Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Most Elusive Shot in the 'World'?

Regular readers of PFTP know a few things about our approach to taking photos in the parks: 1. No Photoshopping unless specifically called out like in our tilt-shift series; 2. No flash photography (where not permitted); 3. No people. And those are the general rules. We like to think these rules have served us well but sometimes rules are meant to be broken. I mean, come on; how else are you going to get a decent shot in Peter Pan's Flight?

That said, we still charge windmills with reckless abandon and take care regarding rule No. 2. We are, though, very close to giving in when it comes to snapping shots of the wonderful Epcot city model while traveling the Tomorrowland Transit Authority and we're not talking about taking a shot with flash. No; we're talking about giving up altogether and calling this the most elusive shot in the world.

This iconic piece of Disney history is worthy of a far greater spot in the Parks than this diorama section. Frankly, it should've been front and center as part of the EPCOT Center 25th Anniversary attraction but it remains firmly ensconced in the Stitch's Great Escape show building. This wonderful model is part of the larger, original 1963 scale model and moved to Florida in 1975 along with the Carousel of Progress attraction.

So what makes this the most elusive shot in the Parks? Simply put, it's impossible to get a good shot. (Unless, by the grace of the photo deities, the TTA were to break down right there but we've never ever seen the TTA breakdown mid-ride.) Photos with flashes look completely washed out due to the ride's environment and everything else (as evidenced here) is a blur.

What's your most elusive shot in the Parks? Why?

These photographs were taken by the author in May, 2010.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin

What can you say about Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom that hasn't been said already?

From help on reaching 'Space Commander' status to inside jokes and more, just about everything you'd want to know about this attraction is available on the interwebs which goes to show just how popular this attraction is for kids and adults alike.

So, what does the staff at PFTP have to say about this third-generation Omnimover ride? Not much, just a few questions for you, the reader, to see how much you really know. To see the answer, highlight the area following the question. Try this: it's just white text.

What's the name of your spacecraft if ridding the world of the Evil Emperor Zurg at WDW? XP-37. At Disneyland Park? XP-40. At Tokyo Disneyland? XP-38. Hong Kong Disneyalnd? XP-39. Disneyland Paris? XP-41.

When you enter Buzz Lightyear in Orlando, on what toy is your mission displayed? ViewMaster. In Anaheim? Etch-a-Sketch.

The attraction in WDW is located on the hallowed site of how many former attractions? Four. Can you name all of the previous attractions located here? If You Had Wings, If You Could Fly, Delta Dreamflight, Take Flight. How many previous attractions at Disneyland Park? Two. Can you name these previous attractions? CircleVision 360°, Rocket Rods.Disneyland Paris? One. Can you name the previous attraction? Le Visionarium.

Well, how did you do with the questions? Did you get a score like this?

These photographs were taken by the author in May, 2010.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Coral Reef Restaurant

Future World truly becomes gorgeous at night and the soothing blues and greens, offset by orange, at the Living Seas Pavilion are otherworldly after dusk. Tucked into the far back corner of the pavilion underneath the Monorail line and with Spaceship Earth hovering alongside is a PFTP favorite, the Coral Reef Restaurant. 

Featuring an view into one of The Living Seas (with Nemo and Friends)' excellent saltwater reefs, the restaurant is alternately praised and panned from a menu perspective but the visual perspective is truly unique. The tiered seating arrangement offers unobstructed views into the tanks and the subdued lighting creates an ambiance unlike any other in the Parks. 

The current interior isn't a radical departure from the past but Ariel sure would feel at home walking into the dining area, as seen above. The fixtures are a bit fantastic and the translucent octopus is pretty unique; it's a jarring juxtaposition from the outside which retains the original aesthetic from The Living Seas.

If you're taking advantage of the Disney Dining Plan and have purchased the sit-down option, make an ADR for dinner; you'll be pleased at the selection and not concerned with what many consider a too expensive menu. Alternatively, if you want to experience this restaurant first hand but are watching your spending, the Coral Reef Restaurant is a perfect lunch spot.

Typography aficionados will love the typeface; the editorial staff at PFTP believes this is an original, 1986 Epcot Center type. (The Living Seas Pavilion opened four years after Epcot debuted in 1982. Ah; where's Danny Kaye when you need him?) Additionally, the VIP room for this pavilion can be seen through the tank windows; if you're inside, look through the glass and to the right. The VIP room has its entrance on the outside, down a bit from the restaurant entrance.

Night time is the best time to soak in the blues and greens we mentioned above; it's also a good time to poke around and try various camera settings to 'see' what you can come up with.

These photographs were taken by the author in May, 2010.