All posts by Scott Wolf

Alan Young, Disney voice actor passes away

Alan Young and Russi Taylor, voices on DuckTales
Alan Young and Russi Taylor, voices on DuckTales

Sadly, Alan Young passed away on May 18, 2016 at the age of 96. Alan was one of the celebrity guests present at Disneyland for it’s big televised opening day. In 1990, for the park’s 35th anniversary, many of the opening day attendees were invited back as special guests. I took this photo of Alan and Russi Taylor at Disneyland during that 35th celebration. My first job with Disney was working on the television series “DuckTales,” and Russi provided the voice for Huey, Dewey, Louie and Webby, while Alan was the voice of Scrooge McDuck, a voice he originated in the 1987 animated feature “Mickey’s Christmas Carol.” Alan was a popular actor long before his Disney work, with his own “Alan Young Show” and starring in the television series “Mister Ed.”

Snapshot Sunday: Journey Into Imagination with Figment in Epcot

Snapshot Sunday: Disney parks original character Figment in the Journey Into Imagination with Figment attraction at Epcot in Walt Disney World - e – shot with a Sony RX100 II
Snapshot Sunday: Disney parks original character Figment in the Journey Into Imagination with Figment attraction at Epcot in Walt Disney World– shot with a Sony RX100 II

The Journey Into Imagination with Figment attraction in Epcot is a fun little ride that I just love. A fun fact is that the little dragon’s voice is that of Mouse Clubhouse friend Dave Goelz, who is best known as the original Muppet performer and voice of Gonzo!

To capture this very dark scene, I got decent results with an ISO of 6400. The ride didn’t move too fast, so I was able to move my shutter speed up to 1/160 and then bring my aperture down to 1.8.

Feel free to write or comment if you want any more details about the photos, such as settings I used, etc.

Remember Kitchen Kabaret at Epcot in Walt Disney World?

Kitchen Kabaret at Epcot in Walt Disney World, 1993
Kitchen Kabaret at Epcot in Walt Disney World, 1993

I thought it would be fun to post this photo I took in Epcot back in 1993. Looong before Soarin’ was in The Land, this Audio Animatronics variety show, Kitchen Kabaret, made audiences chuckle with good nutrition humor. Pictured are Ham and Eggz, who offered up lots of “cheesy” jokes. While Mr. Hamm reminds people that cheese is a great source of protein, Mr. Eggz comments, “I cheddar to think about it!”

This photo brings back memories of the pre-digital age, where I used lots of film to take lots of photos – and would have to wait until returning from my vacation to have the film developed with great hopes that the pictures turned out.

While Kitchen Kabaret remains just a memory at Epcot, there are plenty of new exciting things to do there today!

 

Snapshot Sunday: Great Movie Ride (For Disney’s Hollywood Studios anniversary)

Snapshot Sunday: The Great Movie Ride in Disney's Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World - shot with a Sony RX100 II
Snapshot Sunday: The Great Movie Ride in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World – shot with a Sony RX100 II

Since today is the anniversary of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which opened on May 1, 1989, I thought I’d choose a photo from that park for today’s Snapshot Sunday. This scene out of the Great Movie Ride takes you out of Kansas and sets you on the Yellow Brick Road with Dorothy and her new friends.

Although the Great Movie Ride has been in Disney’s Hollywood Studios since its opening, many changes have occurred in the park over the years, including the park’s name. It was originally Disney-MGM Studios, and the Great Movie Ride featured many scenes from both Disney and MGM films, with The Wizard of Oz, of course, being one of MGM’s classics.

Since the vehicle comes to a halt and the characters don’t move too quickly, I was able to use an ISO of 1600, a shutter speed of 1/100 and as usual in dark rides opened my aperture fully to 1.8.

Feel free to write or comment if you want any more details about the photos, such as settings I used, etc.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened on this day in 1998

Expedition Everest at Disney's Animal Kingdom
Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

On this April 22, 1998, Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened at the Walt Disney World Resort. Not coincidentally, it was Earth Day! Today it is one of the largest animal theme parks in the world. Home to more than 2,000 animals across 300 species, the park reflects Walt Disney’s dedication to conservation and is committed to animal care, education and research. The six lands include Oasis, Discovery Island, Africa, Rafiki’s Planet Watch, Asia and DinoLand, U.S.A. areas. The photo above is the thrilling Expedition Everest attraction, where you can careen through the Himalayan mountains on a speeding train while avoiding the clutches of the mythic Abominable Snowman.

Snapshot Sunday: Monsters, Inc. at Disney California Adventure

Snapshot Sunday: Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue! in Disney California Adventure - shot with a Sony RX100 IV
Snapshot Sunday: Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue! in Disney California Adventure – shot with a Sony RX100 IV

Today’s photo is a scene from the Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue! attraction in Disney California Adventure. Disney sure has seemed to have perfected the art of making you feel like you’re in the middle of one of their animated films, and the Monster’s Inc. attraction is chock full of beautiful scenes!

Shooting in dark rides is a challenge. Using a flash is not only frowned upon by Disney but it would totally wipe out the carefully chosen lighting of the scene. Just look at how the characters pop out in this scene, thanks to the lighting. I wanted to capture the characters, but it was also important to capture the doors which are much more dimly lit.

I chose an ISO of 3200 which I thought was the lowest I could go. The difference between 3200 and 6400 can be quite noticeable with this camera, and although you would see a bit of grain if you blow this up to poster size, it’s relatively low for such a high ISO. In rides, I almost always want to use the lowest aperture simply because it gives me the chance to use a higher shutter speed which works well when you’re moving on a ride. The first time I went through this I tried a shutter of 1/125 and this scene was just too dark for that.  Although I was in a moving vehicle, I know the characters weren’t moving much so I took a gamble and tried a bunch in this scene at 1/60  and this one came out really well.

Give it a try, and if you get any monstrously good photos, share them with me!

Feel free to write or comment if you want any more details about the photos, such as settings I used, etc.

Disney’s music man Stan Freese retires after 43 years

Stan Freese conducting the Disneyland band in 1990
Stan Freese conducting the Disneyland band in 1990

After 43 years, Stan Freese is retiring from Disney today. Stan began his career in the Walt Disney World band for the resort’s opening in 1971 and he became their first band leader! He soon moved to Disneyland where he led the Disneyland band and even fronted his own Disneyland big band at Carnation Plaza Gardens. Stan is retiring today as the director of talent booking for Disneyland.

I’m so grateful to Stan, not only for his friendship and all that he’s done for me over the years, for which I’m so grateful, but also for his support of Mouse Clubhouse! He’s responsible for a number of the interviews you see on here, and has been so kind to let me record some of his own stories, despite that there’s no way I can share some of them with you until he’s loooong retired from Disney! 🙂 You can read Stan’s interview here.

One of the things I love about Stan is his attitude – he’s just fun! I’m sharing a video below from a day where Stan and I were wandering around Disneyland, visiting some of the groups he hired, and we went over to the historic Tomorrowland Terrace stage, and the next thing I know, Stan pulls out a harmonica and is up on the stage with the band. And the crowd loved it! It’s such a wonderful memory for me, too!

Stan is truly responsible for helping to shape Disney entertainment as we know it today, and Shani & I wish him all the best in this new adventure in his life!

Our family with Stan & Tera Freese at Christmastime
Our family with Stan & Tera Freese at Christmastime 2013

Interview: Lee Fugal (Disneyland’s “Golden Horseshoe Revue” entertainer)

Lee Fugal in the same 1965 Mustang he drove each day to Disneyland
Lee Fugal in the same 1965 Mustang he drove each day to Disneyland

I just posted my interview with Lee Fugal on my Mouse Clubhouse website.  In this conversation, Lee discusses his time as the pre-show entertainer for Disneyland’s famed Golden Horseshoe Revue, and how he ended up in an episode of Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color.  CLICK HERE for the interview and more photos

 

 

Snapshot Sunday: Disney’s Animal Kingdom information

Snapshot Sunday: Disney's Animal Kingdom information
Snapshot Sunday: Disney’s Animal Kingdom information – shot with a Sony NEX-5N

This isn’t my fanciest photo, but I just love this art style around Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I took this photo when the sun was hitting it just perfectly and giving me the bluest sky for the background. Whenever I take photos of signs I try to step as far back as I can and zoom in on the sign. This gives a much better perspective than standing close and pointing your camera up to the sign.

I used an ISO of 100 with an aperture of 5.6 and a shutter speed of 1/800 for this.

Feel free to write or comment if you want any more details about the photos, such as settings I used, etc.