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.
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:
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:
Yesterday, I spent my lunch hour at the Walt Disney World Nursery – aka “The Tree Farm,” seeking out photogenic plant life just for fun. Fall colors in most places are quite predictable but in Central Florida, there are endless possibilities available. I hope you enjoy this little noontime stroll as much as I did.
In 1957, I was ten years old, stamps were $.03 each and “The Mickey Mouse Show” was at its zenith, entertaining millions each weekday afternoon, broadcasting in black & white. I had a huge crush on Annette Funicello, as did every boy in the country, I’m sure. My good friend Arnold Haskell and I shared the cost of one stamp and mailed two letters of admiration to The Walt Disney Studios, att: Annette. Many weeks passed before I finally received a post card from the studio, thanking me for my patronage. I was heartbroken that it had not been a personal note from her.
Over the years, I was lucky enough to photograph her on several occasions and even shared that story with her. The following photo was made in 1992, when Annette launched her own line of teddy bears at the Emporium in Magic Kingdom Park. It is a day I will never forget and I thought some might enjoy seeing a historical photo of an amazing Disney Legend who also happens to be America’s Sweetheart.
As a Disney Parks photographer, I have had the good fortune to photograph many special occasions and have enjoyed capturing the Disney Princesses many times. On this special morning, I photographed a darling little girl as she met Rapunzel for the very first time. Ava was nearing her fifth birthday (which she spent having breakfast with the princesses inside Cinderella Castle) and her autograph book lacked only one princess – Rapunzel. As a surprise, Ava’s parents took her to the Magic Kingdom Park early one morning and walked directly to Fantasyland to make sure she was first in line to greet Rapunzel. I hope these photographs speak for themselves.
Ava was thrilled, and afterward, as the family walked down Main Street, U.S.A., she could be heard announcing to Mom and Dad, “This is a perfect day!” Indeed, it was…
Here’s a look back at more magical moments from around Magic Kingdom Park:
The allure of the lotus blossom dates back thousands of years and has since been embraced by many cultures. In China, the lotus blossom is associated with longevity, purity and spiritual enlightenment. Once a source of food, the nearly all-edible blossoms have evolved to nourish our spirits as well as our bodies. They have long been sources of inspiration, bringing beauty and light from the murkiness beneath them.
The lotus is a member of the water lily family and as I discovered this morning, the water garden that frames the Temple of Heaven in the China Pavilion at Epcot is ablaze with color from these delicate plants. The blooms last only three days before the petals fall, one by one into the water. The Horticulture specialist who maintains this stunning garden said she could not remember the lotus blossoms ever being more beautiful.
In Buddhist lore, the pink lotus ranks “supreme.” The two images I made this morning show the amazing transformation of a pink lotus. I hope you agree that these blooms are truly exquisite.
I am often struck by just how much emotion surrounds us within our parks. Recently, while walking through the hub at Magic Kingdom Park, I discovered a sweet moment that had previously eluded me. Jiminy Cricket appears to be showing off his “Official Conscience” gold badge to Pinocchio in a scene from the 1940 Walt Disney classic film.
This morning, as I strolled through France pavilion at Epcot, I took note of so many interesting details – some that many folks might miss, no doubt. Take a short stroll with me and imagine being far, far away.
Epcot is nearly 30 years old, but I only recently discovered these unique architectural details at the Italy Pavilion in World Showcase. I hope you find them as intriguing as I do.
On the south wall of the Doge’s Palace, you will find a unique sculpture of a face, below which an inscription reads: “De nontie secrete contro contrabandieri et transgressorio in ogni sorte di ogli” which translates from old Italian to: “Secret accusations against smugglers of any event.” This “mouth of truth,” as it was sometimes called, is a representation of a Venetian letterbox, which allowed citizens of Venice to anonymously lodge complaints and report crimes to the government. Venetian letterboxes were found throughout the city, and took on many different appearances, often depicting mythological figures. The Epcot version gets its inspiration from Bacchus, the god of wine.
Just a few feet away, a mysterious, yet enchanting female bust seems to guard a secluded staircase, just another of the many thoughtful tributes to the enormous cache of art treasures found throughout Italy. Viva Italia! Viva Imagineers!
Take a look at some other sights around Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort: