Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Layout & Background: The Spindle Of A Spinning Wheel

   The plot point of Sleeping Beauty pricking her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel has been a part of the story since its inception.  I don't know why, but I've always assumed that was a Disney addition in the 1959 animated classic.  Surprising, yes?
   Here are the initial layout and finished background of the bonfire of spinning wheels scene.

   Look at the amazing and classic Eyvind Earle colors.  Truly ahead of his time.  If you like his work, make sure to check out his amazing castle paintings.  What  tremendous contributions to the Disney company...

Monday, January 28, 2013

Traditional Swahili Plaster Carving At Animal Kingdom

   Despite my love of Disney's Animal Kingdom, I've never been the biggest fan of the Africa section of the park.  The theming is totally perfect, but something about the area has never been entirely conducive to lingering. There is only one real attraction here (which we usually experience first thing in the morning...) and there really isn't anything for us to eat besides Tusker House, which you need a reservation for.
   I was prompted to explore the area with a renewed gusto after our recent Wild By Design tour.  Our guide seemed to have a personal affinity toward this area, and she took the time to explain some of the terrific hidden details.
   One of the more out of the way areas in Africa is a seating area behind Tamu Tamu Refreshments.  This area not only holds the very special sausage tree, but also a "fine example of traditional Swahili plaster carving" which really suits the atmosphere of the area well.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday Quickie: Haunted Mansion Via Tom Sawyer

   Happy Sunday to all!  Here are a few shots of the Haunted Mansion as seen from Tom Sawyer Island. 

   Is everyone super excited about our first ever north east meet up with This Happy Place Blog and Mouse on the Mind? Don't forget to rsvp here so we can accurately plan the evening! :)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Jambo House Hippo Mailbox.

   On the left hand side of the enormous and beautiful Jambo House lobby, and just beyond the Sunset Overlook is a small room with basic amenities.  Pay-phones, ATM, and a TOTALLY MAGICAL AND AMAZING HIPPOPOTAMUS MAIL BOX!!!!!!!  Simply slip your letters into the hippo's mouth...

    Have you ever noticed this little guy?  What is your favorite Disney detail?  Share with us  over on our Facebook page!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Celebrities Of The Day At The Hollywood Brown Derby

   One of the greatest moments from our super long/awesome trip in October was being picked as the "celebrities of the day" at The Hollywood Brown Derby!  What is this magic that I speak of?  Let me explain...
    The Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney's Hollywood Studios is a close cousin to the chain of Brown Derby restaurants based in Los Angeles during the golden age of Hollywood.  Great effort was made toward capturing the feeling of those original iconic restaurants, including its high profile celebrity clientele.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Primeval Whirl: The Musical

   So, I'm in the middle of writing an anti-folk opera about Chester and Hester's Dino-Rama, a  the often maligned subsection of Animal Kingdom's Dinoland USA.  Though I'll probably never finish said is one song I did finish.  Enjoy.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Living With The Land: Monkey Puzzle Tree

   Sometime in the recent future, as far as I can tell, a recent addition has made its way into the Living With The Land attraction at Epcot.  Hopefully this one wont be as a giant disappointment like the fluted pumpkin.

   Araucaria araucana, commonly known as the monkey puzzle tree, is native to Chile.  This unique tree has been around for over 200 million years, and is hardy indeed.  Related to modern pine trees, the monkey puzzle tree can grow over 130 feet tall and live for over 1,000 years. 
   The inclusion of the tree at Living With The Land is not merely decorative. (i'm looking at you, fluted pumpkin!)  The plants produce seeds similar to pine nuts, only much bigger.  These seeds have been harvested by Chile's native Mapuche tribe, to which the tree is sacred. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Kidani Village Savanna Overlook

   When it comes to Animal Kingdom Lodge we've always preferred staying at Jambo House, but because we stay on DVC points we sometimes end up staying at Kidani Village.  This happens to be the story with our next trip in let the Kidani lovin commence!
   Not as grand as Jambo House's Arusha Rock overlook, the Kidani version is still super cool.  Here are a few photos from this past October, taken while we were waiting for our Sanaa reservation...

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Disney on Television: The Magic Of Walt Disney World

   Released just over a year after the opening of Walt Disney World The Magic Of Walt Disney World is a 30 minutes promotional film documenting the enormous resort.  The very dry narration, provided by Steve Forrest, is oddly appropriate and provides a balance to all the over the top fun the guests are having.
   We get a unique glimpse into WDW during its first formative year, including the opening day hotels and resort amenities.  Highlights include the gorgeous 1971 version of Tomorrowland...which looks ten times more futuristic than the current version, and the Top Of The World show at the contemporary.  Wow, just wow.   If you have 30 minutes to spare today, make this a priority.

The Magic Of Walt Disney World.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sad Day For Vegetarians: Lunch At Liberty Tree

   The Liberty Tree restaurant at the Magic Kingdom is one of our favorite places to eat.  As far as that park is concerned, the atmosphere here cant be beat.  Extensive theming, wonderful location, and great storytelling are all reasons to get a reservation here.  The only problem? The food.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Animal Kingdom Lodge: Background Music Loop

   We've had such a great response to the Animal Kingdom Lodge Christmas music loop that we thought we would bring you the entire standard music loop.  Plus, I really needed this in my day to day life...
   We give you Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge: The Music. 

   This is great music to wake up to, am I right?!  

Monday, January 14, 2013

Plywood Neverland

   There has always been something lacking in The Magic Kingdom's version of Fantasyland.  Even though it shared many of the same attractions as Disneyland, the overall feel of the area has always been rather cold and flat.  A loose "medieval fair" backstory was constructed as a coverup for the lazy facades.  Where Disneyland dropped these poorly designed facades in 1983, The Magic Kingdom inexplicably retained them.
   There is a weird and random exception to the rule of flat = bad.  More than any other part of Fantasyland, the plywood landscaping of the Peter Pan's Flight queue.  Something about the faux naif shapes and whimsical color scheme makes me smile.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Disney Hipster North East Meet Up!

Yay! Our first official meet up in the North East! Yippy!  Even more details to come...but I wanted you guys to be able to mark it in your calendar as soon as the date was available. :)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Animal Kingdom Artifact: Palace Library Fireplace (and additional artifacts...)

   The Palace Library is situated just off of the main lobby at Animal Kingdom Lodge's Kidani Village.  Much like the Sunset Overlook, at Jambo House this room is used for activities throughout the day, but is also open to guests as an area to observe animals on the savanna, and relax by the beautiful fireplace.
   The hearth is a thing of wonder in itself.  The detail that went into this are outstanding, and really need to be observed in person within the context of the room and lodge.  Here are a few of the artifacts located on the fireplace...

Kidani Village's Palace Library/fireplace 

Only royal males in the Cameroon grassfields are allowed
to drink from these horn cups. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Your Morning In Disneyland's Fantasyland!

   Its been a while since we've assembled a Disney park audio playlist.  But since they're SO IMPORTANT to our morning routine (I literally cannot function without my background music.) I thought I would finally bring you guys a new one.
   You may remember from our Epcot morning playlist, or our epic Animal Kingdom playlist, that I arrange these in an order reminiscent to how you might tour the park.  In this case, we're spending the entire morning in Disneyland's Fantasyland! Which means our first stop, after passing through the castle, is the ever crowded Peter Pan's Flight... enjoy your morning.

   After a VERY busy morning of touring Fantasyland, the end of the playlist finds yourself enjoying a leisurely lunch at Pinocchio's Village Haus. (I really like the apple/cheddar salad!)  

   If you like our Disney audio playlists (or our many original disney videos) might I suggest subscribing to our Youtube page? and if you're feeling punchy you can leave comments as well...but that is neither here nor there. ;)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Epcot Time: Lets Look At China

   China has never garnered much appreciation with Disney fanboys. In fact, this pavilion is often hung out to dry in "best and worst" style discussions.  Truth be told, there isn't much to do here.  The restaurants are notoriously blah, and the shop is nothing to write home about. (especially being from the NYC area...) The pavilions Reflections of China 360 film is wonderful...but that is hardly enough to draw the crowds.
   As uneventful as the activities are in China, the atmosphere is top notch, and I've always fancied this pavilion as one of the most beautiful. Digging a little deeper does help us appreciate the architectural details.

   Dominating the pavilions ambiance is a detailed recreation of Beijing's famous Temple of Heaven.  The temple dates back as early as 1406. Despite the peaceful intention of the temple, it has been occupied on several occasions during times of war.  Though only one of several enormous temple complexes in Beijing, the Temple of Heaven is the most popular...both for tourists and residents.

detail of the Temple of Heaven

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Layout & Background: Music For Everybody

   Ludwig Von Drake is an amazing teacher.  I could sit and watch his lessons, completely enthralled, for hours and hours.  A few years after the crazy insanity of A Symposium On Popular Songs, Ludwig made another short film about music.
  The emphasis of Music For Everybody is the importance of having music around you.  Information about this short is kind of hard to find...especially if you're me.  But the gorgeous background art is by Jimi Trout (awesome name...) who had worked on several Disney films, including other Von Drake shorts.   It has a real Hurricane Blair quality, and maybe a little Edward Hopper, late in his career.

   And for good measure, here is the opening of the film. I'm telling you, there is not a lot of information about this film floating around, outside of the Disney Treasures set, which includes the film in its entirety.  

Monday, January 7, 2013

Fun Dino-Details at Chester and Hesters

   Perhaps the most intricate and subtle of all Disney park backstories is that of Dinoland USA at Disney's Animal Kingdom Park. Seemingly hated more than it is loved, the area actually has a pretty high standard as far as extensive theming is concerned. Lets break it down quickly, k?
   Chester and Hester own a mom and pop style filling station in Diggs County.  One day, a dinosaur fossil is discovered nearby and an archeological school, including its many rowdy students move in right across the street from the station.  The school thrives, and as it does Chester and Hesters gas station starts selling dinosaur related merchandise...and becomes a tourist trap for folks interested in the dig.  As the fossil sight matures into The Dino Institute, Chester and Hester open up their equally impressive and wonderful Dino-Rama. 

Chester and Hesters filling stations.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sunday Quickie: Country Bear Redemtion

   If you listen to the Disney Hipster Podcast (which you should...) then you've probably heard us ranting about the cancelation of certain characters during Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. Included in these characters were Big Al and Liverlips, aka, two of my favorite bears in the world.  Regardless, all was justified two nights later...

Disney Blog Roundup: 1/06/13

   Wow. 2013.  Nuts right?  We're having so much fun being Disney Hipsters that this year has flown by!  Have you guys listened to our recent appearance on Wedway Now? Not to mention our upcoming appearance on Wakefield Report!  Or our weekly roundtable discussions on Main Street Gazette?   Sheesh...we've been busy kids.   Good thing we have a slew of amazing friends/bloggers doing all the hard work for the Disney community!

   On Disney Hipster Blog this week:

      - We started the new year off right, with a round up of our most popular blog posts from last year!

      - Then looked at some amazing background art from Meet The Robinsons.

      - And we rounded out the week with a look at the origins of the Adventureland Tiki Drums!!  :)

   On other equally rad blogs:

      - Melissa Sue from Mouse on the Mind lamented the loss of a few WDW treasures. Depressing indeed!
      - After a year, Ryan at Main Street Gazette finally weighs in on citrus swirl!

      - By far the blog I visited most in 2012, Eating WDW, visited Studio Catering Company this week...and even got something vegetarian! Yay!

      - A wonderful idea for a blog series over at This Happy Place Blog! Be Our Guest beer reviews!  Yay beer! Yay Disney!

      - Rich, at Mouse Troop enjoyed a moment on Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters... despite the attraction breaking down. :)

      - Rounding our their "12 Drinks Of Christmas" Drinking Disney brings us number 12.... The Shadow, from Boardwalks Bellvue Lounge.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Adventureland Tiki Drums: Origin Story

   While reading Osa And Martin: For The Love Of Adventure, I was struck by a photo of Malakula tribal chief Nagapate.  Not so much by the off-putting stare of the man himself, but the amazing totems that surround him.

   The island of Malakula is located far off of the coast of Australia and is the second largest island in a cluster making up the nation of Venuatu.  Its remote location made it ripe for unique cultural evolution. Among the rare endemic offerings?  Giant slit drums (or boo-boos) with intricately carved "tiki gods!" These drums were used for dancing and ceremonies, but also as a way to communicate from farther distances with members of the tribe.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Layout & Background: Todayland!

   So, I'm going to say it.... Layout & Background is pretty much the best coffee table book ever.  Its big, its beautiful, and it barely has any text.  The pictures are huge, colorful, and totally inspire me to make art.  Perfect, right?
   In a new ongoing series of background art, here is are a few detailing the development of a scene in Meet The Robinsons (one of my favorite animated films...).  The scene is only a second or two long, but the artist managed to get a laugh in...while winking at Disney parks.  As a fan I appreciated the effort immensely.