Skip navigation

Category Archives: architecture

Our journey into the Magic Kingdom continues…

To avoid getting photographically bored (gasp!) when you’ve been fortunate enough to visit this park as often as we have, you learn to notice the details. There isn’t much the Imagineers can get past me these days. ūüėČ

For example, while strolling down the sidewalk on Main Street, USA, I spotted a new addition embedded in the brickwork:

“Portal to Magic” (Portal Icon – Main Street USA, ‘Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom’ Interactive Adventure, Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World) Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, 9.9mm, F/4, 1/400s, ISO 100

At the time, I had no idea what I was photographing was part of the latest interactive adventure called “Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom”. This large bronze medallion tells game-players where magical portals are located within the park. Hmmmm, interesting… we will have to play this the next time we are there.

“La Fountaine de Cindrillon” (Cinderella Statue, Cinderella Fountain, Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World) Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, 17.3mm, F/4.5, 1/400s, ISO 100


Moving onward, we wanted to take a look at the progress being made over in the new expansion area that was formerly known as Toontown.

However, on our way there, Cinderella’s Fountain captured my eye and once again, I got down low and shot upwards so as to isolate the statue’s silhouette against the brilliant blue sky.
For reference, this is what the fountain looks like shot straight on from the front.

Cinderella Fountain

Now, you can’t photograph Cinderella and not think about Prince Charming. ūüôā Good thing his carrousel was close by and looking very colorful, washed in the Florida sunshine:

“Oh, So Charming” (Prince Charming Regal Carrousel, Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World) Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, 6.6mm, F/4, 1/1000s, ISO 100

Behind the carrousel we could catch glimpses of the construction taking place beyond the familiar Disney wooden barriers. Off in the distance, the new Beast Castle rises out of the rocky hillside:

“Beast Castle” (Beast Castle Under Construction, Fantasyland Expansion, Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World) Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, 69.2mm, F/5, 1/800s, ISO 100)

Many folks wonder why we keep returning to Disney time and time again, but for us, the answer is quite simple: “If they build it, we will come.” ūüôā


“When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny rein-deer.”

“A Magical Sight” (Cinderella Castle with Candy Cane Holiday Projection, Disney’s Magic Kingdom) Canon SuperShot SX40 HS, 10.4mm, F/4, 1/25s, -1.7EV, ISO 1600

¬†“But I heard him exclaim, ere¬†he drove out of sight –

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

~¬†exerpt, ‘A Visit from St. Nicholas’, Clement Clark Moore

Much love, good health, happiness, peace and prosperity to you and yours, now, and all through the new year! ūüôā

“Twilight Terror” (The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios) Nikon D300, 28mm, F/22, 1/320s, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Solarized Border’ Filter

Some very wet weather outside¬†has me digging through¬†the photo archives today. There are still so many photos I haven’t posted from our¬†last trip to Walt¬†Disney World!To match the doom and gloom raging outside my window,¬†it seems appropriate to take a tour of¬†‘The Twilight Zone¬†Tower of Terror’, an attraction¬†at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Although I’ve ridden the “ride”, turns out I’m not a fan of being dropped¬†down an elevator shaft. ūüėČ

So while guests rushed passed me to access the queue line, I strode leisurely along, soaking in all the extraordinary details of the run-down exterior, lobby and, yes, even the basement.

Our tour begins outside. This is one of the few images shot in color, where the sky was a brilliant blue and the gorgeous Florida sun shone beautifully,¬†lighting up all the architectural details.¬†Hmmm, doesn’t exactly conjure up a feeling of terror, now does it? No worries. A quick pass through Nik’s¬†Silver Efex Pro¬†was all I needed to pull forth the¬†uh, ‘terrifying’¬†mood.

“Concierge of Terror” (Concierge Desk, Lobby, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios) Nikon D300, 56mm, F/5.6, 1/10s, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Solarized Border’ Filter

Walking into the hotel lobby, we are first greeted by the concierge desk. I’m sure someone will be along shortly… ūüėČ

“Cuppa Terror” (Tea Cart, Lobby, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Nikon D300, 28mm, F/4.5, 1/10s, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Solarized Border’ Filter

While we wait, lets take a look around. To our left, a spot of tea can be enjoyed while taking part in a game of Mahjong. Although I’m quite impressed with the lush furnishings and elegant finishes,¬†it appears housekeeping is¬†not a high priority here. I must speak to the hotel manager about this.

“Check-in to Terror” (Front Desk, Lobby, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, 45mm, F/4.5, 1/10s, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Solarized Border’ Filter


Weary from my trip and tired of waiting for the concierge to return, I move towards the front desk.
Once again, the place seems deserted.
Perhaps the desk clerk is helping the gentleman who left his topcoat, hat and folded newspaper behind?

“Interrupted Terror” (Front Desk, Lobby, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios) Nikon D300, 28mm, F/4.5, 1/5s, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Solarized Border’ Filter

“Super-intended Terror” (Basement Office, The Twilight Zone Tower of Tower, Disney’s Hollywoood Studios) Nikon D300, 35mm, F/2.8, 1/30s, -0.3EV, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Solarized Border’ Filter


After waiting impatiently for service, I begin searching the hotel for any signs of staff, eventually making my way into the basement level of the hotel.

Here, the Superintendent’s office and maintenance areas yield more of the same: neat, orderly, yet¬†completely covered in dust and cobwebs, as if quickly abandoned and frozen in time.

“Hidden Terror” (Maintenance Shop, Basement, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Nikon D300, 28mm, F/2.8, -1.0EV, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Solarized Border’ Filter


The hidden Mickey is a nice touch and instantly reminds me that indeed, I was never in any danger what-so-ever.

“We hope your stay at The Hollywood Tower Hotel has been a pleasant one. And please… do come back and see us again.”

Happily, I step back out into the bright sunshine, thankful I didn’t become¬†a permanent resident of “The Twilight Zone’. ūüôā

When Karma posted an invitation to participate in a Photography Scavenger Hunt I immediately thought ‘How fun!’ fully intending to give¬†it a go despite the short time frame. But then, life got away from me¬†(as it tends to do) and before I knew it,¬†the deadline was looming and I had little accomplished. ūüė¶

Turns out, I wasn’t the only one having difficulty so Karma extended the submission deadline to March 6th – hooray! ūüôā

Right from the get go I planned on¬†posting the images in a collage and when I went to assemble the structure itself, I realized I needed a few more images than the 12 in the hunt to make it¬†visually appealing. (Birgitte, my dear, you do make it look so easy! ūüôā )

Scavenger Hunt Collage

All but TWO images were taken specifically for the scavenger hunt. The two in question are previously un-posted images that just fit the bill (details follow).

So here it goes:

“Bad News” (9/11 Headline, NY Times) Nikon D300, 80mm, F/5, 1/100s, ISO 640, Nik Color Efex Pro ‘Bi-color’ Filter

(1). Newspaper Headline  РFor my generation, the attack on September 11, 2001 has to be themost horrific event to occur on U.S. soil.

A day I will never forget…

“Tick Tock” (Clock Face) Nikon D300, 170mm, F/5.6, 1/15s, ISO 400, Nik Color Efex Pro ‘Old Photo’ Filter

(2). Big Round Clockface-Didn’t have to travel far for this one! Here is one of three large clock faces painted¬†in a row on a decorative board¬†in my living room. One clock is set to PST, one to EST and one to GMT (since hubby travels often to the UK).

“25 W 893” (Fruit Truck, Disney’s Hollywood Studios) Nikon D300, 46mm, F/8, 1/250s, ISO 200, Nik Color Efex Pro ‘Bi-color’ Filter

(3). A Big Lorry/Truck –¬†On our October 2010 trip¬†I spied this large, old-time Chevy¬†truck parked along¬†Sunset Boulevard in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.¬†Now, knowing Disney’s reputation for details, I imagine the license plate¬†must have some significance… anyone know? Anyone??

“You Take the High Road” (Veterans Memorial Bridge) Nikon D300, 36mm, F/16, 1/100s, ISO 200

(4). Bridge – Not one bridge but TWO!ūüôā

Constructed in 1997, the Veterans Memorial Bridge connects Beverly to Salem and rises high enough over the Danvers River to allow boats to easily pass underneath without the need for a drawbridge (huge improvement over the old bridge).

The lower bridge seen in the background is used by the MBTA commuter trains.

“Open Seating” (Park Benches at Percy F. Lyons Park, Beverly) Nikon D300, 75mm, F/18, 1/250s, ISO 200, Nik Color Efex Pro ‘Color Stylizer’ Filter

(5).Park Bench –¬†Here’s the first 2-for-1!

(I really couldn’t decide which image I liked better and, with the collage requiring additional images to be balanced,¬†I didn’t have to! ūüôā )

The first shot is definitely more indicative of my photographic style but, I was actually proud of

“Smoke Break” (Smoker on Bench, Percy F. Lyons Park) Nikon D300, 105mm, F/10, 1/400s, ISO 200, Nik Color Efex Pro ‘Color Stylizer’ Filter

myself for the second shot since I am not all that comfortable photographing strangers. 

Turns out, the guy on¬†the bench with the headphones and cigarette was completely oblivious of my presence… ūüôā

“Directional Snow” (Snow-covered Fences) Nikon D300, 55mm, F/7.1, 1/100s, +0.7EV, ISO 100

(6). Stripes –¬†This image is from¬†February of 2010. While standing¬†on the other side of our chain-link fence¬†I thought the layering of textures and directional lines would make for an interesting photograph. Back then,¬†I never¬†did anything with it. I guess it was simply waiting for the right moment. ūüôā

“Button Pusher” (Heart-shaped Button Sampler) Nikon D300, 130mm, F/5.6, 1/40s, ISO 640

(7). Something Heartshaped –¬†I posted a close-up of this sweet button sampler for Valentine’s Day.

Serving as more than just a decoration in my livingroom, it reminds me that we are all stitched together with the common thread of LOVE.


“Eyes for You” (Sewing Needles) Nikon D300, 105mm F/2.8G Macro with 3-ring Extension Tube Set and 1.7x Teleconverter yielding 180mm, F/9, 1/3s, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro B&W Filter

(8). Eyes – Yeah, I took creative¬†liberty with this one… you gotta problem with that? ūüėÄ

“Sneaks” (Jack Purcell Converse Sneakers) Nikon D300, 56mm, F/4.8, 1/25s, ISO 640, Nik Color Efex Pro ‘Color Stylizer’ Filter w/Selective Toning

(9). Your Shoes –¬†NO closet should be without¬†a pair of Converse sneakers.

These are my¬†broken-in, well-worn, limited-edition, no-lace, slip-on,¬†olive-green Jack Purcell’s.

Love ’em! ūüôā

“Play It Again” (Wooden Toy Piano) Nikon D300, 40mm, F/5.6, 1/100s, ISO 100


(10). Musical Instrument –¬†This¬†wooden toy piano from my childhood will always have a special place in my heart.

They just don’t make ’em like this anymore!

“POST” (Stylized Mailbox Letters) Nikon D300, 70mm, F/5, 1/15s, -0.7EV, ISO 640, Nik Color Efex Pro ‘Solarization’ Filter

¬†(11). Post Box –¬†Another 2-for-1! ūüôā

I happened to have my neighbor’s mailbox in my possession as it required refurbishment from all the winter abuse.¬†(I built it for her as a birthday gift oh-so-many years ago).¬†So, while¬† it underwent repairs, I snapped a few stylized images of the front.¬† Can’t get more literal than this, huh? ūüėČ

“What Can Blue Do For You?” (Post Boxes in Front of Beverly Post Office) Nikon D300, 18mm, F/16, 1/125s, ISO 200

To make up for it, I went out looking for some real post boxes to photograph. At one time, you’d find post boxes on every corner but these days, they are becoming quite rare.

I risked getting run down by a car to take this shot outside the main branch of the local P.O.

Okay, it was worth it. ūüôā

“Short and Stout” (Red Teapot on Stovetop) Nikon D300, 90mm, F/5.3, 1/10s, ISO 640

(12). Something Red –¬†I struggled for days on this one since the prompt was beyond simple and so very wide open. You see, I have many red items in my home yet, none seemed all that interesting.

Then one morning, there it was, like a slap to the forehead¬†as if to say, ‘Hey! What took you so long?’ ūüėČ

So, there ya have it, folks, and just in under the extended deadline. Phew! ūüôā

%d bloggers like this: