Monday, January 26, 2015

Final Thoughts On New Fantasyland: Food

   The other day we started thinking about our thoughts on New Fantasyland...like actually starting thinking about it. The largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history shouldn't really be taken lightly. We had given our thoughts on the outcome before, but those were kind of knee jerk reactions, especially when expressed via Disney Hipster Podcast. (no, that show has never been known for holding back...) We thought that this expansion deserved a little more review, so here we are.
   We started by looking at the attractions of New Fantasyland, and today we're moving on to something a little more straightforward.  Food.
   For such a large expansion the food offerings are pretty small...so we should be able to visit each offering individually.  Let's start in Storybook Circus....


   No. Big Top Souvenirs is not a restaurant by any stretch of the imagination...but it certainly does provide food.  Though mostly a large shop (in a repurposed building) Big Top Souvenirs has a confectionary show kitchen directly in the middle of the action.   Here you will find an uninspiring melange of sweets, the likes of which can be found throughout Walt Disney World.  However, the charming atmosphere of this shop more than make up for the lackluster offerings. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Animal Kingdom Artifact: Two Gowns From The Hallway...

   At the end of each hallway at Animal Kingdom Lodge is a beautiful piece of artwork.  A lot of times these are lesser pieces than those found in the main lobby...usually some kind of textile, or other 2D object behind glass, but beautiful none the less.  Here are two of my favorite pieces from the end of these terribly long hallways...two gorgeous intricate gowns.



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Obsessed With: Yosemite HipstaPak At WDW

   You guys know we like to take photos at Walt Disney World, obviously. However we are admittedly terrible at it.  Thus, when new filter options for our beloved Hipstamatic app come out we're generally elated. Mind you that some of these filter options can be pretty terrible. For some examples of both good and bad look back at our Summer series Shake To Randomize around World Showcase.
   Just before our last trip to WDW Hipstamatic release the Yosemite series of filters which includes the Muir "lens" and Sequoia "film."  Working together these two filters create a gorgeous, soft, warm image reminiscent of old National Geographic photos.  Let me tell you, I'm obsessed with this combo at Walt Disney World.




   We found that Adventureland is the most ideal area for this filter. However, any bright open area, ideally with a lot of landscaping, will work perfectly. I love the variation that it brings to the color of the sky, and the fact that it mutes the greens in plant life.  The Land pavilion is another great opportunity.




   Disney World and muted photos...what a great combination right?  With thousands of filter variations Hipstamatic remains our go to photo app, especially at Disney World.  Its nice to know that they still release new filters on a regular basis, keeping us entertained, and our photos relatively less horrible. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Final Thoughts on New Fantasyland: Attractions

   Now that we've settled into our relationship with the outcome of New Fantasyland we thought it appropriate to give some updated thoughts on the entire project.  This new area of The Magic Kingdom was opened in phases, which made judging its entirety very hard, although you may remember that we did share our thoughts prior to it being finished.  I waited a while to write this, as my feelings on Disney tends to change over time. Some things I'll love initially and grow to hate, while the opposite is certainly true.  I wanted any harsh feelings to smooth out if they were going to.
   In the truly lazy tradition of this blog I'm going to divide my thoughts into categories.  Attractions, food/dining, and atmosphere/theming.  Today we're looking at the attractions of New Fantasyland...


   This section, which will include meet and greets as well as traditional attractions, is probably the hardest to actually judge. First of all, there are very few actual new attractions for such a large area. Second, some attractions that fall within the borders of New Fantasyland are just rethemed or updated versions of previous attractions.  Also, though I've never let it sully my opinion before, I genuinely have a distaste for Beauty And The Beast...
   The first wave of attractions to open all fell within Storybook Circus, itself a subsection of New Fantasyland.  Both Dumbo and Goofy's Barnstormer are rethemed previously existing attractions.  I really appreciate the layout of Dumbo, and the water feature upgrade is a huge plus especially at night.  While I've always been a fan of Barnstormer, the new circus performer theme is much more effective than the previous. But basically these two attractions are the same as before, experience wise. 


   The real winner in Storybook Circus is Pete's Silly Sideshow. I understand that meet and greets are among the most divisive topics in the Disney community, but if we have to have these things this is the way to do it.  The space is incredibly comfortable, with outstanding details...which is about all you can ask for in a meet and greet queue.  But the real fun is in the characters themselves and the gorgeous backdrops that are provided.  These four characters (Daisy, Minnie, Goofy, Donald...) in this location have provided some of the best experiences in recent trips.  The idea of the characters being sideshows really gets them in a playful mood, providing a fun backstory and jumping off point for interaction.