First Look: Toy Story Land Decorated For The Holidays

First Look: Toy Story Land Decorated For The Holidays

Guests visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios this morning are in for a holiday treat: the first sights of the holiday season have just arrived in Toy Story Land!

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Toy Story Land, which opened at the park earlier in 2018, allows guests to explore the fun and adventure of Andy’s backyard at Slinky Dog Dash, Alien Swirling Saucers and Toy Story Mania! And as of this morning, this joyfully toy-strewn land is officially set for the season, with new holiday decor that includes oversized cranberry-and-popcorn garland, an oversized Hamm sugar cookie, Green Alien ornaments, cardboard antlers on Rex and an Angel Kitty ornament and more.

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Also starting today, the land’s attractions have been plussed up with new holiday audio and music. Guests will hear sleigh bells ringing on Slinky Dog Dash, while Alien Swirling Saucers will offer two holiday tracks, plus themed lighting.

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Disney Parks After Dark: TRON Lightcycle Power Run Lights Up at Shanghai Disneyland

Tonight’s “After Dark” image was snapped in Tomorrowland at Shanghai Disneyland, where TRON Lightcycle Power Run lights up the night.

One of the fastest indoor roller coasters in Disney theme park history, TRON Lightcycle Power Run offers guests high-speed thrills and chills as the Grid comes alive in a heart-pounding race for survival.

Thanks to Mark Willard for the photo.

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Birding and Bird Photography in Natural North Florida

A guest blog from local bird photographer, Dr. Richard Davidson

Snowy Egret in Flight

Fifty million people in the U.S. plan birding outings each year. Our area is blessed with amazing opportunities for those who observe or photograph birds. The Great Florida Birding Trail (http://floridabirdingtrail.com/) includes over 500 locations for birding in Florida, with dozens in the Natural North Florida area. Two of our best-known areas are the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge in Wakulla County and the Sweetwater Wetlands Park in Gainesville.

Sweetwater Wetlands Park

Birding is increasing in popularity for many reasons. It’s a relaxing way to enjoy the outdoors and less physically challenging than many outdoor activities. And it can be done in your own backyard. You’ll need a good pair of binoculars (search the internet for good beginner’s models), and a field guide such as Peterson’s (http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/peterson/birds.cfm) or Sibley’s (http://www.sibleyguides.com/about/the-sibley-field-guide-to-birds-of-eastern-north-america). However, more and more birders are using phone apps that can include photos, descriptions and even songs. Among the best are iBird (http://ibird.com/app/iphone/ibird-pro-guide-to-birds/) and the free Audubon app (https://www.audubon.org/app).

Tricolored Heron

Bird photography requires more equipment, but it’s easy to start with reasonably priced cameras. Many beginners start with a special group of point-and-shoot cameras called “superzooms” that have very long zoom lenses built in. While some high-end models will cost over $1000, there are many lower cost excellent choices, including the Nikon P900, the Canon SX-60 or the Sony HX400V. Consumer model DSLR cameras will work fine; lenses should be a minimum of 300-400mm so you can keep your distance and still get great shots. Your camera should be capable of a shutter speed of at least 1/1000th of a second and it should have a “burst mode” option to take multiple pictures with one push of the shutter button.

Black-Crowned Night Heron

You can find many references to help you get started, but among the best is the Audubon Society photography page (https://www.audubon.org/photography).

Like any other activity, there is no substitute for just going out, even in your back yard, and shooting a lot of pictures. If you are patient and know your equipment well, you can be shooting excellent bird photographs in a few weeks.

Cattle Egret

Here’s a gallery with a few more of my favorite bird photos, all made in 2018:









The post Birding and Bird Photography in Natural North Florida appeared first on Visit Natural North Florida.

https://www.naturalnorthflorida.com/blog/birding-and-bird-photography-in-natural-north-florida/


Disney Parks After Dark: The Sun Sets at Shanghai Disneyland

Tonight’s “After Dark” image was snapped at Shanghai Disneyland at dusk. Here, the lovely sky and the park’s amazing Enchanted Storybook Castle light up the horizon.

The park’s castle features four magnificent mosaics that depict the tales of Tiana, Merida, Rapunzel, and Elsa & Anna. Inside, guests have plenty to do and see, including dining at Royal Banquet Hall, greeting Disney characters, and undergoing their own transformations at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. Enchanted Storybook Castle is also home to the Voyage of the Crystal Grotto attraction – and serves as a lovely backdrop for the park’s nighttime spectacular, “Ignite the Dream – A Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and Light.”

Is visiting Shanghai Disneyland on your bucket list?

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“Walt Disney’s Disneyland” – new book promises visual history of park

In my opinion, wandering through Disneyland is best enjoyed when you have a sense of the creative craft and intentional design that went into its creation. There are some great books and websites out there that can provide that insight and soon there will be a new entry that looks like it might be another must-have – “Walt Disney’s Disneyland.” Early previews of the book reveal many rare pieces of concept art and photos of the park in its earliest days.

“Walt Disney’s Disneyland” is a visual history of the first Magic Kingdom. It chronicles Walt Disney’s ultimate entertainment venue from the first dream through construction and into its first decade. It shows the immersive world of magic and wonder of a Disney theme park created for the first time in Anaheim.

This bountiful visual history draws on Disney’s vast historical collections, private archives, and the golden age of photojournalism to provide unique access to the concept, development, launch, and enjoyment of this sun-drenched oasis of fun and fantasy. Disneyland documents Walt’s earliest inspirations and ideas; the park’s extraordinary feats of design and engineering; its grand opening; each of its immersive “lands” from Main Street, U.S.A., to Tomorrowland; and the park’s evolution through the six decades since it opened. It is a treasure trove of Disney original documentation and expertise revealing the fascinating tale of “the happiest place on Earth.”

Personally, I’m always looking for new images and stories about the creation of Walt’s park. I can’t wait to see what’s contained in this new book.

The author of this new tomb is Chris Nichols, a writer and historian specializing in Southern Californian architecture and culture. The book is 328 pages in hardcover and is expected to hit bookshelves next month. Pre-order it today from Amazon and you’ll save 33% and help support The Disney Blog. Thank you.

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Disney Parks After Dark: Tokyo Disneyland ‘Dreamlights’ Nighttime Parade

Tonight’s “Disney Park After Dark” image was snapped at Tokyo Disneyland, as the nighttime parade “Dreamlights” made its way through the park.

Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dreamlights

In this procession, Mickey and his pals, plus characters from “Frozen,” “Aladdin,” “Cinderella,” “Toy Story” and more, delight guests atop colorful floats.

Have you been to Tokyo Disneyland yet?

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Upcoming Events

  1. Miami/Brickell Festival of the Arts

    October 20, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - January 15, 2019 @ 6:00 pm UTC+0
  2. Comedian Gerry Dee World Comedy Tour in Naples, Florida

    November 21 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm UTC+0
  3. Ocala Balloon Glow

    November 23 @ 5:00 pm - November 25 @ 10:00 pm UTC+0
  4. 9th Annual Shopapalooza Festival, Part 2

    November 24 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm UTC+0
  5. Lake Helen Christmas Parade & Santa’s Village

    November 24 @ 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm UTC+0
  6. Christmas in the Country – Lights Display, Hay Ride & Festival

    November 24 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm UTC+0
  7. Soul Beach: The Outdoor R&b / Jazz Concert & Comedy Show on the Water

    November 24 @ 7:30 pm - November 25 @ 1:00 am UTC+0
  8. 15th Annual X-Country Marathon, 30K, Half-Marathon & 5K

    November 25 @ 7:30 am - 2:30 pm UTC+0
  9. FREE TICKETS! Tampa Improv 11/27 Stand Up Comedy Show

    November 27 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm UTC+0
  10. FL Orchestra Happy Hour Concert – Nov 28

    November 28 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm UTC+0

Upcoming Events

  1. Miami/Brickell Festival of the Arts

    October 20, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - January 15, 2019 @ 6:00 pm UTC+0
  2. Comedian Gerry Dee World Comedy Tour in Naples, Florida

    November 21 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm UTC+0
  3. Ocala Balloon Glow

    November 23 @ 5:00 pm - November 25 @ 10:00 pm UTC+0
  4. 9th Annual Shopapalooza Festival, Part 2

    November 24 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm UTC+0
  5. Lake Helen Christmas Parade & Santa’s Village

    November 24 @ 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm UTC+0
  6. Christmas in the Country – Lights Display, Hay Ride & Festival

    November 24 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm UTC+0
  7. Soul Beach: The Outdoor R&b / Jazz Concert & Comedy Show on the Water

    November 24 @ 7:30 pm - November 25 @ 1:00 am UTC+0
  8. 15th Annual X-Country Marathon, 30K, Half-Marathon & 5K

    November 25 @ 7:30 am - 2:30 pm UTC+0
  9. FREE TICKETS! Tampa Improv 11/27 Stand Up Comedy Show

    November 27 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm UTC+0
  10. FL Orchestra Happy Hour Concert – Nov 28

    November 28 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm UTC+0

Join our Fun Network

  1. Miami/Brickell Festival of the Arts

    October 20, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - January 15, 2019 @ 6:00 pm UTC+0
  2. Comedian Gerry Dee World Comedy Tour in Naples, Florida

    November 21 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm UTC+0
  3. Ocala Balloon Glow

    November 23 @ 5:00 pm - November 25 @ 10:00 pm UTC+0
  4. 9th Annual Shopapalooza Festival, Part 2

    November 24 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm UTC+0
  5. Lake Helen Christmas Parade & Santa’s Village

    November 24 @ 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm UTC+0
  6. Christmas in the Country – Lights Display, Hay Ride & Festival

    November 24 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm UTC+0
  7. Soul Beach: The Outdoor R&b / Jazz Concert & Comedy Show on the Water

    November 24 @ 7:30 pm - November 25 @ 1:00 am UTC+0
  8. 15th Annual X-Country Marathon, 30K, Half-Marathon & 5K

    November 25 @ 7:30 am - 2:30 pm UTC+0
  9. FREE TICKETS! Tampa Improv 11/27 Stand Up Comedy Show

    November 27 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm UTC+0
  10. FL Orchestra Happy Hour Concert – Nov 28

    November 28 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm UTC+0