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Weekend Update

Welcome to the (Eclectic) Weekend Update!

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by , 04-25-2008 at 08:43 PM

Eclectic is putting it mildly. This week we have photo essays from San Francisco, Gilroy (Garlic Capital of the World) and San Diego. From the world of Disney we have stunning photos from the Disneyland Resort and fascinating photos of Cinderella's Castle through the years. Let's get started:

The Disneyland Resort
Anaheim, California

PhotoMatt shares these images with us. I'm constantly amazed at the things he finds to photograph for us and the skill with which he does it. It's almost like a behind the scenes tour because he captures the little things that we see but don't see.

This lonely flower was trying to crawl under the fence.

This will be going to Yesterland soon.

The subs are still nice and shiny!

Are the two remaining seagulls playing musical perches?

On my way out I noticed that they had just made some yummy fudge.

Musee Mechanique
San Francisco, California

Welcome to the Musee Mechanique, located at Pier 45 at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. The museum is free to the public, but donations and quarters (to feed the machines) are appreciated. It contains one of the world’s largest collections of mechanically operated musical instruments and antique arcade machines. For more about the Museum, you can visit their website here. - Dustysage

I wasn't expecting to visit the museum and didn't bring a camera.
These were all taken using an iPhone.

All good museums end with a gift shop, and this one is no exception.
And what sort of gift shop would a mechanical museum have?

Gilroy Gardens
Gilroy, California

Gilroy Gardens is a family theme park in Gilroy, California (335 miles north of Disneyland) and is home to the famous Circus Trees. It was opened in 2001 as Bonfante Gardens and changed its name to Gilroy Gardens in 2007. It is operated seasonally and on weekends by Cedar Fair Entertainment Group and features 19 rides, 27 attractions and 6 gardens. More information on the park is available here.

sir clinksalot brings us this photo tour of the park.

Monarch Gardens. They have aweseom butterflies in here.

And a Camelia Garden.

World famous Clown Tree.


Gilroy Falls.

Garlic-themed teacup style ride.

Fun Mine Train coaster.

Beware of the critters running about.

Belmont Park
San Diego, California

What has a submarine ride, a classic carousel, an acclaimed roller coaster, a pirate attraction, a wave that never stops, loads of shopping, and, oh yes . . . churros? If you are thinking the Disneyland Resort, well, of course, it was a trick question. MickeyMaxx takes us on a tour of Belmont Park.

San Diego's Belmont Park, Home of the Giant Dipper wooden roller coaster is a short trip from anywhere in San Diego County. It is a modern day iteration of the classic beach amusement park. There is lots to do for every age, and because of the efficient size, there are no worries about tired feet!

The Giant Dipper. 83 years young!

This classic carousel not only has horses, but rabbits and bears and tigers, oh my!

The submarine ride would be fun for the little ones, though there is no Nemo to be seen anywhere.

Lots of shopping, from the tacky to the ritzy.

The Pirates of Belmont is a dark attraction, just like Disney's. Well, except that it is actually a black-light miniature golf course.

The bumper cars actually BUMP each other with a pretty good jolt.

And if you don't have enough chaos in your life, there is Chaos the ride.

The Flowrider is very popular, with wannabe and actual surfers waiting in line for their turn.

Looking out through the southern entrance to the park.

When you are ready for a change of pace, the park is located directly on the "boardwalk" of Mission Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in Southern California.

More information on Belmont Park is available here.

Walt Disney World
Orlando, Florida

As a very special treat, SummerInFL takes us on a historical tour of Cinderella's Castle in the Magic Kingdom.









Eye Spy

Each week, we provide you with photos of details which we challenge you to identify. Where in the universe can you find these little beauties?

Eye Spy #1:

Eye Spy #2:

Eye Spy Answers from last week:

Ariel's Grotto. Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom.

On the background of the Carnation Gardens Stage. Disneyland.

Mickey Rose on the wall at Pooh's Hunny Hunt disembarkation platform. Tokyo Disneyland.

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
sir clinksalot
This Week's Editor - Rixter

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Updated 04-26-2008 at 02:26 AM by Weekend Update



  1. Dustysage's Avatar
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    Sorry for the crappy quality of my photos, I didn't expect to be taking any pictures and didn't bring my camera. I took all of those shots with an iPhone. Not the best for taking pictures in low light and behind glass. But at least you get the idea of just how special the Musee Mechanique is.
    Updated 04-27-2008 at 05:38 PM by Dustysage
  2. TDLFAN's Avatar
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    Very interesting and varied update!
  3. Rixter's Avatar
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    Actually, Dusty, I think the quality of some of your shots is absolutely amazing. A couple of the Toothpick Fantasy shots and the Laughing Sal photo, among others, are stellar. I am inspired by these photos to remember that I always have a camera in my pocket.
    Updated 04-26-2008 at 03:27 AM by Rixter
  4. Disneykin Kid's Avatar
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    The Musee Mechanique used to be next to the Cliff House in SF, I saw it a few years ago, I didn't realize it moved to Fisherman's Wharf, but I guess it makes sense, there are more tourists there. It is a hoot, it's amazing how ingenious some of those miniatures are, especially when you consider how old they are, pre-Audio-Animatronic. Gilroy Gardens looks unique, I hope Cedar Fair doesn't squeeze the uniqueness out of it. Belmont Park looks great, I didn't realize an old fashioned amusement park still existed like that, besides Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. If you have something like that, who needs Paradise Pier at DCA? At least in its original version. Thanks for exposing us to something more than Disney.
    Updated 04-26-2008 at 12:28 AM by Disneykin Kid (added thought)
  5. MasterGracey's Avatar
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    Great shots. And I'm amazed by the quality of the iPhone shots -- not bad for a cell phone camera! Great job!

    Oh- and Eye Spy #1 is from the Ratatouille window on Disneyland's Main Street, U.S.A.
    Updated 04-26-2008 at 03:29 AM by Weekend Update
  6. SusieP.'s Avatar
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    I love the Musee Mecanique! I last saw it at Cliff House as well, but at the wharf, more people will be able to check it out and hopefully they'll keep up maintenance on those awesome old machines. So cool!
  7. richboi117's Avatar
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    Oh, the musee! I lived rite by the cliff house. good times good times. When they remodled the cliff house, they moved all those cool old things to the Piers to make way for more bad restaraunts =(
  8. peoplemover's Avatar
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    I grew up here in SF and Laughing Sal always scared the bejeezus out of me when I was little!
  9. JesterMn's Avatar
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    I love Gilroy Gardens! Glad to see it included. A beautiful park to visit.
  10. ministrychick77's Avatar
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    love the pictures of belmont park/ mission beach. now i'm feeling homesick.. lol
  11. Ms. Daisy Duck's Avatar
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    WOW all those pictures are amazing! Especially the quality of the camera phone ones! My camera phone could never take that good of a picture.

    Glad to see that people are heading to Bonfante (Gilroy Gardens). I love that park, it is a gardeners dream! It is very peaceful and tranquil and perfect for the little ones. Although it does get very hot during the summer, it is still a very pleasant park. I recommend it to anyone.
  12. Orcatime's Avatar
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    There is also a Laughing Sal at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk along with their own Giant Dipper (which is a National landmark).
  13. wec's Avatar
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    Sure nice to see the Musee Mechanique. My relatives, once owned all that stuff, including Playland. It's now owned by the Zelinsky family. What's fun about all the old Musee Mechanique stuff is what happened to the machines that aren't part of the Musee Mechanique. George Whitney sold them to a long time friend of his. A certain man named Walt. Yep, they ended up at Disneyland. Disneyland has since sold off much of what came from Playland, but some of them remain. Your guess is as good as mine as to what.
    Updated 04-27-2008 at 03:07 PM by wec (mis spelling)
  14. Dustysage's Avatar
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    I couldn't resist myself. Had to feed 50 cents to Laughing Sal:

    I was in SF for a trade show and met up with the always lovely Skyway Girl. She insisted that we bring as many machines to life as possible - much to the delight of a German family who followed us around clapping and laughing.

    But it was the gift shop that will have me laughing for years. Perfect, just perfect:

    Thank goodness for phones that keep you from missing all the good stuff.

  15. mariezp's Avatar
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    Lovely photos as always, Matt!

    The Musee Mechanique looks really interesting. I bet it would be a fun way to spend a day. Pretty amazing just how far animated figures have come!

    The Gilroy Gardens look beautiful. Not too sure about riding in a Garlic-themed teacup.

    I like the different animals you can ride on the Belmont Park carousel.

    Oh my gosh! What were they thinking in 1997? How could anyone do that to the castle?

    Thanks to all of you for sharing your photos with us!
  16. Legally Brunette's Avatar
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    the Musee Mechanique looks awesome. I couldn't get over the little toothpick fair display. I was very impressed with the quality of the photos from your iphone.
  17. Gullywhumper's Avatar
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    Bummer! Dusty and Fishbulb in San Francisco and I didn't know! I live in San Francisco, have for many years. I love Musee Mechanique, been visiting since it's Cliff House Days. I even remember Playland at the Beach from when I was very young. I hope you had a great visit to San Francisco, next time you should let us Bay Area Micechatters know! We could have a San Francisco Mice Chat meet!
  18. StrikeYerColors's Avatar
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    lmao at the opium den!