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Archive from March 2008

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Sunday, March 30, 2008 6:19PM
News icon 6:19 PM - Wanted: source for Haunted Mansion "staring bust" effect. (posted by Allen )
I am trying to track down inverted busts like the ones in the Haunted Mansions that appear to stare at you. (At Disneyland, I mean the ones at the end of the portrait hallway you walk by; at The Magic Kingdom, I mean the ones on the library walls your Doom Buggy passes by.)

There are some sold by Regal Costumes -- male and female:

http://regalcostumes.com/7.html

And I'm trying to find other sources. Any home-haunt types out there know where I can track them down?
Wednesday, March 26, 2008 6:55PM
News icon 6:55 PM - Welcome, Fantasies Come True (posted by Allen )
"We opened the world's first Disney-only store back in 1980 and have been online now for since 2000. We only sell Disney so our stock covers just about everything - WDCC, pins, Olszewski miniatures, Nightmare Before Christmas keychains, magnets, PVC figures, Schmid, Salt & Pepper shakers, Evan K. Shaw, Pooh & Friends as well as hard-to-find vintage items."

http://www.fantasiescometrue.com
Sunday, March 23, 2008 4:58PM
DisneyFans icon 4:58 PM - Banner ads moved; photo gallery status... (posted by Allen )
And the days of continual uploading continue, as I try to get the rest of the galleries updated. In the meantime, I decided to relocate those annoying banner ads I have had at the top of every page. I hate them. The first one I placed there was at the request of a marketing company that was working with Disney on the Disney Video club thing. In months I've had it up there, I've only seen two .50 checks (not even worth depositing) so it's clear that folks who come to my site are not interested in their products. (Meanwhile, in the same time frame, I made hundreds from another type of ad placed on this site. So that one I keep.)

The other banner is for a vacation offer where I own my timeshare. Eventually I'll have time to talk more about it and how cool the tour was, but here are photos:

Timeshare Exposed

If you can carve out at least 90 minutes for an early morning breakfast and presentation and tour (one on one, not you just in a room of tons of people), it's a great way to spend a few nights at a luxury resort. If you already stay at high end hotels when you visit Orlando each year, it even ends up saving money. Who knew.
Saturday, March 22, 2008 2:43PM
Photos icon 2:43 PM - Yet another "all new" DisneyFans photo gallery... (posted by Allen )
I spent last night working on the gallery for this site, and am now uploading a new test version. The new version features better navigation, and now will have Google Map links for the newer photos that contain GPS data. Right now, the sections that have GPS data include:

Misc Gallery - Iowa - Living History Farms Halloween 2007

Disneyland Gallery 2007

Walt Disney World Gallery 2007

Theme Parks - Sea World 2007

There may be some others, but I think that's it. I am trying to upload those first. Later this week, I will be working on the gallery again to add bit more to the navigation and clean it up a bit. After 12 years of posting photos on the 'net, I'm finally getting the gallery somewhat close to how I've wanted it.

Close, but not perfect. I'll work on perfection next year.

Feedback is appreciated. If the pages don't show up correctly in your browser, please e-mail me with what OS and browser you use (ie, Windows Vista with IE 7.0, etc.). Thanks!
Wednesday, March 19, 2008 11:27PM
Photos icon 11:27 PM - First GPS photo gallery test - Misc/Iowa. (posted by Allen )
I am experimenting with a new photo gallery which will have basic capability of showing a photo with GPS location information on a map. You can go to the Misc. Gallery:

http://www.disneyfans.com/photos/OtherPlaces/index.htm

...and you should notice a "NEW" displayed by Iowa. That indicates photos from the past 90 days (currently). Click on Iowa, then find the "Living History Farms 2007 Halloween" gallery. It, too, will have a "NEW" indicator. Here's the direct link:

http://www.disneyfans.com/photos/OtherPlaces/Iowa/LivingHistoryFarmsHalloween2007/index.htm

These photos all have GPS location information. When you click on a thumbnail to show the larger image, look at the writing under the photo. It shows some details on the photo (when taken, GPS coordinates, etc.) and a show map link. Click on that and a Google Map will open showing the approximate location of the photo.

This is just a rough test, but if I can re-skin this gallery theme to properly display long paths and long file names, I will begin the month-long (probably, maybe more) process of regenerating all the galleries to use this enhanced format.

There are new options like slide shows, guestbook type comments on pictures (which I will probably end up disabling), hot keys to navigate and a more complex interface. These features may all go way if I can get it slimmed down to a basic gallery like the ones I've been using.

So check it out and let me know what you think.

Photos icon 7:36 AM - Photo gallery update and GPS status. (posted by Allen )
Greetings from Iowa, folks. This week I discovered I still had some work to do getting my 2007 photos updated. I had some more pictures from Iowa's Adventureland I had never added to the gallery, and it seems I had fogotten to sort and upload the pictures I took at SeaWorld Orlando last October as well.

So, the Adventureland gallery has been updated (making over 1000 images from 2007), but SeaWorld still needs to be organized. This may take some time because I am still very unfamiliar with the park (and don't have much time these days). Now that I have been reminded, I'll try to find time to work on getting them updated.

Meanwhile, another project has been going on. I purchased a GPS tracking device late last year and took it with me on trips to Walt Disney World, Sea World Orlando, and Disneyland Resort in California. It allowed me to place GPS location information in all of the photos I took. which I have now finally done. Since I had already sorted and posted images from those parks (except Sea World), I will now have to regenerate those galleries and re-upload them. In coming days, I hope to have this done.

The end result? Nothing yet, except that if you open one of my pictures in software that honors GPS information, it will be able to show an approximate location where the image was taken. Services such as Flickr and programs such as Google Earth can do this. Eventually, the plan is to have links in my gallery to special map pages where you can view all the images as thumbnails on a map, then click on them to see them full size. The problem with this is that I take so many photos, a map would be nearly impossible to view. I hope to get around this by splitting them down by section. i.e. if you are in the Disneyland -> New Orleans Square -> Haunted Mansion gallery, you would just see the photos on a map from that part of the gallery. (Again, this could be hundreds of images and may not be practical.) We'll see if this works out.

Also, since GPS isn't magic, things like clouds, tree cover, going in to buildings, etc. causes the signal to be lost so there will always be images that aren't correctly placed. While I could manually adjust images by hand in software to correctly place them on the map, I have something called "a life" (most of you should be familiar with that) and I don't really want to manually go through and verify ten thousand GPS-enabled photos to adjust them by hand where needed.

So that's a quick update... I'll send out another one once the Disney images are re-uploaded, and again later when SeaWorld 2007 is posted.

(And for long time DisneyFans visitors -- you may recall I used to post my renaissance festival images on this site back in the days before I split them off to a second site, www.atthefaire.com. I will be re-uploading the Kansas City Renaissance Festival images from 2007 as well with GPS information. At some point in time.)

Happy belated St. Patrick's Day...
Tuesday, March 18, 2008 1:08AM
DisneyFans icon 1:08 AM - GPS logged photos coming soon... (posted by Allen )
After months of being to busy to get to it, I am now finally adding GPS information to the photos I took in 2007 at Walt Disney World (October) and Disneyland (December). I will have to re-generate and upload the gallery, but when I do, downloaded copies of the photos will contain the coordinates of where the image was taken (approximately; GPS isn't an exact science).

My plan is to eventually add an option to the gallery pages that will show that section on a map with the photos appearing as icons (again, where they were taken).

Stay tuned...
Friday, March 14, 2008 1:19AM
News icon 1:19 AM - GPS track "live" at WDW! http://disneytracks.blogspot.com/ (posted by Allen )
Check out my friend's experiment while he's at Walt Disney World this week:

http://disneytracks.blogspot.com/

He'll be carrying a GPS phone that will be uploading information to his server, where scripts will show where he is including details about what park, land, and area he is in. It's the first "real" test of the software (other than some local tests here in Iowa) so it will be interesting to see how well it works.

http://disneytracks.blogspot.com/
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