It’s Valentine’s Day, so go ahead and Kiss the Girl! I took this photo of The Little Mermaid attraction in Disney California Adventure, trying out a Sony A7R III camera.
Happy Halloween! Here’s a photo I took at Disney California Adventure in 2005. Mickey’s ears still adorned the California Screamin’ attraction with a jolly Jack-o-lantern nestled inside.
I just posted my interview with Gary Krueger on my Mouse Clubhouse website. In this conversation, Gary talks about his times photographing Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Disney movie premieres and much more – and you’ll see lots of postcards of Gary’s photography! CLICK HERE for the interview and postcards
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.
Since today, February 8, 2001, is the 15th anniversary of Disney California Adventure, I thought I’d post some of my old photos from when it first opened. It sure has evolved since then! Even the name used to have “Disney’s” instead of “Disney.” Bountiful Valley Farm became A Bug’s Land. The ABC Commissary Soap Opera Bistro became the Animation Academy, and Toy Story Midway Mania was not even a thought yet. The photos below might bring back a few more memories for you.
Upon entering Disney’s California Adventure, you would find yourself in Sunshine Plaza, which included the “Greetings from California” shop. The music was themed to… (ready for it?) California!! You might hear the Al Jolson hit, “California, Here I Come,” “San Francisco Bay Blues” by Peter, Paul and Mary, or “Surfin’ USA” by the Beach Boys. Today, this is all Buena Vista Street, themed to 1920s Hollywood, when Walt Disney first came to California.
At the end of Sunshine Plaza was the park’s icon, the “Sun Icon.”
Where “Silly Symphony Swings” spin today, Guests originally got swinging in the “Orange Stinger.”
Today, the Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue attraction transports Guests to Monstropolis, but when California Adventure opened, you could board a “limo” through Hollywood for the big premiere of your new movie.
Inside Superstar Limo, Guests traveled through a stylized Hollywood, seeing the likes of Drew Carey, Cher, Tim Allen, Whoopie Goldberg and, as pictured above, Regis Philbin. This was, after all, the height of the “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” game show craze.
Where the Little Mermaid resides today, was the Golden Dreams theater, offering Guests a short recreation of the history of California.
Through projections, Whoopie Goldberg was seen as part of the theater’s decorations, and served as the host and narrator of the “Golden Dreams” film.
As I mentioned before, when California Adventure opened, it was the height of the “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” craze, so at the Hollywood Studios Backlot, next to Superstar Limo, you could see a recreation of the popular game show, and Guests were chosen to be contestants.
What would a Disney park be without a parade? Disney’s Eureka! The California Adventure Parade featured floats representing many of the cultures in the Golden State.
Over in Paradise Pier Guests could board the Maliboomer, to be launched 180 feet high.
While California Screamin’ has remained, the theming has changed a little, and Mickey is now found on Mickey’s Fun Wheel. The photo above displays that attraction when it was still the Sun Wheel.
Seen above, the new Disney-Pixar film “Inside Out” is represented as part of the pre-parade before the Pixar Play Parade in Disney California Adventure.
Did you know that “Inside Out” now holds the record as the biggest opening for an original movie in history, topping the previous No. 1 original movie, “Avatar,” by more than $13 million, with $90,440,272 million in domestic box office opening weekend. The film opened Friday, June 19, 2015.