Thursday, November 27, 2014

Something I'm Super Thankful For...

   Happy Thanksgiving readers!  This is my favorite of all holidays...for many different reasons, but mostly because I enjoy reflecting on the things that make me happy.  I figured I would commemorate this joyous day by appreciating something totally random.
   On our most recent trip to Walt Disney World my loving husband Adam ACTUALLY TOOK THE TIME TO TAKE SOME PHOTOS.  I know, most of you probably assumed that he always takes photos...but this is not the case at all.  Adam tends to enjoy the moment a little more than I do, and hence takes far fewer photos.  To my surprise, Adam recently uploaded 2,000 photos to our cloud for my use on the blog! Wonder of wonders! Miracle of miracles!
   Lets look at some of the gems that I discovered in Adams photo archive...

Keith and friend on Center Street just before our epic Disney Hipster photo shoot...


I ate blue candy at the Halloween party. 

Concierge level at Animal Kingdom makes me "ugly happy." 

This picture makes me happy for some reason. 

Look how happy I am in Adventureland!

Petals pool bar on our value resort bar crawl!

Awesome.  

I know its blurry...but he's so cute taking selfies. 

The entire trip was worth it for THIS ONE PICTURE.

Tipsy Ducks In Love!

Fun at the Contemporary! This is my happy face. 


   So, sure...most of the pictures are of me...but that just goes to show what a loving husband Adam is.  I'm just proud of myself for smiling so much! Cant you tell how much fun I'm having?!?!

   Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you have a wonderful holiday and take the time to appreciate all the amazing things (and people...) in your life!  I know I appreciate each and every one of you who read this blog. :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I'm Thankful For Not In Nottingham IN SPANISH.

   A couple of weeks ago I shared some of my favorite versions of the classic Disney tune Not In Nottingham...which even included a bad version by yours truly.  Well, because of that "research" this song has been popping up as recommended viewing on YouTube.  Voila! The amazing version from the Spanish release of the film showed up and changed my life forever. A Thanksgiving Eve miracle!  Enjoy.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Cantaloupe Cucumber Salad At Backlot Express

   One of the more random food items to appear on my October Trip 2014 Food Bucket List (yes thats a thing...) was a longtime oddity at Disney's Hollywood Studios...the cantaloupe cucumber salad.


   First of all, I know what you're thinking: "boys, why were you at Disney's Hollywood Studios at lunch time!?!?" and you would be correct in noticing the weirdness in that.  However, I am dedicated to my blogging and made a point of spending time in this park before its big refurbishment.  Lord knows I will not have any "too little time" spent in this old incarnation of the studios...
   Backlot Express is a cavernous eatery designed for volume.  The ordering system is recognizable to any Disney Parks guest...think Restaurantosaurus.  There are smaller rooms along the outskirts of the restaurant which are very lightly themed.  Something to do with cars and movies...I honestly don't really get it...but it is fun for sure. 


Friday, November 21, 2014

Mary Blair Character Design Work For Cinderella

   With the arrival of the new trailer for Disney's live action reboot of Cinderella, I thought we should take a moment to appreciate the 1950 animated classic.  Often times I overlook this lovely little movie, with its gorgeous animation and concise storytelling...for some reason I gravitate more toward the grandiosity of Sleeping Beauty as my princess movie of choice.  Regardless,  the design work for this film is definitely worth taking  second look at...especially these wonderful Mary Blair character designs.


   Most times Blair's character work was altered beyond recognition in the final film, as was the case in Cinderella as well.  Her whimsical drawings were used extensively though to set the mood of the film, and is best appreciated by admiring her background illustration.  But these character designs sure are fun, and I'd love to see them used in a final film...


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Quick Recap Of Our Crescent Lake Barcrawl Meet Up...

   I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the awesome Disney Hipster podcast meet up that we had back in October.  Scrolling through the many thousands of photos we took during our trip I came upon the (painfully...) few photos that I took during the bar crawl.  You see, when you're having fun meeting amazing listeners/readers its hard to remember to memorialize the event in photos.
    Here is the gist of the evening.  We started the event at Bellevue Lounge at Disney's Boardwalk Resort, where a surprising number of our guests were already waiting.  I'm not a huge fan of Bellevue, though I know a lot of people love it. So I wanted to get out of there pretty quickly.

Moving on...

   We visited Hurricane Hannahs at The Beach Club, followed by Ale and Compass at The Yacht Club.  Ale and Compass was actually a surprise gem...it is very small and in a weird location, but sometimes the awkwardness of it makes the situation super charming. Plus, the thing about our bar crawl meet ups...we tend to pick up people along the way.  In this case 76 people...that we can remember anyway.  So imagine our huge group taking over the lobby of Yacht Club, and completely overwhelming the sweet bartender. Amazing...

Adam is surprisingly good at working the crowd...this is @TammyYIP and family. 
She's the greatest. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Lets Look At The Grand Floridian Pool Area...

   Recently we spent three nights at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa...which was a first for us. We were generally very impressed with our short time there, and the resort quickly became old hat in a way that only the comfiest of resorts can.  Unlike monorail cousin The Contemporary, The Grand Floridian is warm and inviting even to guests just casually visiting the grounds.
   Obviously I took PLENTY of time to relax by the pool, as I am prone to do on vacation, both alone and with my sister and her kids. There are two pools at The Grand Floridian, one in which I will refer to as the "main pool" located directly behind the main lobby, and another with I will refer to as the "feature pool" located closer to the DVC wing.  Lets look at some pros and cons to the pool areas...

   Pro: Proximity to the main building...and basically every other building.


   The centralized location of the main pool is basically the best.  Not only is it ridiculously close to the main lobby, but because of the layout of the surrounding buildings you're guaranteed to be nearby.  The location of this pool doesn't disturb the landscaping either, as the area is fenced and offset...so you don't have to walk around it to get anywhere.

   Con: Lack of chairs/tables/umbrellas/shade. 


   I don't think I need to justify myself...BUT at a deluxe resort (but really any Disney resort...) I don't think I should have to hover around awkwardly trying to find a lounge chair.  This was the case a few times around both the main pool and feature pool, so clearly this is a problem often.  Same situation with tables...there is food served at the feature pool but very few tables to be found.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not above sitting on the ground at all, but there is also very little shade to be found.  I understand that Victorian landscaping doesn't call for lush vegetation...so theres that I guess.  But Florida gets awfully hot. :/

   Pro: Two NICE Pool Bars...



      You guys! The Grand Floridan has TWO POOL BARS! This is a wonderful perk, especially if your kids want to play in the feature pool...you don't have to schlep all the way toward the main building to whet your whistle.   Minor con to these pool bars, which recently abandoned their extensive beer list in favor of the standard pool bar menu. This itself has actually improved somewhat in the last year...Sierra Nevada Torpedo? Yes please...

   Con: Lack Of Nooks and Crannies (see pics above...)
   
   One of my favorite parts of the Animal Kingdom Lodge pools are the totally secluded areas, where you can relax uninterrupted.  Be in by the jacuzzis or just off in a corner, the areas are separated by rock work or landscaping and creates a terrific intimate feel.  The Grand Floridian has none of that...like at all.  Both pools are sprawling and open, with few (zero?) more secluded areas.  And let me just mention for a moment, how I could never EVER use the jacuzzi here, because it is ridiculously over crowded, and basically on display for the entire world.

   Pro: The Alice In Wonderland Play Area...


   This awesome kids play area was added to the resort a few years ago, during construction of the new DVC wing.  Though its kind of noisy the area is pretty far away from guest buildings.  I like that Disney is moving more toward these areas (Kidani Village, Castaway Cay...) because they're seriously addictive to kids...and allows them to blow off some steam. 

   There you go.  A few pros and cons on the Grand Floridian pool area.  I really did enjoy my time here, and I know that we will be back again.  The pool is generally very nice, but is nowhere near the level set by Animal Kingdom Lodge.  A few of these flaws could be easily fixed, but I doubt that will ever happen. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Disney BGM Of The Week: Buena Vista Street

   Welcome to another Disney Background Music of the Week! This week we're heading to back to the west coast, in anticipation of our trip to the Disneyland resort in May.  Since we last visited Disney California Adventure in 2012 both Buena Vista Street (DCA's answer to Main Street USA...) and Cars Land have both opened to much applause.  Though I'm pretty excited to visit the land of Cars, my real interest is in Buena Vista Street.  Not only does the area look gorgeous, but it will be nice to visit the park using a proper entrance. You see, we visited during construction of the whole park and were corralled AROUND this street entirely.
   This charming street comes with an equally charming background music loop!  Think Main Street USA, if you were to fast forward a few decades.  This loop comes from our favorite source of Disney BGM, MrThemeParkAudios... who we're so grateful for all the hard work.


   Now doesn't that loop make you happy!?!?  Its hard not to feel productive listening to this music, it just makes me want to clean my house, or dance, or...anything really.  Even with the construction walls during our trip to DCA a few years ago we still absolutely fell in love...here is our thoughts on that from 2012. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Signs Of New Harambe

   My appreciation of New Haramabe has been exhaustive, on the verge of annoying.  Anyone who asked Andy, How was your trip? Was told about the new area of Animal Kingdom whether they truly cared or not.  The theming at Animal Kingdom is what sets this park apart from the other Florida parks. When any expansion is announced its hard to imagine Disney meeting the fine level of perfection that the previous areas already have.
   Little did I know that New Harambe would meet the high standard, and take the level of detail a little bit further.  We've explored the terrific signs and fliers posted in Harambe, and the equally lovely posters found in Anandapur.   I was super happy that this tradition was kept and enhanced for the new addition...here are a few that I captured on our trip.


  Some of the signage is more obvious in their purpose.  There are Festival Of The Lion King and Tusker House posters found throughout, but in a charmingly crude style.  Always with the Harambe insignia in the corner.  These signs not only help subtly enhance the backstory of their given area, but are for the most part really well designed.  Some are pretty gorgeous.


Monday, November 10, 2014

Coverland: Robin Hood's Not In Nottingham

   After getting into a random conversation on Twitter regarding how severely underrated 1973's Robin Hood is, I remembered doing a (bad) cover version of Not In Nottingham many years ago.  Not In Nottingham is a highlight from that underrated film, and effectively portrays a sense of desperation that the characters are feeling.  The original was written and performed by Roger Miller, who also voices Alan-a-Dale the minstrel rooster.
   So that your visit to Disney Hipster Blog today isn't a complete waste of time I've also included two other covers of the song, that are much better. ;)






   Hopefully I will get back in the habit of putting together more Coverland posts.  I love the fresh perspective that covers of classic Disney songs brings, not to mention further appreciation of the original compositions.  
   If you have any song you would like to see featured let us know via Twitter or Facebook! 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Disney BGM Loop Of The Week: Tower Of Terror Lobby

   Welcome back to another Background Music Loop Of The Week! This blog series was put on hold for a while, as Youtube was running a little dry on quality loops.  However, toward the end of the Summer several of my absolute favorites popped up in their entirety (or near entirety.)  So at least for a few weeks I'll bring this series back for a revival. 


    Among the loops I was super excited to stumble upon was the full Tower of Terror lobby music loop!  This eerie loop is comprised of jazzy period specific music, with...um...echoes and reverb?  The additional effects laid on top of these songs adds a distant and spooky quality to the area. Where exactly is this music coming from!?!? 



   This isn't necessarily the kind of music to clean your house to, but does make for some fun listening at night as you're wrapping up your day.  This particular loop video is from Super Hot Larry...so make sure to visit their youtube for other fun stuff. :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

We Met Some New Characters!

   We really stepped up our meet and greet productivity on this recent trip!  We have been slacking lately, and really had an itch to meet some new (to us...) characters.  As luck would have it between the Halloween party and random characters around the parks we were able to do just that...
   Mickey's Not So Scary is always a hotbed of activity, especially "rare-ish" characters.  We started by meeting Jack and Sally...though we think their costumes are absolute disasters.  These two can garner notoriously long lines, so we showed up about an hour before the party was to start with only about six parties in front of us.  



   The Evil Queen in her old hag getup was a highlight of the party for me.  The interaction was short, sinister, and to the point.  She has always been on my list of characters I'd like to meet...so I'm hoping we have a better PhotoPass photo. (no...it defies logic, but we don't race home and look at them) 
   After three separate attempts we were finally able to meet Abu...yes, Aladdin was there as well, but Abu was the main attraction as we had never previously met him.  You see, these two rotate with Jasmine and Genie, and no matter how we timed it we always ended up with them.  By this point we had taken off our costumes.  Furry costumes and Florida humidity? Not a winning combination. 


Monday, November 3, 2014

Vegetarians At Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue

   Earlier this year Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue celebrated its 40th birthday, a huge feat in the ever changing restaurant and entertainment cannon of Walt Disney World.  While most restaurants have a hard time finding their legs, Hoop Dee has basically always been a staple.  Found in Pioneer Hall, in the back corner of the Fort Wilderness campground the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue isn't just a restaurant its an institution in fanciful dining entertainment.


   The setting, as you might have guessed, is pretty rustic.  The campground and amenities held within  are essentially an extension of the Magic Kingdom's Frontierland.  Pioneer Hall itself is enormous and grand fitting the ridiculous pomp of the show.  To maximize the space tables are situated very close together, but this just adds to the fun.  
   There are different tiers of seating at Hoop Dee Doo, essentially delegating how close to the action you will be.  Though the price for tier one is significantly more than the others, I would highly recommend the slight splurge...the show is what you're really paying for after all.


   But you know all this already, don't you?  Every Disney blog under the sun has reported on the lovely show that follows...and I'm sure you've read them all.  However, the amount of information on vegetarian dining at Hoop Dee Doo is pretty scarce and thus, here we arrive at our meal.
   When you're sat at your assigned table you will find a pewter pot full of fresh garden salad and a small loaf of the infamous corn bread.  After a quick pow wow with our (very attentive) server about our dietary restrictions, we had confirmation that the cornbread and salad dressing were both appropriate. (salad dressing sometimes has anchovies, and cornbread sometimes has lard...) The salad was super fresh and yummy, but not particularly special.  And though the cornbread was very yummy it didn't meet the level of awesomeness that the hype insinuated.  Props though for having room temperature butter.