Let me get this on the record: I am NOT wealthy.
I am not complaining, mind you. I am just making a statement of fact. My wife and I work long and hard to provide for our family of 6, which includes two kids in college, two kids in high school and all that financially accompanies it. Having said that, I suppose it’s fair to say that after taking care of everything that demands payment, there’s not a lot left over for extravagance or unnecessary spending. In brief, money is hard to come by sometimes and by extension that means that trips to our favorite places on the planet don’t happen as often as we would like.
What is a hard-core, Disney-smitten, park-loving Mousekteer to do in between trips to Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland?
We are beginning a multi-part series on ways to beat back “Disney Depression”…sharing with you tips to help keep your spirits up and ways to help make every day a magical day.
While nothing takes the place of a trip “home”, there are PLENTY of resources available to help chase away those post-trip or in-between-trip blues. Pay close attention…we’ll have you singing Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah in no time!
The first installment of our prescription for overcoming the dreaded “Disney Depression” will focus on podcasts.
Nothing keeps the magic alive like listening to a quality Disney-themed podcast. There is no shortage of podcasts dealing with travel and/or theme parks. As Disney Resorts tend to be some of the largest travel destinations in the world, finding shows that talk about them is generally not a problem. What we are looking for, however, are shows that specialize in Disney Parks…not those that just mention them occasionally. Over the years I have listened to several. Some of them began as Disney parks podcasts but have since morphed into more generalized shows about what is going on in theme parks and attractions throughout the greater Orlando and Anaheim areas. As a Disney purist, I have tended to move away from these and to focus on those that deal exclusively with the Disney parks. Not that there is anything wrong with the others, I am just interested in Disney! As was mentioned before, there are a lot podcasts that focus on all things related to The House of Mouse, but for brevity, I will spotlight 2 of my favorites.
This podcast was not the first Disney-themed podcast I listened to, but this was the one I kept coming back to over and over again. This show is a can’t-miss for me. The creator and host, Mike Rahlmann, has put together a program that is arguably a “best-in-show” podcast. His knowledge of all things Disney is surpassed only by his love for the same. The Be Our Guest Podcast is a unique blend of formats. There are three shows a week that are released via various outlets such as iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn Radio and through Podbean.
The first show of the week, released for Monday listening, tends to be a trip report from a recent visitor to one of the Disney resorts…usually done as a one-on-one conversation with Mr. Rahlmann. The mid-week show, released for Wednesday listening, is a Q&A format, where listener questions are answered by Mr. Rahlmann and his co-hosts: Rikki Nibblet, Pam Forrester and Debbie Robertson. The end-of-week show, released for Friday listening, is a topical program…a subject is chosen and the panel discusses that particular subject in-depth.
The chemistry between the hosts is excellent. They play off of each other marvelously and it’s easy to tell that these folks are for real when it comes to their love and appreciation for all Disney-centric things. The program is a delightful mix of trip reports, anecdotal memories, recommendations and trivia. They are knowledgeable without coming off as know-it-alls and freely dispense wisdom on how to “do” Disney.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the Be Our Guest Podcast crew is that in spite of doing over 665 shows, their enthusiasm for Disney (the parks in particular) is unwavering and unabated. Listening to the group, you feel like they are just as excited about the last show as they were the first.
There are no throw-away shows with the Be Our Guest Podcast. Maximum effort is put into each and every show and the production values are second to none.
Another thing that stands out about this particular podcast is the regularity and frequency of the shows. A large percentage of Disney-themed podcasts show up on a once-a-week basis. A growing number of these, over time, fade away or become irregular in how often a new program is released. Not so with the Be Our Guest Podcast. Three shows a week…always fresh, always relevant, every time.
As a value-added bonus, each month there is a companion 2-hour live call-in show on the Magical Mouse Radio station. Podcast listeners are encouraged to call in to a number (appropriately based out of Orlando) and interact with the show’s hosts.
September 12 2005. . . .that was the day the first episode of WDW Today was posted. Nearly 8 and a half years later, the show is still going strong. Hosts Matt Hochberg, Mike Newell, Mike Scopa and Len Testa bring an insider’s knowledge to the world of Disney podcasts. Just one look at their bios from the WDW Today website shows you that these guys know their stuff:
Matt Hochberg hosts WDW Today and runs a number of Walt Disney World web sites based upon Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Mike Newell runs several Walt Disney World Internet radio stations including MouseWorld Radio, as well as being involved in a number of other media outlets. He does the production for both the recorded and live shows and provides the multimedia for the show.
Mike Scopa has been visiting Walt Disney World for 33 years. For seven years he was a WDW content provider for Mouseplanet.com with his “Scoping the Parks” Column. He is currently a feature writer and blogger for AllEars.net. Mike is a contributing author to “The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World” and “The Luxury Guide to Walt Disney World.” and served as a peer reviewer for Passporter’s “Open Mouse for Walt Disney World and the Disney Cruise Line.”
Len Testa is the co-author of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World as well as creating custom touring plans for the public at TouringPlans.com.
If it’s happening at Walt Disney World, these guys are the ones who will know it. Their lively banter makes you think they are all together in the same room, but in reality, they are spread out all over the country.
The average show is between 20 and 30 minutes in length and while it’s not quite as long as other podcasts, the shows are extremely informative and to be honest, just a lot of fun to listen to! For me, the highlight of the show is the “last question”. The “last question” is always from a listener’s email. . .usually one that is quite “aged”. Three of these questions are presented by Mr. Hochberg to one of the other co-hosts, who picks the question to be answered. The other two unanswered questions end up back in the question “bin”.
While we have spotlighted 2 of my favorite podcasts, this doesn’t mean that others aren’t as good. Quite the contrary! Some other best bets include Lou Mongello’s WDW Radio, Matt and Nate Parrish’s WEDWay Radio and WEDWay Now podcasts and the DisDads podcast hosted by Aaron Rittmaster.
Let’s face it: Nothing beats time at Disney resorts, but if you can’t be there, podcasts are a good way to get your Disney “fix”.
Make sure and check back for our next installment on how to fight “Disney Depression”!