For some it’s the Hatbox Ghost. For others, it’s the Hitchhiking Ghosts, Indiana or even Lincoln. For me, my favorite animatronic character in the park is the original Blackbeard. Since I can remember, he has been the one I have admired the most. And I’m not afraid to admit that I still have my Blackbeard doll from ‘Pieces of Eight’ that I purchased back in the 90’s and he’s the COOLEST! Braided beard, bandana, sword and all. When I heard the rumors that he was going to be replaced, I took as many pictures as I possibly could. Something tells me this won’t be the last you’ll see of him, ya lily livered lovers.
He is the quintessential example of why, and how, I became passionate about taking pictures of beloved things at Disneyland as a personal keepsake before they were gone forever. The announcement was very close to the closure of Pirates so I didn’t have time for many trips. I vividly remember going on pirates on the last day of Blackbeard’s final performance. I could see that I was not alone as many, dressed in pirate garb in some form or another, were riding Pirates over and over till closing. By the way, thank you Mr. Cast Member for sending my boat thru 3 times in a row at the end. I will say, that last ride in my little boat passing Blackbeard in a fierce battle really knocked the wind out of my sails as I realized that would be the last time I would see him in this legendary iconic scene. But as I left the park that night, my spirits were lifted knowing that the images I took that day would allow me to preserve the memory of Blackbeard, the one created by Walt, Marc Davis, and John Hench, upon my walls. And situations like this are why I love photography. In general and especially at Disneyland. Every time I leave, I have a little spring in my step because I get to take home a piece of Disneyland each time and I can’t wait to come back for more.
When it comes to photography, find something you love and shoot the heck out of it, I always say. Find it, admire it, adore it and capture it. If you do, you will not only be shooting with your eyes, but also with your heart and soul.
Shoot what you love. Love what you shoot.