Speaking of Disney

RM-Podcast-AppThere are a lot of serious discussions going on.  All day, every day.  Debates on what our country would be like with either Donald Trump or Hilary Clinton as our commander in chief, talks about investment strategies during a volatile market environment, opinions traded on how and why Cait Jenner’s voice as a woman may or may not be important to our society.  There are serious conversations about whose lives matter and what’s wrong with our country’s law enforcement system.  Chats by the water cooler about who may or may not be going to hell based on how someone has judged another’s lifestyle choices.  Heavy stuff, all of it.

We’re constantly bombarded with some very serious subject matter.  I do have opinions (lots of them), most of which I keep to myself unless I’m in the presence of a voting booth, the charities of my choice, my investment professional, or my closest friends and family.  The media thrives on bad news, violence, war, and economic woes.  I can only take so much!


Nick and Lisa in Epcot

When I need a break, I gravitate towards like-minded friends among the Disney fan community.  Where we have lively discussions and debates – on a subject we love to think and talk about!  Disney everything.

I’ve been a fan of Disney-themed podcasts for many years.  News, planning tips, reviews, rumors – Disney topics both broad and narrow, funny and serious, full of rants, laughter, anger, and excitement – I was totally hooked and still am.  I listen while I run, clean house, lounge in the backyard, commute to and from the office.  For so many years, it never occurred to me that one could interact with these passionate Disney podcasters, much less become one.


Nick in Podcast Mode


Dave’s Happy Face

After I was fortunate enough to be invited as a guest on some of my most favorite Disney podcasts, I started thinking about how much easier it is to talk about Disney than write about it.  What if I could talk about Disney with a couple of friends on a regularly scheduled basis?  I knew just who to call!  My buddy Nick Maglio was an obvious choice to join me in a new endeavor…he loves Disney as much as I do and has the most amazing Disneyana collection I’ve ever seen!  I called Nick and put a bee in his bonnet (as we say in these parts).  While he was thinking it over, I reached out to another Disney friend, Dave Hodges.  Dave lives near Orlando and had just ended a podcast he did with his daughter (The Dis Life).

Dave doing some show research

Dave doing some show research

The planets aligned – Nick said yes, Dave said yes, and The Disney Exchange began.  I thought blogging about Disney was (and still is) a LOT of fun.  Podcasting about my favorite topic is even more so!  Everything’s better (and easier) when shared with friends.  Podcasting is no exception.  The Disney Exchange gives us the chance to exchange thoughts, ideas, and opinions on a wide variety of Disney topics.  We don’t agree on much, argue frequently, debate hotly, and laugh a lot.  Best of all?  We have fantastic, wonderful, lovable listeners from all over the world.  We appreciate every download and every interaction on Twitter, Facebook, Blab, Periscope and on The Disney Exchange website.  We’ve made new friends, shared ideas, found other new podcasts to listen to and are enjoying ourselves beyond belief.

Speaking of Disney

If you’re a Disney podcast fan, I’d love to know…

  • What are your favorite show topics?
  • When do you usually listen?
  • Do you listen for information or solely for fun/entertainment?

As always, thanks for stopping by!  If you’ve taken the time to download an episode or two of The Disney Exchange, thanks for listening.  We would sincerely love to hear from you on any of our social media locations or please drop us a line at info@thedisneyexchange.com





Listening In: Disney Podcasts

I enjoy reading other people’s perspectives on topics I love, like Disney in general and today, Disney podcasts in particular.  Please join me in welcoming back my good friend and fellow Disney fan Andrew Carrieri.  Andrew listens to Disney podcasts like I do – daily!  We listen to some of the same shows, but Andrew has introduced me to a couple of new ones in today’s article.  Here are Andrew’s favorite shows and why he listens.

Listening In: Disney Podcasts

I am admittedly bizarre when it comes to Disney podcasts. I am a shy geek and consider the hosts of the shows I listen to to be friends even though I have never met any of them in person. I always enjoy our conversations on social media and enjoy the respective shows even more because of this interaction. With that said, I regularly listen to six Disney podcasts, which I will detail below in the order I started listening to themRM-WDW-Today-Podcast

1) WDW Today (www.wdwtoday.com): Ol’ reliable. Hosted by Matt, Len, a pair of Mikes, and Annette with assorted guests on occasion, WDW Today has been running regularly since 2005. New episodes are released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and focus primarily on trip planning. The episodes are shorter than those of most Disney podcasts, usually lasting between fifteen and thirty minutes. The Monday and Friday episodes usually consist of general discussion about Walt Disney World-related topics, while Wednesday episodes are devoted to answering listener questions—be warned that the email queue is notoriously backlogged, so your question will probably not be answered immediately save for the rare occasions when Mike Newell serves as the primary host.

My favorite episodes are the ones where Len, the owner of touringplans.com and co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, reveals the results of the book’s annual reader surveys. Episode 1335, for example, highlighted reader opinions on attractions at the Magic Kingdom. The tone of the show can be positive or negative depending on the topic being discussed; the hosts will bluntly tell you if they do not like something. The panel has a great sense of humor and some episodes can be hysterically funny. The panel also does a monthly live show on a Sunday night where listeners can call in with questions.RM-Be-Our-Guest-Podcast

2) Be Our Guest (www.beourguestpodcast.com): This show, hosted by Mike, Rikki, Pam, and Debbie, runs the same Monday, Wednesday, and Friday schedule as WDW Today, and also focuses on trip planning. The three shows have different emphases. Mondays are devoted to listener trip reports, Wednesdays bring listener questions, and Fridays feature a general panel discussion about specific Disney topics. Some of these Friday topics are creative and thought provoking; a recent episode, for example, had the panel thinking of ways to “spookify” Walt Disney World attractions in honor of Halloween. The panel also hosts one live call-in show each month.  Discussion emphasis is placed on Walt Disney World, but Disneyland, the Disney Cruise Line, Tokyo Disneyland, and Adventures by Disney have also been dissected. One of the best features of the podcast is the related message forum. The members are incredibly fun and supportive of one another, and I definitely recommend becoming a member!RM-Generation-Mouse-Podcast

3) Generation Mouse (www.generationmouse.net): This show brings “a young adult’s perspective on all things Disney.” Episodes have been released sporadically as of late, but the shows are fun. The hosts, Mark, Libby, Ashleigh, Jen, Elizabeth, Kim, and the producer, Chris, clearly enjoy talking Disney and have an awesome sense of humor. Episodes vary in length from around twenty minutes to about an hour and highlight recent Disney news and topics, including movies and television in addition to the theme parks.RM-Disney-Film-Project-Podcast

4) Disney Film Project (www.disneyfilmproject.com): Each Monday, Ryan, Todd, Cheryl, and Rachel analyze a specific Disney movie. I usually listen to this show after watching the film in question so that I can compare my thoughts with those of the panelists. The highlighted movies range from classic animated features such as Dumbo (1941) to divisive sequels such as The Hunchback of Notre Dame II (2002) to obscure live-action flicks like The Strongest Man in the World (1975) to new releases like Frozen (2013).RM-WDW-NE-Podcast

5) WDW NE Podcast (http://www.thebestmagic.net/wdw-northeast-podcast.html#/): On this fairly new show, a great group of Disney fans from the northeastern United States—Dean, Paulie, Sal, and Mike—discuss Disney news and general topics, including the individual Walt Disney World parks, Downtown Disney, and the Disney Store. The latter subject, rarely tackled by other podcasts, has produced some interesting conversation on this show. Episodes have ranged in length from about forty-five minutes to nearly two hours. Most episodes culminate in a contest segment called “Paulie’s Corner.” Here, Paulie dishes out a hypothetical subject for the others to “imagineer.” Sometimes, Paulie lets listeners decide the winner through twitter and email votes, so be sure to cast your ballot!RM-Fit-Mouse-Podcast

6) FitMouse (http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/fit-mouse-podcast): This new show combines general health and fitness information with Disney discussion. The hosts, Bekka and Marci, are huge Disney fans and have fun with the show. A recent Halloween episode discussed Halloween candy before delving into a discussion of popular Disney Halloween movies.

You can find Andrew as a contributing writer at The Mouse For Less and on Twitter @AndrewCfran.

What Disney podcasts do you listen to? Let me know in the comments!


The Por Favor Podcast Anti-Weasel Guide to Walt Disney World

Por Favor Hosts Mike and GaryThe Por Favor Podcast Anti-Weasel Guide to Walt Disney World

Hi folks! We’re Gary and Mike, the co-hosts of the Por Favor Podcast. If you’ve heard us you know that we don’t take things too seriously (except beer, and food, and Disney, and sports, and well…never mind).

Anyway, Lisa has asked us to write an article for her blog while she jet-sets across the globe. She said it’d be a great way to cross-promote our podcast, but I have a feeling she’s just trying to get some free labor out of the deal.

One of the things that we frequently talk about on our podcast, is our love/hate relationship (ok, mostly hate) with the Walt Disney World Weasels. In case you don’t know what a Walt Disney World Weasel is, we can define it for you:

  1. Any person under the age of 16 who runs roughshod throughout a Disney Park
  2. The parent/guardian of any such person listed in definition #1No Weasels
  3. Someone who tries to game the Disney system (i.e. line cutting)
  4. Someone who stops, without notice, in the middle of a crowded walkway
  5. Someone who uses their darned iPad to take photos/video of the parades and fireworks!

Let’s be clear here, we understand these things happen on a trip to Walt Disney World, and someone can be a Walt Disney World Weasel and still be a good person, but if you frequently fall into one of these categories, then you probably want to stop reading this post! Here is the Official Por Favor Podcast Guide to Avoiding Walt Disney World Weasels©.

Step 1:

If you want to avoid the Walt Disney World Weasels, one of the easiest ways to do so is by avoiding the parks entirely. This piece of advice is not great. We love the parks. So let’s amend this step and say, go late and stay late. If you show up to the park at 11am and stay until 6pm, you are in weasel central. After the little ones are all tuckered out, it’s your chance to have your Por Favor Gary and Gastonrun of the place. Plan on staying until (after) closing and take advantage of the weaning weasel hours.

Step 2:

Avoid character meals like the plague. If you are looking for Walt Disney World Weasel central, look no further than a character meal. This is the time where the group in definition 1 and 2 are most prominent. Little weasels running around a crowded restaurant like they just free-based pixie sticks and their weasel parents sitting back with a cocktail updating their Facebook status so their friends back home can be jealous. Let’s be clear, if you want a picture with Chef Mickey, there will be weasel blood on your hands to do so. Fair warning!

Step 3:

Stay at Coronado Springs Resort. This resort has been certified by the Por Favor Podcast as the least likely resort on property to encounter a weasel. It has everything going for it to repel weaseldom. It is sprawling, it is not overly Disney-fied and it is relatively far from all of the parks. Plus, if you are looking for a resort with some very comfy beds and beautiful scenery and landscaping, this resort is for you!

Step 4:

Hang out in World Showcase as much as possible. We know EPCOT Center is not the most kid-friendly park (so they say) so in general, the weasel ratio is much lower here as is. Plus, it’s huge, lots of open spaces to avoid the weasel parents texting while operating a stroller. But, World Showcase is the place to be. Not only do you have the advantage of the best food options in any park, but you have the ever-famous drinking-around-the-world to partake in (note: you run the risk of becoming a weasel if you aren’t careful in your drink consumption). We say get to World Showcase at 11am when it opens and take your time looking in all the countries. Grab a snack, meal or drink in each country and really spend some time in the least weasel-friendly locations like; Morocco, Canada, Germany and China. Editors note: Step 4 will become null and void once Frozen takes over Norway (yuck).

Step 5:

Resort hop. This is a great way to see parts of the Walt Disney World property that you probably haven’t experienced before. Instead of rushing right into the Magic Kingdom, take a resort launch to the Wilderness Lodge and check out their amazing lobby. Hop on the monorail and walk around the impeccable grounds of the Grand Floridian. Before heading into World Showcase, use the back exit and walk along the Boardwalk, an homage to a seaside resort town. Take the bus to Animal Kingdom lodge and soak in the atmosphere at one of the most beautiful places you’ll ever see! Don’t be afraid to explore each resort and see what they have to offer. The benefits are two-fold, while you are expanding your resort horizons, all the weasels are in line to meet Ana and Elsa, so they’ll be out of your hair and you might even find a new resort to call home!

So there you have it folks. Five easy steps to avoid the dreaded Walt Disney World Weasels. If you follow these simple steps you should easily lower your weasel encounter-counter for your next trip to Walt Disney World! Thanks!

Gary Arruda & Mike Hurley


@PorFavorPodcast on Twitter.com


A DVC Membership Story

DVC Owners at Walt Disney WorldHello everyone my name is Sean Duffy and Lisa was nice enough to allow me to guest blog for you. A little bit about me, I am a father of 2 and husband to a wonderful wife. I am lifelong Disney fan and Co-host of Enchanted Tiki Talk Podcast (enchantedtikitalk.com). I am also a DVC Member and that’s what I wanted to write about here.

In June of 2008 we started the process of purchasing DVC via resale. That was the only way we knew we could afford to join DVC. So we initially purchased a 50 point contract at the Wilderness Lodge Villas, which at the time we would get about 4 nights in September (We have since purchased 75 more). On about August 13rd our closing had finished and we were added to the DVC system which meant we had the ability to book our first trip. We immediately booked our first trip for Sept 10th and were planning on only spending 4 nights. But Pixie Dust had been sprinkled and we had a bonus of 50 points that had been banked from the previous year. We decided to do 6 nights and spend time there over the weekend which ate up most of our points.

There wasn’t much of a difference for us going from cash paying to DVC rooms. Granted you Walt Disney World DVChad to make your own bed and you didn’t get fresh towels everyday but who cares we literally owned a piece of the magic. But the real difference in having DVC was the extra space in our room. We loved having a couch to now relax on after coming back to the room after a long day in the parks. Disney was literally starting to feel more like a vacation home than a hotel room.

That trip Disney started to feel different for us. We were now part of a cult. We had a secret handshake with other DVC Members, oh ok well at least I think there should be one. The things we noticed about being DVC Members was that other guests that were members seemed to be more outgoing and would go out of their way to say hi if you were wearing anything that said DVC. It was starting to feel more like a community than just a place to go on vacation. You immediately have something to relate to with other members. They are more likely to talk about why they became members or where they lived. DVC Walkway / Walt Disney WorldEveryone had stories to share and they all understood the family memories that had been created in Walt Disney World.

See that’s it, that why I wanted to become a DVC Member. It’s not just about racing to Soarin or getting that highly sought after reservation at Ohana’s. It really is all about the memories that you get to create with your family. I know that my son’s first ride was Peter Pan and my daughter’s was the Little Mermaid or that the first banana that my son ever ate was in Walt Disney World.

Walt Disney World is just the start of our family memories that have yet to happen. But it is DVC that has brought us that ability to have someplace to look forward to year after year and create new magical family memories.

Sean can be found on Twitter @1MinDisneyDream, Facebook here and on YouTube here.