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MouseStation 257 - Dr. Floyd, Dream Suite and Toy Story Mania

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This week, Steven Ng interviews Grant Baciocco and Doug Price of The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd, Disneyland Dream Suite designer Kim Irvine and four Imagineers of the Toy Story Midway Mania team. We also have some listener feedback and an announcement about a chance for you to beam up to the MouseStation with us.

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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.

Remember, if you're planning a trip with a large number of people, a multiple-bedroom vacation home can be a lot cheaper than multiple hotel rooms.

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!

Featured topic: Dr. Floyd, Dream Suite and Toy Story Mania

This week, Steven Ng interviews Grant Baciocco and Doug Price of The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd, Disneyland Dream Suite designer Kim Irvine and four Imagineers of the Toy Story Midway Mania team. We also have some listener feedback and an announcement about a chance for you to beam up to the MouseStation with us.

Grant Baciocco and Doug Price of The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd

Grant and Doug talked a bit about what exactly The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd is, and how they first met while they were both Jungle Cruise skippers and Disneyland.

They used to record everything on Dr. Floyd together, but now Grant records just about everything except for Dr. Floyd's voice, though they still create the show together.

Grant now produces the Henson.com podcast and Doug drives vehicles for 20th Century Fox. You can listen to the Henson.com podcast here. Grant is also working on Puppet Up! with Henson. So that we don't leave Doug out, you can also find out more about 20th Century Fox transportation at a link here.

Season 5 of The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd got a Grammy Award Nomination for Best Spoken Word Album for Children. You can support their campaign to win the award by joining the Help Dr. Floyd win a Grammy group on Facebook.

Kim Irvine on the Disneyland Dream Suite

Kim started at WED in 1970 working in the model shop with many of the Disney Legends, such as Mark Davis, Mary Blair and John Hench. She has become the art director of the Disneyland Art Studio, WDI Anaheim. She has worked on the design of the original Disney Gallery and each of the exhibits in the space since it opened. She was extremely excited to have the opportunity to design the suite, but was sad to see the Gallery go. She expects that there will be a new Gallery soon, somewhere else.

They used the original drawings for the apartment by Dorothea Redmond as a basis for the designs for the suite, but then expanded upon them in order to accommodate the maximum family size to stay in the suite. A dining room was walled off to make for a smaller apartment, and a door and some windows have been walled off to make space for two double beds.

There have been some special touches added to the rooms to provide for Magical Moments.

Mark talked a little bit about the Irvine family's long-term connection with Imagineering.

Kevin Rafferty, Robert Coltrin, Lori Coltrin and Estefania Pickens on Toy Story Midway Mania

Steven was joined by four Imagineers who worked on Toy Story Midway Mania, the latest hit attraction at Disney's California Adventure and Disney's Hollywood Studios:

  • Kevin Rafferty, concept design (who spoke with Mark on Episode 193)
  • Robert Coltrin, concept design
  • Lori Coltrin (Robert's sister), art director
  • Estefania Pickens, one of the game designers

Robert and Kevin noted that this may have been the fastest attraction from concept to development in the history of the parks. They started latching on to the idea in August 2005. Robert & Kevin came up with the basic details and did a little artwork, then went to their management at WDI. Their presentation was met with rousing applause, and it was rushed to show it to Parks & Resorts management, who then had it rushed to Bob Iger. The attraction was pitched to Iger in October 2005 and the pitch was so good that a decision was made to put the attraction into Walt Disney World as well as the Disneyland Resort.

It all started when Kevin and Robert wondered what would happen if they rode through midway games on Paradise Pier at Disney's California Adventure. Kevin also remarked how unusual it was that the final product so closely matched the original design.

Lori talked about the challenge of creating two separate attractions on two coasts at the same time. Robert added that the two different "front doors" posed an additional challenge.

Kevin talked about how they didn't know how they were going to accomplish many of the ideas that they had, but that they knew that Imagineering would come up with the answers. Estefania talked about how difficult the programming was because of how many systems all needed to talk to each other at the same time. Kevin noted that his favorite quote of the entire project was from Dustin Barnard, who worked with Estefania on the early development: "It was so hard to make it so easy." Kevin also noted that Sue Bryan should get a great deal of credit, and Estefania added that it was her baby. Robert and Kevin noted that they had worked on other projects and then come back to check on the project and were amazed at how everyone else did such a great job of making it happen.

Steven asked what it was like working with Don Rickles. Don was among Kevin's top favorite people to work with. He's actually very sweet in person, and was very giving. Kevin misses working with him.

The highest score among the group was Estefania, who scored just over 298,000 playing by herself without any assistance. Steven also asked about how they deal with the arm pain after repeated playing. The Imagineers joked about using the various attractions at the Disneyland Resort to work out your entire body.

Thanks to Kim Irvine, Kevin Rafferty, Robert Coltrin, Lori Coltrin and Estefania Pickens for joining us on the show. Special thanks to Frank Reifsnyder from Walt Disney Imagineering and Chuck Oberleitner from the NFFC for setting up the interview. Thanks also to Grant Baciocco and Doug Price of The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd for speaking with Steven.

What do you think? Let us know by sending us an email or calling our toll-free feedback line (1-866-939-2278)!

Listener Feedback

Kris Gibson wrote in to let us know about the most recent episode of the Disney on Broadway podcast, which talks about this history of their New Amsterdam Theatre and has some fun interviews about sightings of their in-house theatre ghost, Olive Thomas. You can find it here.

Mark Lichner was having trouble figuring out which URL to use to subscribe to the show. Mark noted that the URL, http://www.mouseplanet.com/rss/podcast_feed.xml, is the link behind the "RSS" link on all show notes pages and on the main podcast page.

Facebook

We're now on Facebook! Join the MousePlanet and MouseStation groups. You can also become a fan of MousePlanet or the MouseStation. If you join the club and use Pieces of Flair, you can get your MousePlanet and MouseStation flair from Mark (though you have to friend him first).

MouseFest

Registration is now open for MouseFest! You can sign up now, and check out the many meets being hosted by MousePlanet as you plan your trip.

Wrapping up

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.

 

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 MouseStation CafePress store.

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

Thanks to our 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).