June 23, 2014

Animate Your Night: Choose Your Own Adventureland - A Review

a review of Animate Your Night: Choose Your Own Adventureland at The Walt Disney Family Museum
Title graphic from the event flyer, The Walt Disney Family Museum. Jungle Cruise
inspired photobooth signage found in the Cafe Lobby.







































This past Friday night was another fantastic Animate Your Night event at the Walt Disney Family Museum, located in The Presidio of San Francisco. Promoted as an after hours party, it is the perfect blend of cocktails, music, art and pop culture. Because there are many Disney fans out there who would fully enjoy this event but aren't in close enough proximity to get to the museum, I thought it would be fun to share some details about the party through some comments and photos. But a few disclaimers first....



  1. I have a Family Membership to the museum and have paid for all of my tickets, drinks, food, and souvenirs. My opinion of the museum as a whole and the special programming it offers is very favorable, so you won't find much criticism and complaining here. All opinions are my own.
  2. I am not an expert in Walt Disney's personal history, the history of the Disney Company, and the subcultures that are affiliated with the Disney brand, but I am a trained historian and a big Disney fan, so I do try to fact check and source my information when I feel it is appropriate. However, I am learning so much, thanks to the museum!
  3. I am not a professional photographer. All photos here were taken with my iPhone 5 and edited in PicMonkey, unless otherwise noted.
  4. I have attended one other Animate Your Night and wrote a review on this blog about it - Animate Your Night: Fantasyland Flair - A Review.

the details

Friday, June 20
7:00 - 10:00 pm
The Walt Disney Family Museum
$20 for event ticket and panel presentation entry (pricing for museum members)

Upon entry to the event, you are given a flyer with all the details. This includes times for musical performances, unique tours, and special guest presentations; drink and food truck info; special craft activities and the photo booth location; locations for the museum's special exhibits; and a reminder to check out the gift shop. On the reverse side of the flyer is event sponsor information and a fun little scavenger hunt that promises a prize. I have learned from my previous experience that it is practically impossible to get it all done, but I tried. See below.

my photos

a review of Animate Your Night: Choose Your Own Adventureland at The Walt Disney Family Museum
The Walt Disney Family Museum is located in the historic Presidio of San Francisco.
When I arrived at 7:10 pm (the event started at 7:00), there was already a long line running
down the front of the museum's front sidewalk. Those of us waiting had this view of the San
Francisco Bay, which included Alcatraz Island. 




a review of Animate Your Night: Choose Your Own Adventureland at The Walt Disney Family Museum
The tiki people were out in full force, and this guy was keeping an eye on the
party-goers. Perched at the museum's cafe counter, this was where the event's
premier partner - Tiki Oasis - had set up shop with fun tiki merchandise and
flyers pertaining to the greatest tiki weekend event this side of the volcano. I loved
the vintage tiki styles that many people were wearing.








































Tiki Oasis | a review of Animate Your Night: Choose Your Own Adventureland at The Walt Disney Family Museum
Tiki Oasis, more event details and this free download on their website, found here.















Presentation | a review of Animate Your Night: Choose Your Own Adventureland at The Walt Disney Family Museum
The special museum talks are a great way to learn really cool information about a wide variety
of subjects. For this particular presentation (which sold out for both times!), guests sat in on an
informative discussion titled "For the Birds: The Art, Science, & Forgotten History of Walt
Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room." One of the visuals included this vintage photo of Walt Disney
with Barker Bird, next to a photo of his newly constructed cousin, Pepe del Presidio. Panelists
included Bill Butler, Kevin Kidney & Garner Holt.
































Barker Bird | a review of Animate Your Night: Choose Your Own Adventureland at The Walt Disney Family Museum
Not the greatest photo of this unique Audio-Animatronic, but he is a great
addition to the museum's collection. Named in honor of The Presidio where the
museum is located, Pepe del Presidio is "a replica...Barker Bird formerly positioned
outside the entrance to Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland."
- The Walt Disney Family Museum website, see here









































drink tickets | a review of Animate Your Night: Choose Your Own Adventureland at The Walt Disney Family Museum
The collector in me wanted so badly to keep these tickets, but they were a
hot commodity at the event. Each ticket cost $10, good for one drink from
Smuggler's Cove. I bought two so I could sample each of the drinks offered.






































cocktails | a review of Animate Your Night: Choose Your Own Adventureland at The Walt Disney Family Museum
The bartenders were hard at work mixing and shaking up the cocktails. Wine and beer were also
available for purchase. I snapped this shot after picking up my first cocktail, and realized at home
that the perfect event poster was hanging in the background. The movie and attraction posters
are among my favorite elements of this museum. 































Leilani 2.0 cocktail | a review of Animate Your Night: Choose Your Own Adventureland at The Walt Disney Family Museum
Leilani Volcano 2.0
According to the drink description, this concoction hails from Walt Disney
World's Polynesian Village of the 1970s. It consists of Mount Gay Black
Barrel Rum, fresh lime and pineapple juice, housemade coconut cream, and
Bundaberg Guava Soda. It reminded me of pina colada, as the coconut
flavor was definitely there. It was my favorite drink of the two, and I loved
the floral garnish. 










































Hondo Hattie cocktail | a review of Animate Your Night: Choose Your Own Adventureland at The Walt Disney Family Museum
Hondo Hattie's Jungle Punch
This was my second drink of the night. I liked it but found it not as memorable
as the Leilani 2.0. This drink smacks of a Jungle Cruise boat and could likely
lead to a few corny jokes after downing a few. Recipe reveals the following
ingredients: Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum, vanilla infused Blue Curacao, fresh
lemon juice, Velvet Falernum, Tawny Port, pear liqueur, honey, and bitters. Cheers!









































Smuggler's Cove | a review of Animate Your Night: Choose Your Own Adventureland at The Walt Disney Family Museum
Smuggler's Cove is a highly regarded specialty bar located in San Francisco. Check out their site
for a better look at all of their offerings and praises. They provided the cocktails for the event. Two thumbs up!





























a review of Animate Your Night: Choose Your Own Adventureland at The Walt Disney Family Museum
In the museum's main lobby, the Fisherman's Tiki Trio entertained guests. 





































Mount Gay Barrel Rum | a review of Animate Your Night: Choose Your Own Adventureland at The Walt Disney Family Museum
For rum aficionados and the curious, sample shots of Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum
were available in the back of the Learning Center. I appreciated the sample but
couldn't stomach more than a couple of sips. I did enjoy the Neo Cocoa Chocolates
that were available. I sampled a piece infused with lime, but ponied up a dollar for
a larger piece of sea salt caramel chocolate. 








































tiki crafts | a review of Animate Your Night: Choose Your Own Adventureland at The Walt Disney Family Museum
Also in the Learning Center were a couple of DIY "tropical adornments"
including a tiki paper lantern and a tissue paper flower. These were the
example pieces.






































tiki crafts | a review of Animate Your Night: Choose Your Own Adventureland at The Walt Disney Family Museum
I was very grateful to the musuem volunteers who offered these craft kits to take home
as the evening drew to a close. There isn't enough time to do everything offered during the event,
so the take home crafts were a great idea! The kids and I will try them out later this summer. 






























Cruella & Marc Davis | a review of Animate Your Night: Choose Your Own Adventureland at The Walt Disney Family Museum
A small sample of the special exhibit celebrating Disney Legend Marc Davis.
Leading Ladies and Femmes Fatales: The Art of Marc Davis runs until November 3.





































a review of Animate Your Night: Choose Your Own Adventureland at The Walt Disney Family Museum
The scavenger hunt is a creative way to explore the museum while learning
about the little details of Walt Disney's life. The colorful small button pin
is the prize. 






































a review of Animate Your Night: Choose Your Own Adventureland at The Walt Disney Family Museum
In seeking out the answer to the first question, you are told to pass by the
ambulance. This part of the museum details Walt Disney's youth and his
military service. Learn more about that here. Oh, and the garnish from my
tiki cocktail makes for a great hair accessory.







































a review of Animate Your Night: Choose Your Own Adventureland at The Walt Disney Family Museum
And at the stroke of ten, the party closed down. On my way out I took another
peek into the museum's gift shop. It requires a lot of self control to browse the
shop. It is lovely!














































my thoughts

Once again, I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of this event. There is something for everyone here. It is a wonderful way to explore the museum, and to possibly revel in your favorite Disney storybook or land. But if I had three suggestions to improve upon or add regarding this Animate Your Night, they would be these:

  1. Import some Dole Whip. I heard people talking about the desire to have some for this specific night. Makes total sense. Probably easier said than done, though. But that would have been like the cherry on top!
  2. Have food trucks available for post-party hours. While I didn't attend for the food, I was hungry on the way out at 10:00, and there was only the frozen custard still available. I don't want to waste my party time standing in line outside for food. And the sliders from the Slider Shack sounded yummy! I had to wait until I was close to home to hit an In-N-Out Burger at 11:00 pm.
  3. Increase the event time by thirty minutes to an hour. I hate to sound greedy, but there is so much cool stuff to experience and not enough time. The Jungle Cruise Tours were on the list but I had no time to join in on that one. Perhaps the time frame is just right, and it only means that the planners are doing a great job filling up the three hours allotted. But I would totally hang around longer if I could. Wink wink.

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: Wild West Frontier, August 8, 1014. 

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 theme would like to see?



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