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WDW Radio # 663 – 2021 Disney Year in Review: Part 2 – Movies and Disney+

In Part 2 of our 2021 Disney Year in Review, this week we look at some of the most important happenings in the movies and on Disney+, including releases from Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars, before looking at some important company-wide news and events, and a lightning-round of questions which you can answer as well.

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Thanks to Beci Mahnken from Mouse Fan Travel, Lisa DiNoto Glassner from The Castle Run and Core Memory Candles, and Conor Brown from WDW Opinion

What was YOUR favorite Disney, Marvel, or Star Wars movie or Disney+ show from 2021?

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Click Here To Read The Full Podcast Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Lou Mongello: I think we should move from the parks to the screens. Let's start small and work our way up to big. I'm thinking of you Disney plus. And I don't know what, if anything you have specifically on Disney plus in terms of something that was. Important, um, a ranking of some of the Disney plus shows your favorite Disney plus shows.

So just sort of quickly go around the table and give me your thoughts in terms of the impact and importance, whether individually or collectively of Disney plus in 2021, Becky,

[00:00:38] Beci Mahnken: I had the most. Ever with one division. And it was completely from the moment we were sitting there and it was announced in front of us.

And we saw where it was, uh, destination D I think it was, or was, I think it was and watching the preview to the teaser to tend to kind of tell us what was coming. And I sat there and I went, what, what is this? And what is it could possibly be? And I don't understand how these characters are going to get into the fifties and it makes no sense.

So when it finally came out and little by little episode by episode, we got those little tastes of what they were, the, the journey and the story that they were leading us down for the path. Uh, It turned into, okay, now I see what they're trying to do, but Mephisto is definitely the big, bad, you know, all of the discussions that it caused us to have, um, being in the spoilers group every single time, there was an episode we would all jump right back in and go, okay, this is what I think is happening.

And then you would compare ideas and compare notes. I have never had a, a series or even a movie that made such a community around it. In all of the guessing games we had and all the fun, trying to figure out what was going on. Um, that really was much more of an experience than just watching a show.

[00:02:05] Lou Mongello: One, it is not hyperbole.

When I say that Wanda vision was groundbreaking television, Becky, I had the same, still have the same feeling. I have not felt the same way about a TV show of which admittedly, I don't watch a lot since lost where we are able to have these now virtual water cooler conversations. The show ends, we go back and like lost.

I think I need to watch that again. And then we go online, we go to our community and we talk about what we saw, what we didn't see, the Easter eggs. We go back and we look for, I think it was such smart storytelling. It paid fan service to the hardcore comic book nerds who read the stories of Wanda and the house of M and all those other things, as well as people whose introduction to the Marvel universe came through the cinematic universe and were introduced to those.

Relatively obscure characters through that way, who were now able to not only carry their own show, but introduced us to one of the most interesting villains that we've ever seen. Right. Wait, what other Marvel show do you walk around singing the theme song in your head? Cause now you are dude, brilliant dude.

Like it just, I think one division and it's far and away. My number one on Disney plus I think one division hit on all cylinders and really, um, from a design storytelling, superhero music, like Mephisto confirmed hexagons. I see hexagons everywhere I go now it's um, it is, I thought it was remarkable. It was

[00:03:58] Beci Mahnken: incredibly cool.

And I, I'm hoping that we get a season two. I hope we get some magic off of this because I want to feel that again. I want to feel that community bonding over show again. I don't know why I just do a name,

[00:04:12] Lou Mongello: a Festo to be in the bedroom. I think it's wrong. Spinoff show, like from happy days. So that might not be the best analogy, but you know,

Connor, Lisa, any thoughts on either one division itself or any of the other shows MCU related or otherwise on Disney?

[00:04:34] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: Yeah. I mean, I'll just punctuate that conversation with like what a year for Marvel and Disney plus like Wanda division Falcon and the winter soldier, Loki Hawk. I N what if all came this year?

Like that's insane. It's absolutely amazing. All that being said, I'm not even going to pretend I have a different one than Becky. I mean, wine division changed my experience of Marvel. You know, I always say like, great media, like great cinema makes you want to know more. And I, like, I now have like subscribed to the Marvel unlimited app.

Like I was reading the comment. I was more into it than I've like, it just, it, it allowed me to enjoy it on a totally different level. And I think it also is this very cool education and like the potential of traditional consumption of television in an age of social media. Like, can you imagine, like if, when lost was coming out, if we had social media, the way we have it today, I mean, that was, this was like a taste of that, right?

That like

[00:05:27] Lou Mongello: water cooler discussion forums that we would go to.

[00:05:32] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: Obviously the sweeping nature of social media today, just, I don't know. It just, I just felt like we were having this very cool, very new sort of like Becky was saying like community oriented cinema.

[00:05:45] Lou Mongello: And I think it's very much by design. I think it is absolutely intentional in the way that they release things and they tease things and there's quote, unquote, leaks that come out.

I think it's brilliant just from a PR perspective, how they are able to sort of feed that interest and fuel that fire to not just go it's midnight. I need to go watch TV because Wanda vision's coming out. Um, but to say, I need to know more, uh, at least I think you saying that you went down the nerd rabbit hole of I'm going to, I need to read the comics.

I need to learn more about this is. This, this wonderful secondary tertiary benefits that Disney gets, we get as fans to these characters and these universes that we get introduced to.

[00:06:38] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: Yeah. I mean, it almost felt like rediscovering something to the level of like Harry Potter. It's like, oh my gosh, there's this whole world that exists that I can immerse myself in and learn about.

And there's really no end to it. And I mean, Marvel is that tenfold obviously, um, yeah, more than nerded out. And I, and I still am. I mean, I'm subscribed to YouTube channels that have nothing to do with the TV end of things. Like just people who talk about the comics and will tell the story. So while I'm doing other things, I can listen to them.

Like I said, it just, it completely changed the way that I consume. Yeah,

[00:07:09] Beci Mahnken: comics

[00:07:10] Conor Brown: totter. I also think, I mean, Loki, I think did a lot of that in a similar sort of vein. Very, very interesting, no idea where it's going to kind of go next, but you know, in the NBA they have an award called the comeback player of the year.

And basically how this award works is maybe there was a player who has been on kind of a downslope, you know, hasn't had a number of great seasons and then all of a sudden re-emerges, you know, average is a double double, takes the league by storm and gets the company. Player of the year award Clint Barton talk guy.

Let's give him the comeback player of the year award right there. I don't think anyone saw that coming, but I really enjoyed hot guy, I think. Um, it's cool. We'll see where it goes from there. I think Hailee Steinfeld is a national treasure and, um, I just really enjoyed that as well. I think it was pleasantly surprised.

I think most people were pleasantly surprised with that as well.

[00:08:10] Lou Mongello: So really quickly, the quickly rank for me, Becky Lisa Carter rank for me, I'm always for Marvel shows on Disney plus from top to bottom

[00:08:24] Beci Mahnken: one division. What if low-key Hawkeye Falcon a winter soldier,

[00:08:30] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: same for me, but I think I'd probably flip Loki.

And what if

[00:08:35] Conor Brown: mine's very different mines, Loki? Um, Probably Hawkeye.

[00:08:44] Lou Mongello: Wow.

[00:08:47] Conor Brown: Wanda vision.

[00:08:50] Beci Mahnken: Wow.

[00:08:51] Conor Brown: Who is this guy? Falcon in the winter soldier, whatever. I just couldn't get into what

[00:08:55] Beci Mahnken: if, oh my gosh. And that was the thing last

[00:08:58] Lou Mongello: year. That was the one network connection. Just dropped out.

[00:09:03] Beci Mahnken: Listen, I'll explain. I'll explain.

[00:09:05] Conor Brown: I'll explain to you. I don't know if I did. Maybe I did. Who knows?

My mind's like rain man over here. I just counted a bunch of matchsticks before this, but I'll explain my reasoning for it. Um, I just felt with Wanda vision, we had S we were leading so much was leading up and it was anticipation, anticipation, anticipation, and we figure it out. And then like, you know, Agatha gets defeated and like 10 seconds.

I was like, wow, that's a little anti-climactic I felt hurt by it. But that being said, I dunno. I think for me, I enjoy. Uh, Falcon to the winter soldier, I think more than other people, because I see where it's going. Like, I see the importance of it, not in the series that it was, but what it means for the rest of the cinematic universe going forward with those other ones, there were kind of more a shot in time, I think.

Um, but I think that Falcon, winter soldier, it's going to be more important going forward, um, than it was probably in, in the time that it was developed. What if was like, well, that's just me sitting around my house every day of my life. Oh, what if you know, this, this person did this instead of this, you know?

So that's why I couldn't get into it necessarily. I get the appeal of it for sure. I'll also say, you know, Elaine Bennis makes her way into the MCU. That's

[00:10:26] Lou Mongello: a big deal for me, the dance it got it. It has to.

[00:10:30] Beci Mahnken: Yeah. What if was the one that I was looking forward to most when we talked about this at the end of last year, because I wanted to see those re-imagining nations.

I wanted to see the, the multi-verse kind of come and splinter and poke their, their fingers in the eye of these different stories to see how it could have ended up. So I loved that series. I think it really, and I did kind of struggle. At least I was with you kind of go and look you to, what if, but I, I loved the low-key.

I really did, but I think what if just gave me that little extra. But what if, which I loved one division being number one is all that really?

[00:11:12] Lou Mongello: Yeah. I mean, you can sort of interchange the others. I also loved what F um, I think not since into the spider verse, have I seen. Animation on screen that made me feel like I was watching a comic book the way, what if did?

And I think that's, I think that's a huge credit to the animators and the storytellers to make that happen. I, I read what if comics as a kid, you know, what, if Spider-Man joined the fantastic four, what if all these unbelievable things happening, seeing Spiderman with Dr. Strange, his cloak, and I don't want to spoil it if you haven't seen it yet, but some of the other things that were both interesting, funny, and, or setting up things that we may see in the Marvel cinematic universe going forward, and I think made it for, um, uh, an interesting and entertaining show.

Like all of them, there were peaks and valleys, some deeper than others and some of the different episodes, like I don't think every single episode of Loki was perfect, but the ones that were good were really, really good. And regarding Falcon and winter soldier, there were while there were a lot of things I did not necessarily love about that.

And I think a lot of us put that relatively low on our list. I think credit needs to be given where it is earned. And the credit I give is to Wyatt Russell for making us hate that character so much. Like he was instantly hated the poor guy, like feel bad because, you know, because the internet is stupid, it bleeds over to the poor guy's personal life.

And when he started getting, you know, um, personal attacks on you because of the character that you played as awful and as hurtful as it are, I think it's a Testament to how well he played that character. And I think one thing that Falcon winter soldier did was it showed us a very, very different and very dark side.

Of Marvel, which I understand turn some people off, but I think is also going to be the first step towards opening doors, to some other, some darker stories that, that scene where he is standing over him with that shield, you know, how it ends is a very, very, probably the darkest moment in Marvel. And I think a lot of people were, were very surprised by that.

And it was a very bold move on marble's part to do that, especially not in a theatrical setting, but in it at and T. Um, and a TV show setting, but I think why it Russell did it deserve credit for the performance that he gave? Uh, I think it's also important to mention on Disney plus there were two other things that, that came to mind, uh, for different reasons.

One for, for now we obviously know Mandalorian was a carry over from, from a previous season, second season thirties, and as good as I think star wars visions was something interesting for star wars fans. It introduced a number of different, uh, non-connected stories from different animators and artists using a different, uh, a variety of different sort of anime and manga styles.

It definitely was not for everybody, but I think some of them just purely from a, a. Um, and aesthetic the first one that was in black and white, I thought was a beautiful story, wonderfully animated, but the other show that I think absolutely bears mentioning, I loved, loved, loved behind the attraction. Um, so I was gonna mention that.

Yeah. I thought behind the attraction, unlike the Imagineering story, took a very lighthearted fun, not so serious. And in times, kudos to you, Disney self-deprecating look at the history of individual attractions. Um, the, the producer, Brian Volk, Weiss, who did, um, uh, the, the, the toys that made us and the movies that made us.

Yeah. I love the way sort of the, the fast paced, which is what sort of the world we live in now, which I think why it was, it was interesting to put this in, put, put that type of storytelling framework into this type of. And as somebody who, you know, I, I love Disney history and I love it. I learned so much, and I saw so much that I have never seen before because the people who were there that they leaned into for the stories and the information were not all from Disney, they were independent authors, other podcasters guys that I've known from over the years.

I love being able to see on screen as well as people that we know, um, from Imagineering and from the parks, both legendary figures and some from the, the later generation helping to share the stories behind the stories,

[00:16:19] Conor Brown: I think for a parks fan. I want more of this stuff. I mean, when it, when Disney plus launched, we had obviously the Imagineering story and I think that was incredibly well done.

We've gotten other little things here or there, but I need more parks content on that thing. So I think that behind the attraction was awesome. Um, another one I really enjoyed as well was, um, I just wanna make sure I get the name right adventures through the Walt Disney archives, which was a documentary done in 2020 for D 23 gold members, but made its 2021 debut on Disney plus, um, I like all those sort of documentary style things.

And if you can continue to get it on Disney plus and more about the parks and the attractions as well. I mean, I will, I will be a very happy.

[00:17:14] Lou Mongello: Please bring back prop culture, season two, by the way, which I will do as a 2020 thing, but I hope that comes back. Um, if nothing else from Disney plus let's move from the small screen to the big screen and everything in the Disney Marvel star wars, animation studios, Pixar studios, anything under the Disney umbrella.

What stood out to you? Becky Lisa. Shouldn't you just go first? No,

[00:17:44] Beci Mahnken: well, we all, we all know better than to, to go that direction. So I'll, I'll just, you know, move on to, you know, what the, the tooth that stood out to me. Um, and maybe not so much in a good way was black widow was one of them. I, I was so looking forward to her backstory.

I was so looking forward to, to the telling of one of my very favorite Avenger characters. And while I enjoyed it, I didn't love it. It didn't, um, it didn't make me go. I have to go and see it again. I it's like a once. Got it. All right. Interesting and move on. And I hate to say that because I really, really wanted to like it, but the one that I really liked was Shang T.

I loved the 10 rings. I loved being introduced to yet another, um, piece of Marvel that I know that comes from the history of, of a lot of the comic books. I know there's a lot to unpack in that storyline and I enjoyed it. I know some people didn't jump on that train, but that was definitely something that I loved.

[00:18:55] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: Um, so there's only one Marvel movie that I'm interested in talking about, and I'm not going

[00:19:00] Beci Mahnken: to talk about exactly. I had to like walk all the way around it.

[00:19:06] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: There were several other Marvel movies this year and they just didn't do it for me. So I'll set marble aside for later. Um, and instead I will mention two movies, one, Lou, I know that you love, but it won't be your movie.

Um, which is. Which was wonderful. Um, and I loved, um, in condo, I, I, the first, the very first time that I saw in condo, I think I just wasn't in the right head space or focused enough. Um, and it's an, I didn't connect with it quite as much, and it's also very Lin-Manuel Miranda and that you're consuming words very quickly and maybe I needed more than one take.

Um, but I have since rewatched it at home with my family and it has become an instant favorite in my household. I love it. Surface pressure is like in all of my running playlist. Um, it's just, it, it's a great movie. It's a smart movie. It's visually stunning. Like there are some scenes in that movie where you're not like you, it feels like you're looking at, you know, a video of real life.

[00:20:02] Beci Mahnken: Um, the level up a notch or

[00:20:04] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: 10, um, Yeah. So I'll leave it at that. I, if you haven't watched in Concho, it's on Disney plus now. Absolutely make the time for it. It's well worth it. Um, and the same thing for Luca, I would say, and, and Bruno has had a very, either a very good year or very, very bad year. I'm not sure.

[00:20:21] Lou Mongello: Look, we don't talk about Bruno. We don't talk about Bruno.

[00:20:25] Beci Mahnken: No, no, no.

[00:20:27] Conor Brown: I think, uh, a film that was on the big screen and also now on Disney plus, um, that I had been waiting for what felt like, uh, 25 years was jungle cruise. Um, and I think, you know, I don't think it, it, it was to the level that everyone probably wanted, but with those movies, They're supposed to entertain you.

I was entertained from the start to the end of it. We're already going to get another one. Um, I like that maybe that kind of influenced the updates that we got to the actual jungle cruise. Um, and to everyone who's saying, oh, jungle cruise, the movie, wasn't that big of a hit. I encourage them to go over to adventure land where they can wait for the jungle cruise for 90 minutes now, because it has consistently been that since the summer, but you know, the rock can do no wrong in my eyes.

[00:21:25] Lou Mongello: Yeah. The rock the rocks would have can do no wrong. He's like the Tom Brady of movie-making, he's just like there all the time, like hit after hit. I'm happy you put that on the list because I love jungle cruise. Cause I went to. In the right head space. I'm like, I am not going to watch something that is going to be heavy and serious and thoughtful.

And I mean, this respectfully and, and appreciatively, like, I sort of put my brain on pause and I'm like, I'm just going to go in and I'm just going to have fun with this. And I'm going to love the fan service and the references to the attraction. I'm going to love the rock, being the rock and Emily blunt, just doing what she does so well, I laughed, like I had fun with it.

The whole family could watch it. I loved the tributes and the details throughout. Um, so you're right. I think, I think the Joel Cruz was a, uh, pleasantly surprising addition to my list. I looked that being said, and again, 2010 ago, 2021, I think we're still. We're easing our way back into the movie experience.

And what I mean by that is, excuse me, not just going to a theater and watching it that way after a year and a half of experiencing movies on our couch with our blankies and our Doritos and our bathroom and all like, wait a minute, this is all pretty good. But there is something about going to the movies, especially for some of these where the audience reaction is so important.

If you don't believe me, watch audience reactions. When captain America, you know, calls me on the air for the first time, spoiler alert, I think, I think movies, and I think the movie going experience what we're learning from, I think. Even now in 2021, I think the movie going experience as a whole, not just from a Disney perspective has to evolve.

It has to change. It needs to become more experiential in order to get us off our butts and our couches and the comfort of our own homes. And it's not just about the price tag that a movie carries, but it's about the experience of being in the movies. And I know

I will only say that I know that this is important from the movie makers perspective as well. Like that's one of the things that they'd enjoy most was seeing that people were enjoying these movies together, not just enjoying these movies individually as a family, friends, whatever at home. Um, I think overall.

The Disney movie slate was there were highs and lows. I think there were some hidden hits and misses. There were things that I did not necessarily personally love for one reason or another. I absolutely loved Luca. Um, I watched Luca was one of the few movies that I watched and then I watched again the next day and I laughed and I cried and I thought it was just visually beautiful.

And I love the animation style. And again, Like in condo, uh, like Coco, just the colors and the details were just, you sometimes forget that you're watching something that was drawn by a human being's hand, as opposed to just something that was real. I think Becky, to your point, I think black widow suffered because of KA.

But when I say it's over, because it's suffered because of timing, if black, it would've come out at when it was supposed to come out at a much earlier time, when there would have been some sense of gravitas in terms of what happened. Like we know what happens to the character, you sort of care it a little bit less because you knew how the story was going to end.

I think it's surprising, uh, completely surprising, like just simple fun movie was free guy, starring Deadpool, uh, Brian Reynolds, which was my family. And I had a lot of fun with, um, like you Lisa, I liked Encanto much, much better. The second time I watched it, uh, I think where and how you watch it is very important.

Um, I'm sorry to say. I was disappointed. I'm disappointed that I was disappointed by Eternals. Um, I think Eternals while it belongs on the big screen, because it is such an epic story it's suffered from trying to put too much into a relatively short, I think in, I think Eternals would have been better served by having a 12 part series on Disney plus where each of those characters has given their time, their story they're doing.

And an individual episode and then bring it all together in a final one or two serious conclusion. Um, I think there was just a lot happening. It was very, very confusing. And even if you're, if you're like, I'm maybe like a four or five on the comic nerd scale, but if you're like, there's, there was a lot to try and process in terms of who was who and what was happening.

And, and I did not feel which is what these movies are supposed to do. I think I did not feel any sort of emotional connection to any character except maybe the valet. Um, I didn't feel any sort of highs and lows. Watching it in the theater, more than once both theaters, there were no moments like that.

There were those moments of gasping or applauding or anything like that. Um, so we'll, we'll see where Eternals takes us. Um, but fuck, let's save the, we know where this is all leading up to like this last hour and 25 minutes really has just, jeez, just been leading us all up to God. The Spiderman. No way home.

Um, good Lord. Good Lord. Spider-Man no way home. Um, I talked about it, um, on a couple of nation calls and last week's, uh, WWD, a live show. We talked about a little bit and I don't want to go too far down. I'll try and be as least spoiler-y as possible. But for me, who, if you look in my room, if you, you know, I'm a huge Spider-Man fan, uh, I've been since I was a kid, um, it's a near perfect film.

And I don't say that lightly. And as somebody who has loved Marvel movies and has watched every sort of iteration of Spider-Man on screen from the Daniel Hammond, 1977 to, you know, the 1967, you know, Spider-Man theme song, animated series, this was such an amazing storytelling vehicle for not just Spider-Man, but for Peter Parker, Willem Defoe deserves some type of recognition or credit for his portrayal of green goblin.

And what I loved most about this movie, uh, And I got, I don't want to spoil it is, you know, some people complained for Spider-Man homecoming that we didn't get Peter Parker's origin story. Like we're so used to seeing, we want to see him get bitten by the spider. We want to see uncle Ben that didn't happen because we've seen it twice before.

And we're like, well, we're just going to have to take the origin story for granted. But no, we don't because spider, because I get so excited, Spider-Man no way. Home is the culmination of this three film origin story. It is in this movie that Peter Parker wonderfully and beautifully and emotionally becomes Spider-Man and he becomes Spiderman when he has.

The, the loss that he suffers when he literally, and I just love the subtlety of there's a moment when he literally has the blood on his hands, that he has the guilt that Spider-Man Peter Parker had in the comics for uncle Ben. He needed to go through all of these different emotional states. And then at that very Peter Parker be didn't Peter Parker.

Didn't become Spiderman until that final scene when he jumps out the window. And if you can, I spoil it down. Cause enough time gone on,

[00:30:42] Conor Brown: they've done a good enough job already. So why do you keep counting?

[00:30:47] Beci Mahnken: Please go on mute.

[00:30:48] Lou Mongello: When he, when he makes by hand his own costume and he has this understanding of, and they finally said the line correctly, that with great power.

There must also come. It doesn't just automatically come there must also come. The great responsibility there is this moment that Peter Parker becomes Spider-Man. I loved, loved, loved this movie so much. I laughed. I cried. I screamed, I saw it three times in three days. Only beaten by my son who saw it five times in four days.

Um, is it possibly the, this is a separate conversation, but is it possibly the best if not top two or three Marvel movies? Yeah, I think it is.

[00:31:39] Conor Brown: I think for me, I'm the type of person who, even before COVID the movie theater experience was getting a little older. It was becoming a bit tedious, a bit too much of a chore going there, having to interact with other human beings. Um, other people talking in the theater, having to pay for popcorn that was so expensive.

It was becoming less enjoyable than, than sitting on my couch. Seeing that movie in a theater in spite of man, that's what it needs to become. That is an experience that has to be done together with other people in that thing. And I think three of us are very lucky that we get to see at a synopsis and that's an experience in and of itself as well.

But those sorts of things I think are what bring people back to the movies. I'm with you, Lou. I think the movie theater experience needs to change. Um, in some ways I don't ever see myself going to a comedy or a romcom in a movie theater anymore. I don't think it needs to be done for me personally. But seeing that movie in a movie theater was so important and I don't know if it would have had the same impact if it came out just on Disney plus.


[00:33:05] Beci Mahnken: yeah. For, for me, um, my, my true confession that I've already made to you guys is that no, I haven't seen Luca. I haven't seen the content. I haven't seen the internals, but I was, I know I'll, I'll catch up. I, I promise, I promise I'll catch up, but. On opening day, I was in a theater for Spiderman because I'm I'm with you Connor I'm there, there's some movies that my, my big screen TV at home is just fine.

And I can wait for it to come out on streaming, or I can buy the streaming, whatever I need to do there. But this particular movie, it had to be on a big screen. It had to be with Dolby sound. It had to have all of that impact that you get in the theater. And I, I will agree it's up there in the top three, maybe five I'd have to really think through all of that, but I really enjoy.

The storytelling of this movie and how it was presented and how I, I didn't read anything. I didn't look on IMDV to see who was going to be cast in it. I didn't want to know anything. So I went in with no expectation, except for knowing it's going to be a great story because it's Spider-Man and Tom Holland, which I adore Tom Holland.

And to have the surprises that came out of nowhere for me, I didn't anticipate or expect some of the things that happened. Um, it was, uh, it was a wonderful rollercoaster of emotions and I loved being on that ride every single second.

[00:34:38] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: It's at least top two for me. And from just a pure enjoyment, pure admitted enjoyment and rewatch ability factor.

It's absolutely. Without question, number one, it functioned on like the grand level of a Marvel movie, but also in the intimate level of like the relationships between the characters being so beautiful and so simple. Um, you absolutely got to see Peter. Change from a boy to a man. I mean, he was, he grew up in front of our eyes in this movie.

Um, it's interesting. I was, I was watching like a movie review online and they were talking about how our kids, aren't going to understand what made for TV means anymore, because what made for TV used to mean is very different. And I think it's no longer like a signifier of like the level of the art or like the level of the experience.

But it's more like the quality of the film, like you said, like made for TV. Certainly doesn't mean what it used to, but at the same time, there's no way in heck that I am not watching. Spider-Man no way home in a movie theater. And it was interesting that you mentioned the, the place where we, where we all watched it.

Um, when I was in that theater, it was the, it was like a level of energy that I haven't felt in. I don't know how long maybe end game, but even that wasn't quite as special because we weren't coming back from something so hard. Um, and I was in the movie theater and it wasn't. The very full movie theater.

That was exciting. It was like just the people. I almost call them cast members, but the people, the people working in the movie theater, um, were so excited and like running around and busy and taking it. It's a, it's a theater that serves food and they were all like taking the orders. And like, there was all this, you know, the, the employees that were buzzing, buzzing about excitedly, like before the movie, it was, there was like this level of energy.

And like, we were at the movies, like we were at the movies, we weren't at the movies because we got let out of our houses. We were at the movies cause we wanted to be at the movies. And I think it was like the very first time that I've really fully felt like that since everything should.

[00:36:37] Lou Mongello: Yeah, although I'm sure that, you know, ahead of time, like you don't order your food during the movie.

Like that stuff. That is, that is forbidden. You do you make,

[00:36:48] Conor Brown: sometimes you get all little thirsty,

[00:36:51] Lou Mongello: sit

[00:36:52] Beci Mahnken: down

[00:36:53] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: before

full glass of beverage.

[00:37:00] Lou Mongello: We need to get there 45 minutes early order all the food in advance. Cause I don't want anybody walking in front of me though. I'm not going to have any of this going on. I said, don't worry. We've Nicolas always a diva because it's important. Right? Do you want to, you don't want anything to spoil that?

You know, again, that, and we keep using this word, the movie going experience, which I understand for Becky Becky's movie going experience is usually watching from a first class seat on an airplane. So you're losing a little bit of something when you watch your movies there, Becky, but. Luka on the seven inch screen is not going to be as impactful as watching it on a big screen, but that's all right.

And she's on mute.

[00:37:44] Beci Mahnken: You know, sometimes

[00:37:48] Lou Mongello: I was so angry. She was on,

[00:37:50] Beci Mahnken: I was like yelling at you and I'm on mute. So I won't yell at you this time, but yeah. Okay, fine. I will watch it on Disney plus at least for you because a plane, here's the problem with, with shows like in contour, when Luca, is it somewhere in there I'm going to cry my eyes out.

I'm going to ugly cry for at least 20 or 30 minutes of the movie. And I don't want to do that on plane because then you get people next to you or looking at you and they think you're crazy. So I try not to do that. So I'll watch that in Disney.

[00:38:20] Lou Mongello: I'm going to say this to you. I'll use a little Catholic Italian guilt if I'm doing this right.

Watching these movies for the first time. On an airplane screen is disrespectful to those that put so much effort into it.

[00:38:37] Beci Mahnken: Yes, I will watch it on Disney plus on my 70 inch TV screen. Is that okay now you

[00:38:41] Lou Mongello: just show it off.

[00:38:47] Beci Mahnken: All right, move on now. That'd be great.

[00:38:49] Lou Mongello: Uh, anything else from a theatrical perspective?

All right. So I know we said 10, possibly 12 godly knows where we are on this list. Is there anything else for you that you think bears mentioning for an important moment from Disney in 2021, Liza, you are waving your hands wildly about the screen.

[00:39:15] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: I mean, there, there are a few others that I'm sure we're going to get to, but we can't not talk about the return of run Disney.

Which we're recording this, of course, the weekend before marathon weekend, but we had our first in-person run Disney event in November, which was wine and dine, and like talk about like coming full circle in this conversation. Cause we started with talking about like different ways to experience the parks and like how it's not just all about the attractions and they're on Disney events are such an important part of their community, all their own, um, that has been separated for so, so long.

Um, and being back together again for wine and dine was so special and so amazing. Um, and I know we're also excited for marathon weekend. Um, next

[00:39:57] Lou Mongello: weekend it was also on my list. Um, obviously not because I'm a runner or because we have a running team or because you know, or the experience, the fun experience we have of going out and cheering all the runners, but it is, it it's a signal.

An important milestone in terms of the returning to quote unquote normalcy and for a lot of people that is and continues to be their entry point into the Disney experience. And it's important for so many people, not because of the miles, not because of the metals, but, but all those other things that the run Disney races represent.

And honestly, Lisa, it was very, very high on my list of, of things that I wanted to, to include. So I'm happy. You mentioned it. That being said, Becky and I are going to be so unhappy getting up two o'clock in the morning to cheer. Couple of days, I'm looking so

[00:40:54] Beci Mahnken: forward to it. I'm not looking forward to Miley missed

[00:40:57] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: it.

I'll be worth at once or a awake and

[00:41:00] Conor Brown: I up in my leg when you got in your pocket,

[00:41:03] Beci Mahnken: missed it so much last year. And it, uh, I'm, I'm actually looking forward to the 2:00 AM alarm. Now ask me the day after that and I might somewhat change the story, but, um, I'm really looking forward to seeing everybody out on the course.


[00:41:16] Lou Mongello: I'm going to live stream me, picking up Becky at two o'clock in the morning. So you get the full on adulterated edited uncensored. Don't

[00:41:26] Beci Mahnken: talk to me, do not talk to me until I have my coffee and my egg McMuffin. And then we're good. After the egg McMuffin, everything is fine. But before the egg McMuffin, you're taking your chances.


[00:41:38] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: Well know that those first 25 miles are much different knowing that you guys are waiting. So it's worth it when that alarm goes off. So thank you,

[00:41:46] Lou Mongello: Becky caught or anything else? Yes.

[00:41:48] Beci Mahnken: You're missing something. That's was extraordinarily

[00:41:52] Lou Mongello: important. I have more things on my list. I'm giving you the courtesy of going next to yell.


[00:41:58] Beci Mahnken: It's been so long Wheaton. There's a lot of catch-up for that. You and I need to do I'm. So looking forward to the next two weeks, two whole weeks, um, the return to cruising. Yeah. Disney cruise line, getting back in the water again and taking guests on board and being able to return to the cruise experience.

Um, that was one of the things I had been on. Several of the cruise lines, because I wanted to experience the protocols. I wanted to be able to talk about, uh, the safety and, and quite honestly, this is a great week to talk about this because, um, the cruise experience is actually extremely safe. If you pick the right lines with the right protocols and of course Disney does it wonderfully.

Um, it was one of the best experiences that we had you and I went on our first cruise since the, um, since the pandemic hit it. So wonderful to return to the port and to be able to get on the ship and to see the cast members again, and to have a cruise experience and still be able to, um, to be socially distanced and to, uh, to do it safely.

And I really did it warmed my heart very much to be able to get back to cruising, because I know that that was something that was missed by so many. And when you walk on board, the cast members, I think that they were happier that we were there. Then, then we were there, you know, they were so warm and, uh, I saw several of them cry when they saw people on board and it was, it was just very moving and very touching.

And I'm glad that, that the cruise industry has been able to figure out how to deliver the experience, but still keep it safe. And while you have the CDC that has its own opinions, it's the only industry that CDC is actually coming down on out of all the travel experiences that are out there. And quite frankly, even before this, I felt safer and do still feel safer on a cruise than I do at a shopping mall or on a sleep sometimes at a theme park or in any of these public locations.

Because I know when I get on board, everyone's been tested. Most people in most cases are vaccinated because there's still the children who are not able to be vaccinated. But if you are 12 and up, and in some cases like Disney starting in January five and up, uh, you have to be vaccinated to get on board.

So I know that everyone has been vaccinated. Everyone has been tested and you're in a controlled environment with protocols and everyone was wearing masks. So it is, um, it's very, I don't know. I'm, I'm just so excited to be able to return to that experience. And again, when we walked on board for the very first time, it really did finally feel like we were crawling our way out of this tunnel that we've been in the past two years.


[00:45:09] Lou Mongello: gosh. If you go back to show 6 49 week recap and review our crews on the Disney dream, When it opened, uh, post COVID, including what's new and what's different and what to expect and everything you need to know ahead of time. Again, that show 6 49. Um, and I, by the way, I agree with everything you said and cannot wait to get back on board in two weeks, just a few weeks and Connor, anything else for you?

[00:45:38] Conor Brown: I think it's important to acknowledge an individual who spent 47 years with the company, um, whose last day was just a few days ago, a man named Bob Iger, I think, um, regardless of, of wherever the company is going. If we look at the company today, Right. It would be very, very, very, very different if Mr. Iger wasn't at the helm and, and all of his contributions that he made to ABC and Disney over his 47 year career.

I mean, half of Hollywood studios wouldn't be there. If Bob Iger didn't make sense, you know, and I think, um, from not just a parks perspective or a, uh, uh, a mergers and acquisitions perspective, cause he did quite a lot of that and, and led the charge on all that. Um, from a, I guess you could say a corporate mindset, um, him leading the charge on technology and, and saying that it's so crucial got us things like.

My Disney experience and more importantly, probably Disney plus, um, very important during the pandemic, obviously. Um, but I think he laid the foundation for so much, uh, and, and made certain things, such a priority that the company is where it is today. Um, very, very strong because of that. And I think we have so many unique experiences in the parks and on the screens, um, because of, of what he was able to do.


[00:47:21] Lou Mongello: Dr. Brown of all the intelligent things that you said tonight, this, I think stands out. I, because I had at the, at the very top of my list, two words and it was Bob Iger. Um, I agree with you a thousand percent. My love of Bob goes wide and long and deep, and he will get the, the recognition and the time that he is due on a full episode, uh, about him and just what.

To this company, because a lot of what we talked about tonight would not have been part of the conversation, had it not, and I'd understand it to Bob and those around him, but if not for Bob Iger, um, and his legacy, um, as it, as we start to sort of being able to look at it from hindsight, from the after mentioned mergers and acquisitions and growth, um, the fan experience that, that he helped, um, sort of put to, um, a place of importance, um, you know, during his time with the company and community aspect of it as well.

Um, I don't want to go down this road too deep, but I agree with you a hundred thousand percent. And I think, and I have, I'm going to say it again. I think what he did around the time of the pandemic, when Bob Shay pet took over by not saying, Hey, here's the keys, man, good luck. I'm piecing out the fact that he was like, you know what, I'm going to stay here.

I will be in the background. I will be behind you. And I will not leave you alone to what at the time could have very much appear like a sinking ship. I think speaks volumes about not just the businessman, but the man himself.

[00:49:06] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: Yeah. There's absolutely no. Understating has impact on the current state of the company in all of the best possible ways. Um, hopefully everybody has read his book and it was amazing to get all the behind the scenes, but high up in all of our

[00:49:21] Lou Mongello: lists. Okay. So is there anything else that we missed? This is the catch all very quick lightning.

Additions to things that maybe did not make it onto the list, but. Bear mentioning.

[00:49:37] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: I mean, in that vein too, I think it bears mentioning, even if we probably won't know the repercussions for many years, that the parks experiences and consumer products division has been moved to to Florida. Um, and, um, I think it's going to be interesting to see kind of what shakes out from the hut, kind of what, what happens with the energy of the company with things kind of shifting in this direction?

What's happens with the property, um, out in California, um, a lot of unknowns, um, but a whole lot of positions were relocated and I think that probably bears mentioning.

[00:50:09] Lou Mongello: So it was on my list. Um, the fact that Walt Disney Imagineering is moving to lake Nona, which is just about 40 minutes or so north of Walt Disney world and the relocation of 2000 jobs.

This conversation has obviously two sides to the coin. And one of which very much involves people, some of which I'm sure we, and I know, I know personally because this. Decision and the decision that was, that was oftentimes put in front of these Imagineers and their families is very challenging and very, very difficult.

Um, and in some cases was not practical and forced them to, um, you know, fortunately or unfortunately have to move on to a next in different chapter in their lives. I agree that when it does come here, um, that it's not only going to add jobs and provide new opportunities for here in central Florida. But what I have to imagine is going to be an amazing state of the art, technical campus and facility, if you've ever been to Imagineering, uh, whether it's through an adventure by Disney, um, You know what Imagineering moved to, where it is currently on flower street, back in the sixties, it was an old studio girls cosmetic facility, and they eventually took over literally like a bowling alley next door.

The facilities in which Imagineering is in the building, they are in is not a very modern high tech, you know, apple, Google campus, as you would expect it to be. The facility has history and there's, there's Walt in those walls. And so many of the legends of Imagineering, but the facility itself. Is old. I mean, it's an old, it's a building from the fifties, maybe even, um, the, the forties, the cosmetic facility that that was the, and they are still going to have, they're going to keep that, that location and still keep jobs out there.

But I think what the longterm future also might mean for how this might impact us as guests, us as, um, potential attendees to experiences might also be very different to look. I want to also mention like events came back destination D 23 came back here and Walt Disney world, as we look to things like D 23 expo in 2022 in, in just a few months, uh, now with Imagineering moving a lot of their facilities out here, you wonder how that.

Potentially impact, not just the Imagineers and their families, but what, but what other opportunities may come out here for guests? I can see

[00:53:00] Beci Mahnken: the two sides of the coin on this one though, because honestly my heart breaks for the cast members who have invested so much of their lives and their time, uh, to be an Imagineering or to, to pursue those, those positions and those careers, and some, some of their family, um, experiences.

Aren't going to allow them to move in this for them. It's a tough choice. And. You know, to, to be a cast member at Disney means more than just having a job there. So many people are there and take those positions because they love the company. They love the legacy, they love everything. It means to be a part of, of the Disney legacy.

And so, you know, I see the opportunity. I know that there's great benefits to moving it, but I can't stop. But think about the people who are unable to pursue those opportunities for one reason or another, and to not have. All of that going on under the same roof that had all of that legacy and all that history, that could be a positive in the negative, because like you said, the facilities are older, so this does offer a great opportunity, but I, I have a mixed, very mixed feelings about

[00:54:17] Lou Mongello: it.

No, it's, it's why I led with the most important part, which is the people, um, those that, you know, we don't know when some of that we do, and I know ones individually that, that had to make that very difficult choice and say, I can't move my family and I have to leave this thing that I love and is so important to me, you know?

And there's a, there's a part of me that in the back of my mind, hopes that as time goes on and things evolve, maybe those opportunities open up again where they are in California. Um, you know, I certainly don't have any knowledge of, of what the long and short term plans are, but. And I'm hoping that those who choose and are able to, and want to go back to this place and this family and the career that they love so much are able to do.

So because we know how much it means to them. Yeah. So, uh, anything else? Any other last thoughts? Additions, important moments from 2021.

[00:55:18] Conor Brown: All right. Pay Disney, legend, Betty White, God rest her soul.

[00:55:23] Lou Mongello: Poor Betty White.

[00:55:25] Beci Mahnken: I ain't know that

[00:55:27] Lou Mongello: possible. Can I tell you something better? Hold the most Betty White move in the world because she's like, oh, all of you magazines that are putting out magazine about penny White's hundredth birthday.

I'm going to show you boom. And then she's out like days before. Um, I literally think that's Betty White, having the most wonderful last laugh.

[00:55:51] Beci Mahnken: Point taken. Yeah, you're

[00:55:52] Lou Mongello: probably right. All right. So quick lightning round and Becky lightening re loud means fast. First thing in your mind, what's the one word to describe Disney in 2021

[00:56:05] Beci Mahnken: rollercoaster

[00:56:07] Conor Brown: and 2021. Oh, sorry. I thought you thought you meant like the actual rollercoaster. I'm like there's one coming in 20, 22.

[00:56:15] Beci Mahnken: I had to amend my name or

[00:56:16] Lou Mongello: my, my word in 2021, but,

[00:56:20] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: um, I'll say change. And I think that this is a great example of how we framed this whole conversation, because you can think about what you've lost or you can think about what's new in there to turn, you know, you can think about losing the wave or you can think about getting steakhouse 71, you can think about losing FastPasses or you can talk about getting Jeannie and Jeannie plus.

And so, you know, it's all in how you frame it and how you choose to think about it. Um, and so I'm not going to think about the things I'll. I will honor the things that I lost, but I will focus on the changes that we got.

[00:56:48] Lou Mongello: Dare I say, choosing Connor brown,

[00:56:51] Conor Brown: one word it's two words. And I already talked about it, but October 1st.

Okay. I don't know. It just sticks out to me

[00:56:59] Lou Mongello: the most. Um, my, my word is optimism. My for 2021 hours, optimism, Becky, what is the best of the best of the best from Disney in 2021? One thing.

[00:57:15] Beci Mahnken: In 20, I thought you were going into 20, 22 for me now, because I need to look ahead. Um, instead of looking back, because the best of the best of the best for 2021, I got to go. The first thing I mentioned was adventurous campus because it was something new, something original, something looking forward, something that was part story, something that was immersive.

Everything that we know and love Disney for is in that land in one place. And I really do think that the opening of that land gave me the hope that I was looking for for 2021, after, you know, going through what we did for 2020.

[00:57:58] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: Philoso coaster, not just,

[00:58:02] Beci Mahnken: Hey, that was a pretty good coaster though. You've got

[00:58:07] Lou Mongello: technical issues

[00:58:08] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: that, that, that I'm getting that know that the best of the best of the best of Disney in 2021 was its community. Because anything else that went wrong, the community fixed it,

[00:58:19] Beci Mahnken: even, even when it lit itself on fire

[00:58:24] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: too soon, if

it's truly like, you know, nothing mattered on October 1st, but being together with our people, seeing the Casta festival, the lion king come together and feeling their joy being with EA how Bob, like just the, the Disney community in 2021, I think showed us all that really? Nothing else matters.

[00:58:45] Lou Mongello: Tyler Brown.

[00:58:49] Conor Brown: I don't, I mean, It's something, it sounds so little and insignificant, but the speaking of magic on spaceship earth, I don't know what it is, but I feel like of everything this year, that's the thing that I keep looking at and I can continue to look at it and feel the most visceral reaction to it. And it's just lights, you know, but I think what it symbolizes and what that attraction has always symbolized and how they added to it and made it, you know, a focal point of that park at nighttime, I think is just so, so freaking awesome.

[00:59:35] Beci Mahnken: I find interesting about that though. I want to just interject, is that the only one out of the four that anybody talks about is,

[00:59:41] Conor Brown: so I have a thing to say about that as well, and this is another, and I can't believe I'm saying it again where we have to remove ourselves as Disney fans because. I think all the beacons of magic are very.

But to a certain extent, we've seen the Cinderella castle projection before we've seen the projection on tower tear. We've seen tree of life, awakens, their projection, sort of. So, so someone who comes in, who's never seen any of that is going to be blown away by all four of them. For us. We'd never seen anything on spaceship, earth like that.

And the impact and importance of spaceship earth is so important to all of us. So I think that's why people continue to put it at the top of their list. And it's not that they don't. Talk about the other ones. I think it's just, this is just so much more significant in a lot of ways, it was

[01:00:31] Beci Mahnken: very

[01:00:32] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: brand new toy for them to play with.

I mean, many, many, many years to come, whether it's turning it into, you know, something for the holidays or something for an, an IP, you know, there's so many things that can be done with those lights. And, you know, like Connor said, the projections are, they're lovely, but they're just different pictures on the same things that we've seen laser projections on many, many times before.

[01:00:57] Lou Mongello: It's the answer to my next lightning round question, but my answer to this one and I tried to keep it one word again. Um, it was people and it was everything that we talked about from cast members to imagine yours, to entertainers, to Tom Holland and Peter Parker and Norman Osborn and all the other people that made this year, what it was, uh, my answer, which is beacon of magic is what is the best new addition specifically to the parks,

[01:01:32] Conor Brown: Rebecca individual lightning lane, Allah cart, one time only purchase access for now. I don't know.

[01:01:39] Lou Mongello: Oh, I thought,

[01:01:42] Beci Mahnken: well, that's not a bad answer actually for again, the people who are not living in the backyard of it and to only get to visit every few years, that's one of the bad answer,

[01:01:52] Lou Mongello: the funky chicken at Everglades. Also a good answer. Haven't had

[01:01:55] Beci Mahnken: it yet. If somebody hasn't taken me, you said that you would take me to have that forever

[01:01:59] Lou Mongello: ago.

And you know, I told you there's no concierge lounge at Everglades. So you're going to have to just resolve this sort of impasse.

[01:02:07] Conor Brown: So I'll actually say this, which was another October, first thing for on-site resort, hotel guests, 30 minutes early, every single day to every park at the beginning, people are like, well, that's not very special, but when you think about it and you see.

You know, strategizing around it and planning around it. You get a jump on everyone every single day to get to that one big attraction. And I think that that's, that's really huge. It's a really big perk that kind of gets us to the genie stuff. Exactly. Same thing. Yeah.

[01:02:45] Beci Mahnken: Yeah. We'd like to see 60 though.

[01:02:49] Conor Brown: 60 minutes.

Oh, it was delightful last two weeks when they update. Yeah. Oh yeah,

[01:02:55] Beci Mahnken: absolutely.

[01:02:59] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: I mean, I'd love to say something brand new and be unique, but of the truly, truly new things to the parks and spaceship earth, a thousand percent with the pylons in front and everything. It's like, it's everything that they didn't do a hundred percent in my own humble opinion, perfectly elsewhere, spaceship earth.

It's like it's fully honoring what was there, the pylons that went up, our, our historic, um, you know, the flags that went up with all the old symbols and the monorail going by lit up now. I mean

[01:03:29] Beci Mahnken: up, yeah, I forgot

[01:03:30] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: about that. That's really cool. Mana lifts with the pictures. They, they put them elsewhere and full color, so they were there and they look even better than they did before.

Um, so yeah, I mean, I feel like spaceship earth was like, whoever was in charge of that one, kind of got it just

[01:03:45] Beci Mahnken: right. Best idea ever to move those, those monoliths.

[01:03:50] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: Absolutely. Everything was done. Right. Everything was.

[01:03:55] Lou Mongello: What is your, this is your second to last one. What is your best? Keep the story short.

What is your best personal Disney memory from 2021?

[01:04:12] Beci Mahnken: Wow. For me, it was returning to the parks. It was, I'm just walking back in the gates again, because it had opened up way before for you guys. And I wasn't able to get there until 20, 21 and the same for Disneyland, just not realizing how impactful, um, being in a theme park is, you know, um, having. Been locked in my house in dealing with, uh, the impact of COVID on my family and on my business and on me.

And, um, you know, frankly from last year that I shared, I had about a breast cancer and I wasn't sure if I was gonna make it, it at some points in my brain. So to ever to walk back into a place that I love with the people that I love, um, that that's, that's it, that's the, that's the whole thing for me.

[01:05:15] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: Um, for me, it was watching the very last, um, happily ever after with my kids. Um, when we found out that the last showing was going to be the 29th, we got our passes, they actually had dentists appointments for afterschool that day, which I canceled. Um, we went to the store, we got food. We left immediately after school, we set up camp right on the hub and the perfect spot.

I set up my camera, the kids sat on the ground and ate their food. Um, and when the time came, we just stood together and we watched the show and, um, it's my, my older son really, really connected with it, with that, with that particular show. And he cried, um, just stood there and hugged him afterwards. And, um, you know, we had a lot of hope for what was, what was coming next at that point.

Um, but yeah, I mean, just, just sort of closing that chapter. With my kids and kind of thinking about what happened ever after meant to us as a family and kind of thinking about what the next show is going to mean to us as locals. Um, definitely, definitely are our top moment for the year.

[01:06:21] Conor Brown: Yeah. I had a lot of cool moments this year, too.

A lot of cool changes as well, for me personally, as it revolves around the parks as well. But I think the one thing, one story in particular took place one day before Lisa's, which was the second to last day of happily ever after. And I'm standing there and I'm watching it and it, and it's great. And I loved it.

Um, and then it ends and I turn and I notice there's a cast member there and she was selling balloons before the, the show show ends and I turn and I see her and she's just sobbing. Crying profusely, you know, and we make eye contact and she just kind of throws her hands in the air. Like, what are you going to do?

And I was just, like I said, at something like, oh, it's too good. It was too good. You know, and for me, that resonated with me so much because, um, I remember when I was a cast member on my college program, we all got together when our program was done in our, on our last night, we saw wishes and we're all standing there as fellow cast members, um, you know, getting very, very emotional, um, and to see that that cast member was, was so emotional about that show.

Um, and knowing that she wasn't emotional because of the show itself, but because of everything that happened to her and her memory she had during the time that that show exists. And I just felt very connected to this total stranger in that moment. Um, and even now I kind of get chills and goosebumps, um, about it, but I think everyone who listens to this show understands that these aren't just theme parks.

These aren't just shows these aren't just attractions for us. It's something intangible that we can't quite put our finger on, but we know it when we see it. And it's, it's so important to all of us. Um, and when things come and go just like that, we have those emotional connections and, and I think it's pretty cool that we can just share it even with strangers out there.

[01:08:38] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: I'm so glad you mentioned that because when I was just telling the story about the last happily ever after, I was focusing more on my kids, because that was what was on my mind in the moment, but it's so true. Like what I was talking about community before, like that was such a big part of that last, those last two shows that last show too.

Um, just the, the, the, the hub just shoulder to shoulder full of people, belting out the words of happily ever after in unison, weeping. Like it was just the most beautiful show of love for this thing that we all were saying goodbye to together. Um, thank you for, for reminding me

[01:09:15] Beci Mahnken: of that. And as you, as both of you were talking about, that reminds me of the night.

On September 30th when they did the dedication for October 1st, and it was a lot cast members, this a ton of cast members were in there and watching the fireworks for the very first time in so long and watching them embrace and cry. And, um, I, I witnessed a lot of really special moments, very intimate moments between people who were, um, mourning, what they've been through, but yet celebrating that it was moving forward that, uh, fireworks were back and the parks are coming back and people are coming back.

Their jobs are coming back. Um, that that was really impactful.

[01:10:05] Lou Mongello: I only share a very, very brief story and it's probably going to come as no surprise. And it was a little bit, there was like two aspects of it because especially those of us who are locals or who are, are fortunate and blessed to come often, we, we have this sometimes inability to experience new things for the first time because we're here.

So like our theme park going experience while it's always fun and enjoyable. And there's, there's always sort of magic in it for me when we get to experience something new for the very first time that, that we've fallen in love with even to a lot of your points. Um, it's how I felt when I walked into a vendor's campus.

Um, and even more so, so Becky and I went for a couple of days to, to, to cover it and share it and sort of do work as it were. And then all my family was able to get there in a couple of days later. And I was able to.

[01:11:15] Beci Mahnken: Let's say

[01:11:16] Lou Mongello: when I was able to watch their faces, when I was able to watch my kids' faces, as they walked in and saw the land and heard the music and the Easter eggs and Spiderman and the characters. I hadn't been able to have that experience since when they were really young in Walt Disney world and as new attractions and stuff open.

And there was this incredible transformative, and I knew there's children, but they're not children like this child, like wonderment and awe in their eyes. And I'm like, this is it. Like, this is what it's all about. Like watching their reactions. It was almost as good as when I met Spiderman. No, it was better than when I met Spiderman for the first time, but they're, they're very, very close.

Um, but to be able to have that moment and watching their faces and my kids not wanting to leave, like they just wanted to stay and just want to be part of it that day, that moment in a vendor's campus. Um, I'll remember for a long, long time.

[01:12:26] Beci Mahnken: That was very cool. And you're right. That's one thing that we don't get to do a lot anymore is having that, that first experience of something.

And it that's, that's amazing,

[01:12:39] Lou Mongello: which will lead me into the final question because there's a very, there could be a very quick and easy answer to this. What are you looking forward to most from Disney in 2022 rapid fire.

[01:12:53] Beci Mahnken: Yeah. First, you can make me go first again. Okay. Well I got three, four,

[01:12:58] Lou Mongello: no, no, I don't get one.

I get more than one. No, you don't because they're all at the same

[01:13:03] Beci Mahnken: level. So just one work with me, go with me. No Disney wish star cruiser, and I'm hoping to see more sea there's a lot of teases going on that there's going to be some more sea magical things happening and I'm looking forward to that. I'll throw in the new magic band for the fun of it.

And, um, yeah, because I want to see the new magic bed. I dunno why it looks intriguing. It looks fun. Um, but of course also the, the movies coming back between Dr. Strange and. Of course Thor door's coming back. That's going to make me very happy. Uh, and then, um, black Panther too.

[01:13:51] Conor Brown: I know I was done with mine.

[01:13:57] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: Pretty sure there's going to be another show about that. Um, so strive, forgetting things I'll remember later, but we recently found out that we were getting two things back that I'm very excited about for pure nostalgic purposes and it's festival fantasy and fantastic. Um, God forgive me for every time I walked out of Hollywood studios and with no interest in fantastic.

Um, because I will be there on opening day with tears streaming down my face to hear that music again. Um, and festival fantasy even more so like for me, that was sort of when we used to come here on vacation and first walked into magic kingdom on that first day and saw a festival of fantasy. That was my, like I'm, I'm at Disney world moment.

Like it's just, it's so colorful and beautiful and the music is incredible and I just love everything about it. And I'm so happy that we're getting some parade back in some form. I love the cavalcades and I think they're great for all their own reasons, but there's just something about it, Disney parade, and I'm happy we're getting it back.

[01:14:58] Conor Brown: Mine's, you know, Epcot related. Um, there's a lot coming, but I think I'm more excited, not so much about. What's going to be opening, but what's going to become becoming down, which I want more of the walls to be coming down because it is a nightmare in that park right now. And I think a lot of people would agree with me in that.

And of course, when those walls come down, we will get cool things like guardians of the galaxy cosmic rewind. We're going to get the Mulana thing. We're going to get the dreamers point. I think that's what they're calling it. The Walt statue, um, all of those things are going to be very, very, very cool, but I think it's more Epcot just kind of, um, Epcot getting her groove back.

If you

[01:15:49] Lou Mongello: will,

by the way, I want you to take note of one thing. There was, if memory serves, there was like zero discussion of food in this. Which may be a first for WW radio. So in 2022, I'm looking for more conversations about food. We need to sort of get

[01:16:12] Conor Brown: baby festival the arts. Oh yeah. Coming back,

[01:16:17] Lou Mongello: I believe the second choice to edit.

Um, I am, so I, I say this every year because it's true. I always say that I'm looking forward to the things that we don't know about. And I think I really do think there's going to be a loud this year for a variety of reasons that being said, I am looking forward very, very much so to the Disney wish I love the cruise experience.

I'm looking forward to seeing where a Disney cruise line and Imagineering are going to take this experience, including the Marvel themed restaurant. Um, and I'm also in addition to looking forward to the things that I, and we don't know about yet, I'm also looking forward to sharing the thing. That you don't know about yet.

[01:17:00] Beci Mahnken: So scary to me that completely terrifies me on

[01:17:04] Lou Mongello: the whiteboard and I quietly chuckle about the things that I have not shared publicly or that I haven't shared with Becky as yet. There's a lot that I have, I have planned and I have been quietly working on in the background for 2022. Um, that coming full circle.

I really look forward to sharing with and experiencing with and giving to and, and, uh, doing for and with the community. Because without that, and without you, you, our friend, who's been sitting around this table, um, sharing this experience with. Would not happen. Um, you have been the best part of 2021 and this entire in just a few weeks, celebrating the 17 year journey, that is a WDW radio.

So that is what I am most grateful for and thankful for. And looking forward to in this coming year, as I am always thankful for each and every one of you, Becky Macon from mouse fan travel, Lisa DiNardo, Glasser from the castle run and core memory candles and Connor brown from WW opinion, all of whose links I will put in this week's show notes.

Thank you very much for joining me tonight, as well as all the adventures we had last year and in the years to come,

[01:18:26] Beci Mahnken: I thought of one more looking for looking forward to expo. We get to go and enjoy all of that. And you were saying about things looking at. Yeah, we get to see everybody. We get to be part of the community again.

And we get to hear what we get to talk about next time, what we're looking forward to, because I'll make all those great announcements and we'll get excited, right.

[01:18:49] Conor Brown: Concerts or coming back to the festivals too. So hopefully Baha men make their triumphant

[01:18:54] Lou Mongello: return. How does her famous song go?

[01:18:58] Conor Brown: Who let the

[01:18:58] Lou Mongello: dogs out?

Who, who

sing? I'm looking forward to Connor singing on the show with 20

[01:19:09] Conor Brown: well, you know, anything's possible.

[01:19:12] Lou Mongello: Thank you guys again. Thank you. Thank

[01:19:15] Beci Mahnken: you.

[01:19:17] Lou Mongello: You can eat another one. Walt Disney world restaurant, right this very minute. Where would we go?

[01:19:22] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: Stakeout 71.

[01:19:26] Conor Brown: Um, um,

[01:19:30] Beci Mahnken: the corn dog cart. I want a corn dog and a chimi.

Changa a chimi chunk and a corn dog. Which one would you do first

[01:19:36] Lou Mongello: Disneyland to be chaga all the way.

[01:19:38] Beci Mahnken: Yeah, exactly.

[01:19:41] Conor Brown: I could, uh, destroy a couple of cat tails, Cheshire cat tails. Right.

[01:19:48] Lou Mongello: I could do something sweet bread service. All my lonesome. I'll

[01:19:53] Beci Mahnken: take a gram and the slushie. Oh yeah. I haven't had a grand mini slushie in a while.

[01:20:01] Lisa DiNoto Glassner: I had a better chance if I said Steakhouse 71.

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