Culture Entertainment

Why I Created Lore

Aaron Mahnke:

> I believe people innately hunger for story. We enjoy a well-told, well-written tale. It allows us to escape for a moment and live in someone else’s world, a world where problems have solutions (most of the time) and  things make sense (again, mostly). Story is in our DNA and it’s our legacy. We evolved from knock-dragging cavemen into advanced cultures, in part, because we discovered the benefits of gathering around the fire at night and telling stories. Shared knowledge, shared experiences, communal narrative. It’s what makes us who we are.

Between this and Aubrey Sitterson’s [Skald](, I like the direction that podcasts are heading.

Disney Entertainment

Best Disney Podcasts – Revisited

A few months ago, I shared a [list of what I felt were the best Disney-related podcasts]( Since that time, the rise of Disney-related podcast networks has greatly altered the Disney podcasting landscape,[^fn1] and has exposed me to a ton of new Disney-related podcast content. After sifting through these new offerings, I feel that my previous Disney podcast recommendations are out of date. Here is my updated list:

## Favorite Disney Podcast

* [Mighty Men of Mouse]([^fn2] – Mighty Men of Mouse is the podcast I wish I had thought of.[^fn3] It combines Disney, Sabermetrics[^fn4], pop culture references[^fn5], and a good bit of humor into a show that I absolutely love. After hearing the show’s *TPPN* version, I went back to dig through the show’s archives over at [](,[^fn6] and, if you enjoy what your hear in the Touring Plans feed, I encourage you do the same.[^fn7]

## Podcast Most Frequently Listened to within an Hour of Its Release

* [WDW Today]( – In my [previous write-up](, I listed *WDW Today* in the “Other Disney Podcasts I Sometimes Listen To” category. I said that I only listened to the topics I was interested in and that I skipped the user mail episodes. Now, a few months later, I listen to every show, frequently with the breakfast on the morning it is released.[^fn8] Matt, Len, Mike and Mike cover Disney using some of the same time-value analysis that I enjoy so much with *Mighty Men of Mouse*,[^fn9] but also talk from–what sounds like–frequent visits to the parks. My only complaint is that the 30-minutes-or-less episode length usually leaves me wishing the show went longer.[^fn10]

## Most In-Depth Disney Podcast

* [WDW Radio]( – [Previously](, I named *WDW Radio* the “Best Overall Disney Podcast.” Though I still thinking highly of the Lou Mongello hosted show, both *Mighty Men of Mouse* and *WDW Today* has passed it in my Disney-podcast priority queue. The show is still well-produced, but, as I have listened to more and more episodes, I no longer think of it as “well-structured.”[^fn11] I still enjoy the episodes that feature Disney-historian [Jim Korkis](, but I sometimes let episodes like [Top Ways to enjoy Disney on the water]( sit in my listening queue without being able to motivate myself to play them.

## Disney News Podcast For Cynics

* [Wakefield Report]( – This show, hosted by Chris Wakefield[^fn12], operates under the premise that Disney fans suffer from some kind of “pixie dust addiction” that clouds their eyes about what is really happening at Disney World.[^fn13] Admittedly, the shtick can get a little over the top, but it works for the most part.[^fn14] Though I do not always agree with Chris’ takes, it is interesting to hear someone who breaks from the standard buzz that surrounds many Disney stories.

## Best Insights from Disney Travel Agents

* [3 Moms and the Mouse]( – If you listen to any Disney podcasts, you almost certainly have heard mention of Disney travel agents.[^fn15] *3 Moms and the Mouse*[^fn16] gives you a little more insight into that world, and provides you with useful tips related to planning and booking your travel. Though it may not be for everyone, I definitely recommend this show for those people who are the de facto “travel agent” for their family’s Disney trips.

## Podcast Most Likely to Feature Jim Hill

* [The Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish with Jim Hill]() – Two things about Jim Hills: (1) He is a frequent guest on podcasts,[^fn17], and (2) I will listen to any show he is on.[^fn18] Knowing that, it should come as no surprise that I thoroughly enjoy *Disney Dish*.[^fn19] It combines some current news, speculation, and a good dose of Disney history[^fn20], with someone who is in the running for “living person with the most comprehensive knowledge of Disney and its history.”

## Best History-of-Disney Podcast

* [WEDWay Radio]( – I just recently stumbled across this long running Disney-history podcast. Hosted by two brothers, Nate and Matt, it features the kind of in-depth Disney history that I love, delivered on a weekly basis.[^fn21]

## Disney Podcast Most Likely to Jump into Heavy Rotation

* [Be Our Guest]([^fn22] – I recently took another look at the *Be Our Guest* podcast, and–unlike the previous time I reviewed it–I found that it has a number of shows that I want to listen to. Originally, I was a little apprehensive about so many guest, trip-report-type, callers, but I have found that host Mike Rahlmann does a good job picking guests and moving the conversation along. I have a feeling that once I catch up on some of the archives on the other shows, [^fn23] I will starting listening to *Be Our Guest* a lot more.

## Other Disney Podcasts I Sometimes Listen To[^fn24]

* [DisAfterDark]( – This show got a bit of demotion after I started listening to *Mighty Men of Mouse.* It features similar kind of humor and dynamic, but I found that the analysis is not quite up to the level of that on *Mighty Men.*[^fn25]

* [DisUnplugged]( – A *very* comprehensive Disney podcast that I simply do not have room for in my regular rotation.[^fn26] If there is a particular segment that contains information I have not heard somewhere, then I will listen to that one segment.

* [The Mickey Miles Podcast]( – This podcast by Mike Scopa [^fn27] and Michelle Scribner-MacLean focuses on information for people running Disney races. As someone who is running such a race next year, I have recently started listening. I already have picked up a few tips that should make my [runDisney]( experience go a little smoother.

* [Other Shows on the Touring Plans Podcast Network]( – The *TTPN* contains a bunch of different shows. I really like *The Crowd Report,*[^fn28] and I have listened to an episode or two of *WDW Happy Place* and *Capturing the Magic*, but the other shows did not really connect with me.[^fn29]

[^fn1]: Most notably, [The Touring Plans Podcast Network](“*TPPN*”) and the [Micepod]( network.

[^fn2]: As a semi-disclaimer, I am going to be in a fantasy football league with the hosts of this show later this year. I had already started drafting this post when that happened, and it did not impact my decision to name *Mighty Men* as my favorite podcast. Still, I feel that fact deserved a mention.

[^fn3]: *Might Meny* is a part of the [*TPPN*]( In, what I can only assume is an effort to increase their total subscriber numbers, the TPPN only has a single RSS feed for all of their podcasts. That means, if you only want to listen to a few of the shows on the network, you still get all of the other network shows jammed into your podcatcher. For the purposes of this listing, however, I am only going to mention the shows that I actually listen to and enjoy. I will leave it as an exercise for the reader to figure how to best get the individual shows out of the *TPPN* feed.

[^fn4]: If you have seen or read [Moneyball](, then you already know what Sabermetrics are. If you remember hearing about [Nate Silver]( during the previous presidential election, you probably also have a good idea. If you still have no clue what I am talking about, then a good working definition for our purposes is “advanced statistical analysis to determine the value of something.”

[^fn5]: For example, I recently heard a segment where they did impressions of [Mike and the Mad Dog]( while analyzing how far in advance you have to book various ADRs.

[^fn6]: Currently, I have about 15 shows remaining before I have listened to all of *Mighty Men’s* episodes. I am going to be quite bummed out when I have no more unheard episodes left to listen to.

[^fn7]: As a side note, the fact that two of the hosts of this podcast are lawyers makes me wonder: What is it with Disney and attorneys? On the podcast front, there are two hosts from this podcast, and, of course, [Lou Mongello]( On the blogging front there is [Tom Bricker](, and, to a lesser degree, [me]( What is about our lives buried in court and case law that makes us want to ramble on about the magic of Disney?

[^fn8]: I get especially excited when I see an episode drop the night before. I feel like I am getting a nice, surprise gift.

[^fn9]: This frequently comes from co-author of the *Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World*, Len Testa.

[^fn10]: Of course, the shorter show length does mean that I can easily stay up-to-date with the latest episodes.

[^fn11]: For example, there are too many times that I have heard a “Top 10” list start out with a disclaimer that “we are not going to limit this list to 10 things.” Also, some of the “in-restaurant,” restaurant review episodes can ramble on a bit (*see, e.g.,* [Whispering Canyon](; [Via Napol](

[^fn12]: Chris also hosts the Universal NOW! podcast on the *TPPN*. If I had to put Universal Now! into one of the categories in this post, I would list it in the “Podcasts I sometimes listen to” category. Personally, I just do not have the same level of interest in Universal Studios as I do in Disney World, and I quickly lose interest during an hour long show about it.

[^fn13]: It is similar to what people say about purchasers of Apple products.

[^fn14]: On the other hand, the show’s format could probably use a little tweaking. For example, Chris used to spend the first 10 minutes plugging his various social media accounts, etc… before getting into the real meat of his show: The “Nine News Nuggets.” Generally, this meant I would just skip the first 10 minutes of every show. Recently, he has experimented with reading forum posts from the Micechat forums and responding on air. Again, this is something I just skip through. Personally, I think he would be better served by further developing the stories he does in the “Nine New Nuggets” and simply making that his weekly show. He could possibly do a one-off interview show here and there, or some other special show, but I think concentrating on his takes of the news each week would make the show a better listen.

[^fn15]: For example, [Mouse Fan Travel]( seems to be a sponsor on a number of the major shows.

[^fn16]: One admission concerning this podcast: Due to the casual pacing of the conversation, I listen to it at 1.5x speed.

[^fn17]: *See, e.g., [Universal Now appearance 1](, [Univeral Now appearance 2](, [DisAfterDark appearance 1](, [DisAfter Dark appearance 2](, and the [podcast reference page]( on his website.

[^fn18]: In fact, his column is the only reason I ever would even consider reading anything on the [Huffington Post](

[^fn19]: Though this podcast is technically part of the Touring Plans Podcast Network, I have found that, unlike all of the other network shows, the [original feed]( for the *Disney Dish* is still functioning (and even releases the episodes a few days earlier than the [*TPPN* feed]( I have no idea if the gang at Touring Plans is going to keep that going.

[^fn20]: If you like what you hear in the current episodes, and since so many episodes contain anecdotes from Disney’s history, I would recommend digging into the archives of this show.

[^fn21]: Nate and Matt also host a companion show, [WEDWay Now](, that features (approximately) weekly updates of Disney-related news. I listen to this companion show when I get a chance, but it is not something that I will be digging through the archives of.

[^fn22]: I could have also titled this section “podcasts most hurt by the timing of this article.”

[^fn23]: The *Mighty Men of Mouse* and *WEDWay Radio* archives in particular.

[^fn24]: If you want someone else’s Disney Podcast listings, you can check out Tom Bricker’s list [about half way down his posting about running and fitness](

[^fn25]: Also, they sometimes have *terrible* guests. In fact, my fiancé pretty much refuses to listen to this show after a few of the guests they had were so bad.

[^fn26]: Basically, it has a lot of information that I get from other podcasts that I enjoy listening to. If I only listened to one or two Disney podcasts, the comprehensive nature of this show might be more interesting to me.

[^fn27]: Yes, the same Mike Scopa found on *WDW Today*.

[^fn28]: I listen to every episode, however, the episodes only come out monthly.

[^fn29]: Excluding the shows I have previously mentioned in this post: *Mighty Men of Mouse, Unofficial Dish with Jim Jill,* and *Universal Now*.


Best Disney Podcasts

*UPDATE: I revisited my [Best Disney Podcast]( listing. You can find the new results, [here](*

On a recent episode of [Unprofessional](, [Amy Jane Gruber]( mentioned that she listens to a Disney-trip planning podcast. Though she [later told me the specific podcast she listens to](, I decided I wanted to see what other options there were in Disney podcasting space[^fn1]. After listening to a bunch of Disney podcasts, here are the results:

## Best Overall Disney Podcast

* [WDW Radio]( – Hosted by Lou Mongello, *WDW Radio* provides a well-produced, well-structured, combination of Disney-related history, news, and information. It quickly became a “can’t miss” podcast for me and I look forward to every episode that comes out.

## Most Entertaining Disney Podcast

* [DisAfterDark]( – A couple of british guys, in a pub, drinking, and talking about all things Disney. It’s entertaining, informative, and hilarious. Also, it gets bonus points since it’s a show that my fiancé likes listening to with me.

## Other Disney Podcasts I Sometimes Listen To[^fn2]

* [WDW Today]( – A panel format podcast that includes quick hits on certain topics and user mail episodes. I listen to those episodes that are on topics I am interested in [^fn3], but I usually skip the user mail episodes.[^fn4]

* [Dis Unplugged]( – Another panel format podcast that seems to cover a whole variety of Disney-related topics. I have found the amount of topics they cover can be overwhelming and I choose to just listen to select episodes and/or episode segments.

[^fn1]: **Bias Alert**: I am a frequent visitor to Walt Disney World in Florida, but I have never been to Disneyland in California. Consequently, I prefer podcasts that are mostly Disney World focused.

[^fn2]: For these podcasts, I subscribe to their respective feeds and then determine, episode by episode, whether I am to listen or not.

[^fn3]: Such as a recent episode on [Disney Spring](

[^fn4]: Again, this is probably my personal bias against user question and answer shows.