Friday, January 31, 2014

Enhanced Tiki Portraits

   I'm not really a photoshop kind of guy…I prefer pencil and paper…but every once in a while I'll have a few drinks and fidget with computer based "art."  Haha…this is what happens: Super enhanced portraits of my favorite tiki drums.  Happy Friday all.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Coverland: In A World Of My Own

    Time for another visit to Coverland!  This is where we troll Youtube for covers of classic Disney songs…and hope for the best.
    Today I bring you three very different versions of In A World Of My Own from Alice In Wonderland.  Though the song is pretty lighthearted in the movie, the lyrics have a little more gravity…and are played up well in these three versions.  Trust me, there are a lot of really bad covers of this song, and it was hard to find three good ones.  Enjoy.

   Pretty right?  Do you have a favorite version of this song that I didn't include?  Let us know on Twitter or over on Facebook. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Quick Thoughts On Epcot's Frozen Beer

   In the grand tradition of Disney Hipster Blog NEVER reporting about things in a timely fashion, I wanted to share my experience with the frozen Kirin that is available at Epcot's Japan pavilion.
   When this beer first debuted (well over a year ago, duh…) it was big enough news to be featured on Disney Parks Blog.  Of course Disney Food Blog covered it, as did Eating WDW…both in a timely manner.
   So why did it take me so long? Well...

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday Quickie: Spaceship Earth at Dusk

   Two different shots of Spaceship Earth from World Showcase this past May.  I think I had my Hipstamatic on randomize, because I ended up with quite a few different filters that night.   Its funny, because I'm pretty sure the vibrant second photo is closer to reality.   I love Epcot at dusk...

Friday, January 24, 2014

DrinkWallah Area at Disney's Animal Kingdom

   Inspired by a recent blog post on Jambo Everyone, I wanted to take a closer look at one of my favorite areas of Disney's Animal Kingdom.
   DrinkWallah is a rather discrete beverage and snack stand along the water in Asia.  Though its offerings are meager (coke products, chips, and fruit…) the theming is no less spectacular than what you would expect at Animal Kingdom.  

   The theme here is decidedly ramshackle and run down…much like the rest of Asia.  I mean this in the best possible way.  The signs are rusted and worn down, and the pan-Asian knick knacks are placed in perfect disarray.  Even the use of Coca-Cola paraphernalia throughout lends an air of authenticity.  Though I usually don't enjoy sponsors littering their logo everywhere, here it just works.  Drinkwallah reappropriates the corporate symbol as folk art. Very cool.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

It's A Small World Topiary Gardens

   Continuing our journey through the It's A Small World : A Disneyland Pictorial, we find ourself outside of the actual attraction!  On previous posts we've toured the "old world" and the South Pacific… but today lets explore the grounds a bit.

The Topiary Gardens:

Topiary gardening, the art of fashioning living plants into the shapes of animals of geometric figures, had been practiced for centuries before coming to Disneyland.  Such unique gardens were the pride and joy of European royalty…and a number of outstanding examples can still be seen in the "old world" today.

The Disneyland topiary program was begun under Walt Disney's personal direction four years before It's A Small World was scheduled for its grand opening.  Figures were patterned after the "stars" of such well know Disney films as Dumbo and Fantasia…including waltzing hippos, crocodiles, and balancing elephants.  True to scale reproduction of such animals, however, would have resulted in figures too large for the garden.  Giraffes were "shrunk" to ten feet, poodles "grew" to two feet, and the rest of the menagerie was brought into scale that would not "overpower" the landscape…or be "lost" for being too small.

Lightweight steel skeletons were then fashioned into the desired "bones" and matched to mature living plants.  A giraffe would call for two short and two tall trees, whereas a dancing elephant, with only one point of contact with the earth, would require two medium height but full plants.  Carefully the Disney gardeners warped the main branches to the skeletons…trimming here…and tying there.  Four nurturing, coaxing, training years later, a Disney troupe of 20 topiaries moved "on stage" to welcome guests to It's A Small World. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Six Things I Hate About Tomorrowland

   Tomorrowland hatred is a fairly obvious assumption.  Whether in the Magic Kingdom or at Disneyland…this place is a disaster area.  The funny thing about my own personal distaste for Walt Disney World's version is that it is purely aesthetic.
   As far as attractions go, I'm not all that turned off.  Carousel Of Progress is one of my favorites and I love Space Mountain.  (In fact, the Space Mountain exterior would be an appropriate jumping off point for a Tomorrowland refurbishment. ) Whether or not I enjoy the other attractions is neither here nor there…the fact is, the facades are all pretty horrible.
   The thing about Tomorrowland is that it should be simple. sleek. and white.  The current iteration is bogged down by clutter, and not cool clutter.  Just random junk with no real purpose other than to fill space in an area that should be vastly empty.  If a full blown refurbishment isn't in the cards for Tomorrowland, a few minor changes could be made to up the aesthetic value of the land.
   Here are some examples of things that should either be taken out or changed.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sunday Quickie: Four Random Pictures From Chester And Hester's Dino-Rama...

   Here are four random shots pulled out of the Disney Hipster archive, while searching Chester And Herster's Dino-Rama.  I am surprised at how few photos we have, considering its one of our favorite lands at Walt Disney World.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Gorgeous Colorful Mulan Storyboards...

   Mulan is not a film we talk about too much.  It isn't one of our favorites…nor do we dislike it enough to discuss it.  As a matter of fact we enjoy it quite a bit, though the film lacks much aesthetic appeal.  And lets be honest, the villain doesn't appeal to me to much either…which is a deal breaker.
   But behind every Disney animated classic is a series of (usually) captivating storyboards.  I've been mining through my new Archive Series book, and found these beautiful story board sketches from Mulan.  
   There is something so special about the subtle background colors against Mulans shiny black mane.  (yet to be cut off…) These almost remind me of the 1932 Silly Symphony Flowers and Trees.  These are works of art outside of the context of the film, though we appreciate them more with the drastically different film in mind.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Animal Kingdom Artifact: Awesome Thumb Piano at Kidani Village

   I haven't done an Animal Kingdom Artifact in like, forever.  As I was looking at photos from our October trip (and weeping…) I stumbled upon a great group of photos I took on our last day.  You might remember that we hipsters spend the last four hours or so of each trip relaxing at the resort before we fly home.  "Relaxing" is relative though, in terms of me using it.  You see, I tend to spend those hours taking as many photographs as possible…drinking beer, and crying.
   While exploring the farther reaches of the wings of Kidani Village, I found a great group of artifacts and documented them for you, including a Vine!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Disney Standard Bar Menu: Black Cherry Lemonade

   Many of you might remember my overall disappointment this past October when my beloved citrus infusion was taken off the Disney standard bar menu.  Though it is pretty easy to make, apparently the bars no longer stock all of the necessary ingredients to make it. (trust me, I asked for it a few times…)
   But along with the overhaul of the menu came a few new mixed drinks. Some good, and some really….really bad.   I was happy to find one that I liked quite a bit…

   This drink, my friends, is the black cherry lemonade.  The name caught my eye right away, especially given Disneys past success with black cherry… but I also happen to enjoy a good lemonade now and then.
   The entire Disney Hipster Podcast crew was hanging out at the Uzima Springs pool bar at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge…and it was noon at the latest.  Normally I would be drinking some cheap beer, but I figured being as early as it was that the beer might put me to sleep.  So black cherry lemonade it was.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sunday Quickie: A Few Extra Shots From The African Outpost

   A couple of months ago we shared our weird fascination with the store in Epcot's African Outpost… and we took quite a few photos while we visited this remote corner of Epcot.  Here are a few random extras that were not used in the original blog post.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Good Design Bad Design: Ticket and Transportation Center

   Question: Does the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC) feature good design elements?  I'm only asking because I seriously can't make up my mind.  On the Disney Hipster Podcast I'm generally well prepared for the "Good Design/Bad Design" segment, because quite frankly I'm very opinionated about Disney.  But the TTC poses a much bigger problem.

   On one had, this area serves an undisputed purpose, and does so pretty efficiently.  When you think of the many thousands of folks using the TTC every single day, it is pretty mind blowing how un-congested the area is.  Sure, there is the occasional long wait for the monorail or ferry, (especially when one or the other isn't operational…) but most of the time its pretty smooth sailing. 
   In this regard the TTC is well designed. The idea of shuttling people to all points across property and having a central hub is pretty great, albeit maddening for some,  and it certainly does a great job of that. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Storyboards: King Louis Blows In A Monkey's Ear...

   Yay!  Christmas morning would never be complete without me unwrapping another addition to the Walt Disney Animation Studios: The Archive Series!  In the past I have been so happy to present selections from both Layout & Background ( Cinderella, Todayland, etc…) and from Design. (the three good fairies )  Each book in the series features a different aspect in the animation process…which are pretty self explanatory within the title.
    The new addition is Story, which as the name implies focuses mainly on story development, with a heavy emphasis on story boards.  Many of you may recall the charming scenes in Saving Mr. Banks in which storyboards are used to explain to PL Travers the proposed story for Mary Poppins…super charming indeed.  Well, meetings like that were common at every turn in the movie making process, and Disney was the first studio to widely use story boards during development.  It's a no brainer that an entire addition in The Archive Series should be dedicated to this revolutionary process of storytelling.
   For our first foray into Story I simply opened the book at random and found King Louis from the 1967 animated classic The Jungle Book. Enjoy the charming images.

Monday, January 6, 2014

1980's Nonsense: Totally Minnie

   The Disney Parks Blog posted some "throw away" post the other day about Totally Minnie…just an excuse for them to share an old photo and make fun of the fashion.  But this inspired a new series for 2014…that I will call 1980's Nonsense.
   I had heard the term Totally Minnie thrown around from time to time, that happens when you blog about random Disney artifacts, but I never actually realized what it was.  As it turns out, Totally Minnie was the first television special featuring Minnie Mouse as the star…which had a subsequent foray into the parks…and an album of songs, which is still available on iTunes.   Why in the world didn't I know about this???

   Because this tends to be a park-centric Disney blog…here is the super-terrific-but-not-in-a-sincere-way stage show that was presented at the Magic Kingdom at some point in the early 90's.  Disney, for the love of god…will you ever learn not to cover contemporary music?  It just never ends well…

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Year At Disney Hipster Blog: Part 2...

   On New Year's Eve we shared with you a "best of" Disney Hipster Blog post featuring some of my favorite entries from the past year.  Apparently we had a pretty good year, because I only made it through June!  Here are some highlights of the last six months of the year...

   - Though no longer available, one of our FAVORITE dishes from the last year was the south african quinoa salad from Tamu Tamu!  RIP, friend.

   - In our series exploring all corners of World Showcase we took a close look at The Tea Caddy!

   - Speaking of characters, do you remember my special moment with Big Al!!! It was seriously the best moment of my life.