Monday, March 31, 2014

Five Interesting Vegetarian Counter Service Options Around World Showcase...

   For all the flack that we give Disney World about the lack of diversity in their vegetarian based options, you might think that we generally dislike the food offerings in the park.  This statement is only a half truth, and we offer credit where credit is due.  Over the last few years Walt Disney World has vastly improved the options available for people who follow a plant based diet.  While there is still a lot of work to be done, I wanted to focus on the positive (for once…) and look at the most diverse row of theme park foods…counter service options around World Showcase at Epcot!

   Even though Epcot does have its fair share of veggie burgers and quinoa (Disney's two staple options for vegetarians…) the focus here will be on diversity.  These are not necessarily our favorite food options around World Showcase but are a general overview of some seriously decent and unique offerings that you can find.  
   Here are five awesome vegetarian options for those of you sick of french fries and bad grilled veggie sandwiches…in no particular order.

    Number five: Pissaladiere - Found at the newly revamped and vastly superior Boulangerie Patisserie at the back of the France pavilion the Pissaladiere is super yummy.  Think sauceless thick crusty pizza with tomatoes, olives, gruyere and herbs.  Not only do all the flavors work well, but the bread is great during a long night of drinking. At $4.50 this is a serious bargain.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

BGM Of The Week: Fantasyland Station / Storybook Circus

   I'm mildly obsessed with Storybook Circus.  This small subsection of New Fantasyland trumps all of the other additions.  From the tiniest detail (peanuts in the sidewalk…) to the over the top craggy camp of Pete's Silly Sideshow, this area is a wonderful example of a well executed idea.

    Among those tiny details, that are SO IMPORTANT to the collective whole, is the intensely upbeat and whimsical background music loop!  The train station motif makes itself known throughout this loop, which is exactly how it should be.  I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do…even if it is more upbeat than I usually prefer...

Friday, March 28, 2014

Animal Kingdom Artifact: A Few Random Shots From Uzima Springs...

   Uzima Springs is the exhaustively themed pool area on the Jambo House side of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge.  The area is meticulously designed, with rock work, tropical plants, gorgeous wood fencing,  whimsical architecture, and water features.  I can't imagine a Disney World vacation that didn't involve several hours spent around this amazing pool.
   Here are just a few random shots I snapped in February.  I plan on doing an extensive walk through video of this area soon, so stay tuned for that.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Vintage Carousel Of Progress Attraction Poster

   I had so much fun sharing three random Tomorrowland attraction posters, that I thought… "hey! Why don't I do a blog series on them?!?"  So here we are, delving into the farthest reaches of Tomorrowland, design aesthetics, and general awesomeness.
   In 1967 Disneyland was prepping Tomorrowland for the inclusion of Carousel of Progress.  The attraction had ended its debut run at the 1964 Worlds Fair in New York, and would call Disneyland its home for the next decade.  To mark  the occasion a fabulous new attraction poster was created to entice guests.  The image was created by Ken Chapman who is responsible for some of the best Tomorrowland attraction posters.

Carousel of Progress, Disneyland,
Ken Chapman, 1967 

   Below are to concept pieces made during the development of the poster.  It looks more like a color study than anything, given how closely the final poster resembles both concept pieces.  I prefer the color concept of the last piece over the other two.  Something about the "Pepto pink" is pretty amazing.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Disney Cruise Line: Brunch At Palo

   We knew going into our first Disney Cruise that we wanted to experience all that the ship had to offer.  This can be a painstakingly difficult task on a three night cruise.  Part of this exhaustive ship study involved eating at every restaurant onboard…including quick service and counters.  In time we will re-visit (in blog form…) all of them, but today we're focusing on the oft praised Palo. 

   Palo is an adults only restaurant that is featured on all four Disney cruise ships.  On the Disney Magic   Palo is located on deck ten aft, above Cabanas.  Unlike the ships other restaurants, there is a $25 additional fee per person to dine here.  This fee does set you up with high expectations…thats for sure.
   True to their word, there will not be any kids at Palo. (other "adults only" areas on the ship are much more forgetful of that rule…) Though the interior isn't really my taste, it is very pretty and incredibly comfortable to dine in.  The walls are lined with windows, giving you a gorgeous panoramic view of the ocean.

   Not wanting to miss out on any of our rotational dining at night, we chose to visit Palo for brunch on our second day.  Brunch consists of both a buffet and an actual menu of made to order hot items.  This meal also comes with a champagne cocktail of your choice!  I imbibed in a kir royal…and I had Adam order one as well. (hey, whats better than a 10:30 AM buzz??)    

Saturday, March 22, 2014

BGM Of The Week: The Oasis Loop

   Welcome back to another entry of Background Music of the Week! This week we're listening to the splendid Oasis music loop from Disney's Animal Kingdom.
    This loop is different than the previous two in our series, in that it covers a vast area.  Not only do you hear this loop in the Oasis section of the park, but it also acts as the entrance music as well.  In fact, you can hear this music pretty far away from the park itself…which is pretty great, and gets you hyped up for your day.

   Here is a playlist of MOST of the songs played at the Oasis.  These songs come from the "Music From Disney's Animal Kingdom Park."  I hope this is a great soundtrack to your Saturday!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Epcot Steps Up Its Topiary Game...

   Remember how (two days ago…) we brought on two new contributors to the blog? Well, our talent search is already paying off!  Our own Kim Taylor has provided us with these fantastic photos featuring this years Flower and Garden Festival topiaries!  Though some of the whimsical designs have stayed the same, a few of the glorified bushes have seen drastic improvements.  Its easy to see why they're getting more buzz this year…

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Two New Contributors To Disney Hipster Blog...

   Things can get a little hectic here at Disney Hipster Blog. Between the podcast, blog, guest appearances, and general exhaustion of social media sometimes it is can be a little overwhelming.  Though I absolutely love writing this blog (seriously, its my favorite thing in the world) the rapid growth of the site has lead me to the option of hiring more permanent contributors.  
   We have had guest contributors in the past (and still will…) but these two lovely kids will be featured on the blog in a much more structured and scheduled manner.  Without further adieu…

Adam…who we will refer to as "Adam B." so that things won't 
get confusing.  

and the lovely Kim!

      These are two extremely creative folks, who have proven themselves to be Disney Hipster worthy!  Kim (who lives near Disney World!!!) can be found on Twitter @_kimtaylor! While Adam (who lives near Disneyland!!!) can be found on Twitter @Adambritten!  Make sure to follow both of them. What great luck we had, finding two people that live near parks on both coasts. Amazing.  
    In addition to their contributions to the site,  there is a strong chance that they will also make guest appearances on the Disney Hipster Podcast as well. We can't wait to see what Kim and Adam have to share with us.  

Monday, March 17, 2014

All About Characters On The Disney Cruise Line

  When we set sail on our first Disney Cruise this past January we had prepared as much as a novice cruiser could. Read books and blogs, and also asked people for personal advice.  One part of the Disney Cruise Line experience that we were not fully anticipating was character meet and greets.
   You probably know, as a reader of Disney Hipster Blog, that we live for character meet and greets at Walt Disney World.  So why would the cruise be any different?!?  We knew we had to meet every available character, and get pictures in their various cruise outfits.  I know it sounds silly (and it is…) but this was probably the most fun part of our time on The Magic. 

   The fun part is that character meet and greets start before you even get on the ship!  While waiting in the terminal both Mickey and Minnie usually make appearances!  Mickey is all decked out in his captains uniform…ready to embark.
   Once on the ship the character schedule will be included on your personal navigator, and run almost continuously from around 8AM to 10PM.  The location of the characters does vary, but the majority are located in the atrium on either deck three or deck four.  The more popular characters (princesses, Mickey, Minnie…) are usually on deck three. Demand for these characters can create a substantial line, obviously…and we suggest showing up earlier than their scheduled time.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

BGM Of The Week: Sunshine Pavilion Loop

   Continuing our new series of Background Music of the Week we make our way over to Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom.  This week, like last week, we're focusing on a very specific loop featured in only a tiny nook of this vast themed land.  The Sunshine Pavilion, for those unfamiliar, is a group of highly themed buildings that house The Enchanted Tiki Room and Sunshine Tree Terrace.  This area also features one of my very favorite places to sit at Disney World. .. its in this area, which I dubbed the "tiki room lanai" (though, I don't think thats actually its name) where this 15minute loop comes from.
   That attention to detail has me swooning.  The fact that a unique loop is provided for  such a secluded and desolate area is amazing.  Because this area is actually the exit of an attraction, very few people take the time to rest here and enjoy the fabulous ambiance.  I adore this music loop. Enjoy.

   Terrific south pacific wonderfulness! Right?!  This is among my top tier loops, even though its a brief 15 minutes.  I really love cleaning my house to this.  Have an amazing Saturday, filled with random Disney Parks music. :)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Obsessed: The Notorious Banjo Brothers And Bob

   There are basically two sets of Disney World guests.  Those that rush from attraction to attraction, and those who stop and smell the proverbial roses.  Beyond the myriad attractions that litter the Most Magical Place On Earth are also plenty of diversions.  These range from random meet and greet characters to full on shows like the Frontierland Hoedown.
   Mixed among these are the live musical acts that can be found in all four theme parks and across the resort.  Don't be fooled by the hype…the vast majority of these live performers are horrible, and hardly worth your time.

    Among the few entertainers who actually put on a great show are The Notorious Banjo Brothers And Bob.  This simple trio has been serenading Frontierland for years. Their charming banter and wealth of folksy tunes is an impressive feat.  Their set includes classic folk songs, a few contemporary pop songs, as well as Disney songs for good measure.  No other live act at the Magic Kingdom can hold my attention like these guys.   Here is an unfortunately short clip from our October trip:

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Three Vintage Tomorrowland Attraction Posters

   Its been quite a while since we last explored the total awesomeness of the Poster Art Of The Disney Parks book!  Which is ridiculous, because it is one of the few books that NEVER strays from our coffee table.  I absolutely adore this book, as a Disney fan, as an art fan, and as a lover of oversized bulky books.
   I've been pretty obsessed with vintage Tomorrowland and all of its over the top campy grandeur.  Here are three fabulous vintage attraction posters from that beloved time period:

 Rocket To The Moon, Disneyland
Bjorn Aronson, 1955

Flight To The Moon, Disneyland and Walt Disney World
Ken Chapman, 1967 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Animal Kingdom Lodge Themed Party Recap!

   This past Saturday night we had the pleasure of hosting a small get together at our home…themed to Animal Kingdom Lodge!  It was a fun evening with some of my favorite people.  Not only were all four Disney Hipsters here…but also our friends from Jambo Everyone and Mouse On The Mind. We were also glad to welcome new friends Drunk On Disney and the fabulous Lauren!
   The main component of the theme was a labor intensive menu featuring items found at Animal Kingdom Lodge.  Just because I like to toot my own horn (and Adam's horn…but not in a weird way.) here is a recap of the food. (yes, I'm shamelessly proud.)

Pickling jalapeños for the Sanaa bread service...

Adam prepping the veggie flatbread. We based it off of the 
current incarnation at The Mara. 

We made all nine chutneys/dips from the Sanaa
bread service, plus naan and kulcha.  

Saturday, March 8, 2014

BGM Of The Week: Universe Of Energy Area Loop

   Hey guys! As some of you may know, through my general excitement on Twitter, my schedule changed at work…and I NOW HAVE SATURDAYS OFF.  In the salon world this is pretty big, and although it is only temporary I thought I would fill some of my new found freedom with a fun/quick/easy blog series.
   The idea formed over the last month or so, as I tackled the tedious task of organizing my own collection of Disney background music and attraction audio.  I had a few hundred piece of audio floating around my iTunes, and have subsequently placed them within their proper album. (i.e. -Epcot BGM)  This new series will be short, simple, and hopefully useful to those new to the world of Disney Audio.  Trust me, there is a reason this stuff is played in the parks…because its pleasant, and un-obtrusive, which translates well to in-home listening.  Each week I will feature a video via Youtube showcasing one of my favorite loops.

   The first featured background music loop is pretty obvious…and a great jumping off point for those unfamiliar with the Disney audio fanatic sub-culture.  This loop is featured outside of the Universe of Energy, and can be best heard waiting just outside of the attractions doors.  It features parts of the attractions AMAZING Bruce Broughton score, but is much more mellow than the actual attraction audio.   You might also notice that this loop is shorter than most (and I'm not 100% sure this is the entire loop…) I think that is because its specific to one attraction area, and not an entire land. 
   Here it is for your listening pleasure.  Happy Saturday everyone. 


Friday, March 7, 2014

Repurposed Bottle Lights at Sanaa

   As the only restaurant on the Kidani Village side of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, you might assume that the decor at Sanaa would be top notch.  Clearly you would be correct.  Besides the amazing almost panoramic view of the Sunset Savanna, the level of detail in the decor is among the best at Walt Disney World. 

   From the abundance of gorgeous African artwork and completely immersive aesthetic layout , to the minute details found in the carved wooden chairs…Sanaa is very special.
   On the cultural tour of Kidani Village you spend significant time wandering through Sanaa with your tour guide.  One of the details that I had failed to notice, but was touched upon during the tour, are the fabulous repurposed bottles used at lighting!

   These amazing fixtures mingle among the more common gourd lights,  and add so much to the eclectic melange that makes Sanaa so cozy.  Because of the repurposed nature of these lights, they come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and textures.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Murals of the Maharajah Jungle Trek

   We're pretty blatant about our love of the Asia section of Disney's Animal Kingdom.  Be it the nooks and crannies,  the well themed bathrooms,  or just about anything…we LOVE the details in the area of Disney World.  And among the most beautiful areas, within the grand scheme of Asia, is the splendid Maharajah Jungle Trek.  
   An attraction not to be overlooked, this walking trail is more than just an animal exhibit.  Disney goes above and beyond theming for this area, and creates a feeling of complete immersion.  And while the entire trek is beyond amazing, this post will focus on just one aspect of its grandeur…the murals.

   Creating an impressive sense of decaying ruin, the murals actually help tell the back story of the Maharajah Jungle Trek. Using images the story involves a long lineage of Rajahs all of whom had an impact on the reserve.  There is a much more detailed description of the jungle trek over on Jambo Everyone… but I thought I would share some of my favorite photos of the murals themselves.

love this tiger 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Disneyland 1996 Trip Report…Very Detailed

 Hello, reader(s). Keith here. You may or may not know me from the Disney Hipster Podcast where I play “Keith”. Anyway, Andrew and I have agreed that it is time that I step in occasionally to write a blog post. This may become a semi-regular thing, and I say “may” because I am super lazy.
     I decided to write my first entry (technically second, but the first was ghost written – hey, here’s a thing : the first person to correctly guess which post it was I actually wrote and tweets at me will receive my first ever “favorite” on Twitter and literally nothing else) about the first time Jamie and I visited Disneyland together. Disneyland has been on our collective mind’s a lot recently based on Adam and Andrew’s painstaking decision to cancel their mere-months-away trip due to the park being broken in May, and Jamie and I considering a little jaunt out west to mourn my birthday at the end of the summer.

      Our initial joint venture to Southern California took place in May of 1996 and consisted of a one night stay in The Disneyland Hotel (the only on property option back then) and a one day pass to, well,  Disneyland - as it was so simply and elegantly called back then. I distinctly remember paying (note to self – Google what the price was back then before submitting this to Andrew) which seems downright cheap compared to the price today for a one day admission.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Our Experience at Wilderness Lodge's Roaring Fork

   Many were surprised at our (note: Adam's) decision to stay at Wilderness Lodge on our most recent trip.  Yes, the resort is absolutely amazing…but old habits are hard to break, and denying me a stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge is pretty cruel.  But lets look on the bright side, shall we?

   One of the most fabulous aspects of Wilderness Lodge is Roaring Fork.  This quick service eatery is a fantastic option for families on the go.  Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and grab and go items are available…as well as wine and beer.  This location is also home to the resorts beverage station.
   Roaring Fork is designed very similar to most resort quick service restaurants.  This includes two ordering stations, a cooler with grab and go items,  a self serve pastry case,  and expansive beverage station.  Once you've made your selection there is a single queue, with a couple of registers.