Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Disney Hipster Blog Two Year Anniversary Giveaway!

   You guys!  Disney Hipster Blog is turning two years old on August 21st! I can hardly believe it! (and furthermore, I can't believe that anyone actually reads this thing...) A lot has happened since the first anniversary of the blog, and we are immensely appreciative of all our readers/listeners!  To celebrate this joyous occasion we are having a very special giveaway!
   The prize is a hand painted Disney Hipster original, featuring the notorious Adventureland Tiki Drums! The image is 12X12 inches, acrylic paint and ink on canvas.  Details on how to enter at the bottom of the page...

Monday, July 29, 2013

Photopass Done Right: My Moment With Big Al

   Oftentimes the Disney Community joins together in unison...usually to complain about something. Be it ticket price increases, the ever climbing suckiness of Hollywood Studios, or horrible and nonsensical decisions by the highers up, we have a lot to complain about.
   One small complaint that we've had recently (and probably you too...) is the generally consistent boring placement of Photopass photographers in the parks.  The photographers are placed in front of park icons, in front of park icons, and in front of park icons.  This might appease the "once every four years" guest, but for fans who visit several times a year the lack of options kind of blows.  Sometimes, however, there are WONDERFUL ROVING PHOTOPASS PHOTOGRAPHERS who I love.
   Here, my friends, is a great example of a stealthy cast member who was quick enough to capture a magical moment!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Animation Appreciation: The Plow Boy

   In 1929, just a few short cartoons into his career, Mickey Mouse had already experienced a meteoric rise to fame.  But would you recognize early Mickey Mouse as the sedate corporate figurehead that we all love today? Probably not.

   The Plow Boy is a great example of early Mickey.  Rascally, sex crazed, and overtly plastic. The animation in these early shorts are primitive by our modern CG standards of whats acceptable, but at the time are pretty advanced despite the characters overt fluidity. We find very few opportunities to fall in love with Mickey. Whether he is shrinking himself into his own pants, or tumbling wildly over jagged rocks this is not a sentient mouse.  We need a character who is grounded in reality.  While these wild and bizarre movements become passé within a few years for Mickey, they find the perfect home in Donald Duck.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Biergarten Solo! The Wooden Laughter...

   One of the most well themed and atmospheric restaurants in Walt Disney World is Epcot's Biergarten.  Though we absolutely love the food here, the highlight of the experience is the German oompah band!  This band (with a few member changes...) has been performing at Biergarten since the opening of Epcot Center in 1982! Their show involves many beautiful, whimsical, and rousing traditional German tunes.  In addition to the more traditional songs, their set also includes impressive demonstrations of solo instruments, among them the The Holzanes G'Lächter or "wooden laughter." 
   Here is a phenomenal display of the instruments fun capability that we recorded on a recent visit to Biergarten. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Nighttime Show "Rivers Of Light" Coming to Animal Kingdom 2014

   One of the rumors, perhaps the most exciting of the rumors, discussed on a recent episode of the Disney Hipsters podcast (episode fifty-something, to be not super specific) has picked up a lot of steam recently, and we could not be more excited. Ladies and Gentlemen, let me be the first to string these particular words together:

Rivers Of Light is finally coming to Animal Kingdom. 

    What is Rivers of Light, you ask? Rivers of Light is the almost maybe could be official name of the first ever regularly scheduled night time show to take place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The show has been in development since 2006, before being put on hold indefinitely in 2008. An extravaganza so extravagant that it will conceivably guarantee that Animal Kingdom will remain open past the ridiculously vague time known as “dusk”.  A spectacle so spectacular that it may force people to reconsider the erroneous notion that this is a half day park. An event so eventful that…I went one too far, didn’t I?
      Earlier this month, Rivers of Light received its inaugural test run hours after the park closed and it was a resounding success. Rivers of Light (I figure the more often I repeat the title, the less pedestrian it will sound) will incorporate Disney’s new favorite toy – that being projection technology – to make the animals emblazoned on the Tree Of Life seemingly (relatively speaking) come alive. That, coupled with our earlier report about the use of lanterns (truth be told, we aren’t 100% sure what that exactly means) and  boats on the river that surrounds the Tree of Life (henceforth known as Tree of Life River), should result in a rather impressive looking aqua-parade that is sure to delight guests of all ages (AKA Disney’s target demographic, right?).

     Rivers of Light is an honest to God real thing, people. It’s happening, and everyone better be as excited as we are. This has real potential to be a game changer for the Animal Kingdom.

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Characters of Donald's Safari Breakfast!

   On the most recent episode of Disney Hipsters Too (which I'm sure you ALL subscribe to on iTunes...right?) we review Donald's Safari Breakfast!  Between Adam, myself, and Mike and David from we were a little harsh on the food offerings at this buffet.  Heck, we just aren't breakfast people I guess.  One thing that IS quite amazing at this restaurant are the characters available to interact with and take photos.
   Before being seated inside the restaurant, guests are all but required to line up to meet Donald Duck in his safari finest. You can potentially opt out of waiting in line for this photo opportunity...but what would be the point?  Donald DOES NOT interact with guests once inside the catch him while you can!

could this be any weirder? 

   Once seated and "enjoying" your meal, your table will be visited periodically by roaming characters!  These characters follow a charted course around the dining room and will spend ample time with you to interact.  These characters are usually accompanied by a character handler who would be more than happy to take your picture!  Donald's Safari Breakfast includes...

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Eyvind Earle Takes on Aurora, Philip, And Maleficent

   In a perfect world trees would be stark and square, clouds would be moody and maniacally colored, and every piece of architecture would scrape the sky.  In a perfect world we would all be living in a piece of Eyvind Earle painting.
   We have shared in the past several pieces of Earle's early work for Walt Disney... including these gorgeous castle paintings. However, we've never displayed any of his work featuring the characters from Sleeping Beauty!  These are great examples of everything we love about the acclaimed artist, including the stark vibrancy that first got us hooked.  Enjoy.

   Do you love these pieces or what!?!?  Which is your favorite?  Do you prefer the legendary stylings of Mary Blair more than Eyvind Earle?  Join the conversation!  Follow us on Twitter or Facebook!

Monday, July 15, 2013

A Kringla Bakeri Review: Not About Schoolbread!

   On the very last day of our most recent Walt Disney World trip, Adam and I shook up our normal routine a little bit.  Though we DO usually visit Epcot on the last day (followed by a few, mournful hours at Animal Kingdom Lodge...) we usually stick to sweet things to eating sweets.  On this particular day we were feeling a little bit hungrier than usual...and decided to try something in Norway that WASNT a schoolbread!

   We have a slight obsession with the Norway pavilion at Epcot.  In addition to the whimsical nature of the architecture, and the dreamy Norwegian boys that work there, the Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe is one of our FAVORITE places in the entire world.  Though the offerings here are small (mostly sweets, with a few savory lunch items...) it overcompensates with Norwegian charm!

the Norwegian girls are hustling...

Friday, July 12, 2013

Fun With A Mini Phone Tripod At Disney Parks...

   If you're anything like Adam and myself, you like taking pictures.  More specifically, you like taking pictures of yourself.  Sure, I take the occasional selfie...but lets be honest, unless you are a master of maneuvering your arm the angle is often horrible and unflattering.  A mysterious double chin appears on me in selfies that I have no control over whatsoever.
   So what are you supposed to do in Disney parks?!?!  This is probably the most photogenic scenery in all the land, where no one could possible judge you for taking photos of yourself!  There are a few options here.  Most people will ask random vacationing strangers to take their photo.  This option is great...seeing that it breaks down social boundaries.  Most people are super excited to help you, and it's an even better moment if they ask you in return. Everyone is happy...until you realize what a crap-tastic photo they took. (Did they not realize that the WHOLE POINT of the photo was to have Sonny Eclipse in the background?!?!)

It was sweet of them to take the photo...but this is pretty bad. :/

   Perhaps an even more popular option is using Disney's Photopass.  The shots are usually ridiculously gorgeous, and the photographer will snap a few of them.  The best part is that they will gladly take photos with your camera as well as theirs.  The downside here is a two parter.  Those really gorgeous photos, cost money...a lot of money.  And the Photopass photographers always tend to be in the same couple of places. (Think in front of the Cinderella castle, Spaceship Earth, etc...)

Love the photo...but we seriously have dozens of photos in this same spot. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Tea Caddy, Also Known As The Twinings Tea Shop

   Amongst its many shops, the UK pavilion at Epcot provides very little in goods I'd be willing to buy. Don't get me wrong, the shops are all super lovely and well themed, and I spend a good while perusing their wares. Its always fun to LOOK at Yellow Submarine merchandise...and who DOESNT ogle over the cool stuff in The Crown And Crest?   However, one shop sits among the useless nonsense and provides actual practical (but still fun...) souvenirs.

 No matter how long I waited, I could NOT get a picture with no one in it... :(

   Oftentimes known simply as the Twinings Tea Shop, The Tea Caddy is one of the better stores in all of Walt Disney World.  I'm not saying this as a lover of tea (which I am...) or even as a World Showcase junky, but as a fan of unique merchandise located in specific themed shops.  As Disney World becomes further and further homogenized the stores start to meld together into a giant blah plush wasteland. 
   Here at the Tea Caddy merchandise has remained loyal to the theme, both inside and out.  Reminiscent of a popular architectural british style of the 1500's the plank walls and faux thatched roof are meticulously detailed...and dare I say? Charming.  So charming in fact, there is no wonder why Alice often has her meet and greet next to this adorable building. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Just Off The Beaten Path: Pangani Forest Trail Bones

   Though I prefer to spend time in Asia's Maharajah Jungle Trek, I was determined to fully explore Africa's Pangani Forest Exploration Trail on a recent visit to Disney's Animal Kingdom!  One of my favorite things about these immensely under appreciated attractions is the fact that they are ridiculously detailed!  Not only are you awarded the opportunity to LEARN while having fun, but the theming is above average even for Disney World.  ( read a little bit more about the detailed theming here...)

   Besides being able to see live animals such as Okapi, hippos, and naked mole rats, there are plenty of totally awesome exhibits with full animal skeletons! Cool, right???  On this recent visit, determined to realize my mission and explore the trail to its full capacity...I noticed an area off the beaten path.

   Luckily, this area contained more than a place to get off your feet for a minute!  Here we find two really amazing skeletons under glass...and their "field reports" done by the "students."   The fact that these are located here, where nobody really ventures, is a testament to the theme of this area. Really really terrific.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Disney Blog Roundup: 7/6/13

   What we were up to this week: 

      - Please keep in mind that we are on Summer vacation here on Disney Hipster Blog.
      - We reviewed the south african quinoa salad at Tamu Tamu! (spoiler: its yummy...)
      - Later in the week we shared layout and background images from The Little House.

   And lets not forget our friends:

      - Passport To Dreams relives some Fountain View history... and shares a video documenting it.

      - Ryan at Main Street Gazette ventures over to Territory Lounge for some awesome "bar food." I love this place!

      - Mouse On The Mind is continuing their terrific series Imagineering Awesome! This week, friend of Disney Hipster Blog Jeff, shares his idea for Oswald's Toon Town! So much fun!

      - Disney Food Blog saves the day! Reporting that the beloved Dole Whips are now vegan!!!! Say what?!?!

      - Mouse Troop shares two items on iTunes that I cannot live without!!!!  I had no idea these were available! :)

Friday, July 5, 2013

Layout & Background: The Little House

   1952's The Little House defines charming to me.  Beyond the heartbreaking story, we have several Disney tropes working here.  Turn of the century small town (obviously for only part of the story...), a wonderful narration by Disney vet Sterling Holloway, and a gorgeous colorful Mary Blair concept.  The company pulled out all the stops with this short classic, and it pays off.  The Little House is a short masterpiece in every way.  Here are a few pieces from the Background & Layout book...

Monday, July 1, 2013

South African Quinoa Salad at Animal Kingdom's Tamu Tamu Refreshments

   It's pretty easy to make fun of Disney World and their current obsession and overuse of quinoa.  Though I use this grain (technically a seed...) on a weekly basis at home, it is often times the LAST THING I want to eat on vacation. In spite of my general disinterest in this south american staple, I had to get to Tamu Tamu to try this salad!