Friday Five: Random References & Reflections

1. It’s here, it’s here! Our first Disney (well, Pixar) movie release of the summer is this weekend. Despite mixed reviews from critics, audience ratings from preview screenings have been substantially more positive. But Cars 2 will likely be a success regardless of the box office numbers. Cars merchandise has been something of phenomenon. Disney expects Cars 2 to top Toy Story 3 and become the largest licensing program in movie history, exceeding $2.8 billion. When will you be taking the family to see Cars 2?

2. Remember, you can support all we do here at disdads.com by purchasing your TouringPlans.com subscriptions via the links in the right-hand and bottom columns of this page, and by shopping at The Dis Dads Commissary (an Amazon.com affiliate store).

3. Thanks to this week’s participating DisDads: Nathaniel E. Powe, Jr.; Mark Pratt; Paul Hajjar; Christian Hill; and Joe D’Antonio on the podcast; and Dave Zerfass for the Wordless Wednesday photo.

4. By the way – the Cars 2 release reminds me to tell you about The Pixar Podcast and its excellent host, Derrick Clements (@ThePixarPodcast on Twitter). If you’re a Pixar movie fan, I highly recommend it. Derrick applies his passion for and knowledge about Pixar films in equal measure while reviewing Pixar news and movies and interviewing Pixar-connected guests.

5. It’s time to start planning ahead! Disney released Ticket, Resort, Dining Plan, and Package information early this year. You can book vacations now through most of the month of October, 2012 (Disney allows bookings up to 499 days in advance). That means booking availability for the new Art of Animation Family Suites and Royal Guest Rooms at the Port Orleans Riverside Resort. Your friendly Fairytale Journeys by DisDads agent would be happy to help you plan ahead, and can watch out for you for deals between the time you initially book and your travel dates.

Monday Poll: When is your favorite time of year to travel to Walt Disney World?

I know, I know, the real answer is “anytime!” But if you had to choose, when do you prefer to travel to Walt Disney World? Are you a fan of lower crowd levels in the Winter months? Or are the extended hours (and not needing to take kids out of school) in the Summer more your style? Do special events like the Food and Wine Festival and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party draw you in the Fall? Or is the Spring weather and the Flower & Garden Festival more your style? Or maybe it’s not Christmas for you without the Osborn Family Lights and the Gingerbread House in the Grand Floridian. Tell us when you like to travel, and why, in the comments. (Oh, and like potato chips, I know that taking just one is impossible – so this poll allows you to choose two).

The Dad Show: Episode 9

Host – Aaron Rittmaster
Panel – Nathaniel E. Powe, Jr.; Mark Pratt; Paul Hajjar; Christian Hill, Joe D’Antonio

Episode 9 is our special Father’s Day Podcast. We start off the show with Voice Mail messages from several of the Dis Dads, sharing Disney/Fatherhood memories. The panel shares their own such memories, and we feature our first celebrity interview. Voice actor Tom Kane – the voice of characters from Monkey Fist on Kim Possible to Yoda on Clone Wars to Admiral Akbar on Star Tours 2.0 – sat down with me to talk about being a voice actor, being father to eight children, and Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.