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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