Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My Disney Podcast Library

There are lots of elements in the water of my Disney fountain of youth. And a big part of the makeup of these nourishing waters is Podcasts. For a guy who was still taking a cassette tape player to work each day with headphones and a box of cassette tapes, being given an iPod nano for my birthday was a little scary, but with the help of my modern Daughter and Son-In-Law, I was able to get it all set up, and start looking for things to load it up with. Of course, some selections from my extensive music library filled a few gigs. The rest is devoted to my favorite Disney podcasts. I look forward to hitting the refresh button at iTunes and seeing the titles of the newest episodes from my line-up of fun and information from these Disney Gurus. I had as many as 16 Disney podcasts lined up for import, but a few shut down, and of those that were still going strong, I found that I just can't listen to them all, so I trimmed my library down to my favorites and that left me with 9 dynamite podcasts. Here's a short review of the 9 podcasts that made the cut:

#9 - WDW FAN BOYS PODCAST:  Tim, Bret and Paul are like a pack of wild disney dogs!  Nothing is sacred with these guys, and anything can happen.  The result is a guaranteed laugh (or at least chuckle) every time out.  This is the podcast that sits in the back of the bus and shoots spit wads at the driver.  These guys get a little out of control every now and then, and that makes me grateful for ear buds (rather than speakers)!

#8 - BETAMOUSE PODCAST: The self proclaimed "Geekiest disney podcast on the planet" is just that.  The technical side of this podcast sometimes goes over this old guys head, but host Henry Work is so cool, and his guest hosts Jeff, Nate, Scott, and Katie add a lot of personality and knowledge to the show.  Even though I don't know what the heck they're talking about 1/3 of the time... it makes me WISH I was a techie!  It's always a fun trip through disney's worlds through the eyes of true techno-geeks.

#7 - THE WDW NEWS TODAY PODCAST:  Tom Corless is the host of this informative podcast and he rules with an iron hand.  His guest hosts better come correct to these proceedings, because "Iron Tom" will call them on anything he doesn't agree with.  It's always fun to hear this group pontificate on the latest agenda.  I see this podcast as "WDW Fan Boys Podcast...all grown up".  All though they get a little rowdy every now and then, it's a lot tamer than the fan boys, but just as much fun and just as informative.

#6 - MAGICAL DEFINITION PODCAST:  Hosts Nathan Rose & Jim Hill really have a good thing going here.  The information contained in this podcast is always fascinating, and Nathan seems to dig down and bring out the knowledge of Jim Hill in a great mix of opinion and info.  It's not just Theme Park & Resort news, but they also hit on the movies as well as the business side of the disney empire.

#5 - WEDWAY RADIO:  These are the "Nice Guys" of the disney podcast universe.  Brothers Nate & Matt Parrish are the main hosts of this down home podcast.  It's what I would call "easy listening" disney podcast style.  Lots of colorful recollections from trips that these guys have made to Walt Disney World.  They often bring on co-hosts Jeff, Lynn, & Reilly who all add lots of Disney World and Disneyland information and stories.  It's a casual and soothing trip down disney lane.  These are the guys that wouldn't make fun of you if you said something dumb on their show.

#4 - INTERCOT INSIDER LIVE: The Levelbest network brings you one of the most professional sounding podcasts around.  John Yaglenski is the lead voice of this group along with panelists Ian, Gary & Melanie.  This is another mellow sounding round table style show which features lots of great opinion and information from all things disney.  Informative, challenging and entertaining are the three components that keep me coming back and have helped this podcast move to the top of my list.

#3 - BE OUR GUEST WDW TRIP PLANNING PODCAST:  Of all of the podcasts I listen to, this one comes the closest to making me feel like I'm on an actual visit to Walt Disney World.  You can feel the excitement and enthusiasm in the voice of host Mike Rahlmann.  His co-hosts Deb, Pam, and Rikki join in and the fun level goes sky high!  Trip Planning, Theme Park info, tips, lots of laughs and more.  This podcast never fails to get me anxious for the next WDW trip.

#2 - THE WDW RADIO SHOW:  Starring "The Lou" Mr. Lou Mongello.  This guy is a one man show.  He's an author, producer of the Disney audio guide series, publisher of Celebrations Magazine, hosts a great youtube channel, and more.  A literal walking encyclopedia of disney knowledge.  This is the most informative show around.  He has lots of great guests and topics, but the best of the best when it comes to special guests is the one and only Jim Korkis - disney historian and author of The Vault of Walt.  When Lou and Jim get together I can't get enough.  There's a new fact or piece of information around every corner of their conversations.  When it comes to disney news, trivia and information, no one person is in the know like "Mr. Lou"!

#1 - WDW TODAY:  These guys are "The A-Team" (I don't know which one of them would be Mr. T) of the disney podcast experience!  I could listen to these guys all day long (and sometimes do).  The perfect balance of wit, sarcasm, playful ribbing, information, opinions, disney news, tips and everything else.  I don't know how it happened, but the perfect team was assembled here.  The leader of the pack is "Mr. Disney Hollywood Studios" Matt Hochberg often playing the role of straight man, and the apparent task master of the bunch.  Len Testa is the technical wizard, and is the co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World touring books.  He's the aparent "go to" guy when questions get tough, and he usually comes through with an answer.  Mike Newell is the man behind Mouseworld Radio, and is the music master (among other things) of the bunch.  "Ol' Man" Scopa (Mike Scopa) is a feature writer for and is always good for a laugh or two in every episode.  He's great because he KNOWS what he's talking about... and adds an "R" to the end of everything!  You gotta' love him!  Also featured is "The Fabulous" Annette Owens, who, I don't know why, but is on almost every episode, but isn't listed on the website.  Kinda' like "Shemp" of the Three Stooges... He WAS a "Stooge" but never got the recognition he deserved.   Yeah, kinda' like that!  The 5 of them mix well and make for the most entertaining disney podcast around.  They have a knack for coming up with some very creative and fun topics, and the listener questions episodes can't be beat! I still have trouble telling Mike Scopa and Mike Newell apart by their voices (although I have learned to listen for the "R" at the end of everything from Scopa!) but does it really matter?  These 5 people bring a smile to my face EVERY episode, even if there are only 2 of them on any particular show, it's still quality.  If I could spend a day at WDW with anyone in the disney podcast universe... these would be them!

If you know of any other great WDWor Disneyland podcasts that I may be missing, please let me know.  I need to make it an even 10 on my podcast library list!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Life on Hold (Between WDW Trips)

  I Remember when I was a little kid, and it took FOREVER for Christmas (or my Birthday, or Halloween, etc.) to get here.  It seemed like my life was on "hold" between holidays.  But as a kid, I was easily distracted, so I didn't sit around and think about it so much.  Now, fast forward about 45 years or so...

   We come back from a trip to Walt Disney World, and it's kind of that same feeling.  The memories are fresh and colorful.  Vivid.  Then, as they start to fade, and I go back to the real world, it's like my life is put back on hold for a time.

   As I sail past the days of our last trip and those memories seem to get farther and farther away in the rear view mirror, it starts to hurt just a bit more.  I start to miss the feeling of wonderment and relaxation which takes over my being when we are anywhere at WDW.

   Longing for the time when I'm at a resort, or in one of the parks, on an attraction, or enjoying a snack... heck, even standing in line for a ride.  It doesn't matter, just as long as I'm SOMEWHERE in Walt Disney World.

   It's life on hold.  The days are just obstacles in the way of our next trip to WDW.  I try to fight it off.  I summon enough energy to get on the PC and visit our favorite Disney websites.  I listen to my favorite podcasts each morning at work, read my books and magazines, plan and dream.  I remember, recall, and re-live.  Looking at our pictures helps, and visiting WDW parks and resorts on youtube helps too.  I read blogs.  There is quite an arsenal of weapons at our disposal to fight off the blues of  "Life on Hold".

   I visit my WDW group on yahoo, I read the postings on and as well as other forums.  It doesn't last though, and I feel the magical power of my Fountain of Youth starting to wear off.  The rocks of the real world start to crack my shell of Disney invincibility.  But so far, it hasn't broken all the way through.  Because, it seems that just as the good feelings from the last trip are vanishing, I realize that another visit isn't THAT far off in the distance!  I mean, in just a matter of Days (or weeks or months) I'll be checking into one of the many great resorts and planning for another round of visits to the parks, and entertainment!

   I guess it's not really a case of my life being on "Hold" because it's so bad.  It's just that there aren't too many things in the physical world that bring me to life like a good dose of vitamin WDW.

   Hold Please!