Jodi Benson (the voice of Ariel), an American Idol contestant and a former cast member all give us a unique look behind the scenes with these 13 hours of Disney Podcasts. (Download your favorite Disney Podcasts on iTunes.)
Dave’s Disney View My Cast Member Experience Part 1-We have all thought about working for the mouse, and here we get a look at Dave’s cast member experience. He first shares the thought process behind deciding to become a cast member, his first steps into the Casting Center and being matched for a role fitting his skills and desires. He takes us along to that first day, parking his car in cast parking, and sitting a moment to soak it all in. And hearing details of the infamous Traditions class and specific merchandise training gives us just a peek into that secret world. I was really intrigued by the unique ways that Disney instills customer service skills on new cast members. Part 2 continues with Dave recalling his emotions of finally accessing the hidden utilidors, realizing that he is truly underneath the magic. And quickly he notes an immediate comradery of the castmember family, describing it as fraternity like, even joking of a secret handshake. And for sure he can’t just park behind the store and walk in to his post; he describes the work required in arriving on time, in costume, to his work station. And he hints of some of the cast amenities such as the cafeteria and relaxing break areas. Eventually, noticing his potential, he tells of being ‘tapped on the shoulder’ as it were, moving up the company ladder. Part 3 goes into some of the assignments he enjoyed, like establishing a storage warehouse that led to a seminal moment capping his experience. Other stories of late nights in the utilidors, running the ‘rain cage’, and his efforts of going the extra mile for the guests, figuratively puts us on the other side of that Emporium counter. Finally, he speaks of a time when he had to make a decision, to stay at Disney or move on. It sounds like it was a hard decision to make, but even though he left, it seems as though he has a hole in his heart for his time at Disney, even expressing the desire to one day return.
Northern Mouse Episode #56 Running to the Magic 2 Strap your running shoes on because this episode continues their training tips in preparation for the2011 Disney Marathon. They explain LSD, tempo, and hill runs, pointing out the specific goals for each training session. So as to have a visual log, they also have set up a Google calendar to schedule training, and point directions to access this training tool. Audio of Italy, Japan, America and France with the various street performers and attractions, round out this motivating and immersive podcast.
Betamouse Episode #16 Starting Your Disney Blog Starting a blog, a daunting task! Our geeks provide for us the tools and motivation as we look at a creative outlet for our Disney fandom. Do we start from the ground up or use assisting software? They even quell any worries we might have about keeping our blog unique. Advise for when we are getting in over our heads, the importance of consistency and how to keep moving forward with the goal of sucking less each week are discussed in detail. Is Twitter killing blogging? Also, how important is a domain and the look of the website? What are their ideas about using other people’s pictures or how to get followers? And in another brilliant stroke of genius, Darth Chaney has great advice for new posters, recalling his recent endeavors.
Coaster Radio Episode #437 Mike’s America Idol Experience In the past, this podcast has interviewed faux Mark Shapiro-former CEO of Six Flags, hosted C-Pain-an, auto tune guru who answers your love questions and has questioned Hagrid of Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter (who, by the way, is currently on probation because of recent comments encouraging people to sneak past construction walls). Recently, Mike has been working to audition for the American Idol Experience. Leading up to now, he has utilized a vocal coach, performed Karaoke, and has even demonstrated his singing abilities. All the time requesting listener feedback and tips from past performers with the goal of getting on that realistic American Idol stage. And now that moment has arrived! First, he tells of the real motivation behind this quest. And with the AIE cast member exclaiming “Welcome to YOUR American Idol Experience” and the audition doors flung open, the stars from heaven all align. He describes in detail, the audition process, sizing up the competition and even the unprecedented access he received. Does he make it all the way? Is he the next American Idol? I would be overstepping my bounds if I told you. At the very least we hear of the fame and notoriety around DHS following this AIE wanna be. It is truly worth a listen!
Mr Frank’s Wild Ride Episode #8 With loving reference to the many Star Wars aficionados, Mr Frank and friends take a long hard look at Star Wars Weekends. Realizing right away that there is an unfortunate lack of a similar event in Disneyland, they confer and the park attraction Star Tours, the training academy for Obi-Wannabe’s and the many characters that roam the park during this event. Pointing out the amazing similarities between Walt Disney and George Lucas, they also comment on the similarities of their fans. The imaginative ad program surrounding the weekends, the resourceful photopass offerings, R2MK, the pins exclusive to the event, the figurines, the ‘got to sees’, the many hosts and seminars, Dancing with the Star Wars Stars, and looking forward to the last tour to Endor encircle this exhaustive look at this popular happening. Also, a telephone call to UK Pavilion results with a seemingly prearranged call to his local twitter buddies.
Mousetimes Episode #100 John hosts a retrospective look at his favorite top 10 moments. He actually has the guts to play audio from his first show, first interview, first in park attraction audio, and his first impressions of Disneyland, while getting banged around on the Matterhorn. Of course John includes the staple recordings he is known for, like the New Years Eve collage of countdowns, the final Who Wants to be a Millionaire Play It and the many memorable Space Shuttle Launches.
Skurvy Monkeys Episode #65 (EXPLICIT) You won’t find me talking about the Monkeys very much (Did I mention explicit?), but I did want to point out this episode, where they interview Paul Barrie of A Window to the Magic (WTTM) and Gary Chambers from The Mouselounge Podcast. I found this cast to be intriguing as it is an open forum for Paul and Gary to discuss the latest WTTM controversy. Many of you know Paul has set up WTTM to now be a wholly listener funded podcast. And for various reasons this announcement has not sat well with some vocal opponents, who have thrown out some pretty damaging accusations against Paul. Paul here honesty answers all of the critics questions in a surprisingly and completely unnecessary open and forthright manner, as well as the basis for his decision. Paul even ‘runs the numbers’ for us giving us a private look into what it really costs to be a podcaster. The various options for funding are alluded to, with the drawbacks of each funding source, directing him to his final conclusion on this matter. No matter whose side you are on regarding this issue, it is an interesting and revealing look at podcasting as a whole. And I can’t help but think that other podcasters are also looking at the outcome of this situation, analyzing their future funding options.
All About the Mouse Episode #163 Jodi Benson (voice of Ariel) It is no understatement to say that Jodi set the standard for Disney Princesses in this era. Jodi doesn’t take all credit for the success of Little Mermaid, but attributes much to Howard Ashman. She here tells of how she obtained the role of Ariel, and how at first she actually downplayed the importance of this classic role. At yet even to this day, she is still making recordings for the parks while hinting at some new recording she has done for some upcoming shows and attractions. She describes her other roles such as in Enchanted, and her other role we are eagerly anticipating, Barbie in Toy Story 3. But, she truly takes our breath away as she sings the reprise from Part of Your World. And a final recording from the Music behind the Magic exhibit in Seattle provides us audio of her live performance there, as she displays her true devotion to Disney classic songs and to her adoring young fans.
Mouse Travel Tips Episode #16 Visiting Parks While Pregnant and France Pavilion-Rachel shares her experience with us and combines that with Disney’s recommendations on which attractions to avoid when touring the parks while expecting. Given are some considerations to add to your touring plans such as taking care of your dietary needs, and how not to feel deprived or become the default baggage holder while others ride attractions. Next, the talk turns to the France Pavilion with its great photo opps, a nice overview of the classical music inspired movie Impressions De France, and the savory culinary delights found in Les Chefs De France restaurant and the search for Remy while dining there.
Don’t forget, you can download your favorite Disney Podcasts on iTunes.