Mickey Mouse & Tiki Aloha Shirt – Elias & Co.

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What’s better than Disneyland? Disneyland with no crowds (well, fewer crowds, anyway). We were lucky enough to experience that at the passholder preview for Cars Land and Buena Vista Street, which officially open at California Adventure on June 15. This thoroughfare pays tribute to the 1920s, when a young Walt Disney arrived in Los Angeles to start a new animation studio (and the rest, as they say, is history).

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It was such a treat to stroll around and admire the ersatz Art Deco architecture, especially the Elias & Company gift shop. The inside is made to look like a luxury department store (see: Bullocks Wilshire), and one of the rooms displays vintage sheet music on the wall as props. Among them I spotted the tropical cover of “Sun Kissed Isle,” one of many 1920s ukulele tunes inspired by the South Seas.

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I also found a blue Hawaiian shirt printed with tikis, coconut drinks, palm trees, hibiscus flowers and surfin’ Mickeys. Disney seems to have produced quite a few aloha shirts with tikis over the years, not even counting the ones Shag has designed.

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There were only boys’ shirts at this store, priced at $29.99, but I’m guessing adult sizes might be available over at the Disneyland Emporium. (Don’t quote me on that, though.)

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They stock some neat mugs (coffee, not tiki mugs…you’ll have to go to Trader Sam’s for those) like this one that reminded me of the awesome travel trailers we saw at Palm Springs Modernism Week. This is just the tip of the iceberg of the new merchandise being rolled out for California Adventure.

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If you want to see more of Buena Vista Street, there are some great photos here and here, plus detailed background about the people and places that inspired it here and here.

More Tiki-Related Disney Posts:

Boutiki at Disney’s Polynesian Resort
Tiki in Toy Story 3 & California Adventure
Tangaroa Terrace at the Disneyland Hotel

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Monkeying Around in Miami – The News Cafe

Finally done with Palm Springs, now on to Miami! Also back in October, we spent a day wandering South Beach and gawking at all the Art Deco hotels. (If there’s one era I adore as much as mid-century, it’s the 1920s. I’m a flapper at heart.)

When hunger struck we stopped at the News Café, a touristy al fresco spot also patronized by our once favorite (though now getting annoying) guilty pleasure: “Jersey Shore.”

Mr. Baseball coerced me into getting one of their boat drinks (definitely not in the class of tiki drinks) served in a kitschy coconut monkey. I had wanted to preserve my sobriety for later, but oh well, it’s vacation.

Honestly I don’t even remember what was in it. After that we ended up bargaining over lounge chairs and taking a nap on the beach—it was a pretty perfect afternoon.

Even this California girl was impressed by the beach there. We just don’t have that kind of water clarity (or warmth!). Sidenote: I can hardly contain my excitement for the next post. Maybe you can guess what comes next..