Trip Report A Dragon leaps into the 'fire' - WDW observations from Sept 21st thru 28th 2020

Hello fellow World Travelers, and welcome to a overview of a recent unexpected visit i made to Walt Disney World recently.

Returned a few days ago after a week long stay, and i have to say it was a unusual experience.
Very 'different' , and interesting to observe this 'alternative' version of operations.
I have been visiting the Florida Properties since the late 1970s, and each visit has been unique in it's own way.
This most recent excursion also fits that's description, for sure.

All thanks to those pesky lil' microbes that want to get inside of you and hug your lungs....

WDW - COVID Ears.jpg


So let us begin the overview.

I honestly has NO plans to visit Florida or WDW this year.
With all the chaos that was happening with the world pandemic issues , travel restrictions, general uncertainties, and rise in cases in the places i wanted to travel to, it looked like this year was going to not include a trip somewhere.
It finally reached a point where i basically said 'fluff it...i'm going anyway...' and held out for California.
Love it out there.

Several people i knew were planning on visiting WDW with their families earlier this year , but once the COVID Apocalypse hit it understandably changed their plans.
While they were thinking of rescheduling, i was strongly advising them to NOT visit this year and wait until next Autumn.
They took my advice, and i still recommend anyone thinking about visiting WDW at this time reconsider.
That is not because i had a negative experience, but more to do with the greatly diminished offerings most of us here are familiar with.
The overall Guest Experience can be impacted quite a bit depending on what your primary focus is.

So how ironic that the one so strongly recommending people don't go now...ends up going herself.
Yes, irony.
But there is a difference between a First Timer or a family group who have not visited in several years when compared to a regular who knows the ropes and the Property like the back of their hand.
As a solo traveler who has experienced many of Shows and services over the years multiple times that are now temporarily not operating at WDW, i did'nt feel like i am 'missing out' on anything.
It was a slightly 'lesser' experience due to not everything being operational, but it was still a full adventure with a lot of nice moments.
However, most of those said 'missing' experiences i would not want a 'Newbie' or a family to miss out on as they are a crucial element to a truly Magical WDW Experience.
So i still strongly recommend that those who fit into those perimeters seriously consider waiting until next year or beyond to visit.


My solo venture was a good experience, and i am glad i did it.
It was a last minute decision to go after watching airfare rates for the past month, but i was feeling the urge to travel somewhere this Autumn.

Originally i was targeting CA, as i do so enjoy it out there.
However, since Disneyland in CA was still closed i considered a possible re-visit to WDW.
Taking at look at the then current Resort rates it was still 'too expensive' to me for the choices i was looking over and the limited choices were a turn off to my wallet.
Only one 'Value Resort' option.
Mickey however knew i was peeking into rates, and in early September sent me a PIN Code offer that made me rethink things.
I've figured out what sets off the algorithm to get those discount offers, and have recived many over the years but rarely use them as they typically are the same as the publicly offered deals.
This time however was different....and i qualified despite living in a State they at the time were targeting specific discounts to.
So i went for it.

Time was running out to commit to booking a flight as well as requesting the time off from work, so the first week of September i booked for a trip that took place two weeks later.
So 'Pop' was really the only option ....so i went with it.

What was priced $178 a night was now $117.
Although that is still a bit pricey for a 'Value Resort' in my mind , when i considered the included Magical Express and Skyliner transportation options it didn't seem all that bad.
Typically, i stay at my long time 'apartment' at All Star Music.
Been doing that ages...but alas, those Resorts are all still closed.
So 'Pop Century' it was, and i was actually looking forward to staying somewhere new after all these years.

Travel papers in hand, it was time to set off on this excursion into Central Florida once again -

WDW - Travel Papers.jpg
 
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Figments Friend

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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Continuing on now....

After arriving at 'Pop Century' and checking in, i headed to my room in the 1980s building to be greeted with a nice little surprise -
Mickey must have know i was arriving late, and how much i like to listen to ambiant Theme Park music.
Someone left 'Resort Tv' on in my room!

It was a little surprising as i approached my room and saw the blue glow coming through the window.
For a 5 second moment, i thought i had perhaps been sent to the wrong room and someone else was in there watching tv....
Nope.
It was left on for me as a little arrival 'welcome' apparently.
Either that, or 'Mousekeeping' had it one while cleaning and forgot to turn it off.....
Regardless of the reasons behind it, it was a nice way to arrive after a long journey.

Once decorating my room window and taking a hot shower, it was time to saw some logs and catch some major zzzzzs.
There's a 'Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow'...literally.....as tomorrow will be a return to the Magic Kingdom to experience what it's like during these unprecedented times.

-

All too quickly daytime arrives and it's off to The Contemporary Resort for my breakfast reservation at 'Chef Mickey's'.
This popular dining spot is usually a character buffet which i have experienced several times in the past, but this time around i had learned in advance that there were come changes -
No characters, and a all-you-care-to-eat breakfast feast for $25.
Sitting inside the Contemporary, watching the Monorails glide by.
Yes, that sure sounded like a good deal to me.....and i already knew i liked the food.
Typically i go over to Kona Cafe at the Polynesian Resort Village for my 'first breakfast' but this time i decided to take advance of the changes at 'Chef Mickey's'.

So breakfast was terrific.
I thought for a all you can eat, and the setting / scenery around you it was a good deal at $25.
Everything tasted really good.
Eggs, pancakes, Mickey waffles, hash browns, smoked salmon, bread and muffins...you name it.

The tater tots / potato puffs were amazing.
The best i have ever had...and i know that probably sounds odd.
Of all the things to rave about, i pick tater tots of all things.....but MAN were these crispy perfection!


-
 

Figments Friend

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
After breakfast at the Contemporary it was about 11:30am or so, and it was time to stroll over to the Magic Kingdom.
As is the same for when you arrive by bus, all Guests have to pass through a per-security screening area to have your body temperature checked.
It is a quick process, with a CM holding a hand help measurer in front of you forehead.
Every time they did it during my visit, i could only think of it feeling like someone was holding a gun to my forehead.
I know.....kinda strange to think that, but i'm just tellin' it like it is.

After the temperature screening you then approach the bag screening area.
As Magic Kingdom does not yet have the brand new speedy walk through screeners in place yet, one still has to remove a few things from their bag(s) before being able to pass their the security screener.
Items such as most electronics, umbrellas, and any water bottles or other containers with liquid in them.
Currently, both Animal Kingdom and Holly Studios has the new screeners that you just simply walk through.
I am sure at some point soon both Magic Kingdom and Epcot will have these as well, but for now it's the usual.

After passing security and the entrance turnstiles, i was now finally within the premises and it was time for the first stop on the tour -
The WDW Fire Station to pick up a pack of 'Sorcerer's of The Magic Kingdom' cards.

WDW- Sorcerer's of the Magic Kingdom cards and map.jpg


For those not familiar with this in-Park interactive game, Guests can pick up a free map and a pack of 'magic spell' trading cards each day of their visit to the Magic Kingdom.
One then traverses the Park searching for the 'Magic Portals' hidden throughout the different lands, and helps Merlin battle various Disney Villains trying to take over the Magic Kingdom by 'casting spells' with these different trading cards.
You stand in a certain spot in front of the portal and at the right moment wave your 'spell' in front of you and watch what happens.

It's actually a pretty cool little game to play...and the portals all feature different scenes and different ways things can turn out.
The cards themselves are fairly collectible for a lot of fans, too, so i always try to pick up a pack when i visit.

If you are just beginning and this is your first time playing, a Cast Member will typically give you a brief 'magic spell casting lesson' while you are in the Fire Station.
This involves going through the motions with a Guest new to the game so they understand how it's all supposed to work and how to wave the cards in front of the portal correctly.
I did during this visit however that there seemed to be a lot of Guests that were not getting to experience this quick lesson to start them off.
While sitting down to relax near a couple of the portals during my venture, i had two groups of Guests try to get the portal to work and had no clue at all how to do so.
Being the nice dragon that i am and seeing they needed a little help, i offered a few quick suggestions for which they were thankful for.
They had not been giving the 'starter lesson' which really kind of left them at a loss as to what to do.

-
 

fractal

Premium Member
Continuing on now....

After arriving at 'Pop Century' and checking in, i headed to my room in the 1980s building to be greeted with a nice little surprise -
Mickey must have know i was arriving late, and how much i like to listen to ambiant Theme Park music.
Someone left 'Resort Tv' on in my room!

It was a little surprising as i approached my room and saw the blue glow coming through the window.
For a 5 second moment, i thought i had perhaps been sent to the wrong room and someone else was in there watching tv....
Nope.
It was left on for me as a little arrival 'welcome' apparently.
Either that, or 'Mousekeeping' had it one while cleaning and forgot to turn it off.....
Regardless of the reasons behind it, it was a nice way to arrive after a long journey.

Once decorating my room window and taking a hot shower, it was time to saw some logs and catch some major zzzzzs.
There's a 'Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow'...literally.....as tomorrow will be a return to the Magic Kingdom to experience what it's like during these unprecedented times.

-

All too quickly daytime arrives and it's off to The Contemporary Resort for my breakfast reservation at 'Chef Mickey's'.
This popular dining spot is usually a character buffet which i have experienced several times in the past, but this time around i had learned in advance that there were come changes -
No characters, and a all-you-care-to-eat breakfast feast for $25.
Sitting inside the Contemporary, watching the Monorails glide by.
Yes, that sure sounded like a good deal to me.....and i already knew i liked the food.
Typically i go over to Kona Cafe at the Polynesian Resort Village for my 'first breakfast' but this time i decided to take advance of the changes at 'Chef Mickey's'.

So breakfast was terrific.
I thought for a all you can eat, and the setting / scenery around you it was a good deal at $25.
Everything tasted really good.
Eggs, pancakes, Mickey waffles, hash browns, smoked salmon, bread and muffins...you name it.

The tater tots / potato puffs were amazing.
The best i have ever had...and i know that probably sounds odd.
Of all the things to rave about, i pick tater tots of all things.....but MAN were these crispy perfection!


-

Sounds like a great breakfast!
 

Figments Friend

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
And now we come to Cinderella Castle...with it's new paint job done for it's upcoming 50th Anniversary.
A topic of much debate among many Theme Park fans and long time WDW fans.

While i am still a bit puzzled as to why it was decided the Castle should emulate the colors of it's predecessor in California, it DOES look quite nice from a distance.
It is indeed true that photographs do NOT capture what it actually looks like in person accurately.
All of my photos below show a Castle that looks 'pale' compared to the much brighter hue one experiences when seeing it with their own eyes in person.
In reality, it does look quite 'pink' and 'bluish/purplelish' on the turrets.
Almost 'Technicolor' looking compared to these washed out pastel appearing images -


WDW - Castle angle.jpg



It's a refreshing change, but this is not a look i would like to see last for a long time.
I know it's the 'gold anniversary' of WDW and all...but the gold paint in particular when viewed up close just looks overly applied.
Perhaps just a little too much going on visually and color wise for my taste.
I am kind of hoping it is removed or repainted after the 50th Anniversary celebratory period is over.


WDW - Castle from side.jpg



Now one of the nice things about this visit was there were periods when crowds were sparse in certain areas and one could enjoy some prime photography opportunities.


An example of what Fantasyland looked like that afternoon, on a Tuesday, two hours before closing ....


WDW - Fantasyland.jpg




With things being this slim in attendance...i had an idea.

One of the toughest spots over the years for me to try to photograph during regular daytime hours has been the passageway though Cinderella Castle.
For a while now i have been trying to get good photos of the beautiful tile mosaics that decorate the vaulted walls inside of this passageway.
Hundreds upon hundreds of Guests pass by these daily under normal circumstances, and it's not a place where you can just 'stop' people from walking by to snap a quick photo.
But THIS time....that was not a problem.

As i had noted earlier in this tale, the best time to be in the Parks this visit was the last three to two hours it was open.
Crowds thinned out considerably and it was the perfect opportunity to shoot these pictures i have been wanting to capture for several years.
So here they are....shots of those beautiful hand cut tile mosaics that tell the story of 'Cinderella'.
Absolutely stunning these are in person.

One really needs to stop and admire these closely and from a distance the next time you visit.
True artistry.
These are all hand cut tiles, and hand assembled.
The detailing and pattern work is just stunning.
Today, this would just be a digital wrap glued to the wall or a painted mural.
Back when these were created, Disney was excelling in true expressions of ART.
Behold these glorious peices....now nearly fifty years old and yet timeless -


Each of the five mosaics tell a chapter in the story of 'Cinderella'.

Mosaic One shows the cruel stepmother receiving the notice from the palace regarding a Royal Ball to take place.
The selfish stepsisters look on, as the scullery maid also lends a ear to the news.

WDW - Castle mural 1.jpg




Mosaic Two features the memorable moment when the Fairy Godmother magically changes the scullery maids rags into a beautiful ball gown.
In the background awaits a shining coach, freshly created from a pumpkin.

WDW - Castle mural 2.jpg




Mosaic Three showcases a scene from the Royal Ball.
As the gentry of upper society look on, Cinderella races away before the clock can strike midnight leaving behind the Prince.....and a single glass slipper.

WDW - Castle mural 3.jpg





Mosaic Four features the stories climax, as the royal representatives arrive to try the glass slipper on Cinderella and discover a perfect fit.
The disheartened stepmother looks on, as does the digusted stepsisters
Notice how the colors of the faces of the stepsister convey their outrage - one is literally 'green with envy' while the other is 'red in anger'.

WDW - Castle mural 4.jpg




And what's a story without a happy ending...?
Mosaic Five shows this, as Cinderella rides off on a white steed with her Prince and his royal court towards a glittering Castle in the distance.
On the bottom right side panel is the 'signatures' of the two artists responsible for creating these masterworks - Dorothea Redmond and Hanns Schraff



WDW - Castle mural 5.jpg



A close up of the artists' inscriptions.

Dorothea Redmond & Hanns Schraff.

Dorothea did a LOT of design work for various Disney Theme Parks.
Look her up some time....

WDW - Castle mural signatures.jpg



-
 
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Figments Friend

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
So one of the things i should mention about visiting WDW nowadays is the rule regarding wearing a face mask.
Now while i didn't find it that much of a issue to wear all day and in warm weather, one of the downsides this visit was one cannot enjoy all the SCENTS associated with a visit to the area.

Florida has a very unique smell to me....like charred wood mixed with moist earth.
I notice it immediately once arriving on Property.
As someone who lives near the ocean and is surrounded by pine trees, getting back to my ol' stomping grounds in Florida and the smells associated with it are part of the fun of visiting.
It was definitely noticed, and i will admit i was naughty at times when walking around at night at my Resort and poked my nose out once in a while to take in the scents.

Of course wearing a mask also prevents you for smelling all of the fabulous things contained within the Theme Parks -

For Magic Kingdom :
The 'smell' of Main Street USA.
The scent of the water inside 'Pirates' and 'Small World'.
That particular smell inside 'Carousel of Progress' and most dark ride Attractions.
POPCORN!

Over at Epcot,
'Burning' Rome inside 'Spaceship Earth' ( i cheated and pulled my mask down....so flame me...)
The various scents on 'Soarin' Around The World' ( ditto.....hey, i was alone and nobody was around me! )
The smell of food over in World Showcase.
The scent of the greenhouses at The Land.
And of course.....the smell of Figment's 'skunk fart' in the Imagination Pavilion ( note - i DID NOT poke my nose out for that one....)

At Animal Kingdom -
The fresh scents during 'Flight of Passage'
The amazing smell of the food wafting around the area of Satu'li Canteen
Various atmospheric scents associated with 'Kilimanjaro Safaris'
The scent of the extreme AC inside of 'Dinosaur'

And let's not forget Hollywood Studios -
The smell of hydraulic fumes as you load onto your StarSpeeder at 'Star Tours' ( that faint 'oily' smell....inside the room containing the simulator unit )
More popcorn.....
And the list goes on.


So that was a drawback regarding mask wearing.
Most complain about just having to wear it, or it feeling really hot during the warmer days....but for me the big issue was missing all the fabulous 'scents' of WDW.
They really do contribute a lot to your overall experience.

-
 
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Figments Friend

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Some more observations during my visit to the Magic Kingdom -


The World Famous 'Jungle Cruise' was of course a must-do....and i was rewarded with a extra treat -
The fog machine on the entrance to the river was turned on the day i visited.
You know you are a uber-Park fan when you get excited about something like that....but i noticed and saw it as a nice plus.
I don't recall seeing this operating the last couple of times i visited, so it was nice to see this.

Hard to make out in these photos, but a low 'fog bank' can be seen along the top of the water.
Around the first bend of the river is where the fog really tends to linger, which gives you the impression of literally disappearing into the unknown.
A cool touch.
It's probably been there for years, but never noticed it until now.
I know sometimes fog machine effects come and go and have periods of inactive use sometimes....but it was cranked up that fine Tuesday afternoon.
Yeeaahhhh !!!!!


WDW - Jungle Cruise 'fog'.jpg



Reminds me of another incident -

I will always remember riding 'The Universe of Energy' on Epcot's 25th Birthday and how the fog machine had been turned back on for the day in the prehistoric diorama.
It was EPIC and very exciting to see after all these years of non-use...the fog bank was thick and covered the floor.
Absolutely awesome!
Never saw it used again after that day.....and no one ever will again now, sadly.
R.I.P 'UoE'.
:(

Returning back to our jungle adventure -

Another atmospheric shot of the setting across from where Guests board their boat for a' Jungle Cruise' excursion.
How many here would like to live in this hut for a few months a year....?
Of maybe during their visit..?

Maybe one day this little makeshift shack will become a uber-exclusive DVC option...
Hey @realBobChapek , are you taking notes...?
😆



WDW - Jungle Cruise setting.jpg




And speaking of the World Famous 'Jungle Cruise', had to stop by and have a meal at the 'Skipper Canteen'.
I have dined here before on a previous visit, and purposely booked a reservation in advance to insure i had a good meal before the evening was over.
With most of the QS locations mobile-order-only at this time, i made sure to plan a few stops during the week for a meal and a break from the weather.

A light meal this time, but very yummy and quite refreshing.
The Skipper's were a delight as always with my experiences here.
The menu was reduced somewhat from their usual offerings, which is pretty much the norm right now due to the Covid Apocalypse.
There was still a nice variety for those looking for something a little 'different'.

I quite like their tropical juices drink ( non-alcoholic ) and the Brazillian cheese bread bites.
The curry soup was very good as well, with a nice subtle yet flavorful 'bite' to it.


WDW - Skipper Canteen meal.jpg
 
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Figments Friend

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Next topic related to the visit to Magic Kingdom -

One of my favorite Attractions, 'Tony's Mountain' ( aka 'Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ).
The WDW Mountain was the original version designed all those years ago, although a revised version opened first at Disneyland Park in 1979.
This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the opening of WDW's version, and it was showing it's age in some areas.

WDW - 'Tony's Mountain'.jpg



This Attraction has needed some attention for some time, and it is sad to see in it's currently state.
If i am recalling correctly, BTMR was supposed to go down for a major refurbishment earlier this year but that has now been delayed due to the Covid Apocalypse.
It is too bad, as the wear and tear was showing when i visited.

Some of the things i noticed -
Lots of paint worn away from the rock formations in the outside queue area where hundreds of Guests' bottoms have been sitting on said rocks.
The train engines themselves need a good cleaning or repainting. Very 'weathered' and it's not the theming. The cars were fine, but the engines...oof.
And although it has been this way for several years now, i still need to mention the sadness that is what was once a novel final lift.
All of it's original effects featuring moving boulders and 'cave in' shadow projections are removed or turned off.

But despite all of that, it is still a thrilling jaunt to ride and the lil' town of 'Tumbleweed' looked like it was fully operational with all figures moving.

Another positive was finally being able to photograph this hidden tribute to Disney Legend and creator of 'Big Thunder Mountain Railroad', Tony Baxter.
Everyone knows about the painted portrait in the queue that resembles him, but how many of you know about the OTHER hidden tribute?
Read on ....

I had seen this last year when i visited, but was not able to snap a picture due to it's location.
This is a board of 'papers' on a walled section of the interior queue of the Attraction -

WDW - BTMR queue board.jpg



Now if you look at these closely, among these papers is this 'document' with a familiar name -


WDW - BTMR Tony Tribute.jpg


That's my boy !
:)

Due to the lower crowd levels, i was able to finally get a snapshot of this.
Not a easy spot to get pictures of during normal situations, but worth the wait.
The queue was redesigned some years ago to include 'interactive' elements and included some new decor.
This board was one of those additions, among many other things.
The queue is absolutely loaded with references to all of the major players involved in the creation of this Attraction.
It's fun to walk through and suddenly come upon references to their names on various items.

'Tony's Mountain' is always full of surprises no matter when one visits.
It's all in the details.

I hope sometime in the next year or so it gets the refurbishment love it needs and deserves to keep it going for another 40 years.


WDW - BTMR details.jpg
 

Figments Friend

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Another observation while visiting the Magic Kingdom over a two day period -

'Carousel of Progress' was having some problems on my second day.
A favorite Attraction, it is a 'must see' every visit.
On my second showing on my second day, things went a little awry.


The 'Carousel...' stopped turning.
And 'Progress' came to a halt for almost an hour.
Either a breakdown, or someone hit the e-stop and it was a long 're-set' period...but i waited it out watching the whole thing unfold before me.

It was nice to see such a long line of Guests waiting to see this Attraction when i went over to Tomorrowland to see this show again.
While standing in a line that stretched down to the Cast entrance / exit to backstage between 'Space Ranger Spin' and the character greeting spot for about ten minutes, the 'Carousel..' building suddenly stopped turning and literally ground to a jerky halt.
I knew from that something wasn't right....and sure enough a pair of CMs started traversing the line to let Guests know the Attraction was now offline and they did not know when it would be back in operation.
I decided to hang around and stay in line...and as the minutes went by more and more people left the line to go elsewhere.

'Carousel of Progress' definitely has it's fan base which i was already aware of, but it was nice to see SO many people still stay in line, dedicated to seeing the Show.
I figured everyone except maybe a dozen hard core fans would leave the line and move on to other Attractions, but nope.
The die hards were in the Park that day it seems.
Great to see the dedication to this classic.
We all stood there and stared in this direction for some time -




WDW - CoP closure.jpg



Took some time, but about three maintenance guys arrived and two leads / area managers.

I joked to myself that perhaps Father lost his hand again....similar to what had happened to him earlier this year.
After what seemed to be almost an hour, the building started turning again and Shows commenced.


During the time i was standing in line, i was in the area where Buzz Lightyear typically does meet n' greet appearances.
Although that was not taking place during this time, i discovered a surprise waiting for me.

On the ground tossed off to the side of the walkway in plain view, were these -



WDW - Buzz greeting area paint chips.jpg



Official paint samples of the gritty floor paint used at the meet n' greet area.
Some kids must have peeled these up out of bordom before i had arrived and left them scattered around on the ground.
Dang kids.....but i took one look and geeked out and squeeled 'free souvenirs' !

Yes, you know you are a absolute Theme Park nerd when you get excited about taking home paint pieces from WDW.
And i am not even a fan of Buzz of 'Toy Story'...but this is still a cool 'collectible' to a geek like me.


-
 

DisneyJeff

Well-Known Member
And now we come to Cinderella Castle...with it's new paint job done for it's upcoming 50th Anniversary.
A topic of much debate among many Theme Park fans and long time WDW fans.

While i am still a bit puzzled as to why it was decided the Castle should emulate the colors of it's predecessor in California, it DOES look quite nice from a distance.
It is indeed true that photographs do NOT capture what it actually looks like in person accurately.
All of my photos below show a Castle that looks 'pale' compared to the much brighter hue one experiences when seeing it with their own eyes in person.
In reality, it does look quite 'pink' and 'bluish/purplelish' on the turrets.
Almost 'Technicolor' looking compared to these washed out pastel appearing images -


View attachment 502689


It's a refreshing change, but this is not a look i would like to see last for a long time.
I know it's the 'gold anniversary' of WDW and all...but the gold paint in particular when viewed up close just looks overly applied.
Perhaps just a little too much going on visually and color wise for my taste.
I am kind of hoping it is removed or repainted after the 50th Anniversary celebratory period is over.


View attachment 502690


Now one of the nice things about this visit was there were periods when crowds were sparse in certain areas and one could enjoy some prime photography opportunities.


An example of what Fantasyland looked like that afternoon, on a Tuesday, two hours before closing ....


View attachment 502700



With things being this slim in attendance...i had an idea.

One of the toughest spots over the years for me to try to photograph during regular daytime hours has been the passageway though Cinderella Castle.
For a while now i have been trying to get good photos of the beautiful tile mosaics that decorate the vaulted walls inside of this passageway.
Hundreds upon hundreds of Guests pass by these daily under normal circumstances, and it's not a place where you can just 'stop' people from walking by to snap a quick photo.
But THIS time....that was not a problem.

As i had noted earlier in this tale, the best time to be in the Parks this visit was the last three to two hours it was open.
Crowds thinned out considerably and it was the perfect opportunity to shoot these pictures i have been wanting to capture for several years.
So here they are....shots of those beautiful hand cut tile mosaics that tell the story of 'Cinderella'.
Absolutely stunning these are in person.

One really needs to stop and admire these closely and from a distance the next time you visit.
True artistry.
These are all hand cut tiles, and hand assembled.
The detailing and pattern work is just stunning.
Today, this would just be a digital wrap glued to the wall or a painted mural.
Back when these were created, Disney was excelling in true expressions of ART.
Behold these glorious peices....now nearly fifty years old and yet timeless -


Each of the five mosaics tell a chapter in the story of 'Cinderella'.

Mosaic One shows the cruel stepmother receiving the notice from the palace regarding a Royal Ball to take place.
The selfish stepsisters look on, as the scullery maid also lends a ear to the news.

View attachment 502691



Mosaic Two features the memorable moment when the Fairy Godmother magically changes the scullery maids rags into a beautiful ball gown.
In the background awaits a shining coach, freshly created from a pumpkin.

View attachment 502692



Mosaic Three showcases a scene from the Royal Ball.
As the gentry of upper society look on, Cinderella races away before the clock can strike midnight leaving behind the Prince.....and a single glass slipper.

View attachment 502694




Mosaic Four features the stories climax, as the royal representatives arrive to try the glass slipper on Cinderella and discover a perfect fit.
The disheartened stepmother looks on, as does the digusted stepsisters
Notice how the colors of the faces of the stepsister convey their outrage - one is literally 'green with envy' while the other is 'red in anger'.

View attachment 502695



And what's a story without a happy ending...?
Mosaic Five shows this, as Cinderella rides off on a white steed with her Prince and his royal court towards a glittering Castle in the distance.
On the bottom right side panel is the 'signatures' of the two artists responsible for creating these masterworks - Dorothea Redmond and Hanns Schraff



View attachment 502697


A close up of the artists' inscriptions.

Dorothea Redmond & Hanns Schraff.

Dorothea did a LOT of design work for various Disney Theme Parks.
Look her up some time....

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Thank you for posting these pictures of the murals inside Cinderella's castle. I have always known they were there and have looked at them whenever I passed, but have never really had the opportunity to view them properly. I've either been passing by too quickly, or having to view them from up close which only allows you to see random colored tiles.
 

Figments Friend

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Thank you for posting these pictures of the murals inside Cinderella's castle. I have always known they were there and have looked at them whenever I passed, but have never really had the opportunity to view them properly. I've either been passing by too quickly, or having to view them from up close which only allows you to see random colored tiles.

My pleasure sharing these with another fan of these !
The tile mosaics and absolute works of art.

:)

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Figments Friend

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Apologies for the delay in continuing my 'trip report'.

Things have been a bit busy on my end and i haven't hard the chance to devote to posting photos or type overviews of the experience lately.
Can only do that on a laptop at home, so....thus the delays.

I haven't forgotten about this thread....just need a good chunk of time to sit down and devote to adding to this tale.
At some point soon i will be including additional photos and comments on Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom.

:)

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