Episode 60: Muppets, Music, Movies, and More!

Beyond the Berm returns with Episode 60! 60 episodes! That’s one episode for every year that Disneyland has been open! Not that we are old enough to have started the same year as Disneyland or anything, of course.

Anyway, to begin with, we talk about the new Muppets television show, which currently airs on Tuesday nights on ABC. It has been getting mixed reactions, but perhaps the strongest reaction so far is the announcement that they will replace the showrunner and go in a different direction for the final episodes of this season. We also talk some about the other Muppet offerings of the past few years and how they haven’t exactly hit the right mark for us. Do you agree or disagree?

The Muppets

Next, Steve brings up some of the live performers of the past and present at the Disney parks and talks about their effect on the parks. Names such as Rod Miller, Off Kilter, the Dapper Dans, Mariachi Cobre, Marimba Mayalandia, Billy Hill and the Hillbillies, the Bibi LaCreme Trio, the Caledonia Bagpipe Band, Voices of Liberty, and more! And yes, we may have listed those in the hopes of bringing more traffic to our site, but some of those names may bring back memories for long time Disneyland and Epcot fans. We discuss some of the positives and negatives of these performers and talk about what they might add to the parks.

WDW Dapper Dans

Up next, Star Wars! If you haven’t heard, there may be a new Star Wars movie coming soon or something. We talk about some of the latest news, although we don’t go into too much detail because we are trying to keep from finding out any spoilers ourselves.

Star Wars The Force Awakens Han Solo

Going along with our Star Wars discussion is some Indiana Jones talk, including our opinions on whether they should recast the role or have some sort of successor to Indy. And we also compare Star Wars to Marvel movies as well, and look at how we aren’t as concerned about not learning plot points of Marvel movies before we see them. Why the difference? We’ll tell you what we think.

All of that, and yes, even more, in the latest episode of Beyond the Berm!

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Episode 58: Brother, Can You Loan a Dime?

Beyond the Berm is back for Episode 58!

To begin with, Matt is looking for some spare change, because the annual pass prices at Disneyland and Walt Disney World have once again increased, after the last increase not too many months ago. Disneyland prices in particular took a big jump. Is it good business, or a way to cut back on the number of passholders?

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Also, Pixar and Marvel reported some updated release dates for some of their movies, including a newly announced sequel to Ant-Man. We talk some about all of this, and particularly about how many of the Pixar movies are sequels. Is it better to play it safe or to try something new?

We then shift slightly from Marvel movies to Marvel television shows to talk about the new season of Agents of SHIELD. After only two episodes of the new season, things are already getting exciting. Hear what we think about it, and what we hope to get out of the new season.

Also, we talk about Halloween, social media, and then get back to the annual passholder situation a little more.

And speaking of social media, if you ever want to follow us individually on Twitter, you can find Steve at @Burnsland and Matt at @StartedByAMouse.

Be sure to hear all the fun on the latest episode of Beyond the Berm!

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Episode 55: Changes Ahead for the Disney Parks?

Welcome back to another episode of Beyond the Berm! It didn’t even take us 3 months to get out another one as it did the last time!

Maybe you have heard rumblings about changes coming to the Disney Parks, both at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts. Disneyland has committed to expanding the resort in some form in exchange for a tax break from the city of Anaheim. And Walt Disney World keeps closing things at Disney’s Hollywood Studios without announcing something new on the horizon. What does all of this mean? Listen to us as we comment on some of the speculations, and as we do some speculating ourselves.

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In keeping with the Disney Parks theme, Matt tells about his recent visit to Disneyland to see some of the new additions and extravaganzas that were added for the 60th anniversary celebration. Listen in as he talks about parades, fireworks, and crowds!

Also, following up on our conversation about summer movies in Episode 54, we give our reviews of the latest Disney/Marvel movie, Ant-Man. Did it live up to our expectations?

All this and more goodness in Episode 55 of Beyond the Berm!

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Episode 54: Differently Different In the Same Kind of Way

Just when you had given up on us completely, Beyond the Berm returns with Episode 54!

Why were we gone for so long? We talk about that to start off the podcast. We had some scheduling issues and things like that at times, but it was mainly Steve’s fault as he was off on the Burnsland World Tour. He tells some about his visit to Bangkok, Thailand, as well as his family’s recent Disney cruise. After the cruise, they also spent a week in Florida, seeing such Disney things as Typhoon Lagoon and the Magic Kingdom. Hear all about his first experiences with MyMagic+, and lots more about his travels.

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After that, we give our opinions about all of the Disney summer movies that have been released so far starting with Cinderella (which was actually a spring movie), and also including Avengers: Age of Ultron, Tomorrowland, and Inside Out. Which ones did we like? And which ones didn’t quite work for us? Listen in to find out. And we also talk about the upcoming Marvel movie Ant Man, too.

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And what is the meaning of the title of this episode? You will just have to listen to find out!

Be sure and join us for all this and more in Episode 54! And hopefully, you won’t have to wait quite as long again for Episode 55. Maybe.

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Episode 53: Newsies Go Into the Woods with a Selfie Stick

Beyond the Berm returns with all the witty banter and insightful, um, insights that you have come to love! Hopefully you love it. You do love it, right?

Anyway, Episode 53 kicks off with Matt telling about seeing the stage production of Newsies recently. Interesting how a movie that almost no one saw has gone on to be a successful stage production, isn’t it? Hear what Matt thought about the show, and then what he thought about the recent movie version of Into the Woods, too.

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Next, Steve talks about Walt Disney World’s recent clarification that selfie sticks are indeed still allowed in their parks, although you can’t use them on rides. We then talk a little about photography in parks in general and look at the more strict regulations that Six Flags parks now have about photography. Do you use a selfie stick? Do we need to invest in a selfie stick for the Beyond the Berm office?

We then talk about one of our favorite subjects, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD. Lots of interesting events have happened on the show, and now there is word of a spin-off show, although no important details about that are known. This, of course, leads in to a discussion about Avengers: Age of Ultron, which you may have heard is coming out very soon. Lots of good Marvel stuff going on right now.

All that and lots more in the latest episode of Beyond the Berm!

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Episode 52: Upcoming Disney Movies

Welcome back to Beyond the Berm! Has it really been a month since our last episode? Yes it has – did you miss us? Well then, you are in store for a treat, because here is Episode 52!

For starters, we discuss many of the Disney movies being released over the next several months, because it looks to be a busy year for the various movie divisions of Disney. We pay particular attention this time to Cinderella, which Matt just saw and gives his review. We also talk a bit about Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant Man, and then we focus some on the now-in-production live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast.

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We also discuss some of the upcoming changes at Walt Disney World. Did you know they are adding an extra track to Toy Story Mania and and extra screen to Soarin’? Are these wise uses of the money involved, or would it be better to spend that money on something completely new? Let us know your thoughts!

In addition to all of that, we talk about the new restaurant coming to Adventureland in the Magic Kingdom, some non-Disney vacation options that we have considered, and what we might want from a Disney vacation in the future. It never hurts to dream, right? Oh yeah, and our “interesting” count for this episode probably goes well over 100, if you forgot to keep count.

All that and even more in Beyond the Berm Episode 52!

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Episode 51: Occasional Disney Fans

Beyond the Berm returns today with Episode 51! Check out all the interestingness of our latest episode.

Matt begins by mentioning something he saw in Steve’s Twitter bio, “occasional Disney fan.” Steve clarifies that a bit to be “occasional Disney parks fan,” and the most recent contributor to that occasionalness is the ticket price increase that went into effect on both coasts this week. Is Disney pushing away some of its biggest fans by some of their recent actions in the last few years? Listen in and see if you agree.

Steve then brings up the recent announcement of a new DuckTales series coming to DisneyXD in 2017. Will it be good, or will they take too many liberties with it? Here’s hoping that they leave most of the original DuckTalesness intact.

From there, we move into a discussion of the season finale of Agent Carter, followed by our thoughts about the second half of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season which starts next week. We had some mixed but overall positive feelings about Agent Carter, and we have high hopes for Agent Coulson and his crew. And all of that leads into a discussion of the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron, too. Will the Marvelness continue to build?

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So how many times have we added -ness to a word to make a new word? That’s interesting! Be sure to listen in to our adventures of Episode 51!

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Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

If you listen to our podcast regularly, you know we often talk about the Marvel movies and television shows. Last night at around 10:30 our time, which would have been 11:30 PM on the east coast, Marvel dropped some major news (which you can read in its entirety here).

The first part of that news was that Spider-Man, one of Marvel’s most popular characters, would be appearing in one of the upcoming films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although in which movie Spider-Man would appear wasn’t stated, it is widely assumed that his appearance would be in the next Captain America movie, since it has already been announced that the movie would follow the events in the Civil War storyline, which features an important appearance by Spider-Man in the comic books.

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That news had been rumored for some time, so it wasn’t exactly a surprise. However, the next part of the announcement was even bigger, more surprising news, at least to me. As part of the press release, it was also announced that after Spider-Man’s appearance in a Marvel Studios movie, the next Spider-Man movie would be produced by Kevin Feige and the Marvel Studios team, along with Amy Pascal, for Sony Pictures. There has been talk for some time that Sony was planning to once again reboot the Spider-Man franchise, so that wasn’t surprising. But having Marvel Studios essentially make the movie for Sony to distribute is a really big deal.

After all, Marvel Studios, under the leadership of Kevin Feige, has a great track record with the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, including the movies featuring Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy, and the Avengers. They seem to have the golden touch these days. And who would know better how to make a Marvel movie than the people at Marvel?

If you aren’t aware, long before Disney bought Marvel, and even long before Marvel decided to make their own movies, they gave Sony the rights to the Spider-Man movies. So while Spider-Man and the Avengers characters, along with all of the other Marvel characters, regularly interact in the comic books, they have always been in two separate worlds in the movies. But now, their worlds are coming together, which is a pretty historic moment, considering that the movies are being released by two different companies. Of course, Disney still comes out ahead with its ownership of Marvel. Not as much ahead as if they were releasing the Spider-Man movie themselves, but they pass some of the risk off to others while still reaping some of the expected financial rewards. Also, the press release states that they are exploring ways to use some of the Marvel Cinematic Universe characters in the upcoming Spider-Man movies as well.

The timing of the announcement was interesting for a couple of reasons. First off, why make a major announcement like that when many people have already gone to bed? I have no idea, but I’m sure they had a good reason.

The second interesting timing tidbit is thanks to the inclusion of Amy Pascal as one of the producers. As you may know, it was announced last week that she is stepping down as the chairwoman of Sony Pictures, a move that is largely seen as a response to the recent data breach at Sony. And interestingly, she helped to bring the first Spider-Man movie to Sony Pictures back in 1999, so she and Spider-Man go way back. Plus, she has a nice place to land when leaving her current job. Spider-Man is good for everyone, it seems.

So this is an interesting turn of events for Spider-Man and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Are you looking forward to it? I know I am. Please let us know how you feel, too!

Episode 50: Interesting Observations

Beyond the Berm returns with its milestone 50th episode! Unfortunately, we don’t have golden cake and ice cream for everyone, but we do have an entertaining episode to share!

For starters, we discuss the news that Tom Staggs has been promoted to the number 2 position at Disney, that of Chief Operating Officer, which most see as an indication that he is next in line to run the company when Bob Iger retires. Is this a good move? Listen in to hear what we think about it.

Next, we talk about the upcoming Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens, as well as wondering about what plans there are for Star Wars in the Disney parks. We discuss some of the rumors that we have heard while we wait for an official announcement.

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Matt then brings up the 60th Anniversary celebration coming to Disneyland this summer and the plans that have been announced for it. Did they leave you feeling underwhelmed, overwhelmed, or just whelmed?

We then close out the show with a brief discussion about Marvel’s Agent Carter, which we are both enjoying watching while Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. takes a brief break. Have you seen the show? What are your thoughts? We would like to know.

Oh yeah, and we say the word “interesting” at least a few times. All of that and more in Episode 50 of Beyond the Berm!

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Episode 48: Best and Worst of 2014

Welcome to the Beyond the Berm Christmas Extravaganza! Also known as Episode 48.

Christmas is almost here, and the year is winding down to a close, in case you haven’t noticed. So for this episode, we discuss some of the Best and Worst of 2014 in several different categories, some of them Disney related, and others of them more general. Listen in to see if you agree! And share some better ideas if you have them!

Matt also gives an update on his two upcoming runs, the Walt Disney World Marathon and the Disneyland Half Marathon, which are just a week apart from each other. Be sure to send him some encouragement, too!

Steve also mentions the first block of Disney programming on TCM, which is this Sunday, December 21. Be sure to set your DVR!

All this and more in Episode 48 of Beyond the Berm!

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