This past May we were too busy vacationing to focus on blog work. Don't get me wrong, I did take thousands of photos as usual, but we really didn't share as much as we normally would. I'd like to rectify that now by sharing some fun Vine videos from the trip! No, this isn't another super clip video of our ENTIRE VACATION TOLD THROUGH VINES, but its fun none the less.
Our first time meeting talking Mickey...Say "Gouda!"
It makes me sad whenever one of my favorite restaurants is closed for any length of time, regardless of whether I'm at Walt Disney World or not! Just think of all those sad tourists who don't have the chance to experience it...sad right? The last time we mentioned The Garden View Tea Room was almost three years ago, and that post was even a throwback to earlier years. (check out how ridiculously young I look...) But now that this restaurant is under a semi lengthy refurbishment it has been on my mind a lot.
Because I know high tea can be intimidating to some (like me, for instance) I thought I'd share a very quick overview of the restaurant to alleviate any concerns.
The tea room is located in the back of the Grand Floridian's enormous and breathtaking main lobby. The room itself is small, but feels more airy considering the abundance of windows overlooking the gorgeous grounds of the Grand Floridian. Though it may change during the refurbishment, I doubt the soft pastels, white trim, and girly awesomeness is going anywhere. The room feels very old school in the most appropriate way ever. This place rarely feels stuffy...just fun.
The menu here is very simple and pretty perfect. Though you can get all items a la carte the tea packages are the way to go! Each tea package is bundled with different accouterment that meets almost any taste. With names like The Buckingham Palace (tea sandwiches, jam tart, strawberries and cream) and Princess Kate Tea (potted shrimp, cheese selection, seasonal fruit, cheese biscuit, pastries and champagne) its also a lot of fun to pick which one suites you. I always recommend one with champagne, obviously.
Sorry about skipping last weeks Shake To Randomize. We were having major computer problems which is pretty much the worst. However, today we will continue our tour around World Showcase.
Do you know about the shake to randomize feature of the Hipstamatic camera filter app? This nifty feature randomly selects combinations of lenses, films, and flashes...each with DOZENS in their respective categories. Sometimes you get a great set, other times, well...not so much. Lets head on over to the beautiful France pavilion and see what comes up.
Looks like we struck gold with this filter combination. Literally no film border present, although with this app that doesn't necessarily mean it doesn't change the look of the photos. The lens casts a pretty strong beige/pink light over everything...which looks PHENOMENAL against France's green accents.
Random roaming entertainment used to be rampant at Walt Disney World. Each park had its share of music, characters, and sometimes bizarre streetmosphere. For the most part these distractions have gone by the wayside, which stinks because they were a wonderful way to spend time between attractions.
There are a few strongholds in the random happenings family that manage to survive, among my favorites are the Royal Majesty Makers. If you're ever in the Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland around rope drop time you are probably pretty familiar with these jokesters.
These characters have pretty loose leash as far as interactions are concerned...and they usually cater their performance to the audience. Though they would never be inappropriate, they can get a little, um...feisty.
If you ever see them in line for Prince Charming Regal Carousel, do yourself the favor and jump in line immediately. Play along with whatever title they might bestow upon you. My name was Sir Andrew De Tipplebottom.
It is such an honor to have one of our favorite readers/friends, Q, contribute to Disney Hipster Blog! (make sure to follow him on Twitter...) Not only is he an amazing, very well traveled person, but he is incredibly generous to share so many wonderful pictures and details about Hong Kong Disneyland! This is the first post in a series, which I'm going to spread out over a few weeks. Welcome Q...
Hong Kong Disneyland’s Adventureland is a strange tropical beast. Entry through the main gateway off the central hub, the land was originally the entire left side of the Park, and bordering Fantasyland at its top. Now it is also surrounded by Grizzly Gulch, Mystic Point and Toy Story Land all behind it.
The Jungle River Cruise is the largest body of water in Hong Kong Disneyland (there are no Riverboats cruising Rivers of America here!), and surrounds an island on which Tarzan’s Treehouse towers above, affording spectacular views across the from its heights across the Park, from Big Grizzly Mountain to Space Mountain (yes I’m ignoring you ugly Toy Soldier Parachute Drop). Other than the tour boats of the Jungle River Cruise, the rafts that take you across to Tarzan’s Treehouse Island also ply the murky waters.
It is definitely one of the most detailed of the Lands throughout the Park. Countless hidden treasures wait to be discovered, some obvious, others not so much. An unrivaled atmosphere of Adventure and tropical imagination is conjured from the sounds, the music, the true tropical wildlife and charming details.
We used to despise the China pavilion at Epcot, but over the years its subtle awesomeness has slowly won us over. No, it isn't one of our favorite pavilions, but there are plenty of things to keep you occupied. The Tomb Warriors exhibit, Reflections of China (my personal favorite WS film…) and lets not forget to grab a TIPSY DUCKS IN LOVE!!!
Something that has yet to really win us over is the ubiquitous large department style store, House of Good Fortune. But lets take a look around and try and find something we like...
Like I said the store is large, maybe not Mitsukoshi large, but it does take up a large footprint in the China pavilion. The exterior is lovely, with bright red details, and plenty of intricate designs. This building fits right in next to the Temple Of Heaven.
On an old episode of Disney Hipster Podcast we discussed our photo spot traditions. For instance, Adam and I always take a photo on the Sunset Savanna at Kidani Village after a meal at Sanaa for lunch. Its just one of those things that we did once, and our obsessive nature insisted on repeat photos.
I have heard of families with small children taking pictures in the same spots in the parks, as a way of watching the children grow…but what about this activity benefits adults? Shear tradition seems like a pretty lame excuse, while claiming OCD (like we are) also seems pretty silly. Just like children, its kind of fun to look at yourself over the years.
Anyone who follows us on Twitter knows that we spend a big part of our weekends at garage sales, flea markets, and estate sales. This is part of our ongoing "imagineering" of our home into a real life adventurers clubhouse. It was at one of these estate sales this past weekend where wee picked up two gorgeous vintage children's books…one telling the Disney version of Pinocchio and the other of Dumbo.
It is very rare that we buy Disney items at these sales, but both books were just too pretty not to pick up. Plus, they were both dated around the times of the actual movie release. Today I'm going to share some of my favorite illustrations from the Dumbo book, which was dated at 1942.
One of my favorite parts about children's books are the terrific inside covers! Here is a simple brightly colored circus parade that weaves between both pages. The washed green background is classic and entirely effective.
Another week goes by, and another country is subject to our Shake To Randomize series! We're halfway through exploring the pavilions of World Showcase…though I know it has to end eventually, I really don't want it to.
Today we're going to the "beginning" of World Showcase. (as opposed to the "end" aka Canada.) Originally I had intended on these pictures being a totally separate post about the area, but they just fit the nature of the Shake To Randomize series so well I had to use them.
The Mexico pavilion can be a tricky subject matter. Not only are most of the interesting sights indoors, but its very dark inside by design. The Mesoamerican pyramid, which acts as the biggest landmark in the pavilion, always lends itself to photos though.
Another great outdoor area is just around the corner. These ruins act as the backdrop for the very popular Señor Donald meet and greet, but they make for some great photos between his visits. The area also has gorgeous landscaping...
As far as the filter combinations go this one pretty ok. The blurring around the edges can work well in an outdoor situation, and isn't too prominent here. There is also a soft vignette around the edges promoting a nice focal point. This would probably be a good choice for photographing food.
We love 50's Prime Time Cafe at Disney's Hollywood Studios…actually, let me rephrase that. We love the Tune In Lounge at 50's Prime Time Cafe. Under normal circumstances we don't tend to eat in the main dining room, but enjoy a walk up at the bar. After all, peanut butter and jelly milkshake + onion rings = the best meal ever.
Most tables in the restaurant are placed, podlike, into a corner…complete with television, shelves, and plenty of knick knacks. The patterns of the wall paper and table really make each "pod" stand out. Just look at the perfect color of the shelf!!!
This particular table had a melange of poodles, which is both period appropriate, and pretty badass. I wanted so badly to take these home.
Aesthetically, 50's Prime Time Cafe is in the top tier at Walt Disney World. Though the food is pretty lackluster, that misstep is almost forgivable given the wonderful atmosphere. If you've never dined here before, rest assured that you will enjoy your experience one way or another.
This is just a goofy video that the Disney Hipster Podcast crew made during a standard recording day. Don't judge us too harshly, considering we only ran through it a few times. I'm particularly impressed with Jamie's skills.
I have to keep the writing on this post pretty short…because I may or may not be serving jury duty at the moment, and totally forgot to prep a post in advance. (you may have noticed how late this blog is being published…) At least we have some fabulous additions to our Shake To Randomize tour of Epcot's World Showcase!
If you're just now getting acquainted with our series Shake To Randomize is a feature of the Hipstamatic iPhone app which randomizes photo filters. The lens, film, and flash are are jumbled up creating thousands of unique combinations. The thing is, sometimes they're great…sometimes not so much. We've already toured Morocco, Norway,China, and Italy…now we're heading over to the extremely charming UK pavilion.
Though all the photos are relatively blah exterior shots, the filter is a nice warm combination…with that Hipstamatic trademark border. There are so many different architectural styles in the UK pavilion…and it is a perfect subject matter for photography.
The contrasting textures of the pavilion would really lend itself to a higher contrasting film…maybe something in a stark black and white maybe? Either way, warmth also works well here, given all the wood work, thatch, and foliage. A red flash would probably have fleshed these out nicely.
We are zipping through World Showcase! What has been your favorite pavilion so far? Are you looking forward to any one specifically? Let us know over on Twitter!