Weekend Reads – 12/27/13

We hope you all had a merry Christmas and are gearing up for a happy New Year!  If you get a chance to slow down on this holiday weekend, be sure to check out some cool Disney articles from around the web.

Ghibli Set to Adapt When Marnie Was There | io9

The Queen of Hearts | Deja View

The Star Wars YouTube channel shares a glimpse at animating the AT-AT Walkers.

Prepare for the Mary Blair Invasion | Cartoon Brew

Tips for New Year’s Eve at Walt Disney World | Disney Tourist Blog

• Watch The Lion King remade with kittens!

Does Thor: The Dark World Tease Adam Warlock Reference? (Possible spoilers.) | The Disney Blog

• Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort unveils new modern Mickey Mouse sports scenes! | Disney Food Blog

Thoughts During Saving Mr. Banks | The Disney Blog

Frozen‘s Paul Briggs Talks About Truth in Storytelling  (Possible spoilers.) | Cartoon Brew

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Merry Christmas!

In recognition of this most wonderful day of the year (aside from possibly July 17th) we thought we’d share some of our favorite holiday-themed Disney shorts.

Danny’s Pick: Donald’s Snow Fight (1942)

Danny says: I remember liking this one a lot when I was a kid.  Donald and his nephews have an epic snowball fight for Christmas. Interestingly, although this short takes place at Christmastime and opens with Donald singing ‘Jingle Bells’, it was originally released in April of 1942.  Although the film was released in the midst of WWII, the monumental battle fought evokes more of a Civil War feeling.


Melissa’s Pick: Lend a Paw (1941)

Melissa says: When Disney and his animators really began to hit their stride in the ’30s and early ’40s, they remade many of their earlier shorts.  1920s shorts featuring Alice or Oswald the Lucky Rabbit were re-written and animated to feature new stars like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.  We’ll explore some of those remakes in-depth one day, but I’ve always thought that this one was notable because Lend a Paw is a remake of the 1933 short, Mickey’s Pal Pluto, which of course already starred Mickey and Pluto.  The remake is special because of the dedication found on the opening title card: ‘This picture is dedicated to the Tailwagger Foundation in recognition of its work in lending a paw to man’s animal friends.’  It also took home the Oscar for best cartoon short subject that year.  While this story doesn’t take place at Christmas specifically, its message of friendship and generosity and the wintry backdrop make it a Christmas cartoon in my eyes.



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Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5k

One of the highlights of our honeymoon visit to Walt Disney World was our first runDisney event!  After doing a couple local races in our hometown this year, we were primed for Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5k.

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Weekend Reads – Christmas Edition!

We’re kicking off the Christmas season a few days early here at the Hyperion house!  Here are our favorite Disney Christmas links from around the web.

Pluto's Christmas Tree

Prep & Landing Design Illustrations | Disney Hipsters

The Fabulous Sounds of Christmas at Disneyland | Disney Travel Babble

Contemporary Resort’s 2013 Gingerbread Tree | Eating WDW

Tips for Visiting Holidays Around the World at Epcot | Disney Tourist Blog

Disney Japan Celebrates the Holidays with Oswald the Lucky Rabbit | Cartoon Brew

Christmas at the Yacht and Beach Clubs | At Disney Again

Very Mickey Christmas Nail Art | The Nail Network

Christmas Cards from Ward Kimball | Cartoon Brew and the Ward Kimball Tumblr

Five Can’t-Miss Holiday Drinks in Walt Disney World | The Disney Food Blog

Gingerbread Wonderland at the Land Pavilion | At Disney Again

Photo Gallery: Holidays at Epcot | DisneyDining

Christmas Photography Tips | The Disney Tourist Blog

Boardwalk Inn and Villas Christmas Decor | Extra WDW Magic

• Lastly, be sure to tune in to Utilidors Audio Broadcasting as they air seasonal Christmas BGM for the month of December.


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Holiday Treats from Promenade Refreshments

The day after this year’s International Food & Wine Festival ended at Epcot, we noticed some new signage up at Promenade Refreshments.  The menu, which boasted some seasonal offerings, piqued our interest.  A manager and a handful of cast members happened to be carting supplies inside while we were passing, so we stopped to ask when the kiosk would be opening.  We were told that some items would be served as early as the next day, while others, like the cider, would be ready by that weekend.  We made a note to stop by again before we left town, and the day before flying home, we returned to view the crooked Christmas tree and try some goodies.

Promenade Refreshments in Epcot

Promenade Refreshments in Epcot

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Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

This year we got to experience Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party for the first time.  It’s one of the Magic Kingdom’s most popular ticketed events, and it’s full of great photo opportunities.  I’m not sure this will become a regular “must do” for us, but I’m glad we got to experience it.  I think that Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is more our style, but the Christmas festivities are very cute.  I thought I’d share a couple of our favorite character photos and pictures of Cinderella’s Castle Dream Lights below.  Merry Christmas, everybody!

Dream Lights

Cinderella Castle

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party - Minnie Mouse

Christmas Party - Ducks


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Weekend Reads – 12/13/13

• Exploring Bambi’s Jewish Roots with Author Paul Reitter | Cartoon Brew

If Woody Allen Wrote Your Favorite Disney Films | Buzzfeed

See more on Buzzfeed

If Woody Allen Created Your Favorite Disney/Pixar Films – see more on Buzzfeed

• Director Saschka Unseld has created an online advent calendar all about the making of The Blue Umbrella.

Radio Harambe T-Shirt for Sale | Jambo Everyone

Blizzard Beach Bathroom Signage | Disney Hipsters

• Mike Bonifer takes an in-depth look at Walt, the Disney biopic that never was | Cartoon Brew

And no, they're not talking about this.

And no, they’re not talking about this.

How to Display and Preserve Your Disney Wedding (and other) Photos | The Disney Wedding Podcast

3X Ward Kimball | Deja View

How Pixar Saved Toy Story from Becoming a Disney Disaster | Deadline

Fact-Checking Rumors of Walt Disney’s Dark Side | Vulture


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Listen to Melissa on the Disney Weddings Podcast!


Hi everybody!  This week I was a guest on Carrie Hayward’s Disney Weddings Podcast, and we discussed various options for preserving and displaying wedding photos.  This is advice that I think also transfers to other Disney vacation photos and mementos, so be sure to check it out!


Also, for any Disney brides and grooms that may be reading, if you’re not already acquainted with Carrie, be sure to check out her blog, Disney Travel Babble, and her book, PassPorter’s Disney Weddings and Honeymoons.  Carrie possesses a wealth of information on weddings in Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and on the Disney Cruise Line, and her resources were invaluable to Danny and me in planning our own wedding.

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Enjoying Epcot’s China Pavilion

There’s a lot of discussion in the Disney Parks fan community, especially from the hobby photographers among us, about which areas of the parks are the most photogenic.  I had always overlooked the China pavilion in such conversations, but on our most recent visit to Epcot, I found that I kept returning to the area, camera in hand.  Below are some of my favorite photos from China.

Epcot - China Pavilion Detail

Epcot China Pavilion - Clay Warrior Detail

Clay Warriors in Epcot's China Pavilion

Epcot's China Pavilion

Gateway to China

China's Clay Warriors in Epcot

This crane hangs out in Epcot's China Pavilion in Walt Disney World every day

What is your favorite Epcot pavilion?  What areas of the Disney Parks do you think are the most photogenic?

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Lunch at Be Our Guest

On our honeymoon, we were invited to join the FastPass+ test for the Be Our Guest restaurant’s lunch service.  We didn’t make great use of FastPass+ on this trip, but we did use it to schedule what could otherwise be a substantial wait for a quick lunch. When we arrived at the entrance to the Beast’s castle, a FastPass+ sign was directing us to check in at the same spot where dinner guests with Advance Dining Reservations would check in for the evening table service.  The line to get in standby looked to be about a 30 minute wait or more.  We were whisked right past it. As part of the FastPass+ test, you can order your meals in advance when you make the reserve the FastPass+ time.  We think that it’s totally crazypants to try to decide what you want to eat for lunch 30 days in advance, so we skipped that feature.  Once inside, we waited only a few minutes to get to one of the ordering kiosks to place our lunch order.  We decided to try a little of everything, which turned out to be pretty expensive — almost $40 — for a quick service lunch for two. Once we ordered, we made our way to the dining room to select a table.  We were told that because we had Magic Bands, we didn’t need one of the cute RFID “roses” that most guests get while placing their order.  Sure enough, a few minutes later, a food runner located us in the West Wing.  By now you’ve either been inside Be Our Guest for yourself or have been bored to death by photos on other blogs, so I’ll spare you my grainy pictures of the dining rooms.

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

We started by sharing the French Onion Soup, which was ridiculously cheesy.  In truth, it was kind of hard to eat because it was more casserole than soup.  Between the abundance of cheese and onions, there wasn’t much actual broth.  Danny gave up after only a couple bites, and I soon followed suit.

Croque Monsieur with Haircot Verts

Croque Monsieur with Haircot Verts

We each ordered a sandwich.  I got the Croque Monsieur with a side of green beans.  A sandwich with bechamel may not have been the lightest choice after that soup, but I destroyed that thing.  There’s pretty much no way that I’ll dislike any form of hot ham and cheese sandwich, but this one was particularly decadent.  The whole grain bread and the abundant layers of ham were the stars of the plate.  The veggies on the side were a little overcooked, but I ate them anyway because I needed something to make me feel ok about all the saturated fat I was ingesting.

Carved Turkey Sandwich and Pommes Frites

Carved Turkey Sandwich and Pommes Frites

Danny had the Carved Turkey Sandwich and French Fries.  He liked the carving-board style sliced turkey and the baguette, but thought that the dijon mayo either wasn’t strong enough or that there wasn’t enough of it on the sandwich for his tastes.  That would probably have suited me just fine, but Danny likes mustard a lot more than I do.

Lemon Meringue Cupcae

Lemon Meringue Cupcake

For dessert, we shared the lemon meringue cupcake.  The paper that wrapped around the cupcake was stiff and cylindrical, with a 90° angle where the walls met the bottom.  It seemed like it would be a bit of a task to take the paper off and eat this cupcake in hand, so we just dug in with forks.  As Disney cupcakes go, this one was pretty great.  The cake was moist, and was helped to be that way by a gooey center of lemon curd.  The meringue was a light topping that wasn’t too sweet.  We’re no fans of the cloying cupcakes that are found in various bakeries around the World, so this was a nice treat for us. Overall, Be Our Guest was a hit for us.  We were also able to have dinner there on our honeymoon, and that review will be up soon.  I think we would return for either meal, but especially for lunch.  We’ve always thought that the dining options in the Magic Kingdom are lacking, so Be Our Guest is a nice addition.

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