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Mickey Heads-Disney Podcast Review 5-26-10

Celebrating the new book Knott’s Preserved, an unbelievable California Adventures By Disney tour and an interview with Kelsey Grammer underscore these 12.5 hours of Disney podcasts. (Download your favorite Disney Podcasts on iTunes.)

The Season Pass Episode #124 Preserved Part 1 Live from Knott’s Berry Farm, our crew has put out an exhaustive series of podcasts on the release of the book Knott’s Preserved with the lead writer Chris Merritt. Bob Gurr stops by and converses with the hosts; talk about a funny guy with an awesome memory! He tells of working for Walt and how he was able to get 10 hours out an 8 hour workday. And interestingly enough, he relates how Disneyland was the best thing to happen to Knott’s Berry Farm. Rolly Crump also shares his part in creating the dark ride Berry Tales utilizing many of his Disney connections. He also relates an amazing back story of designing an attraction for Dick Irvine and how he actually took scrap and made an attraction out of it. And he tells of the learning process of tricks, such as making rooms look bigger than they actually were. Even for a Disney fan, the process of making Knott’s from a charming roadside attraction to a full theme park is intriguing. And it is hilarious, at the same time a little unnerving to hear Walt Disney pumping Mr Knott for information, so he could better his own theme park.  And yet, competition from Disneyland made this park more innovative, forcing a plethora of changes over its many years. And many of those openings and closures brought back fond recollections that were shared with us.

Episode #125 Preserved Part 2 Continuing on at Knott’s Berry Farm or as they call it ‘amusement Park geek heaven’, they discuss Halloween Haunts with its history and latest installments. Again it is emphasized how Knott’s and Disney truly fed off each other. Tony Baxter noted he wanted his log flume ride to be different than Knott’s and that motivation gave us the Splash Mountain we enjoy today.  The charm and family atmosphere of the employees and guests is also noted as part of the success of Knott’s. And more deep seated memories are evoked of coming there as a child via school field trips, having run-ins with the schoolmarm and enjoying the authentic ghost town. And they also get to see some old press material in pristine form, showing the lasting love for this classic theme park.

Episope #125.5 Finally, this is audio of the presentation of the Knott’s Preserved Event, while a slide show, still an awesome look at the history of this theme park that had a friendly rivalry and symbiotic relationship with Disneyland.

Waltcast Episode #42 The highly anticipated interview with Kelsey Grammer. He describes working with John Lassitor on Toy Story 2 and the freedom he had as the character, Stinky Pete. We can see what he referred to seen on a hilarious, yet a little risqué, outtake from the movie. Fortunately, Kelsey brought up the infamous fall off from the stage at Disneyland, saying that “If you haven’t fallen off the stage once in your lifetime, you haven’t acted.” His performances on Broadway and his Tony Award nominations are underscored as his latest endeavors. And no conversation with Kelsey could be complete without covering his various ABC specials and his role as Frasier Crane both on the self titled TV show and the ultimate sitcom, Cheers.

DIS Unplugged 5/13 Adventures by Disney– They begin by describing their history with ABD how they had administrative issues with them early on, leaving  a bad taste in their collective mouths. But they then tell how they were won over, and now have ABD in high esteem. The conversation naturally flows into their latest trip to California.  They detail the entire trip, from the very beginning aspects, to the El Capitan Theatre, the food, the restaurants and the Soda Fountain shop. Next they tempt us with the exclusive Jim Henson Studios tour, and a touristy bus trip. Griffith Park with Walt’s Barn, and a scale replica train provide some more drool time. Add a trip to Mecca, AKA, Walt Disney Imagineering gave the next  ‘well now I can die in peace moment.’ Unfortunately, this specific tour ended with an all too brief trip to shop at Mickey’s of Glendale, Supermarket Sweep style. Next, Walt Disney Studios along with the ABC Commissaries, really how much more can they do in this trip? Disneyland with fast passes and bottoming out one of the subs, were other features from this unbelievable trip. And what would be the greatest achievement of anyone visiting Disneyland, a meal at Club 33, followed by another overwhelming shopping experience. But, it doesn’t end there! Riding the Lilly Belle and visiting Walt’s Apartment add to our already extreme jealousy of this experience. Truly we can understand when it was said more than once that everyone was able to pick off an item from their individual ‘bucket list!’

WedWay Radio Episode #42 Disney Legend Bob Gurr Interview While he describes himself as the same old Bob Gurr that did whatever Walt wanted him to do, we stand in awe of this man and his accomplishments. Bob tells of his early history, even as a paperboy for Ub Iwerks, not even aware of whom Ub was within the Disney Company. Bob casually talks about designing a little ‘bump car’ for Walt, that we now know as the infamous Autopia car. And he describes the point when he became a ‘disnoid,’ totally engrossed in everything Disney. Talk about on the job learning, this curious individual just wanted to find answers, and that quality truly proved him well in his illustrious career. He called it being a ‘Self-taught engineer.’ He explains what the process was like in building something new, engineering a vehicle from what we might call spare parts, ultimately creating an ‘authentic basterdized’ means of transportation. I found interesting the origination of EPCOT, with the Wednesday morning club, and how Card Walker pushed to figure out what EPCOT was, and then to just do it, to create it. Finally, it is unfortunate to hear of Bob’s untimely departure from Disney, but we do appreciate his many efforts, that we enjoy with each visit to the parks.

All About the Mouse Episode #161 Disney Statuary Following the news that came down the ‘pipe’, the focus of this cast turned to the Walt Disney Classics Collection and Collectors Society. Brian and Jonathan define what would make up a WDCC Statuary, and where to obtain information on the individual pieces of the collection, the website.  While they do range in price from inexpensive to very expensive, they do tell of where you might go to find a good deal on these specialized items. After listening to this podcast, and hearing of these unique and detailed pieces, you may end up like Brian who said, “I thought my pin addiction was bad.”

The Disneyland Gazette Episode #19 With the Dining-land Segment, Club 33 is accentuated in all it’s glory. As can be expected, this visit was so overwhelming, they could only describe it using the 5 senses. From the elevator to the description of the rooms, they detail the experience for us. Some of the standout menu items like the non alcoholic 5 fruit punch, the varietal infused olive oils, the cheese torteillini, and the appetizer/dessert bars just sounded amazing!  Listening, you can hear in their voices, that this was a surreal experience and surely those two and a half hours of the meal must have flown by.

Mousetalgia Episode #81 This episode starts with their favorite flora/landscapes, focusing their sights on the details at DL. Overall, the emphasis is on trip reports, starting with an anniversary trip to Grand Californian to dine at the Napa Rose Chef’s counter.  As one of our team comments “For a little bit more you can really tell the difference” And tell the difference they could at this restaurant! Even though they describe some of the dishes in their most basic form, such as Asparagus Jell-O, rabbit meatloaf, and basically the entire cast of the movie Bambi, they could not rave enough about the meal. The comment was even made that it was better than a meal in Club 33, that so much of us aspire to visit. Of course, you know that this meal caused severe damage to their wallets. On the cheaper side, the Coke Freestyle machine is highlighted with its myriad of combinations, except the one combination they wanted. Next, love for the Animation Building over at DCA is expressed. If the threats for closing this attraction ever come true, there would be a Moustalgia riot, both online and in person. And there are of course the random conundrums are presented like: The World of Color-just get a garden hose and some flashlights? The winking blinking talking Mickey Mouse-terrifying or heavenly?

Be our Guest Episode #229 Pam’s Mother’s Day Trip to Disney’s Old Key West Resort Following Rikki’s fan encounter, we get into the meat of this episode: Pam’s surprise trip for her daughter. While this was a surprise trip, it was also an uncharacteristically not thoroughly planned out trip. She points out that she never says, “I wish I had more park time.” But that “I usually wish we had slowed down and relaxed more.”  With this being the overriding theme to this trip, it took on a more relaxed tone. For they even spent a whole day just lounging by a pool! (Sacrilege!) She describes finally being able to ride the Characters in Flight Balloon, getting sucked into the vinylmation trap (I’m sure we will be hearing the term coined on this show “Vinylmation Domination!’) and details the latest Disney women’s accessories. And we finally have the answer to the question we have all asked, ‘Does Lotso-Hugging-Bear smell like strawberries?’ In conclusion, one point did resonate with me, and that was the lack of high expectations made the trip enjoyable for all.

WDW Fan Boys Podcast What happens when you get a bunch of Disney park loving guys from around the country together? They turn into fan boys! And that’s what we have with Tim, Paul and Brett. Their discussion based podcast looks at various aspects of the parks with shows recalling extinct attractions, their favorite aspects of the parks and even shows devoted to trip reports. The sounds bites interspersed throughout the podcast and pop culture references make the chat lively. And while they try to keep their speech level akin to a Simpson’s episode, they seem to enjoy pushing the boundaries, albeit with comical results.  Once you begin to listen to this podcast, be sure to listen to episode #8 Disney World Annoyances, our hosts personalities really come out on this show!

Episode #23 Favorite Moments in Attractions Here the guys joke over many of their favorite scenes or even moments that sparked a memory emanating from their favorite attractions. First off, they comment on the backstretch in the Haunted Mansion or Peter Pan flying over London (with the secret of the moving ‘cars’). They also particularly enjoy going through the temple in the Jungle Cruise as long as the skipper uses any classic dark tunnel reference. You know where the suphery Roman fart smell is from, and close by is Norway with its Swedish chef “You are not the first to pass this way.” They even have a favorite moment from Journey into your Imagination. With another surprising scene from Living with the Land: the farmhouse and its ominous horror movie feeling.  And who doesn’t have a favorite from Soarin’? Theirs is the LA freeway scene, because of the lack of the ever present smog. Finally they answer a listener question: “Is a turkey leg worth a divorce?  What do you do if your spouse threatens you and you bought one of those 1,100 calories treats? Is it really worth the consequences?

Don’t forget, you can download your favorite Disney Podcasts on iTunes.

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