Monthly Archives: February 2015

The Good, Bad, and the Ugly – Photography at Disney

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Not too many years ago, there were only film cameras and a trip to Disney might mean upgrading from a 24 exposure roll of film to a 36 exposure roll that had to last you for the whole day or even trip.  One or two shots were taken per character and you didn’t realize the image would have bad lens flare until you got your prints back from the developer.

The amount of photography taken at Disney parks is insane.  One site states that 100-200,000 photos are taken each day just by Photopass photographers and that is probably a conservative number.  Add in cell phones, iPads, digital cameras, etc. and the numbers must be staggering.

Now, I will go out on a limb and speculate that many of the images/videos/etc. that are taken, will not make it beyond Facebook or Instagram and stand a good chance of being lost when a hard drive crashes or phone gets dropped in the lake.  But, that is each person’s individual problem and their responsibility to prevent.  And to be honest, it’s easy to assume that many of the images are never looked at again, anyway.

ipad blocking view at WDW

That is what makes some of the photography trends at Disney parks kind of interesting to look at.  This was what we saw over and over in 2013.  Huge tablets with full keyboards videoing EVERY SINGLE MINUTE of the Christmas parade.  We even saw one person carrying a 17″ laptop through the park during Christmas week.  Crazy.

ipad as camera at disney world

Luckily, it seems as if the iPad is not a Camera message was getting through, because 2014 was the year of the “selfie stick”.  And in my opinion, it is a HUGE improvement over the iPad craze.  At least you can see through it and don’t have to watch a live event in the screen of the person in front of you.

Disney sketchbook

I didn’t take any pictures of the selfie stick craze, but you can see it in my sketchbook.

A lot of articles are floating around seeking to ban the selfie stick at theme parks, but if that means the return of the iPad as camera, I say keep the selfie sticks around.

No matter what the trend of the day is, it would be fascinating to know if many of the thousands of photos and videos get edited and make their way off of the phone/tablet/etc. and into a easier to view format?

As for me, I will stick to whatever images I can get while carrying the least amount of gear – a Sony RX100 II.  At 2.3 inches by 4 inches and a weight of about 9 ounces, it is a great theme park camera.  Unobtrusive, lightweight, and a battery that lasts 2 days since the flash is almost never used.

ISO 3200, f1.8, 1/250

ISO 3200, f1.8, 1/250

Disney Every Day – Episode 3

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Along with the standard question, “How long until we are going to Disney World?”, another frequent question is “What day do we do __________?”  So, to help Isabella learn days, months, time, etc., we made her a Morning Circle Time Board.  It has a calendar, learning clock, weather station, etc., but her favorite part of it is the moveable monorail to change the day of the week.

DIY Monorail - Days of the Week activity

The board is a simple foam core board with various elements glued or laminated on.  For the monorail track, we cut a slit in the foam core with an exacto knife above the days of the week.

We searched for a simple image of the monorail and printed it off on cardstock.  We used ModPodge to adhere it to a piece of balsa wood (from Hobby Lobby) and sealed it with a top coat of ModPodge.  The balsa wood was easy to cut with an exacto knife.  We glued a small sliver of foam core to the back of the balsa wood to hold the monorail in the track and glued a flat washer to the back of that.

Disney Every Day – Episode 2

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Isabella loves her play kitchen and has all variety of play food  to “cook” with, but one thing that was missing were treats similar to what we get in Disney parks.

A little plywood, small dowels, a few cuts on a bandsaw, acrylic paint, and Polycrylic sealer and we’ve got Mickey Ice Cream Bars that never melt!

DIY play food Mickey ice cream bars

A Little Bit of Disney in Our Day

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We play a lot of “Disney World” at home in between trips.  Stuffed animals are buckled in to the Mine Train (aka the couch), laundry baskets become It’s a Small World boat, and some “rides” even require the use of a fast pass.

So, we made our own “fast pass reader”.

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It is made with a simple tap light similar to this available at Home Depot, Lowes, or even the dollar store:

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We lightly sanded the underside of the dome and painted it with acrylic paint before re-assembling it.  If we were doing it again, we might paint the Mickey outline with a brush and spray paint the rest with a yellow/gold paint to get a smoother finish, but Isabella doesn’t seem to mind the uneven paint job.

diy fast pass reader

And at least we’ve found a way to play with the little collection of Magic Bands we are starting to acquire!

Seven Dwarfs Ruffled Peasant Tunic

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seven dwarves ruffled tunic diy

Isabella wanted to meet Snow White on our second day at the Magic Kingdom and she was just tall enough to ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, so the search was on for an outfit to fit the occasion.

A trip to Joanns yielded this adorable seven dwarfs fabric which was perfect for that day:

Seven Dwarves fabric

Isabella’s top was a basic peasant-style tunic with a ruffled collar attached and princess style sleeves.  There are a number of free peasant dress patterns and tutorials online including this one from Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom and this one from Create Kids Couture if you want to make your own.

Girls Seven Dwarfs top DIY

We used the free Flounced Ruffle Capri pattern from Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom in a cotton interlock for her pants.

Our goal is to find/make unique, but comfortable outfits for Isabella.  Snow White gave this one her seal of approval.

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