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 36: Universal, Marvel, and MyMagic+

Welcome back to Beyond the Berm for Episode 36!

To start things off, Matt told about becoming an annual passholder for Universal Studios Hollywood and about his recent visit there. How does it compare to the Disney parks? Listen in to see what he thought.

Next, Steve brought up the success of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and that led into a discussion of Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, which just finished up its first season. The show has been picked up for a second season, along with a new series about Agent Carter that will air in between the fall and winter/spring seasons of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Hear what we thought about the first season and see if you agree.

After that, Matt shared the cheerful news as a follow-up to our last episode that he was in fact able to get FastPasses for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train for his family’s upcoming Walt Disney World visit. We talked about the high demand for all of the new experiences, the intricacies and oddities of the new FastPass system, and the effect that it might all have on future visits to Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Come hear our thoughts on all of this.

Don’t miss any of the exciting, breath-taking moments in Episode 36 of Beyond the Berm!

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Episode 32: Movies, More Movies, and MyMagic+

Beyond the Berm returns once again for Episode 32!

To start things off, Matt goes back to our discussion from Episode 31 of the Disney Channel and the availability of Disney programming, bringing up the new Disney Movies Anywhere experience that just launched. And it just happened that Steve had given Disney Movies Anywhere a try, so he fills us in about some of what it is all about. And then we talk more about physical copies versus digital copies and “owning” your media. See if you agree with us.

Steve then talks about the upcoming Marvel movie Guardians of the Galaxy, based on the first trailer that was recently released, and also a Motley Fool article that suggests the movie might not do as well as some other Marvel movies. We compare this to other Marvel movies with either more well-known heroes or more well-known stars, and talk about how this new movie might compare to those.

Up next, Matt is learning all about MyMagic+ and FastPass+ first hand, as he is planning a family trip for this summer. Hear about what all he has learned so far. And feel free to share some tips if you have them.

We also briefly discuss the changes in the Central Plaza, or “hub,” at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, and we make a few Oscar predictions as well.

All this and more in Episode 32 of Beyond the Berm!

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Markey and Iger Correspond About Disney Technology

In Episode 10, we mentioned a letter that Representative Edward Markey of Massachusetts sent to Bob Iger about Disney’s new MyMagic+, which has also been referred to as NextGen at times. Markey was asking questions about privacy concerns and marketing to children. Apparently, all of his information was based on what he read in a few newspaper articles, including the main New York Times article that has been a source of information about the whole development. You can read a PDF of the letter here, from the Congressman’s website.

But after we recorded that episode of the podcast, things got even more interesting, when Bob Iger replied with a letter whose tone can best be described as “angry.” You know it is going to be good when the head of a major media corporation responds to a congressman in this way:

We are offended by the ludicrous and utterly ill-informed assertion in your letter dated January 24, 2013, that we would in any way haphazardly or recklessly introduce a program that manipulates children, or wantonly puts their safety at risk.

You can read the entire reply letter at Inside the Magic.

Somehow, I don’t think we have heard the end of this. But I do think we may have more material for our next episode!