Sunday, November 24, 2013

Adventures in Podcasting

 What is a podcast?  If I had a nickel for every time...  I never knew what a podcast was until around 2005.  A podcast is an audio recording that is made public for all to listen to. Most shows are not that basic and they vary from very plain to  the well produced podcasts.  I mainly have always listened to Disney Themed podcasts, but you can find a show on almost any topic now a days.
 I found both the WDW Today guys and Ricky from the Inside the Magic Show at about the same time.  I've listened to hundreds of shows and still do.  Mostly all Disney themed.  Many of the shows over the years have stopped recording, but those that continue are great.  Along with the above, I spend my time listening to the Be Our Guest Podcast crew, Lou Mongello and his WDW Radio show and the group over at the DisUnplugged.
In the past year and a half I have found my way on to the other side of the microphone as a Podcaster.  The kids of course, by contact, also listened to a lot of Disney themed
podcasts and about 2 years ago we were talking about what we would say if we had our own podcast.  Well we talked about it over and over and decided to give it a try and the "We're Going to Walt Disney World" Podcast was born.  We're getting ready to record our 38th show and have had a blast recording.  We've been lucky enough to have had a friend of ours from England join us.  George adds a great perspective to the show.  We do a lot of different segments led by our Wheel of Attraction.  This is a great segment where we spin a great big carnival wheel with Disney Attractions on it.  We talk about whatever it lands on.  This show is fun because Quinn, Hope and George run and think up the segments and give their great teenage perspective to the show.  I'm the Tech Guy, a true up and coming Mike Newell and try to keep the show on track. 
More recently, in the last 3 months, I have become involved with a second podcast, The Disney Nerds Podcast.  This show came about with 4 people on a Facebook group called of all things the Disney Nerd Group.  We were amazed at the amount of info being posted in the group that were great history and park tips.  A couple of the groups members approached me as a "Tech guy" and I got involved.  We're a show of 4 and have guest hosts take turns joining us. We discuss all things Disney in a conversation format with a lot of honest opinions.  This show is 10 shows old but is more consistent and comes out, usually on Wednesday.  Jimmy, Farrah, Tom and I and our guests really have a good time discussing anything Disney.
I really enjoy podcasting.  The ability to be able to help out other people with information that we have learned through experience is great.  So let me know what you think in the comments below.  Is there a Podcast that you listen to?  Have you heard one of our shows?  What do you think?  We really want to know.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Sad News of Diane Disneys Passing

Once in a while you have a sad day.  This past week we had one of those days with the news of the passing of Diane Disney Miller.  She was a person of distinction and opinion and the staunch protector of the Legacy of her parents.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to her friends and family. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Eureka, the Disney Stoveworks have been Confirmed

About five years ago I approached you and a number of my friends in the Disney community looking for information about Walt Disney and the Miniature Stoves he would make.
My post from 2009, The Disney Stoveworks

I had a Eureka moment the other night while I was looking for information on Granny's Farm, the miniature house that Walt put together way back when.  The current interview I am working on for Walt's People, Harper Goff, talks a lot about this period in the company.  While looking for more information on this I came across the Stove information I have been searching for.  In an article about Walt's fascination with Miniatures, a couple of paragraphs were written especially for me:

Walt painstakingly crafted a pint-sized potbellied stove for the caboose as well. “I had a pattern made up, and it turned out so cute with the grate, shaker and door, and all the little working parts, I became intrigued with the idea,” Walt wrote. “I had a few made up: one was bronze, another black, and I even made a gold one! Then we made more and started painting them in motifs that fitted the period at the turn of the century.”
Each of these 5 1/2" inch tall stoves had a different design, and eventually about one hundred were made. Walt gave some to friends, and even sent some to an antique gift shop in New York where, to Walt’s delight, Mrs. Thorne herself purchased two to add to her renowned collection, the same collection that had inspired Walt’s hobby. They sold for $25 each and Walt made no special effort to market them or make a profit. He was just curious to see if there was any interest and by 1957, the supply was depleted.
“It has been fun making them and others appreciate them, too, so all in all, I feel well repaid,” said Walt.
 After reading this I am left with two thoughts.  The first is satisfaction in being able to confirm what Richard Todd said in that interview I transcribed in 2008.  I really love all aspects of the history of things.  I get the big warm and fuzzy when you can match up information through different sources.  So I was bummed to have only Mr. Todd mention this in a passing question in an interview and no other mention of it in all of my searches.  Of course this fell off my active radar, but the passive picked it up and question, resolved.
The second thought is, okay, he made about 100 of these stoves.  Why have I or anyone I talked to in 2009-2010 never heard of this?  I would think the value on one of these would be a little bit more than $25.  I'm thinking more like $2,500.  I'll have to put this search back into the active mode for a little while and see what else might be out there.  FYI, I just checked EBay and no luck.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sad to See You Go Sid Cahuenga

I read the news today and could not believe it.  Sid Cahuenga's Antiques and Curios has closed and the contents of the store are being moved to the AFI Shop at the end of the Back-Lot Tour. 
Sid's was a very cool place to stop and check out.  It was right before the turnstiles as you exited the park on your right.  Sid's had a lot of great autographed pictures and other objects.  Some of the names that were on display were very impress, as were the prices.
The other reason we stopped at Sid's was the Trivia board that was on the porch.  If you could answer all of the questions, you were awarded a WDW Certificate.  We've only gotten one of those. 

From what I read, Sid's location will be a new MyMagic+ service center.  Goodbye Sid, see you around town...or not.  To hear more about the history of Sid Cahuenga's check out Lou Mongello's show # 297.
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Monday, November 18, 2013

Disney Tech Check: Watching World of Color and Glow with the Show Hats

Even though I'm going to use YouTube to illustrate my points, I could not really categorize this post as a YouTube Disney Gold Post, so I felt a new Post Category was required.  This will be the first of a series of posts called the Disney Tech Check.  These posts will cover all the new technology that is introduced by the Disney company and how it effects our visits to the parks and how we experience Disney entertainment. 
I found a great You Tube video posted by Ricky Brigante from the Inside the Magic Podcast and Disney Information Empire. Ricky has just posted a great HD video of the new show at Disneylands' World of Color nighttime show.  It's the new Winter Dreams overlay with a lot of Frozen included for advertising I'm guessing.  It looks like a really fun show.  This is a great example tech video because you get to check out two great park technology innovations.  The first is the World of Color show itself.  The great coordination of water and lights and video is incredible.  Ever since the show started, it's been incredible and I'd love to see it live someday. 
The second shot of new Disney technology is the recently introduced light up Mickey Ear hats or officially know as the Glow with the Show hats.  These are the hats that have the light up ears that during certain Disney Park shows, the ears light up in sequence with the show. 
As you watch the show, or you can go right to time mark 20:20, the Buzz and Jessie scene, and watch that minute of video.  That is a very good example of all of the above technologies all working seamlessly together.

The hats are around $25 and are becoming more and more available at the parks.  The only complaint I've heard so far is that there might be times when you might feel a little lonely at some of these night time events.  There still new and at $25 a hat not selling off the shelves.  The word is at events like the above, the ears are given out for free.  Leave me a comment if you know.  I'll follow up down the road about how these actually work. 
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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Maz Disney Book Review:Attention to Detail, a Look at Walt Disney World Parks

One of the things I love the most about the WDW parks is the amount of detail that is designed into almost everything.  Of course great details are expected on the large attractions, but at WDW the details are everywhere.  From a period phone that talks to you in the Hat Shop at the Magic Kingdom to the Upside down game of Battleship at Disney Hollywood Studios.  One of the best books around that shows us a lot of those details is Attraction to Details: A Look at Walt Disney World Attractions.  This is a book compiled by Keith Black and Jackie Damon and has some of the coolest and most unique details found in the WDW parks, all with photos.  The pictures are really bright and clear and show so much great detail.  In their words:

"Through the use of photographs taken at the parks, we hope to bring awareness to the incredible work of Walt Disney and his Imagineers found throughout the parks at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.  We seek to test your memory of the location of these details as well as give a little insight to their purpose and placement from our perspective and information we have gained over time. Our hope is to encourage others to pay attention to detail and in so doing gain further enjoyment of the parks."

The other great part of this book is that it provides photo scavenger hunts for the parks.  Click Here for an example from their website. I was lucky enough to be part of one of these scavenger hunts with some friends of mine in Oct. 2012.  It was a actually run by both Keith and Jackie during the Be Our Guest Podcast's Epic October 2.0.  It was a blast.  Below is a pic of all of us that participated:
The scavenger hunt was restricted to the MK Monorail loop which meant it included the three hotels, the Ticket and Transportation Center and the Magic Kingdom stop, up to the Bag Search Tables.  I can't find a picture of the cards we were given but each card had 5-6 numbered pictures per side.  You were to find where the picture was and have all but one of the team photographed with it.  We had a blast passing the other teams and looking for the clues.  We had a two hour time limit.  the Contemporary was the base. When we got back totals were tallied and we lost by one point.  Go Figure.

The Detail orientated Duo of Keith and Jackie are getting ready to release Volume 2 and I can't wait.  Check out the Attraction to Details: A Look at Walt Disney World Attractions book and hunts either at that link on amazon or at their Home Site and tell them I sent you. 
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Thursday, November 14, 2013

7 Posts for 7 Days

Hello my Disney friends.  I've been more inconsistent as this Blog has grown older.  My goal to get back on the Wagon is 7 posts in 7 days and then back onto a more consistent posting schedule.

I think a re-introduction might be in order.  My name is Ed Mazzilli and I am a very big fan of all things Disney.  I like to explore that interest through history, through listening and recording podcasts, through the parks, watching the movies and through this great Disney community on the internet. I am part of two Disney themed Podcasts, the "We're Going to WDW" Podcast and the Disney Nerds Podcast.  I am also lucky enough to be part of a project and series of books called Walt's People.  I transcribe interviews from paper or audio to digital text. I also keep track of a lot of great blogs, web sites and facebook pages, all Disney related.  Anything to keep that Disney Spirit flowing.
So here's for the 7 in 7 and look for number 1 very soon.