Friday, May 30, 2014

Fabulous Stone Planters On Discovery Island...

   Towards the end of any Disney World vacation I start to panic.  Do I have enough blog content for the ENTIRE SUMMER?!? Its around this moment that I insist on traversing each park, and troll for pictures.  (Adam is in charge of pointing at things and saying "What about that?")
   It was this photo trolling tour that lead me to the realization that I've never featured these fantastic whimsical stone planters at Animal Kingdom!

   These detailed planters are different from most of Discovery Island … in the fact that they're not brightly painted.  The detail in these are totally extracurricular, and could have been substituted with any generic stone planter. However, their whimsy fits right in on Discovery Island, and I'm awfully glad that the designers went the extra mile to bring them to us.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Repurposed "Boat Benches" on Castaway Cay

   When people first think of Castaway Cay (Disney's private Bahamian island…) most would assume the island is an immaculate wonderland on par with a Disney theme park.  Yes, the island is meticulously maintained…but also has a fun rough textured theme throughout.
   There are confined gardens, next to wild foliage. Most paths are paved, but there are also dirt trails.  This side by side of wild/order works particularly well on Castaway Cay. The best comparison, for those who have never been, is Typhoon Lagoon. 

   A great example are the benches found throughout the islands walkways.  These benches are made out of repurposed wooden boat pieces! And if they ARENT repurposed, then Disney did a damn good job of convincing me otherwise. :)

   I love that some of the "boat benches" have the front part of the boat still attached and covered.  This provides a very convenient place to put your drink while relaxing.  Ahh. I can taste the Konch Kooler now.

   Some of the benches are a little lopsided…which makes sitting a little awkward. But still, these are ridiculously charming.  These would be terrific in a backyard/patio setting. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Good Design / Bad Design: Signs Of Adventureland

   Filled with lush landscaping, rugged and worn textures, over the top architecture, and ambiguously exotic music, Adventureland is a beautiful and complex piece of the Magic Kingdom's proverbial puzzle.  Its fairly obvious that I love this land, and I need to reiterate that it is indeed my favorite.  Not to be overlooked in the makeup of Adventureland is the wonderfully themed signs.
   It's funny how as a seasoned Disney explorer I rarely take the time to look at actual signage.  It's not that I run from attraction to attraction…but if I'm touring the park (as opposed to taking blog photos) there is simply no need for me to look at signs.  I'm fairly certain I can navigate with my eyes closed.
   So lets actually take a few moments to appreciate a few of the beauties that festoon this mysterious land…

   Clearly I had to start with my favorite of the bunch. The Swiss Family Treehouse is a timeless attraction, with an equally timeless sign.  This has all the Adventureland elements going for it. Rugged repurposed wood, legible but not annoying type, and the color palate is perfection.  I'm just going to assume that the image is the Robinson family crest…and I'm also going to assume that its a cat swiping at a yarn ball.  Regardless, I need a tattoo of this image asap. 

   Maybe Aloha Isle's sign should fall into a middle ground section of good design / bad design.  I think my affinity towards it comes purely out of nostalgia…but heck, that is the basis of why I write this blog to begin with.  Otherwise I can pinpoint why I like it exactly, other than yum.  It is a very pretty advertisement though.

   Classic trumps everything.  The return of the original-esque Tiki room a few years ago not only brought us our beloved attraction, but also the demise of the hideous monstrosity of a sign that accompanied Under New Management.  Zazu and Iago had no place in Adventureland, and I could say that about most Disney characters.  The old sign was desperate and over the top in a bad way.  Sure, its not the original Tropical Serenade sign.  But lets be honest, that version wasn't much better than Under New Management's. 

   Adventureland signs love to dangle.  Is there anything bad you can say about the Jungle Cruise, sign or otherwise?   The "boat pieces" that make up this sign tie into what the actual attraction is, and I'm pretty sure there are barnacles on the top portion which makes me delirious with joy.  You guys, the oar says EXOTIC.  How random and amazing is that?  Fits in perfectly with the attraction and surrounding area.

   OK. You knew there was at least ONE bad design, right?  The Pirates of the Caribbean mast sign is obnoxious.  This is the definition of whats wrong with The Magic Kingdom in general.  I prefer the original, understated signage…which fit perfectly with the pseudo-Spanish architecture.  Guests aren't stupid, you don't have to shove attraction marquees in their faces.  Plus, this kind of kills the theming of the area.  Notice how the other signs are much more understated and blend with their surroundings. This is way to "in your face." Ugh. Get rid of it.

   I'm glad that the signs in Adventureland are generally pretty amazing. It would be a shame to throw off the theming of this wondrous land in the name of luring people into attractions.  And when its all said and done, the Pirates sign is still head and shoulders above the Carousel of Progress "gear sign." Sheesh.

   Do you have a favorite Adventureland sign?  What about least favorite?  Let us know over on Twitter or Facebook! Better yet, tag us in a Adventureland sign photo on Instagram!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Disney Hipster Disney World Exam!

On Episode 104 of the Disney Hipster Podcast, we, along with Jamie and Keith, take a 60 question Exam based on Walt Disney World basics. There's also a few trivia like questions mixed in because some un-named cohost doesn't know how to listen to the rules :/ The episode comes out on Sunday May 25th, at 12pm.

We got the idea when all of the school aged kids of our friends and family were recently taking their state exams. We wondered how much basic stuff about WDW we wouldn't know if we were forced to take a test about it. We also thought we should post the questions in advance so the listeners could play along. :)

If you'd like to take the exam to see how you do before listening to the episode, the Exam is posted after the jump...

Friday, May 23, 2014

Shake To Randomize World Showcase: Morocco

   A few weeks ago we started a new series focusing on the "shake to randomize" feature on the Hipstamatic photography app.  The feature randomly applies different filter combinations upon shaking your phone.  Since Hipstamatic features dozens of filters lenses, films, and flashes…the outcome is very unpredictable, with endless possibilities.  Even though you should never rely on this feature for pictures that you need…it can be a lot of fun when you're just shooting random shots. (maybe for your Disney blog???!!!)
   While strolling around World Showcase at Epcot, on the last day of our April trip, I decided to shake my camera once in each pavilion and see what the outcome would be.  I figured that this could be a fun series for the Summer.

   I thought about going in order around the lagoon…but meh, I don't feel like it.  So today's stop is Morocco.

   This is an instance where the "shake" provided some interesting filters.  Though they came out very pretty, it would be hard to use these in any other situation.  I do love the dark contrast of these, but the "film" is a little blurry. (that is the effect, NOT because I'm a horrible photographer, I promise.)  I adds a slight tilt shift effect, which is pretty cool.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Adventureland Egg Roll Cart

   Oh Adventureland Egg Roll Cart…how I love thee.  Nestled in the heart of Adventureland at The Magic Kingdom, this small food cart doesn't offer much, but does have a pretty huge cult following.
   The theming is very slight with the cart itself, and basically involves a richer color palate than if it were in, say, Tomorrowland or Fantasyland.  But the inclusion of the canvas canopy, held together by rough wooden poles and rope make it truly Adventureland.  The additional hanging lanterns are a staple that we just can't ignore either.  Disney LOVES hanging lanterns. (and so do I…)

   The food offerings here are sparse. The main show here are the pork or vegetable egg rolls (this is the egg roll wagon after all…) but also included are bottled beverages, chips, cookies, and apparently corn dogs.  But seriously, make those purchases elsewhere.  

Monday, May 19, 2014

Epcot's Notorious Tipsy Ducks In Love...

   YOU GUYS! I just realized that we've never reviewed our favorite Disney World drink, Tipsy Ducks In Love! But we felt like this bizarre drink deserved more than a review…here is a recipe video!!! It's been quite a while since we've shared a recipe…but this one was totally worth the wait!

   Found at the Joy Of Tea stand, this cocktail has earned is position in the "cult food aisle" of Disney World classics!  The combination of coffee, tea, chocolate and bourbon is super refreshing…especially on a hot day walking around Epcot!   
   Here is the recipe…

   Have you ever had a Tipsy Ducks In Love? Do you have another favorite cocktail at Walt Disney World?  Let us know on Twitter….or tag us in a cocktail photo on Instagram! 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Norway's Missing Antler Problem

   Disney can be very sneaky. After PURPOSEFULLYgetting the Disney community up in arms about the Polynesian waterfall, they removed another beloved piece of Imagineering right out from under our noses.  The Norway condiment antlers.  And you guys didn't suspect a thing…

   These disgusting props are used in a few places around the Norway pavilion…but the most beloved sat directly above the condiment station of Kringla Bakeri. A few weeks ago, they disappeared. 

   The only reason I'm writing this silly blog post is because I'm genuinely concerned that the antlers will not be coming back. (I imagine they have a lot of mustard stains…) But I would like everyone to keep an eye out for them. The moment they return we can all breathe a sigh of relief, and take a shot of Aquavit. :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Storyboards: Cinderella Comes To Her Senses

   It always baffled me when Cinderella is shocked and rushes out of the castle at the stroke of midnight.  Honey, you were properly warned! Regardless, here is a wonderful faux naif set of storyboards from the Walt Disney Animation Studios Archive Series.
   The diversity of styles in storyboards is always so amazing.  Even within the same film the styles can range from extreme polish, to rough emotive sketches.  These fall somewhere between, and actually do a phenomenal job of portraying the feel of Cinderella.  Unlike the vast majority of storyboards, these are in a color, which makes them even more special.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Gertie The Freaking Dinosaur

   I hate the concept of "throwing Hollywood Studios a bone." After all, Disney Hipster Blog encompasses the entire Disney realm…movies, parks, art books, music, etc.  This of course includes our least favorite Disney park, Disney's Hollywood Studios.  I know that this park has its champions (we're looking at you @megadis13…) but we've never really connected with it.
   However, there are parts of this park that are charming as anything. Specifically, the Echo Lake area and GERTIE THE FREAKING DINOSAUR.  Sorry for screaming, but how have we never once posted a picture/post about Gertie?  Our friend @GertieTheDino89 would be so disappointed in us…
   I was able to sneak out of 50's Prime Time Cafe as Adam was paying the bill to snap a few photos of this gorgeous park icon.

   For those unfamiliar, Gertie houses Dinosaur Gertie's Ice Cream Of Extinction…a small ice cream stand that holds particularly weird operating hours.  There is a nearby plaque which reads:

Dinosaur Gerite's Ice Cream of Extinction was built as a tribute
to "Gertie the Dinosaur," one of the first well-known animated
cartoon stars.  Gerite first amazed vaudeville audiences in 1914
when she was projected life-size onto a screen and shared
the stage with her creator, Winsor McCay.

The themed style of the building is known as "California Crazy"
architecture.  It became popular in the 1930's and was designed 
to attract the attention of potential customers in a big way.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Animal Kingdom Artifact: Another Bamileke Elephant Mask

   After each stay at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge I return home refreshed and newly inspired by the distinct beautiful perfection of the resort.  This includes a new crop of Animal Kingdom Artifacts…a series that I have neglected lately.
   Way back in August of 2012 I featured a Bamileke elephant mask… and while strolling around the far reaches of the Jambo House wings I found another.  Though they have their similarities, they're also remarkably different.  I just adore the beadwork on these gorgeous, over the top masks.

   Please note that since this is at the end of a hallway, it is RIGHT NEXT TO SOMEONES HOTEL ROOM.  This is what differentiates AKL from most other Disney resorts (including the other deluxe style hotels…) is that the theming is literally everywhere.  I love to get aquatinted to the artifacts nearest to our room, which enhances my sense of ownership.  What a lovely artifact.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Some Cool Theming In "The Canada Store"

   After a long evening of touring World Showcase Adam and I ventured into unexplored (recently anyway…) territory.  We had a mission this particular evening to watch all four film based attractions around the lagoon.  This simple objective led us to spending much more time in the Canada pavilion than we normally care to.
   It's not that we don't like this pavilion, but in the grand scheme of Epcot, this is just not our favorite area.  The theming is fine, but feels too familiar.  I would rather be spending time in Japan, Norway, or Morocco.
   With that said, we found ourselves finishing up our film tour by watching O Canada, which wrapped up right before Illuminations.  We ended up exploring all regions of this pavilion and realized that the store, which I think is called Northwest Mercantile, had some very charming details…

   The native American motive is found in all corners of the shop, including the whimsical painting on the front register cabinet.  The exposed rustic wood is a great choice, adding texture and authenticity to the otherwise boring store. 

I LOVE the eagle behind the register! 

    In addition to the beautiful painted details, the rooms are brought together by carved totems.  These pieces bring an awesome sense of structure to the interior, and stretch all the way to the rafters.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Six Photos From This Trip That Make Me Inexplicably Happy...

   First of all, thanks to everyone who followed along on our annual May trip to Walt Disney World!  I understand more than anyone the importance of living vicariously through other fans vacations, and I hope I did you justice.  Vacationing and social media can be a very tricky thing to juggle…
   We had the best trip ever, impacted by so many amazing Cast Members, friends, and new experiences.  This vacation will go down as one of the most exciting and unpredictable, in the best possible way.  Thank you so much to all the sweet readers/listeners who found us around the parks and got your Disney Hipster Blog pins!  Talking to you guys is always such an honor.
   Because I'm still lamenting the loss of this vacation (and trying to remember that I'll be back soon…) I thought I would post SIX PHOTOS THAT MAKE ME INEXPLICABLY HAPPY.  These are just random moments from the trip that make me smile.

The time we hung out with the Royal Majesty Makers…and rode the carousel with them
laughing the entire time.  Best moment of my life. 

I really hate wearing a suit…but going to Victoria & Alberts was totally worth it. 

You know how when things don't always go the way you planned…but end up amazing
anyway?  Well, we made the most of the rain and braved World Showcase, and ended up having
one of our favorite nights ever.  Please ignore the flip flops…IT WAS POURING. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Theming of Gupta's Gear At Animal Kingdom

   Gupta's Gear is an extensively themed area in the Asia section of Disney's Animal Kingdom…and thats about it.  Its not a restaurant, or a store, or really anything.  This building houses the women's restroom along the main walkway in Asia...

   Continuing the extensive theme of asia Gupta's Gear is a excursion supply company providing wares for explorers about to traverse Everest.  Backpacks, pots, pans, kettles, and tiffins hang from the rafters. Aged wood and decaying brickwork make up the majority of the building, giving it an authentic feel in the greater context of Anandapur.  The flimsy tin roof on the lower level is inspired theming.