Monday, April 24, 2017

Gadgets & Gizmos: Disney and the Pin Up Girls

Hi, Everyone!

Today we're going to talk about Disney going retro.  Recently, Disney released a line of vintage dresses inspired by the Disney Parks (link to the Disney Parks Blog post announcing the release).

I wouldn't say this line is "too little too late".  It seems the Disney-infused-vintage...trend? ...craze? aesthetic? is gaining steam at a steady pace.

The dresses are available in Vault 28 at Downtown Disney, and at the Marketplace Co-Op in Disney Springs (at Walt Disney World). They are NOT available online, and this is actually a good thing. It was recommended by the Cast Members in the shop that you try on the dresses.  They've had customers come in to exchange the dress because it didn't fit properly. So, my first tip, PLEASE try on the dress in-store and make sure it fits you properly.

Recently, my mother and I took a "research trip" to see what all the fuss was about.

Just kidding, we bought 'em! we bought 'em!

These two dresses are inspired by Pirates of the Caribbean (left, the lace has skulls in it, and there is another skull embroidered on the sash), and the Haunted Mansion.

OK, the Snow White dress is interesting...

The bites in the apples are the dwarfs! You might be asking people to invade your personal space, but it's worth it for the reaction!

We've got Alice and Minnie here.

The Small World dress was kind of a disappointment, fabric-wise. It was more of a silky fabric that is liable to wrinkle easily.  I won't lie, we were happy it didn't make us as giddy as some of the other dresses.  Less money to spend!

Smartly, Disney didn't just make the dresses but had accessories to go with, down to jewelry.

The border at the bottom of this dress has books and...enchanted objects from a certain beastly film.....

AND *drum roll*.....ORANGE BIRD!

For those who don't know, the Orange Bird is a character created by Disney in conjunction with the Florida Citrus Growers, and made appearances in Walt Disney World (click here for more information). Much like Figment, finding Orange Bird in these parts is a rarity! Plus, the style was just who bought it?

Yeah, I did! Yay me, the happy consumer!

While I do love this Hollywood Tower of Terror dress, in light of the monstrosity of a re-theme in DCA, it felt a tad like rubbing salt in the wound...

When you buy a dress, you get this LOVELY garment bag, which enables you to protect your purchase while also humble-bragging it as you carry it through Downtown Disney.

The prices are a little more reasonable than usual Pin Up clothing.  Mine was in the $130 area, so PLEASE use your Annual Passholder discount.  It really makes the price easier to swallow.

One note before we move on....the Tiki Room dress pictured in the Disney Parks Blog post (it's green,  in the right hand photo with the Small World dress) is sold out in both locations, with no definite date as to a new shipment.  So, keep an eye out if that one strikes your fancy.....

You can never have too many pretty dresses...

But what brought on all this vintage pin up demand?

A few years ago, a boutique in Burbank, Pin Up Girl Clothing, licensed work from Disney artist Mary Blair's estate, to create a line of dresses and skirts (and a few accessories such as scarves) for their shop. This is the reason I heard of them, and I've been hooked ever since. (Link to the Mary Blair Collection)

Note: The dresses tend to have female names (the most popular being the Jenny dress and Jenny skirts.) I just want to alleviate any confusion when I name a dress by both its style AND the print/pattern on the dress.

Here I am in the Jenny dress in the Commuters print.  With an unidentified friend.

Here's my mother and I that same day.  Mom's got on the Aurora dress with the Trains print.  The Walt Disney Family Museum actually used that same little train to direct people to special exhibit building when the Mary Blair exhibit was going on. I think they still use it, but i can't be sure.

This is my goddaughter, Naomi, in the Ella dress in one of the Roses prints. She's 13. And I'm old.

Oh, and that's her little sister Olivia....who is built like a linebacker and I don't expect her to be the Pin Up type.

Don't you be deceived by that face!

Unique Vintage! 

Another local boutique (literally a few blocks down from Pin Up Girl) is Unique Vintage, another great place to get your vintage heart a flutterin'.  They also have plenty of merchandise for all your Disney cosplay or Disney Bounding needs. (Link to Unique Vintage's Dapper Days collection)

Hot Topic Gets Into the Game

Now, just since Disney's vintage collection has been released, Hot Topic has also released a set called "Retro Disney" which is similar, but a little more casual, and a little easier on your wallet. 

Coming Attractions

AND Recently, teased some Pin Up-esque pieces with a Star Wars Twist coming to their shop.  At the moment, what they have is a fantastic lightsaber skirt, and a few great dresses with Star Wars landscapes as a border.  I personally own the lightsaber skirt and it's gorgeous! 

I'm hoping this D23 Expo in July (by the way, make sure you follow along while I cover the Expo!), HerUniverse will have the new merchandise so I can take a gander.....and a large shopping bag! 

But Which is Which? 

So, you have a lot of option, but price, quality, and character. You can be subtly Disney, and not-so-subtly Disney....also, FYI, Pin Up and Unique Vintage also have great basics to fill out your wardrobe. And if you find yourself yearning for more vintage outside the Disney purview, well, you're now a vintage addict....

It happens.  We have meetings....

Speaking of meetings...

Dapper Day

Just this weekend, Dapper Days happened at Disneyland.  Not only do people get into their vintage best in the parks, but a whole ballroom in the Disneyland Hotel holds booths and activities attended by Vintage based companies from all over.  I personally didn't attend this year because I'm saving my money for the Expo. But like I said, the Vintage craze is happily growing, and now that Disney is officially in the business, look for it to continue.

A nice note I'd like to wrap up on, Pin Up Girl was invited by Disney for the opening weekend of The Dress Shop (the name they've given this line of dresses) at Disney Springs. It was really gratifying to see that Disney doesn't intend to push out the little boutiques.  Hopefully, Disney will come up with skirts to go with Pin Up Girl's great peasant tops! 

That's it for today.  I hope, for those new to the Pin Up/Vintage world, this has been a good introduction.  Hope to see you in the Parks in your best! 

Do you have any information you'd like to add? PLEASE feel free to comment at the bottom of the post with any of your own pictures from Dapper Day, or just your own purchases from Vault 28 or Pin Up Girl, or wherever you happened to find something unexpected! 

I've got a couple of quick attraction based posts coming up, plus Fred should make an appearance. We're both trying to avoid the parks until the Spring Breakers get themselves out of the parks, then i have a long post coming which will hopefully be thought-provoking.

In the meantime, have a good week! 

Friday, April 7, 2017

Easter Egg Hunting at the Disneyland Resort

Hello, Everyone!

I hope you all have been enjoying Disneyland's annual Egg Scavenger Hunt.  I've done it pretty much every year since the event began, so I thought I might give you a few tips.  Also, we're going to look at the little tidbits of interest I picked up along the way...

First, here is the Disney Parks Blog post on the hunt, with most of the information:

I mean, that's some of my work done for me!

But first...Star Wars Land!

It helps the view if you park on Minnie....on my way back to my car, I observed TWO security guards, just watching the progress.

But you see that random wall in the middle of nothing? Those orange dots? Those are people!!!!!

The actual show building.

Big crane!

OK, the number of people with strollers who ignore this sign....A Cast Member should be stationed at the top of the escalator and SMACK a sticker with this notice onto the foreheads of parents who don't seem to pay attention.....

Yes, it's a harsh policy, but these are harsh times, people! Stroller revolution!

Let's Get Down To Business.....

So, here is the map for Disneyland.  You can pick it up either in Disneyana or in the Showcase shop.
If you pick it up in the Showcase, you can elect to immediately get your egg and just do the hunt at your leisure.  Or if you want to play fair, you can wait.

With all the construction and Big Thunder Trail closed down, Disney did a fairly good job at distributing the eggs around the park.  I would advise you to take a minute and look at all the clues first, to develop a game plan. It will be easier on your feet.

Intrigue in Critter Country

While heading through New Orleans, let's look at the Star Wars construction from another angle....

Here is a better shot with the Columbia visible.  The ship is currently going through some refurbishments.  I heard (I think from Jim Hill of I do too much reading, can't remember my sources.*)

Now, here is my story of intrigue.  I am a confessed fence-peeker.  Disney puts up a construction wall and I will press my eyeball up there to see what they are doing. I believe the term is nosy...I prefer curious. Fred is a known fence peeker himself.

So, I was looking and saw the progression on a bridge leading from Critter Country to Star Wars Land.  Great, right? Well, when I put my camera up to take a picture, the screen kept going dark.  I thought for a second I'd put my camera in a bad place in relation to the crack in the construction wall.

I pulled my camera back and saw a hand waving across the crack! Someone was trying to block my shot from the other side!

Now, Disney, I get it, you want us all to mind our own business about how the Theme Park Sausage is made....but about 80% of construction can be seen from either the parking structure, Tarzan's Treehouse, or just over the wall when you're in Critter Country! Simmer down!

Although....if I disappear, please assume Bob Iger has had me kidnapped because I know too much.  Pay the ransom! Pay it!

See? Look? Great view! Rock work! Galactic rock work! ooooooooh!!!!!!

As a payment for listening to my film noir-like story, here is an Easter Egg.  There, you got one off the list and you're not even in the park yet!

As I said, you go to the Disney Showcase shop to redeem your prize.  And if you're an Annual Passholder, you can also get this cute little Mickey egg pin.

The egg you redeem (seen in the Disney Parks Blog Post up top) is maybe three inches tall. It is hollow, but over the years, I've collected a good handful, and they make cute decorations for the season.

California Mis-Adventure

Here's an important tip for y'all....DO NOT do more than one hunt in a will murder your flat square feet. Or your regular feet. DCA's hunt is the same, but I'm not sure if they have a different group of people figuring out where the eggs go. A lot of these clues are LOOSE in their definition.  Also, the park is just....a little wider terrain.  There is just no really efficient way to get through the park.

The maps can be bought at Oswald's, and redeemed in the children's clothing section of Elias and Company.

And before I forget, the maps cost $5.99, plus tax, but this year Annual Passholder discounts apply, so make sure you get that!

Now, I intended to be spoiler free with the eggs, but this one took me 20 minutes to find! The clue says the Disney Animation Building....well, that's a debatable clue. It's not on the facade of the building, but the facade next door.  Technically, the interior of the building is used by the Animation exhibits, but....come on, DCA! You're killing me!

On that note, the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail has both the Chip and Dale eggs.  However, don't go INTO the Challenge Trail.  I talked to a CM after I found the eggs, and since the area closes at 7pm, guests doing the hunt later in the evening complained they couldn't get into the area to find the eggs, so they were moved to the front of the area.

There, I just made your life easy.  You're welcome.

The Horrible Omen of things to come...

The Tower of Terror (or Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Frankenstein) looks awful up close. Just awful. And, Disney, please stop sending poor Joe Rodhe out to justify it. Just stop, it's insulting. Maybe if you let him just do what HE wants, because he's a genius, you wouldn't have to send him like an errand boy to explain this and Pandora: World of Avatar in WDW's Animal Kingdom. 

*steps off my soapbox*

In A Bug's Land, I noticed the building to "It's Tough to be a Bug" could use a little facade work.

Or, y'know, get rid of the land. Seriously, one egg in there....screaming kids....just...a misery.

OK, to be frank, when my goddaughter wouldn't ride anything that went INSIDE a building, we spent a lot of time here and I have post traumatic stress over it.

Final Thoughts

So, that's about it. Please enjoy it, in the parks and in Downtown Disney, until April 16th. 
DCA's hunt always seems a little more like the CMs couldn't figure out where to put anything. It would be nice if Disney extended the event a little more. Maybe all through Lent? 

I'm not really sure if there is much else to criticize at this point.  It's a fun seasonal tradition in the making, a great way to get some exercise and find a little more detail about the parks in sort of an accidental way. 


* Ok, little footnote with a question from my readers.  I tend to listen to a few podcasts and read several different sites where I get information about rumors and not-really-rumors going about the Disney Blogosphere.  I don't always remember my exact sources, but if you want a blog post with my favorite Disney podcasts, etc, let me know in the comments! I'd love to spread the love!