Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Adventureland Bridge Tiki Time...

   Disneyland Week continues! Every land at Disneyland is drastically different from their Magic Kingdom counterparts.  Maybe the most shockingly different though is Adventureland.  With its tight corridors and legit jungle feel, Disneyland's version is head and shoulders above the east coast version. (not to mention a wonderful lack of pirates.)  Though there are still goofy things about this land, say Shrunken Ned, the excitement and sense of adventure is palpable.
   Connecting the hub to Adventureland is the famous Adventureland bridge. A beautiful arched sign, and even lit torches at night...this bridge blows the Magic Kingdom away.  Another fun detail are the whimsical tikis, masks, and shields that flank each side of the bridge.  These just scream Adventureland...

Monday, April 29, 2013

Frontierland's Petrified Tree.

   Along the bank of the Rivers of America, there is a special relic from the early days of Disneyland.  A petrified tree stump acquired by Walt in 1956 and was brought to Disneyland and presented by Lillian Disney in 1957.  She clearly wanted nothing to do with the thing.
   Dated between 55 and 70 million years old, this tree clearly doesn't belong in Disneyland.  It's these small random bits of history that make Disneyland so special, as opposed to The Magic Kingdom.  Somehow it just works, and adds another layered element to the story.

The plaque reads:

Petrified Tree
From The
Pike Petrified Forest, Colorado
This section weighs five tons and measures 7 1/2 feet
in diameter.  The original tree, estimated to have been 200 feet tall,
was part of a sub-tropical forest 55 to 70 million years ago in what is 
now Colorado.  Scientists believe it to be of the redwood of sequoia 
species.  During some prehistoric era a cataclysmic upheaval 
caused silica laden water to overspread the living forest.  Wood cells were
changed during the course of time to sandstone.  Opals were formed within the 
tree trunk itself.

Presented to Disneyland
Mrs. Walt Disney
September, 1957

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday Quickie: Welcome To Disneyland Week!

   Can you believe its been an ENTIRE YEAR since our first trip to Disneyland??  There was so much anticipation leading up to that amazing visit, and before we knew it the trip was over.  I guess thats the cruel nature of being a crazy Disney fan. :/
   To celebrate that awesome trip, this week will be all about Disneyland here on Disney Hipster Blog...including a few forgotten nuggets from our trip, but also some Disneyland history as well.
   Below are some links to a few of our previous Disneyland love posts:

Pretty, right?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Launch Time: Disney Hipsters Too!

   Yay! I'm so excited to have another platform in which to bother you guys on!  Actually, this probably should have happened a looooong time ago.  Today I'm super proud to announce the launch of Disney Hipsters Too! 
   Disney Hipsters Too! is a new Youtube channel devoted to vlogging about Disney news, as well as Disney trip diaries.   These videos will be a lot less polished than our main Youtube page...but will also be updated much more often.  Therefore, we will be able to discuss news in a much more timely fashion. PLUS we will be able to post videos DURING our Disney trips, and keep everyone up to date.  Yay!
   But thats not all for Disney Hipsters Too, the near future will bring an entirely new blog which focuses on news! (as opposed to this one, which is kind of about art and aesthetics...)  I'm super excited for this project, and hope that you guys start following along!   To celebrate, here is my first super awkward vlog...

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Five Minutes At Disney.

   So, you guys all have ADD right? I assume you do, because most adults who read this blog mention how they like that there is very little to read...and mostly pictures and random content.  You know what? I'm cool with that.  I have the attention span of a cocker spaniel, and can hardly find the time to write...
   In celebration of our childlike modernity I wanted to share one of my new favorite things. (yes, I'm likening myself as "Disney's Oprah"...) I recently started following @1mindisneydream on twitter, and watching their videos on youtube.  Basically, the videos are one minute or less, and relatively unedited. AKA: YOU DO HAVE TIME TO WATCH THEM...and it gets you a little nostalgic about your favorite place on earth.  There is something completely charming in their simplicity, and I always look forward to the next one.
   So, here are FIVE videos for you to watch and brighten your day.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Our Blogs Lame Animal Kingdom Blog Dump

   Over the past year and half that we've been writing the Disney Hipster Blog its become kind of a joke how much we love Disney's Animal Kingdom. (and an even bigger joke how much we love its namesake resort hotel...) Make sure you read our heartfelt and sincere feelings , but meanwhile here is a blog dump to catch you up on some of our previous posts. 

   Discovery Island:

      - We love the animal carvings at Island Mercantile! Especially this adorable beaver merchandise stand! So cute!
      - Andrew looks at a few reasons to LOVE Discovery Island!

      - First we take a brisk walk through the Expedition Everest queue... sorry for the blurry pictures!
      - Some terrific bathroom signs from Yak & Yeti!
      - We also poked around the base of the mountain, and some extensively themed stone slabs!
      - Not to be overlooked, the animal signs at the Maharajah Jungle Trek!  I love these!

   Dinoland USA:

      -Early in the blogs history Adam showed his love of Primeval Whirl!  That wouldnt be the last time...
      - We later made a song and video to go with our love...
      - As well as a a few cool pictures from the attraction as well.
      - This past August we examined some really terrific concept art from Dinosaur! 
      - And how could we overlook the AWESOMENESS Chester and Hesters store???!!!

      - Probably the coolest theming in Africa? These amazing street posters that hang all over the area!!
      - In the nearby Tamu Tamu courtyard we look at Swahili plaster carving and the totally amazing sausage tree! Yes...I said sausage tree.

   If you're looking for a way to bring Animal Kingdom into your life, dont forget our Animal Kingdom playlist!  We also made this desktop wallpaper! Enjoy!

Discovery: An Ode To Disney's Animal Kingdom

   I've been trying to write this blog post for the last few days.  I would open a blank article and stare at the cursor thinking "Gosh! I really love Animal Kingdom," but nothing would result.  The fact is my reverence and attachment to Walt Disney World's fourth theme park cant really be put into words.  The attraction to its theme goes beyond language and goes well beyond my ability to convey how I feel without sounding like a complete dork.
   With that said, if there were no Animal Kingdom there would be no Disney Hipster Blog. My appreciation of Disney parks grew over time of course, but it was the idealistic, serene, totally immersive Animal Kingdom that convinced me to book that second trip to Florida. Something about this park just works with my way of thinking. (and many of yours, I'm sure...)

   By nature it is designed to satisfy on many levels. Guests are struck initially by the shear magnitude of the park. At more than 500 acres Animal Kingdom is the largest Disney theme park in the world. Within the sprawling acreage there are unexplored trails and caves with plenty of nooks and crannies.  I've visited this park dozens of times and am always surprised to find some forgotten corner within its berm. The inclusion of these intimate areas provides satisfaction on a whole other level. By discovering them on our own, without the guidance of a park map, we become a part of the story.
   The narrative of discovery is included in the parks manifesto. The basis of which is our ability to discover and learn from the animals found here, and connect with nature in an entertaining fashion.  A great example is Flights of Wonder, an often forgotten attraction. At first glance nothing more than a circus style bird show, guests are pleased to find the discovery narrative woven in here as well.  Not only are we awestruck by the beautiful birds in the show, but we are learning about their natural behaviors in the wild, and the ever present message of conservation.  Yes, the part at the end with the bald eagle is terribly corny, but the effect is undeniable. With plenty of laughs, dozens of birds, and a loose story line we are encouraged to go out into the park and discover more on our own.
   Nearly every corner of the park provides an opportunity to discover. Beyond the visible animal exhibits located on main walkways, there are self guided exploration trails in all but one of Animal Kingdom's lands.  Each trail is themed accordingly and provide exceptionally detailed enclosures for the animals there.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Norways Sweet Almond Pretzel: The OTHER White Bread.

   Before there was School Bread, there were sweet almond pretzels.  I'm not implying that one came before the other, as far as their appearance at the Kringla Bakery...I'm speaking of truth.  Yes friends, before school bread came into our lives we had another snack preference.

Even the sign is a giant pretzel! 

   It's easy to forget that the Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe, in Epcot's Norway pavilion is a source of abundant baked goods of all varieties! Cloudberry horns, lefse, danish, rice puddings...and yes, school bread.  The fact that this ONE cult item overshadows some of the most original and delicious treats on Walt Disney World property is kind of a shame. (albeit, a scrumptious shame...)

   Before we fell head over feet for school bread, we were almost equally obsessed with the sweet almond pretzel.  No, its not dripping with vanilla custard...but it does have its merits.  The pretzel is a very dense chewy bread, with a similar cardamom flavoring found in school bread, which is to be expected coming from a Norwegian bakery.  The interior of the dough is scattered sparingly with raisins, which helps keep the otherwise dry dessert moist.  The real magic is on top of the pretzel.  A very thick crystalline sugar glaze is slopped on, and topped with crunchy slivered almonds.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Classic Matterhorn Bobsleds Attraction Poster

   The opening of the Matterhorn Bobsleds (along with the monorail, and 20,000 league subs...)  in 1959 was the most ambitious expansion in Disneyland's short history.  Though the park was rapidly changing/expanding, nothing of this size had yet been attempted.  As Disneyland's first thrill ride it was super important to portray those thrills in its original attraction poster, thus getting the kids all hyped up to experience Anaheim's new mountain.
   Here is a short developmental sequence from the Poster Art of Disney Parks book.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Music Monday: America Sings

   There is a pretty good chance that I experienced Disneyland's classic attraction America Sings...sad thing is, I don't remember it at all.  I'm pretty sure I would appreciate this attraction on a deeply visceral level, the same way I do the Country Bear Jamboree and Enchanted Tiki Room.  Though not the last "great" attraction to be built, it is the last attraction in this style.

   Over 100 anamatronic animals tell the story of American musical styles in a rotating theater. (ala Carousel of Progress.)  Hosted by an eagle named Sam (voiced by the incomparable Burl Ives) and his sidekick Ollie the owl.  The show traverses time, location, and musical genre.  Take some time out of your busy Monday to enjoy this super charming show.


   The show lasted in Disneyland's Tomorrowland a full 14 years before closing, but never caught on the same way the Tiki Birds did. (or the Country Bears, for that matter)  There is a cult of people however, that still look back at the show fondly...and it even gets a quick nod during the Remember, Dreams Come True fireworks. 
  The soundtrack to America Sings is occasionally available on eBay...though it hasn't been released on iTunes yet.  Get with it Disney, this is a money maker. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday Quickie: Stave Church Door Details

   I adore this mini museum in Epcot's Norway pavilion...both the contents, and building itself.  For a little more info on Stave churches there is this old post Adam wrote in 2011.  Here are some cool detail shots of the entrance...

Friday, April 12, 2013

Walt Disney World Arrival Day Traditions

   Yay! One month exactly until we leave for our long May trip to Disney World.  Doesn't it seem like we were just down there? Are you surprised to hear that its been FIVE MONTHS??!! A lot can happen in the course of five months. Tangled Toilets, new French bakery, flower and garden festival, and...well, other stuff.  Despite the new things, there are a few moments in my trip that make me squeal with delight...and nothing is more special than the day of arrival!

   Here are a few moments from our standard arrival day that never get old, in chronological order in regards to our touring:

No surprise here, right?  After a long flight, the insanity of MCO,  finding our rental car, 
and navigating our way to Animal Kingdom Lodge, this is one of the best moments of every trip.
I know that as soon as I walk through those doors I'm on my way to an awesome vacation. :)

After checking in at AKL, and getting settled in for a moment, we're off to Epcot! People
often ask us what our first attraction of each trip is. Well, do you count Club Cool? For some reason
this always tends to be our first stop...maybe Adam needs to rehydrate after a long morning of travel.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Favorite Place To Sit At Walt Disney World: Part 1.

   I recently asked a fill in the blank question, over on our Facebook page: "Instead of working, I'd rather be sitting _________."  And I realized...not only have I asked this question before, across many platforms, but I've probably asked it several times.
   The importance of having a "special place" to sit at Disney World and take it all in cannot be understated.  While most people are hustling around from one attraction to the other, YOU as the educated Disney fan that you are, like to sit back occasionally and let the transformative magic happen around you. Soaking in the perfectly calculated ambiance in order to better appreciate the short time you have there can create its own nostalgia.
    I have a few places that I take the time to sit, and reflect on how lucky I am, both in the parks and at my favorite resort.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

So THATS Little Egypt Doing The Hoochie Coochie!

   One of my absolute favorite attractions at any Disney theme park is Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress.  Though it has been updated a few times since its debut at the 1964 New York worlds fair, the attraction has a similar corny/awesome feel.  One of the most endearing aspects of the Carousel is its antiquated pop culture references.  You see, Carousel of Progress takes place over the course of the entire 20th century...therefore, the writers take liberties with the jokes included.  These references would have been commonplace during the period in which the scene takes place...but rarely land today.
   Something that always flew right over my head is found in the first scene of the show.  In the video below, James (the son) is caught taking a peek at "Little Egypt doing the hoochie coochie." 
Little Egypt line is at 3:04

    Turns out that Little Egypt was in fact three rival dancers all working under the same name...with a multitude of impersonators knocking off their act. These dancers all gained notoriety through their provocative and sexual boundary pushing.  It seems that one of the knock off "Little Egypts" was performing at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, which is the one referred to in Carousel of Progress. 

Ashea Wabe one of the original "Little Egypt" belly dancers...and 
probably the most scandalous. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

RIP Disney Legend, Annette Funicello

   Disney legend, philanthropist, and huge inspiration to the Disney Hipster Blog Annette Funicello passed away today due to complications from her long term battle with multiple sclerosis.  Simply known as "Annette," she was one of the original Mouseketeers and arguably the biggest Disney teen star of all time.  Beyond The Mickey Mouse Club her foray into movies ranged from 1959's The Shaggy Dog and 1961's Babes In Toyland to her infamous post Disney beach party movies.

   At the persistent urging of Walt himself, an apprehensive Annette jumped headfirst into a pop music career.  Her first hit Tall Paul was wrote by none other than Disney legends Richard and Robert Sherman, who went on to write several other songs for her.  She released many albums under Disney's Buena Vista Records, including Dance Annette, Italianette, and my very favorite Hawaiiannette. 

One of my favorite Annette moments, this song is on Annette's first album for Disney.

    Thank you so much Annette, for everything you did to make the early years of Disney so wonderful.  Your contribution to so many peoples lives cannot be overstated. The sense of nostalgia and fond memories that you bring to the world are invaluable. Thanks for making the world a better place, literally, and thanks for being you. 

Fabulous Women of Disneyland 1955: Irene Dunne

   The world was introduced to Disneyland in 1955 through an amazing feat of television wizardry. Dateline Disneyland was a live broadcast featuring the opening of the worlds first theme park in outstanding detail. There were many celebrities on hand to help officially open the park, many of which are relatively forgotten today.
   Irene Dunne was a huge, albeit fading, star at the time of Disneyland's opening.  Nominated for five Academy Awards, Dunne was a revered actress and truly embodied the glamorous nature of old Hollywood.  Walt Disney himself requested Irene Dunne to take part in the festivities...which she played a brief but memorable role in.  Here is the short clip where she has the honor of christening the riverboat Mark Twain, which still sails today.

   So perfect, right?!!? This woman brought the goods with her that day, despite the fact that it was more low brow than her usual gigs.  Irene Dunne brings just another layer of love and appreciation to the Rivers Of America. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sunday Quickie: Hollywood Studios Evening.

   All negativity aside, Disney's Hollywood Studios is undeniably gorgeous at night. Between the neon, palm trees, and awesome music nighttime at the Studios is head and shoulders above the daytime experience.  Here are a few shots around dusk...

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Haiku For Test Track: Single Rider.

   Here is another haiku based on an experience riding Test Track by myself...I'll post a video at the bottom with a little more information.  Let me know if you hate these haikus, because unless you tell me I'll keep posting them.  Probably a bad way to write blog posts, but whatever. :)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Wonderful World of Color Cockamamies

   Ok. This is one of the more weird things I've purchased recently.  Wonderful World Of Color "cockamamies."  Apparently thats what temporary tattoos used to be called. Who knew right?  Anyway, there are tons of them to choose from...plus you can spell out your name...or make a silly face out of them. :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Review: Walt Disney World Bars And Lounges

   Drinking on vacation. Agh. Sounds nice right?  Few other past times have garnered such attention in the Disney community. And why not?  We're on vacation, above all else, to relax and get away from the reality of our day to day lives.  In the same realm as cult foods/attractions/resorts, the bars and lounges at Disney World have some serious fans.
   This is where everyones favorite trip planning gurus TouringPlans comes in.  Their new ebook Walt Disney World Bars And Lounges looks exclusively at this one very important aspect of the vacation kingdom.  Penned by TouringPlans team member Brian McNichols (of the amazing/defunct Of Mouse And Man Podcast...) this book was a surprising pleasure to read.

   The bars and lounges of WDW are first divided into three general categories: In park, resorts, and pool bars. They are then subdivided as best of the best or best of the rest.  Further more, each bar/lounge is given an author awarded rating on a scale of 0 - 100.  The point system works well in this format, and provides the reader with a context in which to place the bar compared to others. Location, atmosphere, theme, and menu are all scrutinized in this race toward alcoholic dominance.  How can Martha's Vineyard at Disney's Beach Club resort get a mediocre score of 55, while just yards away Crew's Cup Lounge gets a stellar 73? This book will explain, with tireless detail.