Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Frontierland's Briar Patch

   Nestled in the heart of Frontierland, below the fiberglass briar patch of Splash Mountain is, well, Briar Patch. This unassuming store is actually pretty cool.

   Not to be confused with the Splash Mountain gift shop, this store is located next to the main thoroughfare in this area.  The entrance blends perfectly with the surrounding space. The red rocks and gnarled root system contort around the doors and windows making up the homes of several "critters" that call the shop home.

    The inside of the store is marvelous.  Low ceilings, dim lighting, worn wood details all make for great atmosphere.  Included in the theming are two wonderful rocking chairs located in the middle of the room near the giant stone fireplace.   On a hot day at the Magic Kingdom there is no petter place to relax.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Shake To Randomize: Epcot's Germany Architecture...

   We are in the middle of a Walt Disney World vacation, but do you think Disney Hipster Blog takes a break?  Heck no.  Here is another set of photos using shake to randomize. I got really lucky with this set, and ended up with a  few fabulous photos from the Germany pavilion at Epcot.  If anything, they're a bit too warm for me.  But no biggie...

Friday, April 25, 2014

A Magical Check In At Animal Kingdom Lodge

   With our Spring trip to Walt Disney World upon us, I thought I would share one of my favorite memories from recent trips.  This past October we did something for the first time…checked into Animal Kingdom Lodge at night.  Up until this point we normally would fly out of NJ in the morning, but being constricted by work obligations we had to fly out at 7PM.
   I was initially upset by the plan.  I am a creature of habit, especially when it comes to Disney World.  However, I quickly realized that I could make a challenge out of the new schedule.  Since our plane left after 7, we would be at MCO around 10:00…and The Mara (Animal Kingdom Lodge's counter service restaurant) closes at 11:00.  You might be familiar with my obsession with The Mara, and the delicious veggie flatbread that is served there.
   So there was our challenge…get off the plane, get our rental car, and get to AKL before The Mara closes...

   Yay! Somehow we managed to be at Animal Kingdom Lodge by 10:50.  The check in process can take a while, so I abandoned Adam to do the dirty work, as I ran downstairs to The Mara.  

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Three More Donruss Disneyland Bubblegum Cards

   A few weeks ago my dad shared a few of his favorite 1965 Disneyland Donruss bubblegum cards… and people enjoyed them so much that over time I would love to share the whole series! There are 66 total cards, and of course my dad had to buy the whole set.
   The backs of the cards create a giant puzzle of Disney characters, and while I'm not including them in this post, I would like to see the whole puzzle put together one day.  Here are three more of these fabulous images…

Monday, April 21, 2014

Our Day On Castaway Cay

   Going into it we already knew the highlight of any Bahamian based Disney Cruise is a day spent at Castaway Cay.  But like most other aspects of cruising we had a hard time figuring out what to expect from Disney's private island.  Online resources do exist, including maps and general reviews of the island and its amenities, but its difficult to fully prepare for such a strange concept.
   We were expecting the ship to be fully docked when we woke up that morning. However, the ship was still in the slow process of docking as we ate breakfast at Cabanas.  This allowed us the fun opportunity to survey the island for a while, and (kind of) get our bearings.  After finishing breakfast we got ready to disembark the ship. While normally we like to be first in line for anything, we did actually take our time.  I didn't want to feel rushed on such a beautiful day on a serene island. You know?

   The dock area is full of photo opportunities, including Photopass photographers, and also includes the Bahamian post office, and boat rental area.  Because the dock is at the far end of the island Disney park style trams are provided…but if your up for a nice stroll I recommend walking.  The path is paved, and really gets you in the mood to explore the island. Plus, you get views like this…

   First on our agenda was picking up our bicycles, which we had reserved prior to our trip.  We somehow managed to be the first guests in this area of the island (I have really long legs…) and the Cast Member at the "bike shack" seemed genuinely surprised to see us there so early.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

BGM Of The Week: Tomorrowland

   Among the most amazing music loops found at Disney World is the one found in Tomorrowland.  Despite the land being a general disaster  the atmosphere is somewhat maintained at nighttime.  There is something very special about all the green and purple neon with this whimsical faux futuristic music playing.

Yes, I know this is from Disneyland…but I really like this picture. 

    Besides being stylistically amazing, this loop also contains melodies from some of Tomorrowland's classic tunes.  Keep your ears open for Now Is The Time, Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow, Miracles From Molecules, and If You Had Wings.  Seriously a great loop to enjoy while being lazy around your house! 

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Art of Walt Disney Division Pages

   I was given a copy of The Art Of Walt Disney for my birthday this past year, but was unable to delve into it until recently.  Thank goodness I finally did!  The 1975 art book is full of amazing colorful stills, as well as concept art, layout pieces, and incredible photos from the early days of Walt Disney World!  
   The stylized graphic illustrations in the book are what caught my eye initially.  The simple layout of the cover (I assume there was a book cover at one point…) is just perfect.

   I'm very excited to get into this book, and eventually share some of the cool images with you!  But I was so compelled to share the section division pages that I couldn't wait any longer.  Check out that Mary Poppins. Could she be any more perfect?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Theming At Animal Kingdom's Serka Zong Bazaar

   A subsection of the Asia area of Disney's Animal Kingdom is the town of Serka Zong, which is located at the base of Expedition Everest.  This mountain town, and its theming, are subtly different than the village of Anandapur…located just down the road.  Here you will find the Serka Zong Bazaar…more commonly referred to as the "Everest Shop."

   As we have discussed before, the town of Serka Zong has a strong belief in, and reverence toward, the yeti.  This theme pops up throughout the area, but is up front and center inside the store.

   One of the displays features this gorgeous representation of the beast.  Made mostly of strands of cloth and an elaborate mask, it actually reminds me of traditional African dance costumes.  The level of detail featured in the display is unlike anything I've ever seen in a Disney park store before.  And it continues throughout the shop as well...

   These masks are located around/behind the giant yeti.  Because of their placement they actually look like they're for sale, but alas, you can't take them home.  


   Various masks and prayer idols (like the ones seen on the actual attraction) flank the walls, adding a lot of texture to the room. In addition to the more decorative pieces there are also more utilitarian objects, like pots and pans. The dusty nature of these knick knacks is so appropriate, that it would seem weird if everything was perfectly organized and "clean."

   Even though the merchandise is pretty terrible, this is a must do store for me.  I love to poke around the theming and see if I can find something interesting and new, which I almost always can.  There is so much to look at and explore, if you only take an extra minute to do so.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Six Things I DON'T Hate About The Italy Pavilion At Epcot

   The Italy pavilion at Epcot is not my favorite. In fact, it is probably pretty close to the bottom.  If you've ever listened to the Disney Hipster Podcast you may have heard us harp on how blah the pavilion is, and how there is generally nothing to do there. We do like Tutto Gusto and Via Napoli…but besides that the area is kind of, well…ugly.
   I understand that the space is supposed to represent different architectural elements from throughout Italy…which makes it vast and disjointed. However, this technique has been applied far better in the other pavilions.  (Germany and Norway are both terrific examples.)
   But guess what?! I'm not here to be negative nancy today…I'll save that for another time. At the tail end of our long October trip to Walt Disney World I went out of my way to find a few decorative elements in the Italy pavilion that didn't piss me off…and here they are.

Hey, I know its just a doorknob…but heck, at least its something. 
It's nice flourishes like this that I've never noticed in the pavilion... 

It's not that I like the sign for La Gemma Elegante so much…but I LOVE
the detail at the top. 

Closeup…this guy is awesome.  

Saturday, April 12, 2014

BGM Of The Week: Epcot Entrance Loop

   So, we're in the middle of Epcot's Flower And Garden Festival, which is both a blessing and a curse.  Yes, there are the fabulous food booths flanking World Showcase lagoon…and the topiaries are pretty…but during this entire time the wonderful Epcot entrance music loop is replaced by vintage pop music. (lots of Beach Boys…) These songs basically ruin the grandiose feeling of the entrance to the
park. (plus, Leave a Legacy doesn't help either…)

   Luckily for us the festival is only a few months, and the traditional music loop will return. This intricate piece of background music is composed of an over arching theme, with musical pieces from around the park weaved in as well.   It's always fun to hear Bruce Broughton's Ellen's Energy Adventure score come on as we're entering the park. So epic.
   Here it is in all its glory:

   I should also mention that I listen to this loop almost every morning, as part of my waking up routine. There is nothing better than Epcot entrance music, coffee, and gobs of social media to catch up on. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

1965 Donruss Disneyland Bubblegum Cards...

   *I'm so excited to have a guest blogger for today's post.  Not only is the topic super awesome (and something I've never seen…) but the author is also my dad.  Take it away Larry...
   To celebrate Disneyland's "first fabulous decade", Donruss issued a set of 66 bubblegum cards. Courtesy of google, here's a picture of an original wax box and 5c wax packs:

   The original release of the cards featured an image that covered the entire front of the card. The backs contained text, surrounded by a blue border. These cards are scarce, and after a short print run, this second version appeared: 

Card #4…front and back

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Vintage Skyway Attraction Posters...

   Can we talk about how much fun I've been having posting images of vintage Tomorrowland attraction posters?  I'm going to be so sad when I've run out of things to post. :(
   But for the time being that sad thought is on the horizon, and we can just focus on the positive. For instance, the long time defunct Skyway to Fantasyland!  Here are two amazing posters advertising this little gem, for both Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland.

Skyway, Disneyland and Walt Disney World
Bjorn Aronson, 1956 

Skyway, Tokyo Disneyland
Rudy Lord, 1983

   There is something immensely Japanese about the second poster…I guess Rudy Lord was really getting into the spirit of the project.  Why are the figures all so grumpy? They're on the Skyway for crying out loud! If you want to see more of Lord's work you can visit his company's website...

Monday, April 7, 2014

Dinner At Lumiere's On The Disney Magic

   As you can tell, I'm trying to evenly space out the reportage of our first Disney Cruise.  We have already looked at a horrible meal at Carrioca's, a much better (but flawed…) meal at Palo, and also a really fun drink from the Promenade Lounge!  Today we're going middle of the road.  Let's take a look at Lumiere's.

   Lumiere's is exclusive to the Disney Magic, and new to the ship itself as of the 2013 extensive dry dock refurbishment.  The restaurant is located on deck three midship, as part of the grandiose atrium lobby that acts as the "hub" of ship activity.  In fact, Lumiere's is one of the first things you see upon boarding the Magic. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

BGM Of The Week: International Gateway

   Here's the thing about Disney parks background music, (or BGM…but you already knew that.) sometimes it doesn't always work.  Whether it be too obnoxious, too subtle, or out of place…the BGM of an area can literally define the feeling of the space.  Luckily, we are focusing on the good background music loops…and today we are featuring one of my absolute favorites.

Hey…this was the ONLY picture I could find of myself at International Gateway…

   International Gateway is the "back" entrance area of Epcot, between the France and UK pavilions in World Showcase.  Not really an area of the park per se, but it does feature one of the most pleasant BGM loops around.  Comprised of music from around World Showcase pavilions, it manages to be interesting/busy without being annoying.  Seriously a fun listen.

   Have you ever noticed the music here before?  Probably not…seeing that very few guests venture this far from World Showcase.  I applaud Disney for creating this fabulous loop for such an underutilized area. :)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Shake To Randomize: Cool Photos Around Big Thunder Mountain...

   Disney Hipster Blog is primarily a photo blog…with a little bit or writing thrown in here and there.  We mostly use the Hipstamatic app, available on iTunes, because of the fun (or basic…) filter options. Plus, heck, it just seemed downright appropriate.
   One of the great features is the "shake to randomize" option, which jumbles the lens, film, and flash…creating thousands of potential options.  (Hipstamatic has hundreds of filter upgrades, which we highly recommend.)  While we're at Disney World, collecting blog posts, I often "shake" my phone to create interesting new photos for the site.  These random settings are often horrible catastrophes, but every once in a while I get some seriously cool shots.
   Thus is the case in this set of photos that we took around Big Thunder Mountain.  I love the way these came out…

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Three Vintage Peoplemover Attraction Posters

   Today lets take a ride on the Peoplemover! The notoriously amazing, ever moving vehicles, designed as public transportation for EPCOT,  have lent themselves well toward the simplistic idea of attraction posters.  Here we find three different versions of the attraction, all three with different posters and artists.

PeopleMover, Disneyland,
Ken Chapman, 1967