I honestly believe it’s true that ignorance is bliss. I spent the last week in Disney World where it was very apparent that they’re growing and expanding their offerings. It seemed as though there was no space that was not under construction. It could have been so easy for anyone to grumble their way through the experience, but kids don’t care if there’s a construction crane in the shot. They couldn’t care less that the disguised construction wall doesn’t look quite real. That stuff’s not important to the kids. It’s when their eyes light up when they finally get to meet their favorite characters from Up, Dug and Russell. It’s when they finally get to meet the real Elsa and Anna and they get a warm hug. It’s when the get so excited when Chef Mickey visits them while they’re eating breakfast. That’s the real magic.
I’m amazed that this is only our second day in the parks – we’ve done so much already this week and a great deal of it has nothing to do with Disney. Ya see, we’re selling our house and closing while we’re down here. Geez. Thank goodness we have a kick-ass realtor! Anyway, I’ve been itching to get up in the air to shoot some awesome photos, but I’m more than slightly concerned about the Disney no-fly zone. I’ve checked, and our hotel is outside the 3-mile radius, but still…ya know? And I’ve only taken my good equipment into the parks once – to Hollywood Studios for the fireworks. Didn’t get a really good angle, but still a great show. So most of my images have been with my GoPro, which isn’t a bad camera, but it won’t shoot RAW – BOO – anybody at GoPro reading this? 😉 And yes, Disney has now banned all selfie sticks. They even have pamphlets about it! BOO – anybody at Disney reading this? I can actually understand that rule, but I’m not the idiot who’d do something stupid with it. It’s everybody else :P.
This time last year I was at Hollywood Studios shooting a Marathon. I never made it back to the hat to get the night shot that I’ve always wanted. Guess I never will. Bummer.
It’s a real thing. At least as far as the public goes. Disney has yet to officially acknowledge the Hidden Mickey phenomenon, although they do sell Hidden Mickey books in their gift shops. hmmm….
Apparently it all started when EPCOT was being planned as more of an adult-targeted park including the sale of alcohol. Since Disney characters and alcohol were taboo together it was established that none of the characters, especially Mickey, would ever be seen inside that park. Well, the Imagineers took it as a challenge and started incorporating them into everything they could. Voila! Hidden Mickeys.
The general rule is that if it’s not associated with Disney then it’s not really an “official” Hidden Mickey. It’s still fun though.
“Adults are only kids grown up, anyway.”
– Walt Disney
If I’ve learned anything from any of my trainings throughout my entire life, it’s that successful businesses get that way by putting the customer experience at the top of their priority list. The two companies that immediately come to mind for me are Apple and Disney. Sure, they’re for-profit companies, but their ultimate goal is to deliver a customer experience like no other. When you can put aside that “I’m gonna get rich doing this” attitude and focus on being creative and innovative it all tends to work itself out. And Disney is exceptionally good at it. To watch my dad over this past weekend was pretty cool. At almost 80 years old, he enjoyed that park every bit as much as any of the adolescents who were experiencing it for the first time.
The employee (aka cast) culture at Disney Parks fascinates me – specifically the characters. I seem to only remember the fully costumed characters when I was young and visiting Walt Disney World. You never actually saw a real person. But times, and culture, have changed. Now there are real life people portraying the Disney characters in the park, which creates an entirely different dynamic for interaction. I never used to hear the characters make any sounds (especially speech) at all. Now you can have an entire conversation with them. The added fascination for me is the fact that now the real-life characters need to work harder to remain in character. They can no longer hide behind the comfort of being silent and not being seen and can simply use body language to remain in character. It’s just fascinating – which probably explains why I have a degree in psychology.
btw – this photo is horrible, but Alice is the one who prompted this post and this is the our selfie with her (which is technically really a “groupie”).
Shoot what you want and how you want. That’s what I would say to people just getting into photography. Sure, you should look at what others are doing and possibly see if you can recreate it. But in the end, you’re not shooting for them. You’re really not shooting for anybody except yourself. You’re going to be your biggest critic in the end so impress yourself. After all, does everybody like the Mona Lisa? Will everybody get a Jackson Pollock? Some will, some won’t. Some people will like your photography. Some won’t. If some people like it, great. If some don’t, accept it and move on. Gotta remind myself sometimes.
Another follow-up – this time to day 10. I spend all kinds of time making sure my lenses are protected. Lens hoods. Lens caps. UV filters. Protective bags and pouches. And I’ve been successful. So with all that energy focused on the lenses, I got a little careless with the other end of the camera recently. The LCD screen on the back of the camera.
Typically the LCD screen is exposed. Luckily the Canon 60D LCD screen has a protective layer of glass on top. It saved my LCD screen for sure. Guess I’ll be investing in one of these for my 7D.
My wife and kids are very musical and I was at one time long ago. On my trip this weekend, I stayed at the All Star Music resort and saw this on the side of the building. My sister suggested I take it home to see what it would sound like if my family plays it.
It just may a first for my musician wife to play a building.
Shooting fireworks is fun and I’m always fascinated by how well choreographed they are. It’s just a huge light painting in the sky. So cool!
Tonight, I got to watch the Magic Kingdom firework display from a different vantage point.
Kudos to all the runners who completed the Run Disney Half Marathon today. And good luck to all who will be running the full tomorrow. I’ve been supporting my sister at Walt Disney World and am extremely tired from my 2:30 am start. Same time tomorrow so this will be short and sweet.
Getting to my first viewing position this morning was kinda creepy, but neat at the same time. If you ever get the chance to ride the Disney monorail completely alone – take it. It’s spooky but calming and peaceful.
Plus you just might get to see one of the theme parks before they open it.