Friday, August 28, 2015

Exploring Pacific Wharf At Disney California Adventure...

   This post started off as a quick restroom signage post...but then I realized that we had never blatantly explored Pacific Wharf as an area on this blog.  So here we are.
   Pacific Wharf is a very small "land" at Disney California Adventure.  For all of its shortcomings in size (and attractions...) it is well compensated in charm.  The theming of California's fishing industry  might be odd on paper, but it lends itself well to a general aesthetic where the chosen melange of restaurants can commingle.


   Pacific Wharf is nestled snuggly between Paradise Pier, Carsland, and a busy pedestrian throughway.  Because of this it is often overlooked as an area of the park, and prior to lunch, when the restaurants start opening, is often deserted.   Take this opportunity to enjoy some of the best views in the park.

View towards Paradise Pier. One of my absolute faves. 


Monday, August 24, 2015

Some Craft Beer Ideas For Disney World

   You guys have heard me ranting before, either on here, Twitter, or our ridiculous podcast about the beer selection at Walt Disney World.  Yes, it has indeed gotten A LOT better than in years past, especially with the update of the "standard bar menu" a couple of years ago.  This update brought a few pretty decent options to most bars on property.  However, nothing on it is stellar...or particularly rare.


   My biggest problem with the beer at WDW is that there is nothing brewed specifically for this location. (ala: Duff Beer, and the Harry Potter beers at Universal) Before you start raving about the existence of Safari Amber at Animal Kingdom, or the Reef Amber at Epcot...these are nothing more that Budweiser with food coloring...in fact these "specialty" beers are brewed by Budweiser, and renamed for several other non Disney locations.
   So, I got to thinking the other day of ways to integrate wonderful craft beers into Walt Disney World.


   1 - Brew attraction specific beers.
      With the amount of land at WDW, there is no reason to not set up an "in house" brewery that makes a variety of attraction specific beer.  Examples being: The Seas Sea Salt Gose (gose is an antiquated beer style utilizing salt during the fermentation process.) and the Soaring Over IPA...which could utilize heavy doses of California hops. These hops just so happen to be very citrusy and piney, both of which are found in the attraction. 
   See? Its really not that hard. And the fact is that these specialty beers could be sold for a premium compared to the watered down garbage they'd be served next to. 


   2 - A dedicated craft beer bar in the American Adventure pavilion...
      This seems like such a no brainer.  The US has lead the charge in the recent explosion of craft breweries since the 1980's.  With over 2,500 craft breweries in the states, how could this tradition not be part of the American Adventure?
   Specifically, I think that a craft beer bar could be easily built by taking space away from Liberty Inn, which usually feels too big for its own good.  Not only would I love to see a huge draft selection,   but ideally featuring at least ONE FROM EACH OF THE THIRTEEN ORIGINAL COLONIES!!!  You see, I put a lot of thought into this.


   3 - Beer festival on the Streets Of America...
      With half of the park already closed, and more closures soon to come, Disney's Hollywood Studios needs special events to get people through the turnstiles.  The is already Star Wars Weekends in the Spring, and Frozen Summer Fun in the...well...Summertime.  But I'm envisioning a beer festival in the Streets Of America section for a month in the fall, prior to the start of the Osborne Festival of Dancing Lights.
   This obviously doesn't need to be on the same scale as Epcot's Food And Wine Festival. Five or six kiosks each featuring two or three unique brews would be enough to get me through the gate...but I don't want to see ANYTHING from the standard bar menu.  It would be wonderful to see a few kiosks dedicated to specific beer styles, say IPAs or wheat beers...but also a few dedicated to specific breweries.
   Plus, who doesn't want to watch Beauty And The Beast Live while completely bombed on craft beer?

   Anyway, there are three silly ideas to incorporate beer into Walt Disney World.  This started off as a joke, but I think all three of my ideas are quite feasible, and would make SO MANY beer lovers happy.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

What Will Become Of Pizzafari?

   Pizzafari at Disney's Animal Kingdom is all look and no substance.  The quick service restaurant is fantastically themed, and features the ornately carved and painted animals that so well define the rest of Discovery Island.  And yet, the food has always been quite terrible.
   The menu has always leaned toward pizza, as if the name of the restaurant didn't give it away.  The problem is that while the majority of Disney World pizza places slowly shifted to the infinitely better 'flatbread style' pizza, Pizzafari remained staunchly in the overly doughy bad sauce fake cheese camp of yore.  Heck, even Pinocchio's made the switch a few years ago.


   So, after years and years of mediocrity, Pizzafari will be closing in a few days to undergo what is sure to be a big refurbishment.  In fact, it is expected that a large portion of the space will be reconfigured into a sit down restaurant, while the counter service area remains roughly the same layout wise.
   I know that the main excitement over this change is the addition of a sorely needed new table service restaurant in this park.  However, I'm uncharacteristically optimistic about the prospects for the counter service side.  This space always had such great potential, if only the menu would turn over.  Fact is, this seems like the perfect opportunity to reopen with a completely new menu.

As long as they keep this stone cat, Adam will be happy. 

   So what would YOU like to see changed at Pizzafari?  Or do you LIKE the current menu?  What about the table service side?  What kind of cuisine would you like to see here?  Let us know over on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Source Of The Arusha Rock Overlook Background Music At Animal Kingdom Lodge

   For those longterm Disney Hipster Blog readers, you might be aware of two things: I love Animal Kingdom Lodge...and I love Disney background music loops.  When those two things come together I'm basically the happiest person on earth.
   You may also recall the time I compiled both the Jambo House music loop, as well as the Kidani Village music loop.   Heck, I even put together the Animal Kingdom Lodge Christmas loop.  Well, today I'm thrilled for yet another Animal Kingdom Lodge loop...kind of. 

   Remember this video below?  That is a snippet from the music playing on the Arusha Rock Overlook that we shared in 2012...a snippet in which I had to crawl through a bush, find a speaker, and record via my phone.  Its not all that long, and the quality isn't great...but it did confirm a completely separate loop from the interior of AKL. 


   Last October, yes almost a year ago, I spent a few hours on the overlook. I drank beer, and watched as the animals went about their day on the savanna...but most importantly I spent the day "Shazaming" the entire loop. It was tedious work, sitting in my favorite place in the world and drinking beer, but somebody had to do it! 
    So why did I wait this long to blog about this, and bring this loop to life? As it turns out almost all of this loop came from one source the Smithsonian Folkways Music Traditions Of Malawi...which had been out of print/unavailable.  However, Smithsonian Folkways have been re-releasing their entire catalog over the course of a painfully long time.  Oh well, the time has come and that record is finally available to purchase.


   So Andy, why aren't you making a Youtube video with the Arusha Rock Overlook loop?  Good question.  First of all, not everything on this loop comes from Music Traditions Of Malawi...though I'm pretty sure the entire album does fit within the loop, there are a few scattered sources found among it.   Also, unlike this loop, the three interior loops are from literally dozens of sources and artists.  Therefor my compilations were to make the enjoyment of them much easier for fans of the lodge...where as the Arusha loop is basically already compiled in one nice package, available on iTunes. 

   So there you go. Mystery solved as to why I never posted anything about this loop after that scattershot "bush recording" in 2012.  If you're a fan of AKL, do yourself the favor and buy this album...knowing that it makes up the vast majority of the outside music loop. 

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