Sunday, January 29, 2012

This Week in Podcasting: January 22-28

Disney, Indiana Episode 92: I should start off this review by saying that I am from Indianapolis, Indiana so this show gets major points from me from the start for its name alone. I am a big fan of shows where you sit the hosts down and let them talk nonstop for hours on end. No cuts, no edits, and no pausing. After listening to shows like Mouse Lounge and Disney, Indiana, I am warming up to segment based shows. I am very impressed with the production quality of this show. This week the crew takes a comprehensive look at Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. They start off their shows by giving a very detailed run down on the making of and history of the movie. Then they toss in some audio of well known Beauty and the Beast songs. The songs they present are some rare ones. Foreign versions and I think a Broadway version makes its way into the podcast. The scripted segments are a little bit corny for my taste but the show overall is very impressive. My fellow Hoosiers, Scott and Tracey should be very proud with this high quality and entertaining production they have!  

Generation Mouse Episode 50: This is another one of those underrated shows that I do not hear many fans talking about. This show is so funny. The young group of hosts really have a passion and love for WDW, and it really shows in their podcast! This week they revisit the topic of their first show. They give their top 5 must do’s in Disney. The subject has been done before but the spin that this crew gives the topic makes it worth listening to. Their views and ideas are a breath of fresh air and a joy to listen to. The group also does a great job at giving a different, non standard, set of top 5 things to do at WDW. They market their show as opinions from young adults but this show can appeal to any age group. You can tell in their voices that, while young, this group is filled with true professionals. They also have a lot of charisma which is very important for a group of podcast hosts.   

Dis Dad Episode 22: I am not a dad, yet…so I did not think I would find this podcast useful. I assumed it was a panel of dads talking what they do at WDW while their wives and kids ride the rides and see the shows. My assumption that this podcast would be so one dimensional and uninteresting was completely wrong! This week’s show started off a little bit slow. Hosts Ryan, Aaron, Eric, and Carl started off by talking about their opinions of the WDW monorail resorts. The topic seemed a bit forced, and the crew did not seem to be too into it for the first half of the show. They did give some good advice and info, but the segment just didn’t connect with me. Maybe I was in a bad mood or distracted. For some reason, unknown to me, about halfway into the show, the podcast picked up a lot of steam and really caught, and kept my attention. They begin to throw fact after fact at the audience and I found myself really enjoying this week’s show. They panel puts guest Carl on the hot seat and gives him 10 questions to answer. The show all together is good. Not fantastic, but I will definitely give their next show a listen and I look forward to hearing a whole new perspective on Disney.   

Your Mousecast #41: The hosts this week are joined by Adam Goodger of Disney Brit to talk about MouseMeets 2012. Adam does a good job at keeping up with the hosts interesting sense of humor and gets across some really good info to those who are interested in going to the event in the U.K. The segment is funny and informative; what more could you ask for? The hosts are also joined by a fan who gives a very funny trip report from her latest trip to WDW. All of this along with the unique look on the news from the Your Mousecast crew makes this week’s show standard fare; very funny, quick, witty, and informative. I am continually impressed with the crew’s ability to keep the show so humorous yet informative at the same time!   

Show of the Week: Mouse Lounge Season 6 Episode 10: Let me start off by saying that I think the Mouse Lounge podcast may be the most underrated show out there today. Gary Chambers is a true professional and deserves a lot of credit for the high quality production he puts on. This week he brings his fans a show that is filled with some of the best Disney audio I have heard so far this year. Featured in this week’s show is a trip around EPCOT’s World Showcase. Gary brings us audio of live music performances from each country around the lagoon. As someone who is not the biggest EPCOT fan, this music was new to me, and I genuinely found it entertaining, Gary also mixes in a Danny Kaye introduction to World Showcase, and a special Illuminations mix, but the segments that started this week’s show truly made this week’s editions of the Mouse Lounge a must listen. Gary digs out, from the BBC archives, a Russell Davis piece about Walt Disney. Davis interviews a young Walt, and gets some interesting insight into the man behind the mouse. Mouse Lounge host Chambers also presents a Disney Archive, and Capitol Records 1954 hit, Mickey Mouse’s Birthday Party. This week’s Mouse Lounge was more than a joy to listen to.  


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Universal Orlando Discussion Show

I am privileged to announce the first Universal Orlando Discussion Podcast! Host Ryan Barr is joined by myself and Brandon Glover. The format is painfully simple; three Universal Orlando fans chatting about what is one of the greatest parks in Orlando. You can visit the official site here. A few people have already asked the obvious and NO, I will not be reviewing the Universal Discussion Podcast on Wakefield Report. You, however, can. Feel free to visit the site, subscribe to the feed, and LIKE the show on Facebook and tell us how you feel. We look forward to bringing you quality and entertaining audio!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

This Week in Podcasting January 15-21

WDW Discussion Show #5: This week’s show was a little bit difficult to listen to. The content and information was enjoyable and very usable but the show lacked some structure and the foundation lost its footing within the first 10 minutes of the show. This week the hosts give their own A-E rating to attractions in the Magic Kingdom. The premise of the show is good but the execution is weak. Co host Anthony King kind of bullies his way through the show and is constantly reminding host Ryan Barr the he is older than him. Every 5 minutes Tony blurts out something like, “Well that’s because you’re a kid”, or something. It’s quite distracting and a huge turn off. I’m not sure if that will continue but I would hope it won’t. That being said; the show is very young and the content that they do manage to provide is very insightful and interesting. If you ignore some of the minor hang-ups I had about the show, it was somewhat of a good listen. I spent over 4 hours recently recording a new podcast with host Ryan Barr, and he is very smart, passionate, and interested in others opinions. That’s the important thing. I’m not trying to rag on the show, as much as I am giving my readers a bit of a warning that this week’s show is a little rocky, but I’m sure it will get better. Ryan and crew did release a second  show this week that I did not have time to listen to before writing this article. It is an interview with Dark Side of Disney author Leonard Kinsey. I am sure it is a great show and interview!  

In the Loop Rebooted Jan 16: The show this week from Clint, Adam, and the Legend is nothing out of the ordinary for regular In the Loop listeners. Legend does share some very important information about updates and rehabs from the Orlando parks. The crew plays a fan favorite game, I’ve got Five on it, where the winner gets a Coater Clock! Surprisingly, the only people who want to call in and win the “clock”, are young people under the age of 16. Like I have said before, this show is one of the best produced podcasts out there. Clint and his co hosts are funny, witty, and very open to engaging with their audience. Each show brings lots of laughs and really great updates about theme parks.   

WDW Today Episodes 982-983: Matt Hochberg and crew are back for another full week of shows. On episode 982 they take a look at the “One More Disney Day” promotion that was rolled out on January 1st. The crew is a bit late getting to this topic but I not going to hold that against them because I admire and respect their expertise so much, I look forward to their views and opinions. The information and conversation in this show is a bit generic, but the hosts do offer up some unique thoughts. A few of them do intend on staying at the park for the entire 24 hours and I think they are planning a meet or two. On episode 983 the crew talks about the music loops at WDW and how it affects the mood and atmosphere at Disney parks and resorts. I am not the biggest fan of listening and dissecting Disney music loops so I have to admit listening to this show was nothing more than background noise for me while I played Xbox(I know, background noise, I realize how ironic that is.)  

WDW Fan Boys Show #110: This week show from Bret, Tim, and Paul is not the most flamboyant or glamorous. It is a long trip report from Bret and Tim. The two were down at WDW for a week or so during and after the New Year holiday. They share some stories with their listeners but the bulk of the actual content is nothing to lose sleep over if you miss the show. Bret shares his adventures at EPCOT on New Years and reminds me of why I don’t want to set foot near WDW during the holidays. Co host Tim does offer up some really great information to listeners who might be traveling to the park with a family member with disabilities. Tim talks about how the guest assistance card works and shares the challenges and adventuress of having a disabled family member at WDW. In all, this weeks show is not too spectacular but it’s nice to listen to a few friends sit and chat for a bit about their recent trip to Disney and Universal.     

Show of the Week:  The DisGeek Podcast Episode 30: This week’s offering from hosts Daniel and Paul is very deserving of Show of the Week. The show starts off with a pretty good new segment. The hosts break down the latest movements and happenings Disneyland. I am someone who does not spend a lot of time listening to DL podcasts, but this show is a must listen for any Disney fan. There are some very important things that make this Show of the Week. The feature segment this week is an interview with Jae Brattain about former Disney imagineer Roger Broggie. Jae took a lot of time to research this topic and he really knows his stuff. He offers up a lot of important and fun information. This segment is a must hear; but what really makes this week’s show top notch is the rant that co host Paul goes on. The team presents the news that the Disney dance club elecTRONica is being replaced by the Tim Burton inspired Alice in Wonderland’s Mad Tea Party. The rant is too good to put into words, but I can assure you it is an early favorite of Rant of the Year!    


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Sunday, January 15, 2012

This Week in Podcasting January 8-14


WEDWAY 104: What can I say about WEDWAY that I haven’t already said. Once again, the brothers Parrish turn in another fabulous episode. Packed with history, stories, and a bit humor, the show this week is another fun trip into Disney’s past. This week Matt and Nate are joined by author and Disney historian Sam Gennawey and talk about the Disneyland and Disney World themed land “Adventureland”. Sam is a great interview. I recommend that you pull out an Adventure land map to keep track of what the hosts and Sam are talking about. Sam shares some really great stories and is a real treat to listen to. Without much fanfare the Parrish brothers turn out another stellar episode that had me clinging to my headphones and wanting to hear just one more minute of the podcast. Also I should say the WEDWAY Radio has my favorite show opening audio!        

WDWNT  #225: If you are a fan of the usual format for WDWNT then you might find this week’s show a little bit different or lacking. Host Tom Coreless has a bit of a shortened show this weeks when he is joined by co host Scott Smith to talk about the new Magic Kingdom interactive game, Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. Nothing too fancy n this show as Scott shares his experience and thoughts on playing the game. Tom does a great job at providing the listener with images from the game using WDWNT’s unique enhanced show technology. At times, Scott does come across as a bit too nitpicky and critical of the game. Scott seems to be the one in the WDWNT hosting group who is always there to criticize or be generally negative about something; but maybe I’m the one who is criticizing too much. Altogether this week’s show is a really good listen and I enjoyed hearing the details about the game from Scott and Tom.     Jan 7, 2012: Hosts Lisa, Bob, Chris and Laruen take some time this week to look at what’s ahead for Disney World and Universal Orlando in 2012 and they also discuss which attractions in WDW are the most underrated. The crew does a great job this week breaking down everything that’s coming to Orlando in 2012. I am a new listener to this show and I am very impressed with their professionalism and their willingness to listen to the other talk. Often times when you have multiple hosts in podcasting they are busy talking over each other or you can tell that they are just waiting for their co host to stop speaking so they can say their own piece; but the Mouse chatters are very different. Their opinions on topics are very well thought out and there was even some disagreement between the hosts on a few topics. Like I said, I’m new to this podcast. I’m not sure if every show is as good as this week’s, but if they are then this show will soon be a favorite of mine. #615: This week’s show was a real treat. The hosts are joined by Seth Kubersky who is the author of "Universal Studios 2012: The Ultimate Guide to the Ultimate Theme Park.". Seth shares some really great insight and information with hosts about how things unfolded at Universal Orlando last year and what is set to go down this year at UOR. In the same vein as Jim Hill, Seth has a unique behind the scenes perspective that only a few theme park insiders can provide. Hosts Mike and E.B did a great job of holding things down as well. Mike and E.B remind me of a throwback AM morning radio duo who keep you laughing on your way into work while managing to throw some nuggets of news your way. The crew discusses what may or may not replace the now empty JAWS and Amity area at Universal. They even manage to get in a quick lesson on the “ethics” of theme park journalism. The information exchanged during this show is must hear for any Universal Orlando or Harry Potter fan. This show is definitely worth the listen in what was otherwise a slow and stale week in theme park podcasting,

Show of the Week: WDW Radio #256: Let me start off by saying that I am NOT a big fan of WDW Radio. It is not near the top of my must listen shows for the week, and if I go a week or two without listening I am not heartbroken. That being said, this week’s offering from Lou Mon J-e-ll-o(its alive!) blew me the eff out of the water. I downloaded this show at my house and then went on what was going to be a leisurely bike ride to Siesta Key Beach here in Sarasota, Florida (rated the number 1 beach in America by Dr. Beach btw). The bike ride takes about 30 minutes. As I started listening to this week’s WDW Radio, I heard Lou introduce his guest for this week, Jim Korkis. My interest was piqued; but then when I heard Lou say that he and Jim were in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and that they were going to discuss the history and legacy of the Disney film The Rocketeer I was ready to turn off the podcast and coast to the beach with Dave Matthews Band in my ears.  I am so glad I decided to listen to this show instead. With little to no knowledge of the Rocketeer I learned a hell of a lot of new thing about the film and the hidden gems in DHS from this show. As usual, Korkis is a huge source for Disney knowledge and he unleashed his mighty brainy fury of Lou’s listeners this week. I am headed to DHS on January 17, and I plan on looking for the artifacts that Jim and Lou talked about. This show covers almost everything you want to know, or everything you didn’t know you wanted to know about the Rocketeer.   

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Saturday, January 7, 2012

This Week in Podcasting January 1 - 7

In the Loop Rebooted Jan 2: This week the coaster crew hosts are joined by Doug Barnes of The Season Pass Podcast. The iTunes description for this week’s show says it all, “They BS more then they chat.” This is completely true. The show this week is a little bit less structured than usual but if you’ve listened to this show more than one, you are used to it, and you have learned to love it. Special host Doug adds more comedy and insight on this show. I guarantee you will laugh from start to finish while listening to this week’s show. Listener Gavin calls in with his trip report from his recent visit to Dolly Wood. Gavin in young and offers insight and analysis like no one else can. The “kettle corn” segment is the best. The crew tries to call co host Legend to get some first hand, on sight reporting of the closing of the Universal Orlando JAWS ride, but he won’t answer the damn phone! You will never think about your computer mouse the same way after listening to this week's show. This week’s show in particular takes on a stream of consciousness type of flow that will keep you on your toes. This show is always in my weekly rotation and I listen to it live, or download it for a morning bike ride to work.     

Be Our Guest Podcast Episode399: This show is the warm, fluffy, cuddle kind of show that really makes you feel good. Not that much controversy, or arguments and really relaxing. BOG is a neat show that I like to listen to while trying to relax from a hectic day of retail management. On this week’s show host Mike Rahlmann flies solo this week and interviews two Disney fans about their most recent visit to WDW. The couple is very likeable and seems to have a good time while on the show. Host Mike does a good job at steering interviews and does a good job at pulling the important information out of his guests. This week’s show is just a trip report and a little one dimensional. No news, rumors or other content, but that’s ok. This is a very good trip report from the guests. The really make a conscious effort to share their trip with the BOG listeners. Trip reports are a great and unique way of podcast host connecting with their fans and sharing information with their listeners.

WDW RadioShow 255: Whew! This week’s offering from Disney podcasting overlord Lou Mon(j-e-ll-o) is monster two and a half hour show. I have to say that I am not the biggest WDW Radio fan. Lou’s show tends to lack objectivity at times; and while I don’t think every show needs to rag on Disney on each and every show, I do think the same old, “Disney is great and wonderful all the time” get very tired after about three shows. That being said I was hooked on this week’s WDW Radio show after about the first 10 minutes of listening. Lou was joined by a few co hosts for this special show where they look back on 2011 Disney news and happenings. From attraction openings, closings, AVATAR, cruise lines and restaurants this show covers almost everything Disney in 2011. Except for a certain new annoying theme park blog debuting in late fall of 2011. Lou has some really great insight and opinions on what went down at Disney in the past year, but I have to go back to the lack of objectivity. At one point in the show he even manages to put over Stitches great Escape! No one, I mean no one is such a huge fan of Walt Disney World that they can put that attraction over. Somehow overly positive Lou manages to do it though. Other than that this week’s show was a huge success in my book. I really enjoyed listening to this show and it was an early favorite of mine to be show of the week.      

Inside the Magic Show #352: This week’s shows from host Ricky Brigante is over four and a half hours long….! I’m still listening to it and I’ll get around to doing a review on it around the third week in May.

Betamouse #92: This was the finale show for Henry Work and the Betamouse crew. They all got together for a live show and talked about the past present and future of Disney tech. They all did a great retrospective on their previous episodes running down show topics and guests. After listening to them run down the previous episodes I am now more curious than ever to go back into the Betamouse archives and listen to them all. Throughout the entirety of the live show the crew took live calls from listeners, former guests, and others. It was very fun, yet sad to listen to the crew reminisce about the past 91 shows. Really consider taking some time out of your day to listen to this genuine group of friends say good bye.   

Show of the week: Unofficial Universal Orlando Podcast #21: Damnit! Damnit, damnit, damnit! I was trying really really hard to not repeat “Show of the Week” in the first few months of this blog. I was trying even harder to not have a back to back “Show of the Week” winner. I was trying extremely hard not to seem like a whoreish shill for UUOP (even though I really am!), but the purpose of this part of the blog is to showcase which show I think offers up the most information, content, and history to the average theme park podcast listener. This week Unofficial Universal podcast is a tribute show to JAWS. When I first heard about the idea for this show I thought, “Well, ok, that should be decent.” Decent it was not; this show was freaking awesome. I can say that this is an early Show of the Year candidate! Lee and Tracey open the show by giving us their thoughts of the classic Universal ride closing. Then they invite a former Universal JAWS skipper on to talk about his experiences and adventures on the attraction. The insight offered up by this former skipper is amazing. The behind the scenes info he shares would rival the kind offered by Jim Hill. Speaking of Jim Hill, he is also on the show and gives information on the building and evolution of the famous ride. There is also a helping of cast member SPEW stories, trip reports, a fact Hunter segment, emails from fans, and much much more. This show is without a doubt story telling at its best. This is everything I think a podcast should be! Two thumbs all te way up to Lee, Darren, and Tracey for putting out an instant classic!              

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Friday, January 6, 2012


I first ventured into the Orlando area theme parks in the spring of 2010. While a seasoned veteran in theme parks in general, I am a still a bit of a novice when it comes to the Big 3 in Orlando. Although a monthly visit to Orlando is helping me play catch up. I think as someone who is pushing himself as a source for “theme park news, reviews, ideas and opinions”, I should take a look at the things I have and have not done inside and outside of the Orlando area. I figured what better way to kick off the New Year than with a slate of confessions and resolutions to share with all ten of my readers!

Confession # 1.  I go to Orlando for a theme park visit, be it Universal or WDW, about once a month. I live about 2 hours south of Orlando in the Gulf coast city of Sarasota. So needless to say the last thing I want to do after a full day of theme park touring is make the 2 hour trek back home in the middle of the night. I always get a hotel room for the night. Most of these monthly trips are multi day trips. On these, obviously, a hotel room is a must. In 2011 I logged about 25 hotel nights in about 13 different hotels in Orlando. None, nada, zero, zilch of these nights were spent inside of a WDW or Universal hotel! That’s right. I have my own semi successful theme park blog, but who doesn’t now a days, and I have not stayed “on property!” I am ashamed and embarrassed, but I have my reasons. The average nights stay for an on property, value level hotel stay at WDW is about $90 depending on the time of the year. These hotels are well themed and close to the Disney parks. I however, have chosen the cheap route when it comes to staying overnight in Orlando. I bid for hotel rooms online on This is an uncharted and scary experience for most Orlando visitors but I think it’s really easy and well worth the time.  In 2011, the most I paid for a hotel room in Orlando was $65 a night. The lowest star level hotel I visited was 3 stars; the furthest I have been from WDW was only about a 20 minute drive from my hotel on I-drive by Universal Orlando. The value and quality is a no brainer for me. I am in love with bidding for hotels because it is considerably cheaper than staying on property at WDW or, god forbid, the very expensive hotels inside Universal Studios gates. That being said, it is time to stop making excuses, stop being cheap, and it’s time to start experiencing life inside the resort hotels.

Resolution: In 2012 I plan on staying at 3 different Walt Disney World resort hotels.  One value, one moderate, and, gulp… one deluxe Disney hotel. I would love to stay at Pop Century and since I am a premium annual passholder I get a considerable room discount. I would love to stay at Port Orleans and maybe even, again, gulp….the Grand Floridian! In addition, I am absolutely dying to spend at least one night at the Universal Studios Hard Rock Hotel! I have heard so many good things about this place and I know, after the sting of the price wears off, I would love to spend a night in the Hard Rock. The hour early entry into the theme parks does not hurt either.

Confession #2: This confession is personally as shocking as my first one. I am a hardcore, to the bone, balls out theme park tourist. I want to ride as many rides, see as many shows, and watch as many parades as possible. When you are so committed to such a balls to the walls them park lifestyle something has to give. For me, unfortunately, it has been sit down, table service dining inside the theme parks and hotels. I do have another reason for not enjoying fine restaurants like Chef Mickey’s, 50’s Primetime CafĂ© or Confisco Grille. The price (are you sensing a theme here?). I am the kind of theme park tourist who packs his back pack full of cookies, chips, and other unhealthy snacks that melt and leave a mess in my bag by the second hour in the park. I do make it a point to seek out a counter service restaurant for my lunch while inside the parks, but I know it’s not the same. I can easily suck it up and pay the extra dough for a dinner, but I have been choosing to take the cheap route (Golden Corral). I have also heard multiple horror stories about how the food at table service venues, at WDW in particular, is nowhere near the quality and value that it should be.     

Resolution: For every horror story I have heard about the food at these restaurants, I have heard two about how good the selection is at these places. Tonga toast! How can I call myself a Disney World freak, and I have never tasted Tonga Toast!? How can I call The Lost Continent one of my favorite lands at Universal (hush) and I have never been to Mythos?! I am a fraud, a cheat, and a loser. I resolve to dine at a table service venue in each and every one of the major Orlando theme parks in 2012. I can, nay, I will right this wrong!             

Confession #3: I love Walt Disney World! I love Universal Studios! Each time I go to these parks it feels like my first time all over again. The two hour drive there each month can’t be over with fast enough. All of my Orlando hotel check ins are in the middle of the night at like 1 or 2 am! Why? When we arrive in Orlando we could stop by the hotel, check in, throw our bags downs, and then head to the parks; but I get so excited and impatient to walk though those gates, we totally skip the hotel process and go right to the park. Because of this love for Disney and Universal that generates a lack of patience and abundance of ADD, I have never visited Sea World Orlando! I love animals and zoos, and I love dolphin shows, but every time I sit down to plan an Orlando trip and add in a Sea World day a little voice in the back of my mind says, “But that’s a day you can spend at Disney!”

Resolution: In 2012 I am determined to stomp a mud hole in that little voice and silence him forever. Sea World is a world class theme park and I can’t wait to plan a trip there. 2012 will be the year of Shamu!       

Confession #4: I would like to make a public apology to about 3000 people. These 3000 people have submitted themselves to the worst kind of torture, pain, and agony imaginable. They are the visitors and viewers of Prideofsimba was a youtube channel that I started about a year or so ago to share my Disney videos with my Facebook friends. The videos on this site are shaky, out of focus, and poorly produced monsters that showcase and highlight how much of an amateur I truly am. It was started innocently enough and I do love the heck out of it, but the production quality leaves a lot to be desired. I did spend a lot of time wondering if I should even keep the channel up. There are countless channels out there filled with people who have much better cameras and talents than me. So why should anyone spend their valuable time visiting my channel and watching my videos?

Resolution: I begged, groveled, and pleaded to my partner Daniel for a new digital camera for Christmas. On Christmas morning my dreams came true and I got a brand new camera! I am constantly thinking of new ways to entertain, and inform my YouTube viewers. I have some pretty good ideas, I think, of ways to make my videos stand out from the rest and I am committed in 2012 to providing quality content to  Stay tuned!

Well there it is, for better or for worse, those are my 2012 confessions and resolutions. I really hope that my fan boy card is not revoked. I hope to accomplish all of these things in 2012. It is going to involve me stepping outside of my comfort zone a little bit, and taking some chances. Orlando has a lot to offer and I have only scratched the surface.  2012 will be a year of adventure, mystery, and fun. I hope to see you in the parks, hotels, and restaurants. If you would like to meet up in 2012 in any of these places feel free to hit me up on twitter @wakefieldreport       

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