DaddyBees Disneyland On Your Desktop Photo Update
What follows are some pictures I took at the end of last month. With the addition of the "Pirates Life For She" event and photo update, the unexpected "Disneyland Dream Suite" tour and photo update, and the TOTALLY unexpected (and unwelcome!) website crashing, restoration, re-crashing, and RE-restoration... well, this regular photo update is at least a week and a half later than I originally intended to post, and a good 3 days later than I thought I was going to post!

But there are some really nice shots, and desktops, that I spent a good deal of time on, and I just want to share them with all of you. I appreciate so SO much the support that you all have given me over these past hard months, and now that we're in a new year, I hope to carry on the photo updates as long as circumstances will allow.

Ah well, that's sounds just like life, doesn't it?


The "Year of a Million Dreams" continues on.


and on










...and on










okay, okay, we get it already... or not

It's everywhere, I tell you!
It's almost like "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"... you turn around and things are suddenly
stamped with "Year Of A Million Dreams" on them.

It's the same Disneyland, but strangely not the same Disneyland, somehow...








It's kind of funny that even in the Disney released video of the first family that won the "Disneyland Dream Suite", Prize-giving Castmembers have to explain what the "Year Of A Million Dreams" is and how there's no catch. It seemed pretty clear to me that the family didn't realize that all those pretty blue and white banners that you have to drive around, under, trip over and generally have thrown in your face from the moment you exit your car meant that there was something that they could win, and might have made them visit the resort for that reason.


I'm hearing that is pretty much the case all over (as in Nationwide).





The point of these promotions is supposed to be to drive attendance TO the parks,
not be a pleasant surprise for folks who've already arrived there.
Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts (who is the mastermind behind the whole promotion), doesn't seem to have ever "gotten" this concept.



Enough with the negativity already! Let's look at what the real workers at the park have been up to!

Like this cute addition to the floral Mickey Mouse head in front of the Main Street Station. LED lights have been placed in with the flowering plants so that every little while the swirly "pixie dust" from Tinker Belle (Upper right of the picture) lights up, as well as her wand, and it then makes Mickey's head all twinkly.


It's a neat effect and an "ahhhh..." moment for guests as they enter the park.








You can see the tip of Tink's wand that lights up.








The snapdragons are coming around.
They're not my favorite flower, but they flower at least, and this time of year it's nice to see anything flowering in the park at all. As I said in my last update, I have tremendous respect for the landscape crews at Disneyland Resort. They create the base magic that so much of the show starts on, and such a small percentage of the guests realize, or stop to appreciate it.








This little sparrow came up and rested right beside the snapdragon I was taking a picture of.
God love 'em.





Actually, God does.















Tulips + Sprinkler Dew = Pretty Picture.








I recently caught "The Whole Nine Yards" on cable.








"Jimmy The Tulip" is played by Bruce Willis.
That movie cracks me up.
Matthew Perry (who stars in the film) is such an under appreciated comedic talent, in my opinion.


What that has to do with Disneyland, I don't know.
I think I've been out in the sun too long.








Here's a desktop of the lovely tulip.








It seemed like the characters were out in force this day. You'll find that this photo update is full of them.

No rarely seen characters really, but still quite a lot were out.








I thought a couple of the 'Goofy' shots were almost Disney Marketing worthy.








Considering I snapped these from the top of the Omnibus about 50 yards away, I'm pretty happy with how they turned out.








Not so happy about this one, but anytime I can snap a picture of one of the "Fab 5", I'll take it.








Here's Minnie coming out of the character holding pen in her "Year of a Million Dreams" outfit.








Mickey as well... this was taken from the Main Street railroad station, while Mickey was standing in front of the Mad Hatter shop.

And that makes all 5 of the "Fab 5"... Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto!
Not bad, and I hadn't even gotten past the Omnibus stop in front of the train station yet!







It's a pretty quite mid-week morning. First, as I said, it's mid-week. Then it's "off season" which is that time between
January 2nd and President's Day (mid February) when attendance is usually low. Also the weather forecasters were predicting
rain for the day... so anyone who may have been thinking of coming to the park had second thoughts...








I remember back in the 80's when AT&T had speakerphone booths set up in tomorrowland. It was always a big deal to call my Mom and Dad on the East Coast and rub in where I was calling from. Now I guess it's a big deal to use your cell phone and call while you're on the ride.

"Dude! I'm on a rocket jet!"








While there was certainly a threat of rain, it made for some interesting pictures!








Of course, look in the other direction, and it's all blue sky and puffy white clouds. It was like this pretty much throughout the day. Rain on one side of the park (or threats of it) and blue skies on the other.








Not too often you get a clear shot of the "Tropical Imports" store.








You can sometimes get this shot fairly clearly if you're patient and have the right angle to catch a break in the crowds. Today however, I didn't have to wait at all. I just swiveled my body from taking the "Tropical Imports" shot above, and grabbed this shot.








"The Jungle Cruise" has since closed for a spring refurbishment, but at the time I took these pictures, it was still open.








You can see on the left the one of the workers still scurrying to get the "Disneyland Dream Suite" ready for it's grand opening. There are guests on the right side coming up the hill towards the camera, but they were far enough away to not really matter in this shot. It wasn't completely dead at the park, but guests were scarce enough to make for some decent daytime shots.

I have since taken the opportunity to go up into Tarzan's treehouse with my (soon to be) 8 year old daughter. This was right up her alley. Mrs. DaddyB and I kind of keep our girls protected from stuff, and many of Disneyland's rides are too intense for her. She's only recently started going on "Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters". "Peter Pan" and "Snow White" are "too scary" and we haven't even tried to get her on "Mister Toad's Wild Ride". She thought she could do "Pirates of the Caribbean" because she saw me working on the pictures in my last update, but once she got in line inside the building, it was too dark and freaked her out a little. So we just walked across the boat and out the exit.

I look forward to the time when I can take her and we can go on the "D" and "E" ticket rides, and I can only hope that her Dad is still cool enough by then for her to even WANT to go on those rides with him... but I'm happy with her that she has such a gentle heart and know's very little about the violence, intensity and drama in the world. I'd prefer to let her have her innocence in her childhood. We'll save the adventure for later.

But getting back to "Tarzan's Tree House" she really dug it. This was her first time in it. You should have seen her jump when the leopard growled at her though! For me, I'd forgotten how many STAIRS there are in this attraction. My knee was SHOT by the time we climbed back down to ground level!


There should be some pictures of the treehouse in my next photo update.







Here's a nice closeup of the "Disneyland Dream Suite" emblem at the foot of the steps to the grand entrance of the suite.








Walt and Roy's initials have always been incorporated into the scrollwork, but now they're been emphasized beyond measure with gold trim.















Ahhh... here's a nice desktop of "Splash Mountain" during the day. "Haunted Mansion" is closed for now as it was still being changed over from the (in my opinion) abomination that is known as "Haunted Mansion Holiday" (or the "Nightmare Before Christmas" overlay). Disney also took the opportunity during that time to tweak the experience a little bit, and we'll cover those changes in my next photo update.

But I'm quite happy with this shot of Disneyland's 4th mountain.





Folks who donate to VF thru the paypal donations
boxes on this page will receive as a special
"thank you", their choice from two shots
to download as desktop wallpaper images.
This "Splash Mountain" picture is the first one.











Walking down into Critter Country I grabbed this shot of Tigger as he was waiting for the next group of friends to arrive for autographs and salutations.








I had never noticed this small bronze statue in critter country before!








You know, it's always remarkable as a fan and frequent visitor to Disneyland when I can stop and help some good folks out.
I know others like me feel the same way. It gives a really good feeling in the gut that all that time that's already been well spent in the park can be put to some extra good use, even if it's just helping to clear up some confusion,pointing a harried and frazzled parent to the nearest restroom, or if the folks don't even need help, to wish them a good day... knowing you've left a positive feeling for Californians and Disneyland in those you left behind as you walked away.

This was just the case as I was coming back up and around into New Orleans Square. I helped a confused and befuddled guest figure out how to read their map.












Turns out he had some kind of compass that helped him find what he really wanted, so I just smiled and went on my way.








"The Laughing Stock Company" was out in front of the "Golden Horseshoe" (saloon) entertaining the good folks of Frontierland.
I can't help but laugh, no matter how many times I've seen this skit played out.

They're playing a sort of "Dating Game" to figure out who's going to get to marry "Sally May".







None of the "contestants" had seen Sally May before she came out from behind the gates of frontierland.








Some might have wished they had.








This poor feller dropped his hat and fell off his stool when he looked straight into the darlin' face of the Mayor's daughter.








Bachelor number three was chosen to be the bride, but upon the removal of the blindfold, he started running and I never saw him again.








Don't just pass these performers by if they're out on your next visit. The 'drama' plays out in several acts, so you
"never know what you're going to get".








Travelling further into Frontierland, I thought I'd grab this clean shot of the McDonald's French Fry Conastoga Wagon along the Big Thunder Mountain Trail.








Speaking of "Big Thunder Mountain"...








This is a remarkable composite shot of one of the trains entering into the cave. While I "try out" every desktop I create on my own monitor to see how it looks, and if it even comes close to being functional, I came back to this one and it stayed on there for a good week or more. As you might imagine with all the photography and desktops I have at my disposal (some unpublished) keeping a desktop wallpaper on my computer for a week is saying something for me.


Folks who contribute thru the paypal boxes (below)
have their choice of the "Splash Mountain"
picture (above) or this "Big Thunder Mountain"
picture as desktop wallpapers to download to their
computer as a "thank you" for their donation to VF.









Don't despair... there are six other excellent desktop wallpapers to freely download
in this photo update without any request for donations.



Like this one:











I was thrilled to catch these two buckaroos out for photo's along the trail.




...and another one of my flower shots:







As I said earlier, pretty flower shots are a little harder to come by this time of year.








Over into Fantasyland, one of my favorite things to photograph.
I love my wide angle lens!








I literally just barely caught Gepetto as he was walking by. I'd have loved to gotten a good desktop of him, but there were folks walking around behind him and that just didn't work out. In retrospect, a shot of Gepetto with the Matterhorn behind him would have been terrific, so I'm a little sad I didn't think of that earlier. But he was on his way somewhere, and I'm lucky that he turned around for me to even snap this picture.

But like I said, there were a lot of characters out and about this day in the park.








"It's A Small World" is closed... until HOLIDAY SEASON 2008??!!!

Yes, that's right. Disney is putting this old ride into a major makeover/refurbishment. Some of you may have heard that they're taking care of a "shipping problem" where modern guests are weighing in a bit more than guests weighed back in the 60's when this ride premiered. The trough the boats ride along in isn't deep enough to handle boats lacking in quite enough bouyancy, and that causes some stuck boats that weren't loaded carefully at the loading dock.

in other words, too many fat people is causing the boats to get stuck in the ride, and backs up other boats until a castmember can come along and either heave the boat along past the trouble spot, or unload one or two guests so the boat can float along once again.


Kinda' scary, huh?


In fact, so "undelicate" that for a while Disney refused to admit this was the case.








The gentleman accompanying Mr. Disney in this picture is Louis Lumberg, who was a business associate of Mr. Disney's and head of "Bank Of America" at the time. Many of may recall that "B of A", as many folks now call it, was the original sponsor of "It's A Small World" in Disneyland (Pepsi sponsored the ride for the 1965 World's Fair).

It's no marketing hocum that water from the "seven seas" went into the waterway on opening day at Disneyland. According to Randy Bright in the book "Disneyland Inside Story", Disney files "still show a billing that was paid for the sum of $21.86 for water received from a Caribbean source".1








The "Finding Nemo Submarine Adventure" is chugging along perfectly. Wait times that hovered around 5 and 6 hours after the grand opening of the attraction have been reduced to 15 and 20 minutes during this part of the "off season".








It's a wonderful thing to have submarine's in the lagoon again.








Here's another desktop for ya!








I'm fairly disturbed though at the lack of upkeep on the Matterhorn. This would have been an incredible shot with those awesome rain clouds clearing around the mountain's peak, except for the distressing lack of maintenance on the facade. It's WAY past time to throw some more paint on this classic building! Even the landing zone in the forefront of the picture, which never even gets walked on has faded and discolored horribly.








As you might have guessed from the clouds in that last picture, rain was on it's way. I got this shot as it started to rain in earnest.








Guests were ducking for cover.
I was not.








And yet, just a few minutes later, as I finally got around to this side of the castle, the rain had stopped!
You gotta' love Southern California weather.








As I started heading out of the park myself
(thousands of dollars of camera equipment and rain don't mix well on my budget!)
I couldn't believe I was able to get this shot. If only the folks on the left weren't there, I'd offer it as a desktop.

The moment after I snapped this, some guests on my left hand side walked into the camera's field of vision, so I really just got lucky in getting this.


Of course, when I was at the park this past Saturday (the 9th of February) getting a shot like this would have been unthinkable!








The darkness of the clouds made the LED lights really stand out for this picture.


And thus I left for the day.
As I said earlier, I'll be back at the park this week, and will combine shots from my visit this Saturday with those shots. Lot's a little things have changed since my visit, and I can't wait to show you!


So check back at VisionsFantastic real soon to see if another update's been posted.
Finally, my deepest and most sincere thanks to those who have supported me these past hard months, and especially
to those who have given most generously through the paypal donations boxes.








Love uP!






I use an 8 megapixel Canon EOS Rebel XT with the superb Canon 580EX flashgun
and an assortment of fine Canon (and ONLY Canon!) lenses.








1. Disneyland Inside Story; Randy Bright, Author; Harry N. Abrams, Inc, Publisher; 1987