I was at Epcot recently and couldn’t help but notice the colorful diversity of footwear guests wore as they hurried along the promenade. Footwear from around the globe inspired me to do a little time-lapse piece just for fun and I happened upon a fantastic piece of music – a kind of Cajun-Bop tune titled “Cousin Betty.” I think it captures some of the excitement that was so obvious to me on that day. I hope you enjoy this whimsical study as much as I do, and I really thank my pal Bryan Smoker for the awesome editing job.
posted on January 27th, 2012 by Gene Duncan, Photographer, Walt Disney World Resort
posted on January 16th, 2012 by Gene Duncan, Photographer, Walt Disney World Resort
A virtual Who’s Who of entertainment history lies just outside the Great Movie Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and I believe thousands of guests walk right by (and over) it each day without realizing that it is completely authentic.
Between 1989 and 1995, some of the most iconic and legendary entertainment celebrities of all time took time out to place hand and foot prints (even a nose) into the wet concrete squares in the Great Movie Ride courtyard, signing their names with a wooden stick.
These legends of stage, screen and television were celebrated with great fanfare, usually riding down Hollywood Boulevard in a convertible, often seated next to either Mickey or Minnie and accompanied by a marching band, ending up in the ceremonial courtyard to the delight of our park guests. There was always the ceremonial picture, and I was often lucky enough to be the photographer. Ah, yes – Hooray for Hollywood…
posted on December 13th, 2011 by Gene Duncan, Photographer, Walt Disney World Resort
Few places reflect that great American spirit of optimism and achievement like Main Street, U.S.A., and one element that truly sings out to me is the live entertainment that thrives there. Turn-of-the-century ragtime piano music underscores the sense of energy and enthusiasm that Main Street, U.S.A., embraces for all who visit, and just outside of Casey’s Corner, it is performed every day, to everyone’s delight.
What a treat it was to happen upon one of our talented piano players recently as he was transporting our guests to a different time and place by virtue of the nostalgic and rousing music he was performing. Do yourself a favor next time you are in Magic Kingdom Park and boogie on down to Casey’s Corner for a hot dog and some of the finest toe-tapping ragtime piano you will ever hear. Trust me on this.
posted on November 14th, 2011 by Gene Duncan, Photographer, Walt Disney World Resort
Yesterday I photographed Jake from “Jake and the Never Land Pirates,” who is now greeting guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. And it never fails to amaze me how differently kids react to seeing some of their favorite Disney characters.
Four-year-old Morgan Calhoun, wearing a pink shirt that reads, “You are my Sunshine,” seems in awe of Jake as she patiently awaits his autograph. Morgan was visiting Walt Disney World Resort from Round Lake Beach, Ill.
Sophie and Peyton Jovanovic, ages 5 and 3, visiting from Winnipeg, Canada, just couldn’t stop giggling. AAARRRGGGGG…
posted on October 24th, 2011 by Gene Duncan, Photographer, Walt Disney World Resort
As I waited to get my first view of Duffy in his “pumpkin” Halloween costume this morning, a gentleman who spoke little English approached me and pointed to Duffy’s gazebo with a quizzical expression. “Eleven-thirty”, I responded, which was the time of Duffy’s first appearance. He smiled and joined his wife, and the two of them became the first guests in line to have a photo made with Duffy. Mr. and Mrs. Noriake Sakata were enjoying their very first visit to Epcot today, far away from their home in Osaka, Japan. I took note that Mr. Sakata was sporting a Hong Kong Disneyland hat, a Donald Duck shirt and a tiny Duffy was attached to his camera strap. Disney magic knows no bounds…
Here are a few more ways to make Halloween memories at Disney Parks:
posted on October 17th, 2011 by Gene Duncan, Photographer, Walt Disney World Resort
There are two distinctly different styles of fishing excursions offered at Walt Disney World Resort, whether you are a family of novices or the most seasoned angler. Guided fishing excursions begin at 7 a.m. at many resort locations across property and offer luxurious pontoon boats that accommodate five guests or high-octane, wind in your face Nitro bass boats, which seat one guest plus guide. Whichever style of transportation you choose, you will be guaranteed of having a great adventure on some of Central Florida’s most pristine waterways. Fishing is strictly catch and release and the guides are true experts who love their jobs.
Here are a couple of shots I made recently on Bay Lake, just another day in paradise…
posted on October 12th, 2011 by Gene Duncan, Photographer, Walt Disney World Resort
In China, it is customary for aspiring athletes and acrobats to begin training and preparation at a very early age. The dream is to audition and be selected to join a professional acrobat troupe. The Jeweled Dragon Acrobats are such a troupe and they have just launched a year-long engagement at Epcot, arriving directly from China. Consisting of six men and two women, all between 18 and 21 years old, the talented performers have been together as a troupe for three years.
These gifted acrobats perform five shows daily, five days a week in the China courtyard and showcase extraordinary feats of strength, agility and balance. I discovered this amazing troupe yesterday afternoon and am displaying a small gallery of snapshots to whet your appetite. Did I say amazing?
Here’s a look at other special performances you can see throughout Disney Parks:
posted on October 3rd, 2011 by Gene Duncan, Photographer, Walt Disney World Resort
Early rising guests at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa can enjoy a cheery parade of over fifty parasol-toting housekeepers on Mondays and Fridays. The tradition began when the Resort first opened in 1988. The Housekeeping Team members gather at 8 a.m. at the marina and slowly stroll through the Victorian courtyard around the pool. What a charming way to start the day!
This morning, 5-year-old cousins and resort guests Eva Brackmann and Rachel Pinne had the honor of leading the colorful procession. Joseph Brackmann, 7, captures the special moment, sure to be a special one that will not soon be forgotten.
posted on September 26th, 2011 by Gene Duncan, Photographer, Walt Disney World Resort
Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort contains many wonderful and dramatic shows and attractions, but the one that I especially enjoyed exploring this week is New York Street. A totally immersive experience of striding through bustling New York City, with all its diversity of architecture, then turning the corner onto San Francisco was absolutely delightful. Combine the authentic sounds of the city with the amazing attention to detail (Walt Disney Imagineering!), and one could be totally transported to another place and time.
Here’s a look at more of what Disney’s Hollywood Studios offers guests:
posted on September 21st, 2011 by Gene Duncan, Photographer, Walt Disney World Resort
While on assignment at Disney’s Hollywood Studios this week, I came across this little girl having the time of her life while playing in a very leaky fire hydrant.
Looks like two-year-old Alexys Grace Tomlinson found a sure-fire opportunity to cool off. She and her family are vacationing from Claysburg, Pa., where I doubt there are many fire hydrants that are so entertaining.
Take a look back at more picture-perfect moments from Walt Disney World Resort: