Daddy Bee Disneyland Photo Update

Hello, and welcome friends!
As my favorite late night talk show host says (and sometimes sings),
"It's a great day for America!",
and while I feel the same way,
I'd like to add that it's a great day for Disneyland.

LOTS of it.

While so much of the country is in financial trouble, and corporations are going belly up, bankrupt, or simply
just disappearing overnight, Disney most certainly is not. Sure there my be some slow downs in some areas
of the Disney Kingdom, but right here in California, from what I can tell, things are going GREAT.


Of course, Disney's California Adventure has an expansion budget already approved of well over 1¼ BILLION dollars,
and that money's not being diverted or reduced... so construction walls are up all over the place in "South Park" as I
have taken to calling it. The spending certainly hasn't been limited to "over there", folks. Disneyland has been chock
o'block full of construction and maintenance walls as well. Mostly maintenance (which is still a good sign when my memory
all to easily stretched back to the early part of this century when "run to failure" was a key phrase, and a man with a paint
bucket was never seen, day or night), but still some exciting construction going on as well.

In my last update, I showed off the new changes to "It's A Small World" but previous to those changes, there was another
re-opening that was not as well publicized (or controversial)... the walk through of Sleeping Beauty's Castle.

Today, we'll take an in-depth look at this "new" yet, old attraction.

So let's take a look at what I noticed in my recent trip to the park, eh?
Got ya' walking shoes on?




You might be wondering why I took this first shot, as soon as I entered the park:

Disney put out a press release last week that they're going to put a NEW Disney Gallery into the
Bank Of Main Street this spring.


That's pretty big news, since many Disney/Disneyland art collectors have been sorely missing an extensive
gallery/museum since the Disney Gallery over the "Pirates Of The Caribbean" ride was closed a couple of years
ago to be re-made into the "Disneyland Dream Suite". The Dream Suite was used as a prize for the
"Year Of A Million Dreams" contest, which in true Disney marketing laziness, lasted for 2 years.


So the "Bank Of Main Street" is soon to be no more, as we know it.
Or as we have known it for decades.









Of course, it hasn't served as an actual bank in many years. It's been an Annual Pass processing and photo center
for some time now, but the interior remained largely unchanged.

Of course, the exterior received an ugly growth in the past year, a processing window for the
Disney Rewards Visa Cardholders.

It's be really nice if that disappeared, but I'm not holding my breath.








The teller cages have been slightly obscured by backdrops for annual pass holders
to have their picture taken. But other than those, it's pretty much still looking
like the bank I used to go into to cash a check, back in the 80's.










I don't know what Disney's plans are, of course, but it'd be a real shame to see all these cool
old teller windows with their brass screens ripped out.










...and the screen door is such a classic touch. I don't know how they'd ever keep these
items, but like I said, it'd be such a shame if they went into "yesterland".










Back outside, construction walls for work on Main Street, and the wheelchair access cut-outs along the sidewalks
are up... which means ZERO Main Street transportation running.

I Love that Omnibus!


To the right we can see the Main Street Opera House, the subject of part two of the press release a week or so ago.










According to the press release, "Disneyland The First 50 Magical Years" will be going on hiatus NEXT WEEK as well,


Even better news is that the headphones from the old show, will NOT be returning, as will other of the
"gee-whiz" elements like barber scissors in the ears and buzzing insects going from ear to ear.

This is supposed to be a return to the original Lincoln show.




Here's a (text based) copy of the press release:


‘Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln’ Will Return
to Disneyland Later This Year
Disney Gallery Will Find a New Home In the
Current ‘Bank of Main Street’
Hiatus for ‘Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years’ Begins March 16 as Main Street Opera House Prepares For ‘Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln’ Homecoming

ANAHEIM, Calif. (February 25, 2009) – A longtime favorite of Disneyland guests will return as “The Disneyland Story, featuring Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln,” an enhanced version of the show which appeared, in various forms, in the Main Street Opera House at Disneyland park from 1966 through 2004 . The attraction will reopen later this year in celebration of the 200th anniversary year of Abraham Lincoln’s birth.
The current Opera House presentation, “Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years,” will go on hiatus beginning Monday, March 16, in preparation for the new “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln” show. When the updated “Disneyland Story, featuring Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln” opens later this year, “Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years” will be presented as part of the “Disneyland Story” display of art, models and mementoes in the Opera House lobby.

Also planned for fall 2009 is a prominent new home on Main Street, U.S.A., for The Disney Gallery. Formerly located above Pirates of the Caribbean in New Orleans Square, The Disney Gallery houses treasured Disney artwork and collectibles representing creative efforts from throughout The Walt Disney Company. A frequently changing exhibit area often includes never-before-displayed art. The Disney Gallery’s new home will be in the Bank of Main Street building, located next door to the Main Street Opera House and currently serving as the headquarters for Disneyland Resort Annual Passport processing. The Bank will continue to operate as an Annual Passport center until mid-summer 2009. After that, Annual Passport processing will move to the Plaza Pavilion, near the entrance to Adventureland.

The original “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln” was created by Walt Disney and his Imagineers for the State of Illinois Pavilion at the 1964 New York World’s Fair and featured the world’s first fully animated human Audio-Animatronics figure, built by Walt Disney Imagineering. The show, made its Disneyland debut in the Main Street Opera House on July 18, 1965.

press release text courtesy Disney 2/25/09



Now don't get me wrong, even for one moment, I LOVE the Steve Martin
"First 50 Years" movie. It quacks me up every time. Disney could not have gotten a better host for the film,
and I sincerely hope that it's brought back to the park in the future.




...but I'll be one of the first in line to see Mr. Lincoln's return.



This area is going to be going under some interesting modifications in the very near future... now if they could
only bring Walt Disney's Office and Desk back to it's rightful place right here in Disneyland (instead of parts of the
office sealed behind a wall holding Disney mementos in the opera house, and the desk sitting at a park in Florida)








Here's a shot of the temporary ramps for wheelchair and stroller bound visitors... and a nice shot of the
Main Street Railroad station.


As you can see, it was a perfect blue sky day.










Of course, all that Main Street reconstruction and rehab made for a rather winding walk to get to the
Main Street proper.


"Nothing interesting to look at here folks, keep on moving".









I don't know if this is what Disney calls the area, but this is what
I'm calling "Celebration Point".

This shot kinda' cracked me up because I first learned of this being installed from Disney
a couple of weeks ago. The shot they gave out was this one:

copyright Disney

Obviously taken at that angle so that you wouldn't see the Construction walls on the right
side of Main Street.


Of course, those walls are now gone, so you can take a picture looking right down Main Street U.S.A.
of your group, and hopefully of the castle. If you're really lucky, there will be a Disney Character there
to take the shot with you to make your celebration a memorable one.


This sculpture is in reference to the Disney ads you may have been seeing on television where the
child opens a school book in class, or a mom opens an envelope of grocery coupons, only to have
balloons and confetti pop out of it...


cute commercials.


No "Puppy dog dreaming about being at the park" level, but still cute enough.








In case you hadn't heard, the major part of the celebration is that everyone gets into one park free on their birthday.

My oldest daughter has already taken advantage of it, and we traded in the one day pass (upgraded by Disney
automatically for a 2-fer pass because it's the same price as a one day pass would have been) for an annual pass.


Another new program brought in by Disney is an installment plan on all annual passes.


THAT'S a big deal... you can pay for a one day, one park pass ($69) and upgrade it to any level of annual
pass, and the ticket goes towards that purchase. Then 11 more payments are automatically withdrawn from
whatever bank account you give them, on a monthly basis over the next year. This reduces a PREMIUM annual
pass (WITH PARKING) from a whopping $389 to well under $30 a month! NO INTEREST ADDED.

In my daughter's case, we didn't even have to pay for the one day pass because it was given to her by DIsney
because it was her birthday! That's right, you can trade in the birthday gift admission on an annual pass.

When My pass came due at the beginning of March (when I took these pictures) they didn't require any
park purchase at all. They divided up the $379 ($10 off for pass renewal) into 11 equal installments.

What a blessing for us Park lovers!


SO many people are coming to the parks for their birthday (and bringing along a few family or friends)
and SO many people are either renewing or getting new Annual Passes because of the installment plan
and the ability to trade in your birthday free pass in for an annual pass, that even in the "slow" time of
this year, the park has been very VERY busy.

I can wait until how busy we see it this summer, right around late July and August.

All those pass holders just coming to "hang out" at the park and watch the ducks, and the people,
just because they can.


The walkways are going to be JAMMED people!
Personally, I wouldn't be surprised to see it worse than summer 2005 when Disneyland's 50th
anniversary celebration was in full swing and the media blitz was on.



Of course the upside is that Disneyland is going to continue to be a GIANT money maker for
Disney Corp. through a VERY long and VERY tough economic recession (depression).







I'm at the park, it's a sunny, blue sky day, and I've got Main Street U.S.A. beckoning me!






Two of my most overlooked, and yet most unique shops on Main Street.
I'm not saying YOU overlook them, I'm saying that I take them for granted, and that's kind of a shame.
Especially considering they're linked to my earliest Disney Park Memories from when I was only 10 years old.


Let's have a look inside.










You can still get your silhouette custom cut by a Disney Artist for less than $10
and have it framed for an additional $10.

That's a pretty cool memento of a family's "celebration" trip for less than $20.










The area where the silhouettes are created is still very simple.










I wanna get one of these for my desk at work!

Unfortunately, there wasn't an artist on hand (no pun intended) to talk to.










Next door is the Crystal Shop, of course.
I almost never step in here, and I've forgotten how beautiful the place is.
It's like I stepped into "Pollyanna" or something.










Oh My! These necklaces are gorgeous (as are the tiara and the wand)!
(no, I didn't even look at the prices)




So next time you're in the park, don't just rush on by these two great little shops.
Find out for yourself what beauty and charm you've been passing by without even noticing.





So I reached the end of Main Street.... which direction should I choose?

What a beautiful morning!
Look at those beautiful Cherry trees!
I've gotta get a shot of the castle and partners statue with those in full bloom!










I was really wishing I'd gotten to the park earlier in order to take this show without any people in the frame, but
this one is quite pretty, and just screams "SPRING!" to me.










The yellow tulips have since been replaced (it seems like they were put in very early this year, so most were
passing already when I took this shot). I love when I can still catch the sprinkler dew on flowers first thing in
the morning.

I used this as my desktop, and the yellow just POPS at your first thing in the morning.
TRY and stay grumpy when you've got these beauties on your desktop! What a way to
start your morning!








It's not any secret that I love the small bronze statues around the partners statue (and in another
spot of the park). I even used to open my photo updates with one or another of them.

After I took the picture of the "Partners" statue (above) I noticed that someone had places cherry blossoms on each
of the little statues. A couple of them made it here to this photo update, one as a desktop wallpaper:


Isn't that adorable?
"Look Jimminy! A pretty flower!"










My favorite time of the year, not just in Disneyland, but in Southern California. When the Cherry Trees and
Jacaranda trees blossom.










Almost like she's holding a bouquet that her boyfriend bought her.










I love when the pretty blue sky is contrasted by white clouds.
I know I keep saying it, but what a beautiful day!




















Taking the side entrance










So that I can explore "Sleeping Beauty Castle"
(why isn't it "Sleeping Beauty's Castle"?)


This walk-thru reopened around Thanksgiving of 2008.
I haven't had a chance to go in with my camera and take some really good quality shots of the interior.
Disney released some photos on their publicity site, but I wanted something a little more comprehensive.

a little more "VF style"









Now, I'm not going to document every window, every crack, every book page on display.
I want to leave some of the mystery to those of you who can't see it right away.

But you'll certainly get the majority of it.


I wish I could remember the original better. Unfortunately by the time I moved back to
California from Nashville, 9/11 has already happened, and this walk through was already closed.




The book at the base of the castle, just after you walk in the door.

"In a far away land long, long ago, lived a king & his queen.

Many years had they longed for a child and finally their wish was granted."










"A Daughter was born. They called her Aurora."









I believe these books are original to the walk through. Beautifully illustrated, I must say.


"Fearful of Maleficent's curse, King Stefan decreed that all spinning wheels in his kingdom be burned."

"To protect Aurora from Maleficent, the Good Fairies hid her in a forest cottage."












Throughout the walk through, there are sound effects that go along with the story as it's being told.
Fire crackling, Maleficent cackling, romantic music playing...










The flames here are animated, as is the light on the faces of the King and his Queen.










You get a nice sense of the interior and mood of the walk through in these shots.










The three Good Fairies sprinkling their blessings on the baby Aurora.










"Princess Aurora grew in Grace and Beauty. But on her 16th birthday, a dancing green light lured her to a tower."

"There she found a spinning wheel glowing in the dark. "Touch the spindle" a voice commanded. Aurora obeyed, and pricked her finger."










Looking through the glass of a door (see the next pictures).










"Unbeknownst to Maleficent, the Good fairy Merryweather had changed the curse so that the Princess would not die, but sleep."

"The three good fairies put the entire kingdom to sleep as well, until the day Aurora would wake."










To the right is the door to the fallen Princess Aurora.
Stairs to the left to continue our journey.





Just a quick interruption to ask for your kind donations to support these photo updates... you support means
SO much to me and helps to bring even more photos and desktop wallpapers to your screen!






Here are the good fairies (top right of this picture) putting everyone to sleep.










Aurora in her enchanted slumber.










The doorway to the left is to the "corridor of Goons". You must take this path to continue your journey.


I think at this point we're just about right in the center of the castle, over the walkways that are used to
enter Fantasyland from the drawbridge.










"High atop the tower Princess Aurora slept, awaiting the noble Prince Phillip, who would one day come to release her from her slumber..."

"With true love's kiss."




twooo wuv.










"Summoned all the demons from her castle to prevent Prince Phillip from reaching the Princess."










The stairway down that eventually leads to a happy ending.










Summoning her outer demons (they're flying above her castle, just outside of this shot)










Summoning her inner demons


like poor self-esteem and hygiene issues.










"Maleficent turned herself into a flame-spewing dragon, to stop Prince Philip at any cost. It was a fearsome battle! The Prince finally threw his sword, and struck the dragon in the heart"



So much is left out here from the movie... the sword being the Sword of Truth...
and the sword was given to him by the three Good Fairies to begin with.







Here she transforms herself.










Green Fire.










I had green fire breath the other day after eating at Super Taco.










ahhh.... true love's kiss.


Wait, how did she end up in the rose garden?










"The End"

Here's Princess Aurora in her BLUE dress
("Make it Blue!")










and voila! We're exiting on the other side of the castle, like magic!










Yup, we were up there somewhere.


WOuldn't it be neat if there were an observation window or something up there?









For those with access ability problems with the stairs, Disney of course created a virtual walk through
room (much like the room for "Finding Nemo: Submarine Adventure" over in Tomorrowland)

Like a sitting room, but the mirror shows a WONDERFUL computerized walk through of the castle.
Complete with footsteps walking up the stairs, and looking one way and then the next as the computer
"explores" the walkways.










hint: A good place for a nice Disney Portrait, if you had the right camera and flash.
(it's quite dark)










It's really cool how the story shows up on the mirror.
My youngest insisted she stay and watch the whole thing.
Funny though, as this virtual walk through adds things that are NOT in the real walk through, and
changes the "Sleeping Beauty" storyline yet again!










Here the computer is looking at a book that is in the walk through.






anyhow, if you can find this sitting room, it's worth the 10 or so extra minutes.
Not many people know about this yet, so it was easy for us to have the room to ourselves
for the whole storyline, which made it seem more like a private viewing.




Exiting the room, I got an idea for a nice picture of the new entrance to the attraction that I hadn't
noticed before because I came in from the side, not through the castle drawbridge.




Purty, huh?

That's what I meant earlier when I said that I'm enamored of the small bronze statues.

This one dates back to Walt Disney's time.










Turning around from the statue/water fountain area, I was struck by the awesome virtual reality of Fantasyland
that I was standing in.



















The Teacups

I never noticed this angle before.
I didn't want to actually get closer, as I'd be standing in an exit, and that'd be wrong.










This makes a great desktop for most PC users because the light was naturally darker on the left of the picture
and that's where most folks keep their icons on the computers.

I purposefully used a longer shutter speed to let the teacups get blurry, to show motion, and to obscure
the faces of the guests on the ride.










I believe this to be the Mad Hatter's house.










Here's a shot I took of the new monorail red as it was passing by.










"It's A Small World" is certainly busy today. Word has gotten out that it's been changed slightly, and many folks,
I suspect, want to check it out for themselves.










The blue sky and the blues in the sign really pop against the gold and white in the shot.
Would make a nice wallpaper someday.

I just don't know how many would be interested in it.









From "It's A Small World" I checked the Kodak Photo Booth for some pretty flowers, but there were none to be
had. It used to be one of my favorite wildflower places in the park. The other was near the exit to "Casey Jr. Circus Train"
in Fantasyland, so I headed over there.


Would you believe all the wildflowers along the slope leading up to the old
Skyway To Tomorrowland chalet have been pulled out? Leaving just some low lying shrubs and lots of DIRT?


What has happened to Disneyland's Garden and Maintenance budget?


Disappointed, I headed over to the West side of the park, along the Big Thunder Mountain Trail that
leads behind the ride.

I had heard about the following, and was happy to see work in progress:

Barbeque is coming back to the Big Thunder Mountain Ranch!



Hopefully it will be at least 1/2 as good as I remember the old Bar-B-Q place to be.









Here are the construction fences, adding to more of the
"Mouse Maze" effect that seemed to plague Disneyland Resort that weekend.











It's a very narrow walkway. I'd say fitting no more than three people side by side.

and it goes almost all the way to the fishin' pond close to the exit for the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.





















As I made my way around the Rivers Of America, I got to watch the Sailing Ship Columbia
BACK UP from it's birth.


Not often you get to see a "sailing ship" go in reverse!










What a beauty!










and all the rigging!
It's just mayhem!










Here's the Columbia with the Mark Twain in the background, waiting for clearance to take off from the dock with
it's passengers.


It's not often you get to see these two vessels so close to one another, either.










No Mcdonald's Fry's here, either.

One last vestige of really poor business decision making from the Eisner/Pressler/Harriss days gone.










aka Dry Dock










I call this "Race to Splash Mountain"

This desktop is given as a "thank you" to all who donate to the cause... (donation button below)



Just a quick interruption to ask for your kind donations to support these photo updates... you support means
SO much to me and helps to bring even more photos and desktop wallpapers to your screen!








Over near the Haunted Mansion now










Now THAT'S a flower shot!










This too.
I love how the shading changed the flower's luminescence.







around the same area:

































If you like figuring out where I took these kinds of shots, and feel you're pretty good at it, you should
consider taking part in our annual

Digital Scavenger Hunt

Saturday September 12

FANTASTIC prizes are given, usually things like, oh, say,


(this year's prizes not yet announced, this is a sampling from years past)

and what's more, a LOT of fun is had by all.
The party usually starts the night before, and the event itself lasts for most
of the morning and afternoon. Awards ceremony usually late afternoon, and
we all usually try to decide on dinner and take a couple of rides in after the
ceremony has concluded...


You should check out our discussion forum with rules, and further details here





It was starting to get pretty busy, so I decided I'd pick up some lunch at the
Bengal Bar-B-Q, eat it out on Main Street at the Plaza Pavilion, and then head home.



New Orleans Square, near the Train Station and restrooms




















As I was eating, I was once again struck by the majestic Matterhorn.
I thought I'd better grab a picture of it before I left...











Here's one with the springtime Cherry Blossoms in the foreground, and the wintry snow of the Matterhorn:











A close up of some of the Main Street decorations for the current "What Will You Celebrate"
or "Celebrate Today" promotion.









The backside of the envelope... just as photogenic as the front side, in my opinion.
of course, with the walls having been removed now, even more so!



and as you might guess, I continued my walk out of the park, to the parking lot tram, and to my car...

Driving on the 91 seemed easier and less stressful than walking around Disneyland any more at that point.


hee hee



anyway, take of yourselves,

Until next time we meet (and if you see me in the park, don't hesitate to come up
and say hello, or just yell out "Hey, DaddyB!" as you pass by!)


Love uP!

(aka Brett Garrett)

One last shameless plea for your dollars...

(hey, at least there's no advertisements all over the place!)




DaddyB uses a wonderful
Canon EOS 40D camera with a 580EX flash unit
and an assortment of Canon Lenses in varying
degrees of abuse.

DaddyB's #1 photo hint:
If you have a shoe for an external flash on your camera, go buy one
and USE IT in almost every shot you take. The price is worth the difference in
photos you take with the internal flash versus the external flash.

Buy one with a revolving head, and learn the joys of bouncing the flash
off walls, ceilings and even pieces of white paper.



© copyright 2009
Brett Garrett

text from Sleeping Beauty Castle Walk Through ©Disney

text from "‘Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln’ Will Return
to Disneyland Later This Year" press release © copyright 2009 Disney