Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Walt Disney World At The Airport

Well I'm back from Disney World....and I'm tired! Who said that vacations were supposed to be relaxing, huh?

I will be doing some posts on the various parks and attractions but for this first post I am going to start at the beginning.....the VERY beginning.....the airport to be exact. I always make a point to stop at the "Magic of Disney" store at the Orlando airport. During past visits, I've wanted to snap some pictures of the interior and exterior, but my camera is usually buried too deep in my luggage and I'm usually being hurried along by the people I'm with. Well this time, I wasn't going to be rushed! These first two shots show a couple large relief panels of Mickey outside the store.

Mickey can also be found inside.

Not too far from the "Magic of Disney" is another Disney store, "Disney's Earport."

Goofy is located outside one of the entrances (Please No Climbing!)

And Snow White is sitting just outside of a second entrance.

Next to Snow White is a Magic Mirror. The images within the mirror are lenticular (the images change as they are viewed from different angles). Ariel, Cinderella and Aurora can all be seen in the mirror depending on where you are standing at the moment.

Inside the store is a rear-lit photo of Cinderella's Castle at the Magic Kingdom. The pixie dust swirling around the castle and up into the air is fiber optic and "twinkles."

Now I must say that I am not really into the whole "Hidden Mickey" thing, but an employee saw me taking the picture and came over to point one out, so here it is.

Spider-Man can also be found in the Disney Store, right next to the Disney Princess merchandise. Just kidding! This was actually taken at the Universal store across the way. But it has been two years now since Disney purchased Marvel and I am wondering what their plans are for those characters. If Disney wanted to build a separate Marvel park somewhere, I think that would be fine, but I hope the characters don't start turning up in any of the existing parks. That would be like adding Kermit the Frog, Indiana Jones, or R2-D2 to Disneyland. Oh wait....

One of the main reasons for wanting to stop at the airport Disney Stores, is that I almost always find merchandise there that I do not come across again at the parks. And since I always seem to be flying back home early in the morning before the airport stores open, there are no second chances for purchasing those items. Over the years I've learned that if there is something that I really want, I have to buy it when I see it. This was the case again during this trip. I almost passed on buying this magnetic 1971 map of Disney World thinking they would definitely be available at the Magic Kingdom. Well, I only saw them at the airport and nowhere else during the entire trip. In fact, the Magic Kingdom celebrated it's 40th anniversary just three weeks earlier and the airport store had more commemorative merchandise than what I actually saw at the Magic Kingdom. What's up with that?

The characters are separate magnets and can be moved around on the map or removed altogether. I love this kind of "retro" souvenir. I just wish there had been more items like this for sale.

I only saw these A thru E ticket magnets at the airport store and Downtown Disney and again, NOT in the Magic Kingdom. Weird! Maybe they were just sold out?

These attraction poster magnets were also from the airport and could not be found at the Magic Kingdom.

Disneyland is selling a similar set. I bought these about a month ago and meant to post them, but never got around to it.

Something else that I have always wanted to take pictures of at the Orlando airport was their "PeopleMover." After arriving at the airport, passengers have to take this transportation system from the satellite terminals over to the main terminal. The stations have always reminded me a little bit of Walt Disney World's 1975 Tomorrowland or early EPCOT Center.....or even like something out of the movie, "Logan's Run." They have a very 1970's or early 1980's sci-fi look to me. I tried to look up how old the system was, but the only thing I could find out was that construction began on some new terminals in 1978 and was completed in 1980, so it's possible that these go back that far. I hope they never try to update them!

Stay tuned for more Orlando trip reports as we visit all four Disney Parks and both of the Universal Parks!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Walt Disney World Or Bust!

I do realize that six of my last seven posts have been about Knott's Berry Farm. I hope nobody minded! For those that did not grow up with Knott's or are not big fans of that park, it's time for some more Disney stuff! Here's are some slides that were taken at Walt Disney World in March of 1975.

By this time tomorrow, I should actually be in Orlando. I usually plan a trip to the Tokyo Disney Parks this time of year, but due to the current situation at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, I've decided to put off going....for now, anyway. I haven't been to Orlando since 2007, so I am looking forward to seeing some of the things that have been added to the parks since then. On the top of my list are: The revamped Spaceship Earth at Epcot, the Obama animatronic in The Hall of Presidents at the Magic Kingdom, and the new Harry Potter attraction at Universal's Islands of Adventure. Oh, and I am hoping to experience Snow White's Adventures one last time at the Magic Kingdom before it is gutted and turned into a Princess "Meet 'N Greet" (PUT THE PRINCESSES SOMEWHERE ELSE, DISNEY!)

Anyway, I should be coming back with plenty of new pics to post!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Knott's Scary Farm: Part 4 - Camp Spooky & Other Haunt Stuff

More Knott's! More Halloween! And more Haunt stuff! This is my fourth and final Knott's Scary Farm post....unless I actually end up going to a Haunt night this month. I just haven't decided yet if I really want to go and deal with hoards of screaming teens and tweens.

So far, we've taken a look at Ghost Town, the Calico Mine Train, and the "Sleepy Hollow Mountain" Log Ride. Today's post falls into the "everything else" category. First up, we have a prop from the Boardwalk section of the park. This giant Jack In The Box is roped off during the day, but it doesn't appear to be anything more than a photo op.....oh, and it's also guarding the Aquafina machine. Dont' EVEN try to get a bottle of water from that machine....you'll be sorry!

Here's one of the many mazes that are set up for the Haunt nights. This one appears to be a scary trip through the town of "Pleasanton."

Hey, that's a real overturned car! I bet it was overturned by an angry mob of protestors......or ZOMBIES!

And speaking of zombies, I'm kind of hungry. Maybe we can find something to eat at Mama's Diner.

There's food on the counter.....sandwiches, a muffin, and is that a waffle? But where is everyone? Seeing this does make me wonder what takes place in this set at night. There was also a convenience store set-up next to the diner with some convincing props and I could also see the "Pleasanton School"....which probably has a flesh-eating student body.....I'm just guessing here.

This is the entrance to another maze that is set up in Camp Snoopy, or "Camp Spooky", as they call it this time of year. This is all that can be seen of this maze from the outside. I'm not sure of the significance of the books or that address, but those birds and that particular shade of green make me think of a screaming, tweed suit-wearing, Tippi Hedren ("I think you're the cause of all this....I think you're evil....EEEEEEEVIL!!!")

Here's some "Camp Spooky" signage.

Next we have the Camp Snoopy clock. I've posted a photo of this previously and mentioned that it has a very loud "tick-tock" sound effect similar to Disneyland's Small World Clock. Here's the sad part....it also used to "perform" every fifteen minutes like the Small World Clock, but for about a year now, when the clock strikes on the quarter hour, you can HEAR the gears turning, and you can HEAR Snoopy blowing his bugle and you can also HEAR the little Woodstock birds striking the bells, but NOTHING moves! The gears used to actually turn. Snoopy would then rotate towards the crowd and lift his bugle up to his mouth, then the birds would make a striking motion against the bells.

Come on, Cedar Fair.....please fix this great little feature! If you aren't going to fix it, then please turn off the sound! Everyone stops and looks up to see what's going on when they hear the noise coming from it, but NOTHING moves! (I know, I said that already.)

Moving right along, here are the storefront windows below the clock. This window features Pig Pen and Charlie Brown....."I got a rock!"

This next window has a mystery ghost (Sally or Linus?) and Lucy wearing her witch costume from "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!"

This window display is from Virginia's Gift shop. I'm actually cheating here because this was from last year...I just never got around to posting these pics. These figures are not in the window this year.

Going back inside the park, here's a little more cheating. These antique hearses are always on display at Knott's, but I thought they were very appropriate for a Halloween-themed post. For years these were located across from the Stagecoach boarding area, but they were relocated about a year ago. They now sit along the Stagecoach route, between the Log Ride and the loading station for Silver Bullet....pretty much in the same spot where the miniatures of the California missions used to sit.

The body in the casket still attempts to sit up every few seconds.

This hearse was designed for a baby or small child.

These banners line the walkway behind the Log Ride and in front of Xcelerator.

The Devil Child! I've seen a few of those at Knott's and at Disneyland. Heck, I saw a kid attempting to kick a duck at Disneyland once and the parents weren't even trying to stop him.

KITTY IS HERE! I love this artwork, but which one is "Kitty"?

Just for fun, I'll end this post with an image that is used here courtesy of The Orange County Archives. It's an ad for the very first Knott's Halloween Haunt back in 1973. Check out that price of $4.00 per ticket! And just three nights were available! Last year, I posted a Knott's Halloween Haunt advertisement from 1980 that showed ticket prices to be $8.75 and there were six nights to choose from.

Over the years, Knott's has added more and more nights and this year, there is a total of twenty eight Haunt nights which began in September. The prices now vary depending on the night and the method of purchase. "Print at home" pre-sale prices range from $34-$51. Pre-sale "walk-up" prices at Knott's are $51, and "Day of Event" prices are $57. For an additional $60 (on top of the Haunt ticket price) you can get a "Fright Lane" pass that allows you to have "front of the line" access to all of the mazes and select rides. And for $2,000....yes, that's two thousand, you can have "front of the line" access, PLUS a personal escort to lead you around the park for the night. That price does happen to include admission to the park. For that price, it better! What a change from 1973, or even 1980!