I remember visiting Disneyland park a few days after Mickey’s Toontown opened back in January 1993. Walking through the gates for the first time and seeing all the bright colors, wonderful shapes and never-ending subject matter, I thought to myself, “What a photographer’s paradise.” I never imagined that one day I would be a Disneyland Resort cast member, let alone a staff photographer. Twenty years later, Mickey’s Toontown still holds that magic for me. Here are a few photos that I hope capture the magic of Mickey’s Toontown after dark for you as they do for me.
posted on February 21st, 2013 by Paul Hiffmeyer, Chief Photographer for Public Relations, Disneyland Resort
posted on February 11th, 2013 by Paul Hiffmeyer, Chief Photographer for Public Relations, Disneyland Resort
Valentine’s Day is almost here, which got me wondering how many photos of hearts from around the Disneyland Resort I could find in our photo archive. Well, it turns out I found a lot and in this post I’d like to share a few with you. You can find lots of hearts throughout Mickey’s Toontown – do you know where else you can find hearts at the Disneyland Resort?
Check the Disney Parks Blog Facebook page later today for more of the hearts that I found at the Disneyland Resort and keep an eye out here on the Disney Parks Blog for more hidden treasures in this new series, “Through a Photographer’s Lens.” Some of images I’ve taken during my 11 years here at the Disneyland Resort – and some of those I will take in the future – may not have a specific Disney focus, but they are still unmistakably from Disneyland. They can be anything from architectural details to animal life, and I’m looking forward to showing them to you in this monthly series.
posted on January 17th, 2013 by Paul Hiffmeyer, Chief Photographer for Public Relations, Disneyland Resort
The photos below might look like they were taken during the day, but both were actually taken after dark. I took them with a very long exposure to soak in the surrounding light, giving the impression that it is daytime. Nothing special was done in post-production other than some simple adjustments.
The settings on the camera for the first photo were set to 400 ISO, aperture: 7.1 and a 20-second exposure. It was taken at Disney California Adventure park on the waterfall side of Grizzly Peak, opposite “a bug’s land.” The photo was taken at 7:14 p.m. in January 2011; sunset that day was at 5 p.m. Take a close look at the sky – it may be a bit hard to see, but it is filled with stars.
The following photo was taken about a month later around 5:30 a.m., an hour before sunrise. Like the photo above, I used a tripod and a remote release cable, with a 125 ISO, aperture: 5.6 and a 30-second exposure.
For more from the Disney Parks After Dark series, check out the posts below:
posted on January 8th, 2013 by Paul Hiffmeyer, Chief Photographer for Public Relations, Disneyland Resort
Sometimes I just can’t help myself during, or right after, it rains. I’ve got to grab a camera, throw on a jacket and grab a few photos of the reflections made in the rain puddles. Here are some photos I took a few weeks ago during the holiday season at Disney California Adventure park that I thought would be fun to share with you.
posted on December 20th, 2012 by Paul Hiffmeyer, Chief Photographer for Public Relations, Disneyland Resort
During the Holidays at Disneyland Resort, there are so many beautiful decorations to see and photograph, but I seem to spend a little more time at “it’s a small world“ Holiday. Below are a few photos I would like to share with you. For this first one, I exposed for the lights, turning the guests that were taking photos or just enjoying the view into silhouettes.
For the next photo, I used a 25-second exposure so that the boats would blur and not be noticeable in the foreground.
The final photo was taken just as the fog was rolling in one early morning. What I like about this photo is that the fog separates the topiaries from the background so they stand out instead of blending into the lights.
‘The Happiest Balloon on Earth’ Flies for Record-Breaking Crowd at Leon International Balloon Festival
posted on November 23rd, 2012 by Paul Hiffmeyer, Chief Photographer for Public Relations, Disneyland Resort
Hola from León, Mexico, and the 11th annual León International Balloon Festival! The four-day event, from November 16-19, was filled with great music, lots of fantastic food, Mickey Mouse, my favorite balloon – “The Happiest Balloon on Earth” – and around two hundred other hot air balloons. Our friend Mickey Mouse was there on opening day to help kick off this wonderful event, which broke previous attendance records with 350,000 spectators – and that’s not counting the tens of thousands that watched from outside the Festival grounds over the four days. Personally, I think the record-breaking crowd had something to do with a Mouse and “The Happiest Balloon on Earth.”
I didn’t think just a few photos could do justice for “The Happiest Balloon on Earth,” so here’s a slideshow with my favorites. I thought it only fitting to start with Mickey Mouse taking a tethered ride in the balloon.
posted on November 15th, 2012 by Paul Hiffmeyer, Chief Photographer for Public Relations, Disneyland Resort
In one of my previous “Disney Parks After Dark” posts, I promised to share photos from my favorite place at the Disneyland Resort after dark, Cars Land in Disney California Adventure park. This one requires little backstory on Radiator Springs: Stanley, the town’s founder, sold radiator caps in Ornament Valley along Route 66. After he discovered an oasis of water (later named Stanley’s Oasis) the little town of Radiator Springs sprung up around that spring in the middle of the desert. A statue of Stanley was built outside the town courthouse in his honor.
He’s donning a Santa suit now during the holidays, but at night, Stanley’s statue always takes on a special glow from the neon along Route 66.
By taking a long exposure, the water around Stanley’s Oasis reflects the light off of the surrounding rocks, and the water flowing from the radiator cap on the Original Radiator Spring becomes more noticeable. The starbursts from the lights on the water tower bring a unique drama to the scene.
What are your favorite Cars Land spots after dark?
Look below for more posts from the “Disney Parks After Dark” series:
posted on November 6th, 2012 by Paul Hiffmeyer, Chief Photographer for Public Relations, Disneyland Resort
I’ve got great news to share today. “The Happiest Balloon on Earth,” our Mickey Mouse-shaped hot air balloon, will participate in the 11th Annual International Balloon Festival in León, Guanajuato, Mexico, November 16-19 along with at least 200 other balloons from around the world.
“The Happiest Balloon on Earth” is a giant representation of Mickey Mouse’s face – and when I say giant, I’m talking about 98 feet tall and 53 feet from ear-to-ear – making it really hard to miss.
The balloon took to the skies on its maiden flight in Pendleton, Ore., on March 23, 2006, just before it started “The Happiest Balloon on Earth” tour during the 18-month celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the opening of Disneyland Resort. The balloon tour visited the Grand Canyon; Vancouver, Canada; Seattle, Wash.; Portland, Ore.; and San Francisco, Calif., just to mention a few. Oh – I almost forgot to mention that “The Happiest Balloon on Earth” also visited Disneyland park.
After the 18-month tour was over, “The Happiest Balloon on Earth” received a magical makeover: the 50th Anniversary golden Mickey Mouse Ears were removed, giving the balloon the look it has today.
Above, you can see “The Happiest Balloon on Earth” on its maiden flight in Pendleton, Ore.
Here is “The Happiest Balloon on Earth” peeking over the Disneyland Resort at sunrise.
“The Happiest Balloon on Earth” was then inflated again on the banks of the Yakima River in Prosser, Wash., in September 2006 during a hot air balloon festival.
And here is “The Happiest Balloon on Earth” flying over Prosser, Wash.
I would like to acknowledge pilots Scott and Laurie Spencer, who have taken “The Happiest Balloon on Earth” to new heights and will be joining us again next week in León, Mexico, for the 11th Annual International Balloon Festival. Check back here on the Disney Parks Blog – I’ll be sharing some of my photos of the “Happiest Balloon on Earth” as it takes to the skies once again.
posted on October 18th, 2012 by Paul Hiffmeyer, Chief Photographer for Public Relations, Disneyland Resort
If you were at the Disneyland Resort on August 25, you might have seen a unique airplane flying overhead most of the afternoon and late into the evening. The plane was a twin-engine P68 Observer with a plexiglass nose. There are only a few flying in the United States, mostly used for shooting video, but I had a great opportunity to ride along and take still shots during this recent flyover – and I wanted to share some of them with you today.
I specifically wanted to get this angle of Mickey’s Fun Wheel – and it only took three passes!
I’m always impressed to see how high the fountains go during “World of Color.” A few times, I caught myself just watching the show instead of taking photos.
I chose this last photo to give you an idea of what Paradise Pier and Cars Land looked like from my point of view that night. Be sure to check Facebook.com/DisneyParksBlog for more shots of Paradise Pier from our flyover.
A special thanks Dave Gibbs (pilot) and Dave Arnold (video cameraman) for the ride of a lifetime.
posted on September 20th, 2012 by Paul Hiffmeyer, Chief Photographer for Public Relations, Disneyland Resort
For this “Disney Parks After Dark,” I pulled from photos I took earlier this year at one of my favorite restaurants, Rancho del Zocalo in Disneyland park. No, it’s not just about the food, but rather seeing fireworks from unusual places – for instance, behind the neon sign of Flo’s V8 Café as shown in my last post from Cars Land. I know I promised more Cars Land after-dark photos, but the fireworks inspired me to show these instead.
In this close-up, the horse appears to have been spooked by the fireworks. However, I can assure you that no animals were harmed in the making of this photo.
Where’s your favorite unusual place to see the fireworks at Disneyland park?
Check out these posts for more looks at “Disney Parks After Dark”: