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Old 05-11-2014, 10:26 PM   #121
mvf-m11c
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
I'd also look into the new Sigma 18 - 35, f/1.8 lens as well as the telephoto. That would be an even more awesome lens to take to Disney and for the low light photographs. Seems like there are a few fans of this new'ish lens.
But you'd lose the width that you get with the Tokina.

I thought you already had a lens at the tighter zoom end? Or do you have a lens that takes you to 135mm only?
I also have looked at the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 lens along with the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens. I wanted to get more in the picture, the Tokina lens had that ability where the Sigma has a limited reach. But the low aperture makes it even more intriguing. I will consider trying out the Sigma in the future but first, I am thinking of getting the Tokina lens after the results from the trip. The Sigma has excellent low light for the dark photos and to be able to zoom in and out is a bonus.

I have a kit telephoto lens when I purchased my first DSLR back in 2008. It is a Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6. The one that it took to 135mm was the Nikon 18-105mm lens which went to 135mm since the D7100 can be 1.3 times with it. I used that 55-200 lens during the Lunar Eclipse last month. I am thinking of getting a telephoto lens so I am able to get very up close shots which my other lens can't do.


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Ok wow, those shots are amazing. I rally like the one to the side of IASW and those tea cup shots are the best I have seen.

We like ESPN Zone. There is something for everyone, the food is consistently good, and it's not too outrageously priced.
Thank you Jenny. I have done a lot of experimenting on photo taking during the trip and I will do the same thing again when I head back next month.

There is always something for everyone to do at the ESPN Zone with the family where the kids & adults can play upstairs. The prices are very reasonable.


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Originally Posted by tksbaskets View Post
First, I'm loving your new wide-angle lens. Or rather I'm loving the beautiful pictures you were able to take with it. I agree the the PP, the teacup picture was top notch!

We had dinner at ESPN quite a while ago. Sounds like it's time to try it again.

I'm enjoying your trip report. Thanks for posting!
Thank you TK. The wide angle Tokina lens is very nice to use for a trip like Disney where you can get more in the picture than the other type of lenses. I'm glad to be able to use it during the trip. The long exposure shots were new to me and for a first try, it was good. I will still experiment with it again during my upcoming trip next month. It is so nice to be able to use the tripod more and more then just the nighttime shows (F!, WoC, fireworks, parade, etc.)

The ESPN Zone at night is a nice place to have dinner as well as lunch. It is always busy at night where there are sports fans watching there favorite teams play. The busiest I have seen the ESPN Zone is on Sunday morning to afternoon during Sunday Football. It is crazy on those Sundays to eat at the restaurant with those hardcore fans. I don't know if you know this but we have at ESPN Zone for over 4 hours one time to watch the NBA Playoffs. There was a rule for staying that long at the restaurant where you will have to spend at least $10 an hour in order to stay in the restaurant on a sports game day from the NFL, NBA, MLB etc. The most we spent at the ESPN Zone while staying to watch a sporting event was over $100 for two people. We have ordered a lot of appetizers and big meals so we can stay.

Thank you and I'm glad that you are enjoying it.


The next post will be up shortly. This next one is all words and have no pictures since I wasn't able to take pictures on-site.

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Old 05-11-2014, 10:29 PM   #122
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Last Installment on the Trip Report

Day 2 –April 26th, 2014 – Part 1

Shopping Day at the WDI Store in Glendale

Now it was the next day which is the most important day for both of us since it was our shopping and dining day in SoCal. I have been looking forward to this trip ever since we decided to eat at this particular restaurant at the Disneyland Resort. I have not done everything at the DLR and we wanted to try different restaurants since we haven’t eat at all the restaurants onsite. There must be over 10 different sit down restaurants on-site that we have ate at the resort and we have been trying all different sorts of places where we haven’t eaten before. This will be a very great trip and we will also be having dinner that night with someone else that night. You will have to find out later during the posts (unless you know already) to see where we ate at. Now let’s get back to the trip report where we have the morning.

It was early Saturday morning and we needed to get up early that morning so we can head on over to Glendale which is up north of SoCal. We are going to Glendale that morning in order to go to the Walt Disney Imagineering headquarters. WDI is the design and development arm of the Walt Disney Company responsible for the creation and construction of Disney theme parks around the world. There was a special event going on that day at the WDI headquarters where the WDI store is open to the public that day for the D23 Gold and Silver members. It was our first time going to the WDI headquarters in Glendale to go shopping at the WDI store. There were events in the past that the D23 members were able to shop at the WDI store but we have never done that. There were times we were able to shop for WDI products during the D23 Expo event. I was excited to be able to purchase some more WDI products that I missed out during the D23 Expo last year. DAF wasn’t able to shop at the Mickey’s of Glendale store at the D23 Expo last year and she was excited to be able to purchase that day.

We left the Best Western Anaheim Inn around 7am which was really late for us since I wanted to sleep in a little longer and it backfired on us. I should have known better to get up early and don’t show up when the event starts at 8am. We should have left the hotel around 6am or earlier so we don’t have to wait longer to get in the store or some specific items will be purchased before we get to them.

It took about an hour to get from Anaheim to Glendale which traffic was kind of bad that morning in SoCal. Even on a Saturday morning, there is always going to be traffic no matter what. We got to Glendale around 8am and we had to find a parking spot around the WDI headquarters. We had to walk about two blocks away from the entrance to the WDI headquarters since most of the members were there in advance.

Since it was a private site, we weren’t allowed to take any pictures. If WDI had no problem with that, I would have gone crazy with the picture taken. They were very strict with photography on site even they told all the people that entered the plaza area outside of the WDI store not to take any pictures. It was a shame but that is the rule. When we were in the plaza area, there were a lot of D23 members waiting to get in the store. We were given wristbands that day and they had numbers on them so when they called out the numbers, we were able to enter the store.

We had to wait a while since we got to the store later that morning and we just sit outside that day. It was a nice day where it wasn’t that cold. We have chatted with other Disney fanatics that day. There was one family that they are locals and have attended Disney events in SoCal and around the U.S. It was nice to be able to talk to other people that day while we were waiting to get in the store.

I did spent some time walking around the plaza until it was time to go shopping and the plaza is very nice and well decorated. I could go on and on about the plaza if I had the opportunity to take pictures that day but I wasn’t. The neatest part of the day while waiting at the plaza was there was an old PeopleMover car and Skyway bucket from the last days of service at Disneyland. It was nice to see a PeopleMover car and Skyway bucket at the Plaza that morning. I actually had to get a picture of this on my iPhone even though we were warned to not take any pictures. But this is one that I had to get that day. There was also a Starbucks Café onsite. Since we don’t drink coffee or any of the other drinks, it was unfortunate that we didn’t get something that day.

We waited until 11am where it was our time to shop at the WDI store. We had to wait three hours that day at the plaza which went really by quickly since I was on the iPad writing up part of the day during the trip and DAF had a book to read.

While we were waiting outside to enter the store since the D23 staff was trying have a few people in there where it won’t be that busy, we saw a familiar face that day. One of the D23 staff members that was outside by the entrance to let the members in to shop is that we have seen her before. When we looked at her name, we can tell that it was guide during the Walt Disney Studios tour back from the May 2013 trip. You can click on this link: A Day at the Walt Disney Studios and Archives and Disneyland Here name was Kelly and she was at the front entrance letting the people in the store. We had a nice chat with her and told her that we were in the group during the WDS tour in May 2013. What a small world where we get to see our tour guide from the May 2013 trip. We didn’t speak too long since we were heading in the store.

When we entered the store, it was a little small but not as smaller as the Mickey’s of Glendale store during the D23 Expo event. When we looked at all the different merchandise, most of the merchandise are the same when I shopped during the D23 Expo. I was a little disappointed that most of the merchandise were the same during the D23 Expo. But there were some items that I had the opportunity to buy where I wasn’t able to do that. They had some stuff that I was glad to get where they were out during the D23 Expo. DAF went shopping crazy that day where she found a lot of interesting items to buy that day. She must have spent over $200 that day which doesn’t sound like a lot when shopping that day but I have never seen her spent that much at a Disney store from the Expo, World of Disney store, etc. She spent more money than me during the shopping at the WDI store. I was a little surprise that she spent more than me that day but since most of the merchandise was the same during the D23 Expo event, I didn’t have to spend that much money. I must have spent about $80 that day from shirts & pins. She bought a jacket that was worth $100, shirts, cups & pins. This was the first time that she spent way more money than me on shopping at a Disney store.

After we finished our shopping at the WDI store, it was around 12:30pm when we left the store. For those 3 hours which we waited to get in that morning, we were in the store for only one and a half hours which doesn’t seem that long for the shopping but most of the items that we have bought at the Expo.

So we head straight on back to Anaheim that afternoon to relax until it was time to go to the parks. We got back to Anaheim around 2pm from Glendale. Since DAF was blocked out that day since she has a DAP, she decided to stay in the room until it was time for dinner that night. I decided to head on over to the parks that day before it was time.

This will be it for this post and stay tune what happened later that day in the parks before dinner.


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Old 05-12-2014, 02:09 AM   #123
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Sounds like a good day shopping at Glendale; even if you had to wait a while to get into the store.

Good on your DAF for buying the things she wanted.

Looking forward to the dinner post.
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Old 05-12-2014, 06:39 PM   #124
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I'm glad the time went quickly and your aunt was able to find some treasures to buy. Were you glad that you went to WDI? It seems like it was a repeat of what was at the Expo. Except seeing the cars from the People Mover. That was a nice bit of history.

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Old 05-19-2014, 11:34 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
Sounds like a good day shopping at Glendale; even if you had to wait a while to get into the store.

Good on your DAF for buying the things she wanted.

Looking forward to the dinner post.
It was a good shopping day for DAF while it was a little disappointing for me. I did bought some items that I wanted to get during the D23 Expo event and most of the merchandise were the same.

She bought interesting items that day and even though it was a long wait that morning to the afternoon.

You will have to wait a little while since I have been so busy these last few days and i will be busy as well this coming week.


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Originally Posted by tksbaskets View Post
I'm glad the time went quickly and your aunt was able to find some treasures to buy. Were you glad that you went to WDI? It seems like it was a repeat of what was at the Expo. Except seeing the cars from the People Mover. That was a nice bit of history.

TK
It was quite a long wait that morning. Luckily, I had my iPad and she had her book with her so the time went by quickly that morning. She was able to buy some nice stuff at the WDI store. there was no question that it was exciting to go to the WDI in Glendale. But I wish that I can take pictures that day. That is correct most of the WDI merchandise are the same items during the Mickey's of Glendale shopping at the D23 Expo. Some of the other parts of teh store had some merchandise that you can find at Disney parks and online which is interesting. That was so neat that one of the PeopleMover cars as well as one of the Skyway bucket cars were on-site.


The next post will be up shortly. This will be my last update for a while since I will be out this week where I will be heading to Las Vegas to work at an AAU basketball tournament.
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Old 05-19-2014, 11:35 PM   #126
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Last Installment of the Trip Report

Day 2 –April 26th, 2014 – Part 2

Late to see Easter

We just got back to Anaheim after our shopping day at the WDI store in Glendale. Now I was about to head on over to the parks that day in the afternoon. I thought about resting in the room with DAF but i had some time to kill until it was time for dinner that night.

I got to the parks around 2:10pm that day and it was a little busy that afternoon at the parks. It wasn’t like summer crowds or Christmas break crowds but still a pack park on a Saturday afternoon.


For the first part of the day at the parks, I head on over towards Frontierland to see if I could get on BTMRR that afternoon. It was a possibility that there would be a wait time in the 30+ minute area but anything could happen.


When I got over to BTMRR in Frontierland, it was so busy around this area and there were people waiting to get on the ride outside of the queue. The wait time to get on it was at 45 minutes which was quite long that afternoon. So there was no way to ride it or even get a FP since the return time was till 6pm. So I will have to wait another day to ride BTMRR. It was a little tough to wait a little longer to ride BTMRR during the first two days but I will still be able to ride it before we leave.






It was nice to see the backside of BTMRR without the walls for over a year in the park and it looks good as ever.


In the back area of Froniterland was Big Thunder Ranch, I wanted to see the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree which Easter just passed a few days ago and there will be some decorations in BTR Jamboree.


There weren’t too much events going on at BTR Jamboree that day with the Disney Perfroming Arts events.


More random pictures around BTR Jamoree before I went inside the Festival Arena.


Most of the decorations at BTR Jamoree were still there and it was decorated nicely for Easter.










During the character M&G, I haven’t seen Rabbit from Winnie the Pooh in a long time and it was neat to see Rabbit along with Brer Bear and the White Rabbit.




I started to leave BTR Jamboree and onto other areas at DL that afternoon.


The other areas around BTR are also decorated with Easter decorations.


Big Thunder Ranch Springtime Round-Up or BTR Barbeque was all decorated during Easter. During each different season at DL, BTR BBQ is decorated during the holiday theme from Easter, Halloween, & Christmas.


A look at the back end of BTMRR and you can see the Dynamite eating Goat.





That’s it for this post and stay tune for more from DL that afternoon.


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Old 05-20-2014, 05:01 AM   #127
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Nice to see BTMRR back up and running.
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Old 05-22-2014, 01:07 PM   #128
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Great pictures as always Bret! I'm curious what was most noticeable by way of the extensive rehab when you rode BTMR?
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Old 05-26-2014, 10:15 PM   #129
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I have some time to respond to some posts since I have been in Vegas since last Wednesday where I was working during a basketball tournament at the Las Vegas Convention Center. I'll show some pics from my trip shortly and I'll respond to some of the posts.

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Nice to see BTMRR back up and running.
It was very nice to see BTMRR up and running again. I will be looking forward to riding it again next month. It won't be to long until the next trip back to SoCal.


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Great pictures as always Bret! I'm curious what was most noticeable by way of the extensive rehab when you rode BTMR?
Thank you TK. BTMRR is a lot more smoother with the new track replacement and the new additions to the first cavern scene and the last cavern scene. You will really enjoy it when yo ride it in July.


As I have wrote on the top of the post, i have been in Vegas since Wednesday. I have been working during a basketball tournament at the Convention Center and it is finally over. Now I am resting in my room waiting to leave tomorrow morning back to Sacramento. I have been looking forward to going back home and being with my family. But I have been tired and exhausted these last few days. But I was able to enjoy some time in Vegas during my time off.

Here are some pics from my trip including from the event that i was working.

The view from the LVH hotel on Wednesday night was very nice.






The event at the LV Convention Center along with a Volleyball event.




I went to the Vegas Strip yesterday after the event and it was a big mistake since it was so busy that day but it was nice to walk around last night.








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Old 05-26-2014, 10:36 PM   #130
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The backside of the goat.

Love the Springtime photos and decor in Disneyland. I don't know that we've ever gone in Spring. Love the whole vibe.
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Old 05-27-2014, 05:29 AM   #131
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Great pics from Vegas.

safe travel back. Hope the tournament was a successful one.
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:59 AM   #132
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Hi Bret,
We'll plan on riding BTMR in July for sure! Your Vegas trip sounds like it was very busy. I enjoyed the photos. Was it really hot there? I hope where you were working it was cool. Were you a referee?
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Old 05-27-2014, 05:43 PM   #133
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I enjoyed seeing the Vegas photos, Bret!

For one thing, I haven't been there in sooooooo long -- since right before the Excalibur opened -- and I'd love to go back and see some of the nifty hotels that have opened up since I was there (though there is no way I would go to Vegas in spring or summer). That's what I did in Vegas 24 years ago -- I wandered the Strip and explored the hotels (like The Mirage and Caesar's Palace, among others)!

I noticed that pedestrians never stopped for lights in Vegas -- they always just plowed right ahead into the street. I don't know if that still happens but it was interesting!

Also, I like the Vegas photos because it's something we don't see a lot of on this board. Sure, there are people who stop in Vegas and take photos to share in their TRs from time to time, but Vegas is not as common a subject as DLR photos. It's something new, in other words -- and something new for you to take photos of. I don't know about anyone else, but I like to see you branching out and practicing your photography on other subjects (besides DLR) every now and then too!
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Old 05-28-2014, 04:56 AM   #134
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I enjoyed seeing the Vegas photos, Bret!

For one thing, I haven't been there in sooooooo long -- since right before the Excalibur opened -- and I'd love to go back and see some of the nifty hotels that have opened up since I was there (though there is no way I would go to Vegas in spring or summer). That's what I did in Vegas 24 years ago -- I wandered the Strip and explored the hotels (like The Mirage and Caesar's Palace, among others)!

I noticed that pedestrians never stopped for lights in Vegas -- they always just plowed right ahead into the street. I don't know if that still happens but it was interesting!

Also, I like the Vegas photos because it's something we don't see a lot of on this board. Sure, there are people who stop in Vegas and take photos to share in their TRs from time to time, but Vegas is not as common a subject as DLR photos. It's something new, in other words -- and something new for you to take photos of. I don't know about anyone else, but like to see you branching out and practicing your photography on other subjects (besides DLR) every now and then too!

Absolutely.

I've been trying to get him to photo walkabout in Sacto for quite a while!
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:58 AM   #135
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Absolutely.

I've been trying to get him to photo walkabout in Sacto for quite a while!
That sounds like a fantastic idea, PiO!

Really, there are interesting -- end even beautiful -- photo subjects all around us, anywhere we go, and they are there to be appreciated! Some subjects are more striking than others, of course, but it really just takes an open mind and being able to notice what's around us to find those little gems. It could be something architectural. It could be a unique cloud formation. It could be the colors in a sign on a shop door. It could be the way the sun is shining through tree branches. There is always something interesting to see. (I like to walk around my neighborhood and scout for little details that many people would overlook or take for granted. One time I stood in the middle of a sidewalk, looking down at the fascinating spiral pattern a tree's roots were forming as they pushed up through the cement. The passersby probably thought I was crazy!)

I think a Sacto walkabout would also be good because it would be a great way to start with a blank slate and dip into the creative well -- without any influence or predetermined ideas of what to photograph -- and find material that is fresh and totally different from what Disney parks offer.
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