Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Maz Top 3: Future World

I am beginning a series of posts that will be titled “The Maz Top Three”. As the title implies this will be a top three list of anything in the World of Disney. I will post the top three with my thinking behind the choices. That Top three list will be then posted to the right column until I post a new Top 3.

I figured I would start this Maz Top 3 list with a softball topic for myself. The Top 3 attractions in Epcot’s Future World. Future World is one of my favorite parts of WDW. There is always so much going on there, I think it’s great. But as I thought about this more, I realized it was not going to be easy. There are many attractions in this part of the park. But coming up with a top 3 would actually be tough. At least for number three it would be tough. And since I have not ridden the new Spaceship Earth, it is not being considered.
After much thought, my third best Future World ride is Ellen’s Energy Adventure. My first instinct was Test Track, but bottom line, I drive that fast everyday and go through most of the same obstacles, I live in ‘burbs of Philly. As for the Universe of Energy, I have really enjoyed this ride over the years.
Today is no different. First off, the whole idea of an attraction about Energy with Solar panels on it’s roof is very enlightening. Someone put there ideas where their roof was. The entire pre-show is great. I never grow tired of watching it. Ellen is really, really funny. And Bill Nye the Science guy as a neighbor is pretty cool. I used to watch his show all the time. And Jeopardy w/ Alex and Jamie(Stupid Judy) and Bert Einstein are some of my heroes. Especially Jamie Lee Curtis in Trading Places. Well the pre-show is funny and educational and still relevant in today’s world. The only question I come away with is why we have not done more to improve our energy issues? I’ve been watching this movie for years with all of it’s great ideas, why have they not been put more into play? Anyway, after that great Pre-show, you move into the big loading area and you’re on your way. With all of the newer animatronics, like in the Dinosaur attraction, the Dino’s in this attraction look tame, but it’s a great show none the less.
My second most favorite attraction in Epcot’s FW is Mission Space. I have only ridden this attraction a total of six times, but that was enough to convince me. This is a very good
replacement for Horizons. The building itself with the big globe out front just yells out, ‘this is the future’. Especially at night. The first time I had ridden this attraction was right after one of the incidents that they had in 2006. So, not only was I going to try out a new attraction, I was going to find out if I have any hidden medical issues. As you walk into the front of the building you are given a choice to either ride the Orange side or the Green side. One side spins and is the ride as it was designed and the other side does not spin and is less intense. The queue, as you wait, is all space and space station based. There are a number of scale models of space ships and other off-world vehicles. There is also a great cross-section of a space station living module. One of my most stupid complaints is that when we usually go to the parks the lines are not that bad. For attractions with a very cool queue, we tend to pass it up and get to the ride because of no line. I need to spend more time on lines.(as I said, stupid complaint) Gary Sinise is your celebrity Command rep. and he guides you via video monitors through what you are going to do on this journey. Next you are led into your loading corridor and lined up on the correct number. After a short wait you are led into your command capsule. After you are strapped in, the front console moves towards you and the door closes. As you wait for the ship to take off, you can play with all of the switches and dials and knobs. Then comes the countdown, the monitor lights up to see over-head and then your on your way. Look Out Birds! This is a great thrill ride. Your adrenaline is rushing as the blast clouds fill the screen and then you feel the ‘ship’ take off. Then into orbit where gravity seems to disappear and then off to Mars. I won’t ruin the rest, but this is a great, great attraction.
My Top Epcot Future World attraction is Honey I Shrank the … Just seeing if your awake. My real top attraction is of course Soarin. This is the wind-glider attraction that was created in Ca. and then brought to Fla. This is such an incredible rush of a ride. Here again I can’t really comment on the queue too much. We kinda fly through it each time we have gone on it. Although from what I hear, this s one of the more fun lines to wait on with video games. Once you get all the way down the corridor, you line up and watch a quick pre-flight film hosted by Kron
k. Then you go through the door to the ride room and find a seat. Once strapped in the lights go down to dark and your are lifted up into the air and then music and film begin to start. Wow, it’s like your flying for real as the wind blows past your head. It’s a sensory overload. You get the full effect as if you were really flying and the scenery is incredible. Throw in the great musical score and the smell effects and this is a very memorable attraction. Did I mention the Hidden Mickey’s, there are two that I know of. There is a rumor that they are filming a Florida version of this movie right now. We’ll see.

So that is my Epcot Future World Top three. Let me know if you agree or disagree and what your list would be.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

This Week in Disney Podcasting: April 20, 2008

A preview of some of the Disney Podcasts that I listen to for this week. Mouseguest #143: Eric and Dan! are again joined by Cathy. This has become a welcome trend. This week they discuss the Animal Kingdom and what their thoughts are about it. Cathy tells us about the new Wave Restaurant. There is more Disney Rest. Tournament talk and a very good, put you in the Animal Kingdom mood, music selection.

Window to the Magic # 144: For this weeks show, Paul has a couple of people on to help him talk about a couple of topics. Carleen stops by to talk about The Golden Horseshoe Celebration that was held for Wally Boag. This is a very good audio segment. Mike Hamilton from the Disney Podcast Directory will challenge Paul to lose a couple of pounds. Paul then finishes up with a great recording of Festival of the Lion King over at the Animal Kingdom.

Inside the Magic # 159: On this weeks show, Ricky brings us up close and personal with the remaining three CMO Applicants in a conversation at the Beach Club. There are also two bonus Video posts this week. The first shows the 3 CMO’s on Main Street getting the crowd excited in one of their competitions. The other is a video of a special behind the scenes tour of Kilimanjaro Safari. Skipper Ben answers some emails. A third Video-post went up Tuesday of the Animal Kingdom’s 10th celebration.

MouseLounge # 34: This week with the normal news Gary Stakes a Homestead in frontierland. Meaning he has a recording of Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers telling the tale of Pecos Bill. This is taken from origonal LP's. Then Gary plays a long clip of Billy Hill and the Hillbillies playing at Slue Foot Sues. You'll hear a great version of the Devil Went Down to Georgia. Then a clip from Walt about making movies for adults and children. Gary finishes up with song from Toy Story 2.

Character Breakfast: Show #47 On this show we get a ‘Plethora’ of Disney news from Jeff.(His word not mine) Then Imagine and Pluto take a trip over to the Animal Kingdom to talk about the Flights of Wonder and Pochohantas shows on Monorail Station. Sorcerer and the gang continue to discuss their DW battle, a Disney World ride tournament. Then they go over some emails.

Micecast ‘Going DF’: The Mice cast guys are all together again this week. This show is another listener email suggested topic: “What would make you go DF?” In other words, what level of changes to the parks will finally make you object and complain. The guys discuss where they draw their line in the sand as to Disney changes to attractions. We here a lot about attraction alterations from the past in both Disneyland and WDW.

WDW Radio # 63: This weeks show is a full boat even though Lou is on his way to WDW for the Animal Kingdom 10th anniversary. On this weeks show Lou has Kara Goldsberry who returns to discuss her book, The Luxury Guide to Walt Disney World. They discuss her TV appearances and they then do some money is no object day dreaming as to what you can do while in the World. Jeff Pepper and Lou discuss how to get the most out of the Animal Kingdom in one day. Then Becky Mankin, owner of Mouse Fan Travel, stops by to talk about planning a vacation and other email questions that Lou’s listeners have sent in.

WDWToday # 399: The guys take a break after 398 shows and take a show to talk about what is NOT right about WDW. A good listen as always. Looking forward to show 400 and the bloopers.

Netcot #99 and 100: Van finds his groove as he returns to his normal format for Netcot’s 100th show. But not before trying one more other format in show # 99. Can you say cornbread? Another fun segment and wow do they fight a lot(only kidding). Show #100 starts out with Disney news. Van then moves into a great step-by-step description of Disney’s Ca. Adventure and then his Top 7 of DCA. “Don’t stop in Compton”

All About the Mouse #53: Brian goes over a full plate of Disney News. He then reads some fan mail and a couple AllabouttheMouskateer interviews. Jonathon joins Brian to discus the La Nuba show and other Circue shows.
Happy Tenth Anniversary WDW's Animal Kingdom!!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Youtube Gold: Disney TV Shows

I came across another piece of Youtube Disney Gold the other night. The first video I started with was the Disney-MGM Grand Opening TV show. This was a very nostalgic look at the original concept of the Disney-MGM Studios. This had been posted by DreamBoyUSA. What was the real gold of this Youtube poster is that he had a lot of old Disney TV Specials. In addition to to the MGM show, I have looked at the Disney Oscar Winners show which was about all of the Oscars won by Walt and the studios. There is a lot of old animation clips from the early Oscar wins. I also watched a little of the Welcome to the World show starring, okay sit down and hold onto your hat, starring Lindsay Wagner as the Rich Tycoon vacationing at the Contemporary, Lucy Arnez, the single traveler staying at that wacky Polynesian and a very young Tommy Tune staying at the thrifty Fort Wilderness. This is a variety show type travelogue of the park. It is very good in a retro kind of way. The kicker to this one is it is really a celebration of the opening of Space Mountain. Here is a list of other titles that caught my eye and I will be watching. It's all from video, so quality is eh, but I am still psyched to check out the posts. There are a ton more, but here's what really caught my eye :

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

This Week in Disney Podcasting; April 13, 2008

A preview of some of the Disney Podcasts that I listen to for this week.
Mouseguest #142: Eric and Dan! are joined by Cathy and special guest Matt from WDWToday to discuss their first trips to WDW and when each of them ‘Got it’. Week two of the Restaurant Tournament is now here and they discuss week one winners. As a favor to a fan of the show driving to Fla. from N.J. they play a number of great songs from the Disney Hopper. Watch out for the last song though if you are driving late. It’ll knock you out.
Window to the Magic # 143: This week Paul does something different. Patrick will be cutting back his shows to once every two months and Paul lets us listen to 6 contributors new to the show.(except Terri) They are all very good and will be helping Paul fill time. You decide which ones you like. They are The Window to the Magic Dream Team. Paul also continues on with the WTTM24 shows. This past week was show #7 of this really good idea of a day at Disneyland where we get to listen in on every minute.
Inside the Magic # 158: On this weeks show Ricky announces the winners of the Three Year Anniversary contest. He discusses the new list of upcoming Pixar/Disney movies. Skipper Ben has a Cast Member story of his experience of the opening of the Rockin Roller Coaster. Ricky then reviews the ‘Imagineering the Magic’ DVD and then finishes with listeners questions.
MouseLounge # 33: Gary Chambers brings us another fun filled show starting with the news. We then listen to Ward Kimball discuss many things about his time at the Disney Studios. We are also lucky enough to hear his appearance on the Groucho Marx game show You Bet your Life. We then listen to Whistle… and ride thrus of the Land at Epcot and Buzz Light Year’s Astro Blasters in Disneyland.
Character Breakfast: Show #46 On this show we get a good dose of Disney news from Jeff. Then Imagine and Pluto talk about Fantasmic on Monorail Station. Sorcerer and the gang discuss their DW battle. A Disney World ride tornament. Then they go over some emails.
Micecast ‘Workin for a Livin’: The Mice cast guys minus Michael discuss a lot of aspects to working at Disneyland prompted by a listener email. They talk about their best and worst customer interactions, wages, CM perks and a lot more.
Trapped On Vacation #101: Earl is Trapped in code 101 hell. He celebrates his 101st show some ride-thrus in the Tiki Room, the TTA and MILF with all kinds of problems.

WDW Radio # 62: This week Lou has a special return guest, Samantha Brown from the Travel channel. She is on to talk about her favorites in the WDW parks. Lou is joined by Barry as we hear about another Wonder of the World in something that we see all the time but probably don’t really see…WDW Landscaping. And then Jeff Pepper stops by to help with Listener’s questions.
WDWToday # 396: The guys over at WDWToday are getting close to show number 400. On Monday’s show they discuss photography in the parks with Phot-Blogger Valerie from
The Mickey Room: The Mickey Room is currently on hiatus. I have been missing Wayne’s lead-up until the Westfest trip which Kimberly was not going on. All the best to them and that we get to hear them again real soon.
Magical Definition, Disney Home Media: Nathan and Jim talk about all aspects Disney Home media on this weeks show. From the original foray into TV in the 50’s to new types of media that the Disney Company is developing now. Roger joins in and helps toward the end to discuss different types of media playing equipment.
Meandering Mouse # 77 Disneyland Paris Meanderings: Jeff takes a break this week and his friend Doug takes us on a walk-thru of Disneyland Paris. This is a very detailed well done walk-thru. I never would have thought there would be so much English spoken in the attractions in France, but I guess with England across the channel it is necessary. Enjoy.
Netcot # 95, 96, 97…: He is day by day going thru his top 7 formats he almost used for the Netcot podcast(Uh, tongue in cheek here). They are about 7- 10 minutes each and are a very funny goof. Can you say “Happy Fuzzy Bunny podcast”? Really fun stuff.
All About the Mouse #52: The AATM guys celebrate one year this week. Steve Swanson from Muppetcast stops by to interview Jonathan and Brian. They also announce their 300th All About the Mouseketeer.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

It's all in the Details: Magic Kingdom:Train Bulletin

I was going through pictures from our last trip and came across his picture. This is found in the right tunnel as you pass underneath the Main Street Train station in the Magic Kingdom in Florida. He name Kimball caught my eye at the top. I knew it was Ward Kimball and he really liked trains. So I took the picture thinking I could check it out later how it related to Ward and Disney. Well, it's four months later and as I was going through our last trip pictures i found this one again. I had some time so popped open Google and started my searches.
Grizzly Bear Flats...Kimbal Canyon: Like I said, the Kimball name caught my eye and it just so happens that Ward's private backyard railroad was known as the Grizzly Flats Railroad. Here is another link to a series of posts of Ward and Tom Snyder at Grizzly Flats for the Tomorrow Show. After finding Ward's railroad I pressed on. Hickory...Siddons City: This is a reference to Lem Siddons in the Disney Live action movie, 'Follow Me, Boys!' Fred MacMurray played Lem Siddons a WW1 vet travelling with a jazz band. The band passes through the town of Hickory and Lem decides this is the place he wants to settle down. He ends up as the Boy Scout Troop Leader. Kurt Russell is also in this.

The names of Medfield...Rutledge were real familiar. Medfield is the High School the Absent Minded Professor taught at. Rutledge was the opposing high school the the 'High Jumping' Medfield basket-ball players jumped all over. The next listing, Harrington Hills...Pendergast Plains was another obscure reference until I looked it up. Harrington is the name of the town the Pollyanna came to, to live with her Aunt Polly in the movie Pollyanna. Pendergast refers to Mr. Pendergast the cranky old guy in town with the hidden heart of gold that Pollyanna be-friends. This was a faded favorite from when I was young.

The last set of names on the board are Bullwhip...Griffon Gulch. This was the out of left-field reference of tonight's searches. I found it quick enough but have never heard of the movie, 'The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin'. This starred Roddy McDowall as a gentleman's Butler forced to be polite in the Wild West to survive. This also stared Susanne Pleshette and Karl Malden.

This whole post is another example of why we are able to back to the parks over and over. It seems like you can always find something new to catch your attention.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

MICECAST: Candid Disney discussion with an attitude

The Micecast Podcast has been around for a while, but I have only been listening for the last couple of months. I figured they mostly talked about Disneyland so how interesting can it be, I don’t plan on getting out there anytime soon. I was wrong. These guys are great. With Mike, Greg and sometimes Richard, the Micecast podcast is 1.5-2.5 hour discussion about all things Disney but mostly Disneyland. All things are available for discussion up to and including other Disney Podcasts. With 2 former and one current Disneyland employees, they have a lot of credibility in their opinions. The F-bomb gets dropped on occasion in conversation, but it’s almost refreshing after listening to hours of the clean Disney Podcasts I mostly listen to. Some of the last couple shows have dealt with the re-designing of "It’s a Small World", does Disney have a Legacy to uphold, and Disney's 5th Gate in Florida. It's like talking to a couple of friends over beers about anything Disney. So check them out and I am sure you will not be F$%#ing disappointed.