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Nov. 11, 2020

Mount Rushmore: Classic Rides with Duane Willey

Mount Rushmore: Classic Rides with Duane Willey

Duane Willey joins the show to break down his Mount Rushmore of Classic WDW world attractions. Along the way we share some heartfelt stories and moments from our Disney Lives, reminiscing about family and friends. Tune in for this genuinely emotional episode as we recount what makes Disney so special. The episode could also have easily have been entitled, a nod to Disney dads. This is one of my favorite episodes we have done and I'm excited to share it with you today. Happy Listening!

Transcript

SPEAKERS

Duane Willey, Marc Valentine

 

Marc Valentine  

Disney Life podcast is brought to you by traveling with Lissy. You can find them over at travelingwithlissy.com. Melissa is there to help you plan your dream vacation, whether that's Disney universal or another destination. Leave the details to Melissa and enjoy the beauty of your destination without the hassle of the planning. Most of you may be asking why to book with the Disney travel agent. Why not? Traveling with Lizzy will actually save you money by always price monitoring and applying deals or promotions to your reservation. They are the ones that are staying on hold for hours so that you don't have to. It's a common misconception that using a travel agent costs more. They are completely free to use. That's right folks, they are completely free. Disney pays them to take care of your every travel need. And they're also there to deal with any problem that may arise while you're visiting the parks. So instead of spending your valuable time at the front desk, you could be in the parks with your family while Melissa is on the phone dealing with any problem. Interested in a free quote, head over to www.travelingwithlissy.com and let Melissa help you start planning your dream vacation today. Again, that's www.travelingwithlissy.com Hello, everybody and welcome back to Disney life podcast. My name is Marc Valentine and I am the host of Disney life podcast. We sincerely hope that you have all been living your best Disney lives this week. You know this has been a pretty cool week for our podcast. We had an amazing interview last week with Bonnie cribs. If you haven't had a chance to go back and check out the episode with Bonnie please do. We have you know an awesome hour with Bonnie that we called walking into greatness and it was just a really inspirational hour with Bonnie when I felt like we needed it the most. But if you want to check out that episode, head over to www.disneylifepodcast.com and you could check out the interview with Bonnie and then we have back catalogue of all our amazing episodes. And you can access Apple podcasts, Spotify, all of the different directories all from that one site. While you're there leave us a rating five star review tell us what you're thinking to the show. And we would so greatly appreciate all of that feedback that you've been given us. So this week Duane Willie and I have been you know just texting up a storm and he went on somewhat of a little bit of a binge with some of the older podcasts again just wanted to go back and check out the catalog and he reached out to me and said yeah, I've been binge and some of the old some of the old stuff. The original. One, two and three. Those those are those are the old days Dwayne we so fun fact we I didn't even edit the first two episodes. It was just me and a Logitech mic starting this thing up firing this thing up. It was a man with a dream to talk Disney and suppress the Disney blues and Dwayne went back and he was checking out some of those old podcasts. He reached out to me and said, Listen, man, I'm fired up. I'm fired up about podcasts and I said, Listen, you know, it's a good cure for that. Let's get let's get on the horn. Let's let's, let's record so Dwayne Willie's coming back to the show huge friend to the show. We love Dwayne. Dwayne is again he is our list Master, the social media guru over at for the love of Disney World, mouse marketplace. He's one of the admins at Disney live podcasts at our group on Facebook Enchanting escapes by Laurie. He is he's the social media pod master. And we love We love having him back. So we were brainstorming what it like it was like what do we do? Let's do something fun. Let's come up with a really quick list. And this time, Dwayne, it's not about the people's vote. It's about our vote.

 

Duane Willey  

That's right. It's us this time.

 

Marc Valentine  

It's us. It's just us. So there's not going to be any disappointment. There's no Toy Story falling. It's all us. So if we're if we're heartbroken, it's just because you hurt my feelings right? Or I hurt You're right. We are we're doing and listen, we love We love rides. Dwayne and I are we're both ride people when I'm going to the park when Dwayne is going to the park. We love our rides. And we love jumping on as many attractions as possible and just going from from sunup till sundown. We're like the it's like perfect strangers. I'll be Balky. And this is coupling both found out that we like we both wake up at like 6am to get the family out of the out of the hotel. And I found all this out from his wife Lori, by the way. Laurie came on the episode Dwayne had already been on with us. And then I sat down with Laurie to do an interview through that interview and talking about you or your Disney coupling was when I found all these revelations. It was like God, like I love Duane but I didn't realize that much of a kindred spirit. Yeah, so Dwayne and I were trying to figure out what do we talk about. We're both Ride people. So we said, Listen, we did thrill rides last time, and that was a blast. So this time around, we wanted to talk about classic Disney rides the og's. So the idea for this one was with the presidential theme, and we're putting a positive spin on it. We wanted to do the Mount Rushmore of classic Disney ride. So today's episode, Dwayne's gonna have his four, I'm gonna have my four, we don't even know if they're gonna match up. And then we're gonna, we're gonna argue for them. And if we have if we have ones that do match up amazing, and if we don't, then you know, maybe Melissa will come in to break the tie, no.

 

Duane Willey  

Toys, Toy Story mania. Toy Story.

 

Marc Valentine  

She's got straight to Peter Pan.

 

Duane Willey  

Yeah, right. Or it's a small world.

 

Marc Valentine  

And again, many of you heard us laugh about this on our thrill rides episode. But Melissa doesn't do thrill rides. So almost all of the votes that she sent in for her thrill ride list weren't even thrill rides at all. They were Peter Pan. Toy Story mania likes tough that's not thrilling. The most thrilling that she got was seven doors, Mine Train and Big Thunder Mountain. But she said mark, I don't know if I should do this episode. Because I'm not a throwaway person. They said no. You should absolutely do this. Because it's got to be hysterical. And she was the best, right? She was the best episode. Awesome.

 

Duane Willey  

Yeah, she was great.

 

Marc Valentine  

She had us in stitches, telling the story about her on mission space. I still so I'll go back and listen to that. And I still laugh at her mission space story. She must have said in her story like 50 times. 

 

Duane Willey  

Also like when she told us she said that she was going to practice by going to get in her sports car and seeing how fast she could get zero to 60.

 

Marc Valentine  

Yeah, you know, we've never, we've never followed up on that. I'm going to call Melissa tomorrow. I'm going to follow up to see how how we're doing with the test track. Yeah, slash rock and roller coaster training. 

 

Duane Willey  

Yeah, we need to find out we got to find out you know. 

 

Marc Valentine  

So today is the Mount Rushmore of classic Disney attractions. Here's the list by the way. So this is the list that we're working off of. And we want to we want to also like we've got some Asterix is here that we're going to put on on opening day of Walt Disney World here with the lists that we were working off and this is what this is what it meant to be defined as a classic ride. I know there's going to be rides that are considered classics that may also have been gone. But the criteria was these were rides that had to be there on opening day for Walt Disney World. Magic Kingdom. So what we were working off of was the Haunted Mansion, country bear Jamboree. Diamond horseshoe review, which is gone. Dumbo, the flying elephant, the frontier land shooting gallery, the Hall of Presidents Cinderella's golden carousel, it's a small world Jungle Cruise, mad Tea Party, the Mickey Mouse review the keelboats Mr. toads wild ride the Skyway Snow White's scary adventures. It's amazing how many of these are gone Duane Right Swiss Swiss Family Tree House which some of us wish was gone on.

 

Duane Willey  

sleeper

 

Marc Valentine  

would pop up as a reading. Go ahead. I wish they would get rid of that. That's a great real estate that I would love to reclaim. Swiss Family Tree House I'm sorry, tropical serenade, the Grand Prix Raceway. Again, another one that should go away or just change get get some like cars that don't kill us with co2, right. And the Walt Disney railroad, a favorite of a lot of people, which right now is out of commission because of Tron and the construction of Tron. They're rerouting the railroad. But that was the list. So here's the Asterix is for that list too. And we can talk about these two, but they they're not being considered. But we're going to talk about them see for their honorable mentions as being classics, but they don't quite make the list. The first one is Peter Pan, which opened two days,

 

Duane Willey  

two days after the opening opens October the third 1971.

 

Marc Valentine  

And we had a little bit of a back and forth about that one saying we weren't we would have counted that one. And we're going to let we're going to let that one will stand. So that's the Asterix I realize it wasn't there on opening day. But that's two days. We'll let that one stand. We're going to put that in the list. We've already agreed to the rules here that was allowed to stand for both him and myself and Peter Pan was able to be picked as part of our our Mount Rushmore, the other one which we excluded. This is going to be controversial. we flipped the coin. We call them that we called in the ballot counters and they said no and that was Pirates of the Caribbean. Tell them why Dwayne Why Why did we decide on no on that one? It's classic. 

 

Duane Willey  

It's definitely a classic and so many people love it. I love it. Had we considered it and most likely would have been on my mountain Mount Rushmore, but it's it opened two years after the park open. I mean, so it actually didn't open until December the 15th of 1973. 

 

Marc Valentine  

So this would have been and we talked about this too. And now we're having this conversation again and Everybody this would have made easily my Mount Rushmore pirates is generally the first. So if I don't run to a mountain, usually I always go left, I always go to frontier land because my tactic is always two mountains within the first 20 minutes. So I always want to do Big Thunder. And I always want to get splashed out the way before the lines start to go crazy on those two, we are already kindred spirits, and then I can do yeah, then I could get two of my three mountains like boom right out the way. And then I really if not for Linda, I would run over quickly and do the third mountain so that I could get my mountain my mountain pin for the day. But we always do in this order. We as we pull up to frontier land, we look at the lines for both Big Thunder and splash, whichever has the last line we do first and then we go on the other one next. If I didn't have that strategy, I would always go to pirates first because pirates is pound for pound. My favorite Disney ride if I had to choose one ride that I would absolutely be devastated by if it ever went away. Pirates is my probably my favorite overall ride like if I had to consider all of the categories. And if you said mark, what's the one that pulls at your heartstrings? What's the one that you have the strongest emotional connection to going all the way back to your childhood? What's the one ride that you can still go on a billion times and you smile just like you did the first pirates is it there's other rides that I have a much greater experience on if you consider thrills and but pirates for me pound for pound would have definitely made my wrap up Mount Rushmore, it would have made my Mount Rushmore of every Park and every ride to by the way. 

 

Duane Willey  

Wow. 

 

Marc Valentine  

But we said yeah, we can't consider it because it really wasn't there. You know, even close to opening day came two years later, but I love pirates that much. I love the smells of it. I love and I remember it's it's so amazing too it's not a bad drop, and I'm air quoting when I say drop, it's it's barely anything, right. But when you were a kid, like I remember being my daughter's age and younger, that part of the ride like. That was thrilling for you. And I don't know why. Because now it's it's not. But there still is I don't know if it's muscle memory. But when we go down that like I could go down malstrom or still frozen. And that never like it nothing. It's the same drop, right? Still, when I go down. When I go down pirates, I still get sometimes that that little joy and that little anxiety right before the light goes off and snaps your photo that it makes you feel like the drop is still bigger than it was because as a kid you thought that like that was a death defying drop in the dark. And then you come out. And it's like so like for you as a little kid, like the first half of it with the skeleton and the storm and the like the foreboding voice It was so it was like a great anxiety producing, build up. And then the second part of the ride was just joy, and comedy and fun. It still is that in many ways for me, like I'm 42 I don't I'm not scared of it. But you still get those it's muscle memory, that emotional, that emotional memory of that ride. So if this, we're on it, and we're talking, we're both talking about it, too. We agreed to this, too. We said listen, it can't formally make it. But we want to share what we love about pirates, because pirates is a very special ride for me to one of my if not one of my favorite rides, probably my favorite classic ride in on all of them. But I we got to play by the rules, we made the rules, we got to stick to them. 

 

Duane Willey  

You know, the funny thing is, I should have looked it up somewhere along the way they changed that drop, it used to be a little bigger, a little more of a drop than it is currently. And that wasn't that many years ago. And I forget exactly why they did it. I think maybe because there was so many kids that were scared of the drop and stop riding it. And it was just I think a couple of feet or something. They change an angle. Yeah, I remember as a kid, the same thing that was you know, as a kid, that was your kind of that thrill part of that ride that kind of got you to the place where like for me, you know we did that. And then at some point it was like, Well, if you can do that you can do Splash Mountain. Yeah. The worst part about Splash Mountain, I think as a kid was you saw every drop from outside of it and you're seeing all that and everybody's going oh my gosh, look how that is you know when your kid but then in pirates, you know, unless you had already read that you didn't know what's coming. till it happen?

 

Marc Valentine  

Yeah, I wish I here's so I have a few wishes for pirates. I really wish they would switch the camera to instead of being right before when everyone's kind of calm and chill before you head into the abyss. I wish they would do like more of a frozen type where it catches you mid drop. Yes, I I've said this before in some of the other shows. I love like photopass I love photopass on photos like Splash Mountain has one of the best photo passes because the people's expressions in faces when you ride with random families, that's some of my favorite parts of the photo. It's not even us in them. It's other people like screaming or losing their mind on that. And it's so funny, I wish they would put that because I'd love to see and I'm going to come off as a monster. But some of the kids like the deer and the deer in headlights look like I've showed you the picture of my daughter, the first time we rode Everest, she looks like a deer in headlights. It's the funniest picture I have. And I show that picture to people. I'm like, this is my first my daughter's first time on it. I want to get more pirates kind of pictures. So that would be my one wish list for pirates. The other one is, I would like to see them play with some of the some of the tech on it, especially when you see some of the other ride footage from the pirates around the world. Like Have you seen the pirates? That's over? Over in? I think it's Hong Kong, 

 

Duane Willey  

I haven't

 

Marc Valentine  

It's it is mind blowing the graphics on it to the point of where it's, it's like awe inspiring. I mean, that I would like to see something done to just kind of update it. But again, that's where you then you get purists who say listen, leave it alone. But here's the thing about pirates. It has not been left alone. It's toyed with constantly. Yeah, I mean, we have Johnny, we have Johnny Depp in it now. And who knows that now that Johnny Depp has been replaced,

 

Duane Willey  

 right, 

 

Marc Valentine  

and the series is going to continue is Margot Robbie going to take over, you know, as the as the central figure instead of jack Sparrow. So I mean, if you're going to tinker with it, just tinker with it, you know, don't say it's classic, but we'll change x and y and then they leave z alone. I'd like to see them throw some tech in. But that's like the same thing with Big Thunder Mountain. Like that's not even on our list. But like when you see what they've done to Disneyland, and they've added they've added the the graphics and the 3d graphics. And the effects. If you've ever watched the ride, that last tunnel has like dynamite that it's all a project projection mapping on that last thing and it looks like as you're heading out that last tunnel that you're just beating up the explosion, and then there's smoke. It's cool. Like I think they should start to leverage more technology on some of these older rides to really update them. But that those would be my two wishes is one move the camera to give me more comedy value of it and to give me a little bit more tech on it. But whatever that smell is keep that smell because it's phenomenal. Yes, that that pirate smells amazing. Yeah, I agree. Yeah. All right. Are you are you ready to do this? Like I just I think this is gonna be civil. I think this is gonna be civil. 

 

Duane Willey  

Yeah, I think there's going to be probably a lot of the same ones.

 

Marc Valentine  

So all right, so what's so you're the guest, so I'm gonna let you go first. What's your what's your first so again, the rules are we each have four slots on our Mount Rushmore they're in they're all equal order. You're not picking our like so one one rides not better than the other. It's These are my top four. These are the ones that are there for me all the time Mount Rushmore and we've got some great stories. We'll share them too. So what's your number one?

 

Duane Willey  

Well, I'm going to start with, to me an obvious one called Haunted Mansion you know, Haunted Mansion to me had to be on my Mount Rushmore, you know, as a kid getting to ride it. My memories. I mean, I was born in 1971 of the parks and I have a connection. I'm going to turn 50 just like the The park is. But as a kid, you know, I was there as early as 1973. Now I don't really remember that trip. I have seen some pictures of that trip. As as an early child, I went on haunted mansion with my parents, and my dad, this was probably in all of Disney World. If you asked him today, he would probably tell you this is still his favorite ride. And there's one other than I know we'll talk about later is also probably my dad's favorite, his two favorite attractions arrived, but Haunted Mansion. Growing up that was one we always did. One of the things my dad always and I always liked to do was read the headstone we'd be in line we'd be reading the headstones, you know, just laughing and then you know, we talked about on the whole trip, my dad would would say, you know, Here lies good old Fred a big old rock fell on his head, you know, stuff like that. We used to just love it. And I mean, the whole set up the stretching rooms, I loved all that the you know, the stretching room, the little bit of scare that they tried to put in the beginning, you know, so in the beginning first half, kind of like you were talking about pirates, that first half is kind of scary. The second half is kind of jubilant and fun, you know? Yeah.

 

Marc Valentine  

See, now this this is this is on my list too. So I again, I have four we're in a total agreement, Haunted Mansion if pirates is my one for classic This is one a so this was like when we did our list where you said, Hey, if Everest is my one rockin roller coasters, my one day match haunted mansions, my one a as a kid. Another thing that terrified me was the stretchy room terrified me as a kid. Like I I cringed. I was like, if we if we could have skipped that part of the ride, I would I would have greatly have skipped the stretching room as a kid. Now I'm that jerk by the way in the stretching room as an adult that's screaming at a high pitched voice. It's scary. Right? Oh, sorry. Like I mean, I, I have strangers hit me be like What's wrong with you? a grown man scaring all these kids and I'm like, I don't know. I'm just having a good time. I'll just try to scare my kid. But that was that was to me. It was a terrible and then the joy of the second part of the ride, but to this day, I don't care how many times I see the illusion Pepper's ghost is one of the most incredible feats of Imagineering. Think about when that was conceived? I love the Imagineering story on Disney plus, and that Episode Episode, despite the fact that they kind of explained they explain it so casually. They're like, yeah, this is Pepper's ghost, it doesn't matter whether it's a very , or whether it's a very simple solution that presents itself elegantly, no matter how many times I see that room, when you're coming around, and the and the Pepper's ghost are there and those that illusion unfolds, it still evokes a sense of awe in me to think that the Imagineers created that and that it still holds up. And it's still just as awe inspiring here in 2020, as it was when it was conceived at park opening in both Disneyland and then again, at Disney World, it still holds up. So that ride is good has to have a spot for me, and I love the sentimental value for you to like, that's great when a ride can be that fun and, and have the emotional attachments as it does like with your father. Like that's really cool. And it's great. And that's what I love, too. And we've talked about this, we're both dads. That's the cool thing about Disney is that someday I hope that even when I'm gone from this earth, when my daughter goes to Disney with her family that she remembers those rides and attractions and jokes and family stories that center around these rides and these trips that we take. That's a great isn't that the greatest thing about Disney?

 

Duane Willey  

Absolutely, yeah. And it's just generational. Because like I said, you know, my dad, me my kids, and I know, because of the love that my kids now have for Disney, it will be their kids, you know, and on and on and on, that will continue to go. And I think there's something so special and so timeless, really about a ride that was created in 1971. That still holds the value it does today in 2020. That's I mean, that's amazing. Yeah.

 

Marc Valentine  

And unlike a ride like Peter Pan, you know, the flyover is still still very cool. The force perspective of the flyover is really still cool. A Haunted Mansion holds up, it's not kitsch, there's a kitsch element to it, that people go on it because it's classic, right people, people will go on that ride for another 30 40 50 years and it will still inspire generations of people say man, I can't believe how they did it. I can't believe it. It's amazing. It's amazing. I love it. Alright, so number one, we were in agreement for number one, which is pretty easy. All right, what's your second one? 

 

Duane Willey  

Well, I mean, don't you want to go Go ahead. You got me. I'll let you go. And I'll follow up with number two. 

 

Marc Valentine  

So number two, so number two. So now like here's more of a personal story for me, and we just got done talking about what we love about being dads, Disney dads. So number two is not a fancy ride. And some people might look at number two and say like really, that's that's your Mount Rushmore, but number two would be Cinderella's golden carousel for me. And here's why. There's carousels like that all over the place all over. It's not a fancy ride. It's not a fancy ride mechanic. It's something that you'll find it hundreds of boardwalks all over the place you'll find them at you'll find them in malls, for goodness sake. But that one at Disney is front and center. It's right in the heart of the park. It's right underneath Cinderella's castle, when the fireworks go off. It's just such a it's one it's a cool location. But to there's nothing like having a child. And if you if you take your children from when they're really little. I always tell people you want to get your kids to the parks before they get too old and the magic wanes. But my best memory was taking my daughter when she was three turning four. And going on that carousel. It was her first real ride that we went on, and then seeing the joy in her face. And from that moment on the memories that we made on that ride in particular, it holds a special place for her heart. And therefore mine because you know now she's you know, she's eight, and she's going on nine. And that ride still now that that ride holds so many great memories for her because that is kind of her anchor her anchor for Disney. And some some people it's it's Dumbo for my daughter, it was the carousel and so that is on that's on my emotional Mount Rushmore. There's a lot better technical stuff out there. But that in a lot of ways the way that Haunted Mansion holds a lot more than just a ride mechanic for you for for my Mount Rushmore. My number two is Cinderella's golden carousel because it was the ride that my daughter we  first fell in love with Disney. And to this very day we always go on it and there's some times my wife will go on with her and I'll go and you know get us ice cream or go get the you know, go stand and try to get a pass for a ride but I always love it. Just and that's when you can even watch from the sides and watch your child go around every 30 seconds, and you just watch them. 

 

Duane Willey  

Yeah. 

 

Marc Valentine  

And you could just take them, film them with the camera and smile at them and wave. And it's just it's a, it's a feel good ride. As a parent, as a parent, it's a feel right? It's a feel good ride.

 

Duane Willey  

It's a great ride

 

Marc Valentine  

 to just watch your kids be immersed in Disney in that in that moment and just say, I'm so happy that we're here. That's my number two.

 

Duane Willey  

Yeah, I like it. Um, you mentioned something when we were talking about that just then, about getting your kids there early. And you said between between three and four is when she was there. And we've done this with both of our kids. My kids now are 18 and 14. But both right around for three and a half. Four. I feel like is a good time to get these kids in the parks. Yeah. Because at that point, they really can start to really sense the magic. Yeah. And it just it's a perfect time. I know. That's a different tangent, different show. But I agree. 100%

 

Marc Valentine  

It's always another show. That's the best thing, always another show, when I first started this too, they said, you know, just pick something that you're gonna have content. I said, Oh, trust me, that will never be an issue. 

 

Duane Willey  

It's never gonna be a problem.

 

Marc Valentine  

All right, go ahead. What's your number two? 

 

Duane Willey  

All right, number two, I'm going to and in no particular order, but I'm going to go with It's a small world. And that's probably a surprise to some. Because I did give Melissa a hard time about It's a small world being on the thrill ride list, things like that. I may have even mentioned this on one of on that podcast that day. It's a small world. And I know again polarizing, ride, right. Some people are like, Oh my gosh, I hear that song. And you know, they love it. And some people are like, I can't get that song out of my head. Oh my gosh, get me out of here. Well, for me, it's an emotional thing. My grandmother, who's been gone now, you know, several years, it was her favorite ride. And so regardless, as I got older, you know, a lot of times I'll it's I'd rather go ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, I'd rather go ride Space Mountain. However, if my grandmother was there, I had to ride It's a small world with my grandmother. Yeah. And I have some seriously some really good special connections and memories of riding it with my grandmother. I have a picture and I it's not of It's a small world. But Same thing goes with my grandmother, I have a picture of my grandmother and I and I think I showed it to you of the day that Epcot opened and my grandmother and I there a picture in front of Spaceship Earth that day that it opened so I have these memories, but riding It's a small world with her, you know her just telling me all these things and you know, telling me about the different places and pointing things out to me as I was growing up. And then now going back, I have to do it. And I immediately I no sooner sit in that boat, and that boat move forward. And I think of my grandmother, that's, you know, so

 

Marc Valentine  

so so I'm gonna I'm gonna throw myself under the bus or the boat on this one. So originally my Mount Rushmore included country bear Jamboree, right. And I changed I had a I had a crisis of conscience in the last few minutes before we came to air like about a half hour before we came to air. And I I had like this guilt about not putting on small world, and listen country bears. I'm really sorry, you almost made it. So country bears was my honorable mention, by the way outside of pirates, and I just felt so guilty. Cuz small small world was quintessential Disney for me. I remember my earliest memories were of that. But I had some really great memories of when Linda and I went when we were courting. We have some really funny stories. I can't tell this one on air because we were just talking about me yelling in the in the stretching room and people think I'm a monster already. But I had I had a really bad memory of I think I was 17 years old or 18 years old, where I scared a poor kid on small world, which is not possible. But I was a teenager I've really sorry, turned around out to her mom and said, and it doesn't matter. I'm telling the story anyway, people are gonna turn around to her mom, the kid must have been five or six years old and said mommy is scary. And I was like, Yes, it's scary. The mom hit me, mom actually hit me. And then Lynda hit me, I was like, I was joking I. But I was 17 I didn't understand sarcasm. I wasn't intentionally trying to scare the kid. I was just like a snarky 17 year old kid making a joke, right was making off color joke not realizing like this kid was probably terrified of the ride, but I do I have really good memories of that. So originally, I had lifted off my Mount Rushmore, and then I thoroughly regretted it because there's just so many great memories that's associated with it. And I mean this when I say it's, I know it's polarizing that that song never like it doesn't faze me and you always get stuck in that last room, right no matter what it is to cue the boat. Always pile up in that last room. So you're in the white room for a good five minutes longer than you ever want to be. And everybody starts to twitch a little bit by the, you know, by the end of it, but I've never felt that way. Like, I like being in that room. That's, it's also cool. Like when you queue up, that's when I pull out the camera and I just start snapping, because I know I'm going to be there for a while I have some really great rad footage, which, you know, I've been making some videos for all of you to share on social media. They all have you can all see now. Now you see, like, it's like, man, Mark's got a lot of white room footage and all his videos. Well, that's because I'm sitting in the boat, just taking videos from the last few minutes of the small world. So it's mine on two. So we both share a haunted mansion. And we both share that one. The carousels a little different. So I gave you my third so you gotta you really got to go with three to keep us in.

 

Duane Willey  

All right, well, then I'm going to go with Jungle Cruise. Jungle Cruise would be number three on my our third of the four on the Mount Rushmore for me, it's just fun. I mean, come on. It's a classic day, you know, opening day attraction. And it's fun. I was actually my wife and I were having a conversation right before I came in here to talk to you about Jungle Cruise. And I just asked her, you know, I said, Well, I said, what's one of your favorite things about Jungle Cruise? She said to be honest with you. She said the corny jokes. And she says no matter our you know, corny jokes, Dad jokes, however you want to call them yeah, she says they always remind her of our son, our son's 14. And he is the king of the dad jokes. I mean, when he's a dad I can only imagine he loves a dad joke. You know, a corny joke to him is the funniest thing in the world. We go on there. And it just never gets old. You know, the backside of water never gets old. Just all of it. You know. So to me, I enjoy it. I love to hear the corny jokes. I also love the variety. You get dependent upon the skipper. Yeah, and we've all had the skipper who's okay? But hopefully we've all had that Skipper who was over the top, the best of the best. And I have a couple like that. And I wish to be honest with you. I wish I could remember their names. And I told I told Laurie I said the next time we go and we have one like that, I'm going to get a picture. I'm going to write down their name. And they're getting a cast compliment. That's awesome. I said because they're just they can really make it take it to the next level.

 

Marc Valentine  

Well, they're the ones that make it Yeah, that's a ride that's very dependent on the cast member and they're all very good. The cast members are are the most central feature of that. And here's the other cool part about it is technically now it's a little bit of a thrill ride. Is your boat gonna sink 

 

Duane Willey  

Is your boat gonna sink?

 

Marc Valentine  

And if it does, you just get your standing ankle deep in muddy water that's purposely money and put that way people I used to think that the water was just disgusting. And you know, it took me until I was an adult to realize that they dye it and it's so heavily chlorinated that it's not it's not disgusting water. It's they make it look disgusting, intentional, but it's a great ride at night as well. This did not make my list. This is it's tough when you're choosing a Mount Rushmore and you have that many great rides. Some stuff is just not going to get there. This did not make it for me. My last one because we you know we've I've kind of done all of mine. We've we've shared two and then I gave you the carousel. My last one is Dumbo. And again, more so for the memories that are attached to Dumbo. More More so than anything else. It's iconic. Whenever Disney's doing commercials. I know this is cliche. They always show the family. That's riding on Dumbo and the tear jerker in music. And you know that mom and dad are on Dumbo with the kids and like it just but there's a reason why is because some of the best memories you ever have are with your young kids on Dumbo. It's not a fancy ride mechanic. Every single boardwalk has a ride that's like that where you can take the you can take the ride vehicle up and down. It just goes around in a circle. Disney has even duplicated it numerous times across the parks. You go on almost every single Park and there's a Dumbo like ride right in almost all of the parks in almost all of them. But there's something about Dumbo. There's a magic to it. There's a classic Disney feel to it. There's the atmosphere of the Storybook Circus, and I'm sure a little bit of it some is also that marketing that when Disney kind of you know, when they feature Disney they pull that ride in, they pull the heartstrings on it, but that was one that I could not get over and I remember again when my daughter was little, and this is not just a ride that I had fond memories of as a kid, because I remember when we walked in, and I was a grown man by that point, but when I went with my daughter, I looked at Dumbo, We gotta go on Dumbo, like I was excited on it to say this is gonna be amazing for her but because I wanted her to feel what I felt for that ride and then I took her on it and we did like I did recordings and pictures and live videos and also still go back and look at those pictures of her or the like that moment in time where I'll go back and look at this little this little for, you know, five years ago, you know, when your kids 8, when you look back at three, it feels like a lifetime ago. It does. And simultaneously, it feels like yesterday. Mm hmm. And it makes you appreciate and understand how fast life goes, and even your own life, and that you look back and you remember yourself as a kid in that ride. And then you see that in your own child's eyes. And you realize how important these moments are, and why you go to Disney. As a family. It's not about the money you spend. It's not about the rides that you get on. It's about the memories that you make together that lasts truly lasts a lifetime. Because when you go on it as an adult as a 40 year old man, and you remember the rides with mom and dad and the trips that you took as a family, and then I'm sure that when I'm 60 and 65 and I'm taking my grandkids, I'll probably have those same feels and even stronger than to watch my daughter and her children on that ride. It will it will kind of give me that that same feeling. It's like it's it sends me chills, which is why we do this, you know, which is why we do this. And it's like, it's like I tell people, you know, and the thing is, I continue to say this on numerous podcasts is there are people that don't quite understand Disney. But then when I talked to them, I said listen, for me, it's Disney. But for you, like you You have a spot that you like that you you know, maybe it's the Catskills you know, maybe it's Lake George, maybe it's Wildwood crest, like, we all have a place that we have an emotional connection to like you really, you understand it, you really understand this Disney life you do for you. It's you know, people have beach life, or people have you know, like, um, you know, they have gotten a lake Lake life for country living. I'm like, you get this. I'm like, I just, I just like to celebrate it. You know, I like to try to live that every single day. So that's all that this is like, because people are like, Man, you're a real Disney nut. I'm like, I am. I am. And like, I don't I don't hide it. But I also tell people, it's really not that hard to understand. We all have things that we love passions that we love, hobbies that we love that things that become central to our kind of like, they're ingrained in our DNA. And I tell people like, those memories that you build as a family or whatever it is, like, those are the things that you cling to, on a bad day to help you get through. I'm like, that's all this is, like, it's not really that weird or that funky. I said, I've just I've just turned it into a radio show to keep the keep the vibes, right? That's it. I was like, I just I just kind of like I turned it into something that I can do constantly to extend that joy or to kind of keep it at the forefront of you know, unlike like, this week, this week, this was a tough week for America. Right? You know, for forever, for any side for any side. It was stressful. It was you know, there was a lot of anxiety. And that's why I said to you, hey, Dwayne, like let's, let's keep it going, you know, you were like, Hey, man, I'm in but I'm in the podcast vibe, I've been feeling really good. I'm like, Hey, man, let's let's keep it going. Let's not turn on the news. Let's just keep it going. But

 

Duane Willey  

thats what we've done,

 

Marc Valentine  

for sure. And that's what we've done. But like a ride like Dumbo that that's what that is, is it's it's a silly little ride, it's a kid's ride, but the emotions and the memories and all the stuff that's tied to it. And to this place in general, like, those are my four that when I think of those rides, they, they just give me happiness and joy. And they remind me of what's important in life, which is, you know, your family, and take taking time to get away from the grind. And it's not about money. It's not about it's not about work, those things help pay for them. But at the end of my life, I'll never say man, you know, I'm so glad I did that extra two hours at work that day. But at the end of my life, before I close my eyes for good. I will think about these moments and say I'm so glad that I squeezed the juice out of those moments when I could. And that that's what it's all about. That's what Dumbo is for me. That's what a haunted mansion is for me and you and like, that's why the like these classic rides. Again, we're talking about classic rides, and we're talking about so much more.

 

Duane Willey  

Yeah, absolutely. I'll just kind of piggyback there, my, my number four. And again, we kind of went back and forth and had had the we allowed Pirates of the Caribbean to be part of that. Pirates would have been, you know, on my Mount Rushmore, when we decided that really wasn't, you know, because it wasn't an opening day. I went with Dumbo. And the reason I did is because it's iconic. When you think of Disney World when you see the commercials for Disney World when you all have that one, like you said, what are they going to show? They're going to show mom and the daughter or dad and his daughter on Dumbo and the memories and you know how I remember you know, when it was in the other location and then it was moved. And then now there's two of them. We have dueling dumbos now And but yeah, it's Dumbo because it's just iconic to kind of also piggyback something you said earlier, an honorable mention really for both of us and you didn't know this would I would absolutely be country bear Jamboree. And again, for me, I don't know how my dad ends up in this in this episode so much. But that was a ride that my dad and I had to watch. had to go see, actually my dad, my uncles, my grandfather's. We, you know, we did big family trips. When I was growing up. We went to Disney pretty much every year. And a lot of times, that would be my mom and dad, my family, my grandparents, my aunt and uncle, you know, that whole side of the family, we would go together. And I can remember us sitting there watching the country bear Jamboree, you know, and hearing those songs, you know, there's blood on this. You know? I like that. We're just cracking up, you know. And so, yeah, honorable mention there. But yeah, so that Dumbo rounds out the top four of my Mount Rushmore. So we are pretty similar.

 

Marc Valentine  

So I think, you know, to kind of to kind of like close it out, too. I had a very, I had a very, like, strong dad. I love I'm not like I'm not my father. He grew up fast. His father passed away when he was little so became the man of the house when he was a teenager. And he worked very hard. I'm, like, very grateful for my dad, he doesn't listen to this podcast. So probably never hear this. But I had a I had a, I had a dad who, you know, went worked really hard, came home, really late put food on the table worked really hard to support us, we did not have a lot of money. And when we went to Disney, you know, as I look back now, as an adult, realize that those were really big trips, because we were probably always financially stretched really thin. And my father made sure that we had those those memories and those trips. And we didn't go all that often. But I do remember as a kid, you know, my dad didn't he didn't laugh a lot. You know, like, he wasn't a very happy go lucky person. He laughed. There was laughter in our household, but um, he wasn't like, he wasn't silly or goofy in any way. Like, he was a really, like, he was a very rooted guy. He was a real traditional guy. He was, you know, like, very stereotypical, like, reminiscent of the 50s and 60s, like he was like an Archie Bunker kind of guy. Mm hmm. You know, real traditional guy. But as I think back at Disney, and I remember Disney, I always remember his smile, like he had a perennial smile, and he was so happy. Like, he was just always so happy at Disney. And like, he would laugh, and he would joke and we would have fun and like, you know, like every family you got, you know, fitted to you, like families get stressed out at Disney, like, you get the five o'clock and the kids are flipping out. And there's always a little meltdown. And then I want to apologize, and we're back. We're fine, we're happy. But I have great memories of Disney because I remember that on those trips, my dad was happy. And I remember feeling so good. And I was a sickly kid too growing up. And I've shared that with all of you. Like I don't, I don't talk about that. That's my life. But Disney was always the one place that I felt invulnerable, I felt happy. I felt like none of that matter. Like none of none of the other stuff that went on in the world mattered. And so I kind of like I kept that my whole life. So you know, like you did with the weather. It's Country Bears Jamboree to me, like, I remember those moments, during shows or during rides and looking at my dad's face and him having a real smile on his face. And the smile was and I get it now. wasn't even that he was having fun on it. Maybe he was out. Maybe he was having fun on the rides. But he was happy that he was doing that for his kids. And that he saw that we were so happy. And I'm yeah, I'm like tearing up a little bit, I think but that like that is I think the start of why I loved Disney was it was a moment that I had with my family. And then with my fiance and then with my kids that Disney knows how to market those moments that they know how to make those memories. So these classic rides are so like they're just there's so much more than just rides. And that's what I love about them. So like my... And it's so funny too, because I we've you know, we I think we kicked some ideas around too. But none of us quite knew what our final four were. We said hey, well, we'll reveal, but we really weren't that far off. We shared Dumbo we shared we shared the Haunted Mansion we really share pirates, you know, the carousel was unique for me. Country bears was you know, unique for you. But like we were really not that far off with our with our pics. Were really really cool and small world we were both dead on with small world. Yeah. So and it's hard You know, the only one that we really different on and I'm not It's not that I don't love it. It was just you only get to pick four you know. I mean like is and it's like we do with our listeners when we say hey Pixar films, there's 22, you get five. We cheat, like we cheat, we pick from 22. We rate all 22. But we only give them five. So we kind of practiced what we preached in this in this time round, that we said, Hey, we're giving ourselves 21 you get four some stuff just gets cut. Yeah, it just gets cut. This was really fun. 

 

Duane Willey  

So much fun.

 

Marc Valentine  

It was a great episode. Dwayne, it's a listen. It's always fun to have you on we I love. I love having all you guys on. I'm just I love the way that you've all become. Like, you're like the team. You're the team. And I love bringing you's all around, because you keep my Disney life filled with filled with laughter filled with joy. And I'm thankful. Listen, this is this is the month of November, it's all about being thankful. I'm thankful for you guys. I'm thankful for my Disney life. I'm thankful for the gifts I have in my life. And it does, it really doesn't get much better. I knew this was a stressful week, election weeks are always stressful weeks. But we're gonna be okay. And you know, just I always focus on the things that are great in your life. Listen, let's go back and listen to Bonnie last week too. Because everybody's like, Yo, man, you're so calm. And I'm like, Listen, I had I had such a great interview with Bonnie cribs last week. It just gave me a little bit of perspective on on life. Like, he lost his house in a flood. Right? And he just he shares that, like, it just happened. And then I made the change. And then even like, even the stuff he talked about, like, I mean, like so many Americans that his livelihood evaporated in March. Yeah. And you know, and he just, he kept going. And he's so upbeat. And he's so positive. And it's not a it's not like a delusional thing. It's just you look at you look at Bonnie Lake, a lot of cast members, you say, Man, that's, that's how you should be. That's the attitude of resilience, and happiness that you should allow to permeate your life no matter what challenges you no matter what comes your way, you know, don't don't you don't ignore it. But like, take it all with a grain of salt realize it's like, it could be bad or it could, but we're gonna get over it. We're gonna keep going. 

 

Duane Willey  

Absolutely, 

 

Marc Valentine  

but I want to thank you all, Dwayne, thank you for joining me again. It's all good. Listen, it's always awesome having you.

 

Duane Willey  

 Let me say one thing to mark, we're thankful for you as well. You know, I Laurie and I've talked about it and a bunch of us in the group. I feel like, you know, we're all blessed to have each other. So we're definitely thankful for you where Thank you thankful for the Disney life podcast, and just the fun that we're having. just sharing this Disney life together. We're serious, you know? I really appreciate you, man.

 

Marc Valentine  

So yeah, thank you. Thank you for saying that. I don't want to get too much into it. Because I wax poetic. I'll get overly emotional. But it's nice to know that I have a kindred spirit that's going to wake up with me at 6am. Run, grab coffee dressed ready to go and try to get everybody out. It's nice to know that I'm not abnormal. Thank you so much. I can't wait. I can't wait for the next one. Let's get another list going. 

 

Duane Willey  

You got it. 

 

Marc Valentine  

have a wonderful rest of your week. And thanks for joining the show. We love having you. So thanks man. They so that's it. Ladies and gentlemen. We had a great week yet again. Thank you so much for joining us every single week here on Disney life podcast. I hope that you have as much fun as I do with these episodes. It is just such a pleasure to come here every single week and share my Disney life with you all. I hope you have a great week with your families. Thank you so much for joining us. Take care. I hope the rest of your week is filled with faith, trust, and pixie dust. see you real soon. Whether you're coming to Florida to visit Disney or the beach, Hinson photography specializes in vacation portraits for families and couples. a souvenir that you'll never forget. Visit www.hinsonphotography.com or call 3864788099 to learn more about booking vacation portraits with Hinson photography that's www.hinsonphotography.com

Duane Willey

Guest Host, Social Media Manager, Pollmaster Extraordinaire

Duane Willey serves as the administrator and social media manager for the highly successful FaceBook Disney Communities, For the Love of Disney World and Mouse Marketplace. He also helps manage marketing for Enchanting Escapes by Lori across social media. Duane's love of Disney stemmed from childhood and took root during family trips to Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida. Duane has shared with the show his emotional connection to Disney that has been passed on from one generation to the next. As a Disney Dad, Duane's passion for Disney has inspired his family, who now see Disney through his eyes. He and Marc are kindred spirits in their approach to Disney World, and Duane is a frequent contributor to the podcast and great friend of the show. He coordinates the polls for some of the most outstanding episodes and is well known on social media for his engaging and sometimes hilarious social media polls and queries. He takes great pride in his ability to handily defeat Melissa and coordinate his fans to outpoll Melissa twice now in DLP poll episodes, but still laments his catastrophic loss to Melissa which he hopes to avenge in 2021. While he enjoys Toy Story Mania, the defeat that he suffered at its hands weighs heavy on his mind to this day. :)