Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

Episode 78 -- A Look Back

Could this be what Disney has in store for Star Wars?
This week the team looks back at Ghosts of Disney's Acquisitions Past.  Topics include Pixar, Marvel, The Muppets and more.

Downlaod Episode 78

Monday, November 12, 2012

 
This week the team looks at what they learned in the last year and a half.  Russ also touches on Parks merchandise.

Download Episode 77

Monday, November 5, 2012

Thursday, November 1, 2012

HOLY FUCKING SHIT! STAR WARS! DISNEY!

The news of the week/month/year/millennium is that Disney has acquired LucasFilm.  As a lifelong Star Wars fan, this is wonderful news.  I'll get the Episode VII I've always hoped for and Star Wars will get to live on.  Some quick thoughts on this.

*Disney has shown itself to be a good steward of important brands.  Pixar hasn't lost any zip since the acquisition.  The Marvel Universe rules the world and the Avengers movie showed that Disney can get this stuff right.  Longtime comics fans loved that and the choices that were made to make it happen, especially with Joss Whedon at the helm.  Not all franchises are so lucky.  If Star Wars is going to owned by anybody, I'm happy that it's in Disney's hands.

*This isn't just Star Wars.  Indiana Jones is another property.  Something tells me that we'll be seeing more fedoras around Adventureland.

*Star Wars is going to get bigger in the parks.  We can all imagine how and where.  It does raise some interesting possibilities that will make some fun show topics.

*$4B seems cheap.  The three movies they'll put out (maybe more?) will probably gross $500M each.  There's also merchandise considerations and theme park expansion.  Hey, there could also be a non-sucky Indy movie.

*Quick links from Grantland and TechCrunch.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Episode 75 -- The Other End of the Rabbit Hole


Preview of Food and Wine carts for Ireland and team rules.  Russ also walks the team through the Canada Pavilion.  We close out with a look at the France's offerings during the Food and Wine Festival.

Download Episode 75

GO TO THE DISNEY FOOD BLOG RIGHT NOW

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Kip's Video Series: Part I

As loyal listeners may know, Dr. Springfield and I are expecting a son soon.  My parents, deciding that Dr. Springfield needed to know what she was getting herself into, took this as an opportunity to pull out the old home movies.  Among the tapes of band concerts and birthday parties was a treasure trove of WDW nostalgia.  
Today I begin a series of some classic looks at Disney World.  Below is the Magic Kingdom 15th Anniversary parade, which my father was good enough to tape back in 1987.  Enjoy!



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Episode 74 -- Disney, Orlando and Gambling


The Team tackles why the question of why is Disney playing defense on a casino in Florida.  There's also a segment on Epcot's recent milestone.

Download Episode 74

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Disney Announces Limited Time Only Promotion



Disney recently announced their 2013 annual "theme" with the 'Limited Time Only' campaign, complete with three story ice statue in Times Square (Russ' Note: ???)

You can read about it over at the Disney Park Blog.  There are some ideas in the announcement that leave me wanting more, but it is creative if nothing else. However, I still feel that the campagin will fall short of one of my favorite campaigns in recent memory, the 'Year of a Million Dreams' back from 2007.

For those unfamiliar with the 'Year of a Million Dreams' campaign,  Disney employed a 'Dream Squad' to go into different parks and give, at random, guests a gift/reward of varying value.  You may even recall that this is when Cinderella Castle was fitted with a special and one-of-a-kind hotel room. One lucky family would be given a night in the castle each day for an entire year.

But the surprises weren't always big, they ranged from an entire group of guests receiving a free souvenir or 'Dream Fast Pass' to randomn free soft drinks, popcorn or Dole Whip.  It was clear that all Disney employees were tasked with making each and every guest's trip to the World a memorable one.  Overall, I believe this endeavor was very succesful. 

Personally, I was surprised by the Dream Squad leaving Star Tours.  Our entire ride vehicle was informed, right before the attractions seat belts were released, that a Dream Squad member would be awarding us a Dream Fastpass.  The Dream Fastpass was a physical placard that could hang from your neck that had tear away tabs that could be used just like a regular Fastpasses without any restictions on time throughout the entire park.  It was a really great experience and added immensley to the "Magic." 


The 2013 promotion is more "niche" and loaded with character meet and greets.  While the additions will certainly appeal to some, it really only looks like they will be enjoyed if you go during a certain time of year.  The beauty of the 'Year of a Million Dreams Campaign' was that it was accessable and could apply to any guest. 

In my next post, I'll try and go into a bit more detail why I like the 'Year of a Million Dreams' promotion,  but let us know you thoughts on the newest campaign at russ@mightymenofmouse.com or in the comments below. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Splash Mountain Refurb Announced


In our most recent episode, we discussed some of the issues with Splash Mountain's overall condition and maintenance,  especially considering what a critical attraction it is to ensuring a great day at the Magic Kingdom.   Dutch noted that the 'ol girl was starting to show her age with many of the best effects and animatronics often not operating properly. We have even suggested that the removal of Splash Mountain from the Extra Magic Hours lineup was to save the attraction from additional guest abuse, even if it was just for three hours once or twice a week.

Well, Disney recently announced that Splash Mountain will undergo an approximate six week rehab from early February to mid/late March.  Obviously the length of time would suggest a bit more than normal housekeeping (which is often one or two weeks tops).  Hopefully the broken effects will be fixed and it gets the little bit of attention a headliner needs.

What would you hope to see the refurbishment accomplish?

Comment below or E-mail russ@mightymenofmouse.com.  You could even win a free 2013 Unofficial Guide to WDW if you are the MMOM Podcast E-mail of the week!


Monday, October 15, 2012

Episode 73 -- Magic Kingdom Fantasy Draft


This week each member of the teams drafts their own perfect day in the Magic Kingdom.

Download Episode 73

A Food and Wine Alternative



Fans of WDW already know that the Swan and Dolphin are not "Disney owned" properties and are operated by Starwood/Westin and Sheraton respectively.  As such, while they inherently need Disney and its various world class attractions to survive, there are nonetheless battles at times for guest attention particularly for dining supremacy.

MMOM Podcast listeners probably know that a few of the nicer restaurants we are fans of at the Swan and Dolphin.  They serve  as a nice change of pace from Disney cuisine and some of my more surprisingly good meals came from places like Il Mulino and Blue Zoo.

Well, in an effort to compete with the Food and Wine Festival, the Swan and Dolphin have their own (albeit much smaller) version to promote their unique food and drink.  In fact, they just hosted the 3rd annual "Food and Wine Classic"

It actually seems like it could be pretty entertaining.  There are a few celebrity chefs (like Todd English), seminars and ample food and wine to sample.  Plates of food and drink are of similar cost to the food and wine festival, and there are even seminars to learn about wine, beer and "mixology."

Either way, having options is always a good thing.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Food and Wine-Kiosks Location and Info

Crowd at the Food and Wine Festival
In upcoming episodes of the Mighty Men of Mouse podcast we are going to preview the food and drink available at the various kiosks at the food and wine festival.  To help follow along with the conversation, give a visit to the Disney Food Blog, and check out both the F&W map and anticipated menus.

The Food and Wine Festival brings swells of crowds to Epcot, especially in the evening hours.  So, tour early.   One item of note, Disney extends the hours in Epcot and the F&W festival to 10 PM on Friday and Saturday for the duration of the festival to help handle the increased popularity of the park.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Episode 72 -- Ride the Conch Train to China and spend $40 a day there

This week the Team does the China Pavillion.  Kip brings a fun idea to the table and Russ and Dutch take a swing at it.  The show closes with Russ going off on a bit of news.

Download Episode 72

Monday, October 8, 2012

Epcot 30th Celebration Video



Kip recently posted a happy birthday message for Epcot's 30th anniversary.  As a special treat, please enjoy the video of the special Illuminations tag to commemorate the special occasion.

In an upcoming episode of the MMOM podcast we'll debate which of the three decades has been Epcot's finest.

Video is courtesy of WDW Magic.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Episode 71 --

Shout out!  The crew discusses Dutch's lack of fitness and how they will have to prepare for the Ultimate Magic Kingdom Touring Plan.  The team also discusses how their prep is and isn't different for most tours.

Download Episode 71

Monday, October 1, 2012

Happy Birthday Epcot!



Epcot celebrates its 30th birthday today

Even as a small boy, Epcot has always been my favorite park.  As a youngster, I was drawn to the visions of the future.  Horizons was my favorite ride, mainly because I got to push a button (which is why I still enjoy Mission: Space, where I still get to push a button). 

Now that I'm a grown-up, my favorite thing to do is to walk around World Showcase enjoying all the adult beverages of planet Earth.  Man, I can't wait until Food and Wine Festival in 2013....

Friday, September 28, 2012

Disney Spending Big on Politics This Year

We've talked in the past about the political influence that Disney has exerted in Florida since the time that the Magic Kingdom was just a dream.  Project Future and Married to the Mouse are two of the books we've introduced which discuss Disney's lobbying of local and state lawmakers to make WDW feasible.

Of course, Disney didn't just get out of politics after the flags were raised over Cinderella's Castle.

According the Orlando Sentinel, Disney has spent almost $2.5 million on political donations.  That's twice as much as Disney spent 2 years ago, and a full six times more than in 2008.



The Sentinel points out that about 90 percent of these donations has gone to Republican candidates, but that misses the point of this blitz.  Currently, Florida legislators are considering a variety of plans to bring expanded casino gambling to the Sunshine State. 

If you think about it, it's kind of ironic.  40+ years ago, Disney came to Florida to build Walt's grand dream.  Legal hurdles mired the process, and Disney did a lot (and spent a lot) remake the rules that would make WDW a reality.  Now, a new enterprise is trying to gain a foothold.  The once agent of change has become the powerful voice of status quo.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Old Sturbridge Village

I had the chance to take my fam yesterday to Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, MA.  For the uninitiated, OSV is a living history museum set up to look like an old village c. 1820.  In each of the little houses/structures, you go in and there is a live performer who explains to you how awful life would be in a New England village in the early part of the 19th century.

I'll spare you a review of the place, other than a few stray obsevations:

1.)  Thank God the Magic Kingdom is flat.  OSV is pretty hilly and it was rough on our stroller and me.
2.)  There was a little counter service place that reminded me of a dingy Colombia Harbor House.  Definitely bring your own food.
3.)  There was a lot of horse shit.  Literally.
4.)  They have their own hard ticket events complete with beer gardens.  They even do one night where they keep the village open with only candle light.

I think the place was a decent value.  An adult day pass is $24.  We got a family pass that covers two adults and kids for $90.  If you recall, we did a little exercise on the show where we looked at the per hour cost of some entertainment options.  At sub-$3/hr with a day pass, it's a pretty good value.  I'd recommend the place to those with children or if you're looking to have a pleasant walk outside.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Disney Resort Specific Merchandise Available



This article over at DIS Unplugged is a few months old, but the information in it is worth a look.

For years, Disney enthusiasts (myself included) have lamented the homogenization of merchandise across the all of WDW with the possible exception of World Showcase.  The MMOM crew also believes that once you Disney takes away a service/item/experience that you like, you are very unlikely to get it back. 

So after several years, I am really happy to see resort specific items coming back to the resort gift shops.  Frankly, it gives people a reasons to actually visit the gift shops in the first place, so it stands to be a financial win for Disney anyway, and let's not pretend that profit doesn't factor in the decision 

Now I know that a Yacht Club T-shirt priced at $19.99 is "maybe" a bit more than I would like, and yes, I am aware that I can probably just "get if from Amazon" but there is something different about getting it there and wearing it around WDW that makes it fun. 

You couple this with the return and popularity of some of the retro EPCOT T-shirts and merchandise and you almost get the feeling that Disney listens to their biggest fans.  Well, maybe not....




Monday, September 24, 2012

Episode 70 -- Die Hard with Nostalgia

John McClane taking exploring the utilidors of the Magic Kingdom with help of the Dark Side of Disney, a tip book.
This week the team discusses the big Be Our Guest news which dovetails with a discussion of tradition and notions of nostalgia with the WDW community.  The show closes with a diversion into the world of cinema.

Download Episode 70

Wine and Beer Menu at Be Our Guest

Give a listen to the episode 70 of the MMOM podcast where we discuss the addition to alcohol to the Magic Kingdom a the Be Our Guest Restaurant. 

We referenced the wine and beer menu that will be used in the episode, so here it is for your enjoyment. 

What are your thoughts on having booze in the Magic Kingdom?  What are your thoughts on the menu in general?  Let us know at show@mightymenofmouse.com

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dutch's WDW Diet


Well, kiddies.  Dutch thinks that it's about truth time.  From the very beginning of this podcast/mission, I've known that I would need to get in a better place physically in order to do the Ultimate Magic Kingdom Touring Plan.  Unfortunately, Dutch hasn't been on point so far.

I was just a couple of lbs. over 300 hundred when we started this venture.  In the last fifteen months or so, I've ballooned up to 342lbs.  Yikes.  The biggest factor has been work and the lack of healthy options around there.  We're also +1 in the kid department which has sucked up all of my free time.  Those are just excuses though.  Mostly, I friggin love to eat.

Either way, it is time for a change.  In addition to completing the Ultimate Magic Kingdom Tour, I'd also like to be around for my kids in the future.  It's kind of a 1 and 1A situaish.  So here are my goals between now and October 2013:

1.)  Lose 100lbs.:  This sounds extreme, but it is very doable for a guy of my size.  I can usually knock 10lbs off in a week if I just abstain from Coke Zero.  I'm so big, I think it's doable.
2.)  Be able to maintain a 16-minute mile pace for one hour on the tread mill.:  This one is simple.  For our mission, I will be have to go extended distances and not get winded.  I'm basing the pace on what it would take to not get swept in the WDW Marathon.
3.)  Nail a 10-minute mile.:  This one is a looooong strech, but something to shoot for.  Due to my super structure, my max speed is about 4.5 mph.  Going at that speed makes me want to die.  This give me something real to shoot for though.
4.)  Five Days/Week:  Gym or exercise five days per week.
5.)  To keep myself interested, I've promised myself that if I can get to 280lbs, I get a three day trip out of the deal.  Woot.

I've already started about a week ago and I'm done 5lbs.  (That means my current weight is 337.  Even with family in town and a calorie surge this weekend.  I meant to post this last week, but I've been kicking it around in my head.)  Real life has interfered a bit (nagging foot issue), but I'll be hitting it hard this weekend.  I'll be posting updates bi-weekly and hope to have some news for you. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

UPDATE: NYC Approves Soda Ban

I really didn't think it would actually happen, but it looks like the ban on large-sized sodas will be law in New York.

Yesterday the NY Board of Health unanimously voted to approve this ban, which will go into effect next March.

No word yet on how this will benefit New Jersey's 7-Eleven proprietors, when everyone starts buying their soda on the western bank of the Hudson.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Westin Sunset Key Cottages in Key West, FL

Last week, my fam took a last-minute getaway to Key West.  We were lucky enough to stay on Sunset Key, a man-made island just off of Key West.  The resort, run by Westin, is accessible only by ferry.  We stayed in a two-bedroom cottage.  The hotel was fantastic and we were pleased with the service.  Here's some pics to give you a flavor. 

Table in common room

2nd Bedroom

2nd Bedroom

2nd Bedroom

2nd Bedroom

Side porch



Shared bathroom off common room

Bathroom off common room

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom



Master Bath

Master Bath

Millie exploring "her" island

Sunset Key Beach

Beachside Palapa -- NO CHARGE!

Pool

Honey with Millie and Dutch Jr. waiting on the ferry

Walk to ferry

View from the dock



2nd Dock on Sunset Key -- There's a cruise ship coming in!

Cottage across the walk -- Big douchebags in there.

Storm Time

Zero Entry Pool

Pool and bar/restaurant area

View of Sunset Key from the ferry