Friday, May 18, 2018

Alfie Gets His Hair Cut on Main Street USA

   We just got back from our Spring trip to Walt Disney World (Alfie's second, for those counting...) and we're definitely still in the digestion phase of our post Disney grief. In other words, we're sifting through memories, pictures, videos, and souvenirs.  
   One of the hardest decisions I had to make prior to this trip was whether or not Alfie would get his first hair cut at the Harmony Barber Shop on Main Street USA at the Magic Kingdom. This seems like a no brainer given our love of Walt Disney World, and also our love of all things ridiculous. However, I myself am a hairdresser by trade. (the millions of dollars this blog generates isn't enough to support our lavish lifestyle.) Part of me thought it would be special to do his first haircut myself...I thought loooooong and hard about it, at one point even running a poll on Twitter. The 50/50 tie didn't help in my ultimate decision. :/ 
   Clearly we ended up going with the Harmony Barber Shop, or else this blog post wouldn't exist.  So lets talk about it...

   Quick note: Becoming a dad has made me a VERY bad and even more lazy while I have tons of pictures of my son galavanting around the parks, I don't have many "detail" shots that I used to prize myself on. In fact, I think I took a paltry 500 or so photos, all of which are of Alfie or drunk selfies.  All of this just to say, I have no actual pictures of the barber shop. 
   For those unfamiliar, the Harmony Barber Shop is located on the Town Square of Main Street USA, to the left as you enter the park. I had never even peeked inside prior to this visit, because its kind of tucked away and though I had a professional curiosity I just never got around to it.  The space itself is way smaller than I thought it would be, three working stations VERY close to each other. ( I work in an enormous salon with 35 stylists and full yeah, different.) The barber shop maintains the turn of the century theme of Main Street, costume and all! 
   We had a 10:40 appointment for Alfie, made a few weeks prior.  They do accept walk ups, but appointments are recommended.  Once we checked in we waited on a comfy bench until a barber was available, at which point our name was called.  
   We were placed with Diane who was an absolute dream.  She clearly knew about parent anxiety when it comes to the first haircut, and made us very comfortable. She was also well versed in baby distraction.  During our consultations, very nonchalantly, she pulled out half a dozen Mickey stickers and stuck them all over Alfie. This was enough to keep him busy for the five minutes his cut took. (I was very clear we just wanted his baby mullet cut off, since were growing the rest out...) She did a wonderful job, and I would be happy for her to cut his hair again. 

   In addition to a regular kids haircut/adults haircut ($19!!!!!!!! What!?!?!) there is a baby's first haircut special.  Included with this is the cut (duh), a pair of "first haircut" Mickey ears, a sachet with some of those precious baby locks, and a certificate. A total steal at $25...

(there is hair in there somewhere...)

even the receipt is a souvenir!

   Our experience at the Harmony Barber Shop couldn't have been better.  The atmosphere is so charming and intimate. The barbers are professional, but also silly and know how to deal with small kids.  At this price, I would recommend it to anyone looking for a unique vacation memory.  In fact, I plan on getting my hair cut here on our next visit. :) 

Monday, May 14, 2018

We Went To Walt Disney World...

   Guys we went to Walt Disney World again, yada yada yada. Alfie is adorable...blah blah blah. Animal Kingdom Lodge is the greatest, etc...

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Alfie In Walt Disney World

   I tried to write an "Alfie's first time at WDW" blog post a few times since we returned from his inaugural jaunt, but I could never get past the first few sentences.  Nothing can describe the enormous joy that we felt on this trip.  Everything at Disney World was new to us. There was happy crying multiple times a day, and a fair share of total exhaustion. (Yes, you still have to actually WATCH AND TAKE CARE OF YOUR BABY while on vacation. NBD.)
   So in lieu of an actual blog post, in true Disney Hipster fashion is a the lazy way out.  A video.  Only the first couple of minutes are actually edited to music, the rest are literally just random clips. Enjoy.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Goodbye Ellen

Today is the final day of operation for Ellen's Energy Adventure at Epcot.  The closure was announced at this years D23 event, a short month ago.  I've written similar eulogies for attraction before, speaking of their importance in both Walt Disney World and my personal life. However, I've never broken a six month blogging hiatus for an attraction, so you I hope you feel special Ms. Degeneres.
   I don't remember the first time I experienced Ellen's Energy Adventure. I'm sure that it wasn't my first trip to Epcot in 2006, and probably not the following trip either.  Early in our "professional touring" career Adam and I were interested in the headliners, with little interest in "sideshows".  And just as we eventually fell in love with the Carousel Of ProgressLiving With The Land, and Primeval Whirl, we also fell in love with the epic solar powered (kind of) gargantuan spectacle of Ellen's Energy Adventure. 

   I find it very difficult to explain to people where my love for this attraction stems from.  It's hard to quantify this abundance of love in a place where I love almost everything, but I'm going to try. Before you continue reading: if you think I appreciate the attraction due to hipster driven sarcasm then look no further than our post Why Disney Hipsters?  This isn't about how dated and boring Ellen's Energy Adventure is.  If you want that kind of negativity, just scroll though Twitter.  Here are five things that make this attraction special to me. 

   Everyones first recollection of this pavilion is the show building itself.  It's mirrored facade and sharp angles are intriguing to passers by.  Compared to its neighbors (actually all of Future World) this building is a true standout.  Why has the aesthetic powerhouse of the "countdown clock wall" never become a thing?  (until recently...) Of course, if we judged purely on outside aesthetics we could stop here, considering the fate of the building's facade seems pretty safe. (RIP the countdown clock wall) 

(photo courtesy of @Caitlizgrace) 

   The exterior might be the first thing people see...but its the DAMN DINOSAURS that people remember. Equally campy and impressive, adults and children alike leave talking about this extended scene. Even those Universe Of Energy haters have to admit, this is classic Disney.  But first two things don't specifically apply to the ELLEN version of Universe of Energy. So...

   For crying out loud! Go listen to the Bruce Broughton score for this attraction! The catchy up beat music has entered the cannon of classic Epcot music, and will continue to be heard in the entrance gate music loop. There is a reason this was included at the end of EVERY EPISODE OF DISNEY HIPSTER PODCAST.

(Disney Hipster Podcast crew in their 2013 halloween costumes...) 

   Ellen's Energy Adventure wouldn't have lasted five years without the amazing cast of characters and the actors that play them.  Ellen is amazing. However, its the supporting characters that really tie this thing together.  Jamie Lee Curtis is at her absolute finest, and Bill Nye his sexiest. Alex Trebek his most mustachioed and Kramer his least racist.  
   People often joke about this ride being one long nap, but I've never been among a crowd where the jokes didn't garner an audible laugh. The script is hilarious, and the actors more so. 

   A final favorite thing goes to the front row of the left car...and the seriously impressive ride vehicle system.  If you didn't get to experience this, tough luck. It really doesn't anymore after today. 

   Thank you Ellen's Energy Adventure for being one of my favorite Disney attractions over the last ten years. You made me laugh, cry, think...and yes, nap. For that, I will never forget you.