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








All Episodes
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Oct 26, 2022

Join Chris and Glenn as we discuss Chris’ cruise on Disney’s newest cruise ship, the Wish—plus an aftershow discussing photography

  • Released 10/26/22
  • Chris and family sailed on the Disney Wish last week
  • Background and history of cruising
  • Booking and planning
  • Itinerary
  • Terminal and Embarkation
    • Dining changes
    • Safety (Muster) Drill
  • Stateroom and location
  • Theming and decor
  • Ship layout
    • Adult areas
  • Dining and restaurants
    • Breakfast Buffet - Marceline Market
    • Main Dining
    • Palo v Enchante
    • Casual options
      • Festival of Food
      • Ice Cream
  • Kids clubs
    • Special needs
    • Bands
  • Information, Communication, Tech
    • An app…of course.
    • Room outlets
    • Internet
  • Entertainment
    • Shows
    • AquaMouse
    • Hero Zone
      • Incredicourse
        • Socks
    • Funnel Vision
  • Ports of Call
    • Nassau
    • Castaway Cay
      • Weather
      • Last day
      • Towels and Drinks
  • Shopping and Merchandise
  • After show: Photography Talk
Apr 11, 2022
  • Released 4/10/22
  • Bananas for Cabanas
  • Animal Kingdom
    • Mobile dining
  • Park Reservations
  • Magic Kingdom visit
    • Want to ride rides
    • Genie Plus
      • In the technology all the time
      • Horrible User Experience
      • Peter Pan LL
      • Buzz Lightyear LL
      • Dumbo LL - didn’t use
      • Fantasyland first
      • On average, guests can enter 2 to 3 attractions or experiences per day using the Lightning Lane entrance if the first selection is made early in the day.
    • Double gangway for ferry
    • Lunch at Columbia Harbor House
Dec 6, 2021
  • Recorded on 12/2/21; Released 12/5/21

  • Special Guest: Casey Liss

  • Disney's FastPass: A Complicated History

  • Recap of the changes since pre-pandemic times; the "changes" episode

  • What's different now than before the pandemic shutdown?

    • Disney's Magical Express
    • Face coverings indoors
    • No parades yet; will return in 2022; have cavalcades instead
    • No dining plans
    • No parking lot trams to date; announced on 12/2/21 that the trams will return this month
    • Limited character meet-and-greets
    • Resort guests get 30-minute early entry to any Walt Disney World theme park, every day; no more early or evening magic hours, and not all the attractions are open
    • Fireworks restarted in July
    • Annual Passholder discussion
    • Park reservations
      • Park hopping is limited to after 2 pm; you must go to the park where you have the reservation before park hopping
    • Technology
      • Mobile order for dining
      • Dining reservations and check in
      • online check in at resorts; use magic band or app to open your door
      • Theme park entry; use magic band or app (including Apple watch) to enter
      • Genie
        • Genie

          • Free, offers "personalized itinerary"
        • Genie+

          • Ride reservations and line-skipping via the Lightning Lane
          • $15 per person, per day
          • Can make first reservation starting at 7 am
          • After you use your Genie+ reservation or after two hours, you can make another reservation
        • Individual Lightning Lane purchases

          • Prices start at $7 per person, per attraction
          • Variable. Can go up to $15 depending on day
          • Can buy at 2 different attractions each day
          • Resort guests can start purchasing at 7 am/ day guests can start at park opening

          Magic Kingdom

          • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
          • Space Mountain


          • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
          • Frozen Ever After

          Hollywood Studios

          • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
          • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway

          Animal Kingdom

          • Avatar Flight of Passage
          • Expedition Everest


Aug 15, 2021

Join Chris and Glenn on our 100th episode magical celebration! There are no pink castles, but we have two (!) trip reports, including a combined report from the Magic Kingdom! Don't miss it!

  • Chris' trip
  • Glenn's trip
    • First times
      • Kali River Rapids
      • Skyliner
      • Oga's Cantina
      • Rose and Crown
      • Gideons
      • Everglaze
      • Blaze Pizza
  • Chris' next big adventure
Jun 26, 2021
Jun 5, 2021
  • Released on 6/5/21
  • Coke Corner is no more
  • Things are changing in the world thanks to the Covid vaccine
    • Eliminated the 6-foot distancing rule
    • Remove mask mandate outdoors; still required inside
  • Rabbit Holes:
    • Color of sidewalks in Disney Parks. What's myth and what's fact?
    • Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe - the moving stage
  • Glenn has a WDW trip panned for July
    • Making dining reservations
    • Challenges getting a park reservation
      • Via Napoli in Italy
  • Chris' Disney Adventures
    • Magic Kingdom visit on Mother's Day
    • PhotoPass challenges
    • FastPass+
    • Dole Whips
    • Stayed around 3-4 hours
    • Lines are long, but they move fast
  • Annual Passes back on sale on August 16???
  • PSA about hats in the parks
  • When will the WDW Railroad open?
  • Chris is pro-no fly zones over WDW
Mar 27, 2021
  • Recorded on 3/25/21
  • Released on 3/26/21
  • Chris visits Animal Kingdom
    • Three hours
    • Entrance
    • Asia
      • Animal encounter
    • Tea - Joffrey's
    • Kid adventure passport
    • Africa - Harambe
      • Gorilla Falls
    • Didn't get to see Pandora
    • Exit
  • Beastly Kingdom
Mar 22, 2021
  • Released 3/21/21
  • Coke Corner
  • Disney News
    • Disneyland will open on April 30
    • Remy's Ratatouille Adventure will open on October 1
    • Harmonious barges installed in World Showcase Lagoon
    • Epcot Entrance finished
    • New Points of Light are being installed on Spaceship Earth
    • EARidescent Turrets are being repainted back to blue on Cinderella Castle
    • New spotlights bring "premier night" every night to Chinese Theater at DHS
    • FastPass signs, and our thoughts on the future of FP
  • Chris will be visiting Animal Kingdom!
Jan 25, 2021
  • Special Guest: Casey Liss
  • History and Genesis of the Hall of Presidents in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
    • The first new land Walt wanted to add to Disneyland was an area devoted to America's founding principles. Plans for the land go back to 1956.
      • It was to be called "Liberty Street" and was going to be located off of Town Square on Main Street
      • The main attraction was going to be called "One Nation Under God" with its finale to be a Hall of Presidents with an animated, life sized figure of each President with Abraham Lincoln being the focus.
      • President Lincoln was one of Walt's childhood heroes
      • The technology wasn't advanced enough in 1956, and audio animatronics weren't developed by WED Enterprises (Imagineering) until 1961, and not used in an attraction until 1963 in the Enchanted Tiki Room.
    • Walt was approached to create attractions for the 1964/1965 New York World's Fair
      • Walt’s sponsors at the Fair funded the development of major technical advancements such as Audio-Animatronics technology and the PeopleMover system that he could implement at Disneyland
      • And they helped demonstrate to Walt that there was an east coast audience for his brand of themed entertainment
      • When Walt invited the head of the Fair (Robert Moses) to tour the studio, he was so impressed by the One Nation Under God concept, he insisted on including it in the Fair
      • Walt knew that he would not be able to complete the entire show within the given timeframe, and a show based on Lincoln was created for the State of Illinois pavilion.
      • During the "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln" show, a seated Abraham Lincoln stands, gives a speech—made of excerpts of different Lincoln speeches—and sits back down.
      • The show was a hit. So much so, that Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln opened at Disneyland on July 18, 1965, and was running on both coasts during 1965
    • When Walt Disney World was being designed, the Imagineers brought back the idea for Liberty Street and the Hall of Presidents.
    • The Hall of Presidents was an opening day attraction on October 1, 1971 and opened with audio animatronics of all 36 presidents
      • The show starts with a film presentation of the history of the US, then the screen lifts up and the Presidents are shown and introduced, with each giving a nod or wave.
      • Lincoln then stands from his chair and gives his speech from Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.
      • As new presidents were elected, a new audio animatronic figure was added to the show.
      • During Bill Clinton's term, the show was changed to include a speech by Clinton, and the narration was changed slightly.
      • Each president that followed (Bush, Obama, Trump) were given a speaking role as well.
    • The show is currently closed and the official word from the Walt Disney Company is that they are going to install President Biden into the attraction
  • Future status and rumors
  • Other Disney discussion
Dec 11, 2020
  • Released 12/11/20
  • Getting ready to record the episode
  • Episode 033 - Books about Walt Disney World and Glenn taking photos on his trip to WDW
  • What's happening with Disney?
  • Disneyland is still not open
    • California Adventure's Buena Vista Street is open for shopping and is part of Downtown Disney
    • Restaurants have closed again this week
  • Could Disney start using robots for meet and greets? - Inside the Magic article
  • No New Year's Eve celebrations in the theme parks
  • Heavy crowds at the parks over Thanksgiving
  • When do we think that the mask restriction will be lifted at WDW?
  • Park Hopping returns in January
  • Candlelight Processional is on YouTube
  • Episode 012 - Candlelight Processional narrated by Roger Rabbit
Nov 29, 2020
  • Disney designed the Ford pavilion at the ’64 World’s Fair
    • Needed to propel a stream of vehicles along a track
    • It was achieved by vertically mounted rubber wheels spun by electric motors which pushed against a flat plate on the underside of the vehicles
    • That system was refined and used for Disneyland’s PeopleMover
    • Debuted in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland on July 2, 1967
  • PeopleMover was always planned and planned to go through Space Port, and the station would be inside Space Port
  • The track was originally planned to be much longer and go over the Grand Prix Raceway
  • The upper concourse path was built but left empty during the building of the Magic Kingdom for the 1971 opening
  • When Space Port became Space Mountain, it moved to outside the berm, so the track layout was scaled back and changed to the track today, and the station moved from Space Mountain to it’s own station in the middle of Tomorrowland and the StarJets would be placed on top, similar to Disneyland
  • Space Mountain holds the garaging track and a maintenance spur
    The Orlando version would use something different
    • Non moving, solid state linear induction motors, which have an unlimited life expectancy
    • There are 630 Linear Induction Motors on the track, 10 feet apart, ensuring that 4 motors are always under each 5 car train
    • Each motor has a proximity sensor to tell the motor when to power on and a speed sensor to indicate how much power the motor produces
    • When a train approaches the motor turns on and pulls the steel plate under the car towards it
    • To stop the cars, the magnetic field is reversed in the motor to push against the steel plate, and why a stopping car can go backwards
    • Up to 30 5-car trains can carry 3,600 guests per hour along 4,600 feet of track
    • Each car has minimal moving parts, so they are high reliability. There are four main wheels and 8 smaller guide wheels per car. Since all drive and braking propulsion is supplied by the linear motor, there is no traction requirement between the wheels and the track. Consequently, heat, dust, wind, and moisture have no effect on the system’s operation.
    • The system can have up to 50% LIM failure at random positions and still function
    • Speeds are between 1.8 to 6.8 mph
  • Progress City model
    • With the move of the Carousel of Progress to WDW, the model of Progress City would be moved to the PeopleMover track that was designed to hold a diorama
    • It would be cut down to fit the size of the diorama opening
  • Construction began in early 1973
    • The Grand Prix Raceway track was closed and modified to accommodate Space Mountain. During the closure, the PeopleMover track was built over the raceway
    • It cost $10 million to build
    • The Star Jets opened 11/28/74
    • The PeopleMover opened 7/1/75 and dedicated in April 1976
    • It opened as the WEDWay PeopleMover and was an “E” Ticket attraction, but was changed to a “D” Ticket in Fall 1976
    • It was originally sponsored by the Edison Electrical Institute
  • The original ride was narrated by Jack Wagner and ran from 1975 - 1985 and the Edison Electrical Institute sponsorship also ended
    • He is famous for the various announcements over the park PA, for parades, special events, etc. He also did voice work for the Walt Disney World Resort, and for the attractions themselves, including instructions, emergency precautions, and safety spiels. Because of the prevalence of his voice over the park, his nickname was "The Voice of Disneyland".
    • "Please stand clear of the doors. Por favor manténgase alejado de las puertas."
    • Jack Wagner co-arranged the updated soundtrack for the Main Street Electrical Parade, used in various iterations of the parade from 1977 to 2009.
    • Wagner was inducted as a Disney Legend posthumously in 2005.
  • The narration was changed in 1985 and ran until 1994
    • It was narrated by ORAC-1, the commuter computer
  • The narration was changed with the retheming of Tomorrowland in June 1994. It was narrated by Peter Renaday.
    • The name was changed to the Tomorrowland Transit Authority, and it was the MetroLiner Blue Line
  • The narration was changed once again in October 2, 2009 to the current spiel by Mike Brassell, which harkens back to the ORAC-1 spiel and tone
    • The lighting system was also changed to color changing LEDs
  • August 5, 2010, the name changed to the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
  • In 2013, the Progress City model was refurbished, the first time since 1975
  • In February 1974, WED created the Community Transport Services division to promote the WedWay in real world situations
    • The first proposal was in 1976 for the then new WDW Village
    • A new enclosed car design would be able to travel inclines
    • It would offer on demand cars to a specified destination
    • The route would service the shopping village, the hotel plaza, and a proposed office park
    • A monorail from the Epcot area would meet an aerial station straddling Buena Vista Drive
    • The monorail would run down the central median with the WedWay crossing at a lower level
    • The multi level station would have escalator, elevator and stair access
    • From the station, the WedWay would form a continuous loop line around the WDW Village
    • Another change was this system had spur station tracks so moving cars could pass other cars parked at stops
    • The SunTrust Bank was the only part of the office plaza built and the project quietly died.
  • The original plans of Epcot had WedWay in 1975 and 1976
    • Communicore was built to take an elevated Wedway track; that’s why it’s two stories tall
  • In July 1979, the Houston Airport agreed to purchase a WedWay system to link the terminals and hotel
    • It opened in September, 1981
  • The Community Transport Services division was sold to Bombardier
    • Bombardier installed a WedWay system that links the US Capitol to the Dirksen and Hart buildings in 1993
Oct 15, 2020
  • Released 10/15/20
  • Contactless Security at the Disney Parks
  • PeopleMover refurbishment extended again
  • Disneyland is still closed
  • Disney has laid off 28,000 cast members
  • Chapek says that WDW parks capacity is at 25%
  • Construction continues at Epcot
    • Electric Umbrella stories 
  • Wolfgang Puck Express closes permanently at Disney Springs
  • All four Disney Cruise Line ships are in the same port for the first time ever in France
  • Glenn’s Pick of the Week
Oct 4, 2020
  • Released on 10/4/20
  • Glenn’s Trip to WDW
    • DHS
      • Parking Toll booth
      • Rise of the Resistance boarding group
      • Lunch at Ronto Roasters ($12.95/roaster, $4/coke) $72
      • RotR
      • Mickey’s Runaway Railway
      • Blue milk vs green milk ($34)
      • Slinky Dog Dash
      • Also: Star Tours, RnRC, ToT
    • MK
      • Castle color
      • Cavalcades
        • Boo to you
        • Villains
        • Princesses
        • Nightmare Before Christmas
        • Cadaver Dans
      • SM, Buzz, HM, Splash, Tiki, Pecos Bills ($63), BTMRR, CBJ, Dole Whip ($22) Emporium, Peter Pan, Mad Tea, Carousel of Progress, SM
    • Cost:
      • Two day tickets with no park hopping: $1004
      • Hotel: $320 + $97 = $415 for three nights
      • Parking = $50
      • Souvenirs = $289
      • Disney meals = $191
      • Other Meals = $80
      • Trip total = $2029
Aug 21, 2020
  • Released on 8/20/20
  • School is starting!
  • Cherry Coke Energy drink
    • Coke + Coffee drink coming out
    • Will Club Cool be replaced at Epcot?
  • Epcot
  • Chris started watching “Hamilton”…and hasn’t finished watching it yet. He’s exhausted from watching Act I.
  • Show recommendations:
    • "High Score" on Netflix
    • “The Speed Cubers” also on Netflix
    • “Mr. Robot” - excellent show, but Glenn didn’t like the ending. Somebody please explain it to him...
  • Why does Disney keep the Pixar brand? Why not fold it into WD Animation?
  • Chris has a surprise history topic to cover…Magic Shops at Disney Parks!
    • Original Magic Shop
      • Disneyland opening day
      • Merlin’s Magic Shop in Fantasyland
      • Taylor & Hume
      • Merv Taylor  worked with cutting edge materials and had an interest in Magic
      • Opened a shop in Hollywood
      • Merv Taylor was asked by Walt Disney
      • Steve Martin worked in the shop for 3 years
    • Moved to Main Street - Main Street Magic Shop
      • 1957
      • Original stayed open until Merlin’s closed in 1983
      • Where the confectionary is at WDW.
      • Same cast member demonstrations.
      • The July 28, 1977 issue of the Disneyland Line employee newsletter described the “quaint, cozy specialty shop” where “Shelf upon mysterious shelf filled with such oddities as joy buzzers, garlic taffy, dribble glasses and rubber masks attract the wandering eyes of visitors to the shop
      • 2009 takeover by Houdini’s Magic Shop (private operator)
        • Chain
        • Vegas
    • WDW - House of Magic
      • 1971
      • As its Disneyland precursor had, the House of Magic sold cards, hand tricks, masks, puzzles, and “gags.” Cast members bantered as they performed various hand magic and demonstrated products for sale.
      • Closed 1995.
      • 2017 returned to original facade.
    • Tokyo
      • Part of World Bazaar
    • Disneyland Paris
      • is Merlin l’Enchanteur
      • Tucked away in Sleeping Beauty Castle
      • Magic themed but not magic tricks.
    • Hong Kong
      • Similar to DLP
      • “Merlin’s Treasures”
Jul 9, 2020
  • Released on 7/9/20
  • New Cinderella Castle color
  • Disney World started Cast Member previews on 7/7
  • College Program has been suspended indefinitely
  • NBA and MLS will play remainder of seasons at Disney World
    • How will the other sports fare this fall? Baseball and Football
    • Auto racing is back!
  • Off Disney: talking about school for kids this fall
  • Thoughts about Disney World opening right now
  • Watch “Hamilton!” 🙂 
Jun 20, 2020
  • Released on 6/20/20
  • A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow?
  • WDW’s 25th Anniversary
    • A little personal history from each of us related to the 1996-1997 timeline
    • 25th Anniversary Celebration on 10/1/96
      • Including Michael Eisner, Roy E Disney, and First Lady Hillary Clinton
    • — Coke Corner interlude — Brought to you by Coke Energy…with caffeine, B-vitamins and the most guarana ever!
    • Castle cake
      • Disney Magazine Fall 1996 description
    • Remember the Magic parade
      • 1st disney parade that stopped and had guests join the dancing
    • Illuminations 25
    • 25th Anniversary Banners
    • Disney’s Music from the Park
    • Books
      • How the World Began
      • Imagineers
    • WDW Explorer CD
    • What will 50th Celebration be like?
      • Thoughts on the logo
    • Per Chris, MK was open until Midnight every night during the 25th Anniversary
      • Per the 1997 Official Guide to WDW, “The Magic Kingdom keeps later hours through the end of 1997 to honor Walt Disney World’s 25th anniversary.” - myth confirmed!
    • The poor paint jobs on Cinderella Castle
    • Ticket price comparison between 1996 and today
May 29, 2020
May 3, 2020
Apr 27, 2020
  • Released on 4/26/20
  • Coke
    • Coke Energy
    • Photo of Chris as a kid dressed in Coke material
  • Questions
    • How much would you pay?
    • You’re allowed 1 hour in any Disney park you choose while it’s shut down. You can stand or sit in any specific location but no attractions or stores are open. Where would you pick and why.
  • VR as an option?
Mar 12, 2020
Feb 7, 2020
  • Recorded on 2/4/20
  • Special Guest Andrew
  • How did Andrew become a Disney theme park fan?
  • Glenn’s Trip report
    • Magic Kingdom After Hours
    • Epcot
    • Disney Skyliner
    • Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • Andrew met up with Chris and Glenn at DHS to visit Galaxy’s Edge together
    • Millennium Falcon Smuggler’s Run
    • Blue Milk
  • Guest Experience Team
Jan 22, 2020
Dec 17, 2019
  • Released on 12/16/19
  • Happy Holidays!
  • Thoughts about Disney+
    • Surpassed 10 million subscribers on the first day; projected 10-18 million during the first year
    • What’s missing that we want?
    • "The Mandalorian"
    • "The Imagineering Story"
    • “The Simpsons” display ratio
    • Change made to Han/Greedo scene in Star Wars A New Hope - George Lucas’s change?
  • WDW getting new monorails?
  • Construction
    • Demo of Communicore West in Epcot
    • The new Epcot guide map lists opening dates
    • Removal of accents on the PeopleMover track in the Magic Kingdom
    • Tron track is completed
  • Guests climb on stage during Disney's Carousel of Progress
  • Disney's Bob Iger named Time's businessperson of the year
  • Opening of “Rise of the Resistance” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • Glenn made final payment for the February Disney Cruise
Nov 11, 2019
Oct 24, 2019
  • Do you like Pumpkin Spice flavored items?
  • Starbucks and Joffrey’s in the parks
    • The joy of coffee mugs
    • Having to reinforce shelves
  • Merchandise and the WDW 50th birthday
  • Another visit to Epcot by Chris!
    • Epcot Experience
    • Food and Wine Festival
    • New Frozen Coke booth where the Cool Wash was by Test Track and new Donut Box vendor
    • Instagram photos
    • No viewing of Epcot Forever yet
  • Disney Skyliner
    • We discuss the incident opening week
    • It’s open again
  • New Epcot merchandise
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