After 5 years of recording Disney Podcasts, I have eventually decided to hang up my ears!
Disney Brit held the first UK unofficial Disney Convention and it was something of a gamble. Trying to organise a group of people who hadn’t been to a Disney convention, met any of the people going, or even any expectation of what was in store. Disney Brit, hired a conference room in the Crown Plaza Manchester, a private showing of Snow White in the Odeon and managed to organise a large group for a restaurant.
Being a little tardy, Catherine and I didn’t book the hotel room early enough and ended up having to book a weekend deal that included free booze between 5 pm and 7 pm. Over the course of the day we started to make friends and started chatting to two blokes Chris and Steve from Great Yarmouth. They both had a great sense of humour and were happy to accept our free drinks that we kept smuggling down from the hospitality room.
One of the guest speakers that stood out from the weekend was Craig Duncan, who enlightened everyone about the dream of owning a Florida Villa and how quickly it can turn into a nightmare. The eye opening part was the additional costs that we don’t have over in the UK to keep you house from turning bad.
The weekend was brilliant and from having no expectations it was everything I hoped it would be.
A few weeks later I started chatting with Chris about Podcasting and we started to create a concept for our own. After around a month of preparation and talking to various people (including Disney Brit), our new podcast was born.
Your MouseCast aimed to be slightly different. Chris, Steve and myself tried to get YOU involved. Each show looked at the latest “news” from the Disney Parks, then discussed a feature topic or interviewed a guest, then finished up with a listeners trip report. Listeners would join us online and talk over skype as we guided them through their holiday and got a general flavour of their experiences.
We spoke to authors, Disney Legends, Voice Actors and people associated with Disney. One of the high points with the guest Was talking to Bret Iwan, the new Voice of Mickey Mouse. It was a moment that I remember thinking Oh EM Geee! He started the interview as Mickey and I couldn’t wipe that grin off my face. A few weeks later we had Susan Egan (Megera from Hercules), she sent us a CD in the post to review and we chatted about her involvement in Beauty and the Beast on Broadway, where she played Belle.
The podcast gained momentum very quickly and seemed to fill a gap that needed filling. I think the main success of the show was that we got normal disney Fans involved to share their stories. Many of the guests that we had on that show have gone on to become podcasters themselves.
The following year we were having so much fun entertaining people that we decided to get involved with MouseMeets and created a 1 hour presentation or Your MouseCast behind the scenes. A basic run down of how we put together the podcast. We played our parts and characters as we normally did and it was a great success.
A second year went by and another MouseMeets presentation, which involved a “live conversation” with Jim Korkis, the Disney Historian. The Section at the time was totally innocently called Jim’ll Fix It.
Then all of a sudden things changed. The friendly banter around our podcast started to turn not so friendly and we really didn’t want to get dragged in. Nothing was specific was said about us directly, but we just didn’t feel like this was where we wanted to be anymore. It didn’t feel like the Disney atmosphere we were used to.
Chris rang me up and said “I’m sick of everything that’s going on, so I’m thinking about quitting!”
I replied “If your quitting, then I’m leaving before you”.
And with that we scrapped overnight a project that we’d built up. Looking back it was the worst decision I think I’ve made.
The Carousel of… Podcast
After a couple of month I managed to convince Chris that we should podcast again. I missed the conversation, the humour and creating a project that was getting appreciated. This time we chose to make it a simple project. We created a show made of 4 sections. An Introduction, then 3 different guests. The Trick here was to record 3 sections with each guest that we could edit them into future shows.
By the 10th episode we’d got side tracked as we’d made the podcast too easy. It was so easy that we used to pre record and edit together 4 shows ready for release. When it can to recording again the buzz had gone.
Two podcasts down, where next?
Disney Brit Podcast
I receive a message from Adam, the Host of the Disney Brit Podcast. Skating around the idea that I should join his podcast. I had a little think about it and decided to join on a couple of conditions.
- Hide the download stats. One of the reasons YMC turned sour was it was all about the competition. Whose podcast got more downloads? etc. I wanted to Podcast as I enjoyed doing it and I didn’t want to be dragged into that again.
- Try a few different ideas. This included recipes, a Wreck it Ralph leaderboard, a Quiz more guests. This time we got to chat with Goofy, the Vice President of Operations at Walt Disney World – Lee Cockerell and also the Dream Finder (aka Ron Schneider).
And this is where I’ve been for the past 3 years. In 2015 we decided to try and release twice as many shows by adding Disney Brit Bite Size. This was a fun little project that eventually got limited by work. One of the highlight shows we recorded included a daft sketch at the beginning. It was the combination of working lots of late night shifts and my mind thinking about various Disney projects instead of sticking stickers on walls.
The Sketch worked on 2 levels. Firstly a boardroom meeting about developing a more Magic Magic experience, followed by a fake advert.
Our guest expert on that show was Lent Testa, author of the unofficial guide to Walt Disney World.
Here Come The Hoopers
And this is where Here Come The Hoopers comes into the picture. After all these years of podcasting and talking about a destination on the other side of the world and many thousands of pounds away. I decided that it was time to focus my attention on events locally and more accessible experiences. Instead of saving up for an amazing experience every 2 years, why not make the most of the North East of England. I’m sure Abigail and Imogen would love to be part of more weekends away and theatre trips, dining out and more days out.
So as of March 20th I’ll be stepping away from Disney Brit to spend more time looking for stuff to do locally!