I have to admit that up to a year ago I had never listened to a podcast and really didn't know what they were all about. Now, hardly a day goes by that I don't listen to at least a portion of a podcast specifically related to Walt Disney World. I discovered this fantastic media by accident. Being the Disney World geek that I am, as well as an avid iPhone user, I was browsing iTunes for anything Disney related. I had heard the term podcast in the past, but never really paid any attention to that category in iTunes. That all changed when I saw that there were podcasts specifically dedicated to the subject of Disney World. I quickly downloaded the current episodes of two of these shows and I was hooked.
The world of podcasting, much like the world of blogging, is a relatively new phenomena. It has only been widely available to the public for about six years. For those of you who aren't familiar, a podcast is basically a radio show that is recorded and then made available for download via the internet. These shows can be of any length and are available on literally thousands of topics. Typically the listener will put episodes of their favorite podcasts on their iPod or iPhone and listen to them at their convenience. This is similar to recording your favorite TV shows and watching them later on a DVR, TiVo, or (for those of us over 30 who still know what a VCR is) a video tape. You can also listen to podcasts directly on your computer if you don't own the latest Apple portable device.
The first Disney World podcast I found was WDW Radio hosted by Lou Mongello. Lou is also the author of the Walt Disney World Trivia Books and a fellow Disney World geek. He has a tremendous passion for what he does and obviously puts a lot of work into producing his weekly podcast. Lou is also a well respected leader in the Disney online community and does a great deal of work for charity, specifically in raising money to send seriously ill children to Disney World. In listening to the WDW Radio show each week, you are transported to Disney World via your iPod and it really helps you stay connected to the "World" in between vacations. Lou does an amazing job at highlighting the history and details of different attractions, restaurants and resorts. He also interviews Disney legends, cast members and historians on a regular basis. Each of his shows are typically well over an hour long and are entertaining and informative from beginning to end. Lou has just recorded his 200th show and was recently honored by winning "best travel podcast" by the "Peoples Choice Podcast Awards." For more information about Lou and WDW Radio you can visit wdwradio.com.
The other Disney World podcast that I currently listen to is called Inside the Magic hosted by Ricky Brigante. Ricky's show has the distinction of being the first Disney World podcast hosted from the Orlando area. His weekly show has been going for five years strong and he has just recorded his 300th show. Ricky does a great job of bringing us the current Disney and Orlando theme park news. He also attends and keeps us abreast of annual events as well as attraction and restaurant openings. Like Lou Mongello, Ricky is very passionate about what he does and his enthusiasm is apparent in each of his shows. For more information about Ricky and Inside the Magic you can visit insidethemagic.net.
One of the best things about these podcasts is that each and every show is still available for download. That is over 500 episodes between WDW Radio and Inside the Magic combined! Even though many of these shows are several years old, a good majority of the topics are still relevent today. I have a half hour commute to work and I listen to a portion of one of these shows on a daily basis. I have several years of material at my disposal and I am going through the old podcasts one by one. It makes the drive go by fast and also helps me stay connected to my favorite place while I dream of my next Disney World vacation.
I couldn't think of a better way to kick off Digital Disney World than with a discussion about the modern technology of podcasting. I wanted to finish off my first blog post with a quick thank you to both Lou Mongello and Ricky Brigante. My comments regarding their podcasts are unsolicited and I have no affiliation with either of them. However, it is through listening to their shows that I have gotten the inspiration to start my blog. They are definitely the best at what they do!
Have a Disneyriffic day and remember to keep moving forward. See ya real soon!