Friday, February 28, 2014

Five Disney Links: 2/28/14

Happy Weekend everybody!  I've got the latest pixie dust from around the web...

1. Did you catch my guest post over on This Happy Place Blog for the Love Meter series?  I wrote about a tale as old as time and my favorite Disney couple, Lizzie and Darcy - no wait, I mean Belle and the Beast! ;)

2. The Frozen soundtrack isn't quite as stuck in my head as it was a few weeks ago (these days it's "Everything is Awesome" from the LEGO movie - my little brother insists on singing and playing it incessantly), but it's still fun to keep an eye on youtube to see all the various renditions of "Let It Go."  This performance by Christina Bianco is pretty hilarious.  She performs as Idina Menzel, Demi Lovato, and then goes on to Britney Spears, Celine Dion, Julie Andrews, and more.  Her impressions are spot-on!

3. The new Disney Roots blog is up!!  I love the look and all the GORGEOUS much Disney eye candy. :) They're even doing a giveaway!

4. SAY WHAT - there are going to be FIREWORKS at the Star Wars weekends this year!?  The official Disney Parks Blog has an intercepted message from the Emperor all about it.  That sounds epic on a galactic scale.

5. The Great Ceremonial House and Captain Cook's at the Polynesian are due to undergo refurbishment starting in March.  Tikiman Pages has more details.  Apparently a counter service will be set up in the cast member cafeteria - craziness.  I also read somewhere that the front desks are going to be changed to the "pod" style, like at Art of Animation.  I'm trying to reserve judgement, but it's never nice when Disney changes the places you love best. :(

And for even more pixie dust...

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Where in WDW: Clock Tower

It's Wednesday!  Time to test your disney knowledge with a new trivia photo....

There are plenty of regal castles and stately towers at WDW, but do you know where to find this particular clock tower?

I'll give you a hint: you might find it while travelling the world. ;)

Last week's disney carpet is, as Rachel guessed, from the Animal Kingdom Lodge hallways!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tinkerbell Shoes and Pixie Hollow Coast to Coast

Today we're going to fly to Pixie Hollow to have a chat with Tinkerbell....more than one Pixie Hollow, actually, as you'll soon see...

This photo makes me laugh - Tink's expression is way too perfect.

So if you journey into the wilds of Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom, you'll find that one of the adventures awaiting you is a trip to Neverland and Pixie Hollow...


Technically, I guess it's called Tinkerbell's Magical Nook - the one at Disneyland is called Pixie Hollow.

Anyway, you can go through a pixie dust portal to shrink to the size of a fairy and meet Tinkerbell and a friend.


The waiting area here is nice because it's air conditioned, and there's a magical screen that plays some Tinkerbell cartoons and a few paintings of Pixie Hollow on the wall...but it would be fun if they'd put a little more thought into the theming.  You have time while you're waiting in line to admire details, but with this meet and greet you don't see the details until you're in the room with the characters... 


There are "lost things" all over the place - strands of pearls hung from the ceiling and tea cups and over-sized flowers.  But it's hard to take it in when you've got the characters right there and the photopass people hurrying you along.

Back when Tinkerbell first started doing appearances in the parks, she had one of the character lines at Toontown, and the line was more interesting...

There was a trail of pixie dust leading you all the way down a hallway with paintings of Pixie Hollow and Neverland on either side...

It just felt more immersive than the new Adventureland waiting area...

I got a kick out of the big burst of pixie dust on the exit door at the end of the old hallway - although the meet and greet room itself was pretty much identical to how it is now.  I think they got rid of that feather pen though...and it must've been a larger space, as you originally would meet three fairies instead of just two.  I'm really not a fan of the way Disney has been paring down character meet and greets like that - it's the same at Princess Fairytale Hall, only two princesses unlike Toontown's former three.

ANYway, those photos were taken in 2009.  When Toontown closed, Tinkerbell's meet and greet moved to Epcot and a little outdoor courtyard near MouseGears for awhile.  I don't know what that space looked like, but if it was at all like the outdoor Pixie Hollow at Disneyland in California, it must've been beautiful.

Since we're on the topic of variations on Pixie Hollow, we might as well take a look at that one too, right?


We last visited Disneyland in 2008, and I think the movie had just come out and the Tinkerbell characters had just recently started appearing in the parks.

California's Pixie Hollow is truly gorgeous...there are larger-and-brighter-than-life flowers surrounding you on every side!

The line winds through a fairy garden with tiny houses - it reminds me of the Pixie Hollow topiaries that go up during the Flower and Garden festival!

In California you get to meet Tink in front of her teapot house!  Very fun.

I couldn't do a post about Tinkerbell without talking about her shoes.  Just look at those sparkly pom poms.  I want a pair like that.

My original plan for this post was to just do a short update to share Tinkerbell's winter boots because I thought they were so neat (I REALLY want a pair like that...anyone know a good pixie cobbler?).  But then somehow the post morphed into an all-out tour of Pixie Hollow past and present, coast to coast.  I have no idea how. ;)

When I met Tink recently in December it was mainly because I wanted to get her advice on finding a handsome sparrowman (or Peter Pan?) for my Prince Charming video.


She was SUCH an amazing Tinkerbell - bubbly and spunky and almost over-the-top but so sweet.  It was really fun to talk to her - super fun to see her adorable winter outfit (can I get a coat like that too??) - and she was fabulous in the videos (she's in the December vlog as well).

But we didn't just get to meet Tink...we also got to say hello to Periwinkle, Tinkerbell's twin sister.  I wish I had done a video for her too, because she was darling.  She immediately launched into an explanation of what she was doing away from the winter fairy land (I guess in the movie she's not supposed to come to Pixie Hollow!) and was telling all these silly jokes about snow and icebergs and winter.

I love her wings.  And her outfit.  Look on the left in the background of the photo - see the flower that's coming out of the snow?  It's actually a frosted periwinkle that's in the movie!  That whole table is full of props and "lost things" that Tinkerbell sometimes shows to her guests.  There's often one related to the most recent movie...


They used to have the "fall scepter" from Tinkerbell and the Lost Treasure out (in the photo on the left).  And on the right is a closeup of the periwinkle from Tinkerbell and the Secret of the Wings.  I haven't seen all of the Tinkerbell movies, but apparently there's a new one coming out in April called The Pirate Fairy (There's such a thing as a pirate fairy??).  So maybe there will be a new fairy coming out for meet and greets in the parks this spring?

Have you ever visited Tinkerbell in Pixie Hollow or her Magical Nook?  What do you think of all the fairy details?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Cake Placid Deliciousness

We're branching out from Disney desserts for this week's Sweet Treat Monday.  Instead of looking South to Florida, we're looking North to the Adirondack Mountains...

On a trip to Lake Placid, New York earlier this winter, my family discovered a positively lovely bakery called Cake Placid.

Is that a picture of a cupcake on that sign?

YES.  Yes, that was a picture of a cupcake.

I fell in love with this place as soon as I stepped in and saw that bakery case.  They have an incredible array of desserts of all kinds, but the CUPCAKES especially take your breath away...

How cute is the chocolate snowball?  And that "gothic" on the left has GANACHE.

Peanut Butter and a Hostess-inspired Cupcake.

They had the craziest flavors too - like salted caramel and blueberry pancake!  I liked the size of these - substantial but not too huge.  And the price ($2.75 each with a price break if you buy six or twelve) was right too.

The presentation was perfect - that vanilla snowflake is way too cute.  And I'm happy to say they were just as tasty as they were pretty!

The only problem was they were almost too elegant to eat!

It can be hard to get peanut butter icing right, but Cake Placid's was wonderful - creamy and light but still with enough peanut butter to set off the chocolate.


Many of the cupcakes (like the hostess above) had a filling - and they all had plenty of icing.  Yum.

This cupcake was called a 46er - named after the 46 mountain peaks of the Adirondacks.  (If you climb all of them, you're known as a forty-sixer!)

I couldn't resist trying the pink champagne cupcake, especially as we were in Lake Placid around New Year's.  It tasted like a strawberry, and it looked like the strawberry:

Love it!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Enchanted Art on the Disney Cruise Line

As you wander the hallways of the Disney Dream cruise ship, there are plenty of pretty, pixie dusted sights to catch your eye...

If you're in the atrium, for instance, and you're like me, you won't be able to stop enthusing over that gigantic and gorgeous chandelier!

But even if you're just climbing the stairs between decks, there's still lots to look at, because there is Disney Art around every corner!

This art deco piece makes you feel pretty excited to be embarking on exciting travels. :)

An homage to Walt!  I love the oversized photos and paintings - they transport you to different Disney destinations just as you're walking through the ship.  And as there are only so many elevators and plenty of stairs to climb, that is definitely a good thing!


All of a sudden you'd be looking out over the kitchen with Remy or wandering through a jungle...

Or maybe arriving for a Broadway show...I'm ready for my close-up, darling! ;)

Not every deck has a huge painting - many have smaller pieces - concept art or landscapes from classic Disney movies...

I love concept art, so I was constantly wanting to stop and admire each piece.

Can we all just acknowledge that Dumbo is the cutest?

The castle scenes from Sleeping Beauty (they look like they were done by Mary Blair, but I didn't notice the artist's name) were some of my favorites - and they look perfect in those regal gold frames!

Since you're out on the ocean, of course you'll find paintings of Prince Eric's castle...and you might spot some mermaids too...


These girls are from Peter Pan.  Keep an eye out for pirate ships...


Setting sail for Neverland!

This is Disney, so you know they're not only going to show you lovely art - they're also going to try to sell it to you in the Vista Gallery.  But if you look closely here, you'll find one portrait that's not for sale and not like the others...