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Weekend Update

Weekend Update: Sleeping Beauty, New Zealand, Paris, Animal Kingdom and Postcards!

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by , 02-27-2009 at 09:19 PM

I had a blast putting the Weekend Update together for you this week. We have a nice mix of Disney photos plus some worldwide photos to broaden our horizons.

First up, PhotoMatt uses one of his mind-blowing lenses to capture the new Sleeping Beauty Walk-Through at Disneyland like it has never been photographed before! Ian Parkinson is back this week and he has photos of Napier, New Zealand - famous for its art deco architecture. Then we're off to Paris with CaptPhoebus. We almost get into Disneyland Paris with him. SummerInFL has a photo essay on the quiet spots of Disney's Animal Kingdom in Florida.

We finish up the Update this week with vintage postcard images from darkfairycthulu. Read to the end and you'll find out why I have that crazy "" song bouncing around in my brain.

This week we'll start on the West Coast:

Sleeping Beauty Castle Walk-Through
Disneyland, California

PhotoMatt brings us his take on the newest version of the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walk-Through this week. He uses one of his magical lenses this time out and we really love the feel it gives to this wonderful attraction.

Yesterland Sleeping Beauty Walk-Through

MiceAge contributor Werner Weiss has a great Yesterland feature on the 1977 version of the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walk-Through which can be viewed HERE.

Napier, New Zealand

Ian Parkinson takes us to the fascinating art deco city of Napier in this week's installment of his New Zealand photo report.

Napier (Ahuriri in Māori) is a port city in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand. It has a population of 57,900 as of the June 2008 estimate.

Napier is a popular tourist city, and has one of the most photographed tourist attractions in the country, a statue on Marine Parade called Pania of the Reef. Her statue is regarded in Napier in much the same way that the Little Mermaid statue is regarded in Copenhagen. In October 2005 the statue was stolen, but it was recovered a week later, largely unharmed.

Napier's major tourist attraction is the town itself, which draws Art Deco and architecture enthusiasts from around the world. The rebuilding period after the 1931 earthquake coincided with the shortlived and rapidly changing Art Deco era and the Great Depression, when little 'mainstreet' development was being undertaken elsewhere. As a result Napier's architecture is strikingly different from any other city; the other notable Art Deco city, Miami Beach, has Streamline Moderne Art Deco. The whole centre of Napier was rebuilt simultaneously. In many ways it resembles a film set as it has whole streets of 'in period' buildings, but it is a real city and the buildings are original.

Paris, France

This week, CaptPhoebus heads off to Paris and we almost get inside Disneyland Paris.

Arriving at Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport.

Some sights around Paris. First up, Avenue-des-Champs-lyses.

Then, the River-Seine.

The Palais-Royal

The Arc-de-Triomphe

Hotel National des Invalides.


Then on the horizon, an oddly familiar hotel becomes visible.

The entry to the parking lot for Disneyland Paris.

Disney Village.

What is this? A working Speedramp to make the journey to the park a bit easier?

The Disneyland Hotel.

Which includes the entryway to the Park.

Next time around, CaptPhoebus takes us on a tour of the French park.

Disney's Animal Kingdom
Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida

SummerInFL shares this great photo essay on some of the quieter things to do at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Animal Kingdom is filled with hidden trails and passageways. There are many that loop and wind around The Tree of Life but none that gets you as close as the one near It's Tough To Be a Bug. To find it, go to the entrance for It's Tough to Be a Bug and follow the path to the left of the line, this one will veer off to the left while the queue line for the attraction will go to the right.

What you will discover is an endless trail of carved animals and breathtaking views.

It also creates a wonderful photo opportunity for your family where you don't have to fight all the other visitors of the park.

Every time I look at this tree I see something different, it's truly a masterpiece.

This beauty extends to all of Animal Kingdom and my family easily fills up an entire day enjoying all of it's many treasures.

From the local flavor of the Village Beatniks... the fun, interactive attractions.

And did I mention the animals?

Now that's just scratching the surface of this park, they also offer Broadway style shows, festive parades and characters around every corner. You just never know who or what you might run into.

More vintage postcard images from darkfairycthulu:

On the banks of the Boise River...325 luxurious rooms, all with color TV and King or Queen size beds. Free airport courtesy car. Olympic size swimming pool, 24 hour coffee shop, SandBar Restaurant at poolside, Beauty, Barber, and Gift Shops. Convention center for up to 1,500. Children FREE in same room as parents.

THE LOST RIVER AT CONEY ISLAND, Cincinnati, Ohio. "America's Finest Amusement Park", is one of the many rides and fun devices in this popular resort. Swimming, dancing and dining are among the many attractions at Coney.

Over 50 rides and attractions and one GIANT pool!
Official Website
Coney Island started in the 1870s as an apple orchard farm owned by James Parker, who realized that his location along the Ohio River was a profitable location to attract people looking to visit. The orchard was sold to Ohio Grove Corporation and was officially renamed "Grove Park, The Coney Island of the West," and opened June 21, 1886. In 1887, the Grove Park name was dropped and the park renamed to "Coney Island."


Coney Island has resurrected itself as a traditional amusement park, with familiar rides such as the "Tilt-A-Whirl" and bumper cars, as well as carnival games and musical shows. Over a period of time, the park's management is attempting to restore the heyday image of the property.

Unique shop in Fairyland, North Pole, Colorado. In each of Santa's workshops, surprises for young and old are offered by the busy Gnomes and Elves to the thousands of visitors. Gifts may be sent at once or shipped at Christmas time, direct from Santa's workshop.

One of the lovely Weeki Wachee Mermaids strikes a pose in her exclusive CATALINA bathing suit for photographers at the entrance to the Giant Queen Conch Shell in Weeki Wachee's Star Garden located on Florida's west coast at U.S. 19 and Florida 50.

On Wychmere Harbor at the end of Snow Inn Road in Harwich Port offers the summer visitor the best lobster and seafood fare found on Cape Cod. While eating on the dock the whole family will enjoy watching the fishing boats and yachts and waterside activities.

Back in the 1960s and 1970s we used to have a house in Wrinkle Point in West Dennis, MA. From time to time Dad would take us to dinner at Thompsonís Clam Bar in Harwichport at Wychmere Harbor. I loved going there. My sisters and I would beg for a Shrimp Cocktail and lobster. Dad would usually give in. Back then it seems a shrimp cocktail cost a fortune, but its rather reasonable to have one these days.
There is a great memoir about working at Thompson's written in the LiveJournal of "CCJohn".

Throughout high school, in the summer, I worked at the largest restaurant on Cape Cod, Thompson's Clam Bar, which served 2000 dinners a night sometimes and employed over 200 college kids. It served all kinds of seafood at reasonable prices, they had a playground for the kids while the parents waited for a table, a bar with a clam shucker, and a line of cars stretching half a mile up Snow Inn Road to Route 28.

I worked there from 1977-1979, and it was legendary. When we hit 2000 dinners a night, there was always a 2000 party. These were first held at Thompson's Field, 49 acres of forested land owned by the family, with massive kegs, Dirty Birds, whisky punch and debauchery. My first summer there, five guys got arrested brawling with the HPD. I was 15! Hence the obvious t-shirts that followed: Free The Clam Bar Five. And that same summer, t-shirts for one of the many off-work parties, you paid four bucks, all the beer and burgers you could eat illegally by the water.
Thompson's Clam Bar closed in 1990:

HARWICH PORT -- Generations of diners once flocked to Thompson's Clam Bar at the entrance to Wychmere Harbor, drawn as much by the intimate view of the boats as anything on the menu.

But now a chain-link fence bars the entrance to the restaurant, which last month became a private dining hall for a members-only club. A smaller, cafeteria-style version of the clam bar has opened on Route 28, one that many diners say is a poor imitation of a culinary landmark.

"We're disappointed," George Adamik of Pearl River, N.Y., said after lunch at the new clam bar. "It's a Cape Cod tradition.

Don't forget to check out the PostcardJunkie blog for more great images.

Looking for up-to-date reports from Disneyland
including photos, gossip, park schedules and more?

Visit these MiceChat columns each week:

Andy Castro's Dateline Disneyland

David DarkBeer Michael's In the Parks

By the way, if you didn't read Al Lutz's column this week, you'll want to do it now:

Special thanks to MickeyMaxx for coming to my rescue this week and putting some of the column together for me.

And that brings us to the end of another week. Our photographers have just enough time to reload their cameras before we see you all again next weekend. Thank you to all of our wonderful readers, and as always, a huge thank you to our amazing team of global photographers, spies, and gossips:

Jack Hollywood 1939 Wixom
Denise nbodyhome Preskitt
sir clinksalot
Abominable Snowman
Postcard Images by darkfairycthulu

A very special thank you to our wonderful guest photographers Ian Parkinson and CaptPhoebus for sharing their vision with us.

Your Editor - Rixter

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I want to bunk with JL, too.

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Updated 02-28-2009 at 10:21 AM by Weekend Update



  1. MasterGracey's Avatar
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    Thanks for another great Weekend Update Rixter and all the contributors!

    The upclose shots of the Tree of Life were great, and I can't wait for more of Disneyland Paris next weekend!
  2. aussiedave's Avatar
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    awesome update!!! Napier is one of my favourite places in the world!! i hope you went further north and maybe even through Rotorua on your trip!!
  3. sir clinksalot's Avatar
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    I loved all the destinations this week. I wish I was packing my bags now!!!
  4. WheresMickey's Avatar
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    Great pictures everyone!
  5. cositaluvsmickey's Avatar
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    Awesome reports that's all I can say.. I'm really digging those old postcards..
  6. Dustysage's Avatar
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    WOW! What a fantastic update!

    I'm ready for a trip to New Zealand!!!

    Love all the pictures and looking forward to Disneyland Paris next weekend.

  7. Eagleman's Avatar
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    The entry to the parking lot for Disneyland Paris
    It does really tell you ......YOU AT DISNEYLAND!
    And Sleeping Beauty Castle Walk
    I think it was "A" ticket in the old days
    I think now it would be a "B" ticket!
    ThankYou ,still enjoy old postcards......
  8. Ian P's Avatar
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    You can read all about my trip to New Zealand and see more photos and video here :-

    New Zealand 2008

  9. CaptPhoebus's Avatar
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    Oooh, a teaser. I'm loving it. Can't wait to see Disneyland Paris.
  10. Goover's Avatar
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    Those are some great pictures of the tree of life. It's so clever how they incorporate life into the wrinkles of the bark.
  11. MickeyMoose's Avatar
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    Thank you for putting Coney Island Ohio in your update. Also when Coney Island closed it moved to Kings Island. The rides at the park today are not the same ones when the park closed.
  12. Barbossa's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update.
  13. saphron37's Avatar
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    great update