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Host: Aaron Rittmaster
Co-Hosts: Tim Hicks & Willie Crocker
You asked for it, you got it! Listener Todd Morgan said he thought it would be interesting to hear about what being a travel agent is like. We did our best to give you a big picture view – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Bottom line – it’s never as easy as it looks. But none of the three of us would trade it for anything else!
Thank you to the DISDads Podcast PLUS Sponsors, who help make this show possible:
|Mouse Master Travel, An Authorized Disney Vacation Planner
(888) 41-MOUSE (416-6873)
|Wicked Mouse Travel, An Authorized Disney Vacation Planner
(508) 474-WALT (9258)
Have you worked with a travel professional before? What’s the most helpful thing a travel agent has ever done for you? Tell us about it! Leave a comment here on the blog; Email us at email@example.com; tweet us at DisDadsPodcast on Twitter; or check out our DISDads Podcast Facebook page. If you Email us an audio recording of your story, we may include it in a future episode.
If you’d like to be involved in a future recording, the best way to make sure the contact information ends up in the right place when it comes time to bring you on is to Email Tim Hicks, and let him know what you’d like to talk about on the show. Future episodes will include trip reports and even 2319 recordings. And if you’ve enjoyed the rebooted show, we’d also really appreciate it if you took a moment to leave us a review on Apple Podcasts. We rely on listener feedback to fine-tune what we’re offering and plan for future shows. Plus, the reviews help new listeners find the show and join in the fun with the community.
By popular demand, DISDads Hawaiian shirts are here. I LOVE the design, created by the supremely talented Kevin Quigley, co-host of The Thirty20Eight Podcast. Production of these shirts takes a bit more than a t-shirt. This design isn’t printed on top of the shirt. Rather, the design is essentially “baked-in” to the 100% nylon fabric through a process called dye sublimation. Then the fabric is custom-cut and sewn to create the shirts. The result is a soft, slightly stretchy shirt in strong, vibrant color that doesn’t crack, peel, or fade.
In order to raise the funds to kick start production of these shirts, the first 10 shirts are being sold as part of premium packages at a higher cost. Purchasers of one of the 5 Maui Packages will receive a DISDads coffee mug and a DISDads tumbler, in addition to their shirt. All three items together are a $121 retail value, being sold for a base price of $100 (plus any up charge for shirts larger than XL). The five Tamatoa Packages each include both a shirt and a tumbler, and all 10 of the premium packages will ship out two weeks before shirt-only purchases.
As soon as the 10 special package have been purchased, we’ll set a deadline for shirt-only purchases. Because of the unit cost of these shirts, we can’t really afford to carry inventory. So we can’t send the shirts to production until the orders are in. Once we send to production, they get turned around pretty quickly. Packages will be sent first to Maui Package and Tamatoa Package purchasers, and then the rest of the shirt orders will be fulfilled approximately two weeks later. The sooner you all get your orders in, the sooner the shirts will go to production.
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Sure, we ran a little long. But what did you expect? In Episode 532, the DISDads Podcast panel continues our irregularly scheduled alcoholic beverage series with BOURBONCAST. The panel discusses (and samples) a broad selection of bourbons and talks about some of the best places at Walt Disney World to find a bourbon-based cocktail. Near the end, David Juart gives us the recipe for the perfect bourbon old fashioned.
Are you enjoying our side trips to the bar? What beverage would you like us to report on next? Tell us about it!
If you enjoyed the podcast, we’d also really appreciate it if you took a moment to leave us a review on iTunes (If you didn’t enjoy the show, feel free to ignore that last link).
Our outro music is “Whiskey on the Mississippi” © Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
The DISDads Podcast is sponsored by Fantastic Memories Travel, LLC, and its Mouse Master Travel service, a specialized Disney Destination vacation planning service.
Last night, our extended community of Disney-fan dads lost another champion. Alan Mize was never an active member of the DISDads community, but he shared our interests and our spirit. I was lucky enough to get to know him just a little bit, through interactions on Twitter (where he went by the handle @NORMNB8S) and his role as a co-host of the Enchanted Tiki Talk Podcast (also on Facebook). I even had the privilege to interview him, along with his co-hosts, for a DAD Show in the early days of their podcast. Alan, along with Keith and Sean, built a wonderful community around their show. Now, it’s time for the DISDads community to step up and help support the community that Alan leaves behind. A young man in his 30s, with a three-month old child, Alan suffered a massive heart attack at home and later died at the hospital on Christmas Eve.
Friends of Alan have set up a GoFundMe campaign, to help his family defray the costs of his sudden illness and death. Any remaining money raised will be used to help pay for his young daughter’s college education. I encourage you, if you are able, to support this effort.
Rest in Peace Alan. My Festival of Lights will be dimmer for your light having left this mortal coil. Our thoughts and prayers – and hopefully some financial support – are with Alan’s family. Just a few days ago, as he was reflecting on the coming holiday, Alan posted a series of tweets that make a beautiful, fitting epitaph, though he had no idea that’s what he was composing at the time. We should all strive for this level of self-awareness and gratitude.
Part 3 of the DISDads Holiday Gift Guide focuses on gifts of a technological sort, most of which are part of Amazon’s Cyber Monday Deals Week. Once again, the links in this article are affiliate links. Our recommendations unaffected by where you choose to make your purchase, we stand by these recommendations, even if you buy elsewhere or choose not to use our affiliate links.
1. GoPro Hero+ Starter Bundle ($179.78) – Sure, the Hero+ lacks some of the most advanced features of the latest and greatest GoPro models. But this version is more than sufficient to capture cool action video of your family’s theme park adventures, and this Starter Bundle is less than half the price of the more heavily promoted (and excellent) GoPro HERO4 Silver Holiday Bundle). The Hero+ is a bit less powerful than the Hero Silver, but the Hero+ can still capture full HD video (1080p at 60fps) and 5 burst mode photo frames per section at 8MP each. The biggest elements missing from the Hero+ as compared to the Silver are the lack of a built-in touch display and lack of support for GoPro’s proprietary Protune production tool and time-lapse video. The Hero+ bundle comes with a 32 GB SDHC card, a head strap GoPro camera mount, and a floating hand grip (great for taking along on cruises and to waterparks and pools), in addition to the GoPro Hero+ camera.
2. I’ve written and talked about Anker external batteries for years now, and this model is the one I upgraded to just this past year. The Anker Astro E7 Ultra-High Capacity at a discounted price of $59.99 is the best value in an external battery that I’ve seen this holiday season. This is my third Anker external battery product, and I’ve had positive experiences with every one of them that I’ve used – I just keep upgrading to higher capacities to accommodate my family’s growing appetite for power on the go. An external battery makes using the My Disney Experience app in the theme parks much less stressful (quick Jimmy, just switch that Fastpass to Ellen’s Energy Adventure, my phone battery is down to 15%)! I can personally attest to Anker’s claim that this model will recharge an iPhone 6 ten times or an iPad Air twice. And I’ve found that it does a great job holding its own charge between refills. The E7 is a bit larger and heavier than the external batteries I’ve used before. If you want to keep the size and weight down, consider the smaller and lighter Anker Astro E4 13000mAh Classic Portable Charger for $29.99 and which can still provide a full iPad Air recharge or five iPhone 6 recharges.
3. Blue Yeti USB Microphone – Silver ($90.99) – I’ve owned and used this microphone for 3 1/2 years now, and it’s still probably the best podcasting technology investment I’ve made. If you are a regular podcast participant; would like to participate but feel like you need a decent microphone first; or you use your computer for other communications reasons (like recording singing children or Skype conversations with the grandparents), this microphone is a great choice. It offers multiple modes, allowing you to isolate just a single speaker, optimize recording sources on opposite side of the microphone, or capture it all equally. The build quality is excellent – the biggest problem with it is that it’s remarkably heavy, especially when attached to the included base. And though I never thought I would make use of this feature, the 3.5mm no-latency headphone jack has proven to be amazingly convenient. It’s MUCH less cumbersome than managing two wires coming out of the computer during a recording session, and gives you a lot better range of motion while connected. I actually use a pretty cheap pair of earbuds, with only one earbud in my ear, while recording, and combined with the Blue Yeti microphone, I don’t have any issues with speaker sound “leaking” into my recording source.
4. TiVo Roamio HD DVR with Product Lifetime Service ($299.99 + tax). First things first, ignore the price that automatically generates with the link. It’s only showing that price because Amazon itself is currently out of stock, and that’s the best price offered by a partner merchant. You can place a back order at Amazon’s price – even if you are in an area that has to pay sales tax on Amazon purchases, Amazon’s price is nearly $100 cheaper. Some of you know that I “cut the cord” with pay TV almost two years ago now, and this is the device that allowed me to do it. Our sole source of broadcast television is OTA. The Roamio can record four OTA streams at the same time (technically, it can record five streams at once, but I use one port to feed a TiVo Mini in another room). In addition to being able to watch and record over-the-air network broadcasts, I can use the Roamio (and the Mini, for that matter) to access my Netflix account, Hulu+ Account, and Amazon Prime account. If you have a Vudu streaming video account, that can be linked to Disney Movies Anywhere and gives you access via the TiVo Roamio to all of your Disney Movies Anywhere content (it may be possible to access your DMA content via the included YouTube account as well, but I haven’t tried it, so I can’t guarantee that will work). But to me, the “killer app” feature for me as a cord-cutter has been the relatively-recent rollout of OnePass. OnePass allows me to do a single search for a show in the TiVo interface, and get access to the content I’m searching for, regardless of source. As an example, one of my favorite shows is Agents of Shield. An episode got pre-empted by weather reports. Thanks to OnePass, I could go to my show list and watch the same episode that was available on Hulu+ (the only difference was that I couldn’t skip through Hulu’s commercials like I could the broadcast commercials). It’s possible that, once Apple rolls out it’s long-awaited ala carte television subscription service that the TiVo Roamio will be eclipsed and a cord-cutters magic bullet. But for now, in my opinion, Roamio is even better than it’s newer sibling the TiVo Bolt, because the Bolt maxxes out at four tuners, and would still lose one of those tuners to a Mini in another room. The only thing missing in all of this is a source for live televised sports. I don’t have a great answer for that just yet, other than it being a good excuse to get out of the house and enjoy your local sports bar.
5. Disney Infinity 3.0: Rise Against the Empire Bundle – Amazon Exclusive ($78.71) – Only available through Amazon.com (at least for now), get five “classic” Star Wars characters (Chewbacca, Han Solo, Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Darth Vader) AND the Rise Against the Empire playset, which includes Luke, Leia, and the Death Star-shaped playset piece. Note: these elements are only playable in the 3.0 version of Disney Infinity, and this bundle does NOT include the 3.0 game disk.
Welcome to Part 2 of the DISDads Holiday Gift Guide, in which we tackle gifts for around the house. Once again, the links in this article are affiliate links or links to DISDads.com sponsors. Our recommendations are the same, even if you choose to make your purchase from another vendor or without using our links.
1. Capresso 465 CoffeeTeam TS ($209.95) – The version in the photo is the 464 GS ($159.95). The only real difference between the models is that the GS has a glass carafe and the TS has a stainless steel carafe. This one is a personal recommendation – the TS with the stainless steel carafe is worth the $50. I’ve gone through almost every major grind-and-brew coffee maker on the market over the last couple of decades, and this one is the best (by a fairly wide margin). It offers two major technical advantages over its competitors. First (and perhaps most importantly) it uses a burr grinder. Burr grinding means that the fresh coffee beans are ground more consistently and without being damaged by the friction heat generated by spinning-blade grinding. The advantage of the steel carafe is that the carafe does a good job of holding the coffee at temperature, without adding additional heat via a burner underneath the pot. That burner is the enemy of good-tasting coffee – it causes the first coffee through the brew basket to scald and can give the whole pot a burned taste. If you’re not drip-brewing coffee into a steel carafe, you’ve likely gotten used to the slightly burned flavor such that you don’t even realize its there — until the first time you brew a pot of coffee with good, fresh, beans that ISN’T burnt!
2. Disney 4 Mickey Waffle on a stick mini-waffle maker ($29.99). Sure, we’ve all seen other Mickey Waffle-makers, some of which were probably even less expensive. So why recommend this one? Because everything’s better on a stick!
If being able to make Mickey Waffles at home is good, being able to make Mickey Waffles-on-a-stick at home is GREAT! They’re not just cute to look at. The bargain waffle-makers make waffles that are too thin – they’re all crust, and the ears in particular are prone to burning. This waffle-maker makes nice, thick, Belgian-style waffles with deep grooves (the better to hold syrup). And the non-stick plates generate sufficient heat to get a good, crisp, outer crust.(And it comes with 50 ready-to-use waffle sticks, just to get you started). It makes four mini-waffles at a time.
3. Masterbuilt 2-Door Propane Smoker ($194.92) – From the kitchen to the deck out back. This is a great option for someone interested in getting into smoking meat, without the challenges of managing a wood fire. The smoke is generated by wood chips (and there’s no soaking necessary). Propane is generally cheaper than electricity as an alternative fuel to wood. And perhaps more importantly, propane smokers have a much better track record than electric for long term reliability. (Electric smokers tend to run into issues with their burner elements, especially when they’re stored outdoors). Multiple racks, with easy and direct access to all of them, give you much more flexibility than bullet-type smokers. The 30-inch model in the photo and it’s larger 44-inch cousin both offer a second, bottom, door that gives you access to the wood chip tray and water pan. This allows you to make adjustments to the smoke source without unduly affecting the temperature of the meat. For some reason, the middle-sized 40-inch unit lacks the separate door (so any time you need to make an adjustment to the wood chips or the water pan, you have to open the door for the entire smoker, allowing precious heat to escape).
4. Samsung UN55JS7000 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2015 Model) ($997.99) – Let me start by saying that this is definitely a more expensive item than I was planning to put on this lis when I first started compiling it. But the deal on this set is simply too good not to mention. There are some even less expensive 4K TV deals this holiday season, and come of them are decent sets. The hard part is figuring out which ones and for how long. This is the first name-brand TV in this size class and resolution category that I’ve seen for under $1,000. List on this TV is nearly $2,000, so your not likely to find it any cheaper. If space is at a premium, Amazon has the 50-inch version of the pictured TV for $200 less. And if you’ve got room in both the location you want to use it and the budget, the 60-inch version is just $300 more. Oh – and this is a good example of why you need to be careful reading online reviews. There are some highly critical reviews listed with this TV on Amazon – but if you read carefully you’ll see that they’re almost all referring to much earlier TVs, from when 4K technology was in its infancy. They’re really criticisms of the initial implementations of 4K TV technology than they are of the particular TV, and they’re not reviewing a TV with the same technological specs as the ones currently being sold.
5. We’ll wrap up this list by heading back to the kitchen for the VonShef Professional Fully Automatic Ice Cream Maker ($159.99). This is a great price on a true self-contained, automatic ice cream maker. It’s more expensive than the Cuisinarts because it’s got it’s own built-in compressor. That means there’s no need to pre-freeze the container for 12 hours or more, and no need to purchase a second container in order to make more than 1.5 quarts of ice cream in one night. Order some Dole Whip mix and you can feed your WDW addiction at will (and even make your own adult Dole Whip floats, with coconut rum and vanilla vodka).
a. None of these products were provided to the writer or DISDads.com for review purposes.
b. The opinions expressed about these gift options are solely our own and we have not been compensated to provide these opinions.