When we entered Disneyland and walked down Main Street, USA, I was surprised to find it not much busier than when we had left after “One More Disney Day” ended. It was like a ghost town! My mission was to find the “best” churro cart on Main Street, which, apparently, has been scientifically determined to be the one closest to the park entrance. At least according to some friends on Twitter, who claim that’s the most popular cart and thus has the freshest churros.
I have to admit, I was unimpressed. I didn’t really have high expectations going in, and it failed to live up to even my meager expectations. Maybe if it had a delicious center like some cupcakes or I had some awesome dipping sauce (like that sold at Bayou Bash), it would have been different. Sarah took some photos of me eating the churro, but between my haggard look and the fact that I don’t think anyone looks good eating a churro, I’ll spare you those odd photos. I swear I did eat it, though.
While I was finishing my churro, Sarah had spotted the Modern Family crew again and darted over to where they were shooting. Now this was a better day for having a camera crew in the park. Very few people were around, and they didn’t get in the way of anything. I’m guessing they planned on shooting on February 29th before it was announced as an event that would end up making it the busiest day of the year (or busiest until Cars Land opens, that is).
We watched this for about an hour. Sarah was much more interested in it than me, so I wandered off and got us FastPasses for Space Mountain while she watched.
It was the first time either of us had seen on location filming of live television (excluding watching Modern Family filming for a few minutes on “One More Disney Day”), and it was really fascinating. We could see the tent that was set up to review the shot along the way, and watching this “control booth” as the shot was filmed. It was also interesting to see the management of the extras, and how each of them was strategically given balloons, park maps, Disney bags, and other items. Strollers were also carefully placed throughout the scene. Watching the show after the fact, it’s crazy to think about all of the detail and coordination that goes into each shot, because it’s definitely not apparent in the episode.
The scene we watched the filming of for nearly an hour, for example, was a simple 10 second shot in the episode of Haley being approached by Dylan, who she last saw when she left the dude ranch in Wyoming.
It was also interesting seeing how Disney handled all of this. Crowd management wasn’t a big deal on this particular day because crowds were incredibly late, but the Cast Members who were there managing the crowds were “aggravating” to say the least. Some said no photography, some said photos only in between takes, some said no flash photography but ‘regular’ photography any time, some said no “pro” photos. Some said that you couldn’t come within 5 feet of the barrier rope (set-up to keep crowds out of the scene), some said you could come to the rope, some said 5 feet but then later increased the distance. There were other “rules” that changed depending upon the Cast Member to whom you spoke. Much like Disneyland “rules” in general, now that I think about it! In short, there was absolutely no consistency between Cast Members.
I did notice another guest photographing the scene with a small DSLR and a small telephoto lens and a wireless transmitter on it. I assume he was with a tabloid; interestingly, he went totally unnoticed by Cast Members as they told other guests “no photos.” I didn’t even bother to take any photos, but Sarah shot the ones above with her smaller DSLR.
After we had our fill of the Modern Family shooting, we headed over to New Orleans Square. This fountain, which I’m going to call the “Pineapple Fountain” for lack of a better name (Disney, if you’d like this brilliant and highly creative name to become it’s official name, I expect royalties!), was a favorite photo subject of mine on this particular trip, but I couldn’t think of any interesting ways to photograph it.
Finding interesting photos to capture was difficult on this particular day. I think I spent most of my creative energy the previous day, and this day was recovery time. My apologies that these photos aren’t up to snuff.
Notice a difference between the two photos above? One of us prepared for a frigid winter day, the other for a mild spring day. I’ll let you be the judge of who was “right.”
We spent some time in New Orleans Square and Critter Country doing Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
After that, we headed to Fantasyland as evening fell over Disneyland…
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