Disney blog postings

Disney Postings

Earliest: May 30, 2003Latest: August 14, 2017Total: 99

November 9, 2015

Disney World Photo Notes

Just return from a fun week at Walt Disney World. The park was very busy and it was a very humid week. During the seven days, I took 4,329 Photos and 409 videos. I used both my iPhone 6s Plus and Olympus XZ-2 iHS cameras. I used my Olympus XZ-2 iHS camera more than my iPhone.

disney camera

During the evening, I took advantage of the Free WiFi at the hotel and back up all the photos on my iPhone 6s Plus to Google Photos and Flickr. I used both because Google Photos has an awesome search capability, while photos uploaded to my Flickr account don't get compresses. There was one day where it took all night to back up about 300 photos/videos to Google Photos.

I found that using both camera was the way to go, since the Olympus XZ-2 iHS takes much better photos in low light conditions. I tested taking some night shots around the Haunted using the iPhone 6s Plus and found that it was much darker than pictures taken with the Olympus camera.

Olympus XZ-2 iHS Photo Notes

Pictures taken with the Olympus XZ-2 iHS were mostly done using the 4:3 format; 3968 x 2976. The only exception was some photos that were taken in High Definition, which were taken using 1920 x 1440 resolution. I didn't know that using the 'HD mode' would result in a smaller resolution size, so I wouldn't select this option in the future.

With all the photos and videos that I took with the Olympus camera, the battery held out very well. I carried a couple of extra batteries and didn't need to use them at anytime during the whole week. I charged the camera battery every night, and that charged was enough for the whole day. In the future, I'll just bring one extra battery for a "just in case" situation.

iPhone 6s Plus Photo Notes

Pictures taken with the iPhone back camera were using the 4032 x 3024 resolution. This is important to know because Google Photos will downsize any photo uploaded that are bigger than 2048 using the longest dimension. This means that any photo that I upload using my iPhone 6s Plus will get recompressed. There will be some loss of quality, but shouldn't be noticeable for any posting to social media or emails.

I saw a lot of tourist taking pictures only with their cellular phones. I think if your going to spend a lot of money to travel to any vacation place, you should at least have a decent camera to take pictures to remember the trip. Granted if your only taking pictures to post on social media, then ya a cellular camera is fine.

The battery life in the iPhone 6s Plus did very well. I brought along my Jackery 6000mAh USB Power Hub and used it a couple of times to power up my phone. There are a couple of spots in the Magic Kingdom were you can charge your USB device; One behind the Haunted Mansion store in Liberty Square, and the other in the store as you get off Space Mountain in Tomorrowland. These are great to have, but do you really want to be sitting around waiting for the phone to get charged? Having a 6000mAh USB Power Hub is perfect size to power up your phone while your waiting in line or eating lunch. The device is small enough that you may forget having it in your pocket.

October 27, 2015

Disney Port Orleans Riverside Resort

Port Orleans-Riverside

On our next Disney World vacation we are staying at the Disney Port Orleans Riverside Resort.

This is the first time that we are staying at this Disney moderate resort so we are not exactly sure to expect from this resort. We have heard some great things from travel critics and Disney loyalists.

Before heading out on any trip, I do some information gathering. I do this so that we can have the best stay possible. This becomes easier and easier as more and more people blog about their traveling experiences.

Here's some things that I discovered about the resort:

Penny Souvenir Machines

According to themouseforless.com we should plan to bring lots of quarters and pennies with us. There are 15 different coins we can get at Disney?s Port Orleans Riverside Resort. Using the Penny machines is a good way to collect unique souvenirs. The designs you get at each hotel is unique to that hotel. Since some locations do change them often, it could be unique for that vacation.

Apparently the Disney?s Port Orleans Riverside Resort is the only place where you can get an Eeyore press penny. So if your an Eeyore fan, or know someone that is, head over to the Fulton?s General Store to get your coin made! The store is open from 8am until 11pm everyday.

There?s a great post on disneydining.com on the ?9 Reasons why you should collect pressed pennies at Walt Disney World.? It makes a great read if your undecided on using the Penny Souvenir machines at Disney World.

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Check in times

Most of the Disney Hotels have standard 3pm check-in times. Port Orleans-Riverside isn't any different. We have found that some case the resort may check you in early. In any case, all the Disney Resort hotels will hold your bags with the Bell Services should your room not be ready when you arrive. Make sure to leave a cell phone number, and they will send you a text message on when the room is ready.

You can always change clothes once you arrive at the hotel, but if your using the Magic Your Way luggage check in, plan for your luggage to arrive a few hours later. This is especially important if you are need and medicine in the suitcase such as an inhaler. You should plan on being without your luggage for a few hours after you arrive at the hotel.

Disney?s Port Orleans Riverside Resort is participates in the Disney Online Check-In Program, which allows you to enter in some information up to 60 days before your arrival

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Distance to the Magic Kingdom

It's going to take 12-15 minutes to get to the Magic Kingdom via the Walt Disney Bus ride. This is good to know in advance if we want to get to the park early, or if we go back to the room during the day and want to return for in time for a dinner reservations. There are signs posted on how often the buses run to/from the parks.

The good thing is that the Magic Bus doesn't connect with another hotel, so you'll express back to your room after a long day. There are four stops at the Disney?s Port Orleans Riverside Resort.

We have found that if you have early breakfast reservations at the park, you might be better taking a taxi to the Ticket and Transportation center. However, the first bus leaves at 6:45, and I am certain that there isn?t any reservation at the Magic Kingdom before 7am.

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Hidden Mickey

Every hotel has some hidden Mickey in the lobby. When your checking in be sure to ask the Cast Member where their favorite hidden Mickey is. Usually they just give you a general clue.

If you like to know before going, check out portorleans.com trivia page or to the hiddenmickeys.org Dixie Landing Resort page, which has some old material.

Riverside Mill Food Court

The Riverside Mill Food Court closes at midnight every night. This is important to know if we want to get some water or a snack after a long day in the park.

While it's very convenient to buy a drink at the soda machines on our floor, it's much cheaper in the cafe. Since we are on the Disney Dining plan, it comes with a souvenir mug. This gives us the privilege to to get unlimited refills on our drinks at the Riverside Mill Food Court. It's technically not free since it was included as part of the meal plan. Your simply maximizing the privileges that you already paid for.

The good thing about the cup is that it's very practical to use long after the trip. The cup from our last trip has gotten plenty plenty of uses around my office. I use it to get a large cup of coffee from the Verismo Coffee Maker machine.

October 26, 2015

Selfie Sticks in the Magic Kingdom

We are heading back to Walt Disney World very soon! This will be the second trip in 2015. We are going back on a hotel discount by using Disney?s bounce back program. This promotion provides a 15% discount on any moderate hotel stay to those that are staying in the park. You can find the discount information in the mini-magazine when you check into your Disney hotel. Make sure to read the entire brochure, you can miss a great savings opportunity!

Haunted Mansion Desktop

To get in the Disney mood, I changed the desktop picture on my laptop to the picture of the Haunted Mansion taken from Frontier-land. It also gives me the right frame of mind to think about what I may need to bring on this trip.

I am pretty disappointed that Disney has a complete ban the use of Monopods (Selfie sticks). I remember having my xShot in Disneyland back in 2009. While walking down Main Street, people around me were watching and wondering what camera device I was using. I was able to take really good pictures of the Haunted Mansion exterior as the ride was closed. I used the xShot to take pictures over the fence.

I fully understand Disney not allowing Selfie Sticks on the rides as they could be extremely dangerous. However, prohibiting people from taking Selfie pictures around the parks with their own cameras seems weird. Perhaps the Selfie Sticks were cutting into the sales of Disney Photo passes.

You can find full coverage of the Selfie Sticks from: MarketWatch.com, Orlando Sentinel and the BBC.

Disney provides a handy list of all the things you can't bring. It's a good list to review for packing because you don't have issues at the park security gate. Many of these same restrictions apply to Universal Studios and Knotts Berry Farm.

I'll be having both my Olympus XZ-2 iHS and iPhone 6s Plus to take pictures and videos. The Olympus XZ-2 iHS takes much better photos/videos in the dark.

February 12, 2015

Disney's Art of Animation Resort

Earlier this year we went to the Disneyworld and stayed at the Finding Nemo suites in the Disney's Art of Animation Resort. Here are some things consider packing if you are going:

Laundry - In each of the theme hotel rooms are laundry facities. You should consider packing some laundry supplies such as detergent and dryer sheets. If anything pack a dryer sheet since it can help make your clothes smell good. Also don't forget to pack a laundry bag to carry the clothes back and forth from the laundrymat.

Money - Bring some extra change with you in case you need to use the vending machines. A 20oz bottle cost $3 at the room floor vending machines. Many of the machines accept dollar bills, and only one of them accept credit cards. There's also a souvenir penny machine in the seating area of the cafe.

USB hub - Buy a good travel size USB hub charging station. This will make it easy to charge all your devices, Phones, Cameras and tablets. Got a FitBit? Don't forget to bring that charger too! You can get a good multiport USB Hub for $30.

Stickers - If you get the meal plan, which you should do if your staying for more than 5 days, you should bring some stickers to easily identify your souvenir mug. Disney only has a few unique designs, and if you have a large party it might be hard to tell the souvenir mugs apart.

Bath Toy - Disney doesn't have any restrictions on toys in the pool. Pack up some pool/bath toys for your toddler. Your toddler will be the most popular person in the pool as everyone will want to play with the toys.

Luggage Scale - If you plan on buying a lot of things at the parks, having a digital luggage scale can save you a lot of trouble at the airport. You'll be able to balance all your luggage and know a head of time if you are over the 50 lbs limit.

Dish Soap - In the Finding Nemo suites, they have a kitchen sink but no dish soap. Pack up some Dish soap in a 3oz travel container. You'll need it to clean out the souvenir mugs between uses. You can buy some dish soap at the store, but you'll end up spending $4 for a small bottle.

HDMI Cable - If your tablet has a HDMI connector you should consider bringing an HDMI cable to watch movies on the TV. In the Finding Nemo rooms both TVs have an easy HDMI hookup. Yes, the rooms have Free Wi-Fi access.

January 16, 2015

RAW Format

Olympus XZ-2 iHS has the ability to create RAW files. RAW format is the uncompressed version of a photo that the camera takes. This is useful when you take pictures and wish to edit them later to manual touch up the photo.

The Olympus XZ-2 iHS' RAW file type is ORF and the file size is 18,869 KB. This means on a standard DVD, I can only store 227 files.

On a recent trip to Disney World, I took 425 RAW pictures which takes up 7.67 GB of space!

Apple's iPhoto is one of many photo applications that supports the RAW format for editing.

May 20, 2014

Disney World Video Camera

I am in the very early stages of looking for the perfect camera for a trip to Walt Disney World in 2015. I do have some very specific requirements for the camera. For example, many rides in the Magic Kingdom are in low light, so the camera should work great in low light conditions.

I created another webpage of the various cameras that I have found. If your looking for the perfect YouTube camera for your Blog, or a camera for Disney World you don't want to miss the why some cameras are better than others.

I plan on picking the perfect camera by September. This will give me plenty of time to learn how to use all the functionality of the camera. In addition, I'll be able to learn how to take excellent video with the camera.

Note: The review page is constantly changing as new cameras are announced and as I discover different cameras that is worth looking at.

July 25, 2013
Haunted Mansion Closed Sign

Haunted Mansion Refurbishment

This year the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland will be closing for refurbishment on August 26, 2013 for it's annual seasonal changeover. Disney closes this popular attraction to turn it into the Haunted Mansion Holiday through the Christmas season.

Disney adds characters from Tim Burton's "The Nightmare before Christmas" into the the ride. This year it's extra special since this is the 20th Anniversary of the movie.

To get ready for the celebration, you can buy t-shirts at the Emporium on Main Street. Also be sure to check out some of the stores in New Orleans Square for additional Haunted Mansion merchandise.

The ride will be open on Friday the 13th of September, which seems like a perfect time to visit the Haunted Mansion!

If you should be at Disneyland when the Haunted Mansion is closed for the Refurbishment, you can use the opportunity to take some pictures of the Haunted Mansion. It's very hard to take pictures of the attraction with no one in the picture, and this will be a good opportunity.

July 1, 2010

Latitude and Longitude

Couple of trivial Latitude and Longitude for Trivia Users:

DisneyWorld Haunted Mansion:
Latitude, Longitude
28.420448,-81.583137

DisneyLand Haunted Mansion:
Latitude, Longitude
33.811731,-117.922059

September 28, 2009

Using the X-Shot

I recently purchase the X-Shot for our trip to LA and Las Vegas. Here are some notes:

  • I suggest packing the X-Shot in a suitcase, I don't think airline security will allow it on the airline.
  • There was no problem bringing the X-Shot to Disneyland. Several Cast members saw me using it and didn't say anything. Some online post suggest that Disney doesn't like people bringing tripod into Disneyland, but that was not the case with the X-Shot.
  • In Disneyland, you can use the XShot to take some good pictures of the parade.
  • The X-Shot works really well with the Fuji FinePix e900 digital camera with the 2 second delay.
  • The X-Shot fit perfectly into my video camera bag and was very easy to use when the opportunity to use it came in handy.

Try the X-Shot on your next trip!

September 9, 2009

Travel Book

I have been busy working on my booklet for a nice vacation to California and Nevada. There's a few remaining item that I would like to get in the book before it gets compiled in the next 24 hours.

Creating a personalize travel book is a way that I like to get ready for a vacation. I design this book to be a reference guide to our trip. I look for things such as the best restaurant to eat, driving directions to attractions and stores, and so much more. Usually the book doesn't get compiled until a few days before the trip, so that all the information is fresh.

Remaining Items for the California Portion of the trip: