Daddy Bee Disneyland Photo Update

Hello, and welcome happy humanoids!

Whaddya' know? Two updates in one month???
What is this, the 50th celebration all over again?


Nah, I just want to start being more regular in my updates now that life is allowing me
the opportunity to get back to the resort more often.

No, there aren't many changes since my last visit. Some walls came down, some walls went up,
it still feels like a mouse maze of a scientific experiment over at the Big Thunder Ranch...

This is a shorter update than the last mega "Sleeping Beauty Castle Walk Through" update.
That one had over 100 photos. THIS update will be just over 30, but with close to the same amount
of desktops to download, for those of you who look forward to those things.

Instead of a DAY at Disneyland, this time I went after work and caught an evening at the
Happiest Place On Earth.

...and you know me and those night shots!

well, I'm getting ahead of myself a little, so I'll start in:





I stepped off the Mickey And Friends tram, and saw these blossoms on some of the trees in Downtown Disney.
I snapped a picture with my flash completely unaware that this would be the ONLY artsy flower close up shot
I would take this trip.



Here's probably (hopefully) my gripe and negativity spew for this update.
What the heck is happening with Disneyland's Landscaping and Maintenance this winter?

I have NEVER seen the park in this bad of a shape in terms of greenery, shrubbery, and general maintenance.
Even in 2003 and 2004 I recall seeing more care and money being put into the flowers and their maintenance.


Here's my prime example from this photo trip:


Can you imagine walking up to the turnstiles to walk into Disneyland for the first time, and have THESE
brown, dead, rose bushes staring at you around every pillar for the monorail???


What is up with that?










Ok, they're not completely dead, they're just mostly dead.
(another Princess Bride homage!)











I know that it's easy to think, "well, he just happened to see these a day before the landscaping crew
got to cutting them back or removing them"... but you may recall in other photo updates that I've pointed
out other areas of the park where photographically wonderful flowers used to be planted, and now there
is bare dirt and a handful of low lying shrubs... Near the Fantasyland Skyway steps, comes to mind.


Also, when I left late that evening, I noticed that a couple of the lights for the "CALIFORNIA" sign in front of the entrance
to Disney's California Adventure Park were out, leaving several of the letters dark.

How hard is it to change a light bulb IN THE GROUND?
It's not like they're up high on the roof of a building or anything.


I am not the kind of Disneyland lover to go around taking pictures of every bit of un repaired vandalism
or gum/spit stain on the pavement. I would much rather spend my time in the Happiest Place On Earth
being, well, happy, not going "tsk tsk..."


It's just time and time again my last few visits, I've seen a real decline in the maintenance levels
and I can't help but wonder what has changed? Did the recent Disney lay-offs remove half the landscaping crew?
Half the maintenance budget? Is there a new boss who is more concerned about new paint on his office
than new paint on the buildings?


I feel kinda' guilty because it was only a couple of weeks ago in my photo update I said "Money's being spent, folks"
and while we see construction walls all over the resort, it looks like there's too much emphasis on labor behind the
walls, and not enough where the guests can see on a day-to-day basis.


I sincerely hope I get to report soon that even at the beginning of Spring (which just now started) Disneyland
is more beautiful than ever than I have seen it in a long time. As it is, I'm just very sad that I cannot.


It's not like the evening/overnight shift has all been let go. A great "Thank You" party was just thrown for
the overnight crew and even Disneyland Resort President Ed Grier came out at 3am to thank the crew
and even participate in a little Wii sports (at least Wii Bowling, but Wii golf is my personal favorite)

Wii Bowling

Disneyland Resort President Ed Grier and Cast Member Genie Levert, of the Disney's California Adventure night custodial team, play a game of Nintendo Wii Bowling during a sports-themed breakfast in honor of third shift Cast Members.

Nice form, Ed!


Here's the text of the press release:

On March 18, about 1,400 third shift Cast Members from around the Disneyland Resort were celebrated during a sports-themed breakfast in the early hours of the morning. These Cast Members are instrumental in gearing up the Resort for its guests - doing everything from pruning trees to cleaning streets and keeping the hotels moving throughout the night. This group normally works behind the scenes while most people are sleeping, however their efforts are clearly visible and highly important to the Resort's daily operation. During the breakfast, the Cast Members were acknowledged and thanked by their leaders and Disneyland Resort President Ed Grier. Grier and other executives were on-hand to assist with the event to show their appreciation for the work that is done by these dedicated Cast Members in the early hours of the day. They enjoyed a hearty breakfast, fun games, an opportunity prize drawing and a thank you gift.

I can only say "Well Done" and "Bravo" to both the person(s) who thought of this event, and
more especially to the crews that are there to labor so hard in maintaining, cleaning, facelifting,
and even constructing my laughing place.


and good on you, Ed for showing up in the middle of the night for it.



so on that more positive tone, I'm going to try my best to make the most of my evening at the park...

My last update was prior to the Main Street Opera House closing... and Disney already has signs out for the
upcoming return of "The Disneyland Story featuring Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln" into the theater.

PLEASE let the rumor be true that the annoying, gadgetry headphones and annoying gadgetry housefly not return!










While I was taking this picture, no less than a half a dozen folks walked up and excitedly pointed at this sign...
I was only here a couple of minutes, and it was a pleasant surprise to see folks excited about this classic returning
to Disneyland.









Here's another shot of "Celebration Point", from a different angle:

Yes, it's a desktop.

Don't forget those "balloons" are really from the classic balloons still for sale on Main Street U.S.A.





And just up the street, in front of the Main Street Photo Shop, I found proof:


I like how the photo shop's marquee reflects in the balloons... too bad the reflection is backward.




Oh, by the way, if you recall last update I took some photos of the Silhouette studio and the Crystal Art shop.
Imagine when my surprise to find out that the Orange County Register has recently done a story on
the Crystal Arts store's artisan in their blog!

"glass act".... that's fine newspaper headlines for ya, folks!
That's something I woulda' made up!








at the "Partners" statue:

While I'm tempted to go on and on about how the landscaping crew should have pulled this ONE white and purple
flowering plant from the area and moved the other mature plants around to fill in the spot... and how it's
another example of some recently shoddy grounds keeping work,

I'll just say "There's One In Every Crowd".










You just can't go wrong with a good shot of the "Partner's" statue as a desktop.

Especially when the Tabebuia impetiginosa are blossoming
(not cherry trees)








Ahhhh... you know you're in Tomorrowland when you suddenly have a craving for a
super size Fries from McDonalds






I can almost see them now...













You're salivating. Aren't you???











I call this picture "Last Of It's Kind"

I loved these as a kid, and I wish this one was working.
...Not just sitting there behind a barricade, mocking me.










I'll say it loud, and I'll say it proud:


The time is now for the infamous captain and his ragtag crew to return to our starport in Tomorrowland.










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

The park was SO crowded, I was finding it increasingly difficult to get any pictures with only a couple of
people in them, let alone no people in them.

I had to get a little creative in the framing of the picture.


I recently went on this ride with my 6 year old ("almost 7 daddy!") daughter, and it was just as much of a blast
to ride as I remember. Especially since we were following my 9 year old and watching it bounce back and forth
on the railing more than we were!



I've thought for some time now that Disney ought to make a game of this ride... the car electronically keeps count of how
many times you hit the metal rail... and your score is broadcast on a screen at the exit with the photo of your face as you
concentrate on not banging into the rail... even when that rail has widened over in the "off roading" area.


I bet the lines would be REALLY long, then!










a tiny door.

But NOT the entrance to the little shop...

I always thought it was the door to the steps (on the right of this photo)... is that true?

Anyone? Anyone?



















Over to Frontierland and New Orleans Square.









Sometimes it gets pretty hard to take a picture that I haven't taken before... this shot
is new to me.

It works pretty well as a desktop too, because of the darker area on the right of the picture.
You can see your icons very nicely that way.








This shot is not.


But it doesn't mean I don't love it.


"I love sparkly, Mrs. Brisby"









ooooh.... really sparkly.










This was taken at the exit for the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.









After taking it, I got brave and walked up the exit to the unloading/loading area and got this shot:

It's available to download for those wonderful guests who contribute to the
photo updates cause through one of the paypal links:



In fact, this time around, contributors will have the choice of one of TWO desktops to download.
This Big Thunder Mountain one, or, well, another one later on.


Those who contribute $25 or more get BOTH desktops, or if they choose, any other photo here in desktop size
That's not already offered.


There are SO MANY great photos here, and I just couldn't make them ALL into desktops.




Like this one. I love this shot!

I love the purple and blues in the skyline and clouds behind the castle.
The "Remember Dreams Come True" fireworks show had just ended, thus the blue hue around the castle.










Dumbo is shut down for the fireworks as well.


This will likely end next year with the introduction of a new fireworks show.
Too much of Disneyland has to shut down for this current show that has fireworks being set off
all over the park... even from the top of the Matterhorn!

The next fireworks show will be less "surround sound" and more straight in front of you... causing
less problems if you're trying to get from point "A" to point "B" anytime from 30 minutes before the show
to at least that long after the show.

they hope.


But still, the original fireworks show, as it appeared during the 50th year, back in 2005 remains the
most awesome fireworks and multimedia display I ahve ever seen, beating Fantasmic and anything
I've ever seen at Disney World in Orlando.



That show has already been scaled back, and very recently scaled back even more. So some of
the tributes to some areas of the park are completely missing.




















Waiting for the "all clear" to re-populate Fantasyland again.










Here's a nice quiet shot of "It's A Small World" at night.










The facade for this attraction is every bit a magical and fantastical and playful at night as it is during the day.

and vice-versa.









and around to Tomorrowland again...







I took a shot similar to this way back in, oh, I think 2005?

This is the second choice for a desktop for those kind folks who contribute.

Notice that the monorail came around the beam as I took this long exposure, so the dual headlights
of the new monorails streak across the picture.

The new lighting for the new "Finding Nemo" ride really lights up the shot!
I also love how the water got this kind of "ice" quality from the long exposure.


I don't want to come off as really loving my own photography and being all
"Mr. Big Head" about it, but there are just several shots in this photo update that came out
really well, and as I'm typing, I can't help tell you why I like them.


Just write a note to let me know which you'd like to download, and I personally send the link along as soon as I can.







Deeper into Tomorrowland I travel.

Strangely, I don't know if I ever got a shot of the Innoventions building from this angle before.
It's nice to see the whole building in one shot like this.


I DO think those banners from 2005 should be removed by now, though.










Dang it, I LOVE this shot too!
The castmember was so cool about letting me take the shot after the park had closed (there were still people
waiting in line to my right, so it's not like the park had been closed for very long).










On my way out...


A shot of what I think is the ugliest floral Mickey to grace the front of the Disneyland Railroad Main Street Station
in years. After having really superb displays out here these past 4 years, I've really gotten spoiled, I know.

But that's just me.








So home I headed... another day of work was zooming closer and closer as I zoomed back up the
5 to the 91 and headed East to Casa De DaddyB.

And another day of work is zooming closer to me now as I write this, so I'm
going to have to just dream about my Laughing Place...


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 #2 photo hint:
Your photos with your in-camera flash turn out, "harsh"?
Folks really lit up or even over exposed, and the surrounding is kinda dark?
Try holding a small piece of white paper in front of the flash as you take
the picture. Just a piece of copy paper held about 3 inches in front of
flash will usually do, but you should probably experiment.

Try this at home before leaving for the park. Get the hang of how it works best
for you, or if it works at all... then decide if you want to carry that piece of paper
folded up in your pocket, or if it's just more hassle...

or you can go buy an external flash with a diffuser built in.



© copyright 2009
Brett Garrett

text from Ed Grier press release © copyright 2009 Disney