Episode 56: Trip Planning Challenge II

Welcome to the MouseQuest Podcast- Your guide in the quest for the perfect Disney vacation. This is episode number 56. This week on the show we will have another trip planning challenge for our Disney experts. Each person will have to plan a Disney vacation in $3000 or less for their family and tell us how they did it. Just as a quick reminder, these trips have to include food, tickets, accommodations, and any other expenses that might be incurred while traveling. All for $3000 or less.

Appearing this week are Amy Bechtol, Dawn Gosdin, Rich Grady, Heather McGilvray, and Marci Smith.

To submit a question for the show, please go to the MouseQuest Podcast website, or send an email to question@mqpodcast.com.

Episode 55: Interview with Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor for Disney

Welcome to the MouseQuest Podcast- Your guide in the quest for the perfect Disney vacation. This is episode number 55. We are incredibly excited about the show this week because we have the wonderful opportunity to speak with someone who knows all about the Disney Parks Moms Panel and how much effort goes in choosing the incredibly talented panelists each year- Disney’s Social Media Managing Editor & Celebrity PR Manager, Mr. Gary Buchanan. We look forward to hearing all about this process and learn more about it from a new perspective.

A few months ago we recorded a podcast that outlined the Moms Panel process as we’ve personally experienced it for the past number of years. However, this year Gary stepped up as the fearless leader of these pixie-dusted moms and dads, and with that we saw some exciting changes to the process as well as some twists along the way. Questions for Gary include:

  • Can you tell us a little bit about your history with Disney and how your role relates to the Moms Panel?
  • Why was the Moms Panel started and do you feel that it has met its original goals?
  • Do you see the Moms Panel continuing in the foreseeable future?
  • Can you tell us about the changes that were made to the application process this past year?
  • What are the minimum qualifications that a Disney fan has to have in order to apply to be on the Moms Panel?
  • How does having (or not having) a social media presence affect an applicant’s chances of making it onto the panel?
  • What top 5 tips can you give guests about the application process? Do any of those change for a veteran applicant vs a first time applicant?
  • Many guests apply year after year to be on the Disney Parks Moms Panel without being exactly sure of what will be expected of them if they are invited to join the panel. Can you tell us what the job of a Disney Moms Panelist entails?

Appearing this week are Amy Bechtol, Gary Buchanan, Dawn Gosdin, and Marci Smith.

To submit a question for the show, please go to the MouseQuest Podcast website, or send an email to question@mqpodcast.com.

Episode 54: Our Favorite WDW Snacks

Welcome to the MouseQuest Podcast- Your guide in the quest for the perfect Disney vacation. This is episode number 54. On this episode of the podcast we will be talking about the very BEST and WORST snacks you can find all around Walt Disney World. I know that for my family, snacking and vacationing go hand in hand, especially at the most Magical Place on Earth. We look forward to sharing our favorites with you as well as some great advice on some snacks you may want to avoid. Questions this week include:

  • Let’s start at my favorite park, the Magic Kingdom. If you had to pick your top 3 snacks in MK, what would they be? What would you say are your top 3 snacks to avoid there?
  • This is going to be a tough one because Epcot offers SO many different types of foods from around the world it can be difficult to narrow it down. BUT if you had to choose your top 3 snacks to get in Epcot, what would you pick? What 3 snacks would you avoid?
  • Hollywood Studios is another area that really has some unique offerings for snacking. What are your top 3 in that park? How about your bottom 3?
  • I love Animal Kingdom and many times they offer some unique animal themed cupcakes and other goodies as well. What are your top 3 snack choices in Animal Kingdom? What are the 3 snacks you would avoid?
  • What is your #1 all time favorite snack at WDW? What is the #1 snack in all of WDW to avoid?
  • Just to quickly touch on food offerings outside the parks, what is your #1 favorite and #1 least favorite snack that is NOT in a theme park?

Appearing this week are Amy Bechtol, James Cameron, Dawn Gosdin, Rich Grady, and Marci Smith.

To submit a question for the show, please go to the MouseQuest Podcast website, or send an email to question@mqpodcast.com.

Episode 53: DCL Spotlight – Disney Fantasy

Welcome to the MouseQuest Podcast- Your guide in the quest for the perfect Disney vacation. This is episode number 53. This week on the show we will be doing our first episode in the Disney Cruise Line Spotlight series. These shows will allow us to focus on one ship at a time in the amazing fleet that DCL has to offer. Once we are finished with each of the four ships we will then expand the series with what an actual Disney cruise is like, good times to sail and the different destinations around the world. For our very first cruise line spotlight we will be discussing the newest ship to sail the high seas with Mickey- The Disney Fantasy.

For a little background information on the Fantasy, the Disney Cruise Line website points out that the design of this ship inspired by Art-Nouveau and reflects the glamour and elegance of the grand ocean liners of the 1920’s and 30’s. This is especially noticeable in the beautiful 3-deck atrium lobby, which showcases a sweeping staircase, magnificent stained glass and crystal chandelier, a grand piano and even a bronze statue of Mademoiselle Minnie Mouse with her steamer trunk and vintage fashion. The 130,000-ton vessel boasts a total of 14 decks with over 1200 staterooms that can accommodate 4,000 guests. That is in addition to the crew of 1,450 cast members on-board as well. So, this is already an impressive ship without even getting into too many details. Questions this week include:

  • For a person who hasn’t cruised before all of the different categories can be confusing. Can you tell us what the different types of staterooms there are?
  • As parents, we know that Disney is a great place for kids. The cruise line really goes above and beyond in offering fun things for kids of all ages to do in their ships. What does the Fantasy offer for kids of different ages?
  • I personally know of some people who have not wanted to sail on a Disney cruise because they think it’s only for kids or families and that there really isn’t anything for adults to do on their own. I can say from personal experience that there are plenty of adults-only areas and activities and they are amazing. Can you tell us what the Fantasy has to offer adults?
  • One of the best things about a Disney Cruise is the food. What is the dining like on the Disney Fantasy?
  • What did you like best about sailing on the Fantasy?

Appearing this week are Amy Bechtol, Dawn Gosdin, Rich Grady, Marci Smith, and Liz Weimann.

To submit a question for the show, please go to the MouseQuest Podcast website, or send an email to question@mqpodcast.com.

Episode 52: Disney’s Grand Californian Resort

Welcome to the MouseQuest Podcast- Your guide in the quest for the perfect Disney vacation. This is episode number 52. On this episode we will be diving into the first of our Disneyland Resort Series. The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is the newest onsite addition and the first one to offer the Disney Vacation Club as well. The design of the hotel was inspired by the late 1800s and early 1900s Arts and Crafts Movement, which can be seen in everything from the mission style furnishings, down to the smallest detail. We look forward to sharing some facts and personal experiences about the Grand Californian with you. Questions this week include:

  • For guests like me who maybe are WDW veterans but still somewhat new to DLR, what are the perks for staying onsite at the Disneyland Resort and the Grand Californian in particular?
  • What are the rooms like at the Grand Californian?
  • Can you tell us about the dining and shopping options?
  • What can someone expect to find for recreation and other amenities or services at the GC?
  • What was your experience like staying at the Grand Californian? What did you like best?

Appearing this week are Amy Bechtol, Marge Gerwels, Dawn Gosdin, Rich Grady, and David Smith.

To submit a question for the show, please go to the MouseQuest Podcast website, or send an email to question@mqpodcast.com.

Episode 51: One Year Anniversary Show

Welcome to the MouseQuest Podcast- Your guide in the quest for the perfect Disney vacation. This is episode number 51. This week we will are celebrating a great milestone for us – the one-year anniversary of the show! We’ve answered lots of questions, discussed many different topics and today we’ll talk about our favorites and maybe some new and interesting ideas for the future. Questions this week include:

  • What have you learned since we first started podcasting?
  • What was your favorite topic, show or question that we covered?
  • What was your least favorite show we did? Was anything really difficult for you to answer or do research on?
  • Are there any topics you’d like to cover in the future or think need to be addressed?
  • Is there anything new you think could be done on the podcast?
  • Which do you think was the most popular episode?

Appearing this week are Amy Bechtol, Dawn Gosdin, Rich Grady, David Smith, and Marci Smith.

To submit a question for the show, please go to the MouseQuest Podcast website, or send an email to question@mqpodcast.com.

Episode 50: Best of the Best – Money Saving Tips

Welcome to the MouseQuest Podcast- Your guide in the quest for the perfect Disney vacation. This is episode number 50. This week on the show we will be discussing the best ways to save money on a Disney vacation. Many families save for a very long time to visit Walt Disney World and it can be a very expensive trip, especially if you have a large family. However, being on a budget does not at all mean that a Disney vacation is out of reach or that you won’t have a great time without breaking the bank. We’ll let you in on some of our best ideas for saving money during your next Disney trip. Questions this week include:

  • What are some ways that guests can save money long before even getting to WDW?
  • One of the most common questions I get when helping others plan a Disney vacation is about how to get discounts on Park Tickets. What are some options for families looking to save money that way?
  • What are your top 3 tips for saving money on food while on a Disney vacation?
  • For the Disney shopaholics, what discounts are available when looking for that perfect Disney souvenir?
  • What are your top 5 best tips to save money in either planning a Disney trip or once you’re in Walt Disney World?

Appearing this week are Amy Bechtol, James Cameron, Dawn Gosdin, Rich Grady, and Marci Smith.

To submit a question for the show, please go to the MouseQuest Podcast website, or send an email to question@mqpodcast.com.

Episode 49: Bringing Small Kids to the Parks

Welcome to the MouseQuest Podcast- Your guide in the quest for the perfect Disney vacation. This is episode number 49. This week on the show we will be discussing the best way to experience Walt Disney World when you are visiting with kids who are less than 40 inches tall. Many parents view the 40-inch mark as that magic number when the littlest guests can start enjoying some of the more thrilling attractions, but there are SO many things to do with small children before they get to that point. We look forward to exploring some things that are perfect for our special little ones. There is a common misconception that Walt Disney World does not have a lot to offer parents with infants, toddlers, and young children that don’t meet minimum height requirements. Questions this week include:

  • Starting in the Magic Kingdom, what attractions are available for kids under 40 inches tall and what are your 3 favorites?
  • Moving on to Epcot, what attractions are accessible to infants and small children and what is your top 3 there?
  • What attractions in Disney’s Hollywood Studios can small children enjoy and what would you say are 3 not to miss?
  • What can families with small kids enjoy in Animal Kingdom? What are your top 3?
  • So, we’ve gone over all of the attractions that are available for infants, toddlers and young kids who don’t reach the 40-inch height requirement and there is a LOT to choose from. Besides the actual rides in WDW, what are the best 5 tips you can give to families who are traveling with infants and small children?

Appearing this week are Amy Bechtol, Dawn Gosdin, Rich Grady, Kate Melody, and Marci Smith.

To submit a question for the show, please go to the MouseQuest Podcast website, or send an email to question@mqpodcast.com.

Episode 48: How to Be a Good Guest

Welcome to the MouseQuest Podcast- Your guide in the quest for the perfect Disney vacation. This is episode number 48. This week we will be discussing how to be a good guest while on vacation. Sometimes when we visit Walt Disney World it’s easy to point out the irritating social faux pas of the people around us. But, instead of focusing on behaviors that we can’t control, we’re going to consider what WE can do to avoid those situations and improve the vacation experience for ourselves and others.

We all know that the Disney Parks are a huge vacation destination for guests from all around the world. No matter what time of year you choose to visit, it’s inevitable that you’ll be shoulder to shoulder with thousands of other Disney fans. Let’s talk about some tips that will help us to be considerate of the people around us and hopefully make great vacations even better. Questions this week include:

    • While using Disney transportation or when driving ourselves to the parks, what would you say are the 5 most important things guests can do to make the trip as safe and comfortable as possible for themselves and others?
    • A big part of being at any theme park is waiting in line. We wait for rides, shows, parades, food, bathrooms, and the list just goes on and on. What are your top 5 tips for being a good guest while waiting?


  • We all know that visiting Walt Disney World can require a lot of preparation and planning. Even when we seemingly plan the perfect vacation, many times something just doesn’t go the way we planned. What 5 tips can you offer someone who is facing an issue at WDW?
  • One of the reasons why we love Disney so much is because it’s a great place for families to have fun together. That being said, you and I both know that bringing young kids to the parks creates a whole new set of challenges for us as parents and sometimes the people around us. What are the best tips you can offer for parents to use that will help them enjoy their trip and be good Disney guests?
  • Considering all aspects of a Disney vacation, what are the 3 most important tips you can give about being a Good Guest while on a Disney Vacation?

Appearing this week are Amy Bechtol, Rich Grady, Sue Nowicki, David Smith. and Marci Smith.

To submit a question for the show, please go to the MouseQuest Podcast website, or send an email to question@mqpodcast.com.

How to Be A Good Guest at Disney

Episode 47: The Best of WDW

Welcome to the MouseQuest Podcast- Your guide in the quest for the perfect Disney vacation. This is episode number 47. This week on the show we will be discussing the best attractions in Walt Disney World. These are the number 1, do not miss, best of the best that Walt Disney World has to offer, so make sure you experience them on your next trip! With so many things to experience at Walt Disney World, attractions can mean anything from our favorite rides and shows, to dining experiences and recreation. So let’s dive in and talk about what we just cannot miss. Questions this week include:

  • What are the top ten rides at Walt Disney World that someone visiting should not miss?
  • What are your top ten dining choices in Walt Disney World?
  • What are your top ten choices for recreation or entertainment in WDW?
  • Of these best of the best lists we’ve discussed tonight, what is your #1 favorite attraction in WDW?

Appearing this week are Amy Bechtol, Dawn Gosdin, Rich Grady, and Marci Smith.

To submit a question for the show, please go to the MouseQuest Podcast website, or send an email to question@mqpodcast.com.