Monday, June 27, 2016

Build Your Own Whispers Garden...

   There is a random corner of our beloved Harambe that was revealed upon the recent (ish) opening of Harambe Market.  The Whispers Garden is just a random adorable piece of theming that I'm obsessed with.  It doesn't serve any purpose other than to enrich the story and atmosphere of what is probably the most intricately themed land in any theme park.  And I love it.
   After our most recent trip to Walt Disney World I decided to make my own whispers garden.  Here, in pictures, is how it happened and the end result.  Enjoy.

First I needed a nice empty corner of my garden...I thought this spot was perfect.

I bought various shade loving plants, with interesting pots.  The "real" whispers 
garden at DAK has potted plants only...

To make my sign I used a random antique wooden box. 

Which I tore apart and stained...

Using a dremel tool I etched the words...

painted and sealed...

And assembled my little garden. 

   Just as a reference, that last picture is the actual sign from Animal Kingdom.  I think mine came out pretty good!!! And now I have a lovely little shade garden in which to contemplate my love of Walt Disney World. 

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Frozen Drinks At Peevy's Polar Pipeline...

   Just off of Hollywood Boulevard at Disney's Hollywood Studios is Peevy's Polar Pipeline.  This is a very small, pretty indiscrete beverage booth serving fun mix and match frozen beverages, for both kids AND adults.  Like I mentioned in our last blog post about cocktails at Animal Kingdom, this trip was brutally hot, so frozen drinks didn't sound all that bad.  So I figured it was time to FINALLY TRY PEEVY'S. 

   The "Peevy" of "Peevy's" is the airplane mechanic from the 1991 film The Rocketeer, played by the always charming Alan Arkin.  Since the film came out just as this park was finding its groove, and the themes matched perfectly, they promoted it here pretty extensively. (for the record, I LOVE The Rocketeer.)  What does Peevy has to do with boozy frozen drinks? I have no idea...but whatever. 

   Like I said, this is very small walk up booth.  Theming is restricted to a couple of random gas tanks and a very loose vaguely steam punk motif.  It really could be much more extensive, and since its so little I doubt it would cost all that much. Its not as if they're doing anything major at this park right now...
   You can find an assortment of snacks and beverages here, but the real reason to stop by Peevy's is the fun frozen drinks.  There are usually six bases to choose from: Coca-Cola, Blue Raspberry, Raspberry Lemonade, Lemonade, Wild Cherry, Strawberry.  HOWEVER, your options are not complete until you mix in a little booze.  Either Bacardi Silver Rum, Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey, or Three Olives Cherry Vodka will complete your order.  Fun, right? 

   I went with frozen Coca Cola and cherry vodka.  The taste was that of frozen cherry coke, which is obviously quite delicious, and definitely did the job on such a hot day.  However, my problem with frozen drinks is HOW LITTLE you actually get.  I mean, its mostly air when you think about it.  This is why 7-11 has ENOURMOUS Slurpee cups.  Were I to let this frozen goodness melt down to a liquid, I doubt it would be more than a few ounces.  At $10.99 I'm not entirely won over by Peevy's. 

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Let's Explore Cocktails At Disney's Animal Kingdom...

   I'm not a sweet drinks kind of guy.  I drink beer, almost exclusively.  However, when I find myself in the sweltering heat of Florida, running around the parks, and being generally ridiculous...a nice freezing cold cocktail becomes very appealing. 
   Knowing that Disney's Animal Kingdom has slowly added some interesting drinks I thought booze exploration at this park was a must. 

   The recently opened Thirsty River Bar, near Expedition Everest, is a wonderful place to grab a drink.  No, there are no seats...which sucks pretty bad...but the location is very convenient when galavanting between Asia and Dinoland USA.  The beer selection here is small and pretty terrific for a theme park, but I think the cocktails are the real draw here. 
   The Himalayan Ghost is probably the most unique.  With a blend of Snow Leopard vodka, guava, and lemonade it is very well balanced and tart in a good way.  There is also the Khumba Icefall which is a frozen drink with rum, coconut, and raspberry.  This reminds me a lot of the ever present pina-colava...

   Over at my second home Harambe Market we find an interesting (and pretty!) cocktail.  Another frozen drink...and again made with Snow Leopard vodka...this is set apart by the addition of Bibo.  Yes, the same Bibo from Club Cool at Epcot.  Kiwi and mango round out this drink.  This thing is seriously refreshing.  I've seen folks down a couple of these with no problem.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Let's Visit The Maharajah Jungle Trek Bat House!

   It might be a weird place to make memories, but some of the most random funny things have happened to us in the bat house.  Something about this little area of the Maharajah Jungle Trek at Disney's Animal Kingdom brings out guests opinions on everything.  Regardless of whether or not you've had bizarre experiences in the bat house, I'm sure you can appreciate it aesthetically.

   The theming here begins at the entrance of the structure.  These carved bats always remind me of the stanchions at the Haunted Mansion.

   I guess some people are a little squimish around bats, and henceforth a detour is provided. But do yourself the favor, go in and explore this cool space. 

   I also really love the Wilderness Explorers sign indicating the bat room activity is this way!  These signs are throughout the park and fit right in wherever they are. I think they're adorable. 

   These two signs are found in the entrance hall of the bat house.  They would fit right along side any of the best signage in Animal Kingdom. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Favorite Things: Views From Tom Sawyer Island

   This morning I'm thinking a lot about the Magic Kingdom.  After a short solo trip to Hersheypark yesterday and appreciating that parks charms, I realized how unfair I can be towards Walt Disney World's first park.  Though Hersheypark is lovely, and full of detail it isn't fair to compare them. Specifically, Hershey fails to create the panoramic vistas that are so prominent at the Magic Kingdom. 
   One of my favorite activities on each trip to Florida includes an hour long visit to Tom Sawyer Island. We always explore the caves, the fort, and the barrel bridge of course. However, I'm there for one thing specifically: the views.

   I love sitting on one of the many docks around the island, just watching people enjoy their vacation.  I spend an awful lot of time in theme parks and at this point the thing that makes me happiest is watching others. It makes my heart sing to see folks smiling, and not taking such a cool thing for granted. 
   The area around Big Thunder Mountain is especially good for taking it all in.  Here you get the added auditory stimulus of happy screams from the nearby attraction. 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Jambo House Pool Area Restroom Signage

   Since the news that my beloved Norway restroom signs are now seemingly gone forever I've been thinking a lot about the importance of these well themed images.   And while no amount of mourning will bring them back, I can keep the legacy going through blog posts.
   I was stunned to realized that I had never featured the signs from the Jambo House pool area restrooms...aka "the office."  These are among my favorite restrooms at Walt Disney World, and the signage makes me very very happy.

   The restroom is located next to The Mara and features sculptural lion heads as part of the signs.  Just in case you didn't get the point, there are also "men" and "women" signs too.