Friday, July 31, 2009

Indian Springs Resort in Calistoga

On my recent trip to Napa, I decided to stay in Calistoga, just a few minutes away, based upon a trusted recommendation of a friend. Fortunately, I listed to that rec, as I really enjoyed the resort that I stayed at, Indian Springs.

The resort reminds me of something out of the FDR era as you pull up. Lots of little cottages, a huge swimming pool, outdoor games, and of course the spa.

The rooms were clean and well appointed; new snacks (complimentary) magically appeared every day, too.

LOVED the pool. Just floated around all day in this giganormous rectangle of water.

The spa was excellent. Relaxing, and definitely one of the best facials I'd had in a long time.

See more Calistoga photos at my website

Tom Sawyer Island: In the beginning...

An excerpt from The Disneyland News, illustrated with early concept art:

Tom Sawyer Island to Have Old West Fort, Secret Cave

Great names from American folk lore and history will be brought alive this summer with the official opening of Tom Sawyer Island in the Rivers of America in Frontierland.

The Island, until now inaccessible to Disneyland’s visitors, will provide a slice of living Americana with the recreation of “Injun Joe’s Cave,” “Fort Wilderness” at the very edge of civilzation and the “Burning Cabin,” a building erected by a hardy settler who took the risk of going alone into unprotected Indian lands to make his homestead.

Also on the Island will be fishing piers for young anglers who wish to try their skill with the River’s well stocked fish supply. Bait and tackle will be available at the piers.

Transportation to the Tom Sawyer Island will be as unique as the Island itself. “Huck Finn Rafts” will ferry passengers from either the Mark Twain dock or the Keel Boat dock. The Keel Boats will also provide transportation as will Indian War Canoes. The canoes, replicas of the waterways transport of the Indian nations, will leave from the new Indian village to be constructed on the opposite bank of the river.

The Island itself is to be a “walk-through” type exhibit. Visitors will climb Lookout Peak or tour Injun Joe’s Cave. Inside the Cave will be tunnels leading to “rooms” hung with dripping stalactites. The floor will show a gaping “Bottomless Pit” through which cold air will blow up from an unknown source.

Polished rock, “Jungle Gym” type climb-throughs will provide children a test of imagination and skill.

The whole of the cave’s interior will be painted and decorated to carry out the story of Injun Joe’s secret hiding place as it was described by Mark Twain in the Huck Finn stories.

Meanwhile—some of you may remember the contest I ran recently to give away a futuristic juicer; Matt from was the winner and sent this way cool photo of Alice with her new acquisition:

Many thanks to Matt for sending me this awesome photo!

Don Ballard over at was kind enough to point out the location of Building #7 at the Disneyland Hotel, featured in my entries earlier this week.

More from the Disney Family Museum; today it’s a peak into Gallery 3: New Horizons: The Emergence of the Walt Disney Studio (1928 to 1940)

The success of Mickey Mouse let Walt Disney expand the newly renamed Walt Disney Studios and improve the quality of Studio animations, so he embarked on a series of ambitious projects, including the “Silly Symphonies,” one-reel shorts that let him experiment with images, music, and story lines.

In the following years, the Studio created the first Technicolor cartoons, introduced a multiplane camera to create the illusion of depth in animated films, and developed distinctive styles of movement and personality in their characters. Also in this period, Walt and Lillian’s family grew to include daughters Diane and Sharon.

The continuing success of Walt’s cartoons led to a revolution in the art and technology of animation. Vintage artifacts, animation art, character merchandise, and family photos chronicle the creative explosion of the 1930s, Walt’s sudden world fame, and Diane and Sharon.

See more Disneyland Tom Sawyer Island photos at my website.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tell-No-Tales Thursdays: Jack Sparrow @ The Costurera

To avoid the fate of Carlos, Jack Sparrow hides behind a few of the dressmaker’s (headless) mannequins. Some friends I was with at the park alerted me to the fact that if you looked/photographed the Jack Sparrow audio-animatronic figure at the Costurera just right, it looked like he was wearing a dress. After a few attempts, I finally got it.

And then without using a flash:

This little vignette was sandwiched into an existing scene when Imagineers added a few touches from the movie to the Anaheim attraction. See more Disneyland Pirates of the Caribbean photos at my website.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Disneyland Hotel, 1957: Pt. 2

2 more from the same batch. Sure could go for a Helen Grace candy right now! Although the original hotel is full of 1950’s mod-charm, it sure does lack the branding and cohesive (albeit overdone) theming present at the hotel today.

Lady, put that cigarette away! Hopefully her son doesn’t follow her bad example. And in front of building #7!

I’m sure many of you have noticed the survey on the Disneyland Railroad Stations that had been languishing up there for weeks. Not surprising that the Main Street Train Station was a guest favorite at 52% of the votes, with the Frontierland Depot coming in at 35%.

The Disneyland version seems more authentic and not quite as artificial as its Orlando counterpart:

I also love the Main Street Station, but something about that Frontierland Depot that like almost as much. Sure wish it was possible to see the inside of the Depot like in the early years of the park! I’ve always thought it was the coolest little structure!

See more Disneyland Hotel photos at my website.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Disneyland Hotel, 1957: Pt. 1 & Disneyana

Contrary to chat-room whining, Pirates are nothing new at Disneyland. Heck, even the Disneyland Hotel had a Pirate’s Den! Displaying my inner-geek, I am throwing in a close-up of the tram signage.

No superstitions here with this young lad; he had no problems at all staying in building #7.

In a little cross-blog-promotion, be sure to check out Kevin Kidney’s entry on the Birthday Cake Room in Disneyana. I always look forward to his entries, as they have some of the rarest and coolest stuff around! In a semi-recent survey, Disneyana was voted as the favorite retail shop at Disneyland by Daveland Blog readers. With its mix of art & collectibles and some of the friendliest staff around, this is truly my favorite place to shop at Disneyland.

A recent shot of the Birthday Cake Room ceiling:

See more Disneyland Hotel photos at my website.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Postman Always Rings Twice, Pt. 2

The first globs of paint have finally hit the canvas. Hopefully my creative block has ceased! As always, it begins with the eyes. To see more of my art, visit my regular my website.

Disneyland Year 5: August 1960, Pt. 5

Like all of my series must do, this one has come to a close. We finish out in Frontierland today, starting off with the rip-roaring-raging fire over at the Burning Settler’s Cabin. Naturally, I’ve included a crazy-sick closeup of the settler with the arrow through his chest.

The peaceful Indian Settlement along the Rivers of America is still there today; compare and contrast these two images:

Last one is another beauty of the Mark Twain, the most photographed Riverboat in the world!

See more Disneyland Frontierland photos at my website.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sailing Through Sundays on The JC: Another Interlude

Stuck in the rainforest a little while longer, I am including this list of boat names and their “descriptions.” While you are downloading that, feast your eyes on these great 1955 shots of Schweitzer Falls and The Back Side of Water, courtesy Kevin Kidney.

Hey, don’t try this at home under the faucet—you might hurt yourself!

Meanwhile, in other news: the other day I mentioned the cool auctions over at Swann Galleries. Here’s another way cool item that you JC fans should check out:

See more Disneyland Jungle Cruise photos at my website.