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In this week's feature, Mike and Mark discuss their Top 3 attractions, dining locations and live entertainment at Disney's California Adventure.
This week, we continued our series of Top 3 shows (which will continue on the first Wednesday of every month), where we discuss our picks for the Top 3 attractions, dining locations and live entertainment options at each of the six domestic theme parks. First, though, Mark admitted that DCA probably ranks sixth out of the six domestic parks for him. DCA ranks fifth for Mike, ahead of the Disney-MGM Studios (soon to be Disney's Hollywood Studios) at Walt Disney World.
First, though, we confirmed that we have now scheduled our MouseFest meet for the podcast. The MouseStation Hustle-tini Meet will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Classic Concoctions in the Everything Pop food court at Disney's Pop Century Resort for Bluetinis to get our nerve up to get up and boogie. We'll make sure that we're in the lobby before 6 p.m. so that we can do The Hustle, then return to Classic Concoctions or elsewhere to record some more for the podcast. For more information on the Hustle-tini or any other MousePlanet-sponsored meet at MouseFest, check out our MouseFest information page.
We started with dining. Mike's number three choice is the Taste Pilot's Grill. He ranked it there solely on the basis of the interactive kiosks. After being informed that the kiosks have been removed from the location, Mike changed his choice to Ariel's Grotto. It's one of the few character meals that he enjoys, and he has some good memories of eating there, although he found the restaurant a little confusing to navigate. Mark has never eaten at Ariel's Grotto, and so didn't rank it.
Mark's number three is Baker's Field Bakery. The baked goods make for a great breakfast, just as the Main Street Bakery at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.
Mike's number two dining choice is Baker's Field Bakery. It's a good atmosphere with good food.
Mark's runner-up is Corn Dog Castle. As he mentioned on Monday's show, Mark loves corn dogs. There's no place to get them in the parks on the East Coast, so he has to enjoy them in the Disneyland Resort parks when he goes out there.
Mike's top choice is The Vineyard Room. It has excellent food, good Mediterranean meals, and it's just enjoyable. Since Mark hasn't eaten at any table service restaurants at DCA, this restaurant didn't make his top 3 either.
Mark's favorite dining establishment is Taste Pilot's Grill. The lack of the kiosks doesn't bother Mark one bit, in fact it's a positive for him. He enjoys the topping selection, the good burgers, and the convenient location to Soarin' Over California. He also has a great memory of using the airplane designs on the top of the tables to illustrate perspective drawing to his son.
Mark's number three choice for live entertainment is Block Party Bash, much to Mike's dismay. His son had a lot of fun dancing along with the party, and still has the squeeze ball that he caught when they shot it off the float.
Mike's number three is the Games on the Boardwalk. He loves classic midway games, and it has more of a boardwalk feel than even the Boardwalk Resort in Florida. That led Mike into a discussion of the Dole Whip booth at the Minnesota State Fair. They did have toppings, but not sprinkles, so he was disappointed. Anyway, Mike won a big prize at the carnival games at the State Fair. Mark and his wife let his son play one midway game at Disneyland, the fishing game where you're guaranteed a prize. His son managed to snag a fish with a big prize, though the game operator asked him if he wanted to trade it in.
Mark's number two choice is Disney's Aladdin - A Musical Spectacular. He likes the humor of the Genie, and it's a great spectacle with a decent story, and it's just an all-around fun show. Mike's number two is also Aladdin. Mike mentioned that he hates Block Party Bash because he was standing next to a kiosk advertising the caravan parade for five hours before the opening of Disneyland for the 50th. Mike loves Aladdin because he loves the music, the show style and the comedy of the genie. Mike then told a story about the best Genie joke ever, from the day of the 50th Anniversary press event when Disneyland was closed.
Mark's top entertainment choice is Disney's Electrical Parade. (Contrary to what Mark noted on the show, though, this is indeed the version that once ran at Disneyland. The original Walt Disney World version never returned from Paris.) Mark loves the electrosynthemagnetic version of Baroque Hoedown so much that the parade is almost incidental to the Don Dorsey-arranged music. Mike asked if Mark had heard the They Might Be Giants version of Baroque Hoedown, but if Mark has heard it, he can't recall. Mike agreed with Mark that the parade is the best live entertainment at Disney's California Adventure.
Mike's number three attraction is the Mission Tortilla Factory. Mike loves tortillas, especially from Mission, and feels that you can't beat an attraction where you get free tortillas at the end.
Mark's number three is weather-dependent. When it's warm out, and it's a good thing to cool down, he likes Grizzly River Run. It's too cold to get wet, he prefers the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, even though it's a poor second cousin to the version in Florida. Other than the boiler room, the Florida version beats the DCA version hands-down.
Mark's number two choice is California Screamin'. Mark loves coasters, and it's a good coaster, despite the thin theming. It's nice and smooth. He loves the launch, the loop, the scream tunnels, and the soundtrack. It's just a fun coaster.
Mike's top attraction is California Screamin'. He's a sucker for a good coaster, and he feels that it's about time that Disney made a coaster as a coaster. He loves the theming of the other coasters, but sometimes he just wants to ride a roller coaster.
Mark's top pick (surprise, his son gets it from somewhere) is Soarin' Over California. Whether it's themed as a desert airstrip or a modern airport, there's just something fabulous about it. Forget Peter Pan. When you're on Soarin', you are flying! It's an exhilarating feeling. Mark and Mike then got into a discussion of how Disney had wanted to make you feel like you were flying with the use of an Omnimax screen. (Though Mark misremembered, thinking that it was Marty Sklar talking with George McGinnis. It wasn't Sklar, it was Dick Nunis.)
So what are your Top 3?. Let us know by sending an email or calling our toll-free feedback line (1-866-939-2278) and let us know what your favorites are!
We've gotten a lot of positive feedback on the new format of shorter, more frequent shows. Currently, we have MouseStation three times a week, with short subjects on Mondays, featured topics on Wednesdays and listener feedback on Fridays. We also have the MousePlanetWatch news on Thursday. We're still currently maintaining the series of three feeds, one for MouseStation only, one for MousePlanetWatch only and one for both shows.
Based on listener feedback, we will be deciding whether to merge the feeds, and return to a single feed with all shows, folding MousePlanetWatch into the main MouseStation feed. That would still leave us with four shows per week, but there would be only one feed. With the current listener numbers being fairly even between MouseStation and MousePlanetWatch, it seems as if there's a great deal of overlap between the shows.
Please weigh in on the idea of returning to a single feed via email or by calling our toll-free feedback line at 1-866-939-2278. Don't forget that we love voicemails because then we can put your voice on the show!
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Thanks to our 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).