Walt Disney World Plugged In Podcast: 1/26/06

If you’re unfamiliar with Disney’s online podcasts, but are a fan of Walt Disney World, you might enjoy listening to WDW’s weekly podcast which gives you many exclusive tidbits about the resort including construction and new additions to the park.

However, if you simply would like a briefing on the podcast, look no further than this blog as I will be covering most of the weekly podcasts.

Walt Disney World Resort: Plugged In Podcast – 1/26/06

The Technology of Photopass and an upcoming addition to the parks: Disney Photo Movie

disney photopass

Mike Gome, a Disney Imagineer who helped front the effort to make Photopass more accessible to Disney World guests, discussed how Photopass has evolved over the years. If you haven’t been to Walt Disney World in recent years, but remember the pre-Photopass system which involved having your photo taken by a WDW photographer, then arriving at specified destination to wait in line to see your photos, that system has been completely changed. Now, instead of waiting in line at the end of your day, you are simply given a pass – a Photopass – which allows you to go online when you arrive home to see your photos and simply order them from the comfort of your home. This new system allows guests to have as many photos taken as they like and see all of them from home instead of standing in line for thirty minutes to an hour just to see how your photo has turned out.

As a customer of the Photopass system, I’ve got to say that before Photopass, I never bothered with the park produced photo. However, on a trip last May during Star Wars Weekend, I ventured online three to four weeks after my trip to see the photo I had almost completely forgotten. Impressed by the photo, I purchased it online. The photo arrived quickly and in impeccable shape. The quality of the print was good and would definitely make great framing or scrapbooking material

Gome also discussed a new bit of technology that is going to start making an appearance soon in the Disney parks, Disney’s Photo Movie. This technology will incorporate your Photopass photos, some of your own uploaded photos and, from what I understand from the podcast, stock video of the parks and make a Disney DVD slideshow of all the photos. It was stated that around 60-70 photos could be included and there will also be other assorted bells and whistles such as music, graphics, and videos. He mentioned that characters would be incorporated into the DVDs so you could have such characters as Stitch “biting” into your photo or Donald Duck bursting through some of your photos. This technology hasn’t been introduced yet, but I’m sure we’ll be seeing it within the parks very soon. Gome also mentioned that Photopass would become available at all parks Worldwide very soon.

Wayne Brady – Former Disney Cast Member

Wayne Brady talked about visiting the Disney World Resort where he was once a character performer and parade dancer. Brady also hosted the 50th Anniversary kick-off at Walt Disney World.

The Amazing Rock Work of Expedition Everest

Both Disney itself and Disney fans just can’t stop talking about Expedition Everest. This newest attraction in Animal Kingdom (which is rumored to go into soft openings early next month) was overseen by Senior Production Designer, Eric Miller. Miller discussed how Disney Imagineers created the amazing, photo-realistic mountain that houses the trek into the Forbidden Mountain. Through a series of scale models scanned into a computer, the mountain’s blueprints were made and brought to life in a 200 foot tall mountain that is actually sculpted from construction grade stucco.

Imagineers actually made the journey to Nepal to photograph the mountain ranges and obtain rock samples so that they could make Expedition Everest as realistic as possible. I recently saw the mountain myself in December and it is, indeed, extremely photo-realistic.

And if you can’t get enough of Everest, next week’s podcast will feature riders’ experiences as they make the trek through the mountain and encounter the terrifying yeti himself.

If you’d like to hear the podcasts yourself, you can do so by going to the Walt Disney World Resorts Podcast Overview.