Sunday, July 8, 2012

This Week in Podcasting July 1-7

Disney Hipster Episode 6: This new comer to the theme park podcasting scene is one that “critiques the aesthetic choices of the Disney Company.”  And on this weeks show they do just that by chatting with guests Jamie and Keith about attractions, food, and beer from all around EPCOT’s World Showcase. I always find these, “Lets stroll around World Showcase” segments very interesting because every has a different opinion and everyone likes a certain country for a different reason. The Good Design, Bad Design segment focuses on the aesthetics of the lounges and bars around WDW and Disneyland. The crew is very knowledgeable and honest about what they like and do not like about the way things look around the parks. The hosts are….smart, and they really do a good job at conveying and explaining their opinion. A host could easily find themselves talking over their audience and leaving some listeners who are not so knowledgeable about design behind, but these hosts do a good job at slowing down and explaining the details with the listeners. The audio quality of this show is par, but I do appreciate the original pieces of bumper music in between segments. Any show that doesn’t lay down Fantasmic music as a bed behind their conversation is a friend of mine. As someone who does not frequent the bars and lounges at WDW, after listening to this segment, I am second guessing, and thinking about paying them a visit. This crew really knows their way around the bars and lounges in Disney Parks. The strolling around World Showcase covers a topic I have always been a little bit cautious to approach; the beer at EPCOT. During the segment they taste test the different beers and give their opinions. I am not the biggest drinker and have always been a little bit shy to spend my money on the overpriced and possibly nasty drink at World Showcase, but the Disney Hipster crew may have changed my mind during this segment. All things considered, this show is warm, informative, and chill. No fancy loud sound effects, and the crew seems very laid back, chill, and smart. My kind of people. I should also mention that these guys have one of the BEST YouTube channels ever!                 

WaltCast Episode 144: This week Sean and Katie celebrate their 3 year show anniversary by recapping their previous year on air, and by talking about the new Despicable Me attraction at Universal Orlando, and the new Agent P World Showcase Adventure at EPCOT. Sean and Katie are very likeable and very easy to listen to. The lack of beeps and boops in the background of the show helps the listener focus more on what the hosts are saying and helps the hosts get their point across easier. During their discussion of the Despicable Me opening Sean and Katie begin to give you a first person point of view of what is was like to be at the press event. They begin to, and right as they start to, they jump over to review Agent P’s adventure. This consisted of something to the effect of, “It was hot and not very fun.” I know that Sean had some family issues that had to be taken care of, but I am not sure why they even bothered to cover these topics if they were not willing to go into detail about what they experienced at the two events. Sean promises that a “revamping” of the show is underway. I am not too sure if this is needed, I would just like them to spend more than 3 minutes, literally, on topics….     

Unofficial Universal Orlando Podcast July 4th Special Episode 40: This was an EPIC edition of UUOP. Tracey, Lee, Daren, and Hunter deliver again and, if you ask me, they get back to what made this show so successful in the first place. In the last few months I feel like the crew kind of fell into the trap of putting out shows just to put them out. The shows had started to become a little bit stale, forced, and the material was not too fresh. With all of the overly scripted segments and material, you kind of got the thought that the hosts were just going through the motions. This, of course, is not true but there was a period of time when the show became a little bit boring. This week, however, was an almost complete turnaround. The crew kept the scripted bits to a minimum and they really took hold of the topic and put a lot of passion into it and made it fun for the listener. The UUOP crew decided to tackle Universal Hollywood, and that, by nature, involved a lot of talk about the new attraction at Universal Hollywood, Transformers. There are several guests on this weeks show. It starts off with WDWNT’s Scott Smith who helps the crew get acquainted with the comic book and hardcore fan side of Transformers. Scott brings up a lot of information that the average theme park fan might not know. He is quick and very passionate about Transformers. Also on this weeks show is Disney Imagineer Andy DiGenova. Andy brings a more personal and hands on view of the Universal Hollywood park with his funny and eye opening trip report. The show also features an interview with Season Pass Podcast host Doug Barnes. Doug takes the crew inside of the ride and helps them get a hold of the scale, and possible future of the attraction. I think it was a very brave decision for the hosts to tackle this topic and they certainly came out on the other end looking good. This was definitely the most informative podcast this week, and has rekindled my interest in visiting the park on the left coast.           

Show of the Week: WDWNT Episode 149: It was really a difficult decision when it came to making the call for Show of the Week, but this weeks edition of WDWNT from Tom Corless and crew was, from start to finish, the most enjoyable and informative podcast; n my opinion of course. On this weeks edition the WDWNT hosts continue their countdown of the 30 most memorable moments in EPCOT’s history. Without a doubt these countdown segments from WDWNT are some of my favorite in all of podcasting. On this segment they run down moments 19-15. The discussion they have on Horizons alone is well worth the download and listening time. The good part about this show is that the diverse mix of hosts brings the listener almost every possible view point, so no stone is left unturned. As usual, Scott Smith often finds himself on the other side of the fence staring back at the rest of the crew. I am not sure if Scott is a contrarian by nature, or if he just disagrees with almost everyone else almost all of the time just for the heck of it. Either way, at times it is overly annoying and distracting, but sometimes it helps add to the depth of the conversation. If you are a fan of EPCOT, or more importantly, a critic of EPCOT, this show is worth a listen. The crew really gets to the core of some of the longstanding issues and they really dig deep and present an unbiased and honest picture of the quickly aging park. In my opinion, EPCOT is the most overhyped thing since WCW’s Glacier (look it up), but we will circle back to my strong views on EPCOT when we get closer to October 1st.   

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