Friday, August 31, 2012

Disney Blog Roundup: 09/01/12

   Another week. Another year. Another terrific round up of Disney reads.  I'm glad that the dog days of Summer are not slowing down all of our friends around the proverbial community of Disney nuts.  Around here we are currently obsessing over learning the words to all the instrumental songs featured on Main Street thats something I guess. :/

- Eating WDW continues my favorite series with Snacks From Japan! These look interesting despite their lack of BBQ flavor...

- Yay! Estelle at This Happy Place Blog is kicking off a week long series leading up to Dapper Day!!!! Check out her awesome outfit!  I wish I could pull off a clutch like that...

- Speaking of awesome series, Rob over at Mouse On The Mind continues their wonderful nighttime series, and peaks at the nighttime lights at World Showcase! Gorgeous!

- Dawn at Mouse Chow puts things into perspective when it comes to the Rose and Crown Pub/restaurant...

- Some terrific photos from Storybookland Canal Boats brought to us by Gorillas Don't Blog.

- Ryan at Main Street Gazette has a fun way to bring Hollywood Studios into your home between visits to WDW!!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Living With The Land: Fluted Pumpkin

   Sometimes friend, I'd rather be ignorant when it comes to some subjects.  Alas, my stupid curiosity gets the better of me again.  
   One of my favorite attractions ever is Living With The Land at Epcot.  Yes, it has its problems.  The "aquaculture" segment with the fish and alligators is pretty primitive and quite frankly gross.  But the greenhouses are so miraculous and well maintained I experience this attraction multiple times just to see them.  These giant glass rooms stir my inner culinary chef.  My mind wanders to all the great things I could make with jackfruit, giant sweet potatoes, or snake gourds!  Oh! And the lovely fluted pumpkin!  I would love to test some recipes on you...if only you were edible.
   Here is where my horrible curiosity disappoints me again.  

Fluted Pumpkin in Living With The Land...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Spend Some Time On Main Street USA

   I've listened to the Main Street USA background music loop almost everyday for five years. I'm crazy  obsessive when it comes to silly things like that.  We have investigated Main Street Music before...with Oklahoma! and Summer Magic.  Here we have a playlist encompassing a good portion of songs from the Main Street loop...original versions, movie versions, and also some random recordings.  It seems like youtube has cracked down on soundtracks being I had to make due.  Anyway, enjoy the playlist. :)

I wish it was always this empty...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Extensive Theming Around It's A Small World

   It's A Small World at Disneyland is an epic adventure.  Sure, the attraction is pretty similar to its cousin in The Magic Kingdom...but the differences mostly reside on the outside.  Besides the grand beautiful clock tower facade there are other elements at play here as well.
   The mall leading up to Small World from the main part of Fantasyland is creating a sense of anticipation as the facade comes into view. (one reason why that facade wouldn't work in Florida...) We are taken slowly into a Small World mini-land...including themed garbage cans, churro carts, and even an open air shop.  We have both the Disneyland railroad passing by, as well as the monorail.  We also have toontown just beyond.  This is the crossroads of the world...the epicenter of childish delight.

Monday, August 27, 2012

And The Winner Is...

   After a long, exciting, ridiculously fun week of tabulating all the entries and interacting with some of the most amazing people in the "Disney Community" we HAVE A WINNER!!!!  Watch the video below to find out who the lucky Disney fan is!  We had a blast with this giveaway, and rest assured we will be doing another one in a few months for sure!

   Thanks again folks!  We promise to uphold the low level of mediocrity that we have set for ourselves, and will not let you down! :)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday Quickie: A Few From Tom Sawyer Island

   Yay!  I had a blast this past week celebrating Disney Hipster Blog's first birthday!  Thanks for all the Twitter love!  You still have until 8:00 PM TONIGHT to enter our giveaway!  So get on that!

   Here are a few random picture from the fort on Tom Sawyer Island.  I always think that place is super creepy, especially if you're the first person there. :/

Friday, August 24, 2012

Animal Kingdom Artifact: Pembe Initiation Mask

   Located near the check in desk of Jiko, this is one of two (that I know of) initiation masks produced by the Pembe people of the Congo, made for Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Johari Treasures At Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village

   One of the unexpectedly fun parts of a vacation at Disney World is spending tons of time just gallivanting around your resort. (you are staying at a deluxe resort, right?)  Inevitably you'll end up in the resorts main store, eyeing up the wares.
   The "basic goods" store at Kidani Village is Johari Treasures and though its VERY small, it is super charming... and offers most everything you might need for a lengthy stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Early Dinosaur Concept Art

   Certainly the most frowned upon area of the entire Walt Disney World resort is the Dinoland USA section of Disney's Animal Kingdom.  Though a lot of the hatred is unwarranted due to severe misunderstanding, it stinks to see such a charming area get the short end of the stick.
   Considered by many an "E-Ticket" worthy attraction, Dinosaur (originally Countdown to Extinction) is another greatly misunderstood attraction.  People complain that it is TOO dark and TOO loud and TOO bumpy, but in a park severely lacking in thrill rides this is a welcome addition.  Imagine the park on opening day with NO Expedition Everest! Where would your hatred be then, friend?

   Here are some very early concept drawings for the original attraction, circa 1993:

Monday, August 20, 2012

Disney World Cooking: Bunny Chow

   Lets categorize this one as vastly misunderstood.  Bunny Chow is a street food common in South Africa via India.  Upon first hearing about it (around last years Food and Wine Festival) one immediately thinks of gross eating bunnies, or worse, doggy chow.   The dish actually couldn't be farther from those things!  It is in fact most often vegetarian (if not completely vegan), though the curry portion can on occasion contain meat. :/
   Bunny chow is essential hallowed out bread, filled with curry.  Simple, yeah?  The curry varies greatly from region and vendor.  We first tried this treat at Epcot's Food and Wine Festival and then enjoyed a more upscale version at Animal Kingdom Lodge's Jiko.  Neither the festival, or our favorite restaurant disappointed us.  Both were quite delicious.
   I decided to surprise Adam with my own version. :)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

DHB One Year Birthday Giveaway!

   As part of BIRTHDAY WEEK here on Disney Hipster Blog we're giving away this classy/trashy/awesome portrait of everyones favorite country bear, Big Al!  Hand painted by yours truly specifically for this momentous occasion.  Thanks everyone who reads this blog on a daily basis, and validates our existence...we really, really appreciate it.
   Details of how to enter at the bottom of the post. :)

Sunday Quickie: Almond Pretzel and Birthday Week!

   Yay!  Welcome to BIRTHDAY WEEK on Disney Hipster Blog!  We started this blog on a rainy Sunday afternoon one year ago and haven't had a dull moment since!  There are a lot of fun things planned for this weeks celebration, including a give-away via twitter, a new video, and a special podcast!  Stay tuned!
   In the mean time, enjoy this OLD OLD picture of us chowing down on an almond pretzel in Norway.


Friday, August 17, 2012

Animal Kingdom Artifact: Bamileke Elephant Mask

   There are a few of these wonderful elephant masks around Animal Kingdom Lodge.  This one is located at Kidani Village.  Terrific beadwork and whimsical design.  Check out those ears!  Love it.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Free Funnel Cake At Hollywood Studios (best moment ever.)

   A huge reason that most of us are Disney fanatics (as opposed to say, theme park fanatics) is the level of customer service that the terrific cast members give us.  The attention to detail, and ability to make someones day is one of the most important aspects of a Disney park.  The lower level cast members are given a longer leash in their job descriptions if it involves creating a magical moment for a family.

   Last September we were trolling around Hollywood Studios late in the evening...we had gone for one reason only, to experience the new version of Star Tours.  Make no mistake, this is a park we can live without almost entirely (TOT is a redeeming factor, as is PB&J milkshake...) but we do find it necessary to experience all new shows and attractions.   So after a few rounds on Star Tours we were hustling toward the exit of the park, trying to beat the crowd that was about to swarm out of Fantasmic!  
   Just as we were walking past Echo Lake a young cast member asked us if we liked funnel cake...being the gluttonous heathens that we are..."Of course we do!"  He led us over to the funnel cake stand situated there, and said to wait a moment...
   At this point we realized that we're probably getting free funnel cake.  The assumption was, of course, that they had MADE a funnel cake on accident and were merely trying to give it away so it wouldn't go to waste.  Then Adam managed to sneak a peak inside...and realized that they were making an ENORMOUS funnel cake, a good three times the normal size!  Keep in mind that the snack stand is still open for business, with a line several people deep who are themselves ordering late night funnel cakes!
   Sticking his head out the back door, the young man asks, "Do you guys like ice cream?" why yes we do!  "how about whipped cream?" Why not!  "Strawberries?" thanks.  We hate to be picky when it comes to gigantic fried dough, but I honestly can't eat strawberries.
   Moments later we were presented the fantastic cloudy concoction, out the back door of the stand.  We thanked the cast member with excited zeal....and asked him why he did that.  "Because I love my job! and love working for Disney..."
    That my friends made my trip to the Studios that evening worth my time.  How amazing that these cast members went out of their way to make two random guys (with no kids!) smile from ear to ear.  We asked if we could take their picture which they obliged.  As we left the park we had a photopass picture taken of us with our sinful treat...

I don't think this photo does it justice...

the two cast members responsible! Look how big that thing is!!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

WDW Pics App Review

   We don't often review smart phone apps on this blog, but we haven't been in a Disney park since May, and Disney World since the beginning of February. (!!!!!!)  At this point in our Disney World withdrawal we will take just about any avenue to get our parks fix...including apps.  There a dozens of Disney related apps available for just about everything. Wait times? sure.  Transportation? indeed.  Food? of course.  All of these will suffice in bringing a little bit of the parks to your everyday life...and are helpful while in the parks themselves.
   An app that is new-ish, and indeed new to me is the WDW Pics app, which includes over 100 high quality photos from Disney World. These photos include all four parks and several of the resort hotels.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Original Aurora: Helene Stanley

   I get immense joy out of delving into obscure Disney actors.  It seems like every day the veil is lifted a little more, and my contemplation of the company as a whole is more rounded.  Though I'd known of Disney's use of live action models for their early animated films, I was pretty unaware of particular models. (yes, I know Margaret Kerry, but who DOESNT know Margaret Kerry?)  Such is the case with Helene Stanley.
   Stanley had worked for MGM at the beginning of her career making only a small impact on the silver screen.  It wasn't until her underrated role as a model for Cinderella, Aurora, and Anita (101 Dalmations) that Stanley's star would be cemented in history.  Under the supervision of Marc Davis, Helene had to be able to move fluidly and gracefully across the stage, giving the artists all aspects of the characters movements.

Sonny Eclipse's Cousin

   When imagineering revamped Tomorrowland in 1994 they included one of the real hidden gems of the Magic Kingdom, Sonny Eclipse.  Performing a 25 minute show on an almost continuous loop at Cosmic Rays Starlight Cafe, Sonny brings a wonderful whimsy to an otherwise austere section of the park.
   In order to get more bang for their buck, Sonny's animatronic was made from a model of Captain ZZZYXX, from the Star Tours attraction at Tokyo Disneyland.  The captain is a Zorkie, like Sonny, and is indeed Sonny's cousin.  Unlike Sonny who is from Yew Nork City...ZZZYXX is from Joo Nerzey.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday Quickie: A Conversation With Tiana

   Ever want to spend a nice five minutes conversing with a Disney princess?  Do not go to Andrew's favorite, Aurora.  Nor will Adam's favorite, Snow White do the trick either.  THE BEST conversations are to be had with THERE is an interesting dialogue!  Bonus points if Naveen is there.  He is super creepy and amazing.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Animal Kingdom Artifact: Dogon Grainery Door

   Located directly across from my favorite Asafo flag, these apparently were at one time doors.  I imagine they worked much like saloon doors would, swinging back and forth.  Anyway, we don't get a lot of light in this part of the fifth excuse the photo quality please. :)
   The Dogon people of Mali are known for their exquisite wooden are and architecture.  Do yourself the favor of a quick google image search.  Terrific.  I only wish Animal Kingdom Lodge had more...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Disney World Cooking: Kona Cafe Soba Noodles With Vegetables and Tofu

   To say that food is a big part of your Disney World vacation is probably the understatement of the year.  Guests plan entire trips around advanced dining reservations, snacking around world showcase, the Food & Wine festival, and all sorts of cult foods.  We have dipped our fingers in the "Disney Food Universe" making a top five snacks video and also a top five vegetarian meals at the Magic Kingdom.
   In May we decided to re-create our favorite meal at Disneyland with the four cheese gratin from French Market.  Today we will continue the culinary exploration by re-creating and improving upon the Pan Asian noodle dish served at The Polynesian Resort's Kona Cafe. 

   Keep in mind that I get a little flustered trying to type out recipes...seeing that I don't follow recipes.  So here we go:

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Adventureland Is Tikiland...

   The idea of Disneyland developed in Walt Disney's mind long before the park came to fruition.  The basic design was far from polished when he finally started building his park, though the idea of basing each themed land around a common movie genre was in place.  Tomorrowland could be the home of space travel, rockets, and in a more broad sense future living here on Earth.  Frontierland the home of America's beloved westerns. (and apparently most period pieces, according to Walt.)
   Where does that leave Adventureland?  Included early in the process was the idea for the Jungle Cruise attraction, fleshed out to realization by Harper Goff.  And there you have it, an impressive ONE attraction, albeit a large scale powerhouse.  The thing about The Jungle Cruise is that it doesn't take place in one specific part of the world.  The time is roughly toward the end of British Colonialism, based on main inspiration The African Queen.  The concept for Adventureland itself is essentially the same idea, an amalgam of cohesive themes centered around the ultimate hodge podge of cultures: Tiki.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Mickey Mouse at Hollywood Studios

   We don't blog a lot about Hollywood Studios around here.  Truth be told, it is our least favorite of the six US parks. It does have some charming corners here and there, and even a flourish of extensive theming. (albeit, scarce.)  One such instance is the terrific Mickey Mouse statues located in the large store on Hollywood Boulevard...

 Steamboat Willie (1928)

Sunday Quickie: Tiles From Ariels Undersea Adventure

    Despite the relatively tame queue for Ariel's Undersea Adventure at DCA there are a few little touches that help bring it to life.  The sea urchin posts, the nautical crown molding, and these lovely tiles...

   I hear that the queue in the Florida version will be a little more immersive...which would be nice considering its placement.  But I do hope that they are able to bring these over.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Disney Blog Roundup: 8/4/12

you guys have seen this, right?

- Another amazing post from Passport 2 Dreams discussing the ever-hot topic of show buildings! Very interesting indeed.

- Eating WDW is continuing an extensive look at the WDW standard cocktail menu! The raspberry rain  looks pretty good to us! We'll take two...

- Our favorite esoteric Wonders of Life Blog improves upon the fitness fairground at Wonders of Life.  

- Melissa Sue at Mouse On The Mind peeks at Doc Terminus's cart for Wayfinding Wednesday! Always loved this.

- Guest blogger Katie, for Disney Food Blog explores the Disney Halloween parties on both coasts... I CANT WAIT!!!! Yay!

- Main Street Gazette's Ryan shares some wonderful images from an early Epcot promotional booklet! 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Animal Kingdom Artifact: My Favorite Asafo Flag

   How have I never posted this!?!?! One of my very favorite Animal Kingdom Artifacts is a wonderful/whimsical/bizarre Asafo flag.  Produced by the Fante on the coast of Ghana.  There are several different flags throughout Animal Kingdom Lodge but this is one of the most weird.  Located on next to the fifth floor bridge...we get to see it a lot because we stay in DVC villas.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Disneyland Records: Bedknobs and Broomsticks

   One of the great joys of being an uber Disney fan is obsessions waxing and waning.  One day, I might be obsessing over Sonny Eclipse (like everyday...) the next I might be learning to play every Epcot Center Album song on my ukulele.  Lets face it, we have a lot of stuff to cover.
   Though I've always been in love with Miss Price and the gang, recently I've been totally head over heals with Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Heck I want miss Price as my mother... Here is another feather to stick in your cap, the fun music album that accompanied the release of the film.  Yay!  More awesome album artwork!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Extracurricular: Plaza Rose Garden

   Disney World, and the Magic Kingdom in particular, is often maligned for being oversized and impersonal. (mostly by us...) There are a few wonderful and notable exceptions to the rule however.  Just right of the hub, walking between Tomorrowland and Cinderella Castle we have the splendid Plaza Rose Garden.
   Built and planted in 1980, almost ten years after The Magic Kingdom, some might think of the rose garden as an afterthought.  This might be an instance where Imagineers noticed the less cozy nature of the park as compared to big sister Disneyland, and wanted to start rectifying it.  Located on a gentle sloping hill down toward the water, the garden includes a marvelously detailed iron balcony and covered seating area.  Though only a few benches and tables, the inclusion of this little nook adds a great deal toward breaking up the visual nothingness of that area.

 amazing signage...

 terrific and quaint seating right on the water...

no skimping on details on the structure.

   The paths meander in gentle curves creating a more organic feel than that of the very structured hub.  Displayed on this walk are many variety of American roses, including past All America Rose Selection winners.  In 1985 the Plaza Rose Garden was awarded its own AARS plaque of excellence.  Presented to Walt Disney World July 1985. For Contributing To The Public Interest In Rose Growing Through Its Efforts In Maintaining An Outstanding Public Rose Garden.

   I was torn on whether or not to include the "extracurricular" preface to the title.  Though I love this addition to the Magic Kingdom, I know that few people include it in their regular tour of the park.  It certainly gets lost in the shuffle for a lot of young people. So yes, we will stick with extracurricular.  A wonderful time to visit the rose garden is from 12 to 3 in the afternoon. Perhaps enjoy your Cosmic Rays lunch down on the water?  Make sure to take in the wondrous views of both Tomorrowland and Cinderella Castle.

looking toward the castle.

Tomorrowland side.

each variety has a plaque of identification. 

   A lot of attention has been given to this addition in the past, and while still lovely it seems to have gone the the wayside a bit.  Maybe I just don't have an eye for roses, but everything seemed either OVER pruned or totally pruned to death.  Hmmm...maybe thats just they way you do it?  Apparently the garden is hand pruned twice a year in October and on Feb the roses will always look full and lovely on Valentines day. :)