During our December 2016 visit to Walt Disney World, we made it a point to get to each park as early as we could each day, knowing that the crowds would be rather large later on in the day. By getting there early, we had time to ride a few rides before the lines got to be too long. In fact, we were able to ride some rides multiple times because there were not yet any lines at all. So getting there early was definitely worth it. Who needs sleep, anyway? You can sleep at home, but you can’t see a large fantasy castle at home. Unless you can, and then maybe I want to live where you live.
Anyway, on the day that we went to the Magic Kingdom, we got there early, so early in fact that they were not letting people into the park, but instead having us wait just inside the turnstyles for the now-departed morning welcome show. Once they did let us in, we made our way back to Fantasyland to ride a few things, letting most of the crowds go to one of the Mountain attractions, all of which we would planned to visit later with our FastPasses.
The quickest way to get to Fantasyland from Main Street USA is to walk right through Cinderella Castle, and then you are there. Except that for much of the day they have Cinderella Castle blocked off because of the various stage shows, so in that case going through the castle is not the quickest way because you can’t do it. Because of that, it is getting to be somewhat of a rare treat to actually walk from Main Street USA through Cinderella Castle to Fantasyland, at least in our experience. It isn’t something that you can do just whenever you want. So when we saw that the Castle was open for walkers, we made our way up the ramp and went right on through.
I love looking up at Cinderella Castle from right underneath it like this, because it makes it look even taller than when you see it from a distance. The fisheye lens here seems to bend it back a little, but the lens does also allow you to get the whole Castle in the photo, even from close up like this. And you can even see the four Riedels at the lower right of the photo, although Laura and Jaylin must have been behind them, so that they are not in this photo.
Once we walked through Cinderella Castle, I of course turned around and took a photo of the other side, because to me this side is every bit as photogenic as the other side is, even though the other side is the one that you usually see in most people’s photos. Here again, the fisheye lens helped to get the whole Castle in the frame, along with some of Sir Mickey’s over on the left.
You can also see that several others followed us on our walk through Cinderella Castle, although they probably were not doing it just because we were doing it. I know we look cool and all, but probably not that cool that others would just follow us around. Because that would just be creepy.
That turned out to be the only time that we walked through Cinderella Castle that day, because it was blocked off the rest of the day. I’m glad we got there early enough to have the opportunity, because it is always fun.
Foolishness brings joy to one without sense, but a man with understanding walks a straight path. – Proverbs 15:21
About the photo:
For the first photo, I originally tried doing some color work after converting the photo to black and white, similar to what I did for the recently-posted Spaceship Earth photo. But then when I got to the second photo, I liked the black and white treatment so well that I went back to black and white for the first photo as well. It was especially jarring to see the two of them together, with one in false color and the other in black and white, so I decided to do both in black and white. I suppose that both in false color was another option, but I definitely couldn’t add false color to the second photo. So the black and white won out.
One advantage of black and white for the first photo is that it helps to hide the netting for the Dream Lights that are turned on at night but are off during the day. They don’t look all that bad during the day, I suppose, but they can still be a little distracting. The nighttime appearance more than makes up for it, but I still would rather have them get as little notice as possible.
Also, of more nostalgic value, in black and white these photos almost look like the old publicity type of photos that Disney used to send out. Those were usually in black and white, probably because most publications at the time did not print in color. Those photos had a certain boldness to them, which is somewhat mimicked here.
Here is a before-and-after version of the second photo, so that you can see the differences. The processing to convert to black and white really brought out the detail in these photos, I think.
Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Photoshop. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10
Lens: Rokinon 7.5mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens
Date: December 21, 2016
Location: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Florida