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Archive from December 2007

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Saturday, December 22, 2007 11:29PM
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11:29 PM - Disneyland Resort gallery completely updated. (posted by Allen )
If you find any broken links in the Disneyland Resort photo gallery, please send me an e-mail. As far as I can tell, the new gallery is 100% re-uploaded. There should be nothing missing or broken. I've also been trying to update the photo counts on various pages, too.

My next planned Disney trip will be back to Disneyland either in Spring before the peak summer months, or in the fall just after peak summer months. (Money permitting; I'm broker than I've been in years after two Disney trips so close!)

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1:19 AM - Pixar's WALL-E ... corporate website (posted by Allen )
Check out this website tied in the promoting the upcoming WALL-E Pixar flick:
Wednesday, December 19, 2007 7:37PM
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7:37 PM - Monkey Bride 2007 (Haunted Mansion Holiday) (posted by Allen )
Here is a pic showing the location of the Monkey Bride in this year's Haunted Mansion Holiday.

Haunted Mansion Monkey Bride 2007

I don't recall seeing the portrait of Jack before -- was it added this year or last year, by chance?

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7:25 PM - 58,000 photos later... (posted by Allen )
The gallery now contains over 58,000 photos. It would have been more, but I lost some last year (if you recall). Still, more than enough. Due to the disk space requirements, I've gone back to the former image size and quality (well, except for the slightly larger thumbnails). Once the gallery fully syncs (a few days probably) we'll see if I have enough room to keep them all online.

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5:35 PM - Out of Disk Space (again) (posted by Allen )
Well, no wonder I couldn't get the newest photos completely uploaded. I ran out of disk space again. Since I provide hosting to myself (and about 100 other accounts, mostly renaissance festival related), I just upped my quota again, but at some point I'm going to really be out of space. What do I do then? No more photos? Remove the old ones?

Let me know what you think. (206-20-30-227 if you want to leave me a message.)
Tuesday, December 18, 2007 12:21AM
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12:21 AM - California Adventure 2007 (posted by Allen )
A few hundred new photos from Disney's California Adventure have been added to the gallery and linked in to the main index now. Not too much going on there -- some photos of the Toy Story Mania construction, and some from the Snow White exhibit, and few of new sponsor signage, but nothing too exciting.

Meanwhile, I'm still regenerating and re-syncing the entire Disneyland gallery. Alas, once again my gallery grows so large it starts breaking the tools I used. I used to be a big user and fan of Stone's Photo To Web (excellent!) but my galleries just got too big for it to handle (I haven't checked it in a year or so; maybe it's better now?). So, I switched to the free Jalbum (Java, so it's slower). It's worked great, but now seems to be crashing on me. Maybe eventually I'll get it through the gallery and have the rest done... Or not.
Sunday, December 16, 2007 10:34PM
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10:34 PM - Over 24,000 Disneyland Resort photos... (posted by Allen )
I am currently regenerating the entire Disneyland Resort photo gallery. The total image count is now 24,804, which includes about 3200 photos taken earlier this month.

Even on a Core 2 Duo 2.16Ghz iMac, the gallery is still going to take about four hours to generate, then probably several evenings to upload via my DSL line. Why bother? Well, I'm slightly increasing the size of the thumbnail images, and also increasing the quality of the output images. Provided this doesn't take up too much more disk space, it should result in the first "improvement" of photo quality since I originally eliminated posting the full sized photos years ago. Of course, if it DOES take too much disk space, I'll revert back to the previous settings and you can ignore this posting.

I'll post an update once the gallery is fully created and uploaded.
Saturday, December 15, 2007 8:54PM
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8:54 PM - 3200+ Disneyland photos being added... (posted by Allen )
Over 3000 photos taken this past week at the Disneyland Resort are currently being sorted and processed for the photo galleries here. Some tidbits:

1) The Carnation Cafe on Main Street had its color scheme changed. I have pics of the new colors (which, according to a worker who's been with Disneyland for about 32 years, are now similar to the classic Carnation colors from 10 years ago).

2) The walls around the River Belle Terrace went down, and I took some pics of the inside.

More to come...
Wednesday, December 12, 2007 11:06PM
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11:06 PM - Haunted Mansion Holiday "Monkey Bride" (posted by Allen )
The Monkey Bride is back! See my Articles page for photos from 2004. The monkey is now on the left near the exit of the attic, near a portrait of Jack Skellington as Sandy Claws. Check for it on your next ride through... I'll add photos to the gallery soon.

The Elvis painting is also in there, but cannot be viewed from the Doombuggies.

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10:58 PM - Back from Disneyland... (posted by Allen )
Okay, I'm back from a trip to Disneyland. I'll be sorting through 3000+ photos to add them to the gallery in the next week or so (or longer, depending on how busy I get). Some more observations:

In Alice in Wonderland, there are three new projection effects that replaced older static slide show type mechanical effects -- cheshire cat smile, pipe smoke and the golf hit (hedgehog?). Very nice animated details there that weren't there before.

When did Star Tours get such an upgraded control panel behind C3PO and in the cabin with Rex? Maybe I've just spent too much time at Disney World and got used to their older displays, and Disneyland's has been this way for years and I just didn't notice?

More to come...
Monday, December 10, 2007 1:42AM
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1:42 AM - Captain Jack Sparrow at Disneyland (posted by Allen )
When I spent two brief evenings at The Magic Kingdom in Florida back in October 2006, I asked if they did a Jack Sparrow meet and greet. At the time, I was told the only way to see Jack was on the parade float. I don't think that had changed much in December when I took a full vacation there, but the pirate show did feature Jack and gave another way to at least see this character.

In October/November 2007, we returned and there was a line for a Jack meet and greet, and we were told it was the "final night" (is this true?) so we hopped in and waited nearly an hour for a brief photo opp.

Well, today at Disneyland, on my fourth day in the park, I finally hopped a raft over to "Pirate's Lair" (Tom Sawyer Island). And who was on the raft with us? Captain Jack Sparrow. He talked to the kids, posed for pics, then ran off to get ready for the very well done stunt show on the island later. Meanwhile, we wandered to the back of the island and found the Jack meet and greet with Jack (alternate) who was there seemingly all the time during out hour and a half visit to the island. (I'm sure he was in and out, since he had to disappear during the show.) The setting and the new pirate lair scenes are just amazing, and being able to have such close encounters with the half dozen pirate characters wandering around -- including Jack Sparrow -- was a pirate wannabe's dream. Very well done.

More on this later.
Saturday, December 8, 2007 2:08AM
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2:08 AM - Disneyland, two years later. (posted by Allen )
Before this week, my last visit to Disneyland was December 2005. After a partial day yesterday, and a full 8am to midnight day today, I have some early comments on changes I have noticed in the park.

1) The subs are back! The new Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage was fantastic. Not only was it great to see subs in the lagoon again, but the show itself is just beautiful. It makes the Epcot Living Seas with Nemo look like a direct to DVD sequel. Great job! (Lines stay long all day long, and even being one of the first cars in the parking lot this morning and heading straight there didn't prevent a 30 minute wait. More on that later...)

2) Fantasmic! has seen some enhancements. Did Pinnochio's "strings" always change color? I think they used to just be green (and so did a longtime F! fan who worked for the park when it debuted). More color lasers (other than just green) -- new? The barges have color changing lights too. Many minor things like that.

3) Did Star Tours get new consoles behind C3P0 and Rex? Or have they been that way, and the Disney/MGM versions are just blander?

4) The lights on the castle is neat, but I'm not quite sure it is worth how it looks during the day. They also do snow multiple times each night, so I guess it's no longer as magical or special. (My local mall even has a snow generator in center court.)

5) DCA - I wish Monsters Inc wasn't down for rehab. I haven't seen it yet.

6) Also at DCA, the new exhibit (animation) is great, and the Snow White display in the Animation Building is incredible -- some original art line drawings used for the film in 1938! Wow.

7) Prices are so much nicer overall than at Walt Disney World! Breakfast for $7.99 included eggs, meat, skillet fries, some fruit, a muffin, AND a drink of choice (coffee, juice, soda, whatever!). Discounts on Annual Passes are honored at most counter walk-up places, so that knocked 10% off (anything over $10). So much nicer and more affordable.

8) Care Orleans as a new sit down place in New Orleans Square works well. Monte Cristo outside of the Blue Bayou! Nice. A good addition. Wasn't this originally a table service place?

9) Fireworks didn't happen last night or tonight due to wind. Bummer.

10) River Belle Terrace restaurant closed for rehab. Pity. It's a great breakfast pancake place.

11) When Indy got new warning signs, gone were the original wooden ones with "real" old nails holding them to the wall. For years, the new "modern" looking ones were there, screws and all. They've covered the screws with bolt things now, which looks much nicer (but some had already popped off; at least it's a good start). Minor details like that make alot of difference. Light bulbs are still a mice of modern ones with writing on them (60w, etc.) and "generic" ones that look more time correct. Pole was missing, though.

12) The robot hat lettering machines (FOUR on the shop at Main Street) are SLLLLLOOOOOOW. One human could do hats faster than all four could, I believe. Wow. I wonder what the advantage is? "Anyone" can run them? Less training?

13) Cast members were superb! After reading horrible things about the turnover at MiceAge, I was expecting the worst. Tons of pleasant people. Had a birthday girl with me who got "Happy Birthday'd" more times yesterday in a partial day than she did in a full day this time last year at Walt Disney World. Also, got free dessert for it! Nice.

14) DCA's Hollywood backlot is MUCH IMPROVED with greenery everywhere, though I miss the old mess paint on Muppets. Overall much much much nicer. The updates over at the Pier look promising -- the new show building for Midway Mania looks amazing and will require tons of updates to all the surrounding buildings to make them fit in.

15) New pirates is very nice. You get to pass Jack real close at the end, though that always makes the face look faker.

...more to come...
Friday, December 7, 2007 12:34AM
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12:34 AM - Hello from Anaheim... (posted by Allen )
Greetings from right next door to the Disneyland parking structure. I posted a dozen or so photos from Disneyland today, and you can find them here:

Due to my gallery still containing 200+ photos from my recent Disney World trip, some folks were getting confused so I deleted all but the current trip photos. That should make them easier to follow. Latest pics should show up first (reverse order) if I have it working properly.
Saturday, December 1, 2007 12:37AM
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12:37 AM - "Live" photos from Disneyland next week... (posted by Allen )
Starting sometime next week, I'll be posting "live" photos taken at the Disneyland Resort. They will appear in this gallery:

I did this during my recent Walt Disney World trip and posted just over 200 photos of the journey. They are taken and uploaded from my Apple iPhone.

More soon...
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