A Disney Kind of Night

I’ve had this sitting on my harddrive since October, oops. I took this while we were at the Annual Passholder Soundsational Parade event. The event was late at night and this section of the park was mostly empty so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity, tripod or not. I settled my camera on the railing surrounding this pond, hoped for the best and this is the best one that came out.

There are definitely things wrong with it that probably would have been avoided if I had my tripod (story of my life), but stupid me didn’t even considering bringing it to this event. I am a terrible photographer~

Funny story: my boyfriend and I loitered around this fountain for a good 15 minutes while I took pictures. We went back a few months later with some friends as and we passed this again at night it started this neat little light show in the water. We all stood there gaping at it and after it had finished my boyfriend and I turned to each other and said “Where was this when we were taking pictures of it for 15 minutes!”


Disneyland Annual Passholder Special Event – Summer Soundsational Parade at Night

One of my favorite perks of finally being a Disneyland Annual Passholder is the ability to attend special events at the parks. Our first taste was the Star Tours preview event back in June, but this time we managed to snag a spot at an event that took place after Disneyland closed to the general public. One more childhood dream complete.

While not everything was open or running we did manage to enjoy ourselves and even took a moment to soak in all the details of the park we normally miss while trying to dodge crowds. I got to step on the exact center of Disneyland, and actually enjoy the moment!

Yet the one thing I was most excited about was getting a front row seat to the Mickey’s Soundsational Parade as it rolled down Main Street at night. Outrageously colorful floats, intricately detailed costumes, all to the remixed beats of beloved Disney themes? I do believe this parade was made for me.

Mickey's Soundsational Parade at Disneyland

As the drum line got louder and closer I couldn’t help but start getting a little giddy. I’ve always loved Disneyland parades, and as I get older I only grow more and more appreciative at the level of detail in everything. From the massive floats to the costumes and characters.

Mickey's Soundsational Parade at Disneyland

Mickey was actually up there playing those drums. How’s that for detail? And just look at the colors. I think the parade looks much better at night.

Mickey's Soundsational Parade at Disneyland

Mickey's Soundsational Parade at Disneyland

Mickey's Soundsational Parade at Disneyland

A giant maraca-wielding purple octopus accompanied Ariel on the Little Mermaid float. Seems like something out of a fever-induced nightmare, but he does make you want to dance a little.

Did I mention I love the detailed costuming? Notice the trim of the dresses, and the French ringlet hairstyles. The very image of a Disney Princess.

Of course I was impressed with Belle’s dress, she is my favorite Princess from my favorite Disney movie. I think the light pink roses are a nice touch to her iconic golden ball gown.

The Lion King float was a giant drum adorned by an animatronic Simba, who let out a loud roar as he passed by, and a stylized Zazu on the front. The monkeys move too fast for my poor little camera, guess I just need a faster lens for next time!

Mickey's Soundsational Parade at Disneyland

I still have not seen Princess and the Frog! Disney makes a movie centered around New Orleans and I completely miss it? What a crime against humanity, I really need to get my hands on a copy. Even without seeing it I’m already in love with Tiana.

What musical parade would be complete without a Mary Poppins tribute?  I loved the almost steampunk vibe this float had, even with the pastel colors and cute characters. I think this was the most detailed display in the parade. A fitting end to a magical event.

After the parade the floats took Main Street back to their holding area instead of going around the outside of the park as usual, which gave everyone a second chance to see everything up close and even interact personally with the costumed Princesses. Some of the floats were left on Main Street for the guests to really appreciate all the fine details and get pictures with the performers. A special moment as a thank you to Annual Passholders.

A Q&A session with some of the key players in the parade’s development was held at the Tomorrowland Terrace as well, but we opted to enjoy the short lines a little bit more. What can I say, we never pass up a chance to compete on Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters.

Overall I had such an amazing time at the event and I cannot wait for the next Passholder special. I hope its another one after park hours. Maybe the special return of the Main Street Electrical Parade?

Well, I can dream anyway.

Photo Post – World of Color

Some creative cropping and what were fairly mediocre shots during World of Color are now slightly more interesting.

I took my tripod wanting to get some longer exposures, but we got a spot that didn’t really offer a good frame (that lighting stand is the bane of my existence). Plus the people in front of me were idiots (sorry its the truth, even in Disneyland you run into people who just don’t give a damn). So instead of risking my camera getting introduced to the cement I opted to just hold it.

I need more practice reducing handheld shake as much as possible anyway.

The Sorcerer’s Workshop, Tea Party with a View, and Paradise Pier at Night

Disney California Adventure

We had a lot of fun in the Sorcerer’s Workshop, part of the animation attraction in California Adventure. I particularly like the decor and the designs of the flip-style animation viewers. They made for some fun photos, though I wish I was better with low-light settings.

Disney California Adventure

The Tea Cups have always been one of my favorite rides in Disneyland. When I was little my mom and I would try to be the fastest spinning cup in the group, but my dad never much cared for the spinning. So, being the big guy he is, he’d always brace his knees against the wheel so we couldn’t spin it (≧▽≦) Ah memories…

Anyway, one of the things I’ve always liked were the lanterns above the cups. At night they shine multiple colors down on the ride a create a gorgeous effect on the spinning cups. During the day I’ve never really payed them much attention, but this time I happened to look up and notice a view I’d never really appreciated before.


Next time we go back, I’d like to try a shot like this at night.

Of course, the view from the cups is always entertaining too.


Kudos to my camera, which I quickly discovered is awesome at auto-focusing while spinning.

At the end of our first night we finally got the chance to catch World of Color, the nightly water show that takes place in front of Paradise Pier in California Adventure. It. Was. Amazing~ I watched the event premier online, where they streamed the entire debut show and was blown away by it. But there’s just no comparison. Oh and don’t even get me started on the special Tron: Legacy ending, with the lights projected on the rollercoaster. Talk about an epic end to the night.

We managed to get right up front for the show (which was a lot of fun, it was like being immersed in the entire thing) so I tried to get a little creative with the view. I was inspired by a Disney Blog post by photographer Paul Hiffmeyer, but knew full well I wasn’t going to produce anything that good, haha. Especially without a tripod handy, I had to get creative by using a cement lighting stand in front of the metal fencing. My arms tangled in the bars, trying not to look like I was doing something suspicious, I propped my camera up a zig-zagged strip of metal and hoped for the best.

Disney California Adventure

Hm, not bad for a first try I suppose ( ・ω・) Though not nearly at the level I’d like it be, it gives me enough hope to go back and try again.

Disney California Adventure