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Old 06-30-2014, 04:01 PM   #196
tksbaskets
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Bret,
What App do you use to track wait times?

Thanks!
TK
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Old 07-03-2014, 08:34 PM   #197
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Catching up.


Great shots, Bret. I like your edits in using the various filters.

That tokina lens is a great pick-up. Glad you got it. You're doing great things with the lens and your pictures are really wonderful.
The telezoom pictures are lovely as well. I think you'll appreciate getting a f/4...but if you're renting, why not consider the f/2.8?
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Old 07-04-2014, 10:24 AM   #198
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Nice start to your most recent trip. I find the telephoto lens to be very helpful during parades as well. You're getting some very nice pictures with that new lens.
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Old 07-05-2014, 10:45 PM   #199
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Originally Posted by tksbaskets View Post
The picture of your DAW on RSR makes me smile. The joy on her face is wonderful The GoPro really isn't as obtrusive as I thought it would be.

I'm very glad the line moved quickly for you. Your new lenses take some wonderful pictures. I especially like the light fixture in A Bug's Life!

Thanks for sharing
Thank you TK. It was very nice to be able to ride RSR with short waiting time. I thought that we were going to be in that queue for 75 minutes and it was less than half of the time which was very nice. She loves to ride RSR and this is her favorite ride. I know that your favorite ride is TSMM while mine is the Monorail. We all do have our favorite rides and they are different. The GoPro wasn't as obstructive as I have thought after these last two trips. Some people did look at me with a weird face with the GoPro as expected.

It was nice that the wait time for RSR was short and not that long for which it was a good thing or we would have not done other activities that day.


Thank you TK for following along.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tksbaskets View Post
Bret,
What App do you use to track wait times?

Thanks!
TK
I use the Mousewait App. I have used other apps like Touring Plans which is nice. But they are always never correct with the wait times. I still use them to make sure what it would be like at that time. After being in the parks for all these years and know when are the busy times, it is easy to know what the crowd levels for the rides are like.


Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
Catching up.


Great shots, Bret. I like your edits in using the various filters.

That tokina lens is a great pick-up. Glad you got it. You're doing great things with the lens and your pictures are really wonderful.
The telezoom pictures are lovely as well. I think you'll appreciate getting a f/4...but if you're renting, why not consider the f/2.8?
Thank you PiO. I'm always trying new techniques with the filters and also Lightroom program.

The Tokina lens was a great addition along with the Tamron lens. I can easily use the Tokina way more at the Disney parks since I can get wider angle shots and get more in the picture.

The Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6G telephoto lens is nice and it was expected that the lens would not be good at night when I took pictures of F! during the trip. The f/4 lens is the one that I am looking at so I can use it for another body. I can see myself buying a Full Frame Body in the future. I wanted to try a standard telephoto lens for this trip to see if I do rent the f/4 or f/2.8 telephoto lens in the future that I might need the teleconverter to go with them. There were times when I zoomed it all the way 300mm on the 70-300 lens. If the lens is on rental sale, I will definitely consider renting one of those two along with a teleconverter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by franandaj View Post
Nice start to your most recent trip. I find the telephoto lens to be very helpful during parades as well. You're getting some very nice pictures with that new lens.
Thank you Alison. The telephoto lens does makes a big difference in the up close shots like the parade, F!, & MatMM. The telephoto lens was a rental for the trip since I have a 55-200mm lens which is not powerful enough like the lens that I used during the trip. I will be renting more different kind of lenses during the future trips.


The next post will be up shortly.
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Old 07-05-2014, 10:47 PM   #200
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Day 1 –June 23rd, 2014 – Part 3

Last Installment on the Trip Report

Day 1 –June 23rd, 2014 – Part 3

Pixar Play Parade Part 1

Just after we walked on out of A Bug’s Land, we were now at the backside of Hollywood Land right by the Tower of Terror. Very interesting is that when we were in the area right next to the ToT, there were people lining up for the 5:15pm Pixar Play Parade.

It was about 10 minutes to go until the parade started right next to the ToT all the way over to Paradise Pier, DAW said since we were in the area for the Pixar Play parade, it made sense to watch it and there weren’t too many people in front of us. So we decided to watch the Pixar Parade that afternoon.

It must have been years since I have stake out a spot for the Pixar Play Parade. I have seen it over and over time and time again while walking in DCA. This was a nice way to watch the parade with little wait time.

So the two of us waited until it was time for the parade. I used the telephoto lens for the parade to get those up close pictures.

Some pictures of the Hyperion Theater while we were waiting.




Now it was 5:15pm and the Pixar Parade was now happening.

Monsters University Units


Baton-twirling bandleader Roz


Sulley in the drum float


Monsters University Logo


The end and you can see Mike


The Incredibles Units


Mr. Incredible


Mrs. Incredible


Frozone





Jack-Jack on Syndrome’s Omnidroid float




Finding Nemo Units


Squirt


Dora


Crush float




Water Squirting Baby turtles.




That’s it for this post and it will be continued on the next one.

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Old 07-05-2014, 10:50 PM   #201
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Day 1 –June 23rd, 2014 – Part 4

Last Installment on the Trip Report

Day 1 –June 23rd, 2014 – Part 4

Pixar Play Parade Part 2 & Dinner at the Plaza

We are watching the 5:15pm Pixar Play Parade in Hollywood Land right across from the Tower of Terror and we are part way through the parade.

A Bug’s Life Units

Heimlich


Atta and Flik


Slim at the rear


Toy Story Units


Little Green Men Soldiers


Little Green Alien




Buzz Lightyear float


Mr. Potato Head in a dump truck


There are a lot of Toy Story characters


Woody




Cars Units

It’s nice to see Lightning McQueen during the parade.


We can’t forget about Mater.


While the parade was going down on Hollywood Land, we were trailing the parade going down all the way towards Buena Vista Street so we can get out of the park and head on over to DL that day.

It took quite a while to walk behind the parade and head on out. I always have to get some pictures of BVS while we were walking on out of DCA.




We exited and now over at DL. It was quite a little busy that time around 5:45pm to enter DL where the turnstiles took a few minutes to get through.


There were people staking out a spot for the 6:30pm Mickey’s Soundsational Parade on MS. I talked to a CM to talk about the new Frozen pre-parade float. I read on the threads that the Frozen pre-parade float is only available before the 4pm parade. Unfortunately since we got stuck at our hotel where the ECV came later that day, we weren’t able to see the float. Just as I expected, the float is only available before the 4pm parade.



When we were walking down MS, DAW was getting hungry as well as me. We didn’t eat a meal on the road when we came down to Anaheim. It is rare that we don’t stop for food on the way. While we were in MS, there was a restaurant that I haven’t ate for a while and it seems like a good place to eat. There was something for DAW as well. The restaurant was the Plaza Inn. We have ate at the Plaza Inn during character breakfast with Minnie & Friends and I haven’t ate there during lunch in ages. So it was nice to be able to eat at the Plaza Inn for dinner.

I have read from another trip report about their experience at the Plaza Inn during lunch/dinnertime and saying how good the food at the Plaza Inn was at that I should consider eating there one day where I haven’t eat there in ages.

Current Menu at the Plaza Inn during lunch/dinner.


We were able to eat inside the Plaza Inn and it was really crowded inside where it was warm outside. Luckily it wasn’t that hot that time and good thing that we didn’t need a jacket.

I had the Plaza Inn Specialty the three pieces of chicken, with mash potatoes & grave with a biscuit and vegetables. I was so stuff eating all the plate that I couldn’t even finish it all. It was so nice to be able to eat the chicken at the Plaza Inn that I don’t know what I have missed over the years that I have passed by the Plaza Inn.


DAW had the glazed salmon with couscous, salsa and vegetables. When we got our food, the salmon was not on the menu when we entered the Plaza Inn. It was a little surprise and also not a big surprise since the different websites that don’t have the salmon on the menu. There are times when there are special dishes during the seasons from the Halloween, Christmas, summertime etc. She was glad that she had a dish that she could eat. She did say that the salmon was a little overcook. It could have been when the salmon was sitting out in the warmer.


After we had our dinner at the Plaza Inn, we started to move on to our next destination that night. Since it was around 6:30pm, the second show of Mickey’s Soundsational Parade just started and is coming from Main Street Town Square. There was no way we were going down on MS, so we head on over to New Orleans Square.

Walking right by the Hub as we are trying to avoid getting stuck during the second show of Mickey’s Soundsational Parade.


We were in NOS and DAW had to use the restroom so we had to walk the other way towards the NOS Railroad station since the alleyway towards the restroom is closed off due to Club 33 construction. It will be nice when the alleyway in NOS is completed.


After we used the restroom, we started to go to our next destination. But that will be on the next updates.


Last edited by mvf-m11c; 07-08-2014 at 11:26 PM.
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Old 07-06-2014, 12:10 AM   #202
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Great pictures, Bret. Love the close-ups of the parade.

Seems like it's universal consensus that the fried chicken at the Plaza Inn is delicious!
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Old 07-08-2014, 11:19 PM   #203
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Great pictures, Bret. Love the close-ups of the parade.

Seems like it's universal consensus that the fried chicken at the Plaza Inn is delicious!
Thank you PiO. It was nice to be able to use the telephoto lens for the Pixar Play Parade that afternoon in which i can't get up close pictures with the other lenses that I have.

The Fried Chicken at PPI is very nice and it is more juicy when you bite into it. It was nice that DAW found a restaurant that she can eat and it will be nice to eat there again in the future.


The next posts will be up shortly.
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Old 07-08-2014, 11:25 PM   #204
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Last Installment on the Trip Report

Day 1 –June 23rd, 2014 – Part 5

Staking a Spot and Fantasmic! Part 1

After we sued the restroom at NOS, we head straight on over to the sit down viewing area right next to the Rivers of America to watch the 9pm Fantasmic! show. It has been a long time since I stake out a spot in the sitting area for F!. This is DAW first time waiting with me for the 1st show of F! at 9pm. F! is one of my favorite nighttime shows at DL just like the fireworks and WoC. Alright, they are all my favorite activities to do at the DLR over the rides.

When we got the viewing area, the middle section of the viewing area was mostly filled up but I mostly watch it on the left hand side since there aren’t too many people in that area. We got our spot with 2 hours to go until the first show started at 9pm.

This is my favorite spot to watch F! every time I see the show. We were at the back area of the rope off area since DAW was using her ECV. This is a good spot to watch the show where if you have a ECV, wheelchair or stroller, you won’t have to break it down or being asked by the CM to move. There were a couple of people that were asked by the CM’s that they couldn’t have the stroller up during the show.


We both got settled in until we waited for the 9pm show of F!. DAW rested in her ECV while I took some pictures with the telephoto lens while we were waiting in the viewing area.


I turned around and looked at the second level at NOS which is the balcony for Club 33 restaurant. It won’t be too long until Club 33 is reopened after a lot of work is being done since earlier this year.


The Columbia started to move to its position for F! and the crew are hard at work getting it ready for the show.


All of the barges for F! are already set up for the shows.


The ducks are enjoying on the barge before F! starts.


While we were waiting, DAW wanted me to get her a drink at the Mint Julep Bar. She wanted to get a Mint Julep so I went on over to the stand and got her a Mint Julep. But while I was at the stand, I decided to get the Mickey-shaped Beignets. It has been ages since I had the Mickey-shaped Beignets.


Times goes by really quickly and with 30 minutes to go until the first show of F!, the viewing area is all filled up on our right hand side.


As well as the left hand side.


It was now 9pm and Fantasmic is about to start. I used the 70-300mm lens mostly for this show which I mostly use my standard lens for this show in the past. It was nice to be able to get the up close shots of the characters instead of the wide shots with the other lenses.

I also used my video camera and also attached my GoPro on top of the video camera with an extension so I can have two items at once. I put it on the tripod which I had my hands on my DSLR.

Mickey Mouse








Kaa the snake from the Jungle Book


King Louie and his monkey folloers


Pinocchio and the two female marionettes


Now it was the Peter Pan scene with the Columbia as the Pirate ship. This is where the telephoto lens come into play where I was able to get up close pictures with the characters.

Peter Pan vs Captain Hook




Wendy at the end of the ship battling two pirates.


Tick –Tock Crocodile




Captain Hook swinging around


That’s it for this post and continue on to the next post.


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Old 07-08-2014, 11:28 PM   #205
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Last Installment on the Trip Report

Day 1 –June 23rd, 2014 – Part 6

Fantasmic! Part 2

Belle and the Beast


Ariel and Eric


Snow White and her Prince


The Wicked Queen


The old hag


Mickey


Versus Maleficent


Murphy finally arrived. As why I call it Murphy it is called Murphy by fans after the Murphy law when the dragon went through delays back in 2009 when it debut where it had some problems and it didn’t run during F!. I remember those days in 2009 when Murphy wasn’t running and just seeing Maleficent way high up. It is nice to see it work consistently after every show.




It’s getting hot here.






The Mark Twain is approaching.


There is Steamboat Mickey


Eric, Ariel, Beast and Belle on the bottom floor of the Mark Twain.




Cinderella


The Toy Story characters on top end of the Mark Twain


Sorcerer Mickey atop the tavern.




Mickey says “Some Imagination, huh?”


After F! was over and playing it’s exit music, we were still in the viewing area to wait for Magical: Disney’s New Nighttime Spectacular of Magical Celebrations. DAW enjoyed F! and she was glad that we waited for the first show where she got to take a nap and to be able to see F! that night.

That’s it for this post and continue on to the next post.


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Old 07-08-2014, 11:31 PM   #206
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Last Installment on the Trip Report

Day 1 –June 23rd, 2014 – Part 7

Magical Fireworks by the RoA

After the 9pm Fantasmic! show ended. In just a couple of minutes. The 9:25pm show of Magical: Disney’s New Nighttime Spectacular of Magical Celebrations started. I was behind on the first part of Magical since I was taking apart my video camera that was on the tripod and put my DSLR on so I can get the firework trails. I must have missed the first couple of minutes with Magical fireworks that night but I had the Tamron lens already to go for the fireworks with a Neutral Density 0.9 filter.

Watching from the RoA is okay where you can still see some of the fireworks from SB Castle but you will not be able to see Tinker Bell or Dumbo fly in this area unless you can see clearly through the trees.

Here are pictures from Magical that Monday night.


























After the Magical fireworks was over, it was time for us to head on out of the park and call it for a night. I would have stayed a little longer that night to get more nighttime pictures but I was tired from the driving that morning to the afternoon.

We head straight on out of DL that night instead of stopping at my favorite place for dessert at the Tiki Juice Bar. When we went by it, there was quite a long line to get one that night and it was tough to wait that long that night since we were still a little worn out that day.

There were quite a number of people leaving DL that night just like us. It was nice to go back to the room and get some rest.

When we were heading on back to Fairfield Inn which is our hotel for the trip in which I mostly stay at the Best Western hotels. The only thing I didn’t like about FFI is that the elevators do take time even though there are four of them (three of them worked during our trip). It had so many young kids running around from the bottom to the upper levels. Even though we did enjoy the park view that we got during our visit, this might be the last time I will stay at FFI.

We called it for the night around midnight which we desperately needed.

The first part of the day got off to a rocky start with the ECV issue where we did miss the first show of Mickey’s Soundsational parade at 4pm in which we wanted to see the Frozen pre-parade before the 4pm parade. But at least it made it up with riding RSR that afternoon in which we didn’t even wait over 30 minutes. We were able to watch Pixar Play Parade which was nice. We got to eat at the Plaza Inn during lunch/dinner in which we haven’t done in quite some time.

The first part of the day is complete and will be the fun day on Tuesday.


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Old 07-09-2014, 05:34 AM   #207
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Great close-ups of Fantasmic! I think I definitely prefer the telezoom for this show than the wider lenses.

You did really well with your pictures.

Interesting position for the fireworks. I miss the castle; but they are still great from this angle.
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Old 07-12-2014, 08:10 AM   #208
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Bret, your shots of F! are the best I have ever seen. I am so impressed.

Is that the first time you've tried the Plaza Inn's fried chicken? Isn't it amazing?! Its my family's favorite meal. We just feel like we are in Disney while eating it. Only 150 days until we get to again. Your photos make me happy, I miss Disneyland so much.
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Old 07-12-2014, 09:02 AM   #209
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What an action packed day you had! I agree your pictures of F! are Fantastic! We had the Plaza chicken this week too. Yummy.

TK
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Old 07-12-2014, 07:32 PM   #210
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I'm finally caught up with the tail-end of your April trip and the beginning of the June one. Your pics are amazing. I loved the GoPro of BTMRR.
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