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Starport75 - A Disney Podcast

A podcast (mostly) about Disney, Walt Disney World, Disneyland and anything Mickey Mouse, news, history, tips, and we sometimes nerd out on anything--tech, photography, cars, books, music, etc. Join the fun!
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Starport75 - A Disney Podcast
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Feb 18, 2019
  • Released 2/18/19
  • Opened one year after Epcot on 10/1/83
  • Sponsored by General Electric for the first 10 years
  • The one pavilion that combined all of the themes of Epcot Center together: technology, transportation, communication, food, health, energy, living in future habitats on the land, undersea and in space
  • Unofficially, it was seen by GE and Disney as a sequel to the Carousel of Progress
    • The characters have grown up and moved out
    • When proposing ideas for New Tomorrowland in Disneyland in 1990, Imagineering prepared a proposal to essentially combine CoP and Horizons
    • The show’s theaters would present the concept of the “great, big beautiful tomorrow” starting with “Looking Back at Tomorrow” from the Horizons pavilion at EPCOT Center and continuing through an “1890s Victorian style American living room;” “the kitchen of a 1940s modern home;” “a vacation villa circa 1990;” “an undersea research station;” “a space station orbiting the Earth;” and conclude with the “urban habitat…desert habitat…and space scene” from Horizons. http://auction.howardlowery.com/Bidding.taf?_function=detail&Auction_uid1=5322846
  • Design
    • 1979 was a look at the history of technology and a large exhibit space for GE of today and tomorrow
    • Jack Welch became chairman of GE and he didn’t think the pavilion was futuristic enough
    • The name changed in 1980 to “Century 3” and the design was changed to focus on living in the future with technology
    • GE signed for sponsorship in October 1980 and changed the name again to “Futureprobe”
    • The building was designed to look like a spaceship
      • The rear of the building was “show ready” to be seen from the proposed LVB Monorail
    • By the groundbreaking in February 1982, the pavilion was named Horizons
  • Ride
    • Guests would load in a transport terminal of the future
    • guests would board a car that seated four people and faced left of forward motion
    • The ride started by looking back at dreams of the future over the centuries
      • Included looks at Jules Verne’s idea of a flight to the moon
      • A future look at Paris from 1920s
      • “Easy living” with the robot butler, which was the ‘80s as seen from the ‘30s
      • looking back at tomorrow with movies and television specials of yesteryear
      • The future from the ‘50s where the future was “kinda fun”
    • Then head into bringing our dreams to life: “If we can dream it, we can do it” - the transition between past and future. Two Omnimax theaters that showed images of the space shuttle liftoff, landsat photography of earth, microprocessor, crystals for use in microelectronics, liquid space (underwater), DNA chain, the sun
    • 21st Century living - An “achievable Future” of 2086 (When Disneyland opened, Tomorrowland represented the future in the year 1986)
      • Meet the narrators at their futuristic home
        • Dad is playing a futuristic piano
        • Mom is chatting with her daughter on a holophone
      • Head to the agricultural engineer daughter’s home on the farm in the desert
        • The daughter is overseeing the harvest of l’orange (half lime, half orange)
        • Head into the house where her husband and son making a birthday cake
        • then to the den where the daughter is talking to her boyfriend who is working on his submarine
      • Then go to the maintenance bay where the boyfriend is working on the submarine
      • Continue on to the underwater city where children are getting ready to go deep sea diving
      • Then head to space where we see a space colony where the son and his family live
        • A family just arriving from the shuttle
        • Crystals growing in space
        • Join the family in singing birthday to the grandson via hologram
      • Then it’s time to head back home: you got to vote on the flight path back to FuturePort
        • Space: Omega Centauri
        • Land: Mesa Verde
        • Sea: Sea Castle Resort
  • Additional history
    • Closed in December 1994
    • Reopened in December 1995 because Universe of Energy and World of Motion were both closed
    • Closed permanently on 1/9/99, 20 years ago
Feb 8, 2019
  • Released 2/8/19
  • Chris can’t hear the WDW Railroad trains anymore!
  • Disney News
    • Maleficent Dragon Float returns to the Festival of Fantasy Parade from her “Malefi-Fire” last May
    • Fixes to Splash Mountain come in wake of the maintenance list on WDWNT.com; are they related?
    • Elimination of plastic bags in the parks, and new, reusable bags are now available for purchase
    • Testing has started for the Disney Skyliner Gondolas https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGUsuKLFZGY
    • Guardians of the Galaxy Roller Coaster ride building is MASSIVE
    • Change in policy: FastPass Reservations Will Be Deleted Upon Walt Disney World Resort Hotel Reservation Cancelation to Stop Guest Abuse
    • Disney says streaming is now it’s number one priority
  • Picks of the week
Jan 25, 2019
  • Opened January 15, 1975
  • Was the first Space Mountain to open, although it was originally planed for Disneyland as "Space Port”
    • Designing started in 1964, but Space Port was stopped because of Disney’s death
    • It was revived because of the popularity of WDW with teens and young adults; the Magic Kingdom needed a thrill ride
  • Disney Artist John Hench drew the original concept art of the SM exterior
  • It was Walt who wanted the roller coaster to be in the dark so he could have precise control of the lighting and to project images on the interior walls.
  • Selling RCA on an attraction to spend $10 million sponsoring the attraction was key to the project
    • In the book “The Disney Mountains” author Jason Surrell writes about Marty Sklar’s efforts to sell the idea to RCA
      • Disney had an agreement with RCA in 1970 to do all the infrastructure communications for WDW
      • The contract stipulated that if Disney could come up with an attraction RCA would be willing to spend $10 million dollars
      • The original pitch was a new version of Mission to Mars that took people inside a computer
      • The meeting with the RCA CEO, Robert Sarnoff went horribly. Sarnoff sat at the head of a long conference table, and couldn’t hear the presentation and couldn’t see the materials. He asked his staff “who are these guys?"
      • That’s when Marty and John Hench regrouped and moved forward with the Space Mountain plans
      • The pitch for SM, Sklar brought Card Walker, Disney’s CEO to the meeting, as he and Sarnoff knew each other. They also insisted that Sarnoff sit in the middle of the table so he could see and hear.
      • The story for the SM presentation focused on communication, as RCA had pulled out of the computer business shortly after the first presentation. The attraction would still consist of a rocket ride through space, but guests would see RCA satellites orbiting in space and after the ride, guests would visit the Home of Future Living which showed off the latest RCA home entertainment products, and some future products, and the last thing guest would see before exiting was themselves on color TV
  • RCA approved the sponsorship, and the project started
    • The project was lead by John Hench and Marty Sklar, and George McGinnis and Claude Coats - of pirates of the Caribbean and haunted mansion fame— were on the team
    • Former astronaut Gordon Cooper, commander of Mercury 9 and Gemini 5, became a member of the Disney team and provided personal consultation to help insure the authenticity of Space Mountain.
  • The roller coaster was developed by Arrow (who built the Matterhorn) and Disney
    • It’s made up of 2 tracks: Alpha (to the left) and Omega. Alpha is 3,196 feet long while Omega is 10 feet shorter.
    • Top speed is between 28 - 35 mph
    • Ride duration 2 minutes, 30 seconds
    • It’s a pure gravity ride with no boosters or retarders; there are only braking zones. If the ride stops, the brakes are simply released and the trains coast back to the station
    • There are 30 trains (15 for each side), with two cars per train, with 3 people per car (although originally, the cars sat 4 people per car; this was changed in 1989)
  • The exit was the Home of Future Living from 1975 - 1985 and pretty much included everything that was presented to RCA during the pitch meeting:
    • featured the theme song "Here's to the Future"
    • Guests stepped onto the Goodyear Speedramp and went past scenes of the Home of Future Living (from Widen Your World)
      • Started outside on the patio with the father on a lounge chair looking at a briefcase size TV screen on a business video call
      • Then, inside the rooms were a series of white hexagonal modules with white, yellow, orange, and brown decor
      • First, the nursery where a toy clown held a camera pointed at the baby; the camera signal was sent to the other screens so the family could monitor the baby
      • Next, the family room shows the grandmother taking a two way TV pottery lesson
      • Then, the Rec room, where a teenage boy took in some snow skiing on a SelectaVision simulator while the younger brother assembled a model rocket via televised instructions
      • Back outside, a boy is at the front door, talking to the mother inside via camera
      • Again inside, the kitchen shows the mother and a neighbor sitting in front of a large TV wall unit reviewing an online catalog system, along with a picture in picture of the boy at the door
      • Then, the teenage daughter’s bedroom watching a SelectaVision videodisc movie on a large screen
      • Finally, was the entertainment center where a young girl and boy watched a football game on a wall-sized screen
      • Then, you travelled under the train tracks on the speed ramp until you reached the incline and the TVs where you could see yourself
  • In 1985, it was changed to RYCA-1 which showed what life might be like living in a space colony on another planet; the sets are pretty much the same as they are today. They were changed to reflect sending packages across spatial distances using teleportation when FedEx took over sponsorship in 1994. And during the 2009 refurbishment, it was changed to the current design of Starport 75 and promoting different destinations around the universe to which Space Mountain's rockets could take them
  • FedEx added TVs to the waiting area inside and played SMTV which had news clips from around the galaxy
  • Sponsors: RCA: 1975-1993 (19); FedEx: 1994 - 2004 (11); sponsorless: 2005 - now (14)
Jan 18, 2019
Dec 27, 2018
Nov 9, 2018
  • Recorded - 11/7/18
  • Trip report from Chris - Disney Springs
    • World of Disney reopening
    • Chris’ mishap with a Coke bottle in WoD
  • Maleficent float is returning to the Festival of Fantasy Parade in the Magic Kingdom
  • Disney bought Lucasfilm six years ago today and has already recouped its $4 billion investment
  • New Entrance for Autos at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Opens Nov. 8
  • Gondolas discussion
  • Lyft billboards
  • Picks of the week:
Oct 30, 2018
  • Recorded on 10/17/18
  • Released on 10/29/18
  • Early Morning Magic program for Disney's Hollywood Studios
    • 90 minutes of access to Toy Story Land before the park opens
  • Annual Pass cost increase
  • Disney Video Games
Oct 17, 2018
  • Released on 10/17/18
  • Disney Cruise Line follow up
    • Glenn booked a cruise out of New Orleans!
  • Spaceship Earth Will Close for Over Two Years, Part of Massive Overhaul of Epcot’s Future World
  • Tomorrowland Speedway closing for 5 months to re-route track around Tron
  • Fountain & Bottled Drink, Popcorn, Pretzel, and Other Snack Item Prices Increased
Oct 8, 2018
  • Released on 10/8/18
  • Rumor Show!
    • Rumored opening dates for new attractions
    • Skyliner Gondolas will not have A/C
    • India Pavilion Coming to Epcot’s World Showcase with Massive Jungle Book Ride
    • Is PizzeRizzo at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Getting Ready to Close?
    • 3rd Hotel to join Swan and Dolphin
    • Magic Kingdom’s Club 33 location (Captain's Quarters) is out from behind construction walls
Sep 28, 2018
  • Recorded 9/27/18
  • Released 9/28/18
  • Disney Cruise Line will sail out of New Orleans in February, 2020! During Mardi Gras!
Sep 27, 2018
  • Released 9/27/18
  • Chris is remembering his Cruise
    • Some feedback from disboards.com
    • Follow up: Captain Tom is now Commodore Tom
  • Disney News
    • 19 Magical New and Limited-Time Experiences Coming to Walt Disney World Resort in 2019
    • Disney Has Announced End Date and Replacement of IllumiNations at Epcot
    • Rafiki’s Planet Watch, including the Conservation Station, are closing to the public
    • Walt Disney World Switching to Date-Based Ticket Prices, Including Multi-Day Tickets
    • Park attendance showing softness going into Fall
  • Update on Chris’ visit to Epcot and the Food and Wine Festival
  • Disney News continued
    • New Candlelight Processional Narrators, Food & Merchandise Set for 2018 Epcot International Festival of the Holidays
Sep 17, 2018
  • Released 9/17/18
  • Chris and family went on a Disney Cruise Line vacation
    • Fantasy ship
    • Western Caribbean cruise
  • DCL History
    • Disney Magic - The Launching of a Dream by John Heminway
  • Chris has been on nine DCL cruises
  • Halloween decorations were up on the ship as of the 9/1 sailing
  • DCL Innovations
    • Split bathrooms - like
    • Rotational dining - dislike
  • Make special requests the day you get on the ship
  • Tipping on the cruise
  • Water Slides on the ship
  • Excursions
  • The ship is spectacular and well maintained
  • Castaway Cay
    • Paradise on earth
  • Kids club
  • Chris’s photos from the trip
  • Thoughts about length of cruise
Sep 8, 2018
  • Released 9/7/18
  • Remember the Magic - Mission to Mars
    • Chris never experienced the attraction - it’s a regret
  • History
    • 1955: Rocket to the Moon at Disneyland
      • No space travel in 1955
      • Circular theater with three levels of seats: 162 seats total
      • Screen in the floor and ceiling in the middle of the theater
      • Seats had pneumatic controls and would raise and lower
      • Was a D-Ticket attraction
        • Discussion about ticket levels
      • Building was demolished in 1966
        • The TWA rocket was moved to the TWA Corporate Headquarters building in Kansas City, MO
      • Rebuilt within a year
    • 1967: Flight to the Moon at Disneyland and WDW (1971)
      • Introduced audio animatronics in the preshow, including Mr. Tom Morrow
    • 1975: Mission to Mars at Disneyland and WDW
      • Changed Mr. Tom Morrow to Mr. Johnson from Space Control and added female AAs
      • Sponsored by McDonnell-Douglas
      • Closed in 1992 in Disneyland and 1993 in WDW
    • 2003: Mission:Space at Epcot
      • The spiritual successor to MtM
  • Martin’s tribute video https://youtu.be/jPT3JoFFc1c
Aug 28, 2018
  • Released 8/27/18
  • Feedback on new formats
    • What Glenn had for dinner
    • Glenn visits Orlando to see Chris at least once a year; Chris has been to NOLA once since 2007
  • Disney News
    • Shop Disney Parks app
    • Because of the Tron Coaster construction, the WDW Railroad will be stopped
  • Chris Visits Disney
    • Magic Kingdom visit
    • Halloween decorations are up!
    • Scrims on Main Street USA
    • Jungle Cruise
      • Shrunken Ned’s Junior Jungle Boats - Closed on 8/21/12
    • Family had no interest in seeing the Country Bear Jamboree
    • Ate at Casey’s Corner
      • Ketchup conundrum
    • No visit to Tomorrowland
    • Starbucks in the park
      • Outside vendors in the park ~50:00
  • Picks of the Week
Aug 16, 2018
  • Recorded 8/8/18
  • Remember the Magic - The Country Bear Jamboree
  • History
    • December 1965, Walt Disney was pressing forward with Mineral King, a ski resort in the Sierra Nevada mountains
    • As part of the evening entertainment, an animatronic show was being developed
    • The project was assigned to Marc Davis
      • One day Davis was working on drawings of the characters in his office. Walt Disney walked in and saw the drawings and laughed because he loved the characters. On Disney's way out he turned to Marc Davis and said good-bye, which he was known never to say. That was the last time Davis saw Disney, who died a few days later.
    • With ski resort progress slow, the show was refined and designed to be a unique attraction at the then still being planned Walt Disney World Resort
    • Frontierland would receive a much needed marquee attraction
    • A 15 minute dance hall style show was designed
    • Imagineer X Atencio (Yo-Ho & Grim Grinning Ghosts) and musical director George Bruns created songs for the bears to sing
    • 24 animatronic figures were built, plus another three for outside the theater
    • The show opened on October 1, 1971 and was a huge draw in an otherwise sparsely populated corner of the park
      • Shootin’ Arcade, Tom Sawyer Island, WDW Railroad
    • Shares a building with the Enchanted Tiki Room
    • Theater exits into the “Mile Long Bar’ instead of a gift shop, where three stars from the show would hold their own mini show
    • Pepsi and Frito Lay were the original sponsors from 1971 - 1981 (Pepsi was available at Pecos Bill’s until 1990)
    • It closed in August 2012 for a refurb; when it reopened in October 2012, it was shortened by 4 1/2 minutes.
      • Introduction was shortened, and some dialogue throughout the show was cut, along with two songs: "Pretty Little Devilish Mary" and "Fractured Folk Song"
    • In the MLB, Max, Melvin, and Buff animatronics were hanging and would talk and sing to the guests as they left the theater
    • From May 1986 through February 1992, the show was replaced by the Country Bear Vacation Hoedown
    • November 1984, the Country Bear Christmas Special was introduced for the holiday season and ran every year through 2005
      • Took 4-6 days to install and remove
      • Was the first attraction to change for the holidays
    • There was a CBJ in Disneyland From 1972-2001 (replaced by The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh)
      • It was the first WDW attraction to be replicated at Disneyland
      • Because of the popularity of the show in Florida, two theaters were built at Disneyland
      • From 1986-2001, it was the CBVH
    • Tokyo Disneyland’s opened with the park and still operates. It’s the same as WDW’s version, except the animatronics are more modern and look more real, and like at Disneyland, was built with two theaters
      • Tokyo still has all three versions of the show at different times of the year
  • Attraction
    • Bears (18): Henry, Liver Lips McGrowl, Wendell, Teddi Berra, Ernest, Terrence, Trixie, Big Al, Sun Bonnet Trio (Bunny, Bubbles, Beulah), Gomer, The Five Bear Rugs (Zeke, Zeb, Ted, Fred, Tennessee), Baby Oscar
    • Show
      • The show is basically a continuous string of short country songs sung by the various bears. As each bear sings their song, a curtain opens to reveal them, except in the case of Wendell, Gomer, and the Sun Bonnet Trio (all of whom rise from the center stage), and Teddi Barra (who descends from the ceiling).
      • The show begins with Max, Buff, and Melvin telling Henry to get on with the show. Henry then asks Gomer to give him a "little intro", and the jamboree begins.
    • Songs
      • Current Disney World version:
      • "Pianjo" (Don Robertson) – Gomer and Henry
      • "Bear Band Serenade" (Lyrics: Xavier Atencio, Music: George Bruns) – The Five Bear Rugs, Gomer, and Henry
      • "If You Can't Bite, Don't Growl" (Tommy Collins) – Ernest and the Five Bear Rugs
      • "My Woman Ain't Pretty (But She Don't Swear None)" (Frankie Starr & Paul E. Miller) – Liver Lips McGrowl
      • "Mama, Don't Whip Little Buford" (Burns & Haynes) – Henry and Wendell
      • "Tears Will Be the Chaser For Your Wine" (Dale Davis & Leroy Goates) – Trixie
      • "How Long Will My Baby Be Gone" (Buck Owens) – Terrence
      • "All the Guys That Turn Me On Turn Me Down" (Plott & Powell) – The Sun Bonnet Trio
      • "Heart, We Did All That We Could" (Ned Miller) – Teddi Barra
      • "Blood on the Saddle" (Everett Cheetham) – Big Al
      • "The Ballad of Davy Crockett" (Tom Blackburn and George Bruns) – Henry and Sammy
      • "Ole Slew Foot" (Howard Hausey) – Cast (minus Ernest and Trixie, who do not appear onstage, and Big Al, who reprises "Blood on the Saddle")
      • "Come Again" (Tom Adair & George Bruns) – Henry, Sammy, Max, Buff, and Melvin
  • Country Bear Vacation Hoedown
    • Show
      • This special variation of the classic show features the Country Bears celebrating the many joys of summer and the great outdoors. Its opening is different from the other shows because Max, Buff, and Melvin do not talk at the beginning Instead, the five Bear Rugs can be heard tuning up their instruments. Zeke calls for Rufus to turn on the lights, and then the show begins with "The Great Outdoors". In the Japanese version however, instead of hearing the five Bear Rugs tune up, Max, Buff & Melvin continue the trend of having the first bit of dialogue (although it's in Japanese)
    • Songs
      • "The Great Outdoors" - The 5 Bear Rugs and Henry
      • "Life's No Picnic Without You" - Trixie
      • "On the Road Again" - Wendell
      • "We Can Make It To the Top" - Liver Lips McGrowl
      • "California Bears" - The Sun Bonnets, Gomer, Max, Buff, and Melvin
      • "Two Different Worlds" - Terrence the Shaker (with Dolores the octopus)
      • "Rocky Top" - The 5 Bear Rugs
      • "Nature" - Ernest the Dude
      • "Singin' In the Rain" - Teddi Barra and Henry
      • "Ghost Riders In the Sky" - The 5 Bear Rugs
      • "On My Way To Your Heart" - Big Al
      • "Thank God I'm a Country Bear" - Cast
  • Christmas Show:
    • Show
      • The show includes many different traditional Christmas carols, more modern songs, along with some original Christmas "bear-ols" all sung by the bears in a country twang. The show begins as always with Melvin, Buff, and Max. As the three argued over who gets to sing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", Henry appears onstage and starts the show.
    • Songs
      • "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" - Melvin
      • "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" - Henry and Gomer
      • "Tracks in the Snow" - The 5 Bear Rugs and Henry
      • "12 Days of Christmas (Oh What a Christmas)" - Wendell
      • "The Hibernating Blues" - Trixie
      • "Deck the Halls" - The 5 Bear Rugs
      • "Rock and Roll Santa" - Liver Lips McGrowl and Gomer
      • "Blue Christmas" - Terrence (with his penguin)
      • "Sleigh Ride" - The Sun Bonnets, Melvin, Buff, and Max
      • "Hungry as a Bear" - Ernest and The 5 Bear Rugs
      • "The Christmas Song" - Henry and Teddi Barra
      • "Another New Year" - Big Al
      • "Let It Snow/Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer/Winter Wonderland" - Cast
Aug 9, 2018
Jul 29, 2018
Jul 16, 2018
Jul 1, 2018
Jun 11, 2018
May 25, 2018
May 20, 2018
  • Recorded 5/16/18
  • Glenn’s Disney trip planning
    • FastPass+ Reservations
    • Was it better before FP, in the olden days?
  • ParkLeap update
    • Updates coming
    • Chris needs more feedback about the app to help continue to make it even better
  • Disney News and Chris’ Disney Adventures
  • Chris: Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet https://amzn.to/2rVSDO5
  • Chris’ tip: Notifications on iPhone - setting by app
May 3, 2018
Apr 21, 2018
  • Recorded 4/18/18
  • ParkLeap
  • News
    • FastPass+ for Toy Story Land Opens to Walt Disney World Resort Hotel Guests
    • All-New Play Disney Parks App Coming to Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort This Summer
    • Funko Dorbz Ridez Series Released at Disney Parks
    • Merchandise for 20th Anniversary of Disney’s Animal Kingdom
    • New Starbucks ‘You Are Here’ Adventureland Mug Released at Disneyland
    • First Disney Skyliner tower now in place at Epcot
    • Crossroads Shopping Center by Disney World to Close for I-4 Right of Way
  • Rumors
    • New Monorail Fleet Has Been Ordered For Walt Disney World
    • Walt Disney World Bus Wait Times Coming to My Disney Experience App
    • Universal acquires more property for expansion
  • Picks of the Week
Apr 7, 2018
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