Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sonny Eclipse Merchandise Idea....

   Hey Disney!  Listen Up!  I spent an hour this morning making this:
   A classy portrait of my favorite Tomorrowland resident, the incomparable Sonny Eclipse. 

   I would like to see some Sonny merchandise.  He has gained quite a cult following since his debut at Cosmic Rays. (1994?)  Sadly that's probably the only following he has.  Adam and I have often been the only two people paying attention to Sonny...while the other rooms at Cosmic Rays are quite busy.  
   The problem is that up until a few years ago, I didn't even know Sonny existed.  Neither did Adam...or any of our Disney friends for that matter.  So I am led to believe that the problem isn't Sonny's amazing show...but the TOTAL LACK of advertising and merchandise.  
   Yes.  I know that he has a new Vinylmation, which is awesome.  Can we have more please?  A shirt with the above image will do for now, so make that happen.  
Sonny Vinylmation.

Bright Little Star, my favorite of Sonny's songs. 

   We are leaving for Disney World in a few short days.  We have gotten to the point where we go at least three times a year, and the more we go, the more I love Sonny.  My favorite tradition is getting a brownie sundae from Mrs. Potts Cupboard during extra magic hour evenings...and walking over to catch Mr. Eclipses show.  Just perfect. 

What If There Were No April Showers?

   We recently recorded a cover of Little April Shower , from Bambi.  This got me thinking about another song that was wrote and recorded with the full intention of being used at the beginning of Bambi.   Can you imagine Bambi without Little April Shower? 

   The song Rain Drops is very charming indeed and even shares a pretty similar style as Little April Showers.  But it lacks a certain ear worm quality that the latter has.   The song is available to purchase on iTunes...along with the rest of the fantastic music from the film. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Donald Duck Merch: Full Circle.

   Adam and I are not big Disney merchandise people.  We don't collect pins.  We don't buy plush.  And for the most part we don't buy anything that can be found throughout the entire resort. In true hipster form we hate the homogenization of the parks.   With that said, we LOVE when there are unique items relevant to the store that they are found in.  World Showcase in general is a great place to start. In addition to there being non-Disney books, snacks, and gifts, there are also nice throwbacks to Disney films related to each country.   Donald for instance... 

  
   Donald is seen here with Panchito, the actual Mexican character from Gran Fiesta Tour, showing him the symbolism of the pinata.
A Donald pinata is included in the 2007 conversion of the Gran Fiesta Tour.
 
    I don't think it's any secret that I tend to favor the underdog attraction.  But I have a specific fondness for the Gran Fiesta Tour.  There is never a line for this attraction...its lively, and colorful, has a catchy song....and I always leave with a huge smile on my face.   I also love the little wink at Mary Blair in the pinata scene.  Brilliant.  
   One thing was lacking though...merchandise.  I always left the attraction wanting the little paper flags with the Three Caballeros faces on them, and a Donald Duck pinata.   The fact that my favorite scene wasn't represented in merchandise for was extremely disheartening.   Then...finally, a few years ago....
Me with my favorite piece of merch....I honestly just happened to have the shirt on.  No kidding, it wasnt planned. 
 
   Now THIS is some good synergy!  This little guy represents both the movie and the ride...and as a fanatic for old Disney throwbacks I had to have it.   The only problem is that these types of items are few and far between.  I think the company is missing a huge market and opportunity. 
 
 

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Disney Hipsters Celebrate Hurricane Irene....

   Our power was out here at Disney Hipster Headquarters due to hurricane Irene.  I spent the better part of the day reading The Art and Flair of Mary Blair, while Adam read The Haunted Mansion: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies.  Oh, and we recorded our version of Little April Showers, from Bambi....and made a video for it in the storm.  Enjoy.


Disney Blog Roundup: 8/28/11

Rounding out our first full week of blogging!  Here are some of my favorite posts from the awesome/amazing/splendiferous Disney community!  Sorry this is a day late...hurricane Irene knocked our power out for nearly 24 hours.  Bummer.

-Wilderness Lodge In Pictures: over at Plan For Disney (one of my new favorite blogs!) go enjoy these lovely photos of the most grand and breathtaking Disney resorts!

-Snacks From Japan: Meanwhile, over at Eating WDW, Sarah examines (probably) the most adorable thing at Walt Disney World...

5 (New To Me) Disneyland Discoveries I Couldnt Wait to Share:  While on the important topic of food....enjoy AJ's fantastic and delicious addition to the Disney Food Blog. 

Not Having Fun at Disneyland:  Go enjoy this phenomenal group of photos via Imangineering Disney.  These are right up my alley.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Disney Inspired Trivia

To prepare for our upcoming trip to the World on Sept 3rd (!) and the impending DOOM of Irene, we have been watching all Disney Films that are reflected in attractions. We are currently viewing the The Three Caballeros to get excited for one of our favorites, Gran Fiesta Tour!


We were enjoying Pablo the Penguin and it inspired Andrew to ask me "Is there actual land under the South Pole (Polo Sur)?" Being the resident Scientist, I naturally replied "I have no idea!

The Answer: YES!

I thought you may like to know. Now enjoy Pablo.



Friday, August 26, 2011

Hipsters in the park: Magic Kingdom.

   On a recent trip to the world I took lots and lots of video...enough to make individual edited videos for each park. (water parks too!)  Here is a little Magic Kingdom fun.


Cameos made by Andrew's sister and her awesome kids....who are slowly becoming Disney nerds themselves.  They recently became first time annual pass holders! So proud!  :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Oklahoma on Mainstreet.

   As I'm listening to Mouseworld Radio, I realize that some people might not recognize a lot of the instrumental songs played on Mainstreet.   The omnipresent background music (BGM) in the parks takes a front seat on Mainstreet, louder here than perhaps anywhere in the park.  A music loop of about an hour and twenty minutes plays continuously throughout the day.  A big chunk of that hour and twenty minutes is  taken by the musical Oklahoma!  
   The movie version of Oklahoma came out in 1955, that same year that Disneyland opened...and though released by another company, Walt was certainly a fan.   Do you recognize these songs from your strolls down Mainstreet? 

The Surrey Song


Kansas City


 Many a New Day
 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Favorite Attractions Series #1

Its seems like every Disney related podcast I listen to or blog I read, has at one point or another demonstrated their lack of love for one of my top 10 attractions in Disney World: Primeval Whirl. For those of you that haven’t experienced it, it’s a small, spinning, wild mouse coaster in Dino Land of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park.


Reason we love it #1: It’s awfully entertaining. It Spins! A lot! And it drops! And has sharp turns!

Reason we love it #2: The design of the attraction is amazing. I can’t imagine how much time Imagineering spent making it look so wonderfully bad. The kitschy design, muted but block coloring and fun illustration really shows how high Imagineering standards are even when funding is fairly low.

A big compliant (aside from the design…which is crazyyyy) is that it’s an out of the box coaster. I do understand that Disney has set some high standards in terms of custom attractions, but we have to realize that it’s impractical to believe they could spend 100,000,000+ on every attraction. Purchasing great carnival rides (but built better) and theming them, is a great solution to add more activities to a Park when funds are low. (Imagine the atmosphere of Fantasyland without Dumbo!!) We love this attraction so much, we have even taken our obsession to seeking out other version of this coaster.

So far we only managed to ride one. This is the Crazy Mouse ride found on Steel Pier in Atlantic City.



Having been on Primeval Whirl about 100 times, I can say that Crazy Mouse seems to be the same exact same track layout, except the construction materials/theme elements are way cheaper than those used on the Whirl. 

The biggiest difference between the 2 is obviously the design. The piping of the track itself and the supports on the Whirl are much thicker whereas the track and supports on the Crazy Mouse seem much much thinner and flimsier. As a result the ride itself pivets and shakes where the Whirl does not. Overall I never felt like I’m risking my life riding Primeval Whirl, where I was terrified on the Crazy Mouse. 

In terms of the theming, the Crazy Mouse has pretty much none. The carts have a badly designed mouse (I think) faces, but that as far as it goes. Eeek!!

Primeval Whirls theming, as stated above, is amazing (in my opinion).
The only thing better on the Crazy Mouse was the frightening factor. Typically when you read about wild mouse coaster, most are designed so you feel like you’re going to fall off the edge before a sharp turn. I never get this feeling when riding the Whirl. I also never noticed this until riding the Crazy Mouse. The coaster sits on a pier; one side is right against the edge of the pier with a very far distance to the ocean.  The other side is unobstructed with a nice view of the pier itself. 

When you ride the Crazy Mouse, you literally are horrified at each turn, feeling like the badly made ride is going to snap in half and send you plunging into the ocean or the splintered wood of the pier. This is lost for some reason on Primeval Whirl. I think its has to do with 2 aspects on the design.

#1: Primeval Whirl is surrounded by lots of stuff. When you come to the turns, the elements of the theming, trees and the mirror track keep you from feeling like you are going to drop off.

#2: The Disney version is much better constructed, so your instinct isn’t forming thoughts of potential peril.
Here’s a great ride thru on the Crazy Mouse. I think you’ll understand what I mean. I included a Primeval Whirl through for comparison.

 

Overall, I love Primeval Whirl so much and I really hope it reopens in September as planned. I also hope others will begin to look as this attraction not as a low budget addition to Animal Kingdom, but the amazing feat of Imagineering and design that it is.

Five Reasons the Tiki Birds Should Never Go Anywhere:

    With the recent refurb/overhaul of The Enchanted Tiki Room, Under New Management  to the supposedly superlative Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room one might be concerned with the limited amount of times an attraction can be redone before getting the axe.    We all know the "long" lines at the new attraction will wane in the next few months (weeks?) once the super fans have gotten their fill.  After 13 years of New Managment the crowds were long gone, and the idea that reversing the Iago effect will bring people back is ridiculous. 
   The average park guest could care less about park history, let alone  individual attraction history.   As far as most people are concerned the only thing in Adventureland is the Pirates of the Carribean.  With that said, the Tiki Birds are my personal favorite attraction in Adventureland and third favorite in the Magic Kingdom.   Here are some reasons why it can never go away.




      One: The ability to wake up Jose at the beginning of the show.
Isn't this more interactive the Haunted Mansion queue?


       Two: The Company's long history with all things "Tiki." 
 Sure, I mentioned that average park guests couldn't care less about park history.  But if there is anything that the company wants,  its continuity with its product.  The birds have the same carefree feel as the Polynesian resort, or say, Annette.  
 "Tiki" is one of the five tropes of the Disney company. 


       Three: The destruction of attraction theme songs has to stop somewhere: (soon)

RIP Old Friends:
 Its Fun To Be Free
If You Had Wings
Listen To The Land
Tomorrows Child


       Four: What else are you going to do with the space? 

    The space where the Tiki Birds are is roughly the size of the Flying Carpets attraction.  Though that attraction adds a lot to the atmosphere of the land it is hardly innovative, even for an off the shelf carnival ride.  (yes, the spitting camels are nice.)   The only other options would be a very small store (which there already is on the other side of the carpets), a small counter service restaurant (which there is one next door), or a diversion style attraction (we already have Shrunken Neds Junior Jungle Boats.)
Basically Adventureland has everything it needs already. 
What else could go here?  Nothing. 


       Five: Jose, Pierre, Michael, Fritz, Iago,  and Zazu.

   Rarely are popular movie characters TAKEN OUT of attractions.  Imagineers are smart enough to look at an important old attraction, and realize that the bastardized version  just wasn't working.  The gravity of this decision is amazing and opens up a million opportunities for park improvement.  Maybe, just maybe, we can say goodbye  to Stitch in Tomorrowland?  (I could see this happening in the next few years.)   I take this as an act of humility on the part of the company...a rare and beautiful sight. 

    This wasn't supposed to be a real blog post....but I love the Tiki Birds very much.  I am super excited to see the new refurbed version in a few weeks.  I hope this attraction is around for a very long time...otherwise I might have to chain myself to it.  Dolewhip in hand.
 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Some Annette Love.

Press play. Don't blink for the next two and a half minutes.  Trust me, you will thank me for it.
    

The Monkeys Uncle is one of the greatest Sherman Brothers songs.  Lyrically only makes sense after watching the silly / stupendous movie.  Tommy Kirk is technically the star,  fumbling around, charming and awkward as ever.  But right in the middle we have Annette ABSOLUTELY KILLING IT.  The  whimsical timbre of her voice suits the song well.   Enjoy.

Wonderful Fantasyland Poster.

Adam and I were hopping back and forth between yard sales and estate sales this weekend and finding very little to our liking. Then we stumbled upon this guy:
 Awesome poster, bad photo.

A giant Fantasyland poster, well framed, and hanging in someones stairwell.  As in most estate sales everything was for sale....this mysteriously was not.   Though I'm not an expert on Disney attraction posters, I have always admired the sharp lines and the intrinsically kitschy nature of them.  
much better image of the same design.

What I like most about this poster is the amount of people in it either pointing or raising their hands in celebration.  The shadowy figures in the blue teacup seem to be raising a glass honoring the young lady.   Oh, wait...are they pointing at Dumbo? 

For a lot of great information on attraction posters visit: Disney Park Attraction Poster Blog.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Charming Video Clip of Walt...

This is a wonderful clip of Walt on What's My Line?  I love this clip because it shows Walt's willingness to play along, even though he was super busy around the time of recording.  Just a year after the opening of Disneyland and another chaotic year to come, Walt found time to make an appearance on a television game show.  Just splendid.