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In this week's feature, Mark and Mike listen to the audio that Mike recorded at the Las Vegas meet with our cartoonist Sean Jones, Dave from San Francisco, MousePlanet's Karl Buiter and Mike's girlfriend Norah. (Mike "Mr. Abominable" Shearin arrived after the recording was finished.)
After introducing everyone, Mike went straight into Magcal Moments. Norah remembered crying the first time that she saw Cinderella Castle, the first time that she saw Fantasmic, and the first time that she met Mickey Mouse. Sean remembered being evacuated from the Indiana Jones Adventure, losing the rest of the group, and ending up with a misguided tour through the backstage area behind Main Street.
Dave remembered starting a singalong while stranded on "it's a small world" with several boats singing it in a round.Sean noted that on most other attractions, when they stop the attraction, they turn off the music, but when "small world" breaks down, the music never stops. Karl remembered watching people who didn't know about the pyro from the castle being startled by the new show.
Greetings from the meet attendees! (L to R) Mike D., Norah, Dave, Sean, Mike S., Karl. Photo by Sean Jones.
Mike chatted with Sean a bit about the "@ The Station" comic strip. They covered how he started drawing them and how he gets some ideas. Sean also talked about the appearance of the Kid in the strip.
Next, Sean and Karl talked about Disney connections to Las Vegas. Sean talked about the difference between the exterior-only theming that the casinos originally had, but how that changed when they started hiring a lot of Imagineers to help design the interior of the casinos. He also talked about the water screens at the Wynn casino hotel as compared to the ones used at Fantasmic!
Karl mentioned the monorail system that originally used old Walt Disney World monorails. He also mentioned the increasing use of berms to block out the outside world. Karl also talked about the use of forced perspective to create the illusion of differences in size.
Sean surprised Mike by inviting some special guests. Even though he looks kind of serious, this guy really loves Mouse Planet and Mouse Station. Photo by Sean Jones.
Sean talked about the old battle between the pirate ships at the Treasure Island, designed by former Imagineers, and how it has been too Vegas-ized and it's no longer as nice as it used to be
Dave talked about the water show at the Bellagio and how it was designed by the same company that designed the Fountain of Nations at Epcot. (Later on, Mark noted that it was WET Design, co-founded by former Imagineer Mark Fuller.) WET Enterprises was formed in 1983, a year after the opening of EPCOT Center.
This is Mike and Sean's favorite other Captain. Photo by Sean Jones.
Sean talked about a family reunion trip to Disneyland, where he and his brother had an intersting experience with the Fantasy Waters show, and where he also first saw the issue of Entertainment Weekly that showed him as the "Obsessed Fan of the Week."
Mike mentioned being recognized when checking in to Walt Disney World hotels because his name is still on the cover of the training manual that he helped to design.
Mike and Sean dished with Simon about the upcoming American Idol attraction. Photo by Sean Jones.
Have you been to a podcast meet? Have you been to Las Vegas? Let us know by sending an email or calling our toll-free feedback line (1-866-939-2278) and let us know what you think!
On April 27, Mark will be walking to raise money for the March of Dimes for the third time. Please consider supporting him. The March of Dimes mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality.
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The MouseStation crew (@MouseStation) currently consists of Mark Goldhaber (@MPMark) and Mike Demopoulos (@MPMike).