Late yesterday afternoon, I sought to make a photograph of Spaceship Earth to help celebrate the upcoming 30th anniversary of the opening of Epcot. Having photographed this dramatic structure since its construction phase, I struggled with the challenge to come up with something new.
As I casually strolled through the area, I was struck by how beautiful this stately grove of Washingtonia palm trees appeared, gently swaying in the breeze and contrasting so dramatically with the sleek, smooth surfaces of the Epcot icon.
I call this my “Future World Forest”… Happy birthday, Epcot!
Town Square is one of the first places our guests see upon entering Magic Kingdom Park. And, for these two young star-struck youngsters, it is where one of them will be receiving their very first autograph of the day.
I was fortunate to be at Epcot for the opening day of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival recently, and I was just overwhelmed by the incredible variety of flowers on show. I returned and captured a few close-ups of several plants that caught my eye. Take a moment and join me on a rather whimsical photographic journey across our property. Our Disney Horticulture team has done an amazing job – as they always do…
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.
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…
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.
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…
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:
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…
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: