Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dreaming Disney – Mousetaliga!

So there was a time when I claimed the Walt Disney World Resort was my home park.  I mean I had been there a few times and felt like I knew the lay of the land.  But then when the Between family was faced with the choice of vacationing in Duluth or the Wisconsin Dells, we chose another D with the Disneyland Resort.  Now this was a major curve ball.  Disneyland was a whole new world.  I did not know the park layout.  I did not know the best places to eat.  I was not sure that I would be able to get a Dole Whip.  In the face of uncertainty, I went to my preferred information gathering platform, podcasts.  In searching for Disneyland information I stumbled on several podcasts.  Most of them did not make the cut after planning for that future trip was complete.  But Mousetaliga not only made the cut but became a part of my regular podcast diet. 
The first reason I moved forward on listening is the four hosts.  Jeff or Chef Mayhem is the force behind and an Haunted Mansion expert.  Jeff is the buddy whose Disney library and expertise you are jealous of.  Jeff often shares highlights from that library in readings from books, magazines or clippings that Disney enthusiasts are always glad he had and shared.  Kristin is the optimistic one.  She’s typically willing to give most things, well maybe not Walt Disney World, a chance.  Becky is the adventurer.  Be it food, running a marathon, Walt Disney World, or be it touring with an infant she takes on the challenge.  Becky’s husband Dave is the techy one.  Dave has an unnatural love for Tron, which at least for me is unnatural.  He has an extensive music collection and he has used his knowledge of Disney music and technology to start two separate websites separate from the podcast and  It’s really not fair for me to try to categorize the hosts in a niche as I work this through, in fact they may not even seen themselves in these ways.  The key for me, and one of the reasons I have kept listening is these four could be your friends.  They will likely remind you of people in your circle.  But they are the friends you have that also enjoy Disney with no eye rolls, and listening to Mousetaliga feels like entering a conversation; complete with sarcasm and in-jokes.  In episode 158 focused around listener email one fan stated the crew was his "fantasy group of friends."  That may just be the best way to say it.        
The second reason I listen is there is a lot of diversity to this podcast.  A typical podcast may start with a Mousetaliga Bits and Bites, a round table of items and opinions amongst the hosts.  Or perhaps there may be a Mousetaliga Emporium with reviews of recent books, movies, merchandise that the gang has acquired.  Many of the shows will combine one of these segments with a topic.  The third reason I kept listening is the topics.  I am Between Disney, so straight parks only news was not going to satisfy me.  I was already listening to enough of those shows.  But the topics of Mousetaliga run the whole gamut of Disney fandom.  The topic could be park centric, but it could also be a movie or book or something else that is available to me Between Disney.  I have to admit their reviews of Walt Disney Family Museum events have become a favorite since sitting in the Midwest the chances of me going to the museum are remarkably low, but the crew has a knack of summarizing the events in such a way I still feel I get a lot of edutainment value.  My favorite all time episode is episode 103 in which Kristin and Jeff discuss their visit to Alice Davis’ home.  In an earlier episode, number 99 Disney Mechanized Magic, Kristin retold how she met and started a relationship with Alice Davis.  That alone would be a dream for most Disney fans, starting a sincere connection with a Legend who knew Legends.  But to have Kristin and Jeff retell actually visiting her home and hearing of her sincere love of her late husband Marc Davis and her good friend Mary Blair.  It is incredible and you feel as if you are listening to someone like you, not a Disney sponsored host or author but your friends as they enter the life of a lady who is not just a Legend but a treasure.  I had to laugh recently as I listened to episode 156 as Kristin discussed appreciating a Privileged Disney Lifestyle as she typically has easy access to Disney events and parks.  Living Between Disney it was awesome to hear someone Disney Adjacent discuss how many of us, if not most, lack daily Disney access and have to generate our own Disney connections.   
The opening of Mousetaliga claims this is the “Wildest Podcast in the Wilderness”.  I have to admit if wild equals fun it may just be.  There is a lot of laughter and you really feel like you are part of this friendship.  Additionally, I have to give this crew a shout out as they have helped me beyond their actual podcast.  In the summer of 2011, I contacted the Mousetaliga gang through chat with questions about D23.  Dave responded and gave me information that was key to helping plan my family’s trip to the D23 Expo.  I guess in the end we are all friends after all!  


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