April 28, 2014

Animate Your Night: Fantasyland Flair - A Review

Review of Animate Your Night at the Walt Disney Family Museum | www.anyhappylittlethoughts.com
Graphic from The Walt Disney Family Museum (www.waltdisney.org).
This past Friday night, I attended a special event open to the public at the The Walt Disney Family Museum. I asked a friend to join me, and so we arrived in the Presidio promptly at 7:00 and made our way into the museum. But oh the irony that we had to wait in a line to get in the doors. Luckily it moved quickly and we were soon greeted with smiling faces and the sounds of live music. Yay! I was excited.


I wasn't sure what to expect. I scoped out the museum's Facebook page where they had photos from some past events, but I have to admit I don't get out much to cultural events in the city as I would like. This was a special occasion for me. However, the great news is that it is part of a series held every other month, called Animate Your Night. So clever, those WDFM folks. I am all about a themed party, and I thought they did a very swell job. Swinging live tunes, dapper dress, fun cocktails - all set among a beautifully restored space situated in the historical Presidio. Oh, yeah, and there was a touch of Disney thrown in for good measure.

my photos

photobooth - Animate Your Night at the Walt Disney Family Museum | www.anyhappylittlethoughts.com
Upon entering the museum, guests were encouraged to cheese it up in front
of this Mary Blair-inspired photobooth.
Slim Jenkins performs at Animate Your Night at The Walt Disney Family Museum | www.anyhappylittlethoughts.com
The perfect touch of swinging music from local band Slim Jenkins. You can't tell from this pic,
but all of these cool cats are playing and dancing right next to the cases lining the wall of this main lobby,
which houses the many awards and trophies given to Walt Disney, including the famous Snow White
Oscar and its seven miniatures. 
 Dapper Day talk at Animate Your Night at The Walt Disney Family Museum | www.anyhappylittlethoughts.com
Guests waiting to listen to the first of two presentations by Justin Jorgensen,
the founder of the style phenom in Disney Parks known as Dapper Day
Drink Menu at Animate Your Night at The Walt Disney Family Museum | www.anyhappylittlethoughts.com
For all your refreshment needs.... Each Animate Your Night event touts a signature
cocktail or two. The drink names are likely a nod to two Disney films which
Mary Blair created concept art for: Song of the South and Cinderella.

Sip-A-Dee-Do-Dah drink - Animate Your Night at The Walt Disney Family Museum | www.anyhappylittlethoughts.com
The Sip-A-Dee-Do-Dah with a pear garnish. My friend and I thought this was a tad
strong, but for me still on the smooth side. You could get to your laughing place real
quick with this one!

































Bibbidi Bobbidi Booze drink -  Animate Your Night at The Walt Disney Family Museum | www.anyhappylittlethoughts.com
The Bibbidi Bobbidi Booze had a spritzy, tangy vibe. I loved that even the
floors matched the drinks!









Mary Blair exhibit - Animate Your Night at The Walt Disney Family Museum | www.anyhappylittlethoughts.com
This is the large photo canvas that greets guests in the lobby of the separate exhibition hall,
where the Mary Blair exhibit is located. It is noted in the museum's image index that this is a photo
of Blair standing in front of her Tomorrowland mural design.

Mary Blair painting at Animate Your Night at The Walt Disney Family Museum | www.anyhappylittlethoughts.com
I wish had more info on this one, I failed to take a close-up shot of the description. But it is a large,
impressive piece, as seen in the first part of the exhibit, showing Blair's beginnings and early work.
Mary Blair Exhibit - Animate Your Night at The Walt Disney Family Museum | www.anyhappylittlethoughts.com
Inside the Mary Blair exhibit.

Disneyland Model - Animate Your Night at The Walt Disney Family Museum | www.anyhappylittlethoughts.com
A portion of Walt Disney's model for his concept of Disneyland. I spy teacups and flying
elephants in Fantasyland.... This is located in the museum gallery exploring the 1950s and
1960s of Disney's life and career.

vintage Disney tv shows - Animate Your Night at The Walt Disney Family Museum | www.anyhappylittlethoughts.com
A display of television sets showing black and white clips of vintage Disney television programming,
found in a gallery in the main museum. 

centerpiece at Animate Your Night at The Walt Disney Family Museum | www.anyhappylittlethoughts.com
One of the colorful paper flower centerpieces as seen
on a pub table near the gift shop. 

























my thoughts

The three hours of the event - of which I was there the entire time - really flew by! I could have stayed longer. Thankfully one of the food trucks was still serving customers, so we prolonged our night in order for me to get a tasty crepe and sit and eat it in the car. My understanding is that this event routinely utilizes food trucks for guests who want something to eat, although you do have to go outside where it can be chilly. But on the plus side, I really enjoyed the opportunity to order from a food truck - it's a great way to try something new.

Guests coming to the event were encouraged to dress in a "dapper" style, which I now understand means to dress in a timeless, classic polished look. It does not matter the era or fashion style, it just matters that you care about your appearance and how that plays into the overall experience park guests have, both as spectators and participants at an amusement park like Disneyland. It was thoroughly entertaining to listen to Dapper Day founder Justin Jorgensen talk about his own personal history in the field of design, his experience when he worked as an Imagineer, and his subsequent efforts in putting into play his concept of dressing up when going to the Disney theme parks. On the big screen he shared an amazing collection of photos, concept art and fashion magazine spreads, and photos from Dapper Day events. I really appreciated his selection of historical images that link amusements of the past with the significance of stylish dress when attending amusement parks for our generation. He nailed it. I walked out of the museum theater with a new attitude towards how I might experience the parks in the future. Loved his humor and intelligence - it was a great presentation. I am kicking myself for not picking up a pin or button, as there was a table set up with some official Dapper Day merchandise. I did take the free promotional card, though. (I'm a sucker for freebies and paper what-nots, which will likely make it onto one of my scrapbook pages.)

Please, be sure to check out the official Dapper Day website for more info on future events, and to better understand what Dapper Day is all about. 

Dapper Day at Animate Your Night at The Walt Disney Family Museum | www.anyhappylittlethoughts.com
Dapper Day promo card, front and back.

Overall, in my book you can't go wrong with a night out in San Francisco if you are enjoying art, music, fashion, and history. The drinks and photobooth add a playful twist, and if I had more time I would have created a fashionable paper-craft pin downstairs in the Learning Center. My ticket only cost $12 for the event as a museum member ($15 for non-members), and my baby-sitter service was free thanks to my husband! I did spend about $20 for my food truck crepe and one of the cocktails, but overall not bad at all. Everyone seemed to be genuinely happy to be there. It was neat-o to see so many dapper dressers, and to experience the relaxed atmosphere around the museum. (Check out #dapperday and #animateyournight on Instagram and scroll down to see some of the stylish people who attended.) 

Whether you live in the Bay Area or you happen to visit one day, make sure to find your way to the museum. You won't be disappointed. And keep an eye on the Animate Your Night schedule. Perhaps you, too, can join in on this fun night with an artful flair. Can't wait for the next one: Choose Your Own Adventureland, June 20, 1014. 

Edited April 29, 2014 - The museum has a great photo album showcasing lots of the details of the night on their official Facebook page. It is worth a look! WDFM Fantasyland Flair Photo Album

Have you attended Animate Your Night at The Walt Disney Family Museum? If you have attended - or if you could attend - what would be your favorite aspect of this event? Which cocktail would you have wanted to try - the Sip-A-Dee-Do-Dah or the Bibbidi Bobbidi Booze? Aren't those awesome names for drinks?!



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