Friday, November 21, 2014

Travel: Disneyland - Day 1

Carthey Circle Theatre - Anaheim, California
ISO 100, f9, 1/125, 11/10/14 at 2:57 PM.
Disneyland. The happiest place on Earth. This may be the absolute best place to take a young family (which, for me, includes three kids under the age of seven) on vacation.

I recently did just that. I purchased a "3-Day Hopper Pass" for each of us, booked a hotel just outside the park entrance, and took the four-hour drive (including traffic and a stop for lunch) to Anaheim.

There are actually two Disney theme parks right next to each other in Anaheim. Everyone knows Disneyland, the original vision of Walt Disney. The other park is called California Adventure. A "Hopper Pass" allows entrance to both parks.
Red Car Trolley - Anaheim, California
ISO 1400, f9, 1/125, 11/10/14 at 2:58 PM.
We arrived in the afternoon a little after two o'clock. The crowds were large, with long lines to enter Disneyland. The wait to get into California Adventure was much shorter, so we headed there first.

The Buena Vista district, which has received a recent makeover, is what initially greeted us. Even though it was the second week of November the park was decorated for Christmas with holiday tunes for our listening enjoyment. It was a nice atmosphere. The weather was slightly cool, but close to perfect.

The first stop was Cars Land. My five-year-old son has wanted to experience this since before it was even opened. He's a huge Lightning McQueen fan. This was high on the to-do list.
Mater's Junkyard - Anaheim, California
ISO 560, f8, 1/125, 11/10/14 at 3:52 PM.
In case you are unaware, Cars Land is based on the fictional Route 66 town of Radiator Springs, Arizona, as seen in the two animated Cars movies and Mater's Tall Tales short cartoons. Disney did an exceptional job of not only recreating the movie town, but also of making you feel as though you are in a real Route 66 community.

The first attraction for us was Mater's Junkyard Jamboree. This is similar to the famous tea cup ride in the other park, but instead of spinning you get "whipped" side-to-side. It was alright. The best part for me was spotting the details of Mater's junkyard while waiting in line.

Next was Luigi's Flying Tires. This is a remake of the Flying Saucers ride that used to be in Disneyland back in the 1960's. Basically, it is a combination of air hockey and bumper cars. It wasn't worth the wait in my opinion, but the kids thought it was fun.
Two In Mater's Junkyard - Anaheim, California
ISO 500, f8, 1/125, 11/10/14 at 3:52 PM.
We wanted to ride Radiator Springs Racers, but the line was much too long (two hours!), so we decided to come back another day for that. Instead, we headed over to the Cozy Cone for a snack. We got to see Tow Mater and Lightning McQueen parked in front of the place. After that we watched the neon lights turn on throughout Radiator Springs.

We left Cars Land and strolled through A Bug's Land, riding Heimlich's Chew Chew Train. It was pretty lame to me, but (surprisingly) the kids really liked it. Then we started towards Hollywood Land and just happened to be right on time to catch the Pixar Parade. This wasn't planned, but it worked out well.

After the parade we went to the Hyperion Theater to see a broadway-like show. Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular was showing, and it did not disappoint. It was a lot of fun and all three kids, including our 11-month-old, enjoyed the play.
Mater's Petting Zoo - Anaheim, California
ISO 125, f8, 1/125, 11/10/14 at 3:55 PM. 
We finished our evening in the park with dinner at Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta. The ravioli was excellent, the pizza was not. On our walk back to the hotel we got to see the fireworks over Disneyland. The "grand finale" was viewed from our hotel balcony. Day one was done.

This is a photography blog, so let me tell you a little about the gear. I brought with me a Nikon D3300 DSLR, which provides high-quality results in a reasonably small and lightweight body. I attached a Nikkor 40mm AF-S DX f/2.8G Micro lens to the camera. I also brought with me a Nikkor 55-20mm AF-S DX f/4-5.6G ED lens, but left it in the hotel and never used it. I also had with me a Nokia Lumia 1020, but did not use it even once for photography. All of the photographs were post-processed using Alien Skin Exposure 6 software. Not all of the photographs are being shared on my blog (many are family pictures).

One camera and one lens is all that I used and all that I needed. Less is more in photography. Photographic vision is always more important than equipment.

Jonathan Waiting - Anaheim, California
ISO 2200, f5.6, 1/125, 11/10/14 at 4:17 PM.
Garden Art - Anaheim, California
ISO 3200, f9, 1/125, 11/10/14 at 4:24 PM.
Ornament Valley From Radiator Springs - Anaheim, California
ISO 900, f9, 1/125, 11/10/14 at 4:26 PM.
Here It Is, McQueen - Anaheim, California
ISO 2800, f5.6, 1/125, 11/10/14 at 4:42 PM.
Flo's V8 Cafe - Anaheim, California
ISO 1400, f5, 1/125, 11/10/14 at 5:08 PM.
Body Art - Anaheim, California
ISO 3200, f5, 1/125, 11/10/14 at 5:09 PM.
Luigi's Tires - Anaheim, California
ISO 2200, f5, 1/125, 11/10/14 at 5:10 PM. 
Flo's Cafe - Anaheim, California
ISO 2800, f6.3, 1/125, 11/10/14 at 5:11 PM.
Lightning McQueen - Anaheim, California
ISO 2500, f2.8, 1/125, 11/10/14 at 5:41 PM.
Tow Mater - Anaheim, California
ISO 3200, f2.8, 1/100, 11/10/14 at 5:41 PM.
Santa Over Hollywood - Anaheim, California
ISO 3200, f2.8, 1/80, 11/10/14 at 5:49 PM.
Aladdin Play - Anaheim, California
ISO 280, f2.8, 1/125, 11/10/14 at 6:46 PM.
Scary Monsters In Training - Anaheim, California
ISO 3200, f4.5, 1/125, 11/10/14 at 7:31 PM.

1 comment:

  1. I was reminded that the very first thing we did before Cars Land was ride Ariel's Undersea Adventure. My six-year-old daughter loved it. I had to be creative to keep my five-year-old son entertained. After that we went to Radiator Springs....