Ep 44 - Mickey’s Birthdayland

November 17, 2018

Welcome to Episode 44 of the RetroWDW Podcast: "Mickey's Birthdayland" - We appreciate your support and hope you have been enjoying each and every episode. Be sure to check out some of our previous shows.

Corrections

  1. Eric wrote in, regarding the show 'Chance of the lifetime', which offered a million dollar prize. We stated it was 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire', and we were clearly wrong. Thanks for the correction! We discussed this on Episode 43.
  2. The giant AT&T phone came up again, and the current phone number owner actually brought it up at a company meeting! Big shout-out to the Disney Vacation Club cast members who listen to the show and also to our friend who has the number.
  3. How also gives us some updates on the current status of the 20k submarines. He found them snorkeling at Castaway Cay and informs us all about what they currently look like. Very cool story!

Listener Mail

  1. Joe Barlow wrote in about some vintage coffee mugs. How did a little research, since he has a mug just like this! He explains the numbers and also a little bit about the history on these mugs.
  2. Mike wrote in regarding 1-hour photo development. Did Disney have a 1-hour photo option at the EPCOT Center Camera Center? Brian tells us the tale on this one.
  3. Next up, Jared gave us a call on the Retro Line! Take a listen to his great story.
  4. Finally, we got tons of great notes regarding the Lake Buena Vista Historical Society. We really do appreciate all of the kind words and support. This is a huge undertaking and we look forward to sharing it with you.

Thank you for all the emails, tweets and comments you have sent our way. We try to respond to almost everything and do our best to pick unique questions for the show. 

Map News

For our latest event, we put together a really special giveaway. This one-of-a-kind collectors map is truly amazing and you really need to get one for your home or office. The details Jason drew, the small Easter eggs - it is just insane. If you would like your own, please visit our 'Donate' page - the entire donation is tax deductible and you will get this amazing work of art. Be sure to share where you end up hanging your posters and show us those custom frame jobs!

Audio Rewind

Our audio rewind this month turned out to be the nightmare filled Magic Journeys!  The winner is Ben West, winning a copy of The Universe of Energy comic book. Great job and thanks for playing along to everybody!

If you think you know the answer to this month's audio rewind, email us! contest@retrowdw.com - This month the winner will receive the 1992 Burger King 20th Anniversary calendar. This prize will legitimately work in 2020, as your new calendar.
All entries due 12/8/2018 and a random winner will be selected. Even if you don't win, you will gain an entry into the Second 2018 Prize Pot!

Prize Pot

Prize Pot #2 has begun! Each month, we add a vintage or classic item to the pot. The winner will be announced in December and they get it all. Follow along as we add items and remember, each entry/guess of the audio rewind gets you an entry for the prize pot. Thanks for playing along!

2018 Prize Pot #2 Contents

  • WDW Resort Pocket Sewing Kit (See It)
  • The Official Album of WDW/Disneyland on vinyl, sealed! 
  • 2018 D23 Gold Member Kit - Featuring Mickey's 90th Birthday
  • Disney News collection from the 1990s

Main Topic

Mickey's Birthdayland

This month we honor our good friend Mickey Mouse by taking a trip back to Birthdayland. We start off in 1988, discussing some of the special events to commemorate his 60th birthday. We examine some old artifacts and events that were done during this era. How moves into the way Birthdayland came to be and also tells us about a hidden gem in the book Todd is holding...Mickey is 60!

We learn about how cheap Disney went for this land and what lasted and didn't last. Mickey was always a walk around character, so guests really wanted to meet him, but couldn't necessarily lock down a meet and greet. This land changed that forever and you'll hear about some trade secrets that still happen today. Todd entertains us with some music from the Birthdayland Express, which is absolutely amazing. The petting zoo concept comes up, Minnie Moo and the barn that is still there at Goofy's Barnstormer. Todd takes us through all of the changes the land has gone through as well. The fair concept is discussed, along with Donald's original boat. We also get into Bonkers, The Disney Afternoon and so much more.

Happy Birthday to the legend himself, Mickey Mouse! Hope you have enjoyed this episode and also had a great time celebrating Mickey's birthday.

 

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Ep 43.75 - A Chat with Jim Sarno

October 29, 2018

The Land Atrium - Dec 1982We are still plugging along in the Episode 43 series, this time with 43.75. The crew welcomes Jim Sarno, an artist who has been all over the entertainment industry. Jim spent some time with The Muppets, Hannah-Barbera and beyond. He moved into the Disney realm, getting his first gig with MAPO, making body parts out of fiberglass.  As you listen to this episode, you will hear Jim drop so many names of his former friends & colleagues, which is super interesting.

Jim was moved away from MAPO and joined 'The Model Shop', which he discusses working on the early EPCOT Center models at the time. The conversation also leads to some insight into Teddy Ruxpin. We get into the main things Jim did, which were SMRT-1 and the sculpture/fountain in The Land. Jim has some first hand knowledge on how he made SMRT-1 and also what parts went into making him. 
We discuss the secret signature within the fountain and also some other place Jim worked, including Disneyland. He designed the landing platform for Tinkerbell! This is a great episode, with lots of neat facts and stories we never would have heard without Jim joining us. Huge thanks goes out to him for taking the time to sit down and chat with us.

Thank you for listening, be sure to check out our latest venture, The Lake Buena Vista Historical Society. You won't want to miss what we have coming soon! We also have our next event coming soon, The Lake & Lagoon Tour: Discovery Edition. Hopefully you can join us for this new adventure at The Vacation Kingdom!

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RetroWDW Special Announcements

October 23, 2018

Pool and BeachWe interrupt your normal podcast, for a special edition of the podcast. This episode is filled with lots of news, updates and tour info; so here we go!

    • Our Lake & Lagoon Tour: Discovery Edition is getting closer and closer each day. We have less than one month to go and we are so pumped for this. The old Animal Kingdom boats are being fueled up and float tested as we speak, just for you! Right now, we only have a handful of tickets left, so if you want to join us, click here!
    • How has some news about construction on Bay Lake, which means this tour could be your last chance to get an up close look at River Country. This is new and could be one of your last chances...
    • The gift for our upcoming event is in production and looking amazing. Our tour members will receive a special limited edition version!
    • Join us! We will be at The Outer Rim, Saturday, November 17th from 4:30pm-6:00pm. This is open to anybody who would like to chat, enjoy a drink from the bar and just relax after a fun day.
    • The Walking Tour is back! Join us for another free event, Sunday November 18th - 11:30am. We will be at the main entrance fountain, right in front of Spaceship Earth. This tour will include the former WorldKey site, the news ticker, flamingos, Horizons and so much more. We did this last year and had tons of fun, so we hope you can join us for this bonus event.
    • Contest - We have a contest coming right around the weekend of November 17th. Please check our social media and website for more information regarding this...
    • Finally, we wanted to tell you about something new. The Lake Buena Vista Historical Society. This has been in the works for over a year, and we wanted to create something to preserve the history we are sharing with you. Brian & Todd explain everything regarding this new initiative, which we are super excited for you to join us on.
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Ep 43.5 - A Chat with Chris Debiec

October 16, 2018

 MGM November 1992_138Welcome to Episode 43.5! We are here tonight to chat with Chris Debiec, who plays a key role in the early days of Disney-MGM Studios.  Todd, Brian & How are in attendance tonight and we start you off with some information about the upcoming Lake & Lagoon tour.  Some information is also revealed about the gift for this upcoming event and also some key information if you would like to meet any of us. 
For more information, please visit here - Click Here

At the moment, Chris is working on some top secret projects, but we get him on the phone to talk about his time at Disney. He started at the studios in the late 80s, as a production assistant. Like many people, Chris started in the Disney College Program, being one of the last classes at the Snow White Village.  We also learn that Chris worked at Captain Cook's at the Polynesian.
Throughout this episode, Chris has so many amazing stories. We learn all about stealing ice in World Showcase, conversations with Jim Washburn and The Muppets. The entire conversation is filled with amazing, never heard stories related to the early days of Disney-MGM. As a real, working studio, you get real Hollywood stories - which is amazing. The stories almost don't feel like a theme park and more from the backstage area of a movie set, which totally makes sense.

Huge thanks to Chris for spending time with us and answering our questions. We really enjoyed talking with him and found him to be full of amazing stories.

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Ep 43 - Game Shows at the Disney MGM Studios

September 25, 2018

Welcome to Episode 43 of the RetroWDW Podcast: "MGM-Studios Game Shows" - We appreciate your support and hope you have been enjoying each and every episode. Be sure to check out some of our previous shows.

Listener Mail

  1. Doug Skinner wrote in to us regarding the giant phone inside Communicore. We did a little research on this, which leads to a live call on the air.  Have a magical day!
  2. Our next letter from KJ was about the 1984 Olympics, which were shown live on the screens in Earth Station. We get into a little discussion on how the '84 Olympics were huge, and how the Olympics back then were way different compared to now.
  3. Joe wrote in with an absolutely amazing story about some spilled soup, shared pants and a free meal at The Coral Reef restaurant. You seriously have to hear this story, which is one of the best we have ever gotten. 
  4. We next heard from Eric about the Eastern Airlines desk outside of If You Had Wings, which was a travel kiosk where you could make reservations and even extend your trip. We are still searching for the airplane phone though....
  5. Andy was curious about the Birnbaum's travel guides, which we refer to often. We dig into the history of Birnbaum and also share with you what we use often.
  6. We heard from Johnny regarding the Tomorrowland Train Station, which we get into why it isn't a thing...How tells us a little history on this forgotten spot.

Thank you for all the emails, tweets and comments you have sent our way. We try to respond to almost everything and do our best to pick unique questions for the show.  

Questions, Comments & Concerns

We love feedback and hearing your memories!

Drop us a line at podcast@retrowdw.com or call us and leave a voice mail at 978-71-RETRO. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Audio Rewind

Space MountainOur audio rewind this month turned out to be the Space Mountain Tunnel! The winner is Jenny Buchannan, winning a copy of The World of Motion brochure. Great job and thanks for playing along to everybody!

If you think you know the answer to this month's audio rewind, email us! contest@retrowdw.com - This month the winner will receive the Micky & Goofy visiting the Universe of Energy comic book.
All entries due 10/15/2018 and a random winner will be selected. Even if you don't win, you will gain an entry into the Second 2018 Prize Pot!

Prize Pot

Prize Pot #2 has begun! Each month, we add a vintage or classic item to the pot. The winner will be announced in December and they get it all. Follow along as we add items and remember, each entry/guess of the audio rewind gets you an entry for the prize pot. Thanks for playing along!

2018 Prize Pot #2 Contents

  • WDW Resort Pocket Sewing Kit (See It)
  • The Official Album of WDW/Disneyland on vinyl, sealed! 
  • 2018 D23 Gold Member Kit - Featuring Mickey's Birthday

Main Topic

Disney-MGM Studios Gameshows

Earful TowerThis month is somewhat unique, as we take you back to the studios and give you a taste of the old, working studio. How takes the lead and the main topic relates to how game shows used to be filmed on site, you could visit the sets and even play with a live studio audience! As a group, we join How with a game show styled game where we answer trivia questions and discuss this history.

The game shows filmed here are legendary, somewhat unique and also random in some cases. We hear about everything from Burt Reynolds to DOS games and how some of the shows were simplified for park guests. We go into quite a bit and you get to hear all about the gaming history of the studios in their heyday. 

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Ep 42 - Communicore West

August 16, 2018

Corrections & Listener Mail

Corrections

  1. The Chapeau Shop on Main Street has come up on the show multiple times, regarding the old time phone. We recently received word that the phone was broken...So sad. Hopefully it will be back up and working soon. BREAKING: As of 8/15/2018, we have received pictures and tweets of the phone back in working order. Check it out now!
  2. The Contemporary Resort 3rd floor has been investigated! How visited a few weeks ago and gives his take on what is going on with this floor. The catering offices, fitness center and a few other things are discussed.
  3. Another 3rd floor comes up, this time from the Canada Pavilion in Epcot. How gives us some information on what is going on here and where to locate this area.

Listener Mail

  1. Kylee writes in about the various products we have promoted. She has purchased so many of them and we thank you for your support!
  2. Diane wrote us about how she listens, keeps a running list and then refers to it during each trip. Such a neat idea to keep track of the things you want to see.
  3. Eric Jacobson brought up his neighbor restoring a small scale, sugar plantation railroad in his yard. This led to some discussion regarding regional railroads, terminology and other train facts. Very cool!
  4. Mike was our next email, discussing a WDW model in the post-show room of the Walt Disney story at the Magic Kingdom. How gets into this one, as he knows the model. This was for Disneyland and we get into what was included on this particular model.

Thank you for all the emails, tweets and comments you have sent our way. We try to respond to almost everything and do our best to pick unique questions for the show. 

Audio Rewind

Our audio rewind this month turned out to be The Adventureland Background Music! The winner is Rachel Dunlop, winning a copy of The EPCOT Explorers Encyclopedia. Great job and thanks for playing along to everybody!

If you think you know the answer to this month's audio rewind, email us! podcast@retrowdw.com - This month the winner will receive a 1993 souvenir brochure from The World of Motion.

All entries due 9/17/2018 and a random winner will be selected. Even if you don't win, you will gain an entry into the Second 2018 Prize Pot!

Prize Pot

Prize Pot #2 has begun! Each month, we add a vintage or classic item to the pot. The winner will be announced in December and they get it all. Follow along as we add items and remember, each entry/guess of the audio rewind gets you an entry for the prize pot. Thanks for playing along!

2018 Prize Pot #2 Contents

  • WDW Resort Pocket Sewing Kit (See It)
  • The Official Album of WDW/Disneyland on vinyl, sealed! 

Christopher Smith Contest
The winner of the Christoper Smith book is John Tierney! John guessed The Asian Resort, which was the correct answer. Let us know which book you would like to be sent.  Huge thanks to Chris for joining us and thank you for all the trivia guesses.

Main Topic

Communicore West

Memories of EPCOT Center

We are finally back with a full episode! After some interviews, mini-episodes and an event announcement, we felt we owed you a solid EPCOT Center attraction. A little while back, we dedicated some time to Communicore East on Episode 38. This month, we veer right (If you are going through the main entrance) and take you to Communicore West. Todd gets us started with some information on Earth Station and where it was originally planned for.

The Fountain of Information is discussed, which included road signs, neon, and anything connected to communication in a fountain type of sculpture. Touchscreens are brought up frequently, including the super advanced teleconferencing system, Face to Face. This setup allowed guests to look at a cast member who was standing in front of a green-screen; How & Todd lead us in some role playing to see how this all worked.

A special guest joins us, Lisa Bastoni, who is the granddaughter of Walter Einsel. We invited Lisa on because her grandfather worked on something very neat: The Age of Information. Lisa was there during the design phase and we get some major insight into how her grandfather was hired and lots of other great stuff. This was an often overlooked exhibit of Communicore, but when you look back at it now the detail and predictions are amazing. Check out Lisa and her music, at www.lisabastoni.com - We have lots more to scan and share from her, so a huge thank you goes to Lisa!

>> See Lisa's "Einsel Theater" video restored here <<

We also dive into EPCOT Outreach or Ask EPCOT, which was simply an educational section to ask questions. There were displays you could use, or an in person librarian to answer your questions. How actually has a question he asked, which was answered by mail! Incredible to think this was how the theme park worked back then.

We then head over to the South side of Communicore West and talk about the Robotics Expo and robots with swords!

 

Lake & Lagoon Tour: Discovery Edition

Join us this November for the second round of our Lake & Lagoon Tour. We have some major upgrades in store and are excited to invite you. Please join us for a tour around the original WDW property lakes and a look at the "Vacation Kingdom of the World".  For more information, please look here.

Project Florida Film Release

About a week ago, we dropped one of our most amazing film restorations to date. Project Florida was purchased, restored and released to an amazing reception. Take a look at this amazing piece that has been restored to the original condition it deserved. Project Florida film release page

 

Next Month

  • Join us next month as we discuss The Disney-MGM Studios production studios in Episode 43!
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Ep 41.75 - Lake and Lagoon Tour: Discovery Edition

August 4, 2018

The Lake and Lagoon Tour is back!

Our popular Lake and Lagoon Tour of 2016 is back, and this time we've got a bigger boat!

Set sail on Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake in true retro style! After boarding a boat previously used for the Animal Kingdom Discovery River Cruise attraction your knowledgeable RetroWDW crew will take you to some of the famed but not forgotten sights and and landmarks including Roy's Cabin, Rile's Island, Polynesian Wave machine, the shoe tree, special monorail beams and more! Your RetroWDW hosts will explain the history of each as you cruise the lake and we'll feature trivia where you can win RetroWDW swag, gifts, t-shirts and more! Plus everyone onboard will receive a special limited edition gift!

 Click for full details and ticket purchases information

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Ep 41.5 - A Chat with Chris Smith

July 25, 2018

Welcome to Episode 41.5 of the RetroWDW Podcast: "A Chat With Author Chris Smith" - We appreciate your support and hope you have been enjoying each and every episode. Be sure to check out some of our previous shows.

A Chat With Author Chris Smith

Chris comes to us as an author of two titles: The Walt Disney World That Never Was and his second book, The Backstories & Magical Secrets of Walt Disney World. We start off the episode with a little bit of history, all about Chris and his connections to Disney. Past trips, The Disney Channel and how often he visits nowadays. Chris also gives us a little background on how he got started. This includes old documents, history and reports that discuss his first book of forgotten and unbuilt attractions. 

The second book we discuss is Volume One of a multi-part series, discussing everything going on in the theme parks. Volume One is all about Frontierland, Liberty Square and Main Street. I found this one to have some much detail, information and almost felt like an encyclopedia about these lands and attractions in the Magic Kingdom. Each ride is discussed as well as the backstories for how the lands are laid out and themed.

Both books are paperback, right around 200 or so pages and really connect to what we love to talk about. Stories, theming and Walt Disney World.  Check these out today and get ready for the next volume, which will be coming soon!

 

Win A Copy!

For a chance to win a free copy of The Walt Disney World That Never Was or The Backstories and Magical Secrets, you need to answer the following question:

What Disney resort was constructed on the original spot for the Asian Resort?

If you know the answer to this questions, email us: podcast@retrowdw.com
We will choose a random, correct answer and let you pick which book you would like sent your way.
Entries due: August 10, 2018 - Best of luck!

Where To Purchase

 

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Ep 41 - Fort Wilderness Railroad

July 5, 2018

Welcome to Episode 41 of the RetroWDW Podcast: "Fort Wilderness Railroad" - We appreciate your support and hope you have been enjoying each and every episode. Be sure to check out some of our previous shows.

Corrections & Listener Mail

Corrections
 - We get started with the infamous Contemporary Resort third floor. We did a little more digging and found out from some listeners that this is where the fitness center is located, along with some other various offices. The ceiling is noted as being lower, but most times the average guest has no reason to be there. We also heard that the ceiling is lower due to the monorail beam and infrastructure heights.
 - For the Skway, we dug into that extreme angle turn and how tight it actually was. Using aerial photography, we found it to be around sixty degrees. So this is somewhat different when compare to some other angles claimed.

Listener Mail

  1. Big thanks to all the new "Binge Listeners" - we get tons of messages from new listeners who hit up the entire catalog at a rapid rate. This is so cool!
  2. Kathryn wrote in, asking about the old shops on Main Street. She brings up some miniature jelly jars from the Market House. How & Brian let us know all about this location and some of the history of Main Street. Listen carefully, as some of it is still there today for you to try...
  3. Anthony wrote in, as a former cast member, sharing some great operational manuals and information. These should guide some future episodes and answer lots of questions.
  4. Finally, Brent wrote to us as a new listener. He first listened to Episode 40 and found that it filled in a memory gap about a skyway/gondola ride from years ago. We also discuss the muskets that were once available at the Walt Disney World Resort. 

Thank you for all the emails, tweets and comments you have sent our way. We try to respond to almost everything and do our best to pick unique questions for the show. 

Audio Rewind

First, we are giving away the Tammy Tuckey albums - Chris & Anna were our winners! They will each be contacted individually and congratulations!
Our audio rewind this month turned out to be Remember The Magic! The winner is Kristin Rappold, winning a copy of Mouse Tales. Great job and thanks for playing along to everybody!

If you think you know the answer to this month's audio rewind, email us! podcast@retrowdw.com - This month the winner will win the EPCOT Explorers Encyclopedia.

All entries due 7/162018 and a random winner will be selected. Even if you don't win, you will gain an entry into the Second 2018 Prize Pot!

Prize Pot

It is time to pull our Prize Pot winner, for the first half of 2018. We go retro with our name pulling this time and pull a random name, from over 300 ping-pong balls. Number 211 came out, and Rick Webster is our winner! Congratulations Rick, we are so excited for you!

2018 Prize Pot #1 Contents

  • EPCOT Poster Set
  • RetroWDW Logo Embroidered Hat
  • McFarkle Family Christmas Card created by our fan, Reese
  • EPCOT Center Coin / Medallion
  • Mickey Earforce One Balloon Pin
  • Set of Retro Disney Pennants
  • Turning Dreams into Reality - Autographed by Bob Gurr!

    Our second Prize Pot for 2018 has also started. The first item is:

  • WDW Resort Pocket Sewing Kit

Main Topic

Fort Wilderness Railroad

So this month, we take you back to Fort Wilderness. The main topic is the now removed Fort Wilderness Railroad that provided transportation inside the resort in a unique way. Todd has done his research, focusing on text and personal interviews to give us an amazingly detailed picture into the railroad. If you are familiar with Fort Wilderness, you know that they use the standard bus transportation for the internal resort loop. In the past, they even had the 'trams' that are very similar to the parking lots and also the now gone Backlot Tour. 
We focus though on a much earlier mode of transportation, the railroad. Todd goes into the history, construction, engineering and even some of the myths that have grown over the years. If you think you know why the railroad shut down, you might learn something new or something different in this episode. Fort Wilderness is a fan favorite, has a following and this will be some amazing and unknown history for tons of people.  Hope you enjoy!

 

Fort Wilderness Railroad Video

https://vimeo.com/209766480

Next Month

  • Join us next month as we discuss The Disney-MGM Studios in Episode 42!
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Ep 40.5 - WDW Radio Loops Part I

June 12, 2018

Welcome to Episode 40.5 of the RetroWDW Podcast: "WDW Radio Loops Part I" - We appreciate your support and hope you have been enjoying each and every episode. Be sure to check out some of our previous shows.

WDW Radio Stations

A few episodes back we discussed the WDW Radio loop that played on the interstate highway system in Florida as you approached Walt Disney World. Wayne from Alabama sent us a copy of the 22 minute loop that he recorded while pulled over on the side of the road back in 1994. Many of our listeners wrote in asking "If you have a loop of the WDW Radio station, why didn't you let us hear it?"  We received additional emails as well with links and downloads to more sources of WDW radio loops! Thanks to our listeners we now have '94, '95, '96 and '97! We'll share those as well in the future.

On you drive this summer take a list as you go back to 1994 along with the welcome and exit AM radio from 1980!
RetroWDW Merchandise

Next Month

    Join us next month as we discuss the Fort Wilderness Railroad in Episode 41!

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