Today we are interviewing Ricky Brigante from Inside the Magic, an award winning Disney podcast and website. I don't want to say anything else, because here is the interview.
Q:What was you first experience with Disney?
A:Trips to theme parks are some of my earliest memories. I remember riding 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, and The Haunted Mansion as a young boy, as well as watching the Main Street Electrical Parade.
Q:Where did the idea for Inside The Magic come from?
A:Upon learning of a new form of media called “podcasting” in 2005, I called upon my interest in audio and video production and decided to create a “podcast” of my own. It was intended merely as some thing fun to do once a week. The concept of simply picking up a microphone and hitting record reminded me of days in elementary school where my friends and I sat down in front of a tape recorder to create our own “radio shows.” Of course, those “shows” were never heard by anyone except us and our parents. This podcast was going to go out to the world.
I searched the few podcasts that existed at the time for my various interests and found there was only one Disney-related podcast in existence at the time. I thought it would be a perfect topic to talk about each week, as I knew there was always something new and interesting at Disney's theme parks, which were/are local to where I live in the Orlando area. After quickly assembling a very, very basic web page and reading about RSS feeds, I planned and recorded a short episode that became the first “Inside the Magic.”
Q:When you first started Inside the Magic did you have a goal?
A:The only goal I had was to bring a bit of Disney magic from the local theme parks to whoever wanted to listen to the podcast, whether it was 10 people or 10,000. I had no expectations of how small or big the endeavor would be.
Q:How does Lanyard Lab come into the picture?
A:Lanyard Lab is a separate business I started. It's not really connected to Inside the Magic other than also being my own creation. I've hopped around between a few different jobs over the years I've worked on Inside the Magic, founding a pair of businesses along the way, including Lanyard Lab. Inside the Magic remains as a constant hobby / “side job” throughout my career changes.
Q:What is your most recent Disney merchandise purchase, and your favorite?
A:My most recent Disney purchase was the new Carbon Freeze Me experience at Star Wars Weekends, which was a lot of fun. My house is packed with Disney collectibles and it's tough to choose a favorite, though I am partial to our extensive collection of Haunted Mansion memorabilia.
Q:Hot seat question:What would you change about the Disney Parks?
A:Though I love the rides, my favorite part of visiting Disney Parks is simply enjoying the atmosphere and ambience, being transported to another place and time. Disneyland in California has many areas in which guests can just sit, relax, and people watch. Or enjoy a great meal. Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom is lacking those areas currently. I understand New Fantasyland will be included more environments like that, which I am looking forward to, and I wish there were more trees, benches, and shady areas for relaxing out here in that park and the others.
Q:What is your #1/favorite attraction at the parks? What is your favorite park?
A:The Haunted Mansion is easily my favorite attraction and Disneyland Park in Anaheim is my favorite, as it has the special feeling of Walt having been there.
Q:I completely agree, Disneyland has always been my favorite. How many Disney Parks have you been to?
A:All United States parks: 6.
Q:What does Disney mean to you?
A:Disney, as a whole, embodies happiness, excitement, and an overall feeling of being welcomed in to the family. Regardless of whether it's a theme park, movie, or special event, Disney creates entertainment that reaches beyond simple thrills and tells a story that all can relate to and become part of, escaping from reality for a while into a fantasy world of magic and mystery.
Over the last week we have had a couple of other interviews, make sure to check them out.