Thursday, October 13, 2016

A Tale of Two Mugs

The Starbucks You Are Here mugs debuted in the Magic Kingdom and Epcot in early 2015. In my post about my YOU ARE HERE collection, I mentioned that my friend - a kind and generous blogging/Disney Twitter friend- happened to be visiting the parks that week. She took it upon herself to buy me the Epcot mug, knowing how much I love all things Epcot and Spaceship Earth. Little did we know at the time, though, that she'd be holding a bit of a collector's item.

About a week after the debut, these purple monorail mugs were pulled from the shelves. The mug returned a few months later, with the purple monorail stripe replaced with gray.

Why was the original pulled? There was a fatal monorail accident in 2009, in which the purple and pink monorails collided. Tragically, the pilot of the purple monorail, Cast Member Austin Wuennenberg, lost his life. The purple and pink monorails were retired after the accident, replaced by Teal and Peach.

How, then, did a purple monorail get through the initial design phase of this You Are Here mug? That's a mystery, as is exactly what led to the removal and redesign. Perhaps the company was being sensitive to the issue (albeit late), or perhaps there were complaints after the debut, but whatever the reason- the company acted swiftly, and the mugs were gone almost as quickly as they appeared.

The mugs purchased during that week or so of initial sale are quite rare. I didn't realize it at the time, but I was informed about their rarity later on, when I was telling a colleague about my gift. My friend could have easily sent me the new version once that came out. Or she could have just decided not to send me anythng at all- it was an unsolicited gift, after all, not even something I asked her to pick up, or was reimbursing her for. She ended up sending me the original anyway. Did I mention that she's kind and generous? She's a stellar pal.

I have since gotten the version with the gray monorail- another gift, this time from a relative. I'm currently using the gray monorail for my coffee, while the purple monorail sits safely on a special shelf, with some of my other Disney treasures.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Disney Parks and Starbucks- You Are Here mugs

My current collection

When the popular You Are Here line of Starbucks mugs started rolling out in Disney Parks Starbucks locations in 2015, I fell in love. The size and shape make them the perfect coffee vessel for me, and I love the bold graphic designs that capture the icons of each park.

A kind and generous friend was visiting Epcot when the mugs were released, and knowing my love of all things Epcot and Spaceship Earth, she bought a mug for me. The Epcot mug in the photo above is not the one she purchased for me, though- but that's a story for a separate post.

I started collecting the other park mugs during subsequent visits. My current collection, in the photo above, is incomplete. I'm missing the Disneyland mug. I did visit Disneyland after the mugs debuted, and I purchased mugs from both parks. However, being the great sister that I am, I wanted to give the Disneyland mug to my sister for her birthday that year. I considered buying an additional one for myself, but I couldn't fit one more thing in my suitcase. Foolish move! I should have found a way to squeeze it in. When did I think I'd ever make it back to the west coast to complete my set?? (hopefully soon, knock on wood...)

I love seeing them all together in the mug cabinet, and I enjoy my morning ritual of selecting just the right one for that day. I have a lot of other Disney Parks mugs, but these seem to get the most coffee action, by far!

Do you have any of the Disney Parks/Starbucks You Are Here mugs? Which one is your favorite? Tell us about it in the comments...

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Cabinet Takeover

I hear it's #NationalCoffeeDay today. This seems like an appropriate time to address my mug/glassware issue.

I'm not sure when it happened. I wasn't consciously trying to convert this cabinet. But putting dishes away the other day, I realized I was sensing a strong theme...

You see it too, right?

Slowly but surely, my coffee mugs, glasses, and all manner of drinking vessel seem to have been taken over by theme park purchases.

I'm okay with this.

And because I like talking about mugs, I'm turning this into a three-post series. Stay tuned for two other mug-related posts, coming your way soon.

Ahhh, the coffee maker just beeped. Where's my Epcot mug?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A visit to Nomad Lounge

Tucked away in a quiet corner that will soon be a very busy pathway to Avatarland, lies Animal Kingdom's newest watering hole- Nomad Lounge. Opened in May 2016, Nomad Lounge is connected to Tiffins, the new signature restaurant in the park.

There is beauty throughout, both inside as well as in the outdoor area overlooking the water. It's inviting, warm, and visually stunning, with carefully selected details at every turn.

With impeccable attention to detail, top-notch service from my barkeep, and the highest quality drinks and food offerings- I can see Nomad Lounge quickly jumping to the top of my favorite places list.

I absolutely have a new favorite on-property drink:  the Annapurna Zing. It's the perfect refreshing mix of Bombay Sapphire gin, passion fruit puree, simple syrup, lime juice, and a splash of ginger beer...all  served in a many-angled glass with the most satisfying hold.

The vegetarian summer roll was a perfect accompaniment on a sweltering day...

One of my favorite parts- a nod to function alongside beauty. The designers included two of my favorite things to see under a bar- bag hooks and charging outlets. It's all in the details...

Have you visited Nomad Lounge? Is it on your to-do list? Tell us about it in the comments...

Sunday, July 3, 2016

EPCOT Center Logo pins

As a Disney pin collector, there's a satisfaction that comes with finding that last pin you need to complete a set. And as a finicky collector, the pins I'm drawn to are few and far between- so when I find a set I love, and I can complete it? That's cause for celebration. My favorite pin set probably doesn't come as a surprise to regular readers: the EPCOT Center Logo pins.

Released in April 2015 as part of the Hidden Mickey Cast Lanyard series, these vintage Epcot icons have everything I love in a pin design- clean crisp styling, bold color, classic graphic design, symbols or signage rather than characters, and of course- they're vintage Epcot. The icons represent the original Epcot Center logos, including Horizons, Journey Into Imagination, CommuniCore, The Land, and The Living Seas.

I collected this set over the course of several visits. Ironically, I had to go to the other side of the country- to Disneyland- in order to find the last remaining pin I needed to complete the set. As I was scurrying through Disney's California Adventure on my way back to the Disneyland Hotel, I spotted The Land pin on the lanyard of a custodial worker sweeping up near the gates. When I approached him to trade, he told me he had just received it about an hour before, and he had no idea what it was.

You never know when you'll come across that final pin to complete a set. 

What do you think of the Epcot icon pins? Are you into pin trading at the parks & resorts? 
Tell us about it in the comments...