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Weekend Update

Weekend Update: Hearst Castle, Tokyo Signs, Lion King Festival, Central America

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by , 07-17-2009 at 10:59 PM

As you read this (and with any kind of luck), MickeyMaxx and I will be chugging our way back to Miami on the Carnival cruise ship Valor. Thanks to the Weekend Update crew, I was able to put this week's Update into the can early so Dustysage could post it for you today.

First up this week, Fishbulb shares photos of his trip to Hearst Castle. I haven't been to this California icon since I was a kid. I think's it's time to get back up there.

TDLFAN returns this week with part three of his special feature, The Signs of Tokyo Disneyland. I hope you are enjoying these photos as much as I am. It is a testament to Disney's attention to detail that we can make a multi-week feature out of photos of signs! More Disney photos await you in SummerInFL's photos of The Festival of the Lion King show at Disney's Animal Kingdom. I know I sound like a broken record sometimes, but I LOVE THIS SHOW! The production values are extremely high, although the show has been dumbed down a bit as the years have gone by.

sir clinksalot is back this week to help us vicariously share his aunt and uncle's trip to Central America, and we round out the Weekend Update with a very popular feature - more vintage post cards.

Thanks for stopping by this week. I'll be back next week, rested and tanned, with more photos from around the world.

Hearst Castle
San Simeon, California

Fishbulb and Dustysage took a trip up the California coast last week and they stopped at California landmark, Hearst Castle. Fishbulb asked me to share these great photos with you.

The visitor center at the base of the hills

Visitors ride a bus from the visitor center up to the mansion high atop the local hills

The tour is dropped off at the base of a stairway leading up to the outdoor pool

Art is hidden in every corner

Stairs leading to ONE of the guest houses

Entrance to the guest house

Guest house balcony

Private guest restroom

Another bedroom in the same house

Another bedroom

Path through the garden to the BIG house


Fish in the lily pond

The tile floor inside the front door

The living room


Dining hall

The dining hall ceiling

The Game room

The private movie theater

The Indoor pool that you have to go outside to get to

The diving platform

Tokyo Disneyland Resort
Tokyo, Japan

TDLFAN is back with Part 3 of his "Signs of Tokyo Disneyland" series. This week: Restaurants and Food Stands.

But First!!!!

Festival of the Lion King
Disney's Animal Kingdom, Orlando, Florida

SummerInFL gives us a look at the majestic The Festival of the Lion King show at Animal Kingdom this week.

Festival of the Lion King,
an original interpretation of the Disney animated film The Lion King, is a Broadway-caliber short-form stage musical performed live. It uses the concept of tribal celebration in combination with ideas from Disney's Electrical Parade. It is performed in Disney's Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World, Florida and in Adventureland at Hong Kong Disneyland.
The show uses songs, dance, puppetry and visual effects to create an African savanna setting filled with lions, elephants, giraffes, birds, zebras and gazelles. In this theater environment, Festival of the Lion King is a traveling celebration presented by Simba and his friends, (including a band of four human singers). The show is in the form of a revue, and not a condensed version of either the film or Broadway show. The show features the award-winning music from the movie, written by Elton John and Tim Rice.
Festival of the Lion King - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The story of the movie is not followed, being replaced instead with a show of songs from the movie and other sources. This is combined with aerobatics performed by the Tumble Monkeys, a group of performers dressed in orange monkey costumes.

During the song, "Be Prepared", a fire dancer entertains the group.

Overall, I think it's a great show. It covers the key songs from the film and is really entertaining for the entire family. They even get the children involved by pulling a few from the audience to help with one number. It's a definite must see if you enjoy musicals and I highly recommend it. Just make sure you get there early as it does fill up quickly!

sir clinksalot returns this week with more photos from his aunt and uncle's trip to Central America.

This week we continue with the village of Antigua in Guatemala:

I believe this is an artists rendering of what the area looked like in all it's glory.

And the after

The detail on some of these rocks is just amazing.

Certainly reminds me of something out of Adventureland

Some of the local wildlife

And now the village itself. The valley is surrounded by volcanoes

Now we move on to Tikal

Quote Originally Posted by wikipedia
Tikal (or Tik’al, according to the more current orthography) is one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centers of the Pre-Columbian Maya civilization. It is located in the archaeological region of the Petén Basin in what is now modern-day northern Guatemala.

Tikal was one of the major cultural and population centers of the Maya civilization. Though monumental architecture at the site dates to the 4th century BC, Tikal reached its apogee during the Classic Period, ca. 200 to 900 AD, during which time the site dominated the Maya region politically, economically, and militarily while interacting with areas throughout Mesoamerica, such as central Mexican center of Teotihuacan.
And from the travelogue:
We have had 2 very interesting days walking and climbing all around the beautiful Mayan archaeological site at Tikal. We saw lots of howler monkeys (and got to hear them howl!) and spider monkeys up in the trees, we saw green parrots, a beautiful white hawk with a black "mask" on his face and brown and white stiped tail about the size of a red-tail hawk, lots of vultures with black heads, wild turkeys, some kind of beautiful Guinea hen or peacock hen, lots of thrushes and tweeties, lizards, some mammals sort of like small raccoons called coati, all while we were walking around the Mayan site. It's also a jungle biosphere reserve and is really a beautiful site, well worth coming here to see it.
These are the Tikal Temples

A Birds-Eye view

Spider Monkey

You can see how big the temple is compared to Belle's aunt.

Next time, we will finish with the Maya civilization in Tikal and move on to absolutely gorgeous Lake Atitlan, ending our time in Guatemala.

MickeyMaxx scanned some more vintage post card images...this time from a Yesterland attraction.

When going through Rixter's big box of old post cards, I ran into these five post cards of Country Bear Jamboree.

From the back of the cards:
The Country Bear Jamboree - Bear Country
This is a reproduction of one of the original sketches used to create "The Country Bear Jamboree" in Disneyland's new Bear Country. From these drawings, Disney Imagineers sculpted miniature scale models and then full-size figures. Through the magic of Audio-Animitronics, the performers were "brought to life" to sing, strum guitars and perform in a zany frontier musical.
Images © Disney

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

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:

Denise nbodyhome Preskitt (
SummerInFl (
sir clinksalot
Abominable Snowman
Jack Hollywood 1939 Wixom

Special thanks to Dustysage for posting this week's column while I'm cruising!

Your Editor - Rixter

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  1. k_peek_2000's Avatar
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    Awesome update!
  2. JerrodDRagon's Avatar
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    Great Update! Cant wait til next weeks!!!
  3. metis1's Avatar
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    Nicely done.
  4. MasterGracey's Avatar
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    Excellent update! Fishbulb's Hearst Castle photos were fantastic!
  5. EC82's Avatar
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    Thanks for this update! I consistently marvel at Tokyo Disneyland. It has MORE visitors than any other theme park, and yet it always looks flawless. Partly, no doubt, this is due to a different mindset and greater respect among its guests. But ... come on. How come Disney parks in the U.S. can't get their act together this way? There is not a spot ANYWHERE at Tokyo Disneyland. The last time I was at Disneyland, the ground was disgusting, paint was peeling, colors were faded. It didn't look AWFUL, but it didn't look ideal. And then images like these in your update remind us how perfect a Disney park can be. The U.S. should be the leaders here, not the followers, and Disney itself should not be an also-ran to what is essentially a licensee. But it is.
  6. TravisMT81's Avatar
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    I loved the Hearst Castle photos, now I will make it a point to visit next time I go to California.
  7. disneymademoiselle's Avatar
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    I love how Tokyo Disneyland has a restaurant called "20,000 Leaks!" Hehe
  8. WDITrent's Avatar
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    I love the Country Bear postcards. Gotta love Marc Davis's art, too. Awesome update!
  9. Abominable Snowman's Avatar
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    Fantastic report guys!
    Hearst Castle is absolutely gorgeous
  10. Kritter's Avatar
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    Great update! I love seeing what is at other parks and around the world... Even in California!

    Great Update!
  11. Eagleman's Avatar
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    *Hearst Castle is place I always enjoy specialy in the spring time when the hills around the area is very green.
    Hearst Castle also one thos CA.State Park that makes money for the State ,were others is or will be hurting with cutbacks!
    *Pre-Columbian Maya civilization ,pictures so cool ,a place I like to see ...Geat Adventure!
    *Tokyo Disneyland does look like they got there act together...Why can the same be said for American Disney Parks ?

    Good weekend report! Thank You!
  12. I Heart Disneyland's Avatar
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    I LOVE Hearst Castle! Thank you for the photos of the places we've been there. It was such a walk down memory lane and the photos were gorgeous!
  13. Barbossa's Avatar
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    Great update. I'm looking at the pics from Tikal and I'm thinking, Death Star approaching... Rebel base in range.
  14. FantasmicNut's Avatar
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    awesome update!!! thanks for sharing!!!
  15. Disneykat's Avatar
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    Fishy what an incredible update. The pictures of Hearst Castle brings back memories of a trip I took with my HS choir. I remember our tour guide letting our choir director stand on the diving platform of the indoor pool. He directed us as we sang one of our many songs. It was really a great experience.

    Wonderful pictures.
  16. wdwnut4life's Avatar
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    fab pics
  17. TDLFAN's Avatar
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    I love the photos from Central America. With that lovely volcano in the background, exquisite architecture, amazing artwork done on rocks and things..and even that mayan pyramid... It's almost as stunning as taking stroll through Tokyo DisneySEA's Lost River Delta area..
    Now we know where the Imagineers got their inspiration from.. then again, I knew that. ;)