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Photographer, self proclaimed foodie, blogger and regular contributor to The Disneyland Gazette podcast.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Snow White's House For Sale

Really? Wow. Read on....here

GH Live

Watching GH Live

Creepy goodness

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

So bummed....

Ya, I'm bummed. Last night I was really ticked off but now that I've "slept on it", I am no longer mad, just bummed. Let me explain...

So all day Saturday I was sooo excited about the Riverside Ghost Walk and I could hardly wait for my tour time to arrive!

The FAQs said I should arrive an hour early to allow time to find parking, walk through the Downtown Promenade and find the check-in booth, so I did as instructed. I purposely purchased a ticket to the last tour of the night in the hopes that we would take our time and possibly hear some really great ghost stories. I was able to find a parking spot quickly so I took my time walking up the Promenade, taking note of all the people still enjoying a late meal in the outdoor cafes, the various Ghost Walk tour groups going in and out of buildings and the music pulsating in the distance. "This is gonna be great!" I thought to myself. I stopped to take a photo of this very cool looking building that is now a tamale restaurant I want to try some day.


I noticed the usual game and snack booths and lamented that even though I would love to pig out on a giant size bag of kettle corn, I knew I had to stay away from the unneeded calories AND sodium. I kept walking.

The music was live and loud but not intrusive. There were a few protesters in the area - the Riverside faction of OCCUPY. They were polite and didn't bother any one. I continued walking and found the check-in booth. I presented my printed ticket and was given a red wrist band to identify me as being part of the Dark Dreams Tour. I was also told to be in line 10 minutes before my tour started - promptly at 9:40 pm.

I continued walking for a bit then realized that there wasn't much else to do while I was waiting. All the area restaurants and cafes were open but it wasn't in my budget to patronize any of those establishments. That's OK - people watching is entertaining and free!

Soon I heard a gentleman make an announcement that a dance group was going to perform for us while we waited. Cool. The music started and about 40 zombies came out of a building and started dancing. Quite entertaining until....the lyrics began.

And I quote: I'ma need ta see ya pee ya pants at the concert.

Oh good lord...The performance went on for about 12 minutes and was repeated THREE more times while I was waiting for my tour to begin. Sheesh. And just so you can hear it for yourself, here is a snippet I took. Can't see much but you can definitely HEAR those stupid lyrics.

Tour groups were leaving every 20 minutes and the guides kept reminding people with red wrist bands that they were in for an extra treat after their tour. Before I had a chance to ask about that extra treat, someone else did and the tour guide explained that after our tour, we would board a trolley to hear an exceptionally creepy story. Oh boy!!

When it was finally time for my tour, my group assembled and once again, the guide reminded us that we would be getting an extra story at the end of our tour. And we were off!!

We walked about a block and a half, past century old buildings that I had driven by hundreds of times but being this close, being able to touch the buildings and take in details that are missed from your car - that was totally cool!

We entered our first building and proceeded up wooden stairs that groaned under our weight. We were crammed into a small room that had a scene set up inside of it. 


A table with paints and brushes - three canvases, a fireplace and a painter. Then a young man stood in front of us and proceeded to read a story about a turn of the century painter that had been commissioned to do 50 paintings, all of them red, for a showing. Long story short, she ran out of red paint and decided to use her own blood. As she finished the last painting, she died. That's when we were told to exit the building. I knew at that point that this was not going to be about real ghost stories but rather, some kind of performance art. Oh well...

We exited the building and then followed our guide into the next place of business which was a very cool and funky coffee house/reading room with a loooong wooden bar and a trio playing jazz. We walked through and to the back end of the room and then we went down into the basement. Cool! We found a stage dripping with spider webs with one chair in the center. We were instructed to take a seat and then a young lady came out of nowhere and proceeded to tell us that she studied the paranormal and collected EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomena). During her performance, she would reach over to a boombox on a table and would play an EVP but guess what? The trio playing upstairs was drowning out the so called EVPs. I actually felt bad for the girl up by the stage! About 15 minutes later we were instructed to exit up another flight of stairs out to the street. I decided to hang back so I could take a photo and this should give you an idea of what we were looking at.


Once outside, we proceeded to walk to another building. Again, we went down to the basement. Once there, an announcement was made that "tonight's story was written by students from a local high school". That confirmed my suspicions - these were all stories made up for this ghost walk. The story began and somebody turned on a fog machine. There was SO MUCH fog, that it was difficult to see, LOL! So no pics. That story lasted a good 15 minutes and we exited and walked approximately 3 blocks to return to our starting point. It was then that our tour guide said "Good night and thank you for coming!"

I looked around and said (out loud) "Hey, where's the trolley? Aren't we supposed to get on the trolley for our last story?" Our guide, glanced back at be over her shoulder and started walking away - fast. Can you believe that? Not only was it rather lame but we got cheated out of your "special extra treat"!!

You know, I believe in supporting the arts so at least the price of my ticket went to a good cause. And, truth be told, if I had known up front that these stories weren't real but were written for the purpose of entertaining us, guess what? I still would have gone and I would have enjoyed the whole thing. BUT, it was not presented that way so yes, I was ticked off. Will I do it again? No. But I did hear about a ghost tour in Temecula so I might try that next year. Maybe with a few glasses of wine in me, I won't care what stories they tell....

Friday, October 28, 2011

Tis the Season for Ghoulies

Yes, ghosts, goblins, decorations and classic movies. All of these things are being represented here today.

First up, a quick video. I had just picked up my friend and we were driving down the street when we spotted this cool Halloween set up!


I wish I could have gotten a better look at this but as I said we were driving by and I quickly pulled over to shoot this. If I can get back there, I'll park and walk up to the display to get a better video because they did a GREAT job.

Then, last night my son and I went to the movies to see the one, the only GhostBusters! Just to make his friends jealous, I took this quick screen shot, LOL. After the movie, we grabbed some dinner and discussed the movie. I thought it still held up after all of these years and he said that looking at it now through adult eyes, he enjoyed it even more. So 2 thumbs up!



Last but not least, tonight I am doing the Riverside Ghost Walk. Yes, I'm taking my camera! I had never heard of this before and it sounds cool so I'm excited about it. I'll let you guys know if anything "interesting" happens...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Paul Frees

Since it's my favorite time of year and because I love the Haunted Mansion, I thought I'd share these little tidbits with you. Enjoy!




This next video has some outtakes and radio commercial spots .




There is no doubt that Paul Frees was a vocal genius and he inspired me to spend hours perfecting my voice impressions as a kid. OK, I admit it,....I still do it!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Where the idea first sprang up.

I thought you might like to take a nostalgic look back at a place that is very near and dear to my heart for two reasons. The first:  It's a place of fond childhood memories. My parents would take me on a Sunday afternoon to ride the ponies and then the carousel. Then, when my son came along, as soon as he was old enough, my dad would take him to ride the ponies and then the  carousel. I am talking about the Griffith Park carousel.



This beautiful old carousel has a special place in my heart for a second reason:  Walt used to come here and spend Saturdays with his daughters. As the story goes, he would sit on a bench and eat peanuts while his daughters rode the carousel. I find it hard to believe that Walt didn't ride it himself. After all, he was a master of the child within.


These photos were taken in 2005 during the year that Disneyland celebrated its 50th birthday. I thought it was a good idea to visit the place where the idea for Disneyland first sprang up. At the time, the carousel was being restored and they had a little display dedicated to Walt. I haven't been back since but I'm thinking I need to go. Ya, it's time.

After spending some time at the park, my friends and I went off in search of the location of Walt's first studio. The studio is long gone as you all know but we did find the historical marker.





As a kid, my folks and I would drive up and down this street almost weekly. I remember what it looked like before everything was torn down to build a supermarket. If only I had known at the time that I was passing a historical building!

Monday, October 24, 2011

What's new at the Blue Sky Cellar?

Here is a video put out by The Disneyland Gazette. Hope you enjoy it!


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Connie Joins A Paranormal Discussion

This week I am a guest on the Scurvy Monkeys podcast! We discuss the field of paranormal investigation as well as personal experience we've had. Hope you tune in!

Just click here.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Landing at LAX

This is a really cool video of a twilight landing at LAX. I think you'll like it!


Friday, October 21, 2011

SoundSational Annual Passholder Event

Before we begin, I want to give a big, big, BIG Thank You to Disneyland for this special event. It was so cool, so much fun and very much appreciated!!

I'm at the ticket booth and I've checked in but the castmember had to step away for a moment...



As I walk up to the entrance, I just had to take a little video, LOL.



Here are my goodies:  Show schedule and photo claim number. Which reminds me, I have to go get my photos!


I started my evening by getting a Pumpkin Spice Mocha and Matterhorn Macaroon. Sooooooooooo good!





Love that Mickey bat cookie.





So now I'm sitting in the Carnation Cafe area, enjoying my goodies and watching the regular guests leave the Park in droves. Ah...so relaxing!


It didn't take me long to devour this puppy!


Next, I took a seat on a bench near the hub to wait for the parade and snapped a couple of pics.




Then I got a text message from Myrna - she is the other photographer for The Disneyland Gazette - so I left the hub area to join Myrna and her friends by Pixie Hollow. We had a great viewing spot for the parade!


After the parade...


So after I followed the parade a bit, I ducked into Coke Corner to see if I had missed any new artwork the last time I was there and I did. So here they are for your enjoyment.




Unfortunately, the stores on Main Street were closed. Strange, isn't it???




What? We can't spend money??? Well phooey then...let's go to Tomorrowland.


Either they anticipated a LONG line for Star Tours or these were left from earlier in the day.



I love this new antenna ball that looks like a Mickey head ice cream on a stick!


For all you Michael Jackson fans, now you can purchase a hat and glove. It will look great when you do all of your dance moves in the breakroom at work. Trust me on this.


Cool shirt, no?


Even cooler Halloween stuff!


Some new mouse ear hats I had not noticed before...


What's next? Ghost Galaxy!! Woohoo!


I know it's hard to see but it said the wait time was only 15 minutes. Guess what? It was 10!


hee hee hee....


Time to go back to Main Street and check out the floats. Silly me, I thought they were going to have ALL of the floats out but no, only a select few. The lines were long to have your photo taken in front of the float so I decided to focus on a few details instead.


Look at that face!



The Mary Poppins float has the adorable penguins that I love.



For some reason, I took Aladdin's float with my phone.


And then I noticed the cool coffins in the window to my right...


Let's get back to the penguins, shall we?


Can you guess what this is? A pinata!


I decided to stand in line for this one...


...and here I am looking like a dufus.


Here's something you never see: City Hall is empty.


By this time it was 11:30 pm and I was cold and tired so I left and made my way to the tram...but not before taking one more picture!


Oh wait, when I got off the tram I took one more picture!



Hope you guys enjoyed this!