Sunday, May 27, 2012

This Week in Podcasting May 20-26

Communicore WeeklyEpisode 19: This weeks show from Jeff and George from MiceChat focuses on the Jungle Cruise. Any sure way to get me to like your Podcast, talk about Disney History. I should also say that I really appreciate the original music that is sprinkled all over this podcast. Any show that doesn’t put the Fantasmic loop behind their show gets points from me, but to put your own original music in the show gets major points. There are so many Disney focused podcast out there, and these guys have taken that one extra step to make their show stand out from the others. Back to this week’s content. The Jungle Cruise segment was short, sweet, and filled with some of the standard Jungle Cruise historical information. One segment that I look forward to each week on this show is the Book of the Week segment. I usually listen to the segment, and then run over to and buy the book that is recommended. That’s called Geek Synergy! Now a days, any production quality that does not stink is good production quality. The show sounds smooth and the segment transitions are very well done and make for an easy listen for the fan. The hosts are likeable, grounded and very easy to listen to. While they offer their opinions, they do not come across as nit picky, or too fan boyish. They don’t play too innocent but they are not in your face with farts, and dirty jokes. The shows are short and sweet, and this weeks show is a typical example of the kind of content that they offer up each and every week.

WEDWAY RADIO Episode114: Sometimes when I am feeling low or sick I do a few things to center myself and get my mind and body feeling better. I go out to the store and buy one of the massively delicious Oreo pies. I play my favorite Wii game, and I download the latest or an archive WEDWAY Radio show. The reasons are simple and have stayed the same; familiar, east and comfortable production quality. The show is packed with Disney facts, history and cant miss information. And most importantly, you can really tell that hosts Matt and Nate Parrish have a true passion and love for everything Disney. Their show releases have been sporadic at best over the last few months, but that’s ok because when a new show is released it is nothing short of podcasting brilliance. This weeks show focuses on Walt Disneys original dream for EPCOT. To prepare for the 30th anniversary of the Florida theme park the brothers Parrish discuss what Walt had envisioned and how he was planning to execute the operation before his untimely death in 1966. Matt and Nate really know their stuff and they make hosting the show seem easy and fun. Some other shows, when doing history or fact finding segments come across as over rehearsed and you can tell they are reading copy right off of a paper in front of their face; stale, uninspired and usually painful for the listener. Wedway Radio is the exact opposite. These guys don’t waste time and they dive into this difficult subject feet first. Never uptight but always serious Matt and Nate sure make it worth the wait, and I look forward to more great EPCOT specials this summer from WEDWAY Radio!         

DisneyBrit Podcast Episode 94: Recently I have been a bit cautious about reviewing and listening to shows from across the pond because I was finding it increasingly difficult to relate to the shows, but I decided to jump back into the fray by listening to this weeks Disney Brit show. This week the hosts play some of the audio from the recent Mouse Meets event in the UK, and they also have a news segment. I am finding that all of the shows from England have the same news, and discussion segments. The only shows that really distinguish themselves with different, unique, and fresh segments are Minnie Minxes and UUOP. I can pretty much listen to Disney Brit, Your Mousecast and Dis After Dark and get the same segments and information. The only difference between the shows is the opinions, hosts, and background music. Im not saying that listening to these shows and their segments is any different from listening to the 40,000 American Dinsey podcast that recycle the same news and features, but for some reason, probably an unfair and unjust reason, I am quickly growing weary of the UK shows. There are a few things that set the shows apart however. The reason I continue to come back to these shows it for the great people that host the shows. Hosts Adam and Kaz (sp?) really have warm personalities and even though I have listened to the same content on a different show, I really do enjoy hearing their opinions and getting to know them. After complaining about the sameness of all of the Disney UK shows, I should take some time to rave about the great interviews on this weeks show of Len Testa and Bill Farmer. The Disney Brit crew probably does the best job of all of the UK shows to bring their audience some of the best interviews. I did not attend Mouse Meet so listening to these interviews was a fun listen. So while I do complain, a lot, about some of these UK shows, you should definitely give them a listen because they might surprise you. I am not writing them off at all, especially not Disney Brit, but I do wish one of them would break the mold and push the envelope a bit to help differentiate themselves from the other shows out there.

Show of the Week:  Unofficial Guide Disney Dish Episode 10-11: Hands down, no contest, without a doubt the undisputed show of the week this week. He usually teams up with Jim Hill for a random podcast here or there, but this week Unofficial Guide co author Len Testa teams up with Disney history and urban planning guru Sam Gennawey. In these shows Sam and Len take a leisurely stroll around the Magic Kingdom and Sam points out some of those minute Disney details that we have come to know and love.  Sam offers up some of the most in depth and important information I have heard. Again, once I think I know all there is to know about WDW, I listen to Sam Gennawey or Jim Hill talk and I walk away with a whole new level of knowledge and understanding. Sure, its great to hear podcasts talk about which bathroom in EPCOT is their favorite, but this weeks Unofficial Guide Disney Dish is the kind of show that I long and yearn for on a weekly basis; packed with history, insider information, and tips that help you understand Disney World. Sam talks about the kind of architectural techniques that elicit certain emotions from long time Disney fans, and he also explains why the buildings on Main Street USA are the certain height, color, and shape they are. Sam and Len recorded this series of shows from inside the Magic Kingdom and there is certain level of ambient park and crows noise that makes its way into the recording. As someone who was not always a fan of in park recording, I found that the level of park noise that accompanied Len and Sam was just about right. You really felt like you were walking right beside the two in the park with the noise of the Main Street Trolley Show in one ear and the sound of a frustrated mom in the other. Like I said earlier, this show was more than what I could ask for in a good Disney Podcast and well deserving of Show of the Week. I do not have a say in who wins Show of the Month, I leave that to you, the fans; but if I did, I think that this show would be up for there for May Show of the Month. This was a very competitive week in podcasting and Len Testa really put on a great show for the listeners.    

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

This Week in Podcasting May 13-19

Better late than never! A very big special thanks to Derek Burgan who provides us with a very special addition of TWIP! Derek was given the keys to the Chevette and gives us his own podcast reviews and picks his own Show of the Week.

Derek can be seen as a freelance contributor at 
 Derek is a writer, and a frequent visitor to the Orlando area parks. Check out his site, read his blog, and follow him on Twitter @derekburgan 

If you like what you read let him hear it. Thanks to Derek! The first official Wakefield Reporter! 

WDW Today Episode1036 – Resorts Q & A: Even though I very rarely stay on Disney property (I usually stay at Universal, otherwise I’ll book a timeshare or a hotel room bought off Hotwire), I love listening to WDW Today shows that focus on the Disney resorts. This particular episode focuses on several questions sent into the WDW Today crew asking about Disney resorts, focusing on the ones near Epcot/Hollywood Studios. The first question was the one that intrigued me the most, as it was someone asking about “renting DVC points,” and how it compared to just buying a room at a Disney Deluxe hotel. The boys gave a small “Pros and Cons,” but I think I’d like a whole show on this concept. They seemed to just toss out the fact that it may be “50% cheaper,” which combined with a larger space and an actual kitchen, makes me wonder how they could justify any deluxe room compared to DVC. Good show as the one thing these guys really know well are the resorts, including which particular rooms are better than others.

Magical Definition –Listener Email Show, Sunday, May  20th2012: When Magical Definition dips into their mailbag, you’re guaranteed a good show. I’ve often called Jim Hill “the Dave Meltzer of theme parks,” and that might not mean much to some people, but if you know who Dave Meltzer is you know what a compliment it is. I consider Jim Hill to be THE guy when it comes to theme park info and love it when he can go from topic to topic that a mailbag edition provides. This one started off with a bang, with Jim basically taking on the people who are convinced Disney is going to get the rights back to the Marvel characters (for theme park use) in the near future. Jim covers some great material, including the idea of a Disney employee stationed at Universal just to take notes every day, and explains why you won’t be seeing Transformers: The Ride taking the place of Spider-Man anytime soon. If I had one question for Jim Hill it would be to ask why he still defends Cars 2 as an “action packed” film despite admitting he fell asleep a quarter of the way into it. I consider myself a HUGE fan of the first Cars film and have fallen asleep both times I have tried to watch Cars 2.

100% UnofficialUniversal Orlando Podcast Episode 30: If you are a fan of the Universal parks, this is a must have for your listening queue. I think one of it’s biggest strengths is that the crew looks at Universal “warts and all.” I would say one of the negatives of most Disney-related podcasts is the Pollyannaish look they have at the company, barely looking at it with any sort of critical eye. I love the Disney Parks too, but there’s some hard truths that need to be looked at. The UUOP crew clearly love Universal, but they also have no problem calling a spade a spade when it comes to pointing out Universal’s faults. Definitely a breath of fresh air. 

Another strength of the UUOP strangely enough are their interviews. Several of their guests in the past I have never heard of, but end up giving really strong interviews (such as the Imagineer – or whatever they are called outside of Disney – who worked on the T2 3D ride). This week had an interview with author Seth Kubersky (of Universal Orlando 2012, the Ultimate Guide to the Ultimate Theme Park) and despite the fact they didn’t talk about the book all that much, Seth was so good in the interview I immediately put the book on my Amazon Wish List to remind myself to buy it. Great insight into the Universal park experience from someone who once worked for the company and checks in several times per week to keep the book up to date. I’m a really big fan of the work Len Testa (et all) do on The Unofficial Guide, and this book seems to be a Universal themed version of that to some extent, so I’m chomping at the bit on this one.

Not many podcasts cover Universal news, so I liked that and also Tracey’s look at This Month In History, which ended up blowing my mind as I couldn’t possibly believe The Mummy ride opened in 2004. So I went line to find out myself, only to discover Tracey was right again.

WDWNewsToday Podcast Episode 242: I hate to do this, as WDWNT is always one of the highlights of my audio week, but this week’s episode had a single spotlight that focused on the Top Ten Background Loops at Walt Disney World. I consider myself a theme park nerd, but this was waaaaay beyond the scope of even my nerdism. I had to tap out with about 20 minutes to go. Normally I’m a big fan of their Top Tens, as the crew goes through their own Top Ten and defend their choices, but this was one topic I had no passion for. Strangely enough, the end of the show was just Tom Corless and Justin Heyman talking about a bunch of plans they have for the anniversary of WDWNT and EPCOT’s 30th. Even though I won’t be going to any of these events, I somehow found this discussion lightyears more entertaining than the actually countdown of background loops at Disney.

SHOW OF THE WEEK:WDWNTunes Original Programming: I’m breaking from the Wakefield tradition in that this week’s highlight isn’t a show that came out this week, but instead was a group of older shows that were finally released to the public via iTunes. Originally available only be listening live to, Season 1 of “See Ya Real Late with Tom Corliss” and one episode of Scott Smith’s Transformercast were put out. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long, LONG time. “See Ya Real Late” is sort of a parody of a talk show with a Disney theme. Lots of shots at Universal and some decent interviews (including Matt Roseboom of Orlando Attractions Magazine). One thing I wanted to see more of was a sort of mini “debate” one of the episodes had with Tom Corliss and Scott Smith on one side, and a member of a “D64” group on the other, debating the merits of Disney’s D23 membership. Tom and Scott are very passionate and smart guys, and unfortunately I don’t think the guy they went again was prepared enough for the “battle,” but this is one thing I would like to see more often. Here’s hoping the WDWNTunes show “Around the Hub” (a takeoff of ESPN’s Around the Horn, an idea I wanted to do for the world of pro wrestling podcasts years ago) is available for download soon.

Thanks again to Derek for the great reviews. Yes. Thanks for showing everyone else how crappy of a writer I am, and how brilliant of a writer you are.
Dont forget to read more of Derek's work at  where he is a freelance contributor and dont forget to follow him on Twitter @derekburgan 

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

This Week in Podcasting May 6-12

ISO 5571 Episode ???: Let me start off by saying I have no idea what ISO 5571 stands for. So, yea, its going to be that kind of review. The show is hosted by a few people; Tom Bricker and Ryan Pastorino, with Cory Disbrow. Now this is my first encounter with Ryan and Cory, but I know Tom. Well at least I thought I knew Tom. I know the Tom who co hosts the Dis Geek podcast. I know the Tom who had a guest spot on WDW Today last week; but I do not know this Tom. When I downloaded this show I thought I could handle it and all of its advanced technology talk. But just like a 19 year old and his first bottle of tequila, I was in way over my head. Fortunately, I did not end up face down in the bathroom covered I puke. That only happens when I listen to Remotely Universal. While listening to the show I took some time and visited the guys Flickr accounts and I was very impressed. This weeks show focuses on how the hosts prepare for a visit to WDW or Disneyland. Again, I thought I could hang, but I was wrong. Its not that the guys were bad hosts, or the show sucked; I am just not advanced enough in the world of cameras and photography. Maybe doing a review of a show that covers such a foreign technology is not fair, but it was their time. The show was not terrible, I fact it was a decent listen, and im sure once I learn more about photography this will be one of the shows I download every week. I would guess anyone who is apt to this technology would find this weeks show very useful. The production quality is standard and the hosts have an ok delivery. Its not about flash and flare on this show; its about sharing and discussing the technology with each other and the listeners. Even without know what a lens hood or aperture is I still learned a few things and plan on using some of the tricks with my handheld point and shoot POS on my next trip WDW.   

These Amazing PlacesEpisode 211: Wow! On this weeks show hosts Adam and Doug give one of the most extensive reviews of Disney World annual pass holder benefits that I have ever heard! They cover prices, discounts, when and where the discounts are available and how to purchase the pass. I have been listening to this show for a few months now and I must say I am surprised by how well these guys covered the passholder program at WDW. Accompanied by decent production quality, this weeks show is a very easy listen; for me at least. I am already a WDW passholder and I already knew of all the benefits offered, but I still didn’t mind listening to the show at all. Everything you ever need to know about being a WDW annual passholder is packed into this show. Don’t read a blog or read Disneys official propaganda, save yourself some time and listen to this week’s These Amazing Places! Since this show was such an easy and enjoyable listen I really do not have anything negative to say about this weeks show. Maybe they could have splashed in some WDW history or changed up the background music, but other than that this show is about as good as it gets. What I like most about this podcast is the guys are not only fans of Disney, but they are fans of vacationing altogether. I love Disney, but my ultimate goal is to travel and see the world; the real world, not just Disney world. I have yet to work this show into my regular rotation, but the more I dip in and listen to a show here and a show there, the closer I am to putting it into my regular podcast listening rotation.       

Dis After Dark Episode8: This offering from the bad boys of Britain is a little bit different. This week the guys are broadcasting from the Bullring Travellodge in Birmingham for Mousemeets 2012. This show was recorded in front of a live audience. The content of the show is the usual with a few different thing thrown in and a little bit less organization; but still the same Dumb Ass question, news, and rant segments. The two hosts have chemistry for days! They are humorous, witty, and quick on their toes with the live crow. UUOP co host Tracey has a quick cameo on the show. If your listening to this show to learn anything, then I really wouldn’t waste my time; and that is not a knock on the show, that is kind of the way the show was designed. It’s a relaxed, comical, and slightly satirical look at WDW. The guys don’t take themselves too seriously and they keep the content light and enjoyable. If you need some good filler on your Ipod or a show that will help you unwind on the way home from work, then definitely take a listen to this week’s Dis After Dark.   

Show of the Week: Mousestation Episode 447: On this weeks show host Mark makes us all jealous and share some stories and audio from his recent trip to a behind the scenes trip around new Fantasyland in WDW. The audio portion is really neat and brings to the forefront some rare and very special audio. I really wish they would have entered I some pictures along with the audio walk along. Kind of the way WDWNT does with their enhanced podcast, but maybe I am being too greedy and just enjoy the great audio on the show. Mark on eon one interview with Imaginer Chris Beaty is really well done. He manages to get some really important information out of him. Mark definitely knows his stuff and he asks Chris some very interesting questions about the relationship between the new Fantasyland construction and the former 20,000 leagues attraction. That is a question that only a pro who is well versed in WDW history could ask! A big thanks to Mark for reminding me of how little I know about WDW history.  He also asks Chris about sightlines and other things. This interview is a cant miss for anyone who is anticipating the opening of New Fantasyland. The interview with Danielle Duffy is just as good. As someone who does not stay on site I was not as thrilled about the Art of Animation resort, but the interview was still a good listen. This show is very well organized. The hosts have a great presence and really know how to navigate the listener around a podcast. I really find the whole “Mouse Planet” gimmick and mentions kind of forced and corny but its not too much, but it does kind of distract me as a listener. Give me a simple, straight forward listen. Tell me stories and make me laugh. I do not need to hear that I am to, “keep my hands and feet inside the podcast”. I hate it when shows do that. That being said, I am very happy with this show. I am surprised I have made it this long and I am just now getting around to listening to and reviewing the show. At the end of the day, of all the podcasts I listened to this week, I learned the most from Mousesation. Packed with insider information and a splash of Disney history, I was very surprised and pleased with this show. Its my first time listening to the show and my first time reviewing it and it has already won its first Show of the Week! That’s impressive.   

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Sunday, May 6, 2012

This Week in Podcasting April 29 - May 5

WaltCast Episode 140: From the firs time I listened to WaltCast I knew it was a very special show. Hosts Sean and Katie tend to switch up between doing shows that focus on Disney history and doing shows that focus on current events at Walt Disney World. Like some other podcasts out there, I find myself liking some of the WaltCast shows a ton, and the I find that a some of the shows are really take it or leave it; for me. I have said before that I am big fan of shows that discuss Disney history, so when Sean and Katie released this week show that cover the upcoming Eat to the Beat concert series at EPCOT, I found myself giving a bit of a "meh" to this weeks offering from WaltCast.  That being said it is more than evident that hosts Sean and Katie have some really greta chemistry. They are never afraid to disagree with each other, and equally important, they really know their material. From talking about what bands are playing at EPCOT, or diving into Disney history from 40 years ago, these two are really smart and have a vast wealth of knowledge. Unfortunately, smarts combined with great chemistry was not enough to make this weeks show from WaltCast anything more than just easy podcasting listening. Nothing terrible, but maybe I have set my standards for WaltCast too high. I need to realize that they cant do a show every week that breaks down Walt Disney history. Just like every review of every podcast, this is my personal view and perception of this weeks show in particular; you may listen to this weeks WaltCast and totally disagree with my less than stellar review this week.   

Communicore Online Episode 84: No doubt that this is one of, if not the best produced podcasts on the net today. When I first started to listening to Communicore I really did not like the Lest Day news segment, but like stank on zoo monkeys, the segment is really growing on me. Each show I find myself liking the segment more and more. This week host Shane Roberts shares the audio from the Disney Resort tv show, Disney Must Do. To be more than honest, since I am at Disney every month, and I hear this show play over and over and over, I fast forwarded past this part of the show.Since the Disney Must Do audio was the majority of the content of this weeks show, and I didnt listen to the segment, this review will be short. Although, I learned a heck of a lot from this weeks hidden Mickey segment. Even though a lot of Communicore Online shows clock in at under 30 minutes, host Shane manages to get a lot of information to the listeners. It may be minute by minute, one of the most efficient shows today. He does not waste much time at all and, again, the production quality combined with the end of show "advice" or word of wisdom from Shane makes this a great listen. You might say that this show is a "Must Do".  

You MouseCast Episode 47:  Ok. Well I have to admit that I went through a phase where I was really down on British Disney podcasts; see my recent review of Minnie Minxes. Not because I hated the shows, or thought they were awful, but only because i was finding it increasingly difficult to relate to the shows from people across the pond. As an exercise in the Japanese of "kiason", the act of continuously trying to improve ones self, I am diving back into the British wasters and I am starting things off with a review of this weeks Your Mousecast. This podcast my be one of my favorite segment based programs out there today. The structure of the show makes it very easy to listen to and the format does not cause the listener to strain themselves with trying to keep up with the show. Some shows are very stream of consciousness and this could be a very difficult listen if a listener is trying to focus in on a certain topic. The news segment this week is an average one from Chris, Alan, and Steve.  They do delve into a little bit of Euro Disney talk and my inner Yankee who only want to hear WDW talk was starting to squirm like a 6 year old in a dentist chair. But much to my surprise, not only was the Euro Disney chat tolerable, I actually learned a thing or two! The marathon trip report from guest Nathan was a standard trip report, but it was a good listen non the less. The main feature segment about the groups top 9 restaurants was a good segment. The guys really know their stuff and keep you laughing, sometimes unintentionally I think, during the entire segment. Your MouseCast is not on my immediate go to list of podcast each week, but with a few more information packed shows like this, it soon will be. Well, a few more shows like this, and if they drop the continuously playing Fantasmic music in the background. That alone, would move the show up a spot or two on my "list". Don't get me wrong, I love Fantasmic, I just don't want to hear it 5 times in one show!         

Show of the Week: Magical Definition May5, 2012: Objectivity is really important to me. When it comes to the things I read and in the articles I write. I to be completely honest with you all, the last few shows of Magical Definition were not too good. They were short, bland, and some of the material hosts Jim Hill and Nathan Rose felt discussed was old and very "been there, already talked about that". With that said, this weeks show falls back into the show that I learned to love. Jim and Nathan talk about the recent release of the Disney film, The Avengers. Even though Jim and Nathan have talked this topic to death, they bring a lot of important must hear information to the front. What I love the most about this weeks show, and the majority of the other Magical Definition shows, the hosts dont waste much time and they make sure they dont waste the listeners time. They make sure they give you the information you need to hear, and there is no filler. Jim has such a wealth of knowledge when it comes to Disney and the entertainment industry and his presentation of the information is almost perfect/. I know I am not the only one who finds myself hanging on every word Jim says. This weeks show is standard fare for Nathan and Jim; standard fare being this best theme park material out there in podcasting today!     


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