Category Archives: Photography

Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dream Lights

Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dream Lights "it's a small world" finale
Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dream Lights “it’s a small world” finale

I’v’e waited many years to see the Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Dream Lights parade, and I finally got the chance to experience it last night. It not only lived up to my expectations, it far exceeded it!

With an updated version of the popular Electrical Parade them, “Baroque Hoedown,” the floats were grand and beautiful, and had so many effects! The “it’s a small world” finale was completely color as in the photo and then went to all white. The Genie from “Aladdin” was his traditional blue and then suddenly wearing a Donald Duck Suit, and then a red tuxedo and he kept changing. This isn’t video but crafted out of the “millions of sparkling lights.”

I will post more photos of this extraordinary parade in the future along with other photos from Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea, and other Japanese Disney experiences.

Tony Solaroni, a Tokyo Disneyland character

Tony Solaroni in Tokyo Disneyland
Tony Solaroni in Tokyo Disneyland

This Disney character is Tony Solaroni, an Audio-Animatronics alien in Tokyo Disneyland at the Pan Galactic Pizza Port. Although he speaks Japanese, thanks to the clever subtitles above his head, I learned his unique alien-style pizza-making process including using the cheese-o-matic and the  glib-globulator.  (I love that he’s wearing a Disney nametag.) See ya soon, Tony!

Where in Disneyland Resort would you find these eyes?

I took this photo somewhere in the Disneyland Resort. Who can guess where? (ANSWER IS BELOW)

Did you know… back in the ’90s, Shani and I did two books of Disneyland photography? The books were sold in Disneyland for years and featured closeups of things in Disneyland Park, so readers could try to guess where it is and then turn the page for the answers.

 

 

These eyes can be found in The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure in Disney California Adventure. (One reader was confused because I said this attraction is in the Disneyland Resort… don’t forget there are two parks in the Disneyland Resort.)

The Magic of the Disney Characters

Minnie Mouse on Disney's Private Island, Castaway Cay
Minnie Mouse on Disney’s Private Island, Castaway Cay

There’s something truly special about the Disney characters . I grew up going to Disneyland, and one of my earliest memories of the Disney characters was when the Big Bad Wolf was in a parade and came over to me and I cried! It’s kind of funny now. Since my last name is Wolf, I think we’re kind of family.

I’ve had many wonderful memories of the Disney characters since that old wolf scared the heck out of me, and into my adulthood I have never stopped getting that special feeling about the characters. I’ve witnessed grown adults crying tears of joy when meeting them, and I have heard extraordinary stories firsthand of how the Disney characters have touched people’s lives.

It remains exciting for me to see the characters in different situations. When I was working on a project for Disney back in the ’90s, I obtained a list of what’s called “overdressings” for Mickey. It’s Mickey’s special wardrobe besides his usual outfit. There was Mickey’s space outfit, Mickey’s patriotic outfit, a cowboy outfit, raincoat and hat, and hundreds of others. I feel these outfits bring new dimension, versatility and freshness to the characters.

Seeing the Disney characters in the “real world,” is also a special experience. The first time I saw Mickey Mouse outside of Disneyland was in 1988 when I was working at the Disney Studios, and Mickey visited the lot for his 60th birthday celebration. It’s a different feeling when he steps out of his world and into yours, making everything that much more believable. They had a photo location for employees to get a Polaroid photo with the birthday boy. There was a long line, and it was all adults waiting to snap a special moment!  There was certainly no doubt that  Mickey and his friends were not just for kids.

One place that you can meet the Disney characters away from the resorts is on a Disney Cruise! Yes, those characters get around! It’s great to travel to an island in the Bahamas, but even more memorable to disembark and see Captain Hook and Mr. Smee, from “Peter Pan”, with the beautiful tropical backdrop! (You can see my photo of the duo on Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay here). Above is a photo I took of Minnie Mouse on Castaway Cay, with the Disney Dream cruise ship behind her.

There are two stories in particular that come to mind whenever I think of the impact of the Disney characters.

The 1977 Disneyland Ambassador to the World, Susan Donald Edwards  told me her memories of when she visited a children’s hospital with Mickey. A child who had been stricken with cancer talked to Mickey and the nurses seemed stunned. They were literally in tears. It wasn’t until after the meeting that Susan learned the child had not spoken for two weeks.

A similar story to Susan, the 1974 Disneyland Ambassador to the World, Carol DeKeyser Masters told me of when she visited a children’s hospital with Mickey Mouse. A little boy who had suffered a brain injury from a car accident had not spoken for over two years, and the specialists were trying to determine if he was what they call elective mute or if the brain was just not able to form words. When Carol and Mickey entered the room, the boy said, “Mickey Mouse,” and doctors and nurses fell to their knees crying. Carol did not learn of the situation until after the situation, and then was moved to tears herself.

I believe that these stories really emphasize that the Disney characters are not just special, but that there really is something magical about them.

New Year’s Day 1993 – Disney at the Tournament of Roses

Disney's float for the pre-show of the 1993 Tournament of Roses parade
Disney’s float for the pre-show of the 1993 Tournament of Roses parade

Thought I’d post these photos I took for Disney 24 years ago at the Tournament of Roses in Pasadena. In addition to this float for the pre-show, Disneyland was also represented in the main parade as well. Standing in the red coat behind Mickey and Minnie below is Kathleen Mitts the 1993 Disneyland Ambassador to the World.
From Shani & I, have a wonderful 2017!!!

Chip, Gadget, Dale and other Disney character on board a unit in the pre-show of the 1993 Tournament of Roses parade
Chip, Gadget, Dale and other Disney characters on board a unit in the pre-show of the 1993 Tournament of Roses parade

Very Merry Christmas parade at Disneyland – 1992

Snowmen in the Very Merry Christmas parade at Disneyland, 1992
Snowmen in the Very Merry Christmas parade at Disneyland, 1992

Here are a couple photos I took almost a quarter century ago in 1992. The elaborate Very Merry Christmas Parade at Disneyland began with an overture of Disney tunes over the speakers, followed by the live trumpeters. The first half of the parade featured scenes from classic Disney movies, including Snow White, Fantasia, Mary Poppins and others. The second half of the parade featured many of the elements in the current A Christmas Fantasy parade, including the snowmen, skating snowflakes, and of course Santa Claus and his reindeer for the finale.

Mickey & Minnie ice skate in the Very Merry Christmas parade at Disneyland, 1992
Mickey & Minnie ice skate in the Very Merry Christmas parade at Disneyland, 1992