That La Kid

wishin' an' hopin'!

so glad that you asked!

on October 10, 2013

Okay, here’s my essay, I’ve been looking for an excuse to post this for a long time, anyway:

Sorry the pictures are so crappy.  I was too excited to wait and take them in better lighting.

I am decorating my house as much like an Imagineer as I can.  As it turns out, it’s kind of like a muggle attempting wizardry, but anyway…. I looooove Disney.  Odds are you already know that.  So, without offending the Mickey fanatic decorators in the audience, red, black and yellow and Mickey silhouettes don’t do anything for me.  It’s kind of too obvious.  Where’s the subtlety in that?  The art?  The true fandom?  I love Mickey, don’t get me wrong.  But that’s so one-dimensional.

You know what I love?  Fort Wilderness.   Tom and I went right after we got pregnant and it was magical.

My dining room is probably my favorite room in the house, themed around Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground.  The previous owners of our house used sticks from their yard as curtain rods in the dining room, with burlap draperies.  We didn’t notice until the day that we got the keys.  We both looked at it, and at each other and thought, “Gee, what can we do with that?”  Fort Wilderness.  It was difficult to not include Frontierland, or even Wilderness Lodge, but to limit the room specifically to Fort Wilderness.  I’m a stickler for authenticity.  Fort Wilderness, to me, is Daniel Boone, and early east coast forts built around the Revolutionary War, just as we new Americans began to venture westward.  Frontierland conveys more of a Wild Wild West theme to me, a post-Civil War/Gold Rush era, and Wilderness Lodge pays homage to the great lodges of the Northwest and in my opinion brings us basically into the 20th century.  I could have done a lot with geysers, National Parks and totem poles, but I decided to stay true to Fort Wilderness, specifically.

There’s not much to go on in the world of Imagineering Fort Wilderness.  So my design is based primarily on personal experience.  For the record, I don’t have enough horse stuff.  Let me just clear the air and get that out of the way right now.  The Tri-Circle-D Ranch is a big part of the Fort.  I need to incorporate the horses in some capacity at some point.

But for now…

The first installation in the Fort Wilderness dining room was the black Mickey icon chandelier.  Didn’t I say I wasn’t into mouse-ear silhouettes everywhere?  I did say that, didn’t I?  Well, I’ve made and exception in the form of Mickey’s head over my dining room table.  I bought the chandelier at a Disney Character Outlet (in Woodbridge, VA I think) before I even had a house because I knew I had to have it.  It’s very versatile.  It went with the house in Virginia, and it works here in the Fort.  I want to get a Mickey Mouse cast iron trivet to go with it, but we’re still a work in progress.

Mickey Chandelier

 

The centerpiece of the room is the table.  We found a gorgeous table at Nadeau.  It’s huge!  It seats at least 8.

Nadeau table

 

We knew we wanted a bar to store wine and a buffet to store entertainment ware (punch bowl, chip/dip plates, etc.).  I happened upon the Verona Bar and Verona Buffet at World Market.  I did some research and discovered their annual dining room sale, so we waited several weeks and bought them at a discount.  On top of that, we caught a store Grand Opening not too far from us for even deeper savings.

World Market Verona Buffet

The table, bar and buffet were easy.  We met and fell in love immediately.  Seating has been difficult.  We knew we wanted benches.  Where do you eat when you’re camping?  At a picnic table.  We bought benches to match the bar and buffet, and would you believe it, they are exactly ONE INCH too long to fit under the table.  We went ahead and set them up so we’d have something for Bruce’s party, but the search continues.

But I digress.  I’m getting away from what I wanted to be the meat and potatoes here, Fort Wilderness.

It’s nice to be an artist.  It’s not necessary to pull off a decently designed space, but it helps.  I wanted something that deliberately brought my campsite into the dining room, so I created a casual charcoal sketch on newsprint and framed it in a rich wooden frame that I found at Michael’s.

Fort Wilderness Campsite Sketch

 

Did you know in “The American Adventure” at Epcot, they only use the technology of the time to display various periods throughout American history?  For example, we don’t see photographs until the Civil War era.  Prior to that the story is told via paintings.  (I guess Audio-Animatronics count as real people.)  I tried to adhere to this rule in my post-Revolutionary War fort, but I broke my own rule with a photo that I took of Reception Outpost.

Reception Outpost

 

On the other side of my charcoal sketch is another work of art that I created.  I thought pioneers venturing out into the wilderness might return with sketches and descriptions of newly discovered flora and fauna (and Merriweather! Wait…).  Bearing that in mind, I drew a picture of the Dusky Seaside Sparrow.  This tragic character is extinct as of 1987, and the last known living Dusky resided at Discovery Island on Bay Lake.  His legacy lives on in my dining room.

Dusky Seaside Sparrow

 

When I was researching Fort Wilderness, I found one image.

Fort Wilderness Train

 

So I was tickled to have received this for my birthday:

Train Print

 

I’m sure it’s actually Frontierland, and I’m aware that rail travel came much later than my assumed Fort era,  but I’m willing to let that slide because it’s so similar to the image of the Fort Wilderness train (which was decommissioned and turned into ticket booths at Pleasure Island).  The lush greens could really go either way.  It’s not like it’s a Big Thunder print.

Here are some other little touches from around the room:

Fort Wilderness Dining Room

 

I’m still on the hunt for a hand-woven Native American table runner, so if you know anybody…

And here’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for, the whole shebang, my pretty subtle Disney Dining Room:

Fort Wilderness Dining Room

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