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In this week's Listener Feedback:
Jason wrote in to express his opinions on High School Musical 2 and to ask our opinions on the tele-movie. Jason didn't like HSM2 as much as the original, but there were some great spmgs in the sequel. He hated all of the techno vocals, though, and the visuals going with "Bet On It" were bizarre.
Mark didn't get to see the whole thing due to a major power outage, but the exploding transformer across the street was more entertaining than the first hour of the movie. He said that it was mildly entertaining, but it wasn't as good as the first song. He thinks that they tried too hard, and in doing so, overcooked the soup.
Mike pretty much agrees with everything, especially that "Bet On It" is bizarre. He mentioned that a Minnesota radio station is streaming the soundtrack for free.
Mark figures that he'll eventually have to watch the rest of the movie, and may report back then.
Jay Thompson wrote to compliment us on the show, to let us know that MousePlanet is one of his three go-tos for Disney information, and to let us know that we're the best for hard news. (Mark says "Thanks!")
He noted that during our Listener Feedback in Show 44, we talked about under-used characters, and noted that he would most like to see Tron and Sleeping Beauty used in the parks. (Not necessarily together, though Mike thought that it was a good idea.) He also wishes that there could be an entire "Vault Disney" channel with the feel of the original Disney pay channel.
He also wanted to know when we'll be doing our Top 3 list for Epcot. (It's going to be October 3, two days after the park's 25th anniversary. We're also going to feature Epcot on our Short Segments show on its actual birthday.)
Bonnie from San Diego wrote to say that she preferred the old long-form show format, but that the new format is starting to grow on her. She also wanted to let us know that she prefers that Mike contribute his opinion to the news, rather than have a straight reading.
Mark got confused about recording dates and said that Mike wouldn't be on "tomorrow's show" due to the unusual recording schedule for the week. Of course, the news show was published yesterday. That kind of confirms the unusual schedule, doesn't it?
Maryann Fekete wrote with a dining plan question. She's planning a trip for February, and some of the restaurants that she wants to visit are not listed on the dining plan. She wanted to know how she should approach making her advance dining reservations for those restaurants since she's on the dining plan.
She also lamented that the days of being able to walk up to a restaurant and get in are gone.
Mike recommended that she not assume that they will be on the dining plan, but that he would recommend making the reservations without mentioning that she was on the dining plan.
Mark said that she should expect them to appear on the dining plan, because this is the same thing that's happened in the past. The restaurants not listed are the ones operated by outside participants. Disney probably released the dining plan brochure as soon as they set the pricing and inclusions without taking the time to negotiate with outstanding participants first. They will almost certainly negotiate deals with each of them by the time the 2008 plan comes into effect. Of course, it would probably be a good thing to check again as the trip dates draw near.
Mark then engaged in some nostalgia, talking about the early days of Epcot, when only same-day reservations would be available, and upon entry to the park everyone would race to Earth Station at the back of Spaceship Earth, where you would have a mini-videoconference with a reservations agent to make your dining reservations for the day. Now, during the free dining periods, if you don't have an advance dining reservation you may end up having to eat at counter service.
Mike rarely travels with dining reservations, and will usually take whatever seatings are available, regardless of location.
Olivia wrote that her husband thinks that he saw Johnny Depp and his family riding the Carrousel in Fantasyland at Disneyland on August 17, but he wasn't sure because the person looked taller than Johnny Depp is supposed to be. Mark said that he didn't see any reason why it couldn't be him.
Tom Magee enjoys the podcast, and likes the half-hour length of the shows. He also wanted to let us know that he prefers the back-and-forth during the news segments.
He has a great idea for a new hotel that he'd like to have Disney look at, but he's aware that there are difficulties getting ideas in front of Disney. He asked how he could get somebody to look at the idea.
Mike suggested two options, but neither one really would meet Tom's criteria.
Mark suggested trying to contact one of the architectural firms that Disney sometimes uses in designing new resorts, but not to count on anything happening. Mark explained why Disney will not look at any unsolicited ideas.
Mike suggested talking to an attorney to get his idea protected before approaching anyone.
Randy Knickerbocker wrote to correct a misstatement by Mark on a previous MousePlanetWatch show. He's also enjoying the ride tips and inside info.
Steve Russo wrote to recap his dinner with Mark last week, in his usual inimitable style. (For those who have read Steve's trip reports on MousePlanet, he's in the final stages of writing a book about Walt Disney World, with that same sense of humor. We'll mention it when it's released.)
Steve also tried to Stump the Hosts by asking who performs the voice of Rex, the pilot of Star Tours. Mike (as usual) doesn't know the names of voice actors. Mark needed no time to come up with the answer: Paul Reubens (a.k.a. Pee Wee Herman), who turned 55 on Monday.
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Thanks to our West Coast correspondent Andrew Rich, and audio engineer and sound editor Steven Ng.
Thank you for listening!
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The MouseStation crew (@MouseStation) currently consists of Mark Goldhaber (@MPMark) and Mike Demopoulos (@MPMike).