My second tip: listen to Disney podcasts and join the community!
I spend a lot of time on the road. In an effort to fill that time, I discovered podcasts. For those who do not know, a podcast is basically a talk show or radio show that are made by everyday people about different interests or topics that interest them. I started listening to shows about cooking and literature, and added Disney to the mix when we started thinking about taking a trip to Walt Disney World. There are many podcasts out there-some I listen to and some I don't. There are some I tried and didn't like. To each his own. I would like to tell you about my favorite podcasts. The reason they are my favorites aren't because of the topics, though, it is because of the people that make them. I feel the podcasters I am about to discuss offer a real-life point of view from which either the first-time planner or biggest Disney nerd can get some good information. So, in the order I discovered them:
The Disney DNA Podcast is a great, family-friendly Disney Podcast. Trent and Jeni, along with their two daughters host a weekly podcast and a Facebook Live show. Trent is a big old softie (I think he would be the first to admit it) while Jeni is somewhat more practical; this dynamic is the same my wife and I have.. They are a good balance for each other and by adding their daughters every few episodes, they bring a much-needed kids' perspective that most podcasts don't have.
They have several different show formats, from fun games, trip reports, tips and news, and have had lots of special guests. Some of my favorite episodes have been countdown episodes, where they will list their favorite Disney movies or restaurants or attractions at Walt Disney World. Trent and Jeni have now partnered with Rian and Stacy from TMR Production Studios, and they bring some fun views as well.
Unlocking the Magic is also a great, family-friendly Disney Podcast. Bruce and Connie bring a fun perspective and encourage listeners to slow down and enjoy their Disney trip in a different way. By slowing down and taking time to focus on the people you are with instead of trying to go commando-style, you come away with a totally different experience on your trip. Disney, especially Walt Disney World, has so many attractions, shows, and experiences that one could never get them all done, even with multiple trips. They say that by focusing on a few experiences, including spending time at your Disney Resort Hotel or touring the others on property, you have a totally different experience. We tried this approach on a recent last-minute trip, and we visited all the resorts on the Monorail loop-Disney's Contemporary Resort, Disney's Polynesian Village Resort, and Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. We ended that night with a boat ride to Disney's Wilderness Lodge with a dinner at Whispering Canyon Cafe. It was easily one of the most fun evenings I have spent at Walt Disney World.
They have episodes where they "unlock" different attractions, resorts, and lands by sharing the history and some little-known details. They have also interviewed some Disney legends, like Rolly Crump, Marty Sklar, and a more recent person who will be a Disney legend one day, Mark Daniel of #DisneyParkLIVE.
The Dub Dee Dub Revue is another family-friendly show (I am seeing a trend here). Hosts Chris, Peter, and Stacey bring a lot of fun to the podcast table. Chris and Peter remind me of Abbott and Costello or Laurel and Hardy, while Stacey plays off of both of them nicely. I will let you figure out who is the zany one and who is the straight man. The Dub Dee Dub Revue offers several show formats-games, trip reports, special guests, and they often record shows about Disney Vacation Club (DVC) and the DVC resorts.
I will say that I know first hand how fun their shows are as I have been a guest recently. You can listen to the episode here or by finding their podcast in your favorite podcast app. I recorded a trip report with them regarding our trip in February when we stayed at The Campsites at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort. I was really nervous, but they made me feel at ease immediately. That experience helped me make my decision to start this blog.
Monorail Tales is another fun podcast that I enjoy listening to. They are family-friendly, of course, but their format is a little different. They have gathered several different people across the Disney community and brought them together for a kind of round table discussion. They usually have 3-5 members present and may discuss the latest Disney news, their latest trip reports or other Disney-related events, like movie releases, or just sit around and discuss some tips or trips that have worked for them during their journeys to the Disney parks. Some of the hosts include Steve and Sheila Sanders, Michael Parker, Jeni Wahl, Jeff Moliterno, Kim Stroh, and Trent Caillouet (from the Disney DNA Podcast above). They are all super friendly and true Disney enthusiasts.
All these podcasts have built their own Disney communities, and one of the best and most fun ways to interact is to join them on social media, either in their groups or Facebook Live shows. All the pages I have linked have their various social media links, so you can find them pretty easily. I would like to encourage you to give their shows a listen and come join the fun.