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MouseStation 107 - MouseFest recap

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Featured Topic - Our MouseFest

In this week's feature, Mike and Mark recap their experiences at MouseFest. Thanks to Paul Barrie of the Window to the Magic Podcast for the great intro.


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Early start and Thursday kickoff

At MouseFest 101, Mark and Mike Scopa co-hosted an introduction to MouseFest for first-timers and veterans who wanted a fresh perspective. They filled the upstairs area at the Tomorrowland Terrace Noodle Station to standing room only with an estimated 280 people. It was a great event and everybody said that they really got a lot out of it.

At the Chairman's Meet 'n' Greet immediately following MouseFest 101, Mark got a chance to talk to a number of listeners, including Kevin & Timbra Peace, Peter Ciarcia, Paul Schnebelen & Suzanne Castle and more. As far as he recalls, he didn't get a chance to talk to Kate Tillan and Mary Chuchro until later during MouseFest, though they were there for MouseFest 101 and the meet 'n' greet. He also met Eric & Dan from Mouse Guest Weekly, Cindy & Ray from Let's Talk About Disney/Bare Necessities, etc.

After we were done at the Noodle Station, we headed over to Aloha Isle for Mike Scopa's Dole Whip meet, which drew another estimated 200 people. The crowds were huge and the chatter was great. Then it was time for Steve Barrett's Hidden Mickeys meet on Pirates of the Caribbean, where a boat full of Pooh-sized people bottomed out just before the drop and the group had to be taken off of the boat and put back on later along the ride.

The evening was topped off with Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. The big fireworks meet in the Rose Garden was stupendous, and Mark also ended up spending most of his evening with Lou & Deanna Mongello and Jeff Pepper, with Byron Hunt joining the part for a while. Mark made a last-minute attempt to run a dreidel meet during the party, but he ended up missing the others interested and the meet fell through. He did manage to make some magic with a dreidel for a boy and his family as he and Mike were leaving for the airport, though.

Friday - PodFest!

Mark woke up late due to staying up late to try to publish Episode 101 and missed seeing Matt Hochberg ride Dinosaur for charity. He was able to go around, take some photos before meeting Elizabeth (a.k.a. DaisyDuck001) and some others for a fabulous lunch at the Yak & Yeti Restaurant before running over to pick up Mike at Pop Century.

Mike got in a little early and it took about 15 minutes to check in for Disney's Magical Express, but he didn't have his yellow luggage tags on his luggage because they never arrived. However, he was able to have his bags show up. Mike had a quick ride to Pop Century, got the room key, checked his bags and was ready to head for the Studios when Mark showed up.

There was a huge number of podcasters at the event, and it was great to see everyone that we met last year and meet everybody new. Every podcaster was introduced by host Lou Mongello, then got a brief chance to talk about their podcast. The funniest one had to be Paul Barrie (but you'll have to listen to the show to hear what Paul said and did). It was a veritable who's-who of Disney podcasting, and it was great to talk to everyone. Mark still thinks that Paul Barrie wins the prize for looking least like what people would think that he would look like. Then we got into a discussion of people not looking like what you would think they look like.

We missed the MuppetMeet, though we did manage to meet up with Steve Barrett's Hidden Mickeys meet, then got over to see the Osborn Lights, and ducked into the Muppet Theater to catch MuppetVision 3-D and we were both disappointed to see that the LED sign up front had disappeared.

Then we went back to the room… er… Studio 2104 to record Episode 102.

Saturday - Mega Mouse Meet and Mega Mousssse Meet

We got to the Dolphin bright and early to start setting up for the Mega Mouse Meet, and we managed to take a few minutes to run to Picabu for breakfast before the Mega Meet started. It was once again huge, and we filled the 19,000-square-foot ballroom. It was great meeting and talking with everyone that came by our tables.

The MousePlanet door prize for the Mega Meet (the big one for the event) was a three-night stay at the Doubletree Guest Suites, courtesy of our friends at the Downtown Disney Resort Area Hotels marketing association, an Owner's Locker that was upgraded from two years of unlimited visits to unlimited visits forever when Brian Whitt got caught up in the moment, and copy of David Koenig's latest book Realityland: True-Life Adventures at Walt Disney World. The best part was that it was won by Lorie Holland, a member of the MousePlanet community!


One corner of the ballroom is overrun by MouseFesters at the 2007 Mega Mouse Meet. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

The Mega Meet actually ended up close to on time, and we had plenty of time to break everything down and load it out and still take our time on the way to Boulangerie Patisserie for MousssseFest. Mark bought mousssse and water for everyone, and all had a great time.

After MousssseFest, Mark and Mike headed for Spaceship Earth and managed to get in on a sneak preview, but the gates were closed before they could get around for a second ride. Mark talked about his thoughts on the revamped ride in last week's ParkUpdate. Next, we headed for the Gran Fiesta Tour, since Mike hadn't seen it yet. While waiting in line, we ran into more MousePlanet listeners who weren't there for MouseFest but did recognize us, so we chatted with them for a while.

Next up was dinner with David Koenig and his lovely wife Laura at Marrkesh, where we all enjoyed the food (and Mike ate there for the first time). Then it was time to head to the Torii Gate to meet up with the DisneyWorldTrivia gathering to watch Illuminations and the ensuing fire on an island in the middle of World Showcase Lagoon after the holiday tag.

Mike went off to DisneyQuest with John Corigliano while Mark headed back to take care of some stuff online and then go to sleep. Well, Mark at least got as far as starting the bootup sequence for his laptop before falling asleep in the chair. Mike and John managed to do all of the E-ticket attractions and did 7 attractions in total in just 54 minutes. When Mike got back, Mark woke up and gave him a stare like he didn't know who he was. It scared Mike.

Sunday - Mini-MouseAdventure and Hustle-tini time!

Mark and Mike made a beeline for the Noodle Station by way of the Main Street Bakery to set up for the Mini-MouseAdventure. It was great to chat with a bunch of others that we hadn't had a chance to talk with previously. On the show, Mark forgot to mention the two young ladies that approached us just past the bag check at the Magic Kingdom because they recognized our voices. That was wild. Then we chatted a bit about the Mini-MouseAdventure and the two minor errors in the packet.


Our crew of brave Mini-MouseAdventurers prepares to take on Tomorrowland and Toontown. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

After we wrapped up the event, Mark headed off to the MouseFest 2008 executive planning committee kick-off while Mike took in an attraction or two, had some lunch and just generally enjoyed the park until we met at Lou Mongello's TriviaFest. From there, a bunch of us went to Aloha Isle for the unofficial, spur-of-the-moment Dole Whip with Sprinkles Meet. We may have a convert in Mike Scopa.

Mike went to wait for Mychal to do his hair, while Mark went to take a look at the new work at the Contemporary and chat with Bruce Metcalf before heading off to Pop Century. Then it time to get ready for the Hustle-tini meet, though you can find out of that from last week's feature show. Then we went off to Boma with Mary for a great dinner. We closed the restaurant, though not intentionally.


Mike Demopolous converts Mike Scopa to the way of the sprinkles. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

After an abortive attempt for Mike to enjoy Pleasure Island clubs ended up with him heading back to the room.

Monday - wrapping up and heading out

Mike was out bright and early, but Mark slept in and then did some laundry and such. Mike palled around Disney's Animal Kingdom with various other podcasters while Mark did laundry and otherwise got packed up, then it was time for some strategic meetings about next year's MouseFest and other items with Jennifer and Dave Marx from Passporter, Mike Scopa, and Lou Mongello from DisneyWorldTrivia.com .

Final thoughts

All in all, it was a great gathering and we're already looking forward to MouseFest 2008.

So what do you think about our adventures at MouseFest? Will you try to join us at MouseFest 2008? Let us know by sending an email or calling our toll-free feedback line (1-866-939-2278). Let us know what you think!

Wrapping up

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Thanks to our audio engineer and sound editor Steven Ng.

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The MouseStation crew (@MouseStation) currently consists of Mark Goldhaber (@MPMark) and Mike Demopoulos (@MPMike).