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Today's show is sponsored by Owner's Locker, a new service that gives you a place to leave your vacation-only stuff until your next trip to visit the Mouse.
This week, we had John Van Meter of Owner's Locker back on the show to award the second locker for our extended contest. While he was very tempted to give it to Dave from San Francisco for his DVC-in-a-box idea, the winner was an early entrant. Theresa submitted her entry during the first part of the contest, and John liked her plans to use her locker for exactly what it was intended for.
Thanks to everyone that entered for submitting your great ideas! If you have any other great ideas for how to use an Owner's Locker, if you've signed up and are anticipating using your locker, or if you have already used your locker, send us an email or call our voicemail and let us know what you think!
This week's tip comes from listener Chip Joyce. (Send in your tip now!)
Chip recommends watching Illuminations from around either the England or France pavilions, then making a quick exit from Epcot after the show to take the scenic walkway over to the Yacht and Beach Club Resorts to beat the crowd over to Beaches and Cream. As an alternative, visit Beaches and Cream earlier on a Friday night before hitting Epcot for the evening Extra Magic Hours.
Mike has done that three times with three different people. Mike noted that another variant is to go over to the BoardWalk and get ice cream or pretzels there.
Mark suggested also taking the long walk around and waiting for the blow-off before heading over to Beaches and Cream.
This week, we look at the Disneyland Monorail.
Mark talked about riding the Disneyland Monorail with George McGinnis and his daughter Shana. George was pointing out some of the changes that he had to make while designing the train, and Mark watched the face of the monorail pilot as he slowly realized who was sitting in his cockpit. On the return trip from Downtown Disney, they had a mother and son join them in the cockpit, and the son turned out to be a huge monorail fan and was thrilled to ride with George and asked for his autograph when they all got off. George wrote a two-part series for MousePlanet on the design of the Disneyland and Walt Disney World monorails.
Many people think that, during the redesign of the Disneyland Hotel and the creation of Downtown Disney and the Grand Californian Hotel, the monorail station was moved away from the Disneyland Hotel. Actually, it's quite the opposite. Since the building adjacent to the monorail station was demolished to help pave the way for the new construction, it could be said that the hotel was moved away from the monorail station.
This week's spotlight focuses on the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater at the Disney-MGM Studios. MousePlanet readers are luke-warm on the Sci-Fi Dine-In, rating it 3.3 out of five planets on the strength of 26 reviews. Our featured review this week is a 2-planet review by Chicago Wookiee, better known as Anthony Uriaus of Chicago, IL.
Anthony didn't really think highly of the service or the food. He used the word "dry" a lot. He brought a first-time Walt Disney World visitor to experience an unusual dining option. He still wasn't thrilled.
Mike has a love-hate relationship with the restaurant. He loves the atmosphere and hates everything else. Well, he has had some great service there, but the food is really kind of "eh." He's also disappointed that the loop of movie trailers isn't longer. While the car booths are fun, it can make it difficult to have a conversation. He recommends going for an appetizer and a dessert and leave it at that.
Mark as always heard that the desserts are the best part of the meal, so he was surprised at Anthony's description of one of his desserts were dry. Mark really used to love the names of the dishes (like "the Burger that ate Cincinnati), but they've removed those names from the menu. That really won't make much difference, though, as he wasn't likely to go there to eat again anywhere. Of course, there's a lot to be said for sitting in the back seat of a convertible watching the trailer for Robot Monster.
Mike also noted that it's not a good date restaurant.
You can also find the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater in our Park Guide.
Last week, Mark & Mike forgot to talk about the fabulous decor at Pizzafari, so they very quickly revisited the restaurant. It has six differently-themed rooms. The Home Room has animals that carry their homes with them, such as turtles, snails and kangaroos. The Nocturnal Room features animals that stay awake during the night. The Upside Down Room has animals that live upside down, like opossums and bats. The Camouflage Room features animals that blend in with their surroundings. The Four Seasons Room is kind of a catch-all. The Bug Room features all kinds of bugs. The rooms are really cool, with decor pretty much everywhere. Even if you're not going to eat there, you owe it to yourself to stop in and take a look around.
This week's question comes from listener Jason, who asked: "If you could have any movie be put into the Great Movie Ride, which would it be and why? Would you take out one of the movies in there to make room for yours?"
Mark's son would take out Alien because he wouldn't want to have to deal with the smoke. He'd replace it with Over the Hedge, though it's not Disney. (They have Wizard of Oz, and Wizard of Oz isn't Disney!) If he had to do a Disney film, he first suggested Mary Poppins. When advised that Mary Poppins was already in there, he'd pick Who Framed Roger Rabbit. He then tried to verbally recreate the chase scene with Eddie and Roger in Benny the Cab after escaping Judge Doom at the bar.
To submit your own questions for "Ask the Kid," send us your question to ask Mark's son.
This week's moment came from listener Rickey.
A Guest Relations cast member gave Rickey and his friend Magical Moments certificates proclaiming them Honorary Princes for the day after telling her how much they loved Disney and how they wanted to make Walt Disney World an annual vacation. Rickey framed his certificate so that he can remember his great trip.
Mike loved being able to give Magical Moments certificates to guests, and was always able to find Mickey Mouse to sign the certificate whenever he needed him.
Send us feedback 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!
We're trying to decide what to do on holidays when the main MousePlanet site is not publishing new content for the day. The next instance will be Thanksgiving, when MousePlanet will not publish on Thursday or Friday that week to allow staff to enjoy the holidays. Should we publish the show on those days anyway, or should we take the days off with the rest of the site? In that particular instance, it will be a MousePlanetWatch show and a Listener Feedback show that will be skipped, though we would miss Short Subjects on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve in December. Obviously, it's not a common thing. There are a very limited number of days that MousePlanet does not publish. It's pretty much just Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Memorial Day and Labor Day. We did do a show on Labor Day this year, but we don't know whether that mattered to anybody. What do you think? The show is for you, so we'll follow your lead. Do you want us to publish shows during the holidays, or is it OK to miss shows? Let us know via email or by calling 1-866-939-2278.
We also wanted to remind you that we have now scheduled our MouseFest meet for the podcasts. 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. If you've got any ideas on what might make a cool MouseStation T-shirt for MouseFest, let Mark know!
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The MouseStation crew (@MouseStation) currently consists of Mark Goldhaber (@MPMark) and Mike Demopoulos (@MPMike).