It's a Great Big Beautiful World! Let's Discover it Together

Showing posts with label Featured Foto Friday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Featured Foto Friday. Show all posts

Friday, May 31, 2013

Featured Foto Friday - Aulani Recreation

Recreational activities abound at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii. Lounge chairs and kayaks in the morning hours await guests to come and enjoy them on the resort's shared lagoon at Ko Olina.  Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, guests have the opportunity to kayak out into open waters and enjoy!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Featured Foto Friday - Ariel's Entryway...East & West

The Little Mermaid - Ariel's Undersea Adventure recently opened as a brand-new attraction within the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World as part of the New Fantasyland 2012 renovations and expansion; but it first opened in June 2011 at Disney California Adventure park at the Disneyland Resort in Southern California.  
Both parks have given their version of this identical, omni-mover, dark-ride attraction its own unique theming and feel to the entrance queue and overall surrounding aesthetics given the attraction's location within the parks.  

In Florida, the attraction is located between the new Storybook Circus area and the assorted Beauty & the Beast based attractions and restaurants inside the new Fantasy Forest in Fantasyland, and has a very richly themed entry, including Prince Eric's castle, and caves and grottos to explore.  

In California, it's located within the Paradise Pier section of Disney California Adventure, thus it has a more seaside pavilion flair, reminiscent of boardwalk structures of the 1930's and '40s, and features bas relief images of Ariel's sisters, and a bronze statue of her father, King Triton on the apex of the curved dome structure. The actual queue entryway takes guests through the recreation of San Francisco's famed Palace of Fine Arts, from the 1910 World's Fair.  

Personally I love both queues for very different reasons.  They each appeal to my individual tastes, and are richly appointed, just in different ways.  For a more-immersive feel, Florida wins, hands-down.  I know my daughter can't wait to be able to experience the new queue in Florida, and see some of the fun new interactive features that were not included in the California queue. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Featured Foto Friday - New Castles in the Magic Kingdom

The Beast's castle, high atop the new Be Our Guest Restaurant, in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom, as seen from the queue to Maurice's Cottage and the new Enchanted Tales with Belle experience.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Featured Foto Friday - Details Matter

Attention to detail is one of the things that Disney is often cited for as one of the "Disney Differences" - not just in its' theme parks and resorts division, but also onboard its' ships of the Disney Cruise Line.  Check out this hallway from the Disney Wonder, found in the Route 66 area on Deck 3, an entertainment zone which houses 3 different lounges (WaveBands, Cadillac Lounge and Diversions), which offer various family-friendly activities during the day, but transforms to an adults-only zone after 9 pm each day.  

Not only are the walls painted to resemble the sky, and the various wall decorations resemble road side signs (which by the way are recreations of actual roadside signs that once graced the famed Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica, just west of Los Angeles), but the carpeting plays a big, important role as well.  You can literally travel from Chicago to L.A. by way of the floor!  The entire route and various surrounding communities is shown in the carpeting, ending at the Pacific Ocean.  So even onboard the Disney Wonder, you can essentially get your kicks, on Route 66! 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Featured Foto Friday - Disney Ships Have Character

In days gone by, sea-faring masted vessels were known for their beautifully carved figures on the bow. Modern cruise ships don't come with special decorations... at least they didn't until Disney entered the cruise industry in 1998 with the introduction of the Disney Cruise Line and her first ship, the Disney Magic.  Since then the line has certainly been known for its' "character" not only onboard - but outboard as well!  Each successive ship in the fleet, in both the classic line and the Dream class - the Disney Wonder, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, each have their own special "character" addition to be discovered. 

Here we see the Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder, with their special character enhancements to the stern.  Goofy can be found painting the ship's distinctive logo on the Magic's hull, while Donald is found doing the same on the Disney Wonder.  

Friday, April 5, 2013

Featured Foto Friday - Looks Like Blown Glass to Me

This beautiful chandelier is found on board the Disney Wonder, in the central Atrium.  It was handcrafted by famed blown glass artist, Dale Chihuly.  The entire chandelier hangs down about 10 feet from the ceiling mount and fills the central Atrium with lively color. The design and overall feel of this artistic creation are reminiscent of coral under the sea, which is quite fitting having a statue of Ariel, the Little Mermaid below welcoming guests to Triton's one of the three main dining rooms onboard. 

The piece, however, is not actually glass, but rather made out of acrylic. Due to the ship's near-constant movement, and the  4-level atrium's ceiling height, as a safety precaution, as part of Mr. Chihuly's commission, Disney Cruise Line and Mr. Chihuly made the decision that acrylic would be a safer option should any individual "glass piece" break free and fall to the floor many feet below.  

When designing and creating the piece itself, in order to get an accurate feel for how the chandelier would ultimately look and feel hanging inside the central Atrium, Mr. Chihuly had a mock-up of the Atrium built in his studio to get it "just right" before turning it over to the Disney team for installation on the actual ship.  

Friday, March 29, 2013

Featured Foto Friday - You WILL Get Wet

Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls in the Toon Lagoon area of Islands of Adventure, at Universal Orlando Resort is one of my favorite log flume attractions ever, simply because this attraction was truly designed to get you wet.  And in the Florida heat, that can be such a welcome refreshment.  I first rode it in 2007, and loved it then, and love it now.  Being a Rocky & Bullwinkle Show fan helped a bit, to be able to understand the various thematic elements, sight gags and overall inherent humor of the attraction - but that is by no means necessary to be able to enjoy it.  All in all, this water adventure is just good clean fun! 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Featured Foto Friday - Splitsville - New Fun at Downtown Disney

Splitsville is the exciting new activity at Walt Disney World. Located in the Downtown Disney West Side, just steps away from DisneyQuest and Cirque du Soleil's La Nouba, it's a modern twist on an American classic - the bowling alley.  It features 50,000 square feet of retro-decor, covering 2 levels, and includes 30 lanes, food (including 2 different sushi bars), live music, billiards, dancing and outdoor patio dining.  Splitsville certainly is NOT your father's bowling alley!  

Friday, March 8, 2013

Featured Foto Friday - Unusual Occurance at the Wizarding World

This was a happy, but unusual sight to see recently at the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey attraction at Universal Orlando's hottest addition to its' Islands of Adventure theme park, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  A 10 minute wait time just didn't seem possible after all of the online reports of multiple hour wait times... but then, I was at the resort in the off-season, too (very early February)... give it a few weeks til the spring break season kicks in and that 10 minute wait will once more be but a dream.  

Friday, March 1, 2013

Featured Foto Friday - A Glimpse of What's to Come

A glimpse of what's coming in New Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom, peeking through the fence, in officially sanctioned view holes. Progress continues on the all-new Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride and a good pace, though the new ride won't open until spring 2014. The fence is decorated with concept artwork (right) and fun images connecting surrounding attractions (left), as the new attraction will be centrally located between the new Beauty & the Beast themed attraction, restaurants & shop, and the Little Mermaid attraction, as well as existing attractions of Winnie the Pooh and the Mad Tea Party.  

Friday, February 15, 2013

Featured Foto Friday - Even Princesses Love to Sail

Character interactions and meet & greets are not only popular in the Disney theme parks, but at sea too!  Here Princess Tiana, Aurora, Cinderella and Belle love greeting their fans inside the central Atrium onboard the Disney Magic.  Viewed from above you cannot see the massive lines of children and parents just waiting their turn for an autograph, picture and hugs from some of their favorite princesses, who apparently love going to sea too!  

Friday, February 8, 2013

Featured Foto Friday - Highlighting the State Flower at Disney California Adventure

Poppies, the state flower of California, are often highlighted in  planters around Disney California Adventure park.  These evocative beauties come in a wide array of colors, and often remind guests of the scene in the 1939 classic, "The Wizard of Oz", when the Wicked Witch of the West casts a spell on a field of poppies to cause Dorothy and her companions to fall asleep instead of reaching the Emerald City and the Wizard of Oz himself. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Featured Foto Friday - Sailing Away on the Disney Magic

As the ship gets ready to set sail, the "Sailing Away Deck Party" begins.  On board the Disney Magic.

After lots of singing and dancing from assorted crew members, the Disney characters make their way on deck to enjoy the fun, and get the crowd ready for a week of fun and adventures at sea, followed by minor pyrotechnics and lots and lots of streamers!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Featured Foto Friday - Illuminating Headboards

The recent 2011/12 renovations at the Disneyland Hotel saw the introduction of these charming, illuminating headboards. Now you can drift off to sleep as "When You Wish Upon a Star" gently plays in the background, and fireworks burst over the carved image of Sleeping Beauty Castle. It serves as a great way to tuck the kids in to bed after a long day a the Happiest Place on Earth, or as a really cool nightlight.  

Friday, January 11, 2013

Featured Foto Friday - Downtown Disney Lego Creations

The Lego store at Walt Disney World has some terrific creations on display.  Here, the classic scene from "Sleeping Beauty" where Prince Phillip battles the evil Maleficent turned into a dragon, in order to get to the castle to find his true love.  

Friday, January 4, 2013

Featured Foto Friday - Mr. Ray at Art of Animation

Mr. Ray at Disney's newest resort, Art of Animation at Walt Disney World.  It's just one of many oversized icons around the resort.  This new value-level resort includes both traditional rooms and family suites.  It has 4 phases: Finding Nemo, Cars, The Lion King and The Little Mermaid. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Featured Foto Friday - Stitch's Bakery at the Boardwalk

Stitch finds a home at the Boardwalk Inn in this delightful Gingerbread creation, one of several found at numerous Deluxe and DVC resorts at the Walt Disney World Resort.  

Friday, December 14, 2012

Featured Foto Friday - It's a Small World Holiday

It's a Small World Holiday at Disneyland.  This seasonal overlay has been delighting guests for 16 years, with hundreds of thousands of sparkling lights and a specially customized revised soundtrack to the Sherman brothers classic song, It's a Small World After All, updated with Jingle Bells and Deck the Halls.