Friday, January 13, 2012

Dreaming Disney - WDW Today

Years ago I would have to say that I was only a casual Disney fan.  Disney movies were always present and we owned the biggest pile of VHS Disney in our circle of friends.  And I had been to the Walt Disney World not once but twice.  But I really was just your typical easy to manage non-fanatical Disney fan.  Yep I was a pretty normal guy.
Then I decided I needed to up my participation in the planning for a third trip to Walt Disney World.  In that increased participation I moved past and decided to try out a planning podcast or two.  On AllEars I found a reference to a podcast called WDW Today and I have not looked back since.     
What I found was a wealth of information that anyone planning a Walt Disney World vacation would need.  I sampled an episode and then downloaded 20 other topics.  Each episode was around 30 minutes or less, making each easily digestible.  And other than the general Listener Question episodes, typically released on Wednesdays, all episodes had a uniting theme.  So, if you wanted to know about hurricanes, they did it.  Segway tours, it’s in the can.  Perhaps you are interested in cult foods especially Dole Whip, yep they’ve been there.  If you want a detailed report on drinking around the world at Epcot, they have done it not once not twice but three times.  With the show reaching towards 1,000 episodes they have covered tons of topics that would help anyone plan their Walt Disney World vacation including the most experienced planners.
The podcast personalities are a mix of five of the best informed Disney Adjacent fans you are going to find.  Len Testa is one of the co-authors of the Unofficial Guide series of Disney travel guidebooks.  Testa’s opinions are typically either backed by statistics or experience having sampled the majority of accommodations and dining locations for the good book.  In addition, it’s his research that the touring plans found in the good book are based on including Lines the mobile outgrowth of touring plans.  Mike Newell turned his Disney fandom into an online streaming music empire in MouseWorld Radio.  Mike Scopa is a long time Walt Disney World visitor, Walt Disney World fan writer and currently blogs at  Host Matt Hochberg is the only member of the team who is a physically Disney Adjacent panelist, and runs Studios Central a website dedicated to convinced us all the Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the best part in Orlando.  Hochberg admits in episode 971 since moving to Orlando he has only gone two weeks without visiting one of the parks.  Yes, I am jealous.  Finally, but not last, the Fabulous Annette Owens is a Disney focused travel agent.  She adds to the panel years of planning countless Disney vacations.  Together there are not many planning questions this group cannot handle.       
So, I listened in preparation of my Walt Disney World vacation several years ago.  I fully intended to quit listening after I returned.  I in fact dropped several podcasts after our return.  Instead, I found myself still downloading three times a week; Monday, Wednesday, Friday.  WDW Today had become part of my podcast diet.  I could not escape it, living out in Between Disney with no trip planned I still had to know more about the parks.  I needed the common sense and fun the hosts provided.  And I was becoming something I did not expect, a Disney enthusiast.  I find that listening helps me plan non-Disney events since much of the common sense can be applied in other family adventures.  I am a better planner because of WDW Today.  I’m sure I am not the only one living Between Disney who can credit, or blame, WDW Today for helping feed a Disney parks obsession.  

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