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Friday, August 26 2016 @ 12:23 PM CDT

Episode 652 - Worth It Or Not (Continued)

PodcastEpisode 652 is now available for download.

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Show Notes

Hosts: Matt Hochberg, Len Testa , Mike Scopa & Mike Newell


Running Time: 23:59

Episode 652 - Worth It Or Not (Continued) | 14 comments | Create New Account
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Episode 652 - Worth It Or Not (Continued)
Authored by: chopsva on Friday, December 04 2009 @ 07:52 AM CST
If you want to see under American Adventure, you need to take the Backstage Magic tour.
We've taken Behind the Seeds, Keys-Kingdom (MK), Backstage Tour (7hrs-all), Wild By Deisgn (AK), Undiscovered Future World (Epcot)
We chose Wild By Design for AK b/c we didn't really like AK so we figured we would learn about the design of the park- and it does help us appreciate AK better.
The tour is 100% dependent on your tour guide. All our tours had really knowledgebale cast members some were more engaging than others but overall all the tours have been great experiences for us.

I would echo the guys that you should start small and work up also start with a park you like MK, Epcot or AK

ALSO VERY IMPORTANT- If you don't go to WDW often, make sure you visit the park that your tour will be covering BEFORE you go for the tour. Reason is that the tour will discuss the attractions and if you haven't been on them, it's hard to appreciate the backstage if you haven't seen the on-stage yet or may not remember it to well.
On the Undiscovered Future World tour we just took over Turkey Day. The other family hadn't been to EPCOT in years and had never seen Illuminations so the CM was trying to describe Illuminations to them so they could understand about the barges, etc.

Episode 652 - Worth It Or Not (Continued)
Authored by: jcodirewolf on Friday, December 04 2009 @ 08:39 AM CST
As for not wanting to see the magic. For me the engineering and stagecraft are just incredible, how the backstage works makes it MORE impressive to me.

Some backstage magic so if you don't want to hear it stop reading....
Oh Len asked about how does Tink stop? I've not seen her rig, but I assume since she is just on a Zip-line she uses one of the braking systems, there is one where you put a block on the zipline with a bungie attached to it, your trolley runs into the block and you start stretching the bungie. Sorta like an aircraft landing on a carrier. It's simple, it works, and you can even use multiple ones incase there is a failure.
Episode 652 - Worth It Or Not (Continued)
Authored by: kevbot on Friday, December 04 2009 @ 10:25 PM CST
I do think it's kind of funny that the people who have seen the show are crazy impressed by it, and those that haven't are thinking it's not worth it. :)

I was not into the whole Cirque du Soleil idea. My hubby was into it, and I was doing anything for him to enjoy Disney. I was blown away by it. I know you guys think it's weird and girly, but it honestly not. There are feats of strength and agility I have never seen before. At one point, I thought a guy was literally flying. There's stuff you'll see that looks like crazy special effects, but it's really just acrobatics.

If it convinces you at all: there's a whole sequence involving motorcycles. On stage. Flying all around and bouncing and doing crazy stunts. MOTORCYCLES. On stage. Seriously, you'll love it.
Episode 652 - Worth It Or Not (Continued)
Authored by: bblhed on Saturday, December 05 2009 @ 03:40 AM CST
Auto Train (I know it wasn't really a main topic, but it was mentioned)

First I have to say that before Scopa says anything about the Auto Train he will need to step and look at it as part of his vacation and not just as transit, I really love that trip it is a great way to unwind from work before vacation, and from vacation before heading back to work. Also you must have a sleeper, that is the way to go. Oh and the after dinner cookies are so good!

My take on some of the things you talked about.


I have never done it, but when my father was alive he wouldn't spend $5 without really good justification and he did it twice and loved it that puts it on my worth it list, but I have yet to part with the money myself.

Photo Pass

Not only do I think this is way overpriced, but it is like they train the Photo pass people block your shot while you are trying to take a photo of your family. Hate it!

Barber Shop

Back in my Navy days when I was stationed in Kings Bay GA I would make the 5 hour trip every pay day weekend that I was in port and stay with friends and relations in the area to save money, but I would also use the main street barber shop as my barber. From what I was told by the barber there I was not the only active duty service member that used them all the time. Back then it was around $12 + tip for a haircut Vs $5 + tip on base and I still used Disney over the Navy barber. Now that I am older I don't use them as much as I don't like to take the time out of the family vacation.

Bippity Boppity Whatever.

I look at it this way I would not get the hair done for the following reasons. it will take over an hour to get my daughter all dolled up and it will take over an hour to wash off my kid and her clothing and whatever she gets that stuff on like the car and on my wife and I her bedding. If I tell her NO she will only cry for about 5 minuets. For me I would rather keep my two hours and fifty five minuets and do something else. I would buy her a dress and some accessories, but not the makeover. I don't mind parting with the money, but hairspray, glitter, and fun in the sun for a little girl are not a combination that will work well in my opinion.


I did Keys to the Kingdom with my father years ago, and we both loved it! I was a College Program cast member at the time so the magic had a slight tarnish for me already as I knew a lot of how the place worked, but we both said that while it was a great tour, it might not be for everyone. Here was our reasoning. They really don't hold back and preserve the magic on that tour, they answer all your questions throughly, while that might be a good thing for the thirty something and over guest, it may not be best for those that still love the magic. I feel that the backstage tours are a kind of be careful what you wish for you might get it type of thing. They are worth it, weather you like it or not. I will mention that for me some attractions are not the same now that I know the secrets.
Authored by: TiggerRay on Saturday, December 05 2009 @ 06:09 PM CST
Matt....just admit it's the price. I wasn't sure how much I'd like it until I saw it. How can you say it's not your cup of tea if you've never seen it. What happened with trying it once?
  • Cirque - Authored by: Logan on Saturday, December 05 2009 @ 09:11 PM CST
  • Cirque - Authored by: kevbot on Sunday, December 06 2009 @ 12:28 PM CST
Authored by: TiggerRay on Saturday, December 05 2009 @ 06:16 PM CST
I always use PhotoPass to take my pix and I look later to see if they got a shot I missed or a better shot. I think over the time they've had it, I've bought maybe 2 or 3 pictures. I agree with Newell and Len, I have not had good luck with the quality of their pictures. If the quality of their photos was better, it might be worth it or more worth it. For what you're paying for the pictures they do an awful job.
Episode 652 - Worth It Or Not (Continued)
Authored by: rocket2722 on Monday, December 07 2009 @ 07:14 PM CST
Tours (spoilers)
My wife and I went on the Backstage Pass tour a few years ago. It was a mixed bag for both of us. We enjoyed the look at the American Adventure and seeing how the scenes are changed actually improved the show for me, but then I am an engineer by trade. The lunch at Mama Melrose's was a wonderful part of the tour. Seeing the other ares of Epcot, MGM and the Magic Kingdom were just as good. The disappointing point would be the extra long focus on the costuming department at MGM Studios. It seemed to us that it was thrown in to fill out the required 7 hour length of the tour. Other than the costuming department we enjoyed the tour. It was a little expensive but at the time we had an AP and received a discount. I would considering doing other tours but would go with a shorter tour were the chance for filler time would be less.

Episode 652 - Worth It Or Not (Continued)
Authored by: rchristiansen on Tuesday, December 15 2009 @ 08:21 PM CST
A couple of comments --

The Bippidi Boppidi Boutique IS worth it. I actually made my daughter "work" and fill up a chore chart 6 weeks before we went. She was 5 years old. I got the giant package, hair, makeup dress, shoes, pictures and all for her and they treated her like royalty. We were in the boutique for over an hour while they did her crazy rainbow hair. All the other folks though, that picked the simple Cinderella bun were in and out in 20 minutes. My daughter brought her 6-week-chore-chart and showed it to the cast members. They kept commenting on how "she had to work just like cinderella..." And later that evening she showed it to Cinderella and all the princess fawned over her. Never, have we gotten so much attention at WDW - we paid for it, but it was worth it!

RE: Photopass. We actually did the scheduled photopass shoot at the Grand Floridian this last summer. It is normally $100 but we got 20% off with the DVC discount. The reservation is for 20 minutes, but our photographer was with us for about 45 minutes. We got an AWESOME family portrait in front of the Grand Floridian, with the Monorail in the background. You can't just walk up on the nicely groomed grounds of the GF with your family and take your own pictures there. We ended up with over 70 pictures in a variety of locations in the GF on a CD and five 5X7 printed photos to take home. That $80 was DEFINITELY worth it.
Authored by: AmyC on Friday, January 08 2010 @ 02:45 PM CST
I think I have ordered a grand total of four 8x10 prints from PhotoPass in the years they've offered it. I was really soured on it when my family and I waited in line to have our picture taken at the Studios during the Osborne Spectacle of Lights. We waited in line for 15 minutes, posed, and they took 2 shots of us. When we got back to the room that night, I called up our photos on the laptop... and the shots could not have been more blurry. It was horrible. 1.) the camera was on a tripod, no excuse for an unsteady hand. 2.) the camera wasn't a POS, it was super-fancy, as they always are. 3.) we had not only our photos, but the photos of about five other families in our account as well. Nothing we could do about it. Since then, I don't even look up the cards anymore, I just throw them away. --Amy From Kentucky