Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Year At Disney Hipster Blog: Part One

   2013 has been another awesome year here at Disney Hipster Blog!  We've adopted a few changes both in content and format, which tend to help things run a little more smoothly. (Thank god…) This also helps us focus a little more on the actual content of the blog.
   The community surrounding Disney Hipster Blog has also continued to grow and thrive, thanks primarily to the always ridiculous Disney Hipster Podcast.  In 2013 we held two official meet ups one in Brooklyn and the other at Animal Kingdom Lodge.  Thats not to mention our amazing Crescent Lake bar crawl! 
   Here is a quick round up of some of my personal favorite posts from the last year, in chronological order, obviously.

   -Early in January we proved quickly that you never know what you're going to get on DHB…as we dove into the backstory of the Adventureland tiki drums...

   - In an ongoing series exploring World Showcase we took a closer look at the China Pavilion.  So cool! Right?

   - One of our most popular posts of the year we are kind of harsh on the Liberty Tree restaurant. :/

   - I did manage to write another original song about Disney World… this time about Primeval Whirl!

   - Another really popular post…happened when we were "celebrities of the day" at the Hollywood Brown Derby!


   - In February we contributed to one of our long running series with a Coverland for "Everybody Wants To Be A Cat."

   - We also shared some great vintage valentines day cards! Love these!!!

   - And looked at the source material for "A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes."  Seriously cool…and who knew!?!

   - We don't always hate on Disney's Hollywood Studios! We sometimes go there to meet characters!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Review: Animal Kingdom's Awful Yak Attack...

   So, I didn't think it would be fair to toy with your emotions: I don't like the Yak Attack.  There, now that I've said it…
   The Yak Attack is somewhat of a Disney cult food, though not nearly on the same level as say school bread or dole whip, it is truly cult in the fact that not every Disney fanboy has tried it.  After a looooong day of traipsing around Disney World (and being stalked by DrunkAtDisney…) and a few hours to kill before dinner at Jiko, I was ready for an adult drink.

   As you might have surmised from the name of the drink, the Yak Attack is served at the Yak & Yeti restaurant in the asia section of Disney's Animal Kingdom.  While I don't love the food here, it certainly isn't terrible…and is worth visiting based solely on the decor and theming alone.  We didn't have reservations (nor did we want food…) and I have always wanted to check out the bar, so that was our safest route to trying the yak attack.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Picture Time At The Land Pavilion...

   We were recently caught in downpour at Epcot.  Not a sprinkling…but one of those infamous Florida downpours.  The sky suddenly opened up, and I knew we were stuck for a bit. (luckily, these things rarely last too long…)  But of all places to be stranded for a few minutes The Land pavilion at Epcot is probably my number one choice.  Not only is there a few attraction options (including Living With The Land…), and two places to eat, but this pavilion is also ridiculously photogenic!
   I fully utilized our time here during this rainstorm, and put Adam to work as well.  We ended up with a few choice photos using our Hipstamatic app.   Enjoy some of the fun pictures…

 This sign makes me smile every time I see it...

Using a "shuffle" feature on the app…I can't take enough photos of the mosaic. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Many Faces Of Ursula The Sea Witch

   Ursula is one of the most fascinating and beloved villains in the Disney canon.  She is a fierce old queen (based on Divine…) with a badass agenda, plus she has a fabulous song…but Ursula didn't always look like the diva that we've come to know and love.  Oh no, the sea witch went through quite a metamorphosis before hitting the big screen.
   Like most Disney characters the design concepts for Ursula have been archived, and here are but a few of the images.

   The first two images show Ursula in two drastically different incarnations.  The above picture shows a waif like sea demon…not really a mermaid, but similar and scary.  She more closely resemble Yzma  from The Emperor's New Groove, and I wouldn't be surprised if they drew inspiration from this drawing.  Can you imagine a skinny Ursula?
   Below Ursula has gained her weight, but is shown as an abject character, revolting and sloppy.  This is a far cry from the elegant figure we get in the movie. (but hey…her mole is there at least.)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Music At The Magic Kingdom

   If you're much like us, you've probably been really busy this time of year.  Between shopping, baking, going to holiday parties and visiting friends (plus, you know…work.) it seems pretty impossible to relax.
   One of the easiest ways to get into the holiday spirit is to listen to some great Disney holiday music.  There is something almost ritualistic about turning the christmas tree lights on, lighting your Home For The Holidays Yankee Candle,  drinking some spiked soy nog, and listening to the Main Street USA Christmas music loop...
    Next time you have a free evening, between now and the new year, your homework assignment is to take a deep breath, and enjoy these wonderful holiday treats gathered from youtube…

The Main Street holiday loop is completely different than the year round loop…charming none the less.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Yes, We Enjoyed Princess Fairytale Hall

   I was distressed last year when Snow White's Scary Adventure closed… and was even more upset when Princess Fairytale Hall was announced.  And though I would much rather have our beloved dark ride, as it turns out, the princess meet and greet isn't all that bad.
   Yes, the exterior is incredibly ugly (but fits in well with "old fantasyland") but the inside isn't all that bad.  I know meet and greets aren't everyones favorite thing, especially solo adult travelers, but these attractions definitely have a huge draw.
   Adam and I headed over to the new spot on the very first day of our September/October trip…using our Fastpass+ reservations to experience all four available princesses.  Here are some pictures from the experience…

   Having very little to do with the attraction itself, I'd like to mention that these girls were totally on point. Apparently Disney was pulling out all the stops when staffing Princess Fairytale Hall.  
   Sorry that this isn't a full review of the interior…but the fact is, on the first day of a vacation I often forget to take photos, even if its pretty important. (like, maybe a new princess meet and greet…I am a grown man after all.)  The Disney Parks Blog video actually does a good job showing it off… but fails to mention the terrific background music loop.

   Have you been to visit the princesses yet?  Do you HATE meet and greets?  Let us know via twitter!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Review: Tony's Town Square

   Hell froze over on our most recent trip to Walt Disney World.  Not only did we FINALLY uphold a dining reservation at Tony's Town Square restaurant, but we really enjoyed our meal.  The uproar within the Disney Hipster fandom was palpable.  How could the hipsters actually like Tony's!!??  Well friends, lets go on our culinary journey…

   Tony's Town Square Restaurant is located, as you might guess, at town square on Main Street USA at the Magic Kingdom.  Though it has a prime location, it is often subject to malevolent reviews.  The most common complaint is that the food is bland…and frankly, bad.  As far as italian food goes, Disney doesn't have the best reputation.   

Friday, December 13, 2013

Shop Profile: Hundred Acre Goods

   This year we spent a little more time than usual examining retail opportunities on this blog.  Normally our focus isn't so much on merchandise, but the actual theming and layout of the store itself.  Though The Magic Kingdom probably has the least interesting stores out of the four Walt Disney World theme parks, it does have a few fun little shops.
   As you exit the Winnie The Pooh dark ride you find yourself in one of these…

   Don't get me wrong, this store is merely a dumping ground for those who ride the attraction.  Very few patrons actually walk in through the front entrance.  Rather, Hundred Acre Goods is a 'walk through' type store, where people are basically just trying to find the exit…which is unfortunate, because the theming is so fun!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Kill, Refurb, Marry: Thrill Rides

   For this round of Kill Marry Refurb the girls at This Happy Place and Mouse On The Mind are tackling thrill rides!  Not only that, but they're branching out and including other blogs in the fun as well.
   For those of you unfamiliar with the game, we each pick three things on a theme in which we can either kill (we hate it), refurb (could use an update), or marry (we love it the way it is).   So here we go...

   Kill: Test Track

   The "kill" attraction seems fairly obvious to me.  Test Track has had a troubled existence since the beginning.  Besides the lengthy delay in the attraction's debut in 1999 this headliner is constantly breaking down, despite its many shorter refurbishments. You would think that at some point in the last decade they would get the ride system figured out…but nope.
   Thats not even considering the extensive theme based refurbishment that the attraction went through last year, in which very little of the actual attraction was changed.  Lots of plywood cut outs have now been implemented to update the interior... this is a delay in the inevitable demise of this waste of space attraction.  All thrills aside, my main complaint is aesthetics and the attraction's huge footprint at Epcot.  Not only is Test Track ugly, but this thing is freaking enormous.
   Go die Test Track.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Prep & Landing Design Illustrations

   Televised Christmas specials and Disney go hand in hand.  In fact, the company has been in the business basically since the advent of television.  Walt starred in the company's first special One Hour In Wonderland which debuted on Christmas day in 1950.
   Its nice to see the company back in the Christmas special game…after many years of "clip show" cartoon specials with very little original content.  Prep & Landing now has three superlative episodes, each of which debuted as a televised Christmas special.  If you haven't gone out of your way to see these great cartoons, take some time this holiday season to do so.
   Here are three design pieces which helped develop the lovable elves.

The general "look" of the elves is very angular and stylized…
and SO adorable.  

The lovable Lanny... 

and the curmudgeonly (kind of) Wayne…

   Has watching Prep & Landing become part of your holiday tradition?  Which Disney specials are your favorites?  Let us know via Twitter or over on Facebook!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Blizzard Beach Bathroom Signage

   Its been such a long time since we've featured bathrooms signage on the blog! Holy moley!  Its been even longer since we last featured signage from Blizzard Beach!!! (remember those awesome snow people?!?!)  With the weather getting progressively more cold, I thought today was a great time.
   Adam and I took some time out of our very busy October trip to spend some time snapping photos at the whimsical water park, and over time I'm sure I'll share a lot of them.  Here are some SUPER CHARMING sex designating signage.  These are located toward the back of the park, as opposed to the snow people signs which are at the front.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Its A Small World Pictorial: The Lure Of The South Pacific

   Last moth we first showcased the charm of the It's A Small World: A Disneyland Pictorial , by featuring Europe and the old world.  This week we will take an exotic trip to far away islands with The Lure Of The South Pacific!  We've included this pages illustration, a few stock photos included, and the amazing descriptive text. Enjoy.

The Lure Of The South Pacific

Who has not dreamed of "getting away from it all" to some remote tropical 
island to live with the natives?  The turquoise waters ahead mark our arrival in
just such a place…the alluring world of the South Pacific.

Hawaii "calls" with its captivating hula, swaying palms, and pounding surf.  
Volcano Gods peer down on us from the rugged slopes
of  mysterious Easter Island.  Koala bears, kangaroos and humorous platypus
clamor over the rocky coast of Australia.

Our island-hopping itinerary captures it all…the "wild" fire dancers of
Tahiti…drifting Polynesian outriggers…New Zealand Kiwis…the rhythmic beat of New Guinea drums…even a magical rain forest inhabited by exotic tropical birds.  Little wonder the 
crystal blue lagoons of the South Pacific corner the enchantment 
of our fondest dreams. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Anandapur Ice Cream Truck

  With the debut of the new Namaste food truck at Downtown Disney, I thought I would take a closer look at its not so distant cousin, the  Anandapur ice cream truck.  I thought for sure I had already featured this splendid snack wagon…but alas, no. Funny how a topic can easily slip through the cracks around here.
   Located in the heavily themed Asia district of Disney's Animal Kingdom,  the ice cream truck is one of the most intricately detailed snack carts at Walt Disney World. (maybe the whole world??)

   Though the food served here is nothing special (think ice cream and soda…) the fantastic decoration makes this spot a must visit for first time park goers.  The brightly colored faux naif paintings on the trucks exterior features scenes from around the fictional Anandapur, which Asia is set.  These fabulous paintings are set within wonderfully weathered carved wooden frames, and cover almost every inch of the space.