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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

WDW Today – Answers Them All Most of the Time

I’ve emailed into a number of Disney Podcasts. I’ve gotten responses back from most of them and emails read on three of them. Most go through a major screening process and only select a few emails. WDW Today is different.

WDW Today will answer almost any email that is not offensive. Then again if it’s only mildly offensive they’ll probably answer that too.

Don’t believe me? Here are my emails:

Written – September 10th 2008

Subject – When to Go Question

Notes – My first ever email

Status - Answered

I’ve always visited Disney World in December because the crowds are so small. My wife and I are not fans of the holidays so it’s almost a detraction when we go in December. Is there a time of year we can go, see crowd levels similar to December, and not run into the heat and ride closures of September?

We live in NH so 50 or higher is considered a heat wave. 90 or higher is cruel and unusual punishment.

Also, whatever time you recommend would it be beneficial to buy an annual pass if we are staying for 8 to 10 days? Would the discounts at the resorts be worth it?

I’m asking because the I couldn’t find a direct answer in the Unofficial Guide *ding* or *ding* (I’m not complaining I love both of them).

Thanks for your help!

Written – September 22nd 2008

Subject – Places to Sleep

Notes – I almost made Scopa sick with this one.

Status – Answered

I enjoyed the podcast on places to sleep in the parks but I couldn’t help but start thinking of the most dangerous places to sleep. You guys should really do that as a show. I thought of the most dangerous one.

Wonders of Flight (that’s the name of the bird show in Animal Kingdom right?). Why? Just imagine falling asleep with your head cocked back and your mouth open. Roller coasters might give you whiplash, you might slump over and drool on another person during one of the shows, but only at Wonders of Flight could you end up with poo in your mouth.

Written – January 16th, 2009

Subject – It’s Not Wheat it’s More a Canary…

Notes – Nothing like an email about peeing – First mention of my blog.

Status – Answered

I couldn’t help but cringe when I heard Len’s experience in the marathon. I’ve suffered on both ends of the dehydration experience. I’ve learned some valuable lessons:

It’s not a good idea to hike a mountain in 85 degree heat, eat an entire bag of beef jerky on the summit and then run out of water a mile later when you have another six to go.

They say to look for wheat colored pee? What if it’s orange and you have cotton mouth? Does that count?

I’ve also learned that drinking too much is dangerous. I was climbing the Huntington Ravine trail on Mt. Washington (Mike knows what that is). I drank a good amount on my way up. Even though we were climbing over snow fields we were still sweating a lot. My legs started cramping so I starting drinking more. I ran out of water but a half hour later found a snow melt stream and refilled so I drank more. I started peeing every ten minutes. If you want wheat is bad when you pee clearer than what you drank? I figured out that I had perspired so much that my body had not salt left and therefore couldn’t retain liquids. That was fun.

I know TMI J Keep up the good work guys!

Written – February 2nd 2009

Subject – Reviews

Notes – First use of my standard signature

Status – Answered

I agree with most of the points you guys made in your most recent podcast. My wife and I got the dining deluxe plan and hit ton of places. I then went and reviewed most of the places on my blog. Here is what I found:

Poor (overall)

Yak(yack) and Yeti

Artist Point



Liberty Tree Tavern

Prime Time Café

The Wave

The Restaurant in Morocco

The Restaurant in Mexico


The California Grill


Chefs de France

Hoop De Doo Review

Café Kona

The sad part is most of the ones that fell into Average would have been recommended if you didn’t need a second mortgage to dine at them. That’s amazing considering all of them are only one credit on the dining plan. If I didn’t have the dining plan I wouldn’t eat there again. What’s really sad is that two of the three in that I gave awful reviews to are Signature dining experiences that cost one first born child or two credits on the dining plan. Take price out of the equation and Artist Point and Citricos barley hit average. There is just no hope for YACK and Yeti.

The Unofficial Guide is mostly accurate. I think the only place where I disagree is with Yak and Yeti and Citricos.


Written – February 10th 2009

Subject – Tee Shirt Ideas

Notes – Oldest unanswered email

Status – Never going to be answered

Did you guys ever think about selling tee shirts for charity that say “I listened to 500 podcasts and all I got was this tee shirt?” I know I’d buy one.

You could also do catch phrases with the WDW Today logo on them.

Another idea is selling eating and drinking around the world shirts.

How about “I survived the, “Len Testa Tequila is now being served in Mexico” unofficial Marathon!”

Ok I’m done.

Written – February 13th 2009

Subject – Failed!

Notes – I struck a nerve with Scopa on this one.

Status – Answered

Here is a failed attraction for you – that awful roller coaster in Dino Land:

  • It’s ugly
  • The queue stinks
  • The ride vehicle is AWFUL
  • They try to cram four people in one car
  • My wife cracked her ribs on it and complained for a month afterwards
  • It loads about eight people an hour

Here is another one – everyone will hate me for this: Winnie the Pooh!

You don’t replace a classic with an attraction that at best breaks even. Pooh isn’t bad but I was very disappointed by it. The entire time I was on it I kept thinking “they got rid of Mr. Toad for this?”

Written – March 30th 2009

Subject –Live Show

Notes – Answered within days. Maybe fastest response ever!

Status – Answered

Is there a way to send out an email reminder to people to listen to the live show? I forgot to tune in again. Now I have to email my question and wait until Len can I claim Social Security benefits. I’d say Scopa but I heard the when you hit 150 the government cuts you off.

When Disney offers the free dining, are you stuck with that plan or will they allow you to apply the daily value towards Dining Deluxe or another larger plan?

Written – April 1st 2009

Subject –Epcot Resorts

Notes – One of the most useful answers I’ve received

Status – Answered

I need some help planning my next trip. My wife and I know we want to stay at an Epcot resort because we like the idea of being able to walk to Epcot and DHS.

Which resort should we do? Swan and Dolphin are out because we’ll probably be on the dining plan. Can you do some of the pros and cons of the remaining resorts?

Written – April 15th 2009

Subject –Need Hotel Help!

Notes – They left off the P.S. part

Status – Answered

When going to Disney I like to fly down the night before and stay one night a non-Disney hotel so I can get to the parks early but not pay through the nose by adding another night at Disney. Last time I stayed at the Hyatt in the airport. It was very nice but expensive.

I’m looking for the cheapest hotel that runs a shuttle to the airport. Any ideas on a good close motel / hotel?

I’m not concerned about getting to Disney the next morning. We use Happy Limo. They’ve always been great.

Thanks guys,

P.S. has Len ever been to NH? I figured Scopa told him about the liquor stores. I figured after hearing about those he jumped on the first plane.

Written – April 22nd 2009

Subject –Now I’m Scared

Notes – Answered in the normal part of the show.

Status – Answered

I think the cold in NH freezes people’s brains and affects them over the long run. When Scoppa gave his opinions on the Pooh ride it was like listening to myself, and that’s scares me.

Now for my actual comment – Newell needs to find a way to take back the “DING!” Hearing Scoppa’s “DING” is like getting hit with a sonic boom. After you automatically look around and make sure none of your windows shattered and then check your ears for blood.

Newell needs to upgrade. I’m thinking a gong should suffice. I bet the first time he sets that off, Scoppa falls out of his chair.

Just let me know first so I get some ear plugs.

Written – April 27th 2009

Subject –To Yak or not to Yak

Notes – Answered in the normal part of the show but was put up for last question a number of times. Spawned a number of further questions and blog posts.

Status – Answered

I went to Ya(c)k and Yeti on my last trip to the world. It was possibly the worst meal I had the entire trip. I ordered the duck. I was nasty. It was drier than beef jerky. Jerky has more flavor too. We got the seared pot stickers, or what every they are. They were gummy and nasty. It was so bad I don’t think I’d ever consider going back.

There is a certain guy who does another podcast, who loves to eat, and whose name can be used as a greeting or as a curse when you’re angry. That guy loves Yak and Yeti and even calls it the best restaurant inside a theme park. The Unofficial Guide gave it good reviews too.

Am I alone in my dislike of Yak and Yeti? Did I just go there on an off day?

Written – June 8th 2009

Subject –Matt Would Be Deported From Norway

Notes – In response to the now infamous Norway episode of WDW Today

Status – Answered

My wife isn’t a big Disney fan but I made her listen to episode 575 when you did your overview of the Norway ride. Growing up my wife went to an elderly couple’s home everyday after school. They were from Norway. One thing you don’t do to a Norwegian is call him Swedish.

My wife spent most of the time yelling at my iPod. She kept reminding Matt that IKEA is from Sweden and his imitation of the Swedish chef was not only bad but misplaced. When I tried to tell her he was trying to speak Norwegian she almost got more offended. I think she thought a bad Swedish chef imitation was less offensive than a terrible attempt at speaking Norwegian.

I’m amazed the cast members working the pavilion didn’t chase Matt out.

I also have to say, how could you watch that movie and not laugh yourself silly when they show Norway’s technology? My iPod has more processing power than that PC.

Written – June 30th 2009

Subject –Haircut

Notes – Took seven months to get answered

Status – Answered

How do you get your haircut at the Main Street Barber Shop in the Magic Kingdom? Do you need a reservation? Is it first come first serve? Is there a slow time of day to check it out?

Written – June 30th 2009

Subject – People I Don’t Want to Meet

Notes – Answered before “Haircut” even though it was email after

Status – Answered

I’m sorry to ask this question of you guys but I don’t know who else I can ask.

I searched eBay the other day for Disney Pins. I came across bathroom pins. They are pins of the bathroom signs. WHO IS BUYING THESE!?!


Why do you want to collect pins that have the bathroom signs on them?

What kind of a vacation did you have where these cause nostalgia?

Again, sorry to ask but I couldn’t imagine the number of people who’d want these would be high enough to warrant producing them.

Maybe there is a poo around the world club that I don’t know about.

Written – July 14th 2009

Subject – Magical Depress

Notes – Took about six months to get an answer

Status – Answered

I just got done listening to the episode on the the Magical Express. Before our last trip my wife and I did a lot of research on it and were planing on using the service. We figured that from the time we got on the bus to the time we were checked in and ready to go to the parks would be about two and a half hours.

At the last minute we decided to scrap the Magical Express and go with Happy Limo. We beat the buses, got to Disney, and were checked in within an hour. That left us time to ride Soarin' via the standby line and get fast passes for Test Track before our ADR for lunch.

We were very happy we did that. We were waiting for Illuminations to start when someone noticed my Red Sox shirt. Turns out they were from Mass and had just arrived that morning like we did. They took the "Magical" Express. Combined with the lines at the airport, wait for the bus, being in the back of the bus and having about six familes get off ahead of them at their resort, it took them four hours from getting in line in the airport to getting checked in at their resort. They also complained that didn't realize how long it would take for their bags to arrive. All they had were winter clothes with them. Those are great for New England but not so much for FL. To say the least, they were not impressed by any aspect of the Magical Depress.

I just wish they could have been around on the return trip to the Airport. My wife and I got upgraded at no charge to a limo. I couldn't help but think of how they were ending their vacation.

I figure you'll save between one and three hours, get better service, greatly reduce your stress, and have your bags when you need them if you avoid the Magical Depress.

Written – July 22nd 2009

Subject – Take Two

Notes – Most recently answered question

Status – Answered

I'll call into a live show and explain why my experience at Citricos was so horrifying and why Mexico gets a bad wrap.

One thing I did want to bring out is why the Unofficial Guide,, and other resources are so valuable. Without them I'd never consider giving a restaurant a second chance. When the majority rave about a place and you have an awful experience, at least you know if you go back there is a good chance it will be better. The only reason I'd ever consider going back to Citricos is because of the various positive reviews.

That being said you have to keep buying the guides and checking the reviews. Things change. There was a day when Artist Point was one of the best restaurants in Disney World. There was also a day when Le Cellier was a cafeteria and served slop.

Written – August 3rd 2009

Subject – WDW Today Goes to Oregon

Notes – Never Answered

Status – Will never be read over the air…I think.


Written – August 14rd 2009

Subject – New Disney Promotion

Notes – None

Status – Pending

Disney is dumping the "What Will You Celebrate" promotion next year. They are replacing it with "Come Be Broke With Us!"

All the characters will be dressed like hobos and they will panhandle from the guests.

Written – September 8th 2009

Subject – Tipping

Notes – None

Status – Pending

There is one flaw in Matt's reasoning for tipping depending on service as far as housekeeping goes.

I attend a convention every year. We get the same reminders every year before we go. One of the big ones they make sure everyone is aware of is the need to leave a tip every day, not just on the last day of your visit. The reason is, if you stay three days you could have three different housekeepers. The assignments change on a daily basis depending on occupancy and state of the rooms.

The only exception is on a cruise. You get the same person everyday.

Written – November 13th 2009

Subject – Too Many To Choose

Notes – Put in the running for the last question twice

Status – Pending

I used a well known Disney travel agent for my trip in Feb / March 2010. I really not impressed and I'm regretting using them.

I know there are a ton of Disney travel agents and was hoping you could refer a few. I know MEI Mouse Fan Travel would be on your list but are there any others?

Written - December 2nd 2009?

Subject – I Missed the Live Show but I have a Doctors Note

Notes – Put in the running for last question twice.

Status – Pending


Written – December 23rd 2009

Subject – Bad Movies Never Die - They Go to Norway

Notes – Put in the running for the last question but totally rejected by Newell

Status – Pending

When I sent my email "Matt Would Be Deported From Norway," I was just joking around. I'm surprised to find out how many listeners were put off by that episode. I really wonder if any of them have seen that movie. There are a few things you have to remember about the Norway movie:

1 - The cast members working there know the movie is awful so they try and compensate by turning the volume up to 11 (I bet Len got that joke). That movie is so loud I'm thinking about bringing earplugs next time.


2 - Anyone who really wants to see that movie changes their mind about thirty seconds in and leave. The other people are there for laugh factor. The Norway movie is so bad it has become funny. If you can sit through that movie without laughing or shaking your head you need to seek medical attention.

Written – December 23rd 2009

Subject – Len Owes Me Lunch

Notes – This spawned a blog post – See Len Testa Hates Donald Duck. Hochberg also had perfect timing when reading this email. He really caught Len by the tail.

Status – Answered

When you responded to my email about my experience at Yak and Yeti (Yak Yack and Yeti) Len and Scopa had a field day when I said I ordered the duck. Len actually stated in disbelief "Who orders the duck?"

Well to be truthful it's all Len's fault! Len is the reason I ordered the duck. The Duck is recommended in the Unofficial Guide. If you don't believe me check either of the last two editions. My faith in the good book has been compromised!

Don't let Len try to claim that other people assist with the Unofficial Guide. We all know Len is responsible for every single word, drawing, map, photo, and reader comment in the good book.

Oh and just for the record - Yes Scopa I did get stuck with the "bill."

Written – December 29th 2009

Subject – If Mongello Can Do It So Can You

Notes – Put in the running for the final question once

Status – Pending

I was just wondering - you have a ton of stuff in your store but no page a day calendar. I think that would be a great addition. I'd buy one in a heart beat. It can't be too hard to do if Mongello does one every year.

Some of the stuff that could be in there:

Newell's Wiki Fun Facts

This Day in Scopa History

Len's Drink of the Week

Annette's Fabulous Tips

Matt's DHS Trivia

Strangest Listener Emails

Funniest Listener Emails

It Came From The Live Show

and others

Written – January 25th 2010

Subject – I Grew Up On Street Fighter – Scopa Grew Up On…

Notes – Put in the running for the final question once

Status – Pending

Back in the 80's I remember the Magic Kingdom had a few arcades. I remember one being at the exit of Space Mountain the other being on Main Street USA.

The one on Main Street USA had some amazing antique cartoon viewers and mechanical games. Anyone know what happened to these when the arcade was shut down?

I figured Scopa would remember these. It's not often he runs into something in Disney World older than he is.

Written – February 10th 2010

Subject – Party Pooper and I’m Not Talking About Annette

Notes – Put in the running for the final question once

Status – Pending

I recently found out that Morocco is the only country that doesn't participate in Illuminations. I thought that is really strange. Are fez's extremely flammable or something? Is there a technical reason why Morocco isn't part of the show?

Written – February 17th 2010

Subject – Male Pattern Blindness

Notes – None

Status – Pending

I know Streetmosphere Characters exist. I know photopass cast members exit. I know I never see either of them. On my last trip I didn't see a single Streetmosphere character and I only saw one photopass cast member near the castle. That's it just one on my entire trip.

Where do these people hide? Do they have some kind of dork radar that goes off when I get too close? Or is this a case of the Male Pattern Blindness that my wife often accuses me of? You know, the blindness that strikes when you look in the fridge or try to find anything your wife asked you to grab for her. The blindness where you can't see something right in front of you unless someone else points it out.

These do not include live show questions. If you want a question answered and need an answer soon, call the live shows.

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