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The Magic Years
Disney through the eyes of teens
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Adrienne Krock, editor
My Interview With Just Plain Mark and Zippy of Radio Disney
On President's Day, I went to Disneyland and got to interview Just Plain Mark and Zippy, two DJs on Radio Disney who broadcast from Tomorrowland. Radio Disney is "just for kids" and I love it. Just Plain Mark and Zippy's show (THE coolest show in the world) is on in the afternoon, so I listen when I get home from school. They were kind enough to answer a few questions I had...

The studio in Tomorrowland where Radio Disney is located
The studio in Tomorrowland where Radio Disney is located

I started off by asking them, "If you could broadcast live for one day from any place in the world, where would it be?" After thinking about it for a moment, Mark said, "I think the surface of the moon would be pretty cool."

Zippy mentioned the world's largest ball pit or a trampoline factory. "You know what's great? Circuses and carnivals because you get to talk to the carnies and they're such interesting people."

Mark decided after thinking a little longer. He said that, while the moon would be neat, it would get old on the radio. "It'd be us going 'this is so cool!' about a hundred times." Zippy said he would like to broadcast underwater in a shark tank without a cage.

"Do you think that you guys are closer friends because of your job?" Mark told me, "We don't hang out that much outside of work because we spend so much time together here in the same room... we kind of give each other a break. We're great friends at work."

Zippy added, "If one of us needs something, the other one's definitely there to help him out." He said that they spend a lot of time doing creative work together, and that's very difficult.

However, the team works because Mark does one thing really well and Zippy does another thing well. "Together we pretty much cover the whole scope," Mark said. They live totally different lives. If it weren't for their jobs, they probably wouldn't have hung out much at all.


Mark (with the cap) and Zippy (with the long hair) in their Disneyland studio.

So what inspired these two to go into radio? What did they want to be when they were kids? Well, Mark had always wanted a cool job, and he thought radio was cool. Neither of them ever had much musical ability but, "..this was the next best thing to being a rock star," as far as Mark was concerned. Mark had considered politics but he didn't like the way it forced people to act like something they weren't. Mark ended up in radio and started loving it, "..just because it embraced people who are themselves."

Growing up, Zippy wanted to become a fireman. But he can't stand the sight of blood, so he decided this wasn't the job for him. Then he wanted to be a helicopter pilot. Later on, he was actually working in television for a while. "I kind of always knew I wanted to be funny or entertain people, but I never knew how that was going to happen. Radio for me was just an accident. I fell into it literally and it happened.."

"What is your favorite part of the show?" Of course, they both said the end, and after we quit laughing, Zippy answered for both of them by saying, "The best part of the show is talking with the kids. Regardless of what contest we're doing... As long as we're talkin' to the people who listen to this thing, that's the best part of the show."

Mark agreed with that, as long as the phone calls were doing well. "90% of the time, they're going pretty well, and there's just kind of a vibe in the room.."

"What's the best part of being DJs on RadioDisney?" Mark explained that they usually come in from a parking lot near their studio, and so they don't walk through the Park everyday. Every so often though, they might have family or friends at Disneyland or just decide to take a walk down Main Street, USA. According to Mark, the best part of the job is being a part of the Park. "It is so cool to be a part of something that's so unbelievable. Something like Disneyland that's touched people from around the world, everybody knows what it is, and we are a big part of that... I'm gonna look back 20 years from now and go 'that was so cool, I was so lucky to have had that experience.'"


Zippy poses by his microphone for Jewel.

Zippy said that it helps when they're having a bad day (bad days happen, even to them) to walk down Main Street and remember being there as a little kid. "It kind of, for a few minutes, makes everything go away."

This next question I just had to ask. "What are your favorite rides at Disneyland?" They said Indiana Jones almost immediately, and Mark mentioned the new Soarin' Over California which is next door at Disney's California Adventure. "That's really incredible. That's the best ride I've ever been on." Zippy said that he liked that as well as Maliboomer, also at DCA.

Now, Just Plain Mark and Zippy give "official show nicknames" to some of the kids who listen to their show. So I asked them what nickname they would give Walt Disney. After a little while Zippy answered with a laugh "Yes Sir, because that's how we'd answer him. 'Yes sir, yes sir.'"

What Disney characters do Just Plain Mark and Zippy remind each other of? Well, Zippy said that Mark reminded him of Dopey, and Mark said Sneezy, because everyday at lunch Zippy decides he has to blow his nose.

One last question that I asked them was "If you could go back in time and meet any one person, who would it be?" "I'd love to meet Abraham Lincoln," was Mark's reply. "He was just an amazing person. He changed the course of the world, and his life was kind of snuffed out just when he was ready to celebrate." I thought that was a really neat answer, I mean, think about it. It's so true!

Zippy said "I'd like to meet the guy who designed the Titanic and go 'Dude wait, there's a fatal flaw here.'" We all thought this was pretty funny. It would definitely be cool if someone could go back and help that guy out, though. "They'd have no idea how important I was in history."


Zippy's the Hippy and Mark's Just Plain.

With that the interview came to an end and it was time for Just Plain Mark and Zippy to get ready for their show. Their show is on from 1 to 5 pm, PST. To learn more about RadioDisney and what station you can hear Mark and Zippy's show on where you live, check out this link. Oh, and next time you're at Disneyland, be sure to stop by their studio and say hello!

Special thanks to Just Plain Mark and Zippy! Interviewing them was a lot of fun for me and a great experience. Thanks guys!

Ciao!

~Jewel


Do you have questions, comments. etcetera? So e-mail me! drop me a line at CoolKids@MousePlanet.com This is my first interview, so I'm dying to know what all of you think!


Jewel's FastFact: The Pirates of the Caribbean ride holds 750,000 gallons of water!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jewel
Hi!
My name is Jewel.

I am 13 years old, and a typical junior high student. I live with my mom, dad, and little brother. My family and I have annual passes to Disneyland so we go quite often. I love school, and science has always been a favorite subject of mine. I am in band and hope to be involved in music for the rest of my life.

Right now, my career goal is to become a deejay. In my mind, that is the coolest job in the world! My hobbies include: listening to and playing music, reading, writing, messing around on the computer and hanging out at Disneyland. We have seven cats (four of them found us), a black Labrador, and I have a goldfish.


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