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MouseStation 330 - Walt Disney World Through a Musician's Ear with Dan Weckerly

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On today's show, Mark and Mike are joined by Listener of the Month Dan Weckerly, who talks about how he experiences the parks as a musician

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Feature: Walt Disney World Through a Musician's Ear with Dan Weckerly

On today's show, Mark and Mike are joined by Listener of the Month Dan Weckerly, who talks about how he experiences the parks as a musician

Dan is a part-time musician, and when he visits the Disney parks, he always has an ear out for what Disney is doing with music to set the scene and bring you into the experience.

He began by giving some background on how he hears the parks and how the history of the original Disneyland Park led to the music in the Magic Kingdom, and how the sounds of the various music fits together so well.

Dan then went into the music of the Magic Kingdom, including some focus on the Dapper Dans. He then continued on talking about the musical authenticity in the park. Dan detoured to the Grand Floridian to talk about Big Bertha, the band organ at 1900 Park Fare.

Next, Dan talked about how music sticks in your brain, illustrating it with a discussion of "Baroque Hoedown" and how it transported him back decades.

Mark stumped Dan on the location of the one place in the Magic Kingdom where no background music is played.

Moving to Epcot, Dan talked about the Epcot Entrance Medley before jumping to World Showcase, where he spent a great deal of time talking about the Voices of Liberty at the American Adventure pavilion. He mentioned how he found out that he was part of the 10 percent that the Voices "rehearse like crazy for." Dan also talked about Derric Johnson, who created the Voices as well as all of the musical arrangements that they sing.

You can pick up CDs by the Liberty Voices (what they're called when they perform outside of Walt Disney World) by visiting their Web site, or you can go to Amazon to find A Capella Americana and A Slice of A Capella. You can also hear Mark's interview of Voices of Liberty director Dirk Donahue in Episode 77.

Dan described his thoughts on the Fountain of Nations in Innoventions Plaza. From Steve Soares' great Walt Disney World Live Entertainment Web site, we know that the shows are rotated every quarter hour, in no specific order. Steve also lists the tracks in rotation:

  • Instrumental from the "Air Battle" sequence from Surprise in the Skies, a former daytime lagoon show at Epcot by John Debney
  • "Mickey's Finale" selection from Around the World with Mickey Mouse (from a proposed Epcot show)
  • "Day One" by John Tesh
  • Main title selection from Iron Will
  • Selection from The Rescuers Down Under
  • Selection from The Rocketeer
  • "Standing in Motion" by Yanni

Dan wrapped up with a discussion of Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, the soundtrack of which makes him cry. You can find the Illuminations soundtrack on the Millennium Celebration CD.

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

Twitter/Facebook poll questions

Here are the responses to some questions that Mark was asking on Twitter and Facebook in the last week. If you'd like to get in on answering these questions in the future, you can follow Mark on Twitter or friend him on Facebook.

In honor of @alyankovic's new song Skipper Dan, what's your absolute (pick ONE!) favorite Jungle Cruise joke? Embedding is disabled on the video, but you can still watch it on YouTube.

Out of 14 votes cast, elephant mother-in-law is the only one that got two votes

  • Backside of water!
  • The arches in front of the temple are Disney's first failed attempt at a monorail.
  • The most feared animal in the jungle: his mother in law
  • Up ahead you'll see a dock on the left and a dock on the right. It confuses some people. That's why we call it a pair a docks.
  • And now, we're approaching beautiful Schweitzer Falls, named after the famous African explorer, Dr. Albert Falls. (Unless, of course, you yell out Dr. Albert Falls in which case a keen skipper will turn to you and say "NO!!! It's named after Dr. Albert Schweitzer)
  • That's the African Bull Elephant, the second most feared animal in the Jungle. And over here is the most feared animal in the jungle, his mother-in-law.
  • Let me point out some of the plants here... Theres one. Theres another one. Theres one over there.
  • We had a guide once that kept saying that every animail weighed 3 tons, followed by "Isn't that amazing?" Still a catch phrase around our house!
  • As you leave the boat, please watch your head and step, and if you don't, please watch your language.
  • too many to choose! "Please exit the same way you came in...biting, kicking, clawing, scratching..."
  • Picking only one is HARD! I'd have to go with unloading-It's very important that you wait to get off the boat until one of our crew is there to assist you. Just yesterday a lady fell in and no one was around to laugh at her. Perfect joke for our family, since that's exactly what we'd do if someone fell in! (quickly followed by offering to help, of course)
  • As we come around the bend, we see our first sign of danger
  • see it over there? It says danger. (this is one of the visual ones)
  • "A downed airplane in the jungle - that can only mean one thing.... hippos!"
  • "Looks like he got it in the end"

Dan's favorite was that the elephants are wearing their trunks, while Mike picked Inspiration Falls. While Mark had a number of finalist contenters, he ended up going with the back side of water.

What do you think?

Again, if you'd like to get in on answering these questions in the future, you can follow Mark on Twitter or friend him on Facebook.

MouseAdventure at Walt Disney World, November 14

Don't forget that registration is now open for MouseAdventure Walt Disney World! Get your team ready and register now!

Also, don't forget to sign up for the MouseAdventure Newsletter, which will keep you informed as more details about MouseAdventure and the MouseAdventure on the High Seas cruise are announced!

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