Disneyland’s Oogie Boogie Bash 2023 sells out in 10 hours

After an initial attempt to sell tickets on July 6th, ticket sells resumed on July 11th. A short time before the selling queue opened at 9 a.m. PST, folks were able to join a holding queue which was (so we are told) going to randomly insert us in the actual ticket queue.

I was there before 9 a.m., and remained in the queue until just after 8 p.m. PST when all tickets were sold out.

During the day, the screen would update as certain days became “limited” or sold out. I took screenshots every time I noticed a change, and if there is interest, I’ll write a post that shows which dates sold out first.

It was quite the waste of a day. And this, my friends, is the same company that folks are saying is in financial trouble because Indy is only the 12th highest grossing film in the world, currently.

Until next time…

Branson, Missouri’s tourist trap attractions – introduction

My grandparents took me to Branson, Missouri back in 1984. That Branson was a very different place than the Branson that exists today. Although the amusement park Silver Dollar City did exist, Branson was mostly focused on live entertainment – music venues, stage shows and such. Many big name country stars had theaters there, or would have later.

Today, most of the big name celebrities that were once there have passed on. While there are a few namesake theaters (Dick Clark has one), others have been torn down. No more Mickey Gilley, no more Jim Stafford.

BUT, the tourist traps are alive and well. We recently drove down to Branson and took a look at some of them. Over 2300 photos will be added to my “Other Places” photo gallery, covering spots such as…

  • Beyond the Lens – a mish-mash of photo ops (selfie spots), odd displays (Bigfoot and the JFK assasination?), freeplay games, and VR. It also featured the FlyRide which was such a ripodd of Disney’s Soarin’ over California that it even used yellow straps on the seatbelts, and the movie contained scenes with hot air baloons, hang gliders, an animal jumping in to the water and a number of scenes copied from the Disney original.
  • Butterfly Palace – larger zoos have places like this, but I had never been to one that let me “feed” the butterflies. There was also a 3-D movie, a small animal display, a rope/forest and, for some reason, a mirror maze.
  • Dolly Parton’s Stampede – No longer called the Dixie Stampede, this dinner show was in its 29th season (I believe). Dinner was served while you watched a horse/comedy/stunt show. The show was great, but there were some things that really seemed bad for an entity that’s been doing this for almost three decades.
  • Fantastic Caverns – not actually in Branson, but about an hour away. This drive-through cavern experience was one of the best entertainment things I have ever done. It was brilliantly done and operated.
  • Hollywood Was Museum – An excellent was museum. The last time I visited one (in Dallas), you looked at the figures from behind ropes. This one had them on the floor and you could stand next to them to get photos. They even had props you could use (such as putting on a red silk robe or bunny earts to lay in bed next to Hugh Hefner). This place also had the Castle of Chaos which was a moving seat 3-D shooter game, and Hanna’s Maze of Mirrors which was an evolution of mirror mazes that surprised me – it even had a storyline.
  • Retromania – An 80’s-themed bar/cafe on one side, then an attraction on the other. While it is mostly just 80’s stuff on display on walls, there were some arcade games on freeplay, some cimena seats where you could sit and watch an 80s movie, a small 80’s-themed haunted house, an 80’s music blacklight minigolf course, and several escape rooms. Paying to do an escape room allowed access to all the rest.
  • Ripley’s Believe it or Not – I have visited Ripley’s locations in Dallas and Wisconsin Dells, so it was nice to see another variation.
  • Titanic Museum – even though it may look like a tourist trap from the outside, with a building that looks like the Titanic hitting an ice berg, inside was a serious and well-done museum. Truly one of the most enjoyable museum experiences I have ever had.
  • …and side trips to restaurants like Starvin’ Marvins, Crazy Craigs Treehouse and the “original” Outback Steak and Oyster Bar (with signs everywhere explaining it has nothing to do with the Outback many of us have down the street back home).

As time permits, I’ll share some photo essays on the experience, with pros and cons of doing a weekend at Branson versus a theme park trip to an expensive Disney or Universal park.

Until then…

Universal and SeaWorld to get their own photo section

When I got my first digital camera in 1996, I never could have imagined there would be a time when I’d be updating photo galleries with over 150,000 photos in them. Initially, all my theme park photos were able to fit in one master “DisneyFans Photos” gallery. Today, the number of files in that gallery far exceed what my web host account can allow. Because of that, I had to split the gallery up in to multiple accounts – Disneyland, Disney World and non-Disney Theme Parks.

Due to how much time it takes to update the non-Disney gallery each time I return from Universal and SeaWorld (due to having to go through all the other theme park photos), I am finally going to split off Universal Studios (Hollywood and Orlando) and SeaWorld in to their own sub-gallery.

This will group photos as follows:

  • Disneyland
  • Walt Disney World
  • Universal Studios & SeaWorld
  • …other Theme Parks

I am in the process up creating the new US/SW gallery (over 31,000 photos just from those parks) and will begin uploading it later tonight. I will then redo the Theme Parks gallery to remove Universal and SeaWorld. Hopefully folks will find them at their new location.

As one of the longest running theme park sites on the Internet (from my pre-domain days back in 1996, to the DisneyFans.com days and now this site), I hate to make big changes like this. Apologies in advance for the links that will be broken…

More updates soon…

Disney Skyliner, Aventura Hotel, Mardi Gras and more…

A few of the upcoming topics for this site will likely include:

  • Walt Disney World’s Skyliner.
  • Skyliner resort exploration.
  • Universal’s Aventura Hotel.
  • Unviersal’s food festival and Mardi Gras.
  • Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland versus Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
  • And how to save 35% on Universal Studios food……..

Universal Mardi Gras and Disney World photos coming soon…

Over 4200 new photos will be added to the gallery in coming weeks. They include photos along the Disney World Skyliner route (the resorts and area with stations), a half day visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and a trip to Universal Orlando for this year’s Mardi Gras event.

We also visited the Universal Great Escape Back to the Future experience, which was a cool technical achievement. Actually, the higher end bar there is worth a look if you partake in adult beverages.

Blog posts coming, as soon as things are caught up…

How often do I use my camera’s zoom? I wrote a script to find out.

While picking up a camera lens cleaner today, the camera shop guy showed me a better camera than the old one I use. It could take better pictures, including low light, and use interchangeable lenses so a super zoom could be added.

But, zooming was manual. Right hand holding the camera, left hand controlling the manual zoom on the lens. Plus, you had to remove the lens cap and manually extend the lens before you could even take a shot.

As nice as it would be to have a better camera, the way I take photos (often with my camera in my right hand, while my left hand has a beverage or video camera), the thought of doing the extra work every time I wanted to snap a photo is not desirable.

Most of the time, my camera is off, with the built-in lens cover protecting it. I power it on, the cover opens and lens extends and I am ready to take a shot within a second or two. How many photos would I miss out on if I had to do more work every time I wanted to take a picture?

As to the zoom, I created (with help of ChatGPT) a script to scan through my photos and tell me how many unique zooms it found. If I rarely zoomed, the number would be low. If I often zoomed, it would be high.

Unique Focal Lengths Found: 76 in 2204 photos

In a specific folder of photos form one visit to California Adventure, I had 76 different zoom levels. But, this isn’t truly what I want to know. For instance, if 99% of the time I turned on the camera and zoomed in maximum, and the other 1% of the time I just turned it on and did nothing, it would show 2 zoom levels — even though I actually used the zoom 99% of the time.

More work on this script needs to be done. A few interacting with ChatGPT later, and now I have one that shows me a formatted listing, from most-used to least-used focal lengths, along with their percentages:

Scanning photos in 'CaliforniaAdventure2022'...
2204 photos scanned.
Unique Focal Lengths Found: 76
        44/5:  1858 ( 84.30%)
       184/5:   104 (  4.72%)
    9069/500:    28 (  1.27%)
  14549/1000:    16 (  0.73%)
    2693/100:     8 (  0.36%)
   10541/500:     7 (  0.32%)
    5873/200:     7 (  0.32%)
  12103/1000:     7 (  0.32%)
  16583/1000:     6 (  0.27%)
    5839/250:     6 (  0.27%)
    6381/500:     6 (  0.27%)
   13693/500:     5 (  0.23%)
  24453/1000:     5 (  0.23%)
    9189/500:     5 (  0.23%)
   10693/500:     5 (  0.23%)
    3289/100:     5 (  0.23%)
  25639/1000:     5 (  0.23%)
  10051/1000:     4 (  0.18%)
   15229/500:     4 (  0.18%)
  20211/1000:     4 (  0.18%)
  19393/1000:     4 (  0.18%)
      983/50:     4 (  0.18%)
    2479/250:     4 (  0.18%)
  13319/1000:     4 (  0.18%)
  27857/1000:     3 (  0.14%)
    6711/200:     3 (  0.14%)
  26487/1000:     3 (  0.14%)
    3163/100:     3 (  0.14%)
  10317/1000:     3 (  0.14%)
    3401/200:     3 (  0.14%)
    2877/200:     3 (  0.14%)
  25233/1000:     3 (  0.14%)
  23713/1000:     3 (  0.14%)
  22669/1000:     3 (  0.14%)
    6449/500:     3 (  0.14%)
  22013/1000:     3 (  0.14%)
  17671/1000:     3 (  0.14%)
    5797/500:     3 (  0.14%)
    7709/500:     3 (  0.14%)
    1579/100:     2 (  0.09%)
   10393/500:     2 (  0.09%)
    3679/250:     2 (  0.09%)
    2167/200:     2 (  0.09%)
  22337/1000:     2 (  0.09%)
    2099/125:     2 (  0.09%)
  19131/1000:     2 (  0.09%)
    6977/200:     2 (  0.09%)
    7801/500:     2 (  0.09%)
    4099/200:     2 (  0.09%)
    2037/200:     2 (  0.09%)
   12419/500:     1 (  0.05%)
       151/8:     1 (  0.05%)
   12039/500:     1 (  0.05%)
      753/50:     1 (  0.05%)
  15983/1000:     1 (  0.05%)
    2328/125:     1 (  0.05%)
  15237/1000:     1 (  0.05%)
   14951/500:     1 (  0.05%)
  26057/1000:     1 (  0.05%)
  16379/1000:     1 (  0.05%)
    1739/125:     1 (  0.05%)
    1778/125:     1 (  0.05%)
  11847/1000:     1 (  0.05%)
  16179/1000:     1 (  0.05%)
    2876/125:     1 (  0.05%)
   9499/1000:     1 (  0.05%)
    4983/250:     1 (  0.05%)
      241/25:     1 (  0.05%)
      293/25:     1 (  0.05%)
  13037/1000:     1 (  0.05%)
    7443/500:     1 (  0.05%)
    2712/125:     1 (  0.05%)
  28343/1000:     1 (  0.05%)
  12363/1000:     1 (  0.05%)
    1361/100:     1 (  0.05%)
  12627/1000:     1 (  0.05%)

I’m guessing that the 84% is the time I just turn on the camera and take a photo. This tells me that 16% of the time, I mess with zoom.

It does seem like going to a camera with manual zoom is not something I want to do, since I do use the feature enough for that to be a step back.


I’ll be adding this script to my GitHub with other photo scripts I’ve been working on, shortly. You can find work-in-progress ones here:


How to completely solve DisFan social media drama

There has always been, and I expect will always be, people who just like to complain, argue and start fights. Distancing yourself from those types of people may make your life much better — unless, of course, you are one of those people.

Online bickering is nothing new. It existed in the 1970s/1980s on bulletin board systems. It existed later on text-based information networks such as CompServer, GEnie, and Delphi. It existed on graphical networks such as AOL, MSN, PC-Link, etc.

It existed on the Internet on newsgroups, then later web message boards, and the trend continues with social networks like Facebook, Twitter, etc. Any platform that allows user responses, such as video comments on YouTube, will have this.

Watching the latest drama unfold about certain YouTube video posters just reminds me of the same type of drama in the usenet groups from almost thirty years ago. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

YouTube has its own level of drama, with nitpickers nitpicking Disneyland video bloggers, and other nitpickers nitpicking Walt Disney World video bloggers. Meanwhile, over on Twitter, several sites are constantly bashed and accused of being click-bait sites. One of them even has a legacy dating back to the early years of Disney fan podcasting, so you’d think that would give them some leeway in later generations of media. I guess not.

If you are caught up in the griping about Disneyland YouTubers right now, posting your thoughts in other videos, REDDIT threads and elsewhere, try this simple tip to improve your life:

Don’t watch them, and unsubscribe if you are subscribed.

It’s a simple as that. Let people who enjoy the content enjoy it, and move on with your life. Nothing is gained by griping about something you don’t like. Only other gripers care. The rest of us just move on and enjoy life.

Try it sometime.

It works great!

Theme Parks & Disney galleries updated

Some of the recently updated galleries still need more/better sorting, but the first pass has been uploaded. There are still some other galleries yet to be added, but I expect to get around to them next.

The most recent updates are to Universal Studios Hollywood, Knott’s Berry Farms and Disneyland Resort. The Disneyland photos include Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge and Pixar Pier, both of which were new to me. (Though we did see Pixar Pier under construction in an earlier visit.)

The Walt Disney World gallery will soon be regenerated to match the layout of the others.

I also have a batch of ultra-low-light photos to add taken inside queue areas for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Sleeping Beauty Castle. There also will be a batch taken inside Kockturn Alley, revealing many details you just cannot see with your eyes.

If you enjoy browsing this photographic “history” of the parks, you can drop a coin in the tip jar on your way out 😉

Photo library update status…

Work continues on generating new versions of the non-Disney Theme Parks photo gallery and the Disneyland Resort photo gallery. There have been updates to the JAlbum program I use for the gallery, so I expect I’ll be redoing the gallery again soon to make use of some new features.

Meanwhile, I have gotten back to updating my Trips page (formerly listed as “About” in the menu). By using dates found in photos I have taken, I am trying to come up with a list of all the dates I was at various parks. Who knows … maybe you were at one of those parks on one of those days and might be somewhere in one of those photos.

I also plan to try to remember all the various digital cameras I have owned since the original Epson PhotoPC I bought in 1996. Some I kept for years, and at least one I used only for one trip then got rid of due to its inability to take good pictures inside Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion 😉 Unfortunately, unless the camera model is stored in the JPG photos (which some cameras do), I don’t expect to be able to come up with a complete list.

For what it’s worth, my current camera is a Canon G5X. It’s an old, discontinued model, but still serves me well. I still have my previous Panasonic Lumix camera as well, due to sentimental reasons.

Thanks for dropping by …

New photos being added: Knotts, Uni Hollywood, Disneyland

I have had some photos waiting to be sorted for years, and I am finally getting around to it. I wrote a program that helps me sort photos based on their GPS coordinates, which made something that used to take several nights take about half an hour. I’ll share a post about how it works later.

Look for new photos from Knott’s Berry Farms, Disneyland Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood to be added as soon as I get them uploaded.

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