Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Disney Date: Alice In Wonderland

A Madcap Adventure

Alice in Wonderland is the first date from our Disney Legends list. We chose it because the activities we thought of for it were pretty simple, and it's been so long since I saw the original Alice movie I was very excited to see it again!

Our Alice date consisted of a seriously hefty dose of Alice. In sum: Alice in Wonderland the play; (A children's musical, but with some adult humour here and there!) Alice in Wonderland the movie (Disney Cartoon); then a brief break and onto Alice, Tim Burton style.

Safe to say, a lot of Alice.

Our day started with the play, which was done by Shakespeare by the Sea, a wonderful establishment in Halifax which performs plays ourdoors in Point Pleasant Park over the summer. Their focus is Shakespeare (their version of the Merry Wives of Windsor was hilarious!), but as you can see, they do other things as well!

The Red Queen & Alice (photo from the Chronicle Herald)
Since it was 1 pm on a Sunday, of course lots of families came out to see the play. Their engagement and interaction was wonderful-- the Red Queen even ended up in a bit of a dialogue with one of the kids, headed in to act two, which was just as funny as any of the written humour.

The play was well done, creative, and entertaining. As always, Shakespeare by the Sea was a joy to watch. I wasn't enchanted by the musical numbers as much as I was by the animated Alice, however, which was a bit sad for me- I love to sing along!

Still, it was a great date, and we brought along a blanket and some snacks and lemonade for sitting out in the park. An hour walk there and an hour back to the house later, it was all well worth it (and the lemonade was gone!)

Part two of our Date was the food section. This was kind of twofold: we made some tea size snacks for ourselves, but since we're mid move to Ottawa my tea and tea pots are packed, so we also went out and had ourselves a teaparty, inspired by the Mad Hatter, March Hare and Doormouse's wonderful (if haphazard) spread.

The tea party turned out wonderfully. We got our tea on at The Sweet Hereafter, a cheesecakery that's only about 10 minutes from our house along Oxford Street.
Exterior of Sweet Hereafter & the owners pictured
The Sweet Hereafter stands out with its cool painted exterior, but the inside is where it really shines. Aside from being filled with a bajillion different flavours of cheesecakes and cupcakes, its a very cool interior decor that was well suited to our Alice vibe!
Our seats & tea spread!

We got a pot of vanilla bean tea, which was delicious; and two cupcakes, which were equally amazing and went sooo well with the tea. Plus I was hyped because come on, cupcakes. One was even free because we were accidentally served the wrong one. So he let us keep it! <3!

Our home cooked snacks were alas, not as glamorous. But we tried! And they tasted juuuuuust fine! We made vlaai, a dutch dish that I'm still confused about (Max said that this one, while tasty, was a poor example of vlaai), and mini cheesecakes. Drool. The recepies are here (cheesecake) and here (vlaai), except that I used a homemade graham cracker crust on the cheesecakes. 
After our meal, it was Alica Marathon time. We snuggled on the couch and watched the animated Alice... and I have to say, I didn't enjoy it nearly so much as I remember. It was much stranger than I recalled and it alarms me to say that as an adult (arguably, anyways) I didnt find it as enchanting anymore. Also, the bit about the walrus eating the oysters-- well, that's always creeped me the heck out! And I honestly didn't remember it all ending with Alice waking up (and deciding that she does like things that make some sense, after all). It was good to watch, it's been such a long time- But I think after having seen Burton's update so recently, I expected more of a plot than I got. Sad! And overall, even though I didn't enjoy all of the nonsense (though a lot of it I did- ahh, the flowers singing! The bit where Alice accidentally wrecks the white rabbit's home! And visually, I do find it stunning) I'm not sure that I like that the takeaway message seems to be that one should pay attention to thy history lessons and squash that pesky imagination.

I do, however, like the takeaway from the updated Alice. I love that adult Alice gains such confidence from facing and triumphing in Underland. And for me, it was a treat to have real characters in the Mad Hatter, Queens, doormouse and other additions. And again, visually- unf! What a fun film to watch just for all those colours and spectacular design! I think Tim Burton was a fine match for an older Alice, indeed.

Overall, our Alice week was a fun mess of festivities, and how I love tea parties! Probably my only regret is that nobody did the futterwacken!

Till next time,
Sarah & Max


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