Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Episode #122 - 4 parks in a day (part 3)

Back in May, I took a trip to the parks. I drove up from South Florida, arriving at about 9 and started a 4-park adventure. Now, I did spend the night at the All-Star Sports, so I took advantage of that fact to grab a quick nap in the middle of the day.

So come along and listen to my 3-part podcast as I wander through the parks. On this podcast, I head over to the Magic Kingdom and end my day by riding the monorail back to my car.

Of course you will hear some of my stories as I tool around. Enjoy!

Near the end, as I'm waiting for the monorail, I watch the Electrical Water Pageant, which is a fun little show that floats around the 7 seas lagoon and bay lake

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Episode #121 - 4 parks in a day (part 2)

Back in May, I took a trip to the parks. I drove up from South Florida, arriving at about 9 and started a 4-park adventure. Now, I did spend the night at the All-Star Sports, so I took advantage of that fact to grab a quick nap in the middle of the day.

So come along and listen to my 3-part podcast as I wander through the parks.  On this podcast, you'll hear me head over to the Studios, then head for a quick nap - and then its off to the Animal Kingdom

I tell you all about what;s going on, and have some fun stories and observations.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Episode #120 - 4 parks in a day (part 1)

Back in May, I took a trip to the parks. I drove up from South Florida, arriving at about 9 and started a 4-park adventure. Now, I did spend the night at the All-Star Sports, so I took advantage of that fact to grab a quick nap in the middle of the day.

So come along and listen to my 3-part podcast as I wander through the parks.  On this podcast, you'll hear me as I start out at Kouzzina on the Boardwalk, and then I head into Epcot and over to the Studios.

I tell you all about what;s going on, and have some fun stories and observations.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Episode #119 - FantasyLand Expansion

Today's podcast focuses in on all the big changes that are now open at Fantasyland. Come listen as a yak about all the new, fun stuff to see and do at the Magic Kingdom's largest expansion!

Here's a link to an article with pictures and descriptions....

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Episode #118 - Disney news (11-24-12)

 On today's podcast, its a look at some Disney news, including some information about Fantasyland, including alcohol in the Magic Kingdom?, Belles Magic Mirror, the acquisition of LucasFilm, Tom Hanks as Walt, a few words about Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear, Big Thunder Mountain, possible new additions to the parks, and a whole lot more!

Belle's Magic Mirror

The Legend of Jack Sparrow

 Phineas and Ferb & You

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Episode #117 - Hall of Presidents original show

Today, I present the audio from the Hall of Presidents, as it existed from 1971-1993. It is narrated by Lawrence Dobkin, and provides an interesting - and very Walt like - view back into the history of our great country. If its your first time hearing it, see if you don't learn something. And if you remember it from the past, see if there are moments that seem to be part of our collective consciousness, and our understanding of history. This version is ca 1973, and the last president listed in Nixon.

The only things that changed in the show over the next 20 years were the addition of the next president, and the battle hymn at the end in the 80s. Otherwise, the show remained the same.

Something interesting I noticed as I listened to this audio was that some of my recollections about historical facts were based on this show - rather than something I learned in a school room. I won't comment on whether that's good or bad, but it does show the power of the presentation....

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Episode #116 - Hall of Presidents history

In honor of the Presidential election, today's episode is a retrospective on the Hall of Presidents. I take a look back at the history of the attraction, and how it came to be - and why. Its an interesting look back into Walt's personal history and into the history of Disney World.

Note: My thanks to Widen Your World for some thoughts about the Hall of Presidents.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Episode #115 - Doug Live

Today's show focuses on a live show that holds a unique place in Disney history. The show is Doug Live! and its unique because it was not based on a Disney property - it was based on a Nickelodeon show that was bought out by Disney, and appeared on ABC morning.

Joining me to discuss it is Gary Miceli, a lover of the show and a Doug Live! can find Gary on Facebook. Feel free to contact him with any questions you might have about the show...

A promotional item from Disney in 1999 read:
It's really tough being 12. And no one knows the trials, tribulations and triumphs of being a 12-year-old kid better than the title star of the "Disney's Doug Live!" musical stage show coming to Disney-MGM Studios.

The spring 1999 debut of "Disney's Doug Live!" will be part of the largest expansion in Walt Disney World history.

Disney's Doug -- star of the popular ABC "One Saturday Morning" television show with the same name -- will come to life through a mix of live performances and animation several times each day at Disney-MGM Studios in an original story developed especially for the theme park. "Disney's Doug Live!" replaces the SuperStar TV attraction which closed Sept. 26.

The new story of "Disney's Doug Live!" follows Doug Funnie, his dog Porkchop, best friend Skeeter, secret crush Patti and class bully Roger through the ups and downs of pre-teen life.

Disney-MGM Studios guests can be part of the show as lucky audience members will be chosen to play small parts in each performance of "Disney's Doug Live!"

You can watch the show here.  Its a lot of fun!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Episode #114 - Haunted Mansion stories

Its Halloween time again and friend-of-the-show Kristi is back to talk about the Haunted Mansion, and beyond.  Come and take a listen to the darker side of the park, and hear some fun ghost-oriented stories. (with apologies, the podcast this week is a little long at 41 minutes, but I think you will find its well worth your time!)

These are the scenes from the Haunted Mansion that we discuss:

Below is "The HatBox Ghost" video. Its the only known video of the element in DisneyLand in 1969:

Kristi references a video of the haunted mansion with some alterations. You can see "The Haunted Mansion: Hatbox Ghost Edition" at

Great Expectations is available at The Gutenberg Project , for free.

Here are the Top 5 creepy things, in the Magic Kingdom, but not in the Haunted Mansion:

#5 Platypuses with Eggs (Its a Small World)

#4 Tiki Totems (Enchanted Tiki Room)

#3 Pirate on the Ship (Pirates of the Caribbean)

#2 Injun Joe's Cave (Tom Sawyer's Island)

#1 Tiger's glowing eyes in Shirley Temple's (Jungle Cruise)

Bad Apple, was just released by Vagabondage Press Books and is available everywhere in print and all e-book formats. You can find it here: (Remember 50% of the proceeds are being donated to charity)

Her newest scary story, "The Thing Inside," is in an anthology called Unnatural Tales of the Jackalope, available from Western Legends Press in both Paperback and Kindle on Amazon.

If you want to see the book trailers for either of these, they're on Kristi's website here:

A ghost story writer who still sleeps with the lights on, Kristi Petersen Schoonover’s fiction has appeared in countless magazines and anthologies. She holds an MFA from Goddard College, has received three Norman Mailer Writers Colony Residencies, is editor for Read Short Fiction, and hosts the Scary Scribes podcast for Paranormal, Eh? Radio Network in Canada. Her work Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole is a collection of ghost stories set in Disney Parks; her horror novel, Bad Apple, is now available from Vagabondage Press Books. She’s also a member of the New England Horror Writers Association. More info:

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Episode #113 - EPCOT opening audio

Today's podcast is a look back at opening day in EPCOT. I have audio from then-chairman of the board E Cardon "Card" Walker, standing in front of a crowd offering a short dedication ceremony, some audio from the actual park opening - and that includes music and an introduction by Jack Wagner.

And then, I present part of the audio from a live TV feed from EPCOT that was shown on CBS to promote its opening. If you're interested in watching the whole video - including some of the cheesy scenes, amusing comments, moderately bad acting and Disney-fied music - be sure and watch the YouTube video below.

And finally, I have a few quotes and promotional materials to share. It's a look back at the actual opening of the park, and in some ways looking ahead to the promise of tomorrow....that never was.

In particular, Kaye specifically references an Israel pavillion, a Spain pavillion, and talks with Alex Haley about the concepts for the Africa pavillion....

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Episode #112 - Epcot Stories

Continuing a celebration of EPCOT, on this podcast I have a guest who was on the construction crew and who was there for opening day as a CastMember. My friend Charles is my guest, and we chat about his memories of that time and he gives you a feeling for what that time was like, and I set some context for what it was like for those of us who saw it from the outside. I hope you enjoy this retrospective.

Curious as to what a "dragline" is?  Check out this wikipedia entry

The Odyssey Restaurant

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Episode #111 - Epcot turns 30, a look back

As Epcot prepares to celebrate its 30th year, I wanted to look back at Walt's vision, and what was constructed on the Florida property. I delve into the backstory, and what was originally progress city, and how that evolved over time. I hope you take a listen, and learn some new things about the history of the park.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Episode #110 - Destinations in Florida

On today's show, I'm delighted to talk about my new affiliation with Destinations in Florida, an authorized Disney Vacation Planner. Now when someone asks if I can direct them to an agency, I have an answer! Joining me to talk about the service - and Disney of course - is Shannon, one of the friendly and knowledgeable travel planners. Get to know her a little, and learn a little about what they offer, and of course we'll talk about some Disney Magic.

Now I have to tell you that I really had some fun talking with Shannon.  She's got the "spirit" of a CastMember and has a passion for what she does (and like I often say, you should have great passion for whatever you do in life!)...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Episode #109 - Inside the Emporium

On today's podcast, I talk about the ins and outs of working in the Emporium. I talk about its size, how much money is handled, and how it manages to work. I explain how the stock is maintained, and how the finances work. Its sort of an insiders look at the store.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Episode #108 - Dave answers your questions

Dave is back to answer your Disney questions! Is Wi-fi available? What do you do when it rains in the water parks? In the other parks? What do CastMembers do for vacations? Help with park tickets. And some cruise tips. Ticket Questions

Hidden Mickeys iPhone app

Hidden Mickeys iPad app

Pin trading app (iPhone & iPad)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Episode #107 - a trip report and a good cause

I've been doing this for a while now, and one thing that's missing is a bit of a social conscience.  I figure we all should do some good for others, and that's what I aim to do.

Now I know this is not my greatest work.  Believe me when I say I had a lot of trouble deciding on an approach for this podcast.  But I believe that what it lacks in overall production quality is offset by its purpose.

You see, I have a friend who has a child diagnosed with autism.  He wanted to take a trip to Disney, and relying on everything I know about Disney I pronounced "I believe Disney will take great care with you, and you'll have a great time!"

But it turns out that he had other information from people in his circle: Disney is NOT (gasp!) that great at making accommodations for children with autism and (double gasp!) Universal does it better.

Say it isn't so!

So, he decided to bring his other child down to investigate and visit both and determine what his son can handle and how both parks deal with issues.

And so I took him around the Magic Kingdom, and we had a ball.

But I became more acutely aware of what he was saying...and decided that my social conscience would be directed at raising awareness and supporting an organization called "Autism Speaks" can find a link to the site on this page, and on

What I would like to do over time is to hilight the cause from time to time, and if anyone has some experience in this area, please feel free to comment or send me an email.

I'm not sure where I want to go with this, exactly, but I just feel like it should go *somewhere*.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Episode #106 - CarsLand and DisneyLand

Today's podcast pays homage to the park that started it all. Curt was in DisneyLand shortly after CarsLand opened, and he's here to tell us all about it. Yeah, I know, the podcast runs a little long, but it covers a lot of ground and he gives his impressions as a DisneyWorld guy.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Episode #105 - News for August 2012

Its a dose of Disney news! Included are an update on Fast Pass Plus, The Legend of Jack Sparrow, FantasyLand, Agent P, AvatarLand, updates to Soarin'? And more! Tune in and enjoy!