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Modern Mouse Radio #108: A Haunted Mansion Documentary


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Josh is joined by James Carter from the Creepy Kingdom podcast this week to talk about his newest venture, a full length documentary about the Haunted Mansion attraction and it’s loyal and unique fan base. James has just started filming and will be looking to put out the film at the beginning of next year. He is on the show to promote and gain some buzz around the project.

If you are interested in donating to the film’s Kickstarter, make sure to do so as there are some great perks involved. Also be sure to check out for all of the news around the film!


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Feature: The Balance of Money and Magic

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The Walt Disney company has one of the hardest challenges in the history of business. Walt Disney and his storytellers promised magic almost 100 years ago and despite the changes in economics and society, the company has tried their best to uphold the magic that Walt himself promised. The truth of it is that The Walt Disney company is a business. Every week they send out paychecks, make budget adjustments, have board room meetings, and make executive decisions. Like the almighty wizard, we are asked not to look behind the curtain, but in the social world we live in that’s almost impossible.

Last week it was said that Shanghai and the international park team have had their budgets adjusted so that they would receive more money. That money was taken from the domestic parks and now Disneyland and Walt Disney World may see cuts at their employees sake. Whether it will happen or not is yet to be seen, and in terms of a business that looks out for it’s employees, Disney has a pretty good reputation of keeping the “little guy” in their minds even if their paycheck isn’t exactly the best wage around town. Disney’s magic is really what has kept the brand going for nearly a century and because of it the company struggles to keep the balancing act of magic and business. That being said, if we do see cuts, we will hopefully see those people either shifted into other sections of this massive company or rehired at a later date. The possibility is even there for employees to work at the international parks if they want to make that move.

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The company’s acquisition of other properties like Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars have allowed them make more money and be able to conduct business at a faster rate. Think about it. There are several television networks with 24 hour programming, website to care for daily, at least a dozen films in production, 12 theme parks worldwide, plus a fair amount of locations with hotels, travel guides, and more. All of those things are being worked on right now. Disney has their hands in more pots and thanks to the properties they are partnered with they can handle it all at once. Sometimes that doesn’t seem good enough. The Pandora-Avatar land at Disney World isn’t being built fast enough. movies have had to be postponed, etc… These struggles are amplified by the imaginary requirement that Disney’s  fans have placed on the idea of knowing everything that’s going on behind the scenes all the time.

I harken back to times when Disney seemed to surprise us with new attractions, films, and tv shows all the time and there was a magic to it. In recent years, Disney has given us small peeks behind the curtain that, for better or worse, have kept it’s hardcore fanbase happy. On the flip side of the that I remember hearing how long it took to build and open the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train attraction at the Magic Kingdom. Disney continued to tease and show parts of the attraction while working on it which also elongated the timeframe to get the attraction up and running in fan’s eyes. If they had never announced nor let us peek “backstage”, we wouldn’t have given a second thought to it.

I can’t say that I’m completely innocent as an editorialist here. I run a website that thrives on knowing and seeing the latest from Disney. I jump on twitter the moment some big news breaks, but I find myself wanting to find the right balance of magic too. Disney continues to try it’s hardest to keep the magic and keep us wondering, but it’s getting more and more difficult.

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Walt himself did give away what was going on with the Disneyland television show in the 1950s. He did tell us what we could expect and gave away sneak peeks for free on one of the most popular television shows of the time. So maybe I’m wrong here. Maybe this is just my personal opinion. Maybe at the end of the day we are seeing just the right amount of stage performance and backstage workings, but I still see that the struggle of balancing both magic and money is a difficult piece of Disneyana.

What do you think? Do we know too much in our social world? Is Disney less magical because of requirements that fans have? I’d love to know your thoughts and comments!

Josh Taylor
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Top 5: Things Every Disney World Fan Should Know About Disneyland

Most of the folks on the East Coast make frequent vacations to Walt Disney World in Florida and insist that it is the only Disney resort worth visiting. That’s a false statement. As a previous East Coaster and having had my only experiences of Disney Parks at Walt Disney World, I have to tell you that Disneyland is a wonderful place. Having gone this past month, it opened my eyes to many of the misconceptions Walt Disney World fans have about Walt’s original theme park in Anaheim. Here are 5 things you should know about Disneyland if you have never been.


Even Belle get cold in California!

5. The temperature is not the same as Florida – California is much dryer than Florida, so when the weather forecast calls for an 85 degree Fahrenheit day in CA, it is not the equivalent feeling to the same temp in FL. It will actually feel cooler in CA at the same temp due to the lower humidity. Make sure to wear your sunscreen though! Another difference is that the nights in CA get much cooler during the non-Summer months than the less-drastic changes in temperature during the day and night in FL. (Definitely bring a sweater or light jacket for Spring and Fall months in CA!)

4. If you are riding attractions in Disneyland that you’ve already ridden in WDW, they are not the same ride experience – For example, Space Mountain is a COMPLETELY different track system with different music, smoother riding, and double seating. Other rides such as The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Splash Mountain, and Tower of Terror have slight differences in their ride-throughs which actually make experiencing them a whole new ride (or at least a different enough ride to feel like you are having a new experience!) Also, Fantasmic in Disneyland is a MUST, and much different than WDW’s version!

Resorts-13. Not staying in a Disney Resort Hotel won’t ruin the magic – Ok, this one is a little tough for me, because I really do prefer staying in a Disney owned and operated hotel. BUT, the thing is that in Disneyland, it’s not really cost-effective to stay at a Disney hotel. If you are looking for something with similar pricing to Walt Disney World’s (WDW’s) Value Resorts, try looking at pricing for Disneyland’s Good Neighbor Hotels (right on the Disneyland Parks website!) The quality and service will likely be similar, but of course you will be missing a bit of the “magic” Disney sprinkles in their rooms. The reason this worked out so well for Josh and I, though, is that we didn’t stay in the hotel much, but I WAS originally worried that the immersive feel of my past WDW trips would be lost by staying outside of the company, but it really didn’t ruin anything considering we were still in walking distance of the parks!

2. It’s on a smaller plot of land with less park but there is so much to do – One park at the Disneyland Resort is NOT equivalent to one park at the WDW Resort, especially if you are considering the 3 parks other than the Magic Kingdom. With so many attractions condensed into a smaller space, you may even say it’s a more enjoyable vacation because there is more to do in an easier navigation layout. Both of the parks in Disneyland are 2-day parks if you plan on trying to experience almost everything each park has to offer, and a 3rd day may even be considered in each if you want to get each and every thing done. This says a lot when comparing the parks to WDW because some (most?) consider Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and sometimes EPCOT to be 1/2 day parks!


1. It’s not just the Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios – This kind of goes along with number 4 & 2, but has a little more to be said as well. The thing is that there are so many new experiences, different types of crowds, shows, attractions, themeing, lands, etc. PLUS an overall feeling that you are visiting Walt’s park. If you feel “home” at WDW, you will definitely feel even more-so at Disneyland (and that’s coming from someone who LOVES the Animal Kingdom!) If you visit Disneyland park when you’ve been a “Disney Worlder” in the past, you may feel like you are cheating on your first love, BUT the great thing is, you can have and love both! You don’t have to choose between the two! Disneyland and Walt Disney World should be be loved and explored by all.

Angie Carreiro
Disneyland May 2014 Trip Report
Disney Fairy Tale Weddings Planning Journal

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