Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Mouse Castle Lounge 02-06-2016 - 'Mickey Mouse: Emblem of the American Spirit' with Garry Apgar

By Tim Callaway

It’s my pleasure to welcome back Garry Apgar to The Mouse Castle Lounge. In 2014, Garry compiled the book A Mickey Mouse Reader, an impressive collection of essays and articles spanning more than 80 years that bore witness to the immense popularity of Mickey Mouse and the impact Walt Disney’s creation had on popular culture. Garry revisits the eternal mouse once again in his latest book, Mickey Mouse: Emblem of the American Spirit. It’s a worthy companion to A Mickey Mouse Reader and an educated and thoughtful study--in words and pictures--not only of Mickey’s life within the Walt Disney Studios, but also his ever-evolving presence as a uniquely American cultural icon.

After my conversation with Garry, stick around for a new segment in the Lounge with our friend Carolyn. She knows a lot about cocktails and is going to start sharing her wisdom with us on a regular basis. Mickey Mouse and booze, what could be better? They're all in today's episode of The Mouse Castle Lounge.


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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Inside The Mouse Castle 02-03-2016 - Disneyland Paris Arrest and 'Disneyland 60' with Harrison Ford and Elton John

By Tim Callaway

A man was arrested at Hotel New York at Disneyland Paris last week after bringing two semi-automatic pistols and a knife into the resort. No attack was carried out in the incident. The man was quickly processed by French authorities, appeared before a judge, and on Tuesday was sentenced to six months of house arrest at his mother's home just outside the French capital. 

As alarming as it was to hear about someone bringing weapons to a Disney resort, it was also concerning about how the story was covered in the media. News outlets were quick to point out that, included with the weaponry--which was found in the man's luggage as it passed through a metal detector--there was also a "guide to the Koran." The Daily Mail even went so far as to mention it in their story headline.

Question: Would the press have said anything if the man was packing a Bible?

Multiple terrorist attacks in Paris last year have understandably made the French people jittery about the threat of religious extremism in their country. But, was it right for the media to fan the flames of Islamophobia, especially after the police investigation found no evidence the man intended to commit a terrorist act? The man claimed he was carrying the weapons for self-defense (and if that was true, the guy is pretty dim to think he could get through hotel security).

In this week's Inside The Mouse Castle, Anthony and I share our thoughts about the Disneyland Paris incident and the state of security at other Disney parks. Don't worry. We also talk about the usual silly stuff too.

Elton John performs for Disneyland 60 on ABC.
  • Harrison Ford and Elton John join the list of celebrities appearing on the Wonderful World of Disney special Disneyland 60. The show will celebrate 60 years of the Happiest Place on Earth and will air on ABC on February 21 at 8:00 p.m. Ford is expected to reveal details about Disneyland's Star Wars Land expansion, while John will perform songs from The Lion King and his upcoming album in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle.
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens is coming to Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD in April. You can pre-order J.J. Abrams' blockbuster now on

  • Also out now: the Walt Disney Signature Collection release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs on Blu-ray. You should get it. 
  • A family is suing Walt Disney World for negligence in the death of the family's great-grandmother, who they claim was traumatized by witnessing her great-grandson receive a minor, non-threatening snakebite at Disney's Animal Kingdom. It's complicated. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Mouse Castle Lounge 01-28-2016 - Journalist and Former Disney Imagineer Mark Eades

By Tim Callaway

Mark Eades in front of where his career began at Disney,
the River Belle Terrace.
In our last show, historian Sam Gennawey and journalist Mark Eades shared their thoughts about Disneyland’s upcoming Star Wars Land expansion. We had some lively conversations and after the dust settled, Mark stuck around. He’s back today to tell us about his fascinating career, not only in his current role as multimedia reporter with the Orange County Register, but also as a 20-plus year veteran at the Walt Disney Company.

In 1972, Mark started out bussing tables at the River Belle Terrace at Disneyland before becoming a ride operator in Tomorrowland. After graduating from college, he interned at the Walt Disney Studios and eventually worked his way into WED Enterprises, later known as Walt Disney Imagineering. Mark had his hand in developing attractions for the openings of Epcot and Tokyo Disneyland, attractions that included Magic Journeys and Horizons. He worked on the Circle-Vision 360 film American Journeys for the Magic Kingdom and researched the use of motion simulators for what would become Star Tours.

Mark left Disney and a few years after that, began working at the Orange County Register. He’s now a multimedia reporter for the Register and Disneyland is his beat. Today, Mark shares with us what it was like to be inside Disney Imagineering and what you can learn by camping out on Main Street U.S.A. for an entire day. Mark Eades is my guest today in The Mouse Castle Lounge.

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