Friday, August 31, 2012

365 Days of Pixie Dust!

Today this little old blog is ONE YEAR old!!

And to celebrate, I thought I'd debut a new look for A Pinch of Pixie Dust!

So far I've just got the header and a few new buttons up, but I'm working on changing the background as well.  I want to hear what y'all think of the new look (designed by yours truly!).  We've also got a brand new link button in the sidebar! ------->

How do you like the little pixie?  She's going to be the new blog mascot.  The only problem is...she hasn't got a name yet!  Any ideas??  Hit the comments!

Hope it's a Happy Friday!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Another Wed. "Where in WDW?"

You guys know your Disney!  Last week's sunshine-covered table is in fact located in Sunshine Seasons in the Land pavilion at Epcot.

Let's see if you find this week's trivia any trickier!

Can you tell me (1) where this corner is and (2) what is behind those windows??

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ink and Paint Shop + New Merch

Today we're continuing our look at the new Art of Animation Resort with a peek into the gift shop - the Ink and Paint Shop!
The Ink and Paint Shop is located right off the lobby.
The first glance is just a huge burst of bright colors!  Of course the new resort merchandise is located front and center...
I totally fell in love with these paint-brush-shaped pens!  They have black ink (I prefer black ink but my mom prefers blue...the blue "paint" on the end does make you think it might write in blue!).  The only sad thing is that the little "Art of Animation" logo rubs off really quickly when you use the pen a lot.
Love the Ariel shirts as well!
Art of Animation Trading Pin!
Art of Animation mugs, notebooks, reusable drinking cups (you see those more and more), pretty much everything you could think of!
I did like the new merchandise, but most of it featured the one same design...I like it when they mix it up more.
Another shirt, and of course there were lots of how-to animation books on sale!

 In the lower right hand corner of this photo you can see they were selling Cars shower curtains, I believe the ones from the rooms!  We stayed in the Finding Nemo section, and I didn't see the shark shower curtain from our room, but it might have been hidden somewhere.

The walls of the shop were covered with these bright, over sized jars, very fun!


One thing that struck me when I was taking photos was how quiet the gift shop was.  In fact, the whole resort was relatively quiet -- definitely not as hectic and crowded as value resorts can be in the summer and no tour groups or sport groups!
I guess Art of Animation is still a rather undiscovered Disney destination!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Epic Ice Cream Sandwich

Happy Monday!  Hope everyone's week is off to an auspicious start.
Today we're going to look at a treat available at many sweeteries around the parks and resorts but is often overlooked...
The handmade ice cream cookie sandwich!
These beauties are made by taking two ginormous chocolate chip cookies and putting a generous slab of creamy ice cream in the middle.  It's $4.99, but it can also be redeemed for a snack credit!
The above ice cream sandwich came from Sleepy Hollow - a place which, mysteriously, I have very few photos of.  This was the best one I could find and it was taken from across the water.  When at Sleepy Hollow, I suppose I'm usually taking photos in the opposite direction, of the castle!
ANYway, ice cream cookie sandwiches are available at lots of ice cream shops and cafes/bakeries around the world such as: the Main St. Bakery (MK), Dino Bite Snacks (AK), Hollywood Scoops (DHS), the Fountain View (Epcot), and at many of the resort food courts.  At many spots I've heard you can pick the cookie and ice cream flavors for a custom sandwich!
Totally Random Tidbit: From the Sleep Hollow seating area you can get a sideways, abbreviated view of the castle show.  It's fun to watch the characters coming out from the castle before going on stage...sometimes they'll wave at you, or, as in Captain Hook's case, gesture meancingly.  lol!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Bright and Breezy at the Beach Club Villas

Quiet corners of Walt Disney World have a special kind of pixie dust.
Somehow, when you enter a really cosy Disney nook and pick your plump sofa for the hour and pull out your book, the room is no longer a lobby or a seating area - it's your very own sophisticated sitting room.
I thought this Saturday we'd go to just such a spot at the Beach Club.  We've explored the quiet corners of the lobby before, so today we're going to turn our attention to the Villas side and the Breezeway!

The Breezeway is quite close to the Villas side parking lot at the BC - you just walk past the pool and in the doors - I loved to go there to sit for an hour or two before heading over to work at the Boardwalk. :)


So there are two ways to get to the Breezeway (which, can I just say quickly, is such an epic name for a room?  I want to name a room in my house the "breezeway.").

One entry is, as mentioned, from outside, through the elegant white doors and under these very tall windows.  There's something about really tall windows that is just so opulent and elegant, don't you think?  The other way is to enter from the inside of the Villas building - then you get to see the cute Breezeway sign.

I love the colors of this room -- it's so fresh and colorful and not overly beachy but just beachy enough. :)

The green-and-white chandelier is another gorgeous feature of the Breezeway.  It's SO huge, it's hard to tell from the pic, and so unique.

...and it wouldn't be a proper Disney resort sitting area with assorted bric a brac!  I wonder if they ever rearrage and swap the books and things out...this photo and the one above it were taken at different times, but everything looks the same to me.

There was a family at the Boardwalk that once left a little toy in a cabinet as an experiment, and it stayed there for three years!

I'm sure the books are chose for their appearance rather than subject, but it's fascinating to notice at the titles.  Here are "Maritime America," "Wings in the Meadow," and "The Album of New Netherland."


Books and curios aside, there are so many fun Disney details in spaces like this -- like the little balcony in the pic on the left and the giant painting on the right.

The painting is of the Beach Club cute!

After you have finished examining all the features of your new sitting room for the day, you can actually choose a seat to cuddle up in!

I covet basically every armchair in the Breezeway, but especially this one...

...and this one...

...and these
There are even some kid-sized chairs!

The Breezeway is the perfect parlor for a lazy afternoon.

Hope your Saturday is breezy and bright! :)


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Disney's Art of Animation Resort

So before I left Florida, my family came down for a fabulous week of Disney fun; and during their visit we got to stay at the brand new Art of Animation Resort.
I had heard good things, but I was not prepared for how utterly gorgeous it would be - I took about a billion photos!  I'm going to break them up into multiple posts and profile different sections of the resort, and where better to begin than the lobby!
Just turning into the resort I felt a surge of excitement.  There aren't a lot of places at Disney that I haven't been, and while I love revisiting my favorites, it's so thrilling to see something entirely new!
My attempt at a panoramic!  The entrance is so colorful and pretty, with the giant drawings of Lightning Mcqueen, Ariel, Nemo, and Simba - the four main characters from the four movies featured at the resort.  Also loved the long swirly paintbrush squiggle going off above the buses!
Let's go in!!
One of the first things you see when you enter are these larger-than-life, vibrant film strips covering the wall to your left...
The drawings are all so bright and sweet and soft!
Just a few of my favorite scenes! (actually I couldn't pick favorites...I loved them all!)
Once you can tear yourself away from all the adorable paintings, you might notice the awesome, funky chandelier...

Each one of those leafs is a black-and-white drawing from the four Disney movies!  After gawking at that for a few minutes you'll turn to the right and see THE LOBBY.
Even though I'd seen pictures before I came, I was totally blown away!

The imagineers did a totally fantabulous job on the Art of Animation front desk - it was like walking into a rainbow or an artist's palette.

These new "individual" front desks are an interesting concept too.  I heard about them at my own front desk before I left...the CM is supposed to come out from behind the desk to greet you and come out again to give you your packet (like how they come around the counter to hand you your shopping bag at fancy stores).  Apparently if the new desks work out at Animation, Disney will be extending them to more resorts.

Here's the children's area, located at the far end of the lobby from the entrance . You can also see my little brother Dart who may or may not be running up, about to leap over one of those

So to one side is a glowing, glittering rainbow and to the other, the wall is totally covered in Disney concept art!

 I absolutely adore concept art...often the sketches are just as beautiful as the art in the I fell in love with this wall immediately!

I was tempted to take a picture of each and every sketch.  Luckily for you readers and my camera's memory card, I resisted. ;)

...but I still did take *a few* pictures!  Isn't Dory hilarious??

And when it comes to princess concept art, I'm simply lost!
My favorite sketch, though, had to be this one of Guido.  The Look.  I just love it. :)