Mickey Heads-Podcast Review 4-30-10

The Voice of Walt Disney World, Earth Day and Ridley Pearson of the Kingdom Keepers book series headline this set of podcasts, representing about 8.5 hours of listening, that you are sure to enjoy.

Mr Frank’s Wild Ride (iTunes) Episode #6 Kingdom Keepers book series is the focus of this episode. Beginning with an initiation into the plot of these edgy books designed for kids. Ridley Pearson is interviewed and he tells of how he was inspired by level of detail of the many Disney parks attractions and wanted to expand on many of the storylines. While he had restrictions placed on him to maintain the integrity of the characters and the parks, he tells of his ingenious solution to meet his goals and Disney’s standards. And how the successive unfettered access to parks gave him the back story to stories.  He reveals a new beta online game, based on the series, with rewards of backstage videos to many of the scenes. And we are looking forward to the upcoming books to continue the progression of the series. Next, following a news segment, interspersed with some enjoyable classic and contemporary songs, Mickey and Goofy prove they have ‘Universal’ appeal as they portray Back to the Future in Mousetapiece Theater.  The final segment: “What did Frank buy on eBay?” shares with us some of Frank’s great finds and what has struck his fancy lately.

Disneyland News Today (iTunes) Episode #14 4/19/10 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the Mad Tea Party. How does being a completely outdoor attraction rate among our team?  And could that set up work in Florida, or would they just be spinning hot tubs from all of the precipitation WDW receives? While it may be a family attraction, is that also a negative, since there is always someone who wants it not to spin?

Waltcast (iTunes) Episode #39 “Hi, and welcome to Walt Disney World!” Shawn and Kate interview Joe Hursh, the voice of Walt Disney World. Talk about cool! He is heard on the monorails, ferries and over 400 buses! He tells of his convoluted road to this enviable gig.  And always looking forward to change, he is anticipating recording new tracks for the Fantasyland expansion. He tells how he reacts to hearing his own voice as he visits the parks. Finally, he shares his other endeavors and his performs his perfected Sean Connery imitation.

Dave’s Disney View (itunes) A Day in the Magic Kingdom Part 2 He shares his observation that the Magic Carpets of Aladdin can load faster than Dumbo. I don’t know about you but I can never hear too much monorail spiel, and we get our fill with audio from monorail teal! Yet riding, he reflects on the recent monorail accident, noting that as a former cast member, he feels the loss of a member of his ‘fraternity’ with Austin’s passing.  He relates overhearing some negative guest comments, and by chance, a Disney survey just happens to inquire of that same person.  He finishes with an incidental anecdote of a lunch order for 4 that turned into food for 9 people.

Mouse Travel Tips (iTunes) Episode #11 Disney and Earth Day, and Rafiki’s Planet Watch-Beginning with the origin of Earth Day, Rachel shares its significance to the Disney Parks, and what they are doing this year to celebrate. The many causes that Disney contributes money towards are emphasized, as well as how we can be more environmentally conscious while visiting Disney.  Disney’s enviornmentaility could not be fully covered without a visit to Rafiki’s Planet Watch. With an out of the ordinary train ride to access this attraction, its petting zoo, animal care area, and the other attractions featured here, you never know what you might experience. Some helpful tips for parents of young ones are given to enjoy a visit here.

Mortis Matinee Gus Picture this: The Mortis family sits down to watch the movie. Before the movie they converse about what they are looking forward to as they watch. Throw in some trivia, movie audio, fun facts and even identify some of inconsistencies. Finish with some highlights and favorite parts and that is the Mortis Matinee. This time they focus on the movie Gus. This movie, with Tim Conway and Don Knotts, combines the unlikely mix of a donkey and football, resulting in hilarity. You will have to listen to this concise podcast to hear their reactions and comments!

Be Our Guest (iTunes)Live Show- Once you get the Be Our Guest family together you know it gets a little silly. For instance they wonder: With Disney World’s upcoming new opulent pet hotels on the horizon, do they also get free dining once it is released? They are also looking forward to their BOGP cruise and   building anticipation for the upcoming experience. Even some who aren’t able to go, are pushing for scheduling a 2.0 version so they can join in the fun. An interesting question is discussed: Do home school teachers qualify for Swan and Dolphin Hotel teacher discounts? And what is a live show without unexpected characters? Specifically, Bill Clinton, Kermit the Frog, Mickey Mouse and Goofy add to the merriment. Even famous participants like Marc from the Mom’s panel and Masayo all chime in their 2 cents. So many other subjects are brought up like: Dining options at Disneyland, The Food and Wine Festival, running and watching the Wine and Dine races, with the integrated Tree House meet.

Episode #222 Outstanding Audio-Animatronics at WDW “We love Big Al!” In addition, they contrast between the awesomely bad animatronics and the real life Wicked Witch of the West found on The Great Movie Ride. They are also checking out legs on Pirate’s of the Caribbean, specifically that hairy, dirty leg. Now that’s an outstanding animatronic! You may be surprised that they point out those classic, well themed, stand-out ones and not the latest, flashy, technology heavy animatronics. One is also mentioned that some of us never had the chance to even see; but it had no face, yet could get the crowd dancing and even display emotion. You will have to listen to hear which amazing animatronic could do all that. Really, the imagineers did not have to add such detail, but they do and that’s why we love Disney so much!

Those Darn Cats (iTunes) Episode#100 Critical Discourse among the Disney Digerati Critical thinking is defined as not negative but analysis, or personal viewpoint, evaluation or arguing with referral, seeking the deeper meaning. OK, stay with me here; these are the Cats we are talking about. With our love for Disney, though, we question from time to time why they do what they do. And when this analysis is written on the Internet (or the Wild Wild West of blogging), it’s difficult for some to separate personal ideas from factual information. And when one goes at it with a journalistic approach, that person is usually branded with a typecast, as a positive or a negative commentator. Even worse, the mindless Cheerleader camp verses the constantly critical camp result in no real honest dialogue. And even some come to the discussion without ‘having read the book’ and make their viewpoint well known without having all the facts themselves. Definitely an intriguing discussion and a nice diversion from the ‘run of the mill’ Disney podcasts.

WDW Today (iTunes) Episode #710 Listener questions With a group of 17 is it best to get the Dining Plan, or is there an ‘outside the box’ idea? How should you fit the Sum of all Thrills into an EPCOT touring plan? In addition to theming and food quality, how does service factor into choosing a restaurant?  A theoretical idea is presented of having a relative, local to a park, purchase an annual pass for your use. Is that OK? Suggestions are given for some commonly overlooked extras outside of the parks. What are some ways to pass the time while staking out a spot for the parade?  Has the crowd calendar for Touring plans ever gone below a 4? How is the Fantasyland expansion going to affect Character interaction, park touring, or even the decision to go to the Magic Kingdom at all? Is there a park hopper option for just specific days of trip? Can you depart on Magical Express from a hotel different from the one you are staying at? There’s also a good idea on combining fast passes and child swap. And finally, in regards to Journey into Imagination, why is it such a pitiful attraction as compared to its innovative predecessor?

Mouse Droppings (iTunes) Episode #28 The Most Exciting Podcast ever! “Good luck Mars team, you are on the clock!” The melancholy introduction and conclusion to this cast really disparage the exhilarating Green Team ride on Mission Space. Matt advises us to “Sit down in a fixed position and don’t move too much.” Which button makes this spin? Don’t push it, this is exciting enough!  More Toy Story Midway Mania tips will make you a ‘Toy Story Hero’ as Matt sings his not-so-original version, based on Juke Box Hero. You will be singing this one for quite a while!

If you wish to contact Shawn, you can do so at greeser@gmail.com or on twitter @dis_pod_review.

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About Shawn Rees

Shawn is an avid lover of the Disney parks, with his first visit in 1997 to WDW. He is a family man with 3 teenage children, most of whom enjoy being able to travel to WDW, but are puzzled by their fathers addiction. As a truck driver, he may not seem to be the best authority in the community, but his work affords him opportunity to listen to many Disney podcasts. His desire is not to critique the various podcasts, but to highlight the content of each. You may be reminded of something funny you also heard, or be motivated to download for specific content. So the next time you’re in Massachusetts next to a big rig, and you see the driver with a big grin on his face, it’s probably Shawn listening to the latest Disney news or recording. (You can be sure it’s him by the Mickey Heads on the antennas)
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