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MouseStation 229 - Listener Feedback

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Let us hear from you!

Send in your suggestions, comments or tips via our email feedback form or via voicemail on our toll-free feedback line (1-866-939-2278).

If you want to contribute a story for our Monday Magical Moment segment (and possible inclusion in the Cast Place column here on MousePlanet), you can either use our email Magical Moment story form or the toll-free feedback line. (We love it when you use the voice mail system, because then we can play your call on the show!)

We've put together a new listener survey to help us learn more about you and what you like most about this podcast. This one is much more targeted than the old Podtrac survey. Please take a few minutes to fill it out and let us know what you think.

Thanks to our sponsor

Today's show is sponsored by Advantage Vacation Homes, a great vacation home rental company that gives you a place to stay with lots more space than a regular hotel room for a lot less money.

If you're going to be needing more than one or two hotel rooms, there's a good chance that you can save a bunch of money by renting a vacation home instead.

For more information on what a vacation home is and what to expect when renting one, check out our interview of Fred Zorayq from Advantage Vacation Homes in Episode 219!

Major podcast announcement

Before we got into the show, we had to make an announcement that we probably like as little as you do. Because of the combined pressures of making this show while trying to hold down our day jobs, have personal lives and get at least a couple of hours of sleep each night, we're going to have to cut back on the number of shows that we do. We had been hoping to wait for the complete results of our new listener feedback survey that we just set live on Friday, but a couple of developments this week made it necessary for us to cut back before the complete results are in. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't fill the survey out anyway, since we still want to make sure that our remaining shows will best address your needs.

Anyway, we'll continue with our four weekly shows this week, and then next week we're going to go to two shows a week, on Tuesday and Thursday. We're planning to do the Collected Short Subjects on Tuesday and the weekly feature on Thursday. Listener Feedback will appear in a shortened form at the end of each show, and may occasionally be an entire feature show. The MousePlanetWatch News, unfortunately, will be a casualty of this cutback. However, the Walt Disney Company News segment is the only real portion of this show that's not already available online in the text portion of MousePlanet. Both Park Updates are available on Mondays, and many of the stories that break after they're published often appear during the week in featured blog posts linked from the MousePlanet home page and are always covered in the following week's Updates. We'd like to know what kind of interest there is in Mark continuing to put together the Walt Disney Company News, but as an additional weekly column on the MousePlanet site. If there's sufficient interest to support readership of such a column, we'll see if we can set it up. If there aren't enough people that would read it, then Mark just gets a little more time to sleep each week. Send us your opinion either way by email or by calling the toll-free feedback line at 1-866-939-2278.

We know that you like the four shows each week. We like them, too. Unfortunately, we won't be able to continue to produce them, at least not for the immediate future. Please let us know what you think of this change by sending us email or by calling the toll-free feedback line at 1-866-939-2278.

Listener Feedback Friday!

In this week's final Listener Feedback show:

Stewart from Howell, NJ called in to tell us that he was saddened to hear that we were cutting back to two shows a week. He wondered if we could get a second production team and second set of hosts to keep the show at four per week.

Bill Aiken wrote in to ask if we could add two more co-hosts and have them do the other two segments, and even offered to help. A big part of our issue is that we don't have anyone to do the professional-quality sound editing

Big Brian called in to thank x for using his "Keep On Mousin' It Up" line. He also wanted to note that, like Mike, the folks over at the Laughing Place podcast also just didn't connect with WALL-E. Brian did connect with it and enjoy it, but he's also a big science fiction fan and so was able to view it in that context.

Alex in Houston sent in two emails. In the first one, Alex wanted to note that The Lion King was also a dark movie but people didn't complain about it. Mark noted that it was based on a Shakespearean tragedy, but couldn't remember if it was Hamlet or MacBeth. (It's probably Hamlet.) Mike sees WALL-E as a heavy-handed environmental and anti-consumerist fable, while Mark sees it as a love story with a subplot of redemption of the human race.

In Alex's second email, he confirmed that Mark correctly figured out the pronunciation of his name. Mark realized that, since Alex noted that there was likely a problem with the phonetics that they were passing back and forth, there was only one different way that his last name could be pronounced.

Peter wrote in to note that another option for inexpensive souvenirs is to get Disney Dollars at City Hall and then frame them when you get home. Peter groups the dollars by theme or characters before framing them. Mike mentioned the $50 Disney Dollar bill, but Mark thinks that it was only a special edition for Disneyland's 50th birthday.

John Papas suggested a few things that he does to save money on his trips:

  • 1. He always uses Priceline and bids on a hotel really close to his trip. He also reserves a non-Priceline room to be safe and bids before the the cancellation period.
  • 2. He always uses Priceline for rental cars and follows the same steps.
  • 3. He uses Kayak.com to check flight prices and buy 8-9 months ahead at great rates. He hasn't been disappointed yet.

He also asked about whether or not InBev buying Anheuser-Busch would result in them selling off the theme parks as non-core assets. Mark thinks that they might try to find a buyer, but he's not sure whether they'll have any luck. Disney and Universal would likely not buy stuff away from their properties. Cedar Fair and Six Flags would probably not have the free cash available to buy the Busch parks. The only possibility would be one of the overseas theme park companies.

Sean Jones called into the voicemail to talk about his impressions from his most recent stop at Disneyland. He really enjoyed Toy Story Midway Mania, and his son nearly got the top score of the day. Sean was hoping to find a lot of WALL-E stuff in the parks, but that there was was a cut-out of WALL-E for a "photo opportunity." He had been hoping for the animatronic WALL-E. His boys (ages 13 and 17) were back at Disneyland for the first time in a long time and they had a great time. He promised that Part 4 of the "Zurg invades the MouseStation" series of @ the Station would be arriving soon. Mark noted that the strip had arrived, and that he hoped that we'd have it recorded in time for Tuesday's show.

Our own Andrew Rich wrote in note that he uses a NetGear WGR101 mini wireless router to provide a private, encrypted WiFi network Mark uses the same model. Andrew also noted that he got a great deal on it ($10 after rebates), and deals can still be found using PriceGrabber.

Andrew also enjoyed eating at Spoodles when it served its tapas menu, and that he also feels that it lost a lot when it lost the tapas menu. Mark noted a rumor that the reason that the menu was discontinued was because when someone told others that they wanted to go to the "tapas place," many thought that they were saying "topless place," and wondered why Disney had a topless place on property. Avoiding that misunderstanding supposedly was the reason why the menu was discontinued.

We also ran a brief interview that Steven Ng did with voiceover artist Brian Sommer to give a quick preview of something that's coming to the show on Tuesday.

Our PhotoPass contest is still open. Send us your ideas for what you'd like to see changed and you can win a free PhotoMovie or other prizes. You've got until next Thursday to get your ideas in. Check out show number 216 with Maggie Varnadoe for more information.

We've put together a new listener survey to help us learn more about you and what you like most about this podcast. This one is much more targeted than the old Podtrac survey. Please take a few minutes to fill it out and let us know what you think.

Wrapping up

Please send us your comments 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!

Don't forget to go to the iTunes podcast directory and give us a good rating for the combined feed!

You can get your MousePlanet (or MouseStation) swag from the MousePlanet CafePress store and the brand-new MouseStation CafePress store.

Also remember to go out to our main podcast page and poke a pin into our Frappr map.

Thanks to our West Coast correspondent Andrew Rich, and audio engineer and sound editor Steven Ng.

Thank you for listening!

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(Send an email to MouseStation Crew)

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