Sunday, April 25, 2010

The 5 Minute Magic Podcast Review

I came across another really good podcast in the oddest of places, at another Disney Podcast's message boards. I saw a post by ScottFMM over on the BeOurGuestPodcast boards. He was asking us to take a listen to his and his partners, Emily and Melissa's, podcast about Walt Disney World. Their podcast is "5 Minute Magic" and as I am always looking for a new Disney themed podcast to listen to I olbiged Scott and gave a listen. I will now continue the review in the the style of their show.

Today I'll be rating The 5 Minute Magic show on a scale of 1-10. If you see a DING! then their rating number goes up by 1 and if you see a THPPPT!, then their score goes down by one. So set the timer for 5 minutes and we'll start them off with a rating of 5.

Here we go.

Okay, we'll start off with a DING! +1 right away and bring their rating up to 6. After listening to all 37 shows Scott, Melissa and Emily sound like three very nice and knowledgeable Disney fans who are pretty much accurate in their observations. DING! Up to 7 now with finding their Niche in the World of Disney podcasts. One of the things I look for is if the show has a niche that let's them stand out. Theirs is the up and down rating discussion of an attraction. Starting off at 5 and taking turns either raising of lowering the score while providing their reasons why. Then at the 5 minute mark stopping and where-ever the rating is, there you go. THPPPT!, -1, down to 6 because they did seem to pick a topic that will run out at some point down the road. Not that I'm complaining and there are so many different attractions and resorts, this might not happen, but... And, as quick as that, DING!, back up to 7. The last ten or so shows they have begun to expand their topics to other topics such as favorite smells or favorite narration. DING!, up to 8. They are reliable. Even as I am writing this, show number 38 just hit Itunes. THPPPT!, down to 7. They no longer have a buzzer at the end of 5 minutes. Not sure if I missed an explanation, but that was a great way to find out the time was up. Although, in the first couple shows I was wondering if they would start rushing as they became accustomed to how long 5 minutes was. DING!, back up to 8. Their shows, although not 5 minutes, are rarely over 10 minutes which makes them a great listen.


Well look at that, a rating of 8! That's the highest rating that I have ever given. Well, that is the first rating I have ever given. I don't like to give show ratings in that not all things, especially something as fluid as a podccast show, can be nailed down with a number. But with the format that the 5 Minute Magic show has, I could not resist.

This is a really good show with three people with different opinions sharing their likes and dislikes about The Walt Disney World parks and resorts. So, Scott, Emily and Melissa keep producing these great shows. Their compact size of show and their novel format makes the 5 Minute Magic well worth the download. I can't wait for the live shows from the attractions themselves that I'm sure can only be on the horizon.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Microsoft Tags to Tell the Whole Story at Walt Disney World?

I was over at the DisneyShawn blog the other day and had a chain of thoughts leading up to what I think is a good idea to better enjoy the Disney Parks. I was reading his latest update about the Outpost in the Magic Kingdom and saw a comment from Brian about how great it is that everything on the Disney property seems to have a story behind it. After reading Shawn’s blog for a while, I say that after every post. Which caused the first thought, DING “How would I ever know any of these stories if I was not such a Disney Geek and knew how to use a computer?” I guess I wouldn't, unless I talked to a cast member or bought one of the Imagineering books. But even the handbooks don’t really go into as much detail as Shawn. DING, thought number two in the thought-chain, “Why don’t they have signs at each attraction giving us the back story to the building, attraction, ride or whatever?” This was not the first time I had, had this thought. Early on after discovering Shawn’s blog I asked him about that and his response made a lot of sense. The Imagineers did not want people coming down on vacation to be forced or even to be given the option to read any more than they need to. It is an amusement park after all. DING, and then the third thought of the chain fell into place. I have been following the progress of a new type of barcode developed by Microsoft known as the Tag. These tags are colorful to begin with and can be customized to a picture or logo. In a nutshell, if your smart phone has a camera and internet access, you could download a free Tag Reader App from Microsoft. Their reader uses your camera to scan the Tag and connect you to a website. The technology for the tag can be found here. By using this technology, the Disney Imagineers could now provide a Tag at each noteworthy place in the parks. A small one liner in the park maps to explain the small signs that seem to be located at different parts of the park. (DING, thought # 4 just hit while I was writing this. Can too many of these signs clutter up the park? Maybe make them 1 inch by 1 inch? I’ll leave that issue for later.) I think they can be placed strategically at each location so as not to be an eyesore, but easy to find to scan. I'll use Pecos Bill as a sample because he has such a great picture. There would be a 2 inch square logo that you would read with your Tag Reader. This is a quick customizing job. You can get very creative in that you won't see the dots, but I'll save that for when Disney calls to ask for my help in designing the real ones. If you download the Tag Reader and scan this tag, it'll take you to Shawns post on Pecos Bill's, but that could just as easily be a Disney link.
So now those of us that want the full story can find out more right on their phones, right there. Heck, if I was Disney I would provide the phones at Guest Services, charge $20 and just call this a Self-Guided Imagineering tour. It’s not like we haven’t seen groups of people huddling around one phone listening and watching for information before…can you say Kim Possible Adventures?
I do think there is a plausibility factor here, but what do you think? Too much of a gimmick? People still not tech savy enough yet? Not that it matters. Isn’t Disney’s policy to not take ideas from outside the company? Meg? Meg Crofton? Are you reading this?
Thanks to Shawn Slater over at the DisneyShawn Blog for this, at this point, great idea.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Join the Search for Kevin Flynn!

I have been following a new web site and having a blast doing so for the last couple of weeks. is a website put out by the people marketing Tron Legacy the sequel to the Walt Disney Studio film Tron. I've always been a big Tron fan and can't wait for the next one. The first time I heard anything hinting about the search for Kevin Flynn was during this years Comic-Con. Here is a link to that event. You'll see it was quite the scavenger hunt. If you followed all of the directions and codes, you found a real Flynn's Arcade. In the arcade there was a secret door that took you into a secret room where there was Tron Legacy art and a full sized light cycle. There was some hint about this event that it was something more than just a promo. Flash to a week or so ago and we came across the FlynnLives website. The updates started in February and are getting more and more intense. Early on there were some games and ideas about what FlynnLives is about. On March 25 they posted a video interview with Alan Bradley. That is Alan1 aka Bruce Boxleitner from Tron. This really made me look at this sight with excitement and greater interest. The interview was incredible to watch in that it was an interview of the character Alan Bradley talking about new things coming to the Encom gaming company. The interview IGN and very realistic up until the end, where the guy asked a question about Flynn. The interview gets icy after that and Alan(Bruce) finishes up by making a reference to check the Encom website for an announcement to take place April 2. After a couple more posts which included a link for getting your Group 7 Clearance badge mailed to you and breaking into the Encom headquarters network and getting access to the executives email accounts after using a site supplied cracker/decoder program. One last post to FlynnLives members before the news conference on April 2nd from OperationTron. The plan is to infiltrate the Encom news conference and demand Encom open there investigationn into what happened to Kevin Flynn 20 or so years ago. The news conference begins and Alan Bradley(Bruce B.) is onstage making the announcement that Space Paranoids will be re-released on the internet. That's when the FlynnLives people put their plan into action. As they are speaking you hear a helicopter getting closer and as they camera pans up you see it's the Encom Black with red trim helicopter and someone parachutes from it. If you have seen the newest trailer for Tron Legacy you get the hint that Flynn's son is a BASE jumper. That's right, the guy was Sam Flynn who was disrupting the event to parachute in. The next post on the site had a video from Sam's point of view and it's Garret Hedlund playing Sam from Tron Legacy. This is such a great tie in into the movie it's amazing. The entire site is well done and has me waiting to see what will happen next. If I have to guess I am thinking that Encom will somehow increase their security but we'll see.
So, Join the Search for Kevin Flynn, or not, but if your a Tron fan looking for some more insight on Tron Legacy, this is the site for you.