NOTE: High quality versions coming later. These are a bit grainy really.
Well, finally had time to dig through the hundreds of photos taken on this years annual trip to the resort and here are some of the best. The trip was excellent, crowds were really good and we ran in to some unexpected surprises along the way, but more about this later.
Stayed in the Park Vue right across Harbor. It was nice, clean. Nothing special, but we were only sleeping there so it worked beautifully.
Home again! We really liked the new sign. Don't remember seeing it last year if it was there.
First shot of the castle up Main Street.
Perfectly clear day. I'm so glad they kept the castle painted nicely
The flowers were really amazing. The hub looked great and smelled wonderful too.
The night lighting is just spectacular and even the most expensive of cameras (which ours isn't ) can't really do it justice.
Really liked this shot.
Our first ride of the trip. Almost no one here this early. People tend to run to Tomorrowland first.
This guy was playing the Guitar back in NOS. He was pretty good and it was fun to sit an listen to him. One of the few pics I and not my wife took during this trip.
Then it was off to the Blue Bayou for our traditional first day lunch.
Came across this small group playing between the Matterhorn and Castle.
Then it was off to Buzz. Not a bad score my first time in a year. We went with two of our friends and my wife was in the other vehicle with the other friend.
Then it was off to the Tiki Room for Dole Whips and Churros. I love the lighting in the Tiki Room. It really creates the mood so very well.
Again with the lighting!
Let's all warble like nightingales, tweet, tweet tweet, tweet tweet!
We enjoy this ride. Bright and cheerful. Never a long wait. Relaxing and the blustery day will cool you off if it's hot out and freeze your bones if you just got off Splash.
It's almost as if they posed for us!
And then we caught up with my wife's favorites.
Normally Dale is the clumsy one, but this time Chip walked right into a light pole before his handler could warn him.
Main Street looks great at night and this is one of our favorite snack places in the park. Croissants and hot chocolate really hit the spot.
One of the YOAMD gas lamps. They look really good.
Some of the decorations in the Emporium. I've never really looked up there before.
This is the "lost parents" sign out front of City Hall. It just made me smile that it is the Darlings.
The architecture in the castle courtyard is fantastic.
The flowers were in full bloom all over the park and they were just amazing to look at.
We caught the flag retreat ceremony. Hadn't seen this since our honeymoon in 2003. It has changed since then and was much more of a ceremony. I really liked it.
Sorry this is blurry, but it was a hurried shot of the hidden mickey on the Jungle Cruise boat. Found one I hadn't seen before by the Bengal tiger near the start of the ride too but didn't get a picture of that one.
My wife with her Mickey pancake for breakfast. We love eating on the river front when it's calm in the mornings.
However, they had begun setting up for the Pirates premiere over night. Those guys work fast. In the course of our meal they put up most of the frame for the screen and a good part of the green seating section as well (next picture)
None of the barges with set pieces were out until the next day though
3 hours and 21 minutes later, the indian blinked.
My wife saw someone else on here get a similar photo to this and loved it. So she recreated it. Thanks for the idea whomever you are. And thank you Walt and Mickey.
The guy on the right was hillarious. He would interact with passers-by randomly in the middle of verses. Shook a girls hand and stole her purse, told a little boy in glasses that he should only wear 1 eye patch at a time.
No idea who the girls are, but this was a great shot of Captain Sparrow. We ran into him a number of times throughout the trip and you really never knew what to expect. He adjusted my ear hat for me to be more "pirate-y", surprised my wife when she turned around and he hugged her in Adventureland. He had the mannerisms down perfectly! Superb acting.
And then he told the Frontierland fiddler he needed better songs. So he played Yo-Ho a Pirates Life.
Then we went and saw Billy Hill and the Hillbillies. This show never gets old.
Love this part: "You'll never see this on a brochure... 'Come to Disneyland!'"
We decided to ask for their autographs, but sadly, it was their lunch hour. Then Billy Hill himself came out and talked with us for a bit and cracked some jokes. He is really an amazing musician and person.
As we were walking by to somewhere else, we happened to notice that the Dancing with the Stars performance was starting and happened to get pretty amazing spots without waiting at all.
This was one of the best moments of the trip. While waiting in line for Ariel, her handler was joking about not allowing any pictures for us. One of our friends said that that was typical behavior for a Kyle (his name). So he then told us we had to get back in his good graces. I asked for his autograph and he whipped out a pen. Ariel played it up really well with mock hurt that someone would want his autograph. Then he allowed us to see her. The two of them were very much in character (his autograph was "Sailor Kyle") and played off each other so very well. It really made our day and we left them both glowing comments with City Hall.
Ariel seemed much happier once my wife told her she was my favorite princess.
So we also went and got my wife's favorite princess as well. We stayed for the little show, and it was cute. I can see how little kids would really enjoy this. We really wish that the princesses were roaming around Fantasyland and the castle still though. Their absence is really apparent and having to wait in a 40+ minute line for 3 random princesses (luck of the draw) is not the best thing in my opinion.
These and the hula dolls are my wifes favorite on it's a small world.
I want this clock! I hadn't ever seen it before though I'm sure it's been there from the start.
This is one of the YOAMD shirts. Dark blue with the sparkles all over it. It looks positively evil under the green lights in the Roger Rabbit queue.
Then we met Mickey. He was very playful as well and wouldn't sign anything unless we gave payment. He had Alianne (standing on the left) give him a kiss for each signature and then did a little dance each time. His handler kept wondering what Minnie would say if she found out.
Just goes to show... Mickey gets all the ladies!
We had seen the Parade of Dreams before, but never actually sat down for it properly. I love this float.
She used that flamingo to shove Alice around later on. Made for some great video.
Alice had a slight "costume malfunction" as her petticoat was slipping on one side. She dealt with it well though, merely tossing her hair.
My wife ended up finally getting her autograph (after 3 years of trying). Was an interesting mix of Alice, the Mad Hatter and the Evil Queen. The three were joking with each other and my wife. Alice to the Queen: "If there was a beauty contest, who would be the judge? Snow White, because she's the fairest of them all." Queen to my wife: "And who do you think is the fairest of them all!?" Wife to Queen: "Oh you are your highness!"
I just really liked the light pattern on the ceiling.
On the 2nd day of our trip, Splash Mountain went into soft openings and we got to ride it a couple of hours later. That first night they were still really working out some bugs as the current in the ride was about 2 times faster than usual. It was kinda fun to ride it at that speed. Not sure what they did, but you get a LOT wetter now.
Love the Tower of Terror's design. Lucked out and got on this ride 3 times with almost no wait either.
Couldn't pass this up. The peak looked stunning set against that blue sky. And we saw push a few times over here. He kept professing his/its love for a guy standing next to another garbage can.
Sunday night after shopping. Those people in the shot were the only other people on Main Street. Haven't ever seen it that deserted and it was a really neat feeling for our last night.
Thanks Walt, for everything you did for the world.