Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Oh What Am I To Do At Disney's Hollywood Studios?

   Disney's Hollywood Studios has become a joke in many circles...including the Disney Hipster Melange.  This park has always been the bottom of our list as far as US parks are concerned...in fact, I'd rate both Universal Orlando parks above DHS.  However unloved this park has been in the past, NOTHING compares to the mere shell of a park it has become recently.
   Years of neglect has left the studios completely void of legit entertainment, with only the most vague of theming. On top of that recent months DHS has seen the closure of the backlot tour, Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow,  and The American Idol Experience.  With news this week that the always popular Magic Of Disney Animation will close later this summer, it begs the question...Oh what am I to do at Disney's Hollywood Studios? 
   The fact is, despite all the public mocking, we still make it to Hollywood Studios a few times each trip.  Here are a few things about DHS that will keep us coming back, despite its general suckiness...


   Rumors are already circulation about the imminent closure of One Man's Dream...but until that day comes this remains a huge highlight at DHS.  I could easily spend an hour enjoying the air-conditioned, history laden rooms.  Touring this attraction is still a must do for every trip, as it puts the whole of your vacation into perspective. 


   Obviously, with the park in its current condition, you'll want to be drinking.  Our watering hole of choice is the Tune In Lounge. This over  the top, perfectly themed bar is part of the waiting room for 50's Prime Time Cafe. You can usually find a seat at the bar with little to no wait, especially if you arrive earlier in the day.  The drinks are standard Disney bar menu...with an ok selection of beer and wine.  However, the real treat here is that you can order the full 50's Prime Time menu.  Our favorites are the peanut butter and jelly milkshake, and onion rings.  Pair this with beer, and I'm in vacationers heaven. 


   Whether you enjoy the stomach piercing drops of Tower Of Terror or not, there is no disputing that this e-ticket attraction is a huge asset to DHS.  Even disregarding the attraction itself, the eerie cast it lays on Sunset Boulevard is phenomenal...and adds to the overall feel of the park. 


      If you're not already stuffed full of peanut butter and jelly milkshake, you might want to head over to Brown Derby.  This signature restaurant provides the best food in the park, even for vegetarians.  Though it doesn't have an actual bar, the drinks here are delicious, and unique to the space.  If you're SUPER LUCKY you may even get picked as the celebrities of the day... 


      There may only be a few attractions at Hollywood Studios, but the park makes up for it in detail.  Remnants of the original "working studio" theme remain, often in the most remote corners.  Don't forget to take the time, drink in hand, to explore these corners. 

      This park might be in dire shape at the moment, but there is still plenty to do here to round out an awesome trip to Walt Disney World.  I mean, who wouldn't want to spend the afternoon drinking milkshakes, reveling in Disney history, and riding Tower of Terror? Sounds like a nice few hours to me.  Please keep in mind that this park is very much in flux at the moment, and any number of things could close at a moments notice. So sheesh, no promises. 

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Friday, June 26, 2015

Disney BGM Of The Week: Paradise Park

   We have proclaimed our love of Disney California Adventure many times over the years...specifically that of Paradise Pier.  But there is a little area of Paradise Pier that we have ignored thus far.  The gorgeous Paradise Park.


   This area is little more than a manicured tiered garden directly across from the hustle and bustle of the "pier." Complete with its own whimsical vaguely bygone era music loop, Paradise Park is a lovely place to relax at DCA.  That is until nightfall when it is inundated with folks waiting for World Of Color to begin. 
   Enjoy this loop (provided via Superhotlarry's youtube page.) as you go about your business. 


   Isn't that loop absolutely delightful?  I find it super relaxing as I'm getting my chores done around the house, or if I have people over.  Its lively without being obnoxious.  Have a wonderful weekend friends. 

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Disney Nacho Cheese Sauce: A Pictorial Love Story

   The Disney internet community was not quiet this week. There was a lot of random stuff going on, as usual, but the thing that had me most upset was cheese.  Or, actually...the lack of cheese.  The liquid melty delicious nacho cheese found at various toppings bars has been discontinued...at least in the "serve yourself" capacity that we have come to know and love. 
   In all seriousness, I am pretty torn up about this.  It is just one of those random things that brought a little bit of joy into my habitual tourism.   Instead of dwelling on my sadness, I decided to share my feelings in form of a poem...and pictures. 

Liquid Nacho Cheese At Disney World: Forever In Our Hearts


Oh nacho cheese sauce,
From Pecos Bill,
You've made our journey,
a culinary thrill.


This one must be old,
look at the blue cups!
By the look of the picture,
you made me throw up. 


Coming back the next year,
Theres a red cup I see!
Since the first time we met,
it was just you and me...


We nearly forgot you,
      On Halloween night, 
But look what I see here,
      just there to the right...


Divine on a potato,
                     Who would have thought?
Everyone knows,
                      You're the best thing I got.


Here is a picture,
Of you and your mother,
Nearby are some french fries,
for you to smother. 


On Tom Sawyer Island, 
Where outdoors we dined,
For the last dozen years,
Our lives intertwined, 


And I never did skip you, 
      no, not even once.
Over dozens of trips, 
                  you still were a must...do.

   Rest in peace self serve nacho cheese.  You were a true friend, who was always there for me in time of need. I'll miss the way you adorned my french fries, and the way you made a impromptu salad dressing in a pinch.  I'll miss the way you always look disgusting in a photo, despite your obvious otherworldly deliciousness.  But we will always have our memories, and Pecos. 

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Friday, June 19, 2015

Lunch At The Lucky Fortune Cookery At DCA

   When Adam and I go on any Disney vacation we make a list of different food items that we want to try, in an attempt to organize our trips even further than they already are. When we visit Disneyland our list tends to be longer, since we don't make it to the West coast as often.  One of the things that we were excited to try was the tofu rice bowls at Lucky Fortune Cookery...


   This counter service restaurant is found at Disney California Adventure, in the Pacific Wharf food court  area.  The layout of Lucky Fortune is familiar to any Disney parks fan, including tables that are shared by the other surrounding restaurants. (think of Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood Studios...) The design includes a gorgeous neon dragon sign, paper lanterns, and faux jade inlay...which is incorporated into the decaying industrial theme of Pacific Wharf. 



   The menu here is all about rice bowls. First you pick a protein (chicken, beef, tofu), then pick a sauce (mandarin orange, spicy korean, thai coconut curry, and teriyaki).  Your selection is mixed with asian veggies and served over rice.