Episode 46: More Marvel, Influences, and Disney Or Not?

Welcome back to Beyond the Berm! Won’t you join us for Episode 46 of our podcast?

To start with this time around, we talk about some of the latest developments on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which is one of the few scripted shows that we both watch. This season is striving to be even more exciting than the first, although we both enjoyed the first season as well. Have you watched it? What do you think? Also, Matt tells about catching up on movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that he hadn’t previously seen, and gives his thoughts on those.


Next, Matt asks and Steve answers about how he first became interested in Disney, and we talk about some of our earlier influences before Disney, including and especially Star Wars. How did you start to get interested in Disney? We would love to know!

After that, Steve tells of the dilemma he sometimes has for his website posts. He wants to post a wide range of things, but the Disney-related posts consistently get more views. Should he post what he likes, or post what guarantees visitors? What are your thoughts?

All this and lots more! And if you listen closely, at some points there is even some background music courtesy of Jaylin and his piano practice for the night.

Be sure to join us for Beyond the Berm Episode 46!

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Imagine My Surprise …

As mentioned in Episode 45, I saw one of my photographs of Sleeping Beauty Castle being used on a digital display inside the Grand Californian lobby. This came as a bit of shock to me as I’d never been asked for approval or had it licensed but there it was anyway.

The board with my image …

And my photo on its own …

Although I have this image posted on my Flickr account, I’m fairly confident that whoever posted this at the Grand Californian did not get it from there. This is the same image that a second-grade student had used in their project on Walt Disney at my daughter’s elementary school the year before. Doing a Google image search for “Disneyland” retrieves this image as one of the top returns but the link to the image doesn’t go to Flickr but to some travel website instead.

Short of watermarking my images — or keeping them to myself — trying to retain the right to my copy is probably a bit of losing battle. While I own the copyright to my images, my writings and even the recording of my voice for this podcast, in this day and age of “It’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission,” I’m sure I’ll see my work around from time to time. So rather than be upset that my Sleeping Beauty Castle image was usurped, I’ll feel proud instead that whoever was collecting images for the Grand Californian thought that this was one of the best representative images of Disneyland that they could find. But if the hotel wants to contact me and offer me the Presidential Suite for the weekend anyway, I won’t complain. ;)


Episode 45: It’s Marvel-ous!

Happy Halloween from Beyond the Berm! Not that our new episode really has anything to do with Halloween, except that it is being posted on October 31. Scary!

Anyway, Episode 45 starts off with lots of talk about the upcoming movies from Marvel Studios. First up is Avengers: Age of Ultron. Have you seen the trailer yet? If not, or if you want to see it again, here it is:

We talk about the trailer, and then we talk about all the Marvel movies that were announced this past week, revealing what is coming up all the way to 2019! Some familiar names like Captain America, Thor, and Guardians of the Galaxy, along with some new names like Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and the Inhumans. It all sounds pretty cool!

Next up, Matt talks about having some of his photos used in various places, including the surprise of seeing one of his photos at the Grand Californian Hotel at the Disneyland Resort. Hear all the story in the podcast!

After that, Steve reports on the recently confirmed news of the removal of the Sorcerer Hat from Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2015. Are they just removing the hat, or are there other changes coming to the area, too? Stay tuned!

Matt then brings up Big Hero 6, because his family is attending an advance showing of the movie this weekend. Are you looking forward to that one? That leads to a discussion of a long rumored but recently officially announced animated movie, Moana, from directors John Musker and Ron Clements. Aside from a piece of concept art and a rough outline, not much is known about this one yet. But Ron and John have a pretty good track record, so we are hopeful for another great movie from them.


See, no ghosts or ghouls this time around, just some good clean fun! Be sure to join us for Episode 45!

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Episode 44: Movie Marketing, FastPass+ Tests, Seasons, and More!

Beyond the Berm returns with Episode 44!

To start off our podcast, we discuss movie marketing, looking at three new or upcoming Disney movies: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day; Big Hero 6; and Tomorrowland. In particular, we talk about whether the trailers make us want to see these movies. Which of these are you looking forward to seeing the most?


Next, we talk about the recent test at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World, where you had to have a FastPass+ to ride Toy Story Mania. No standby lines or any other options were available. Is this a sign of the times? Do you think it is a good thing?

We also talked about our favorite seasons to visit the Disney parks. It is hard to pick just one favorite, however, because each one has its good points. Do you have a favorite?

Also, we take a quick look the recently announced extension of Bob Iger’s time at Disney and what that may mean for the company.

All that, plus all of our usual zaniness and such, in Beyond the Berm Episode 44!

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Episode 43: iPhones, Walt Disney World Changes, and Trip Planning

Welcome back to Beyond the Berm for Episode 43!

For starters, we talk about the new iPhones, since both of us are iPhone guys. Have you gotten a new, bigger phone? Or even an even bigger phone? Hear our thoughts about them, and let us know yours.

Next up, we learned that Cast Members at Disney’s Hollywood Studios were informed that the final day for the Backlot Tour is this Saturday, September 27. Nothing has been announced to take its place, but that doesn’t stop everyone from talking about what it might be, including us. We also talk about some other changes around the resort, including the addition of Frozen in Epcot. Listen in to see what we think about all of this.

Matt is making a solo trip to Walt Disney World to take part in the Marathon in January, and he needs some help in planning what to do during the three days that he is there. Sort of a game, sort of asking for advice. What would you do? Matt would love to hear some suggestions! We talk about some starter ideas, but he would appreciate your feedback.

All this and more in this episode of Beyond the Berm!

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Episode 42: It’s a Hullabaloo!

Beyond the Berm is back with Episode 42! And in this episode, we go through several topics fast and furious. And hey, in our new graphic above, we kind of look like the guys from the Fast and Furious movies, don’t we? No? Well then, moving on…

To start off, Steve gives some background about the new header graphic, including a bit about the tools that he used to make it happen and how he might have done things differently.

Next up, Matt brings up two hand-drawn animation projects. The first is a short film called Duet, which was created by renowned former Disney animator Glen Keane. The second is Hullabaloo, an effort to make a 2D hand-drawn short in the hopes of expanding it to a full-length feature. It is nice to see that some people out there still like hand-drawn animation when so many of the big studios have gone to computer animation.

Steve then tells about the new series of Figment comic books from Marvel comics. These comic books tell something of a back story about Dreamfinder and Figment, and they have been pretty popular, selling out the first printing of the first issue completely. Have you read them? What do you think?

Matt then gives a brief recap of his family’s recent participation in the runDisney event at Disneyland. They had participants in the kids’ race, the 10K, and the half marathon. Come hear about their experiences.

And yes, even though it isn’t necessarily the primary focus of this episode, “Hullabaloo” was chosen as the title here just because it is fun to say. Be sure to join the Hullabaloo with us!

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Episode 41: I Am Groot

Beyond the Berm zooms into space with Episode 41!

Join us as we discuss the recent Marvel movie Guardians of the Galaxy. We give our reviews and thoughts about it, in case you are wondering if we liked it or not. WARNING: There are spoilers here! We don’t try to dance around any plot points or anything. So if you haven’t seen the movie yet and don’t want to know what happens, beware. If you want to skip all of that, you can jump ahead to just after the 35 minute mark.

After all of that, we change gears for a bit to talk about the upcoming D23 Expo in 2015. Ticket prices were recently released, and we discuss those. Matt also talks about his visits to some of the past Expos and his feelings about all that was offered. Do you plan to go next year? We would love to hear about it!

Be sure to join us for Beyond the Berm Episode 41! Spoiler: we had a great time!

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Episode 40: A Race and a Game

Beyond the Berm roars back into action with Episode 40! Which is momentous, if you are one of those who like to celebrate 10-multiple things, I guess.

To start with, Matt gives an update on his upcoming runDisney races as things are getting closer for the upcoming Disneyland runs. His whole family is participating, and he has some updated information on their plans, as well as on his upcoming run in the Walt Disney World Marathon.

Next, Steve has a game for Matt to play, “Name That Disney Quote.” These quotes come from either Disney or Pixar animated movies, and some of them are real stumpers. See if you can guess which movies these quotes are from!

After that, we have some general chit-chat about Disney trivia, Guardians of the Galaxy, a Disney movie that ended up not being a Disney movie (“Earth to Echo”), and some other stuff, too.

Come join the fun on Episode 40 of Beyond the Berm!

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Episode 39: Weddings and Honeymoons, Star Wars and Theme Park Wars

Welcome back to Beyond the Berm for Episode 39!

We start off with Matt remembering the events of 15 years ago, which just happened to be when he and Kathy were getting married at Disneyland. He tells all about their Disney Fairytale Wedding, and he also looks at how some of the options for Disney weddings have changed over the years.

Steve follows that up with remembrances of his honeymoon at Walt Disney World, because his wedding anniversary with Laura is next week. As it turns out, Matt and Kathy spent their honeymoon at Walt Disney World as well. Several years ago, Walt Disney World took over the spot of Number One Honeymoon Destination from Niagara Falls. It would be interesting to know if it still holds that spot today.

Moving on to other things, Matt asks a question about how the Star Wars characters are treated these days. Among the things we discussed was the video of Darth Vader at Disneyland, as well as the Hyperspace Hoopla show that used to be a part of Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (that link was to just one video, but there are several videos of the different shows from different years out there). Is using these characters in comedic situations diluting their effectiveness? That’s a good question.

And then Steve talks a bit about the latest round of the theme park wars in Florida, as Universal Studios opens its new Harry Potter section, complete with a new ride, while Walt Disney World throws together a few Frozen offerings at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. These wars have been going on since the late 1980s, and it does appear that Universal has won this round, doesn’t it?

Join us for all of that and more in Beyond the Berm Episode 39!

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Episode 38: Vacations in Review

At long last, Beyond the Berm has returned!

Since our last episode, the entire Beyond the Berm crew has been on vacations, and now everyone is back at home. So this time around, we talk about our recent vacation experiences.

First up, Matt tells about his week spent at Walt Disney World. He and his large family group went to all of the parks, Downtown Disney, Typhoon Lagoon, and more!

Steve then contrasts that with his family’s visit to the Central Florida area. Although they were right by Walt Disney World, they didn’t go to any of the main theme parks. They did attempt to visit Typhoon Lagoon, but that visit was cut short due to rain. However, they did enjoy a visit to the Circle B Bar Reserve, where they saw lots and lots of alligators!

After that, Matt tells about the Disney Cruise that immediately followed his week at Walt Disney World. The family took a 7-night Western Caribbean cruise, and Matt tells about stopping at several of the ports, riding the Aqua Duck, and enjoying some relaxing times on the ship. He gives his review of Castaway Cay, the private Bahamas Island, too.

Join us as we relive the fun of our recent vacations at Beyond the Berm Episode 38!

Just a note: This episode was originally supposed to be released last Friday, but technical difficulties and another (short) vacation prevented that. Oh well. You finally get to hear it now!

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