the World Showcase near the American Adventure certainly has the feel of turn of an early American metal trash can with its scroll work and detailed lettering. Ok, so the can is modern but still, you get the idea!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The return of Indy

What can I say? No one can really complain about having two Indy posts in two days! Besides, the new movie is reason enough to celebrate, isn't it?

Out on the other coast we have a look at one of Indy's expedition vehicles, a rather large Mercedes truck that appears to be getting ready to head back into the jungle... Either that or it is headed to the nearest theatre - just imagine rolling up to the front door in style!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Don't pull the rope

A fun queue gem is the use of interactive features in the queues for both Indiana Jones attractions on either coast. This one can be found at either and the sign says it all! The crew below would rather you not disturb their priceless treasures they are unearthing below but admit it, you just can't quite leave anything alone or follow directions, can you?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Self serve security system

At the Muppet Labs they're very serious about security and their top secret discoveries. But if you can't wait around for Link to get back you can always help yourself to the key and let yourself in - they don't want to inconvenience you if you are dropping by for a visit...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Desktop: A temple at night

Expedition Everest is an amazing experience during the day but it takes on a totally different dimension at work. Animal Kingdom was one park that I always thought would be wonderful at night and once they started opening it up for Extra Magic Hours they just proved that for me. The theming and lighting around Everest take on a totally different tone, a more dramatic look if you will, after dark. Somewhat like the Tower of Terror with an emphasis on purple/blue tones, the temple that you go through while riding the Anandapur Rail Service trains looks positively eerie at night...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Keep warm

The Frontierland station has a very old stove in the waiting room. Not like you'll really need it in Florida but you never quite know when it will be below freezing with a biting wind across the open range...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Prop shop bargains

The ever enterprising Rizzo is at it again, this time he's advertising his prop business. Need something for your next big production? You know who to call in the Props Department. Hopefully it does better at the studio here then his prop shop out in California Adventure...

Friday, May 16, 2008

Refresh Yourself

It's Friday and we all need a cold drink to finish off the week and it doesn't take a genius to read the international language of good taste over at the Outpost. And check out the Coke crate just off to the side...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A hidden...

Sitting waiting for the Magical Express at the Orlando Airport I got a close up look at the Disney Cruise Line buses. I had never noticed the intricate scroll work, the classic nautical flag and logo symbol, and the other details on the nose of the buses. Now here is the real quiz - what other character besides Mickey can you spot in this photo?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Una fábrica de la tortilla

Most people tend to fly into the mini-factory at Mission Tortillas after the short video, but next time you are there take a minute and look at the mural in between the video room and the factory floor. Not only will you let the crowd get through the factory (giving you a better look at the cool machines) you can appreciate the silo shooting tortillas out the top!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sailing, sailing...

So here I am eating at the Hungry Bear watching the Columbia and Mark Twain cruise by the waterside seating and I notice that the Columbia has a model ship in the rear window as well as a telescope. Quick, grab the camera and just let the fries go cold! To be honest, I've never ventured below deck on the Columbia. Looks like I'll have some exploring to do next time!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Travel experts

The next time you are getting ready to go on vacation the folks at Kshana Travel Company are set to help you get away from it all. Of course, to talk to them you have to go to the Anandapur which would mean you are probably already on vacation...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Time to punch in...

This time clock can be found in the Backlot Express - it is surrounded by all sorts of time cards and employee notices. Pull up a chair at a table and absorb the details as you eat your meal. Read up on how to lift correctly, see who all is working in the shop right now, see where the vacation hot spot is this year, etc.

Oh yes, and I found Nemo...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Now arriving...

It's National Train Day and what better way to celebrate than with a ride on the Disney World Railroad. Under the Main Street station you can find today's train schedule, including a tribute to fellow railfan Ward Kimball. The train from Grizzly Bear Flats is a reference to his own narrow-gauge Grizzly Flats Railroad, much of which is now preserved at the Orange Empire Railway Museum near Riverside, CA.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Canadian gold mine

Ok, so I made the gold part up.... Next time you are headed to view O' Canada take a look up above you as you enter the CircleVision queue. The sign is a mix of wood, lanterns, corrugated metal all built into the rocks and looking like an old fashioned mine entry.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Meep meep

Beaker never can win, this time Test Dummy Beaker is being subjected to 3D testing. Nothing like another one of the Muppet's Rube Goldberg style inventions to entertain folks in the queue!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

This way to the station

With the monorail station right in the heart of the hotel, the Contemporary offers a unique stay. And while everyone has seen the famed A-frame building many times over in photos, how about a look at their monorail signage? It would appear that the sign above is a bit tipsy, the monorail logo has a bit of a lean in the track that looks even more interesting in real life!

The signs on the lower levels are much like the one below, letters and logos on brushed metal. The artists did a good job bringing the traditional rail transit station signage into the future, instead of a head on view of a commuter train or light rail train you get the monorail!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Royal trash

A follow up to the fancy trash cans at the Grand Floridian - these sit just outside the castle and certainly look quite royal...

Monday, May 5, 2008

Desktop: Deactivate the cannon circuits!

Time for an intergalactic desktop. One of the best queues at the parks is found in Star Tours - where else can you get to walk around in a repair shop that takes care of Starspeeders? Talk about a cool job... But the employees here aren't from around these parts, it is pretty much an all droid crew so it looks like I might have a tough time blending in to the crowd. Though it sounds like they have their hands full, I'm not sure management made the best choices with transport purchases. As C3PO often comments - if this transport is the best, then why are we always repairing it?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

J. Thaddeus Toad, Esq.

Over the entrance to Mr. Toad's Wild Ride is Toad's family crest. Toadi Acceleratio Semper Absurda or roughly "Speeding with Toad is always absurd". With Toad and his motorcar above and Cyril and the wagon below the shield shows him at his best. Come on - we'll go for a jolly ride!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Downtown restoration

A pair of signs in Harambe, one for the Eli Lodge and the other for Mjafari Architectural Restoration Co. Judging by how the building is looking I would suggest giving them a ring when your building is in need of some restoration work.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Industrial penny squasher

At the World Showcase Plaza you can find this industrial age penny pressing machine along with one or two others of similar design. With the extra brass details, gauges, and ornate legs it is one of the more interesting penny machines around the parks. I'm not so sure they really fit with the theme of the stores they currently reside in which brings up the question - was this their initial home and if not, where did they come from?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Canoe Rentals

This rental sign in Rushin' River Outfitters says it all. I have no idea how many people take advantage of the discounts at Uppa Creek Canoe Rentals but I think they probably do a bit better on the with paddles deal...