Top 10 – Enjoying Disney when not in the parks

It’s a common understanding among Disney World fans that it would be awesome to be at Disney every day.  And, unless you are part of the lucky few who live down there, this isn’t happening.  You are goign to spend most of your time away from the parks.  So what to do?  So here is a Top 10 of Disney internet sites, blogs, podcasts and more that will help fill that Disney gap.

This is divded into two groups.   Official items that are produced or managed by Disney itself, and 5 unofficial sites managed by Disney Fans.  In each I’ll be highlighting my favorite: Podcasts, Blogs, Planning Sites, Social Networks, and other Honorable Mentions.

Got your own suggestions?  Something I’ve missed?  Leave a comment below for me to check out.

Official

#1 – Podcasts:

  • D23’s Armchair Archivist – (iTunes link) Although it claims that it’s weekly, as all Disney podcasts, its schedule is very sporadic.  This official D23 podcast focuses on the history and backstage looks at many of Disney’s events, movies, and parks.  This covers both DisneyWorld and DisneyLand. Although the looks at the Disney archives is probably my favorite part.
  • D23’s DisneyGeek – (iTunes link) Also sporadic with it’s updates, the Disney geek gives a more run down of Disney’s latest news and events with the geek’s own unique humor.  Occasionally he interviews people, but mostly it’s a “top news” podcasts from Disney.

#2 – Blogs:

#3 – Planing:

  • Vacation Planning Center: The DisneyWorld catch-all for planning.  From here you can book resort packages, see the entertainment schedules, and order your vacation planning DVD.
  • WDW Resturant Reservations: If you are planning to head down to the parks, and try out those wonderful restaurants, you’ll need to make sure you have booked your ADR (advanced Dining Reservation) well ahead of time.  This nifty web interface will show you what’s available and help you book it. Or you could go old school and call (407) WDW-DINE or (407) 939-3463.

#4 – Social Networks:

#5 – Other Honorable mentions:

  • Disney’s Mom Panel:  I almost put this in the Blogs section, but it’s so much more than that.  If you have a question, chances are they’ve already answered it.  If not you can submit your own and get a ton of feedback form real people.  Yes, real people, not people just towing the Disney line… and yes i know that sounds odd coming from an “official” Disney page, but that’s what makes it so special.
  • Customized Maps: Here’s a neat thing you can do to look forward to your Disney trip, especially for little ones.  Select what rides, attrations, and shows you’d like to highlight at each of the 4 parks on the map and then download them as a pdf or have disney print them up and send you a high quality version in the mail.
  • Disney’s Youtube Channel:  Here you’l find all the official Disney Videos.  Videos will range from park events, resort openings, special events, and much more.

Unofficial

#1 – Podcasts: 

  • WDW Today – (iTunes link) A round table that goes between answering listener questions one show to discussing different Disney topics. typically a 20-30min show, 3 days a week.  And if you want to submit your own questions, make sure to do so well in advance.  Trust me.
  • Inside the Magic – (iTunes link) One of my oldest podcasts I listen to (over 5 years) and still going strong, Ricky Brigante host a show every week covering all things Disney, with a concentration on the Walt Disney World parks.  Usually comes in about 1-1.5 hours weekly.
  • Beta Mouse – (iTunes link) A Disney roundtable podcast that focuses more on the tech side of Disney. From Phones, to apps, to ride tech to interactive design.  Typically a core group, but they bring in other Disney notables from time to time.  Usually comes in weekly, clocking in around 20-30 minutes.
  • WDW Radio Show – (iTunes link) hosted by Lou Mongello This covers a wide range of Walt Disney World News, rumors, topics, top 10s and more.  Typically a long formate show coming in well over an hour.

#2 – Blogs:

  • Inside the Magic: This blog posts high-quality videos from attraction openings and special events, exclusive interviews, news, photos, and reviews.  It’s the companion site to the Inside the Magic podcast, as well as covers the greater Orlando area (for those that want more than just the Disney parks)
  • Disney Food Blog: Oh where to begin.  This covers all thing foodie relating to Disney.  From giving run downs on different restaurants, to food reports on different events around the parks, to recipes & glamor Disney food shots, even a whole section covering the Food and Wine.  YUM.
  • Touring Plans Covering all things DisneyLand & DisneyWorld, this covers more events and DisneyParks from a informative view point.  Park hour updates, touring plans and touring concepts, and even a few general items.

#3 – Planing:

  • Touring Plans: This site has everything a Disney planner needs to figure out when, where and why of getting to and around the parks.  Where this site shines is the paid side.  Although the free section has live upcoming samples, the paid side allows users the ability to see the full year long crowd calendar (lets you know when the parks will be crowded or not), make custom touring plans (saves hours a day avoiding waiting in lines), and even a lines app for your phone (so you have up to the minute wait times for all the attractions at your fingertips while in the parks).  Well worth the money if you have a trip coming up.
  • Allears.net: This site has tons of stuff for your planning needs.  Restaurant menus, Resort breakdowns, ticket prices, special event info, and more. They also have a newsletter to keep people up to date with all the new information that comes out.
  • Mouse Fan Travel: There are many different Disney travel agents out there.  This is the only one I’ve used. Was fairly simple and found some discounts for the Swan & Dolphin I wasn’t aware of.  Most Disney Travel agents are fee free, as they are paid by Disney to help people out.

#4 – Social Networks:

#5 – Other Honorable mentions:

  • DisneyLiveCams: This has a selection of Cameras that are pointed at the disney Parks.  Their page currently includes a Downtown Disney/EPCOT cam, Swan Resort cam, Characters in Flight, and a 1-4 Traffic cam.
  • SRSounds:  If you turn on your radio and wished it was a bit more Disney, then this is the broadcast for you.  Available via app, or the Live365 site, this has ride music, area loops, contemporary disney songs, and disney roundtable podcasts all wrapped up in a standard radio wrapper.  Sections of the day even have DJs, morning shows and internal commercials.
  • MouseWorld Radio: Looking for something more simple, but with all the Disney ambient music?  MouseWorld Radio is straight up Disney music – Rides, area loops, shows, and Nighttime spectaculars.  No fuss, no muss.  You even have a selection of channels to choose from if you don’t like what’s playing at that moment on one of them.  Also available via Live365 or different apps.


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About Tasel

Sometimes writer on things technology, Disney, MineCraft, and food.
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