Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Blogs-Giving!

   In the last few years Disney Hipster Blog has gone through a lot changes.  The aesthetic content has shifted, our podcast was developed and evolved into the monster it is, and our interactions on Twitter has both decreased and become more polarizing. We would like to think that despite some of the negatives our focus has always been "critiquing the aesthetic choices of the Disney company."
   Throughout all of this our audience has continued to grow, and for that I am so immensely appreciative.  Not a day of blogging goes by that I don't think "sheesh! I can't believe people are still reading this!"  
    This blog would never have thrived the way it did without the support of other small upstart blogs…and I'd like to take a second to point you in their direction. Please take the time while you're relaxing on your day off to check these awesome blogs out...

   First of all,  This Happy Place.  This fabulous blog was founded just weeks before our own, and I'd like to think of them as siblings. (or awkward cousins maybe?)   Though their blog has evolved quite a bit in the last few years, Estelle (and James) continue to uphold the fabulous content that this site is known for.   We've collaborated on lots of stuff as well…so make sure to check those posts out!
   Highlights: Muppet Mondays and tons of awesome Disney on Broadway stuff! 

   Shortly after joining the blogging community we had the pleasure of becoming friends with Melissa from Mouse On The Mind!  This blog is a testament to Melissa's devotion to blogging about Disney in her own goofy style!  This girl is ridiculously cute, and a fabulous person.  We had the pleasure of throwing and AWESOME Disney meet up in Brooklyn this past year along with Mouse On The Mind…as well as This Happy Place. 
   Highlights: Kill, Marry, Refurb (seriously awesome series!)

   If the above two are our cousins, then Mike and Dave at  Jambo Everyone are our long lost brothers.  These guys devote so much time and energy in the upkeep of their amazing blog, dedicated to our favorite park… Disney's Animal Kingdom.  Not only that but they recently started their own terrific podcast, Radio Harambe. The passion for animal conservation alone is reason enough to visit this site immediately.
   Highlights: Safari Mike's animal profiles, Radio Harambe

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Four Adorable and Stylized Concepts From Dumbo

   The 1941 Disney animated classic Dumbo was a return to form as straightforward storytelling.  Though now considered a masterpiece, the previous feature Fantasia was a financial failure and didn't resonate with audiences the way Walt had hoped.
   Running just over an hour, Dumbo is among the shortest Disney animated films…but the concise concentrated story didn't mean an equal amount of time and effort went into the development of this charming movie.  Here we have four gorgeous concept pieces.  They're muted and weathered, and basically everything that Dumbo is not.  The silhouetted clowns are fabulous, and neat to see the original idea didn't get too off track from the finalized film version.  Terrific.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Taking Photopass Into Your Own Hands

   Has Disney Hipster Blog ever covered  the Photopass service at Walt Disney World?  I get this question from time to time…and honestly couldn't remember.  Almost 700 blog posts into the blog its kind of hard to keep track.
   A quick google search of "Disney Hipster Blog Photopass" turns up a number of fun posts that I hardly remember writing. Among them: Photographers making you act wacky. One all about hugging characters. One about random photo locations. And of course... One all about Big Al.   Clearly I give no real information about the service…so why start today?
   Like I said before, Photopass photographers have a tendency to "encourage wackiness."  But what if your photographer is just snapping away for a  minute or two with no real direction?  You have to take matters into your own hands.

Seriously…why am I so startled? 

"Why are we taking this photo again?"

Friday, November 22, 2013

Bad Design: Signs At The Contemporary

   While waiting for an epic meal at the newly refurbished California Grill at The Contemporary Resort  I found myself taking pictures of some of the poor design choices of the hotel.  It's no big secret that we don't like this hotel…based purely on aesthetics.  Sure, the Grand Canyon Concourse is a stunning and bold design that has actually held up surprisingly well, considering its roots.  But our praise mostly ends there.
   One of the things that always stick out to me is the lack of any cohesion.  The bustling fourth floor features the majority of the resorts restaurants, bars, and shops.  With an open air plan solid cohesive signage would make sense and would be relatively easy.  But no, we have garish signs galore, that take on all 1990's design tropes. Mind you that the 1990's is the exact opposite of contemporary.

Looks a lot like Cosmic Rays…and would fit great in Tomorrowland. 

Cohesion aside, the signage has no insignia,  and is too "in your face."  We get it!
Mickey Mouse meets here... 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Two Stunning Concepts From "Our Friend The Atom"

   Walt Disney's interest in the space age and atomic energy in the 1950's and 60's was palpable.  The culmination of which was a series of episodes of Disneyland and of course early Tomorrowland at the park itself.
   I'm not sure whether its the specific nature of these episodes of Disneyland but I had never seen the 1957 episode "Our Friend The Atom."  I'm sure the opportunity to view was there, but to a kid even the title sounds a little boring.  Little did I know how entertaining the one hour special is.  Full of fascinating science (brought to you by Disney's new "science department") but also fun animated clips as well.
   From the Design book from The Archive Series here are two wonderfully stark concepts for the genie featured throughout the show.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Random Unexpected Awesome: Village Traders at Epcot...

   When it comes to the African Outpost in Epcot's World Showcase, I side with the majority of fanboys.  This is the definition of a waste of space.  Originally the pavilion was to be over the top stylized grandeur of equatorial Africa, featuring two films and fantastical cultural immersion.  In its place now sits the outpost.  A snack bar. A small store. A few drums.
   But wait!  After a sudden downpour at Epcot, Adam and I were left with soggy shoes…and several hours of touring left.  Out of desperation we went into Village Traders to see if they had flip flops.  As it turns out the small store we had been walking past all these years is actually kind of cool, and relatively well themed.  Who knew right?!

Exterior signage, with lanterns. :)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Cosmic Rays Grilled Veggie Sandwich: The Worst Thing In The World

   I like food, you know, in general.  I'm not a snob about my food for the most part either. I don't eat animals…but thats about it. I just like eating.  So to get on my list of never again foods is pretty difficult, especially at Walt Disney World where I spend all day long eating.
   Well friends, a new member has joined that elite club.  The grilled veggie sandwich at Cosmic Rays Starlight Cafe is quite horrible.  Lets talk about it!

   I should preface all opinions by saying that Cosmic Rays Starlight Cafe is the last place we think of to eat.  There are far superior counter service choices in The Magic Kingdom.  This particular day was at the tail end of a two week trip, and we decided to give it another shot. (our last visit had been five years earlier…)
   The thing about Cosmic Rays is that it is an enormous space.  This restaurant is designed to move people…and I really do understand that.  But does the food have to be THIS BAD?  The decor suffers much in the way that the rest of Tomorrowland does.  Bad faux future typeface. Weird color choices. (who decided that purple was the official color of the future?)  And oh lord, the layout, with its notoriously superfluous "Bays."
   The only redeeming factor at Cosmic Rays is the continued awesomeness of Sonny Eclipse. And lets be honest here, you don't have to order food at Cosmic Rays to enjoy one of Sonny's performances…

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Our New Favorite Disney Meme

   I, like most sensitive Disney fans, was very touched by the video of little Lily's surprise Disneyland video on Youtube.  Her reaction is honest, innocent, and in the most direct ways portrays how we all feel about Disney/Disney Parks.  Two years later, I still watch this video, and it still makes me cry. These emotions are the essence of how Disney impacts most children. Visceral, all encompassing, and life changing.
   Here is that video in case you still haven't seen it, make sure you have tissues.

   Now, two years later, Lily has an adorable little sister.  And guess what?  SHE gets to go to Disneyland as well!  Her reaction at around 2:04...A face that could kill.  

   The funny thing about this video, and Chloe's reaction in particular, is that it has spun into a ridiculous Tumblr based meme…as these things often do.  Here are some ridiculous examples straight from Tumblr. 

   I know I'm going to be sick of my Tumblr feed being overloaded by these things in a week…but for now I CANT STOP LOOKING.  Also, congrats to their mother for producing two accidental viral videos…just because she has the cutest kids ever. (and for raising them to love Disneyland.)

   If you like ridiculous things like this, now might be the perfect opportunity to follow us on Twitter! Or Instagram! Or Facebook! Or Youtube! Heck...just follow us. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

It's A Small World Pictorial Souvenir: Europe…The Old World

   I was so blessed this past weekend to share my birthday with dozens of amazing friends! Among our guests were the absolutely delightful Frank and Tim, who you should follow on twitter (@FrankenTim).  These guys provided a bounty of amazing Disney related gifts, among them is the PHENOMENAL Its A Small World Disneyland Pictorial Souvenir. 
   Now that The Disney Book Of Knitting is almost a thing of the past, I needed a new fun photo book to obsess over. Well…here it is.

   This book is exactly what you might think, a photo tour of the superlative Disneyland original attraction.  The interior shots aren't phenomenal, they're about as good as you might expect on a dark attraction…but will provided the rider with all the memories they might want.  But among the photos are whimsical brightly colored illustrations, and vivid descriptions of the attraction going scene by scene.  
   Over then next couple of months I'll take you on a tour of It's A Small World and include the illustrations. (And maybe a few of the interior shots…)

Friday, November 8, 2013

Animal Kingdom Artifacts: Two Masks From Concierge Level

   I recently shared the wonderful change of perspective that staying concierge level at Animal Kingdom Lodge provided me.  As it turns out, wonderful views (and endless beer…) aren't the only exclusive perks on this level!  Scattered throughout the sixth floor are over the top gorgeous pieces of African artwork.
   The great thing about these pieces is that they aren't behind glass for the most part, like the rest of the lodge.  The masks are especially detailed examples, and are clearly a cut above the artwork located in the floors below. (I sound like such a snob…but its really true.)
   Here are two amazing examples located directly outside of the concierge level elevator:

 Initiation Mask
Yaka People
Democratic Republic of Congo

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

OMG! Disney Book Of Knitting Part 3

   When I first picked up the Disney Book Of Knitting at a roadside fleamarket on that fateful day in October little did I know what I was getting myself into.  Not a day has gone by that I haven't ogled its weathered pages with childlike delight.  These sweaters are fantastic. I'm dying inside because I don't really know how to knit. :/
   Here is one of the finer examples in the book.  This is a two piece sweater/cardigan combo...the model is really upset about something.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Review: Germany's Sommerfest!

   Until recently we had absolutely no reason, besides beer, to visit Sommerfest. However, the Germany pavilion's tiny counter service restaurant recently got a menu update that had piqued our attention!  Lets check it out...

   Like I mentioned, Sommerfest is tiny.  This counter service restaurant is located in the back of St. George Platz, in the cavernous portico entrance of our beloved Biergarten.  Though we adore the signage for these two restaurants, they don't do a great job of making themselves known.  The excessive detail in the paintings probably detracts from the purpose…but I'm just nit picking…they really are as pretty as signs get.

   Sommerfest is set up like most Disney counter service restaurants, with a cashier in front, and the servers behind them handling the food. There are a few tables under the portico, and a few outside.  The outside tables aren't shaded and since your probably drinking beer, are to be avoided.
    The menu here is small, but specific to the pavilion, which is wonderful.  Lets try some of the new offerings!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Good Design: The Three Good Fairies

   Fans of our Layout And Background series (which you can see here, here, and here...) will be happy to know that Adam recently bought me the Design book from the same Walt Disney Animation Studios Archive Series!  This book differs strongly from Layout And Background...which focuses on the fairly obvious title.  The Design book n features both character development, but also the evolution of the "look" of the movie.  I am seriously psyched to have this in my possession.
   The first installation is both random and fabulous.  I literally opened the book up toward the middle, on a whim, and went with it.  Here are two gorgeous character design sheets for the three good fairies from 1959's animated classic Sleeping Beauty.  The fabulous thing about this book is opportunity to analyze the design process of the artists, and then compare to what we actually get on screen.


   The first image was made very early in the development of the film, while these characters were considered much more ancillary.  Though many would still consider them the comic relief of the film, the ended up much more refined.  
   The second image shows the stunning Marc Davis design, with its signature angularity and bold mono tonality.  His design was dumbed down for the film in the end, making the characters a little easier for his team.  But imagine how wonderful these would have looked against the original Eyvind Earle backgrounds?!?!?! This film could have been stylized as hell! :/

   I hope you guys enjoyed these as much as I did.  The three fairies are some of my absolute favorite, and deserve their rightful place in design history.  Which fairy is your favorite?  Or do you hate them altogether?  Let us know over on Twitter!