Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Give-A-Day-Get-A-Day Step 2 Completed

This past Monday night I had completed Step 2 in Disney's Give-A-Day-Get-A-Day promotion. In the last post I went over finding the volunteering opportunity. In this one I discuss the actual experience. I was signed up with three other people to visit a Senior Center in Philadelphia to help answer and troubleshoot computer questions. Not the first thing that comes to mind when you see Kermit and Miss Piggy building that house in the commercials. My coverage time was 6-8. I got there around 5:30 and after signing in I found the library/computer center. As I was waiting for the event coordinator to arrive I took some time to take a look at the four pc's they had on site. I had time to check that all were pretty much up to date with software and anti-virus. Before the session started the coordinator asked us to fill out a short form that would be submitted to the HandsOn people to be relayed to Disney. The first person I helped was a nice woman named Alice. We went over things such as email, using mapquest, getting a value on her 1985 toyota and some other things. There were a couple more people I helped in the pretty much the same way. The time went pretty fast and I'm pretty sure I was helpful. When we finished up we were thanked and it broke up. I left my email for the people I had helped in case there are any future questions I can help with. The next day I got an email from HandsOn people and they wanted to thank me and let me know that they would soon contact Disney and I should get an email from Disney in up to two weeks telling me how to claim the park ticket. Stay tuned for Step 3

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Be Our Guest Trip Planning Podcast:"Ready to Take a Trip to the World?"

Ready to Take a Trip to the World?” I always am, aren’t you? That line is the phrase that opens up every Be Our Guest Podcast. And every time I hear that line I find myself nodding my head YES! ” This is the show where you are the star! Each week, we will talk with a new "guest" who has just recently returned from their vacation to Walt Disney World. We will discuss planning, resort stays, restaurant reviews, park experiences, and much more!” The Be Our Guest Trip Planning Podcast (BOGP) has been recording since March of 2008. They are coming up on their two year mark this March and they have just released their 196th show.
The BOGP show is run by Mike with his co-hosts Riki, Deb and Pam. This podcast team has a lot of talent. Pam and Mike are both professional trip planners. The entire crew is back and forth to WDW a lot and Deb even lives down in Florida. The format of the show is really easy to listen to and the show length averages from 30 to 45 minutes. Mike releases two shows a week, one on Monday and one on Friday. The Monday show is an interview with almost anyone. The catch is the Disney tie in. From people like you and I with trip reports or someone with a new angle on the parks each of these interviews are always interesting and informative. The Friday show is reserved for the panel type discussions about almost anything Disney. This is a Podcast put on by people that are true Disney Fans first and Disney Podcast fans second and then Disney Trip planners last. Their shows are varied with topics from dining to hotels to the parks. The have a ton of experience but never hesitate to admit not knowing an item. As a fan of many Disney Podcasts, I never hear the other podcasters talk a lot about other shows. Not true about Mike and his crew. They are fans of Lou and Len, Matt & the Mikes and a lot of the other Disney Podcasts. Just recently Mike and the BOGP crew took a trip down to WDW for Marathon Weekend. Between their Tweets and Mikes audio updates, it was a little taste of what being there that weekend was like, snow and all. A big CONGRATS goes out to Mike and all the runners this year at WDW. That snow looked pretty hairy. I do agree with Mike, from his last show, about how this will be race you'll be telling your grand-kids about. BOGP has a nice website with a great set of message boards. The big story right now are people getting there reservations all set for the BOGP Cruise which will be in June 2011 on the new
Disney Dream. The family and I are booked for this cruise and can’t wait. Mike's latest venture is Magical Mouse Radio. This is one of the few all Disney online radio broadcasts that can be picked-up through Live 365. Mike has a great mix of Disney themed music and tracks 24 hours a day 7 days a week. He has just started adding shows such as the "Resort Loop" and "Kiss Goodnight" that features specific music from different parts of the World.
The Be Our Guest Trip Planning Podcast is available on ITunes and at their site for downloads. Please check them out, you will not be disappointed.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hidden Details:Minnie's Busy Life and More

I love finding details in the pictures that I take at Walt Disney World. I can be assured of looking over the last trips pictures and find some nod toward Disney History or a hidden joke.
It seems Minnie has a pretty busy calendar. On a trip through Toontown, we stopped in and visited Minnie's very Pink little cottage. There is so much to see in here that it can be over-whelming in the detail. The kitchen has some pretty good gags and the artwork and pictures everywhere are great. On the way into the kitchen there is a small little alcove that has a bulletin board with a whole bunch of posts. I can remember taking the picture and seeing a couple pictures and names stick out, but not until recently did I take a closer look and really see the Hidden Details in this little alcove in a little house in a corner of the Magic Kingdom. As I was looking over everything Minnie had pinned up the first thing that grabbed my eye was the picture of Jiminy Cricket and his Safety seminar "I'm No Fool". Can you live with your conscience if you miss it? As soon as I read those lines, I flashed to the song I'm no Fool and flipped over to Youtube for a quick search and there they were. Jiminy Cricket did a series of shorts in the 50's that were safety orientated. Topics such as bicycle, fire and pedestrian saftey and more were filmed. Here is a link for the first one I remember as a kid in school, the one on Bicycle Safety. The next item on the board that caught my eye was a Wedding Invite for a Miss Prunella Pullet and a Mr. Hick Rooster. I had an idea where this reference was going. A couple of quick searches found the 1935 Silly Symphony short, 'Cock of the Walk'. This is the classic lose the girlfriend then win her back, hick versus city rooster type of thing. Still classic and an unexpected nod from inside Minnie's house. Although, I guess they all live together in ToonTown. The next item I looked at was a small hand drawn note from someone named Penny thanking Minnie for teaching her how to publish a magazine. Hmmm, that sounds odd. I did some searches and did find a childhood friend of Minnie named Penny. At one brief moment, there was a Minnie Mouse for Mickey, a Daisy Duck for Donald, and a Penny Dog for Goofy. Disney HooZoo says, "...she seems to have played a major roll in Minnie's early life, forming the third in a trio of compadres akin to that of the Mickey, Donald and Goofy trio. Second, because she may be the mysterious mate of Goofy and mother of Max..." Read more at Disney HooZoo . (Love that name) I could not find a reference on the magazine though. A couple other references that I am not sure of is for Dr. Drillum, the local Toontown dentist. He even has a house in Toontown, Disneyland. The one add that Minnie had posted that did not make much sense was about Hewie, Dewie and Lewie and was very light on information. It seems that Duckburg's very best food prep service is now available in Toontown. That's right, the Three Nephew Catering Co. "Three Nephews From Duckburg will help you if your Stuck-burg" The best theory I have as to this one is that everyone needed a job and in the crap-shoot of jobs available the boys got the food business. They even have a window on Main Street in Disneyland Paris. Based on Disney's insistance to story there must be one. The final picture was too good to pass up but I could not find anything except for Roo's new friend Lumpy. But the Elephant's only been around a couple of years so I don't think it is it. But the add was pretty nice so I added it here. The other big item was a list of things to do , nothing special.
One of Walt's favorite sayings was that he wanted to educate but never at the expense of entertainment. The added details in these very entertaining attractions does educate, but in a way Walt never imagined. They educate in the History of himself and the company he created, which to anyone probably reading this far, would truly consider education. So, keep your eyes open for the Hidden Details of Walt Disney's World and enjoy every detail the Imagineers can dish up.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Give-A-Day-Get-A-Day Muppet Media

Disney has some great gadgets set up to advertise their Give-A-Day-Get-A-Day campaign using the Muppets in full force. Just ask Fozzie and Kermit below.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

YouTube Disney Gold: Epcot Center 1983

I want to first want to thank George from and his tweet this morning about this. I also want to thank the Progress City, USA site and their post, “Cancel your plans for Tonight and Watch This”. And I really will. This is another shot of YouTube Disney Gold but from the park side. Recently, Lord Phoenix on the allmightypuff channel has posted at least 11 videos of 1983 Epcot Center on Youtube. The quality for the day is great and this is a very detailed kind of guy. I’ve only seen the first couple of videos, but as the Progress City, USA post says, I’ll be watching all of them tonight. We were down in 1985 and we were not a video savy family so these videos are awesome to see. Please check them out and enjoy. I'll post more nfo once I see them all.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Disney's Give-A-Day-Get-A-Day Campaign: I'm In

Hello and Happy belated New Year from the Maz Disney Blog. I wanted to start the year off right and begin working on all of the New Years resolutions that I made. As it happens, Disney is right there to lend a helping hand with my resolution # 4, helping out the community more. (I had 7 resolutions in all in case you were wondering) The Disney Give-A-Day Get-A-Day campaign had begun as of Jan 1 but has been talked about since September. By volunteering a day of your time, Disney would give you a free day at the park. Wow, one free day at the park. That’s great. (I read back over the last two lines a couple of times and could not say them without them sounding sarcastic, but I’m not. Really) You do deal with some of the issues that the free park ticket for your birthday showed us. Like you don’t go for just one day so odds are that free ticket would be one day of 5 and would only be worth $10 or $15 by that point. You actually need to get to a park and for those that need to fly down, that’ll cost you. And I guess you would need to sleep so hotel is a couple more bucks. These are the facts and not negatives.
With Disney’s new campaign they are doing something that I kept thinking Bill Gates or the Virgin Airlines guy or one of those filthy rich guys was going to do or even our new president; start some kind of volunteering movement to get more people active in helping out those less fortunate. I don’t volunteer all the time, but with two pre-teens in two different schools and the church and community groups I do my share. The problem is I see the same dozen or so parents volunteering at each event. I’m hoping that by Disney doing this that they are going to get some of those other people to jump in and try helping others for the free ticket. Maybe they’ll find out giving a couple hours each week is not that hard and it is very rewarding.
I Googled the campaign over New Years weekend and found none of the early slow problems that I had read about and started at the Disney
Give-A-Day-Get-A-Day web site. The Overview says, “We want to inspire one million people to volunteer a day of service to a participating organization in their communities. So we're celebrating these volunteers' good works by giving each of them a 1-day, 1-theme park ticket to the Disneyland® Resort or Walt Disney World® Resort, free. There's no better time to make a dream come true for others and let us make a few come true for you.”
Step 1 is the Search and Sign-up part of the process. The Find an Activity button takes you to a search
page where you can enter your zip code and/or a specific type of volunteering opportunity. Disney’s partner on the volunteering side is the Hands on Network. I hit the search button and a number of pages of opportunities to volunteer came up. Each of the listings look like this (and yes, West Conshohocken is a real town and it is pronounced just like it is spelled)

Opportunity: Collect New Socks and Underwear
Organization Served: Cradles to Crayons
Verifying Organization: Cradles to Crayons
Interest: Children & Youth, Community, Hunger & Homelessness
Location: West Conshohocken, PA 19428
Distance: 4.7 miles
Minimum age: 16
Date Time Notes
February 26 9:30 am to 4:30 pm (26 volunteers still needed as of 50 minutes ago)
Show details

When you select the Show Details link you get, of course, more details and a button to register if you would like to volunteer for that job. The registration page is run by Disney and looks to be as secure as the rest of their site. The information they ask is expected. There is a place to enter the names of any family members that will be helping you. There is also a place where they ask you about when and where you plan on using the free ticket.
So, as of now, I have done all of Step 1. The opportunity I volunteered for is a place in Philly that needs help educating their seniors to use the internet to keep in touch with their family. I have heard back from the group that I am helping and am all set. The date is Jan 25.

Step 2 is actually doing what you said you would and Step 3 is redeeming the ticket. I’ll make this a series of posts
and will continue to update how the process goes.