Show Notes 35-44

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Episode 42: Countdown to Parkstinction – Disneyland:1955
Episode 41: Overrated
Episode 40: What Used to Be There?
Episode 39: Animated Films in the Parks: The 1970s
Episode 37: Park Attendance and Ticket Prices
Episode 36: Top Five Attractions in Need of Refurbishment

Episode 42: Countdown to Parkstinction – Disneyland: 1955


Disneyland is pulling out all the stops for its 60th anniversary. They’re offering . . .

Updated attractions!


Photo ops!

Photo by Mint Crocodile (

Photo by Mint Crocodile (

A sparkly castle!

Sleeping Beauty Castle 60thDiamond celebration snacks!

Cupcakes for Disneyland 60thAnimated windows on Main Street, U.S.A.

And much more.

Also celebrating an anniversary this week is Splash Mountain, which opened in Disneyland July 17, 1989. In our quiz we discussed how one animal pops down from the ceiling and exclaims, “FSU!” Jump ahead to 8:11 in this video to hear it.

We got our hands on some photos of Disneyland in its opening year. Some were published in LIFE Magazine. They show many of the attractions and sights we mentioned on the show.

Mickey and Minnie


Would you like to ride a pack mule through Frontierland?

Pack MulesOr perhaps you’d like to visit Indian Village or ride the Mark Twain Riverboat.

Indian Village

StagecoachDon’t forget to take in a show at the Golden Horseshoe.

Golden Horseshoe

Be sure to ride Jungle Cruise if you’re in Adventureland. Ahoy, Skipper Walt!

Walt the SkipperOver in Fantasyland, the Canal Boats of the World don’t look like much right now, but they will in 1956 when they become the Storybook Land Canal Boats and miniatures are added.

Canal BoatsTomorrowland is full of attractions that will be long gone by the time the park celebrates 60 years. For instance, if you ride the Tomorrowland Boats (later known as the Phantom Boats), you’ll be one of the very few who does so before they go away forever.

Phantom Boats DisneylandAnother option is to watch “A Tour of the West” in the Circarama theater.

CircaramaTomorrowland is home to plenty of exhibits, like the Monsanto Hall of Chemistry and the “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” walk-through.

Monsanto Hall of Chemistry

20000 Leagues Under the Sea Exhibit

TomorrowlandAutopia is one attraction you don’t need to hurry to ride. It will still be around in 2015, though it will be much safer then (and arguably less exciting).

Autopia Disneyland


Autopia Disneyland

Thanks for joining us on this tour of Walt’s original Magic Kingdom. I hope you enjoyed your time at the Happiest Place on Earth!

Episode 41: Overrated

In our new segment “Munchies and Merch,” we each listed a food item and a piece of merchandise we hope to purchase on an upcoming visit. Here’s a closer look at the items we mentioned.

Jeremy and Matt both want to try the macarons over at Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie in the France pavilion at Epcot.

Macarons in FranceThese aren’t to be confused with the Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches at L’Artisan des Glaces next door, which Derek referred to on the show.

Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches

Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches 4th of JulyOn Derek’s list of food items to try is the Cinnamon Sweet Churro Milkshake at Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Churro MilkshakeIn the area of merchandise, Jeremy wants this limited edition, 60th Anniversary Dumbo t-shirt from Disneyland.

Dumbo 60th ShirtMatt wants this Adventureland coffee mug.

Adventureland Mug

And Derek hopes to purchase this Tower of Terror-inspired artwork (center).

Wonderground Gallery Signs

Here are some Walt Disney World experiences that were deemed “overrated” by the Mad Chatters.

Coral Reef Restaurant

Why: You can’t be guaranteed a great view of the fish. The fish themselves aren’t as interesting as the ones in the Seas With Nemo and Friends post-show. The food is underwhelming and not worth the price. Our personal experience with the waitstaff was very poor.

Suggested alternatives: Rose & Crown Pub, Flying Fish Cafe

Chef Mickey’s

Why: It’s the most expensive character meal on property, though the food is no different from (and certainly not better than) most of the other buffets on property. The experience you get with the characters is no more special than the experience at other restaurants or even the meet-and-greets in the parks.

Suggested alternatives: Tusker House Restaurant, The Garden Grill Restaurant, Mickey meet-and-greet at Town Square Theater

Cinderella’s Royal Table

Why: There’s no denying this is a special, once-in-a-lifetime experience, but the prices are outrageous, and you can meet the Disney princesses in several locations on property.

Suggested alternatives: Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, 1900 Park Fare, Princess Fairytale Hall

The Hollywood Brown Derby

Why: It’s touted by Disney as “signature dining,” which means it requires two credits on the dining plan, but nothing about the restaurant itself is special. Jeremy found that the food did not live up to the hype.

Suggested alternatives: Other table service restaurants in Hollywood Studios, like 50’s Prime Time Cafe or Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant

Le Cellier Steakhouse

Why: Once a well-reviewed and beloved restaurant, this location became overrated when Disney turned it into a “signature dining” establishment and required two dining credits for it without changing or improving the menu. Many have said the menu has actually worsened in the last few years.

Suggested alternatives: Yachtsman Steakhouse, Artist Point, Shula’s Steak House

In the area of attractions, these were mentioned on the show:

Festival of the Lion King, Astro Orbiter, Toy Story Midway Mania, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor, Tomorrowland Speedway, Soarin’, Primeval Whirl, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage, and Frozen in general.

*We really do love Walt Disney World. In fact, we love many of these attractions. We just don’t think some of them are as good as many claim, and they often aren’t worth certain wait times.

We also mentioned a few snacks that are overrated, meaning they either aren’t as good as many say they are, or they are too similar to snacks you can buy at the grocery store and therefore should be avoided in favor of more unique offerings.

Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar, Citrus Swirl, Dole Whip, and School Bread (These suggestions caused not just a few debates among the Chatters.)

Be sure to let us know your opinions on what Disney experiences are overrated. Send your list to

Episode 40: What Used to Be

In this week’s round of “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” we critiqued Cast Member uniforms throughout Walt Disney World. Here are some photos of the costumes we mentioned.

Matt’s good: Haunted Mansion

Haunted Mansion CM

Derek’s good: Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party CM

Jeremy’s good: Tower of Terror

Tower of Terror CM

We also gave a shout-out to another favorite of ours, the tour guides.

Tour Guide CM Male

Tour Guide CM Female

Matt’s bad: Rock ‘n Roller Coaster

Photo provided by (Click on the photo to be redirected.)

Photo provided by (Click on the photo to be redirected.)

Derek’s bad: Mission: SPACE

Mission Space CM

Jeremy’s bad: Test Track

Test Track CM

Matt’s ugly: Storybook Circus

Storybook Circus CM

Derek’s ugly: Tomorrowland

Retro Tomorrowland CM Women

Retro Tomorrowland CM Men

Just kidding. Here’s a more current photo.

Photo provided by (Click on the photo to be redirected.)

Photo provided by (Click on the photo to be redirected.)

Jeremy’s ugly: Chester & Hester’s Dino-Rama

Chester & Hester's Dino-Rama CM

What Used to Be

Much of the information we provided in our main segment came from personal knowledge of the parks, just based on personal experience as well as years of being interested in Disney history. However, we also used several online sites as sources.

For the Epcot attractions, one of our primary sources was You can click on the attractions/buildings below to be redirected to the respective website.

Wonders of Life pavilion

ImageWorks and the Magic Eye Theater

The Odyssey

River Country

Here’s an image that got passed around the internet a few years back. It shows River Country in its current overgrown state.

River Country Overgrown

We referenced blogger Shane Perez and his escapades on the now-deserted Discovery Island. Below is one of the photos he posted on his blog. You can read the entire entry here.

Discovery Island Abandoned

The final building we discussed was the ABC Sound Studio in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This originally was home to the Monster Sound Show, as seen below. Last fall, the Disney Parks Blog looked back at this former attraction. You can read that blog entry here.

Monster Sound Show

Episode 39: Animated Films in the Parks: The 1970s

In the News

Match the Species – Zuri’s Sweets Shop opened Thursday, June 18, in Animal Kingdom and sells dung-inspired treats. Here’s a picture of the four varieties offered (from left to right: elephant, giraffe, cotton-top tamarin, and hippo).

Animal Kingdom Poop Snacks - Match the Species

Frozen Ever After Disney announced the name of Maelstrom’s replacement at Epcot and released the first concept art. The attraction is set to open in the spring of 2016.

Frozen Ever After Concept Art


Animated Films of the 1970s

Below are some photos of characters from Disney films of the 1970s, as discussed on the show.

The Disney Parks Blog released a vintage photo (and article) about Scat Cat’s jazz band (from The Aristocats), which used to perform in Magic Kingdom.

Scat Cats Magic Kingdom Aristocats

Robin Hood characters are nearly impossible to find nowadays, but here’s an early image of five (five!) of the characters who used to meet guests more regulary.

Robin Hood Characters in Magic Kingdom

Bernard and Bianca from The Rescuers still meet with guests as walk-around characters in Tokyo Disneyland, as seen below. More recently, they were featured in the Celebrate a Dream Come True parade in Disney World as life-sized figures on the Aladdin float, but the parade ended in 2014.

Bernard and Bianca - Tokyo Disneyland

Aladdin Float - Celebrate a Dream Come True

Bernard and Bianca - Rescuers - Celebrate a Dream Come True

Episode 37: Park Attendance and Ticket Prices

In the News

Cinderella Castle adds spires. As part of the refurbishment of Magic Kingdom’s hub, Cinderella Castle is expanding a bit. Below is an image of the original concept art. This week, two of the spires were put in place, to the right and left.

Magic Kingdom Hub Concept Art


Walt Disney Hometown Museum

Jeremy gave us a tour of Walt Disney’s hometown: Marceline, Missouri. Here are a few photos of his time there, back in 2011.

Jeremy in Marceline 1 Jeremy in Marceline 2Jeremy talked about a 1955 television set Walt bought for his sister so she could watch Disneyland’s opening ceremonies. The TV is now on display at the museum, and you can find more information about it here.

Walt Disney Museum TVFor more about the Walt Disney Hometown Museum, be sure to visit their website.

Park Attendance and Ticket Prices

This week we reported on the Theme Park Attendance Annual Report, which was released by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) on June 3. You can find the full report here. Below is a list of the 12 most attended parks worldwide in 2014. (Correction: On the show, Derek said Universal Studios was ahead of Islands of Adventure in 2014 and 2013. You’ll see below that that was not the case. Diagon Alley is almost certainly to thank for Universal’s 17% increase in attendance.)

Top 12 Parks Worldwide in 2014


We also talked about a tiered ticketing system for Walt Disney World, which was proposed in a recent survey sent to guests. Here is a rundown of the tiers they are proposing. (Keep in mind it is all speculative for now.)

Tiered Ticket Prices - Survey

Episode 36: Top Five Attractions in Need of Refurbishment

The Disney Fix

If you love the smell of Norway’s gift shop and want to recreate it in your house, Matt swears the Black Sands scent at Bath and Body Works will do the trick.

Derek is all about the new Disney/Vans “Young at Heart” collection. Here’s a quick look:

Vans Donald Duck Button Up

Vans Donald Duck Shirt Close-Up

Vans Mickey Shoes 2 Vans Mickey Shoes Vans Mickey Backpack


Eating Around the World: Whispering Canyon Cafe

In our review of WCC, we mentioned a funny moment when our waiter brought Matt and Jeremy a gallon-sized Mason jar to drink from. And now, for your viewing pleasure . . .

Jeremy and Matt Whispering Canyon


Top Five Attractions in Need of Refurbishment


5. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

4. Dinosaur

3. Jungle Cruise

2. Expedition Everest

1. Journey Into Imagination With Figment


5. Ellen’s Energy Adventure

4. Dinosaur

3. Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular

2. The Seas With Nemo & Friends

1. Journey Into Imagination With Figment


5. Expedition Everest

4. Muppet*Vision 3D

3. Ellen’s Energy Adventure

2. Soarin’

1. The Great Movie Ride