Friday, March 29, 2013

Animal Kingdom Artifact: Arriving At Jambo House

   Our May trip is quickly approaching, thank god.  I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that we're staying at Kidani Village as opposed to Jambo House.  We've stayed on that side of the resort twice before, and loved it...but my heart is still at Jambo. :/
   When we arrive for each lengthy stay at the lodge no sooner than pulling up to the gate I've already begun taking pictures.  Here, in rapid succession, are my "arrival pictures."

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Adventure Thru Inner Space, Mini Documentary

   If you're like me, you have an endless fascination with extinct Disney attractions.  It is terribly frustrating to know that we will never get to enjoy their retro awesomeness.  One of those attractions is Adventures Thru Inner Space, an attraction at Disneyland from 1967 to 1985.  An 18 year run isnt all that Disney attraction terms. However, this attraction was seriously under-documented.
   Here is a great mini documentary on the attraction that I enjoyed this morning while drinking my Nescafe...

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Epcot Mexico's Pyramid

   One of the more well thought out and detailed pavilions around World Showcase is Mexico.  Situated snugly to left when entering World Showcase from Futureworld,  Mexico is a wonderland of little shops, restaurants, attractions, and detail. In no other pavilion does the mash up of modern and ancient work so well. And guess what?  Pretty much the whole thing is INSIDE A PYRAMID!

   The weenie of the pavilion is based on the architectural style of ancient Mesoamerican pyramids.  These hulking structures are usually stepped on the outside, with a temple on the top. The Epcot version houses an office at the top where everyone's favorite nighttime spectacular Illuminations is controlled.  
   Inside the structure you will find a central market area selling Mexican crafts, tequila, sombreros, and plenty Dia de los muertos goods.  The pyramid also houses San Angel Inn, a sit down restaurant which overlooks the first portion of the Gran Fiesta Tour boat ride.  You can also grab a drink (if you're willing to wait in line...) at Cava Del Tequila, the perennial favorite bar on property. 

   An apt example of this style is El Castillo, a Mayan pyramid located on the Yucatan peninsula built between the 9th and 12th century AD.  El Castillo is the centerpiece of an enormous complex of smaller pyramids, temples, ballcourts, and markets. The temple is dedicated to the feathered serpent deity common in mesoamerican culture.
   Though many of the flourishes have eroded over time, its easy to see how the two buildings correlate with each other.  The Mayan civilization was not the only culture thriving in Mexico prior to European discovery, but it is the most representative of the country as a whole...and a great jumping off point for the design of the pavilion. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Vintage Donald Duck and Pluto Hand Puppets

   So apparently Philadelphia is a goldmine full of Disney collectables.  Between the few thrift stores and consignment shops that we visited on a recent day trip, we gathered quite a few treasures.  Here are two vintage hand puppets that were listed as 1960's, but are actually 1970's.   Now I just need the whole set...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday Quickie: A Few Random Shots In Adventureland

   Clearly I'm starting to get excited about our upcoming trip.  I've been going through old photos relentlessly...getting hyped up.  Here are a few cool shots from Adventureland. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Happy Spring: From Tokyo Disney Sea

   This is some crazy nonsense right here, a special "Welcome Springtime" show that goes on at Tokyo Disney Sea.
     It is a little disheartening to see Duffy and Shellie May dancing around...I feel like I'm having a fever dream. It is Spring though, so it might just be allergies.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Animal Kingdom's Island Mercantile Animal Carvings

   We've already expressed our love of Discovery Island, the central hub at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Part of that love is the colorful animal carvings that tie the whole land together.  The carvings located in and around the stores help set the theme of each shop/restaurant.

   Island Mercantile is a large store on the left hand side as you enter the land from the Oasis. Its theme is "animals that migrate/animals that work..."  We recently looked at an adorable beaver that lives in this shop...but here are a few more animals.

beautiful hummingbird/bee windows...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Thinking Fan's Guide To Walt Disney World: Magic Kingdom

   One of the strange hobbies I've picked up since fully devoting my time to Disney (and Disney theme parks in particular) is spending countless hours reading and rereading Disney guide books.  I've read each edition of The Unofficial Guide to come out since I've been a fan, regardless of the fact that most of the copy doesn't change.  There have been some really great guide books, and plenty of bad as well. Going with the theme of general positivity here on the I bring you a newly available treat.

   Upon hearing the title of Aaron Wallace's new book series The Thinking Fan's Guide to Walt Disney World my interest was instantly piqued.  Here is a book that recognizes from the onset that there are indeed theme park fans who actually have a thought in their brain.  The title alone was enough of a lure, which is good, because I don't love the design of the cover.  But you know what they say about that...

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Few Drinks From Flower and Garden

   So, would you believe that in the last year and a half we haven't had a guest blogger? (please correct me if i'm wrong...but I dont think I am) Unless you count Adam...but you probably shouldn't because he gets defensive very quickly about that.  Anyway, we're proud to announce a unique collaboration with Mark Diba (@dibadisney), who lives within close proximity of Disney World...and thus, visits the parks quite often. Diba will be taking pictures for us from time to time, featuring items that are time sensitive (aka, news...) or just whatever he deems Disney Hipster Blog worthy.
   Diba was able to try a few drinks from the Flower and Garden festival recently...and by the shear number of alcoholic units he probably had a good buzz going.  Anyway, enjoy.

Fruits by the Glass might be my favorite Flower & Garden booth this year. This booth offers wonderful alcoholic drinks featuring some of my favorite fruits. I had the Florida Orange Groves Winery’s Blueberry Blue wine ($3.50). It was very fruity and quite sweet.

At L’Orangerie in France, I tried the La Vie en Rose Frozen Slush ($9.75). This is pretty much the same as the Grand Marnier and Grey Goose frozen slushes that you can buy elsewhere in the pavilion. This one is orange-flavored Grey Goose vodka with St. Germain liqueur and cranberry juice. I really love this drink. It was refreshing and had a delightful hint of citrus.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Disney Hipsters Rope Drop The Magic Kingdom

   So, I wasn't going to make a blog post today, let alone edit a video. In actuality  I'm supposed to be cleaning the house.  However, I thought I'd treat you guys to something really special.  The video itself is cool...but the real treat here is Disney Hipster Adam's cover of When You Wish Upon A Star, which he recorded in December, and was hoping I'd forget about.
   Anyway, its really pretty and makes me happy.  Enjoy.

   Have you checked out all of our videos on Youtube?  We appreciate all subscriptions/comments/ratings very much! (So maybe go do that?)  Disney Hipsters Youtube Page.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Tangled Toilets: All The Dirty Details

   First of all, big thanks to the first honorary Disney Hipster, Mark Diba.  Our roving reporter took a CRAZY amount of photos of this new area at the Magic Kingdom, he even "rope dropped" the area in anticipation of large crowds. That's dedication.  Follow him on twitter: @Dibadisney

   As everybody already knows, the new Tangled Toilets have finally opened across the way from the Peter Pan's Flight queue. It seems like an eternity that construction began and speculation started flying.  Would the area connecting Haunted Mansion open behind Yankee Trader? Would the archway from Columbia Harbor House come down? Are these REALLY JUST TOILETS??!!   Yes. No (thank god) and kind of.
   Though for all intents and purposes these are "just bathrooms" the area is themed to the level of New Fantasyland's heights.  Color, texture, and detail are hallmarks of immersive areas...and they hit this out of the park.

 Themed to village surrounding the castle in Tangled...complete with gorgeous 
lanterns and "sun flags" from the film. 

Detail surrounding the women's bathroom...very similar aesthetic to the movie. I
love how the mural goes right over the rock work arch.

 Hurah! Details abound! Flynn's satchel...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Few Knick Knacks at Liberty Tree Tavern

   The theming at Magic Kingdom's Liberty Tree Tavern is undeniably awesome.  Revolutionary American life is scattered throughout each of the themed dining rooms, and the front of house is ripe with household items from the period.  Here are a few random shots from a visit in October.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Le Cellier: Quinoa Potato Cake

   For a blog that so adamantly advocates eating your veggies while on vacation we sure do eat at a lot of veggie unfriendly restaurants.  It really gets our goat that the vast majority of Disney World restaurants have only one vegetarian option, but thus is the nature of the beast.
   One of the most surprising places to find a good meal at, despite its meat-centric attitude is Le Cellier at Epcot's Canada pavilion.  Though a steakhouse by trade, we've had terrific experiences here recently.
The space truly has the look and feel of a dank wine cellar.  Though the tables are situated VERY close together, the atmosphere remains cozy and intimate, and offers a great escape from the general chaos of World Showcase.

   If you're familiar with this blog (or the Disney Hipster Podcast...) you probably know about our recent bad luck with potato quinoa cakes, aka the atrocity of a burger at Liberty Tree Tavern.  But you probably also realize the GREAT POTENTIAL that a potato quinoa cake the proper setting.  Le Cellier, my friends, has lived up to its hype.  
   This is simplicity at its best. Quinoa and potato, obviously, with plenty of garlic, green pepper, and ramps to make it interest.  It is baked, and then we assume fried, however the end result is anything but greasy.  The vegetables on the side almost steal the show here.  Mushrooms, carrots, and golden beets are roasted until just tender, the flavors meld perfectly with the cake.  A terrific duo indeed.  

   One giant complaint toward Le Cellier is the lack of vegan options for side dishes.  Though Adam and I are NOT vegans, we do not eat dairy in our day to day lives.  Available vegetarian side dishes include creamed spinach, cauliflower gratin, and poutine. The poutine (basically french fries with cheese and gravy....) are only vegetarian WITHOUT the red wine reduction. The Le Celier version comes with truffle salt. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Animal Kingdom Artifact: Water

   These beautiful well themed informational signs are located in the public spaces surrounding Animal Kingdom Lodge's savanna viewing areas.  In addition to the fables are actual facts about life on the savanna...

Many summers ago, a herd of wildebeests traveled from
waterhole to waterhole, only to find them all dry. One day,
while resting from their endless searching, the herd was
startled by a loud rumble.   Looking up, they saw dark clouds 
on the horizon. Unsure of the sound, the animals prepared to 
flee. But one young wildebeest paused, sniffed the air, and 
caught the faint scent of rain.  Boldly, he moved toward the clouds.  
The others cautiously followed, and soon they found pools of fresh rainwater.  
To this day, wildebeest migrate toward the sound of thunder, and the promise of
life-giving rain. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Chocolate Covered Grapes at Epcot's Germany...

   Since opening a few years ago, Germany's Karamel Kuche has been a huge favorite among Epcot fans.  Given prime real estate along the promenade, this shop is sponsored by Wearthers, and being true to form sells a variety of sweets featuring their famous caramel.  Among the treasures that appear in the glass case are dark chocolate and sea salt caramels, chocolate caramel covered strawberries, gorgeous and unique caramel apples (apple pie!), and some of the BEST carmel corn I've ever had.

Karamel K├╝che exterior...adorable. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Extensive Theming: Street Posters of Harambe

   I remember back when Disney Hipster Blog just a thought in my brain, and I was curious whether Disney had enough content to carry a blog on a day to day basis.  I thought, "Music! People like background music!" and "Heck, people like silly little details like I do!" During these initial brainstorms I had constructed a loose list of potential topics, and right at the top was signs in Harambe. 
   Funny how I never got around to the first thing on my list, right?  Anyway, lets file this one under "whoops!" and also "my new love of Animal Kingdom's Africa."
   As you might remember, I've been mining some of the information that we absorbed on the Wild By Design tour that we took back in October.  First we visited the special sausage tree and then the nearby Swahili plaster carving.  Today we're admiring the street posters that are plastered all over Harambe.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Whats Up With Prince Philip?

   Something has been bothering me lately.  Its not work related, nor health, and lord knows my home life is pretty awesome.  No, this problem is really serious.  The extent that my life has been impacted cannot be understated, so much so that I've been losing sleep over it.
   What the heck is up with Prince Philip's meet and greet costume!? I know that designers take artistic and functional liberties with the character costumes, but this is utterly bizarre.  Where did the inspiration for this atrocity come from? Where is his cape? And why is he wearing that horrible hat?!

   The big problem here isnt so much the costume, but the poor prince who has to wear it.  Prince Philip, unlike his older cousins The Prince and Prince Charming, actually has a great personality on par with his princess.  He is suave and debonaire, witty and playful....but never a bumbling idiot.  This costume changes the way a face character would interact with guests, turning him into a bafoon.
   No thank you!  I'd like remember Prince Philip as he appears in Sleeping Beauty.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Animal Kingdom Artifact: Ladder From Burkina Faso

   While mining the depths of previous Animal Kingdom Artifact posts, I was stunned to realize that I'd never actually used this one.
    The Lobi people are an ethnic group primarily in Burkina Faso, a landlocked country near Africa's west coast. Woodworking is part of this clans livelihood, in fact the word Lobi could be broken down into "children of the forest." The traditional Lobi home is made out of earth, with an entrance on top. The family uses a tree branch, notched with steps to enter their home.
   Used throughout the resort, at both Jambo House and Kidani Village, these simple ladders fill many weird corners/spaces.  They help make the resort feel cozy by filling in where no other "artifact" seems possible.  Though there are at least a dozen scattered throughout, this one has always been my favorite. Located on the lower level of Jambo House, in the wonderful seating area before walking out to the Arusha Rock Overlook.  Something about the symmetry of this seating arrangement is very pleasing...