Why a Walt Disney World Podcast?

What is so Great About Disney World?
I never really cared that Walt Disney World even existed until we adopted our first of three daughters from Ukraine in 2005.  My wife suggested we take her to Walt Disney World.  Hey, it’s almost a right of passage for an 8 year old, right!  “Sure”, I said with a flat, matter-of-fact response.  It was expensive and I figured the whole place was just for kids.  I thought Walt Disney World would be a bigger version of Cedar Point, but with more kiddie rides. But I had a new daughter and I thought she would love it.  Whoa!  Was I in for a surprise!  I LOVED it!  This was so much better than Six Flags or Dollywood!! It was a complete package done with excellence. From the resort rooms, to the parks, to Downtown Disney, everything pulled in into the “Disney bubble”. I loved how Main Street looked like a real-life American town, the Dapper Dan’s were singing… live music, and the train was a real steam engine! I thought Splash Mountain (one of my favorite attractions) was just a take-you-up, drop-you-down ride, but I will never forget the first time I entered the land of Brer Rabbit, amazing!!! This place is packed with rich experiences and I had a blast taking it all in for the very first time.  But there was more…

Discovering the Magic
We traveled to The World in the middle of December, 2005 and we were staying at Pop Century.  Our first night there my wife went down to the front desk to purchase park tickets for the week (yes, we were Disney rookies!).  While she was buying the tickets she started, what she thought was, a casual conversation with the Cast Member.  Telling them this was our first trip as a family with a newly adopted daughter who was going to celebrate her first birthday in America (her birthday is Christmas Day).  She paid for the tickets and left.

Birthday surprise from Mickey!

Birthday surprise from Mickey!

Well, after a great day in the parks we returned to our room that night only to find it fully decked out with a birthday surprise!!  Balloons, confetti, treats, big stuffed Minnie Mouse, even a card signed by Mickey and the gang!!  Needless to say we were COMPLETELY surprised and overwhelmed!  What an incredible gift for our daughter (who loved it, of course)!  We never told Disney about our daughter’s birthday.  It had to be the Cast Member!  That was a memory I will never forget.

But the most magical part of the trip must have been when we were leaving the Magic Kingdom.  We had just seen the fireworks and were walking out from Tomorrowland passing by the Castle.  My daughter noticed a single window in the Castle with a light on.  All the other windows were dark.  She turned to me and said,  “Look, Cinderella must be getting ready for bed.”  Choke… eyes getting misty…  For a brief moment we were there.  We were in the land of Cinderella, walking by her Castle as she was getting ready for bed.  In the land of talking mice, princes and princesses, fairy god mothers, and glass slippers.  It was a magical moment… I was hooked.

So, why do I love Disney World?
wdwph-here-you-leave-signI think it is summed up best by the sign just outside the Magic Kingdom, “Here you leave today and enter the land of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy.” It is an escape, a place to enter “the Disney bubble” and get lost in the experience. Each attraction, each event, each parade, each resort in the parks tells a story and pulls me into it. I love the thrill of the Rockin’ Roller Coaster, the dark, cool trip through the land of the Pirates of Carribean (even the smell is part of the experience), or a ride through the Haunted Mansion (love the graveyard scene!). But, I even love a trip through the past on the Carousel of Progress, or a relaxing ride on the Tomorrowland People Mover, a relaxing cruise down the Sassagoula River wondering what it must have been like to be Tom Sawyer, or a late night stroll around the Boardwalk (ah, the sound of the Friendship boats!) watching one of the performers amaze a small child with a magic trick. Yes, this is why I love Walt Disney World, it is a place to escape and enjoy the experience, the magic (queue Tinker Bell).

Why a Podcast?
I live in Ohio and I am not able to make it to the parks as much as I would like, so I started listening to podcasts to fill-in-the-blanks between trips.  One such podcast was the Meandering Mouse with Jeff from Houston.  This show was great because Jeff would record his meanderings around the Disney parks “all is stereo sound” and create a weekly podcast from the recordings.  It was like being there, at least for a short while, with a little humor thrown in for good measure.  But, life gets in the way, and Jeff is no longer doing the show. So, I pause here to pay my respects to Jeff from Huston…  and Saul, the unsuspecting, overly enthusiastic and optimistic tourist….  THANKS JEFF!! … <pause> ….  Ok, on we go…

Anyway, I miss that show.  I missed it so much I am going to start my own podcast, much like Jeff. It will help me fill-in-the-blanks between trips and I can take special guest with me… you! I will never be Jeff from Houston (or Saul… yea, definitely not Saul), but I can share with you my experiences and adventures in the parks.  So sit back, relax, and put on a good pair of headphones.

You ready? Come on, let’s go park hopping…

7 thoughts on “Why a Walt Disney World Podcast?

  1. Tony Frock

    Hey Dan! Love listening to your podcast, while I love listening to others such as BOGP, ResortLoop, WDW Radio with all the good travel information and tips, there is nothing quite like catching up on all the sounds and experiences of actually being there!!! So thanks for doing this. And you live in Ohio man?!! How did I not know this until now? We live in Marietta down in the southeastern corner. Would love to trade experiences with you sometime.

    1. wdwparkhopper

      Hey Tony! Thanks for the kinds words! Nothing like a little escape to the parks. Ah, yes, a fellow buckeye. Seems like I run into a lot of Ohioans in the parks. I actually have in-laws that live near Gallipolis, not far from your neck-of-the-woods. I am always up for taking some Disney. Let me know, I might be able to work you into the show! Thanks for listening!!

      — Dan

      1. Tony Frock

        Morning Dan!!! Hey, if you’re ever headed to/from Gallipolis, give me a shout! Would always love to talk Disney over lunch or coffee. We actually had a really cool trip back in Feb/Mar. It was a senior trip for both our girls (1 college and 1 high school), ran the princess half and was there for first part of Flower Garden. Oh, plus it was a 28th anniversary celebration. Look me up on Facebook if you want to get in touch or send me an e-mail. Love, love, love the show!


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