Would you pay $4.99 for a cupcake at Disney?

Cupcake Store Cupcake
Yummmmm! Designer cupcakes now coming to a store in Downtown Disney at Anaheim CA (The Disneyland Downtown Disney, not the WDW Downtown Disney.)

At $4.95 each cupcake, Orange Co. CA Register says that price point is $1.50 higher than formerly most expensive in Orange county, CA.

Your thoughts? Check the link then reply!

Cupcake Store Outside

The Cupcake Store kiosk is located in front of the AMC Theatres and Compass Books and Cafe, not far from the Disneyland Hotel.


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Walt Disney’s 1935 8-Page Animation Manifesto

This link takes you to SlashFilm.com where they discuss an eight-page letter Walt Disney himself wrote in 1935 to the director of an art school (today called Cal Arts, where a lot of Disney future animators went to school to learn their crafts) where he was trying to encourage studying animation as an art form. 

The person posting the actual documents of the eight page letter was blown away by the eloquence of it coming from Walt Disney himself, and how that resonates for films of today.


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Alone at Disneyland for Fireworks from Main Street USA Tues. Night

Believe fireworks from Main Street USA in Town Square

Alone at Disneyland, Tuesday Night

By Carol Koster

Rich and Michael went on to the room the evening I shot all these photos of fireworks you see here. At the time I was into “Well, we’re here now, when will we be back, let’s stay and see/do this (whatever the “this” is at the time) now?” Sometimes thpugh when you’re tired you’re tired, and they were, so they went on back to the Disneyland Hotel. Over the course of the two trips we missed out on a lot by disregarding “We’re here, now, let’s do it.” We grabbed up FastPasses and never went back to use them, in fact we grabbed up FastPasses when lines weren’t all that bad, and never went back to use them, could’ve ridden rides when “We’re here, now, let’s do it.”-kind of thing.
 
Some people find it lonely to anticipate being in a Disney theme park by one’s self. On the few times in my life this has happened to me (one year Rich was at a professional conference at WDW and I went touring the Magic Kingdom by myself) I’ve simply enjoyed the moment, or period of time, for what it was:
 
In everyone’s busy life, you need “soul replenishment,” not just in a religious spiritual way, but in a secular mental-emotional way, too. Sometimes being by one’s self can be rejuvenating, liberating, and give you a pep of memories to recall at future times when life is too busy, too crowded, too chaotic. No distractions. No complaining from others. You can have your own thoughts and feelings and opinions and savor those. You have freedom to go wherever and do whatever. While I love being “married with a ‘tween boy,” there are times when I don’t have enough alone time to have some peace, self-determination, make choices that please and suit me, and keep my own schedule. And spontaneously, that moment presented itself to me when Rich and Michael moved on to the hotel room, and I stayed behind to see the Disneyland fireworks.
 
Consequently, it was kinda neat to empty my mind out and let the show and narration and music and group experience I was in take over.
 
Comfy non-squished spots in Town Square were, at first, hard to come by. But crowds even during Disney fireworks shows can and do shift and move around. Using that to work for me, my view became unobstructed within a few minutes of the show having started. Town Square is not the very back of the crowds on Main Street to view fireworks, but it’s close to it. With families with young children deciding at early to mid show to get out of Dodge to take their tuckered out tots to bed afterall, life became comfortable and pleasant.
 
A great technique is to use to use this as a relaxation exercise and pretend you’re taking your whole intellectual activity — and short term put a lid on it. There’s no time, space, thought process, things to think about. There is only being conscious of the visual and aural environment around you, becoming naturally one with it, keeping yourself in a simple but real state, and let it all take place, then absorb it.
 
A lot of these fireworks photos you see identified as taken by me at Disneyland at either of our trips was to attempt to get the ideal, “picture postcard”-type shot of a chrysanthemum type starburst of sparkling gems of a fireworks display.
 
That’s hard to do on an iPhone. Rich tells me there’s an App in the Apps Store at iTunes called “Night Camera” that opens the appeture of the iPhone camera when it senses the camera is being held very steady, so it takes better photos that aren’t as blurry — and hence more likely to get a hard to shoot night shot of, say, fireworks in theme parks.
 
Without that App or knowing if it would work well for the purpose of theme park nighttime fireworks photos or not, taking photos of Disney fireworks using only an iPhone is tricky, a bit frustrating, and slow. First there is positioning yourself within jostling crowds and kids and kids on their parents’ shoulders to get a clear shot. There is also the technique of having to hold up your iPhone in order to frame the subject, which act gets in other people’s way of wanting their own unencumbered view. Last, in very low light conditions, the iPhone’s factory settings don’t allow to open appetures of lens up or for low light conditions, it’s factory set to an average, and left there. In low light conditions you snap a photo on the iPhone, then the shutter closes over and stay closed over, a very long time. Fireworks go kinda quick. It’s very hard to determine if you snapped the photo at the opportune moment or if the iPhone’s processing lags.
 
So as I was taught in two years of photography at college, I kept snapping. I figured out of constant or frequent snapping it might average out to a few good, representative, pretty shots that would represent “Disneyland fireworks” in general. Then later I’d go through them and delete what was substandard. Many truly blurry, awful, indistinct, undistinguishable photos I did in fact delete on the spot and just kept trying.
 
iPhone’s camera works best, and it’s images sharpest, in bright light conditions, not so much at night for some subjects or lighting conditions.
 
It’s lens cannot zoom and crop. Consequently the Castle appears very small and obscured, and when I use the finger pinch action on my iPhone to “zoom in” on the photos I took the Castle appears as a fuzz of pink and blue and purple lighting at a horizon line.
 
For quick, fast, “can e-mail it from the iPhone”-type photos and snap shots, the iPhone’s camera works best on the fly and can actually do a decent job of photography.
 
But for some shots, let’s face it, you want a good and true camera, with a lens or lenses, with a manually-adjustable apperture and shutter speed. Disney theme park fireworks and some other low light situations at Disney are best preserved for the memory books with a “real” camera, not one on a smart phone. Go get some photography classes, too, if you invest in a truly good camera. That training and the “training of your eye” to spot good photo subjects and photo opportunities will give you a true treasure of photos to reinforce your memories with.
 
In the meantime, some of the photos Rich posted from my iPhone are obviously better than others. Just scroll through and get the idea “Disneyland fireworks”, and that being there is much better than these photos might represent!
 
Lest you get a wrong impression, yes Rich and Michael have in fact seen, in person, Disneyland fireworks displays on our two 2008 vacations there. They both liked what they saw! But seeing it “again” on a night they were tired, they elected to return to the room. I figured “No telling when we/I will come back, savor the moment here and now” and stayed behind.
 
–Carol

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My Earliest Memory Was at Disneyland

Everyone remembers their “earliest memory” of when they were a child, that memory of doing something or being somewhere that they know they were only X-years old and they can’t remember back farther than that.

But do not, under any circumstance, think of yourself as “old”… Unless you want to recite Lewis Carroll’s poem “You are old, Father William…”
If anything, we’re lucky to have seen a truly long view and maturation of the Disney Company and their theme parks and their evolution. We have the advantage of having been alive when Walt and his original Imagineers were and actively creating, and we have life perspective. We can see things, know history and background, that enhances our Disney fanship experience. And seeing how things go, sometimes you experience an aspect of Disney parks for a relatively short time, and the next renovation period comes along and that great experience gets scrapped for something else. Value this!

Walt Disney walks through Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland. © Disney

Walt Disney walks through Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland. © Disney

Baby Boomer generation were the first to be marketed to about Disney since the medium of television came along and prospered when we were mere tykes. Our generation is what Walt used to tweak his ideas in the parks, consequently our generation were his first collaborators in the public, so to speak. That’s a proud memory and a proud generational partnership! Cherish it!

 

And today, I find “Wall-E” a profoundly moving, masterpiece film, touches raw essential human nerves and touches the heart of what it truly means to be human. And that’s a 2008 product of Pixar with Disney’s backing and support. I still choke up at the end of that movie, and it’s a contemporary film.

 

Proving it’s about the story, the characters, the “good character” in characters’ souls, and touching people’s hearts. If Disney succeeds in that, they “have you” not just for a moment, but a lifetime, and you willingly expose future generations to it because it’s a good thing, and a humanly connecting unifying thing among peoples, families, and nationalities and time.

-Carol Koster

This is what the construction wall outside the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough looked like in July when we were there. The wall will come down when the attraction reopens later this year, better than ever.
-Rich

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This website is not affiliated with any part of The Walt Disney Company.

The Disney Echo at DisneyEcho.emuck.com is your interactive online magazine to discover new wonders and share magical Disney memories.

The display on this page is set up to show the posts in reverse chronological order of when they were posted originally, so if you want to read the reports from the beginning, go to the last post on the last page and work forward. The first entry about the Koster family's July 2008 Disneyland trip can be found by clicking here and the first entry about their Easter 2008 Disneyland trip can be found by selecting this link.

That link goes to the very first travel-related article on this website: Welcome to our Trip Report.

The entry made after that first one is found after clicking the link named "Our Vacation Plans At-A-Glance" and that link is found above and below the first entry.

The third entry is similarly found after clicking the link above and below the second one, where the link is named "Packing Up"

One can read all the travel-related entries in the order they were posted by going to the next entry and the next entry the same way. Otherwise, this website defaults to displaying the most-recently-posted entries followed by older entries below it on the page as well as on the pages after it.

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FTC-Mandated Disclosure: As of December 2009, bloggers are required by the Federal Trade Commission to disclose payments and freebies. Unless otherwise noted, Rich Koster did not receive any payments, free items, or free services from any of the parties discussed in these articles. He pays for his own admission to theme parks and their associated events, unless otherwise explicitly noted.

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