Monday, October 31, 2011

The "We're Going to Walt Disney World" Podcast Show #6

From now on I thought I would set-up a much more detailed version of the Show Notes, here in my blog.  Podbean has a lot to be desired about their posting software.

On this weeks show of the “We’re Going to Walt Disney World” podcast we once again spin the Wheel of Attractions.  The kids have a lot to say about Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride.  I don’t get it, the spinning and all, but the kids seem to really like it.   

We then talk about pressed pennies in the Family Tip segment.  Pressed penny machines can be found through-out all of WDW.  We talk about this fun activity that we have been doing for years.  One of the great finds I came up with about pressed pennies was finding the web site.  Right now, we’ve got three full books of pressed WDW pennies and are beginning another.  Hope mentioned the book with the Mickey head shaped penny.  Here it is and here is the inside of it.  This book has the Epcot Country series of pennies we discussed on the show.  Some trips, it's like we'll press pennies if we see a machine.  Other trips, it's a mission.  We talk about more on the show.

For the Disney Net-Check, our 60 second look at really good Disney themed web sites, I talk about Steve Soares’ Walt Disney WorldEntertainment web site.  This is a really nice site that is updated every week with every live event at the WDW resort.  We always hit this site the week before a trip.  You can get times for everything from Streetmosphere to the Dapper Dan’s to when is the Mad Hatter signing autographs.  A very good information site.  Enjoy.

To finish show number 6, we announce our FIRST CONTEST!.  Simple rules, email us at with any two of the attractions we have discussed in the Wheel of Attractions segment we have done.  Once we hit the cut-off on Sat., Nov. 5th at 5:00 pm WDW time we will throw all contestants into a hat and pick two winners.  The first winner pulled will get a great Splash Mountain pin and a pressed penny chosen by the kids.  The second winner pulled will get a Sleepy Dwarf in a Box, Cast Member pin.  So send in your emails.

You can find the "We're Going to Walt Disney World" Podcast on Itunes and on Podbean.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Bring Back Spectromagic…Please?

     Ever since WDW brought back the Main Street Electrical Parade (MSEP) to the Magic Kingdom there has been some debate as to which is the better parade. Spectromagic was the parade that had recently been at the Magic Kingdom since 1991. There was a two year break where MSEP did come to the Magic Kingdom, but other than that, it’s been Spectro. In June 2010 they switched over to the newer version of the MSEP and that has been the parade ever since.

     When it was announced that the MSEP was coming back, my first thought was, “wow, that’d be great!” Up to now I had seen some video and had heard the music and was looking forward to the change. I was down in the parks that June solo and had my first chance to see this parade. Again, not something I would normally do alone, but with all the hype I made it a point. And, sad to say, I was not impressed. Let me explain.
     First, a small tangent thought. I went to see the film ‘Waking Sleeping Beauty’ when it came around a couple of years ago. Producer Don Hahn gave a great talk and answered questions about the movie and his times at the WDW Studios. One of the things that he said has always stuck with me. Sound is about 75% of your movie experience. He then went on to explain this statement by saying, “When you have a chance, throw in a favorite movie and first watch a couple minutes of it with no sound. Next, watch a couple minutes with sound but don’t watch the screen.” I’ve tried this and had some other people do the same and it’s always the same, you can listen to the movie as long as you want while watching with no sound gets real boring real quick. That logic might apply here, kind of.  As I watched MSEP for the first time, about ¾ of the way through the parade I was like, is that it? The song seems to be on a loop as it plays its way through the parade. As I was thinking that, it actually began to gnaw at me a little more and became one of the main impressions that I came away from the parade with. The music began to get repetative.
     Don’t get me wrong, the floats were great and the interactions with Alice and Pete (Pete’s Magic Dragon) and the crowd were very cool. I liked how they were mic’ed up and you can hear what they say.  The Dwarf train was fun and colorful and the swish of electric stars that was on each float that lit up like a wave from the front of the parade to the back boasted technology and looked great. And the closing float with the patriotic dancers was a great touch also and totally fitting where we are with the country.  Even so, I still came away humming that same refrain over and over and thought it was just over done.
     In August, my whole crew went down.  I wanted to see the parade again to see if it had been a fluke and the three times in Jan. was just my imaginataion.  I also wanted to get the kids reactions to the parade.  Well after we watched the parade from the curb on Main Street, their thoughts were basically the same. I was hoping that I would have a change of mind also, but again as the parade went on, the thought again came into my head about, “Is the music stuck in a loop?” The kids, were not thrilled enough to even want to see it again while we were there. Let’s just say we used the Parade Diversion-Short Line Ride method for the other days we were in MK and the Parade was running.

Things I liked about Spectro: 
  • I liked how the music had basically the same theme, but had it's own sounds or specific song for each unit or float.
  • I liked the magical flourish of music that would trigger the change of all the colors in that section of the parade to go to black and white and how all the characters reacted the same way.   
  • I liked having the kids try to find the animated Tinkerbelle that flew between various floats.
  • I liked how colorful it was even compared to the MSEP.  It seemed to just have more.
  • I liked being in the right place at the right time to see Chernabog open up. 
  • I liked Chip and Dale playing it up at the Piano.
  • And as sentimental as it is, I liked how it felt to see my kids see their first night-time parade when they were so young and it was Spectromagic.
     My last point is the key, I think,  it's most people's likes and dislikes.  What happened during a specific event helps a lot in how you remember it.  I don't begrudge the MSEP fans at all.  They deserve to like what they like as much as I do.  To really put it to a test though I posted a poll on the Disboards.  The question was simple, MSEP or Spectro.  I got a great response.  Thanks for participating guys.  126 for Spectro and 54 for MSEP, but out of 45 posts that people left, it was closer. 25 Spectro and 20 MSEP.
     So, bring back Spectromagic...Please?

The "We're Going to Walt Disney World" Podcast Show # 5

This week we celebrate Halloween with couple of audio clips from the Magic Kingdom.  What says Trick or Treat better than Stich in Stiches Great Escape.  The second clip is our own Ghost Hunter investigation.  The rumour goes that if you stay in the stretching room after most have left you might hear some strange voices.  I think we did.  Listen along and hear what you can hear with our recording from the Haunted Mansions Stretching room.

Happy Halloween

Sunday, October 16, 2011

It's all in the Details; Muppets 3D Store Signage

As promised another post about Muppets 3D.  Here are some of the signs I saw in the retail store our last trip down.  I had time to let my eyes wander while I was waiting for the kids to get done looking around the store.  It must be great to have a job coming up with this stuff.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

It's all in the Details; Muppets 3D World Headquarters

The Muppets 3D attraction in Disney’s Hollywood Studios is one of my favorites each and every time we go to the parks. It is the one attraction in WDW that I can truly say has a queue and pre-show that are as interesting as or even more so than the show itself. I was going though pictures from a previous trip and came across one from Muppets 3D. As you walk into the attraction you pass a couple of boards listing the Muppet 3D World Headquarters directory. It’s amazing how many times you can walk past something and never really see it. I’m sure I have noticed this before, I even took a picture of it, but I was really surprised at all of the gags that can be found.
Institute of Heckling & BrowBeating: 
Statler and Waldorf - Curmedgeons in Chief  Box A Mezz.
Muppet Kitchens & Pyrotechnic Research:
Swedish Chef - Tippy Top Cookie Guy     Suite 2649
Dept. of Poultry & Mold Cultivation:
The Great Gonzo - Paramour - Connoisseur        Suite 1631
Patriotic Analysis & Protocol:
Sam the Eagle - American                Suite 127E
Sartorical Accumulation Division:
Miss Piggy - Diva                             Very Suite 4444
Academy of Amphibian Science:
Kermit - The Frog                            Suite 5235
The Rest of the Directory

Division of Decibel Development:
Animal - Percussionist at Large               Suite 6420
Adittudinal Adjustement & Groove Testing:
Dr. Teeth, Chairman & Floyd Pepper, Ottoman      Suite 7129
Dept. of Comedic Timing & Delivery:
Take Fozzie Bear - Please                      Suite 8932
Cute Cuddly & A.W. Shucks Attorneys:
Bean Bunny - Your Pal                         2 Suite 4 U
Soup of the Day
Split Pea:  Cup 2.95      Bowl 1.50       No Soup  3.95
Alphabet Soup:  P V M D E F N W C N P

Like I said I really like Muppets 3D.  Look forward to some more posts soon!  Don't forget, keep your eyes open next time your in Muppets 3D.  Read everything and don't laugh too loud.  You'll tip off everyone that this queue is the show.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Behind the Seeds Tour at Epcot

Walt Disney World offers a number of behind the scenes tours. Each park offers different types of tours. One of the tours that we took last summer was the Behind the Seeds tour. This tour was help in the Land at Epcot. It is a tour of the greenhouses in the “This is the Land” attraction. We had looked at doing this the last couple of trips and finally did it. Of all the tours this is the least expensive. I think we paid $14 each and were able to get a 10% discount using our Disney Visa card.
We paid for the tour and waited for our Tour Guide downstairs on the Land at the Soarin Information Desk. We got our name tags and waited about 5 minutes as other guests strolled up. The Tour Guide came out and off we went. We went out the doors right their near the bathrooms and walked to a set of doors that lead to the laboratory areas of the pavilion. In here we heard about the science involved in creating new plants by such processes like grafting. After that we saw a quick video about the good insects that they use to help the plants. This would come into play later. From here we were off into the greenhouses. As you see the kids go through those doors, it is over pressured in that there was a big blast of air as we entered.
One of the biggest warnings we got was to not walk on any of the sand that the plants were growing in. The threat of plant killing microbes coming in on our shoes was a big threat. As you go through on the ride you’ll see some cast members wearing white booties on their shoes. Pictures were allowed on this tour and we asked a lot of questions. Hope released some ladybugs to fight the bad bugs and all the kids on the tour were allowed to feed the Tilapia. We walked through every section that you see on the ride and were offered samples of the harvest to try out. Cucumbers. The tour itself is about 1 ½ hours and was very informative. Just seeing the people going by in the tour boats was pretty cool. We were in many pictures that day. Some people would wave at you if you looked at them. Very fun. We finished where we started. I’d like to try this again in a couple of years to see what’s changed. I give this tour…wait for it…two GREEN thumbs up!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

WDW Radio 40 Hour live show from Walt Disney World

THEY DID IT! This weekend the WDWRadio Podcast, hosted by Lou Mongello, performed 40 hours worth of charity work. Those 40 hours were consecutive and tough, but it was for the best of causes..."For the Children". Lou and his friend Beci Mahnken of MEI and Mousefan Travel brought us a live 40 hour show from Walt Disney World. Lou came up with this idea months ago as a Tribute to the 40th Anniversary of the opening of WDW's Magic Kingdom. Lou and company started at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning and went through to Sunday night at midnight. While this marathon of Park Touring was going on, his site hosted an auction of 40 items. People could bid on any of the items and that money would donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America through Lou's Dream Team Project.
These past 40 hours saw Lou, Beci and their band of followers move from the Magic Kingdom, to Epcot and the Boardwalk and Food & Wine, DHS and an nice look at the All-Star Vacation home. This was also a special occasion in that we saw technology allow this event to be watched globally. Through Ustream Lou was able to broadcast live for virtually all of those 40 hours. Granted, there were some issues with bandwidth in the parks and battery life. (Heh, Picked up two new charging spots in Epcot, American Adventure and Lotus Blossom)
There is another group of people to be thanked for this event however and they did not even leave their homes. The Box People who bid on the auction items and watched and talked to Lou and his friends over the last 40 hours are to be thanked in a large way for this event. The Box People came about when Lou first began using his laptop to stream live video from some of the events he gets to go to. The birth of the Box People officially happened at the first ever D23 convention two years ago. Follow this link to a previous Blog post of mine about the birth of the Box People. Ever since then we have been attending all of Lou's events.
This time Lou and the Box People out-did themselves. At the end of the night, Lou announced that they had raised $17, 231 for the Make a Wish Foundation. I would expect that number to exceed $20,000 due to donations outside the auction.
Lou and Beci had plenty of help to stay awake. A number of faces and voices we've heard from the show. Scott, Glenn, Tony, Mike, Vicki, and plenty more.

GREAT JOB GUYS!!! Now how about that 2012 announcement?