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Celebrating the Holidays at Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland Park

Disney Parks After Dark: Night Into Day at Disneyland Resort

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.

“Disney

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.

“Disney


For more from the Disney Parks After Dark series, check out the posts below:

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Rainy Day Reflections at Disney California Adventure Park

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.

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Disney Parks After Dark: ‘it’s a small world’ Holiday at Disneyland Resort

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.

‘it’s a small world’ Holiday at Disneyland Resort

For the next photo, I used a 25-second exposure so that the boats would blur and not be noticeable in the foreground.

‘it’s a small world’ Holiday at Disneyland Resort

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.

‘it’s a small world’ Holiday at Disneyland Resort

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‘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


‘The Happiest Balloon on Earth’ Flies for Record-Breaking Crowd at Leon International Balloon Festival

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.

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Disney Parks After Dark: Cars Land at Disney California Adventure Park

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.
“Statue

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.
“Stanley's

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:

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‘The Happiest Balloon on Earth’ Takes to the Skies Once Again

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.

'The Happiest Balloon on Earth' on its Maiden Flight in Pendleton, Ore

Above, you can see “The Happiest Balloon on Earth” on its maiden flight in Pendleton, Ore.

'The Happiest Balloon on Earth' Peeking Over the Disneyland Resort at Sunrise

Here is “The Happiest Balloon on Earth” peeking over the Disneyland Resort at sunrise.

'The Happiest Balloon on Earth' on the Banks of the Yakima River in Prosser, Wash.

“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.

'The Happiest Balloon on Earth' Flying Over Prosser, Wash.

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.

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Disney Parks After Dark: Flying High Above Paradise Pier at Disney California Adventure Park

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.

Disney Parks After Dark: Flying High Above Paradise Pier at Disney California Adventure Park

I specifically wanted to get this angle of Mickey’s Fun Wheel – and it only took three passes!

Disney Parks After Dark: Flying High Above Paradise Pier at Disney California Adventure Park

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.

Disney Parks After Dark: Flying High Above Paradise Pier at Disney California Adventure Park

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.

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Disney Parks After Dark: Fireworks Over Rancho del Zocalo at Disneyland Park

posted on September 20th, 2012 by Paul Hiffmeyer, Chief Photographer for Public Relations, Disneyland Resort


Fireworks in the Sky Over Rancho del Zocalo at Disneyland Park

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.
Fireworks in the Sky Over Rancho del Zocalo at Disneyland Park

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”:

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Disney Parks After Dark: Surprises in the Night Sky at Cars Land in Disney California Adventure Park

posted on August 23rd, 2012 by Paul Hiffmeyer, Chief Photographer for Public Relations, Disneyland Resort


I guess it’s not a big surprise that my favorite place after dark would be Cars Land in Disney California Adventure park. If you haven’t had a chance to watch the moment when the neon signs on Route 66 turn on, you’re going to want to. It’s very cool.
The Moon Over Luigi's Casa Della Tires in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure Park

The neon signs also make for some very interesting photos, and who knows – you may even see a full moon in one of the tires on the roof of Luigi’s Casa Della Tires.
Fireworks Over Flo's V8 Café in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure Park

While you’re checking out the neon signs – or photographing them – if you time it right, you might see a little bit of the fireworks at Disneyland park behind the Flo’s V8 Café sign.

Check back for more photos from Cars Land in my next “Disney Parks After Dark” post.

For more “Disney Parks After Dark,” check out these posts:

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Disney Parks After Dark: Taking a Spin at Disneyland Park

posted on July 26th, 2012 by Paul Hiffmeyer, Chief Photographer for Public Relations, Disneyland Resort


After the sun sets at Disneyland park, a whole new experience begins for guests to enjoy, with great opportunities for those of us who love photography.

Disney Parks After Dark: Taking a Spin at Disneyland Park

I chose this photo for my first “Disney Parks After Dark” post because it reminds me of a series I did here on the Disney Parks Blog called “Things That Spin in the Night” but with a twist. The lines aren’t as well-defined as most of the photos in that series from last year – here the colors blend into each other, almost becoming a river of color.

One of the greatest things about digital cameras is how easily you can experiment. Turn off the flash, bump up the ISO and steady the camera on something solid. Just remember to hold on to the camera. Shoot away, you may be surprised at what you can do.

“By the way, I have a few more helpful hints. One side will make you grow taller … and the other side will make you grow shorter …” – Caterpillar

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