The Tour Bus Music Show - Episode# 45

Saturate

On this episode of The Tour Bus Music Show we feature and interview with and music by Saturate of Baytown, Texas. Mike Mexas, the guitarist and a founder of the group joins us to discuss their newest album,The Separation Effect, what the band has been up to since their 2010 appearance on the show, their current tour,  some of their plans for 2016.

When we caught up with Mike, Saturate had just finished up several dates on tour with Saliva and was about to leave for a series of shows across Louisiana and in Texas. We spent time discussing the writing and creation of their current album as well as about the experience in the studio of recording the album.

In this episode we  also feature three songs from The Separation Effect: Unyielding, The Slip and Bitter Pill as well as a track from their 2013 release Damage the Memory:In Our Own Way.

You can connect with Saturate, check out what they are currently up to, find out where they are currently touring, and help support the band and their music by purchasing their merch, clothng and music by visiting them here: Facebook, BandCamp, Twitter, ReverbNation, and Instagram.

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Saturate is:

J.Miller - Vocals

Mike Mexas - Guitar

Curtis Smith - Guitar

Hector Porras - Bass

Fernando Cruz - Drums

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Current Tour Dates (As Of February 10, 2016)

2/25/2016 - Southport Music Hall - New Orleans, LA

2/26/2016 - The Brickhouse - Houma, LA

2/27/2016 - The Corner Pub - Slidell, LA

2/28/2016 - Acadia - Houston, TX

3/11/2016 - Augustine's - Hammond, LA

3/18/2016 - The Office - Houston, TX

Direct download: GSM_TTBMS_045.mp3
Category:TTBMS -- posted at: 2:02am CST

That's Right Sweetheart! You asked for it, and you got it! The rock that makes you roll, The Tour Bus Music Show is back with new bands, new music,  and even more attitude! Check back soon for more details! http://tourbusmusicshow.com

Direct download: TTBMS_Commercial_1.wav
Category:general -- posted at: 11:40pm CST

The Tour Bus Music Show - Episode# 44 – Interview and Music With American Swindle

Welcome everyone to Episode# 44 pf the Tour Bus Music Show. I’m T. Michael Fairchild and I’ll be your host. It’s been a bit since our last show and it’s been time well spent. One of our biggest changes is that our former network, Audios Maximus, is now Thrive Media Network and you can find this show as well as many other great podcasts at our new website: ithrivehere.com. We’ve got a lot of great shows coming up this season with some extremely talented groups and artists. We’ll also be posting some video content of our summer adventures on our network site as well as on our main site at www.thetourbusmusicshow.com. Well first and foremost this show is about great music and today’s show is no exception. Today we are featuring American Swindle which is on powerful rock trio from the great state of Texas. I’ll be talking with lead vocalist and guitarist for the group, Joey Kilcommons, Mike Guidry laying down he bottom end on bass and Don Rosecrans on drums and vocals. I have to say that even though we experienced a few technical issues with our communications provider that night, the interview was a lot of fun talking to a group of guys that are as talented as they are down to earth. I had a great time interviewing them and am looking forward to seeing this group live as soon as the opportunity is available. Our interview ran just over 30 minutes and we’ll also feature four songs from their EP which is available along with a lot of other information about the band at: www.americanswindleband.com.

The songs we will be featuring in this episode are:

·        Goodbye Angel

·        Drifter

·        Where Did We Go Wrong

·        X’s For Eyes

Thank you everyone for taking the time our of your day to join us and ask you that if you like the show and want to help others to find it as well, please take just a moment to give us a positive rating on iTunes and tell your friends and family about the show. 

   

Direct download: TMN_TTBMS_044.mp3
Category:TTBMS -- posted at: 10:24pm CST

It has been referred to as the “Home of American Music”, “America’s Musical Showpark” and promised “Great Shows, Great Rides and Great Times”. The park originally opened  with 120 acres of rides and attractions. It opened on June 30, 1972 and remained open until December 31, 1997. At the parks peak in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s the park enjoyed the attendance over 2 million guests annually. Welcome to Opryland USA.

Opryland USA, which was usually referred to as Opryland was born due to the popularity of its namesake The Grand Ole’ Opry and the move of the Opry from its long time location at the Ryman Auditorium to its current location at the Grand Ole Opry House. But before we tell the story of the park, we’ll tell the story of The Grand Ole Opry itself…

Stepping back it in time we go back to the Roarin’ 20’s, 1925 to be exact. The Grand Ole Opry started out as the WSM Barn Dance. What was WSM you may ask? WSM was an AM radio station owned by the National Life & Accident Insurance Company. The radio studio was housed on the fifth floor of their building in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. In October of 1925 the station began a program featuring “Dr. Humphrey Bate and his string quartet of old-time musicians”. A couple of weeks after the program aired WSM hired what would become their long-time program director and announcer George D. “Judge” Hay. Hay wasted no time, after coming on board he quickly recruited the seasoned 77 year old fiddler Uncle Jimmy Thompson and then on November 28, 1925 and re-launched the WSM Barn Dance, and although the phrase would not actually be mentioned on air for another 2 years, that date is credited for being the official birth date of The Grand Ole Opry.

During the 1930’s the popularity of the program led to many artists, who would later become country music legends, performing on the Opry as well as the length of the Saturday night show being extended to 4 hours. Being broadcast at that time at 50,000 watts, the show became a staple in homes in 30 states eventually becoming a national show when it was picked up by NBC Radio in 1939. All the time this was happening, the live audience of the show grew quickly leading the show to being moved from its original studio to larger and larger venues to accommodate the audience size. Eventually the audience grew to such a size that measures were taken to control attendance by charging a 25 cent admission charge. That, having little effect to dissuade attendance, led to the show being moved to the Ryman Auditorium. It was during the Ryman years that music legends such as Hank Williams (who was eventually banned in 1952 due to his alcohol problems), Patsy Cline, Roy Acuff, The Carter Family, Bill Monroe, Ernest Tubb, Kitty Wells, Minnie Pearl and many others came to be frequent performers on the Grand Ole Opry Stage.

The Opry’s growing attendance numbers due to its popularity along with deterioration issues with the Ryman Auditorium led to the decision to find a new home for the show. It was decided by WSM, Inc., the operator of the Opry that it would be relocated nine miles east of downtown Nashville, on a tract of land that was owned by a sausage manufacturer (Rudy’s Farm) in the Pennington Bend area of Nashville, it was also decided to build a theme park and hotel/convention center with the new Grand Ole Opry House becoming the crown jewel of the grand entertainment complex. Ironically, the theme park would open on June 30, 1972 prior to the Grand Ole Opry House debuting there on March 16, 1974.

The park would receive its original name from WSM disk jockey, Grant Turner’s early morning show, Opryland USA, with its own name honoring the stars of the Grand Ole Opry.

Although the Grand Ole Opry had always dedicated itself to mostly featuring traditional, conservative Country Music (with only a couple of exceptions); Opryland USA’s overall theme was more of a generalized blend of American Music consisting of bluegrass, gospel, jazz, pop and rock and roll with the theme carrying through not only to the rides but the shows as well. As a matter of fact the Rock N’ Roller Coaster was a opening day attraction.

WSM’s bet paid off in a big way as the entire complex proved extremely popular and spurred its first expansion in 1975. In a move that would fit right in with culture of the park the “State Fair” area was created featuring carnival games, the Wabash Cannonball roller coaster, the Tennessee Waltz swing ride and the Country Bumpkin Bumper Cars. As would become the norm because of the parks limited size, the park would have to remove an attraction in order to add a new one. In this case it was the park’s buffalo exhibit that would disappear in favor of the new attractions. But the Wabash Cannonball roller coaster would prove to be one of the favorite rides at the park until it’s closure 22 years later.

In a setback for the park for its 1975 season, not too long before the park was set to open the Cumberland River experienced a large flood that inundated most of the park with some areas submerged by up to 16 feet of water. Fortunately, the park was able to recover from the flood quickly with the opening day being delayed only for one month, but on a sadder note several of the animals from the petting zoo did not survive the ordeal.

Attendance continued to grow throughout the 1970’s and into the 1980’s partly due to the parks location and its ability to draw guests throughout Tennessee and several surrounding states being that there were no other comparable parks within a reasonable driving distance. Most other parks such as St. Louis’s Six Flags over Mid-America, Charlotte’s Carowinds, Atlanta’s Six Flags over Georgia and the northern King’s Island in Cincinnati were a 4 to 6 hour or more drive making them impractical for a day trip.

As park attendance grew and attractions grew, it ushered in the need for a hotel in order to keep guests onsite for more than a day. In 1977 the Opryland Hotel, a large resort hotel, was built next to the park. Then in 1979 the Roy Acuff Theater next door to the Grand Ole Opry House in the plaza area and was the primary venue for the theme parks premier musical events and productions. In a shrewd business move the theater was actually built outside the park’s perimeter and while because of this you did not need theme park tickets to attend events, productions held there usually did require separate tickets from park admission and in most cases drew day guest’s from the parks to the events as well as the general public, thereby increasing the park’s revenue.

In 1982, things changed for the Opryland complex in an abet, “Grand” way. The parent company of WSM, Inc., (National Life and Accident Insurance Company, later NLT Corporation) was absorbed by American General from Texas. Unlike it’s predecessor, who had benefitted from the advertising value and name recognition of owning and supporting the Grand Ole Opry, American General had no experience with or running an entertainment business and furthermore had no interest in running a theme park nor the broadcast business.

It almost immediately set about the task of finding a buyer for all of NLT’s former entertainment assets and approached some of the larger entertainment and hospitality corporations such as MCA, Anheuser-Busch and the Marriott Corporations about the possibility of selling them all as a “package” deal. While some potential buyers were interested in individual parts like the theme park, the hotel, or the Grand Ole Opry itself; no one company was interested in buying them all at once. After a time, American General began considering that the only way they would be able to divest themselves of these properties would be to split them up into different entities.

As fate would have it, just about that time Gaylord Broadcasting Company of Oklahoma City stepped in and bought nearly all of them lock, stock and barrel. The Opryland Complex, the WSM radios stations and it would have bought the WSM-TV station as well had they had not been at their limit of television stations that they were allowed to own by the government. After the purchase was complete, the name was changed to Gaylord Entertainments Company. In fact, Ed Gaylord, who was then heading the media empire was instrumental in Opryland’s acquisition. Mr. Gaylord, as it turned out was a huge fan of the Opry and spearheaded the effort to purchase it and keep it intact.

As an added bonus, the acquisition also included then fledgling WSM cable network, TNN (The Nashville Network) and its production division Opryland Productions. TNN has since gone on to become a television network dedicated entirely to Country Music. For a number of years TNN’s offices and production facilities continued to be located on-site in Opryland as well as one of its shows, Nashville Now (then later Music City Tonight) was filmed in the Gaslight Theater within the park itself and the park was often used as a backdrop for numerous concerts and performances of popular country music stars.

With Gaylord now owning and backing the park and the enthusiastic leader of the parent company as a fan, the future looked bright for Opryland USA…and for a while at least it would be, but the clouds were beginning to gather.

With the purchase of the park now behind them, 1982 would bring more expansion to the park but with growth would come more growing pains due to the limitations of space. Future expansion from this point would mean that for every new addition to the park, something would have to go.

In 1984, a third roller coaster arrived in the New Orleans area of the park. It was named “ The Screamin’ Delta Demon”. A second, yet more subtle park gate was also added adjacent to the parking lot as well for the 1984 season.

As the 1980’s pressed on, the park would face an issue that it never really had to deal with before…competition. As I had mentioned earlier the park had faired well during the 1970’s and early 1980’s because, while other attractions did exist in Tennessee and it’s surrounding states, there we’re no direct competitors that equal to Opryland USA using te same model. But that was about to change with the opening of kentucky Kingdom in Louisville, Kentucky and the former Silver Dollar City in Pigeon Forge, Tenessee rebranded and improved to become Dollywood, a partnership between the Herschend Brothers and singer, songwriter and actress Dolly Parton. Now with two other parks within driving distance and both competing for Opryland’s guest’s the park stepped up it’s game by committing to making annual changes to retain it’s local and out-of-town guests and adding major attractions such as the General Jackson Showboat (which still continues to operate to this day near Opry Mills), they also added new roller coasters and water rides until the end of the decade with the opening of the “Chaos” roller coaster. 

In 1992 the Chevy-Geo Celebrity Theater opened and for two seasons the performances here were included with the regular park admission. Then in 1994 and 1995 the park began up-charging guests for the concerts held in the theater. Then in a short-lived attempt to capitalize on the success and revenue of the Chevy-Geo Celebrity Theater, Opryland added two more venues; Theater By The Lake and The Roy Acuff Theater each, receiving renovations and expansions, and added them to the concert series and billing it as Nashville On Stage. However, it turned out to be “too much of a good thing by creating more supply than there was demand for the live entertainment” and due to the lackluster sales the multi-venue concert series was moved back to the Chevy-Geo Celebrity Theater serving as the single concert venue inside the park.

Many other things were promoted to bring visitors to the park such as the taping of several weeks of the popular Mark Goodson Game Show “Family Feud” featuring some of the biggest stars in country music at the time including, just to name a couple, the Mandrell’s and the Statler Brothers. Also in reference to TNN’s coverage of NASCAR and Opryland’s designation with NASCAR the annual “TNN Salute to Motorsports” would take place one weekend a year at the park starting in the early 1990’s and continuing until the parks final closing.

Large events were held in the late years of the park, for example the Grizzly River Rampage was used as a course for the NationsBank Whitewater Championships, which (in 1995 alone) served as a qualifier for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. After the events were completed, the course was drained and a temporary Halloween attraction—"Quarantine", tied into the storyline of the neighboring indoor roller coaster "Chaos"—was constructed in its bed and would run during the halloween season from1995 through 1997.

In 1995, in what would come to be the final large attraction would open at the park, The Hangman roller coaster was opened. Also starting in 1994, Gaylord began investing heavily in the rejuvenation of the downtown Nashville entertainment district. The company renovated an old and dilapidated Second Avenue building into what became the Wildhorse Saloon and was also behind the major rennovation and reopening of the Ryman Auditorium. With the investment made in the downtown entertainment district they began to offer a water taxi service between the downtown district and the theme park and solidified the connection between the two areas by renaming the theme park as Opryland Theme Park and using the existing name of Opryland USA as the figurehead name for all of Gaylord Entertainment’s Nashville properties.

Now with all of the investment going into the area and a new coaster for the park you would think that would signal good things for the future of the park but short-sighted planning and baseless decisions would soon signal the beginning of the end for Opryland theme park. For a moment, we’re going to step back in time to 1993. At the time the theme park had grown to 200 acres in size. Let’s put that in perspective. For those of us who are familiar with Disney’s theme parks let’s compare Opryland Theme Park’s 200 acres  to Walt Disney’s Magic Kindom Park coming in at approxamately 142 acres or Disney’s Hollywood Studios Theme Park at 154 acres. Granted EPCOT is over 100 acres larger at 300 acres but I think you get the picture. Opryland at the time was not a small theme park by any means and still needed room to grow. However, that was not to be. A project that would put the final nails in the preverbial coffin for the theme park was to be called “The Delta” and it would be started in 1993 and would open in 1996. The project was huge, in fact it was the largest construction project up to that point in Nashville’s history. It would add a massive new atrium, 1,000+ guest rooms and a new convention center to the Opryland hotel. It  would also come to occupy almost every single square foot of land that would have allowed the theme park to grow and evolve.

Coming back to late 1995, the Gaylord company management at the time had turned a scutinizing eye towards the theme park, and perhaps a bit of predjudice. Nashville’s climate while pleasant throughout the majority of the year, prrevented the park from operating during the winter except for a short run during the Christmas season. The park was also only able to open on weekends during the spring and fall. But the park was open daily during the summer season. According to reports, it was shown that attendance to the parks did somewhat plateau throughout the 1990’s. However, the actual number of visitors to the park made the park profitable, but obviously not profitqable enough for the executives running the company at the time. In 1997 Gaylord management decided that a move back towards it’s core hospitality business was in it’s best interest and in keeping with this directive, it was decided that the Opryland Theme Park property would no longer make a return on investment equal to what was desired for it’s properties and was unlike to do so in the future. Which in light of the consuption of property from the construction of The Delta, seemed to be a self –fufilling prophesy. Either way, one thing was clear, Opryland Theme Park’s journey was coming to an end.

In 1996, a third park gate was finally added near the "Chaos" roller coaster, which allowed pedestrian traffic between Opryland Hotel and Opryland Themepark for the first time in the parks history. Previously, hotel guests wishing to visit the amusement park would have to take a shuttle running back and forth between the hotel and the entrance of the park.

At the end of 1997 the "Christmas in the Park" season was promoted as "one last chance" for the residents of Nashville to see Opryland Theme Park, but guest arrived to find that only a very small portion of the park was open for the season, many of the larger attractions were already being dismantled. Then abruptly on December 31, 1997 the gates were locked and Opryland USA began to fade from reality into history.

As it so often happens in the wake of closing an amusement park, efforts were made to sell off the larger rides and attractions to other parks to recoup as much revenue as possible from the dying park and in some cases they succeeded in others, deals went bad leaving some dismantled rides to either sit in outdoor storage and deteriorate or being sold off for scrap… an end not befitting the memories, laughter and fun times that they had generated for so many years before.

The park site was cleared and paved over and relegated to serving as the parking lot for Opry Mills and the Grand Ole Opry House while construction of the mall took place on the site of the Theme Park’s parking lot.

Opry Mills opened in May of 2000. But for a time some vestiges of the park remained, as a few still do today for those who know where to look. A long, short concrete levee wall that once separated the State Fair, The New Orleans and the Riverside areas is still visible and from the McGavock Street entrance you can still see the remains of the embankment which once supported the rails for Opryland’s railroad.

The administration building that was located however briefly outside the gates of the park was moved near the Cumberland landing docks and serves as offices for the General Jackson and the Music City Queen riverboats.

Quite a bit of the Opry plaza area remains intact and for that matter open for business. The Roy Acuff Theater, The Grand Ole Opry Museum, and of course The Grand Ole Opry House herself have remained in regular use before, during, and after the demolition of the park. It should be noted as well that the Grand Ole Opry show also returns yearly for a limited seasonal run at it’s original home at the Ryman Auditorium.  The buildings that once housed Roy Acuff’s and Minnie Pearls Museum became administrative offices for WSM radio and as for the Gaslight Theater it is still the only building that is still standing from inside the gates of the them park and has been used for Gaylord’s annual ICE! exhibit for a time, as a rental facility for television production, and for various other events.

Though all of the rides had long since gone, the man-made channel for Grizzly River Rampage remained as a visible reminder of the park for fourteen years until Gaylord, in clearing the area for a new events center razed the course…and with that the last recognizable feature of Opryland Theme Park was gone.

While many people have called for the park to be rebuilt, it was not to be. The time of Opryland Park had pasted. For it is now, like so many other parks ever to remain destined to operate only in the memory of those who can’t forget the fun they had in Opryland, USA.

Thank you for joining us for this episode of Echoes Of Laughter. You can listen to this show as well as all of our other shows by visiting us at our website at: ithrivehere.com and of course at echoesoflaughter.com. Please remember that if you like our shows we ask that you subscribe to them and give us a positive rating on iTunes, after all that is how other people are able to find our shows as well.

If you would like to help support our shows like this one, check out the show’s show notes where you can find books and other products from Amazon.com relating to the topics of our shows. When you click through our link it won’t cost you a penny more to purchase products, but we will make a small commission that helps pay for the cost of producing and hosting these shows for everyone to enjoy. Thank s so much for joining us and don’t forget to remember the laughter…

Direct download: TMN_EOL_008.mp3
Category:EOL -- posted at: 12:00am CST

Florida in winter..no, no, no. Winter Florida, No that’s not it either. It’s Winter something or another and I know it has to do with Florida…Ahh, that’s it Project Winter which soon would come to be known as Project Future..

On our last episode of the WhimsiMagical Mousecast we left off with Walt Disney making the decision that Central Florida would become the home of his newest dream. But before the first children smiled, before the first ride was run, before the first of what would be millions of yards of dirt could be moved, before the 52 months of what would become in 1970 the largest private construction project in the United States and, of course before the very first Mickey Mouse Hat could be sold in the Magic Kingdom the land had to be acquired in a top secret manner befitting the CIA. Why all the secrecy, you may ask? Well, had anyone found out that it was Walt Disney and the Disney Company that was interested in buying land for what was to become, Walt Disney World the land prices would have skyrocketed so high, we would be trudging through swamps and watching cattle graze on the same land we now enjoy as “The Happiest Place on Earth”. There were secret trips researching the best place to build the City Of Tomorrow and The Magic Kingdom. Land deals taking place with multiple owners and companies such as Latin-American Development and Management Corporation, Reedy Creek Ranch, Inc., Bay Lake Properties, Ayefour Corporation and Tomahawk Properties, Inc. buying up massive quantities of land the acquisition of underground mineral rights, land successions, and many other legal challenges that had to be conquered to construct something, and believe me it wasn’t too long before the public and the local news organization were asking what?

In a situation that surely had Disney executives pacing the floor reporters were complicating things by speculating on who was behind the acquisitions of the options and what would ultimately come of them. To quell the rumors, at least temporarily, Paul Helliwell, a Miami Lawyer who was instrumental in ultimately helping the Disney Company in acquiring the land, was sent to speak with Billy Dial, an Orlando Banker and businessman on the growing potential of information being leaked. Dial, in turn, suggested that he speak with Martin Anderson, who was then publisher of the Orlando Sentinel. Fortunately for Disney, Mr. Anderson made a critical decision to meet with and tell his reporters and editors not to publish the true identity of the owners of the “dummy” corporations that had been acquiring all of the lad options even if the discovered it. This was the break Disney needed to finish several major purchases before the news came out.

Amazingly, by June of 1965 the Disney company, through it’s various “front or dummy” corporations had acquired the actual title or options to purchase twenty-seven thousand acres of land, that’s roughly forty-three square miles of land for a little more than five million dollars, in other words for an average of under two-hundred dollars per acre. Incredible!

Although some other parcels of land were purchased after the news was released that it was indeed the Disney Company that was purchasing the land, they as expected had to pay premium prices for the remaining land.

No with all of the cloak and dagger secrecy and manipulation of circumstances that were involved in actually obtaining the land, you would think that the hard part was over. But as everyone involved on the inside of the Disney Company knew since the beginning of this project, this was just the beginning of lots of planning, legislation to be created and adopted, hard work, millions of dollars in investment, sleepless nights and unforeseen challenges such as the loss of their visionary leader that had brought everyone to this point.

Yes, this was just the beginning and even though many of them had gone through the similar challenge of the creation of Disneyland, this was something new, something fresh and something that would come to change the future of what a theme park was considered to be…More than a destination, more than an experience, and more than just a resort.

Walt and Roy Disney and the other visionaries that followed them and worked with them had turned the Amusement Park industry on it’s ear in past years and set a standard that many other companies were still racing to catch up with and now just 10 years later they were at it again. This time creating something that the world had never seen. The future, here in the present, attractions that would astound generations of the young and young at heart. Creating a world where one could fully immerse themselves in a world of magic where anything was possible, where you could forget the cares of the outside world for at least a time, a  world that has never stopped growing, expanding, enchanting us with what imagination, ingenuity, and innovation can accomplish. 

In the summer of 1965, the world was wide open for Disney and as they looked forward towards the coming years in anticipation of the fruition of Walt’s dream, magic was indeed in the air and despite the challenges that everyone knew would come, Walt’s words reflected the mood of those who would come to create the most magical place on earth…It’s Kinda Fun To Do The Impossible!

 

 

Now with that we whish ourselves forward it time to the Modern Day World as we talk about what’s currently going on at Walt Disney World:

We’ve felt the cold of winter in January and February, experienced spring in all of it’s blooming splendor, and a spectacular summer. We have now arrived here in August with the last days of summer winding down. Children are returning to school and we are trying to squeeze in as many beach weekends as we can before the cooler winds of autumn and changing color of the leaves sweep in to our lives and bring us ever closer to the holiday season. But…Santa Claus isn’t coming to town quite yet and Jack Skellington is just starting to get ready for his yearly run…. That’s right October, and for that matter Halloween is right around the corner. It has always also been my favorite time of the year to visit Walt Disney World.

Now visiting the world while children are back in school can be a challenge, but if you are fortunate enough for your children to have a fall break in October (as we are here in Louisiana) and you can time it just right with the weekend previous to it, you can squeeze in a 4 to 5 day trip to the house of the mouse with your children missing very little or no school at all. Granted in takes planning, patience and persistence but it can also be a very rewarding time to visit in terms of lower attendance and crowds the earlier in the month that you can go. As far as it being “off season” well as any true Disney fan knows these days, there is no “off season”. There are just times that you may be able to navigate the parks with lower attendance that in the summer months or directly around holidays. That being said, October is still my favorite time to visit as it is a bit cooler in October and it still seems that things are not as “rushed” and move, at albeit, a little slower pace. It seems like you can take the time to enjoy a nice stroll, savor the view or just take in the atmosphere and environment in what I still consider a magical place. We also cannot forget for us foodies and kids at heart that it is also the time of year that you can enjoy my personal favorite the International Food and Wine Festival which is now in it’s 18th year with it’s Eat To The Beat Concert Series and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party during the same vacation. First things first, while I love the chance to sample cuisine and wines from around the world, I always relish the chance to not only watch my children enjoy Walt Disney World, but to only if for a time, be a kid again myself and what a better place to do it than to dress up in costume along with my family and enjoy the tricks and the treat of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

Now it does require special tickets to attend this event and they are limited so you need to get them as soon as possible to ensure that they do not sell out on a night (or two) that you wish to attend. Now if you haven’t been to these special nights in years past you may question why you would want to pay for an additional ticket for each of your party to attend. Well much like Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in late November and December, it gives you a chance to see the Magic Kingdom in a totally different light…literally!

Each night of the party the Magic Kingdom is lit up in a delightfully “ghoulish” way and decorated to match the festivities. As I said earlier not only should you dress up but one of little pleasures of the night is seeing all of the great costumes that other guests are wearing. Disney does offer trick or treat candy stations around the Magic Kingdom for the little ones but this does take a bit of time to do when taking in to account for the line waiting times. So you may want to consider bring some candy with you for the younger ones and if you have older children or traveling without kids, you can spend the time enjoying the rides, activities, shows and parades going on throughout the evening.

Time for a couple of tips –

·        On the night or nights that you will be attending MNSSHP, even though the party doesn’t officially start until 7:00PM you can arrive as early as 4:00PM to catch a couple of rides or enjoy something to eat until the festivities begin.

·        Bear in mind that the closer to Halloween night that the party starts seeing larger and larger crowds. If you can visit in the earlier part of October you will be able to take advantage of the lower attewndance levels to be able to see and do more while at the party. Typically  week nights/school nights are even slower nights (typically in my experience, Tuesdays are best in terms of lighter crowds) and on some of these nights you can just about walk onto some of your favorite rides (although at this time of year the Haunted Mansion does see normal to higher levels of riders so keep this in mind). 

There’s more fun than you can shake a pumpkin at going on during the evening everywhere you turn including a stage show featuring your favorite Disney villains in front of what becomes a ghoulish version of Cinderella Castle and here’s another tip…want to meet some of the villains, hang out for a bit after the show as they spread out into the crowd to mix & mingle and spread some mischievous fun. 

You can also enjoy Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” Halloween Parade but be careful not to lose your head as the Grandmaster of the parade is none other than the Headless Horseman. The parade is great fun and features all sorts of Disney characters in their own Halloween costumes… and of course, the grim grinning ghosts from the Haunted Mansion along with others will be stirring up lots of ghostly delights.

But if you want to attend the party, be sure to get your tickets in advance as your favorite night could sell out, especially the closer to Halloween that you visit.

For more information on Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Ticket prices, schedules and activities check out our show notes page for this episode for the links or you can call Walt Disney World direct at 407-939-5277

We mentioned earlier that the Magic Kingdom would be decorated for the occasion, and it is over the top as all of Main Street and the rest of the Magic Kingdom takes on a Halloween makeover with special lighting, decorations and lots of little surprises around every turn.

What better way to end a special night than with a special fireworks show set to remixes of the Disney Villian’s theme songs. The Happy HalloWishes finale will have you remembering this happy nightmare for a long time to come.

Back at EPCOT as I mentioned earlier The International Food and Wine Festival always makes this my favorite time of the year to visit Walt Disney World. Don’t get me wrong, I love sampling the various international food booths scattered across World Showcase and the wine samplings are always enjoyable as long as I keep a watchful eye on just how many I sample. But there are lots of seminars & demonstrations and other things to do, see, smell and taste. Some of these are free while others may require an additional fee and/or reservations to attend.

Now this can be an expensive and time consuming proposition if you are determined to try everything while you are here. But for most of us who don’t have an unlimited budget, I have found that with a little advance planning you can research and decide what is a “must do” and what you can do without. Also you can use the envelope system to allot so much money per day to experience the great cuisine and activities that EPCOT has to offer during this time.

Now one of the great free things to do at night at EPCOT during this time is the Eat To The Beat Concert Series. Enjoy a bite to eat and a drink while watching some of the great music acts from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s performing live at the America Gardens Theater right across from the American Adventure in World Showcase. For 2013 there are some great acts lined up and to give a quick run down of the acts that will be performing:

STARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas

Will be performing from September 27 to September 29, 2013 

The Go-Go’s*

From September 30 to October 1, 2013

Air Supply

From October 2 to October 4, 2013

Sister Hazel

From October 5 to October 6, 2013 

Sugar Ray

From October 7 to October 9, 2013 

Edwin McCain*

From October 10 to October 11, 2013 

The Manhattan Transfer*

From October 12 to October 13, 2013 

Wilson Phillips*

From October 14 to October 15, 2013

The Pointer Sisters

From October 16 to October 17, 2013 

Night Ranger

From October 18 to October 20, 2013 

Boyz II Men

From October 21 to October 23, 2013

Survivor

From October 24 to October 25, 2013 

38 Special

From October 26 to October 27, 2013

Smash Mouth

From October 28 to October 30, 2013 

Spin Doctors*

From October 31 to November 1, 2013 

Christopher Cross*

From November 2 to November 3, 2013 

Hanson

From November 4 to November 5, 2013 

Dennis DeYoung (original member of STYX)

From November 6 to November 8, 2013

 

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

From November 9 to November 11, 2013

 

Want to brush up on your culinary arts or become the wine afficiando in your group of friends? Well you’re in luck. The EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival also offers a variety of seminars and demonstrations that can take your skills to the next level. You can aquire the skill to prepare an amazing dish to ravish your friends eyes as well as their taste buds, spend some time learning about cheese from some of the foremost cheese merchants around the world and learn to mix one of a kind cocktails like a master mixologist for someone you really want to impress.

 

For some simply knowing what wine goes well with fish is enough, but if you really want to know about wine you can enroll in one of three courses offered over the course of the festival and be taught a little more about the art and skill that goes into great wine making by one of three expert instructors. But make no mistake, this is for those who are serious about wine. Discover the art of the grape.


Of all the things that there are to do at the Food and Wine Festival, what attracts me and many others to EPCOT at this time of the year is the food. Food of all types from all over the globe. With over 25 unique market places you can choose from ethnic and domestic dishes to satiate just about any palate and to quench any thirst you develop, there a variety of liquid refreshments in the way of native wine and/or beers at each marketplace available for adults over the age of 21; and of course drinks for the younger ones as well. Just be sure as we said earlier to budget accordingly as refresments and foods from the marketplaces do come at an additional cost and are not included with your addmission to EPCOT.

You know, visiting several countries in a day and sampling food and drink from multiple cultures can be tiring but save enough energy to finish out your day with the Illuminations: Reflections of Earth fireworks and multimedia display. Just be sure to get a good viewing spot early as all the best ones fill up fast. 

I hope you've enjoyed this episode of the WhimsiMagical Mousecast be sure to catch our next show where we will continue with part 3 of our 4 part series on EPCOT from what is was to be to what it is today. You can always listen to this podcast as well as our other shows at our website at ithrivehere.com and at thewhimsimagicalmousecast.com. If you like this show please consider subscribing so you don't miss a single episode and we also ask that you give us a positive rating on iTunes. Thank you for joining us on The WhimsiMagical Mousecast and never forget that the real magic happens when you pursue your dreams...Godspeed.

Direct download: TMN_TWM_06.mp3
Category:TWM -- posted at: 12:00am CST

On this episode my co-host is my husband T.Mic! He’s heard throughout our other shows and this is his third time joining me on My Symphony Of Life. Let’s welcome him to the show! We’re going to discuss an article that we read on Positive family relationships linked to healthy marriages at http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/29041. This article caught our attention and on this episode we talk about our past, relationships with our parents and see how our past experience has prepared us for our relationship and our marriage. It’s a wonderful article that I do encourage you to read it. Based on my experience in the past, it is truly in my own symphony of life that we do at times carry what we’ve learned from our parent’s relationships to the current relationship. With that being said, relationships always have room for improvement to not only better ourselves as individuals but most importantly better our relationships. T.Mic and I will also continue this topic on the next show. T.Mic and I discuss our home remodeling that we have going on. We’re going to share what we’re doing to our house and please forgive us for the past pictures (floral wallpaper with floral carpet)…lol! =) We’re not only remodeling our house, we’re remodeling our lives both personal and in business. We thank you for being part of our journey.  We’d like to hear your response to the article and you can email us at feedback@audiosmaximus.com.

Please join me in welcoming our featured guest Shannon Cunningham LeBlanc . She’s a Photographer, Travel Consultant http://www.paradisevacationescapes.com, Leader and successful female Entrepreneur. Let’s welcome her to the show! I’m so excited that I had the opportunity to sit and chat with Shannon at my studio! Shannon came on the show to share with all of us about the Woman’s Global Network and the chapter she started here in Baton Rouge, LA. It’s such an exciting time for all of us and I do hope that you continue your growth both in your personal life and in your business (if you have one). 

Direct download: AMN_MSOL_035.mp3
Category:MSOL -- posted at: 9:46pm CST

I’m Ana the host of My Symphony Of Life…. Welcome back! We’ve got a lot to catch up since our last post. First I’d like to start by saying Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to download, listen to our shows as well as voting for this show on iTunes. You are the reason why we do this! You are an integral part of our community and network. T.Mic and I were both sick for 3 weeks. We’re both doing a lot better! With the cold/congestion that we both had our voices were not up to par and the cold/congestion that had made us very tired so we rested ate light food and we’re both doing great!

You see during this time we’ve been sick we’ve come to the realization for this particular show from the new season six and the break down of the different topics each week that certain topics bring more interest to you than other topics.

We’d like to know if you’d like to hear more about crafting or diy projects. Know that based on the breakdown of the craft shows you do love this topic more than another topic. You see in my own symphony of life from when my nephews were at the age of two years old I’d come down to Louisiana to visit them during the summer. We’d do all types of craft projects, we’d sing songs, and go to the park. Throughout crafting my own symphony of life throughout my pre teen, teen, adulthood I’ve always incorporated crafts in my life whether it would be with my nephews, my bible study class in which I’d share a craft project with the bible study, crafting with kids I’ve babysat with to my own unique style of crafting techniques that I’ve learned along the way.

It’s in crafting my own symphony of life that crafting has brought me joy, it has brought me closer to my family members, friends, it has brought me closer to kids to teach at their levels and it has brought me great joy to continue to teach and reach people at this level. So, with that being said crafting and DIY projects will be every other week. I feel I reach people on different levels and bring out their inner creativity in perhaps they didn’t know it was there all this time and perhaps they did know it was there and need that extra creative tug. That is why I am here! That is why I am here to revamp my symphony of life. That is why I am able to reach all of you. It’s a new creative vision, it’s a new creative noble purpose to live it will passion in all that I do…… most importantly for you to live it with passion for you to be the conductor you were meant to be in your creative life.

I will also continue featuring guests such Entrepreneurs, Author’s, Life Coaches, Blogger’s, and Podcaster’s as well as empowering topics for your life in order for you as a person to grow. My featured guests that I have do share their own symphony of life on both personal and business levels that is great for you to grow as well on both personal and business levels (for those who do have businesses). I’m learning along with you by talking to them and having that interaction with them. This is why I’m able to reach you. It’s a new aspiration in life to better your self with knowledge, empowering yourself to better yourself as a person and business owner. It’s a mission to provide enrichment and education so that you can be the person you can be. Make the conscious effort starting today to be present for life’s moments. Making a decision that I’m going to make that step, I’m going to make a active choice to be who I know I can be. You are talented, its time to showcase them and it’s time for you to live this moment we have now with at true noble purpose today. If you’re unsure of your purpose, it’s my goal to help you with that based on our enrichment, empowering and education topics.

Now to our featured guest! My featured guest is Renae Christine of Rich Mom Business! She’s the founder and author of www.richmombusiness.com. She has a wonderful vlog at youtube.com/renaechristine. She’s worked out a formula to create successful business and share’s her passion while helping others. Join me in welcoming Renae Christine to My Symphony Of Life! 

Direct download: AMN_MSOL_034.mp3
Category:MSOL -- posted at: 11:23pm CST

Florida…A great place to visit, but an even better place to ROCK! Florida is known almost everywhere as a world class tourist destination for its attractions, resorts, its bone chilling roller coasters and even a little park that has a mouse in its house. But the thing that this state has produced year after year is some of the best rock bands on the planet. Recently on the Tour Bus Music Show, we have featured several groups from Florida such as Badwolf and Familiar Sin and today’s show is no exception, hailing from Deerfield Beach Florida our featured group is Oblivious Signal.


Made up of four powerful musicians; Christina Feliciano, Nick Orisino, Greg Andrews and Jason Talley have together created a musical Juggernaut that is ripping through the rock music scene as a force to be reckoned with. In today’s episode we’ll dig in to an in depth interview with Christina, Jason and Nick as well as feature four songs from their catalog.


Push Me Away

Inflicted Shame

What Drowns Out The Screams

The Nameless

 

In the bands time together their have garnered a reputation for a group that takes no prisoners. Their performances are an electrifying experience of heavy riffs combined with powerfully delivered, edgy lyrics performed with enough energy to power whatever city they happen to be in for the night.

 

The group has performed notable shows alongside other great bands such as Ecotren (Jump Suit Aparatus’s drummer's side project), The Material, Circle II Circle and has even placed them alongside members of the veteran hard rock group Testament.

 

Their follow-up album to their 2010 release, Into The Night is projected to be released in May 2013 and will feature their single Push me Away which is, of course, featured on this episode of the show.  Be sure to keep an eye out for the group on tour in summer 2013 and be sure to catch the album as soon as it is released. 

Direct download: AMN_TTBMS_043.mp3
Category:TTBMS -- posted at: 7:25pm CST

Hello I’m Ana the host of My Symphony Of Life. Welcome back to another show! I’d like to take the time to thank you for listening to my symphony of life and allowing me to be part of your journey. This show is all about me helping people like you conduct your own personal growth by providing enrichment, empowering and educational topics in which you can grow in order for you to create your hearts desire and live with passion inside out. All of our topics do just that! Do you have a topic, that you would like to hear more of, would you like me to share more of your favorite hobbies, do you know someone that I should talk to on this show?  If you have a topic, show idea or a guest I should talk to, please provide the feedback by emailing me at feedback@audiosmaximus.com. I do look forward to reading your comments as well as responding to them as well. !

On this episode we’re going to share 2 crafts for you. The first one is a frugal craft Jar Craft To De clutter & Organize Kitchen Drawers by Kathy Penney over at Sparkles and a Stove. Her website is www.sparklesandastove.com. She was first featured on episode 29 and I do encourage everyone to go back and listen to that show at www.audiosmaximus.com

Kathy Penney - One of my resolutions this year is to declutter my home and get organized.  The first room I am starting with is my kitchen because we use it every day. When my husband and I bought our house I thought how huge my kitchen was with all the cabinets and drawers (and it was compared to a little one bedroom apartment!) but 7 years and 2 kids later that kitchen seems a lot smaller! The drawers are stuffed  full of little gadgets, utensils, and odds and ends and it made finding what I was looking for seem like a prize in a scavenger hunt. I wanted an inexpensive storage solution to declutter and organize my kitchen drawers and came up with this easy inexpensive jar craft!

(If you need help staying on track with your own resolutions check out this free New Year’s resolution printable.)

To Get Your Craft On You Will Need:

Ball, Mason, or Empty Pasta or Jelly Jars (as many as you need to hold the items from your drawers)

Spray Paint (I used 2 colors for a variety and make sure the paint works on glass.) If you do not want to use spray paint you can use an all surface paint in a can with a brush or a glass paint such as the one by Coloration. All surface paints will adhere to the glass but can scratch so work best on decorative items such as the canisters.

Ribbon (Again I used 2 to coordinate with the colors of the jars.)

Embellishments (can be found at any craft store)

Decals, Stickers, or Paint Pen to put sentiment (Optional)

To Get Your Craft On:

First I spray painted the jars in a bright blue and green to match my kitchen colors. It took about three coats for the jars to no longer be transparent. A reader suggested using a primer so that may reduce the number of coats needed.

Once the jars were dry I measured the jar with the ribbon, cut it, and tied a ribbon around the neck of each jar. I used a green gingham to accent the blue jars and a green print with pinks, blues, and browns on the green jars.

Next I hot glued these blue and green flowers from The Paper Studio to dress them up even more. I put the big flowers on the large jars at the base and the smaller flowers on the side of the small jars.  There are flowers, jewels, or you could even do polka dots using a small sponge. There are infinite possibilities to personalize the jars. 

Finally I used my silhouette to cut out white vinyl letters saying “Choose To Be Happy”. I love the idea that for the most part our happiness is our own choice. I also thought the upbeat saying went well with the bright happy colors. If you want to do a message but don’t have a Silhouette, you can do stick on letters or even a paint pen.

One of the newly organized drawers looked like this. Wow it actually closes now!

And the jar craft that helped declutter and organize the drawers looked like this! The whole project was so easy (paint, tie a ribbon, and glue on some doo dads) and was less than $10. One of the best returns on crafting investment that I’ve had some far! I’m coming for you Declutter Resolution! By Kathy Penney at www.sparklesandastove.com

St.Patrick’s Day is March 17th.  With that being said, I’m going to share Homeade Stained Glass Heart Shaped St. Patrick’s Day Four Leaf Glover

Your going to need the following materials

Scissors

String you can use such as yarn, thread or ribbon will work

Construction paper green is the color your going to use

Wax Paper

Tissue Paper

Glue – I love using Arlene’s glue the best because it dries clear which is absolutely perfect for this craft project.

St.Patrick’s Day is March 17th.  With that being said, I’m going to share Homeade Stained Glass Heart Shaped St. Patrick’s Day Four Leaf Glover

Your going to need the following materials

Scissors

String you can use such as yarn, thread or ribbon will work

Construction paper green is the color your going to use

Wax Paper

Tissue Paper

Glue – I love using Arlene’s glue the best because it dries clear which is absolutely perfect for this craft project.

The first thing that you’re going to do is to cut 4 front hearts and 4 back hearts and their going to have to be the same size.

In order to achieve that you can cut two folded halves of the construction paper and cut and the same time.

Your going to cut large enough so that we can you can also cut in the inner core of the heart see picture below:

Again, you’re going to have to make 4 fronts and 4 back hearts. The purpose of this is to have a nice pretty side as well as a nice pretty back so that it’s not just the wax paper showing on the back.

You can also use a different color for the back to differentiate the front and back.

The second thing you’re going to do is cut a small heart and that small heart is going to go right in the middle of each of the four corners of the larger hearts.

The third thing that you’re going to do is tear up different color tissue paper in different shapes and sizes. However, if your going to be working with smaller kids, you might want to have larger pieces for them to handle. Another option is to have all four heart’s with different color tissue paper… it will make it less messy if working with smaller kids.

The fourth thing that you’re going to do is glue the tissue paper to the wax paper. You’ll be applying them together on the wax paper, do this step several times applying the tissue paper in different directions along with the glue. The more colorful… the better for this stained glass craft.

The fourth thing that you’re going to do is take the front heart and glue it to the shiny side of the wax paper. 

The sixth thing that you’re going to do is cut along the edge the remaining wax paper away from the heart. 

The seventh thing your going to do is take the back heart apply it with glue to the wax paper on the tissue paper side. You’re making it into a sandwich of the two hearts.

The eighth thing you’re going to do is put all four corners of the hearts together by overlapping the corner as well as applying the little heart you cut out directly in the middle by some glue to hold together.

The 9th thing you’re going to do is hole punch the top of a heart and string  the paper.

Now you you’ve completed the St. Patrick’s Day Stained Glass Heart craft.

Direct download: AMN_MSOL_033.mp3
Category:MSOL -- posted at: 9:47pm CST

Some dishes are best served RAW and there’s nothing closer to raw than rock bands. The power, the message and the music has been delivering that message for a long time. With all of the changes and styles in today’s music, it’s good to see that the message that has always been the backbone of rock music is not lost on a younger generation of musicians. Being outspoken, loud, blunt and unforgiving is in the very essence of what makes up some of the best rock bands of all time and it is what gets the message across. Familiar Sin from the Orlando, Florida area is one of those bands. Not only do they play the music, but they live the life. Founded in 2009 the band has spread their own brand of whisky and women fueled original rock music around the nation.

I had a chance to catch up with them a few weeks back for a candid, if not “revealing”, interview with the band. In our time together they paint a real picture of life on the road as a rock band bringing the party and all the debauchery that comes with it. They also share 4 of their songs with us to serve as the anthem living life on your own terms and to remind us that being a little bad can feel so good.

Welcome Tour Bus Music Show listeners and Leather Ladies around the world, this is T. Mic, your host and this is episode# 42 where again we will be featuring Familiar Sin from Orlando, Florida. Before we get to the interview I just wanted to bring to up to date on what will be going on in the next few weeks here on the Tour Bus. We are currently working on bring you some great interviews this season and we invite you to join in the fun in you are going to be in Louisiana within driving distance of Baton Rouge and Lafayette, LA in mid-March. We be on location at The Varsity Theater in Baton Rouge, LA on March 15th shooting a video interview with Nonpoint that day and will be at their show that night filming and shooting photos at their show with Hinder. So join us at the Varsity Theater that night for a great show, we’d love to meet up with all of our Tour Bus Listeners there! The next day, March 16, we’ll be at The Station in Broussard, LA where we will be attending CrouchStock. This is a concert featuring bands from 10:30am to 10:00PM that will feature both local and national touring and recording artists such as Sevendust, Pop Evil, Trapt, Candlelight Red, CrackJaw, Digital Summer and many more. Then at 10:00 starts an after party in the club that’s not to be missed. Remember to get your tickets early because this event WILL sell out! We’ll be there doing video interviews with several bands including Sevendust and Candlight Red and will be bringing them to you in the coming weeks and of course we would love to meet you there as well!

We’ve got lots more coming as summer approaches and plenty of great music. So stay tuned to Tour Bus Music Show for more details coming soon!

Now a word from our sponsor and it’s off to the show!

Familiar Sin is:

CJ – Vocals

Chris – Lead Guitar

Caveman – Bass

Josh – Drums

You can find out more about Familiar Sin at: http://www.reverbnation.com/familiarsin and connect with them on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/familiarsin

Familiar Sin’s Bio:

When you think about rock and roll, does “Sin” not come to mind? Well, the Central Florida based four-piece Familiar Sin is always the first to bring both. Summer 2009 is when the Sin began and they haven’t looked back since. “The reason we started Familiar Sin is so we can Use Our Demons and Make Them Work for us”, says the front man CJ Orazi. Fueled by honey flavored whiskey, greasy rock and dirty women, they bring the party with them wherever they go, leaving a tattoo of their testimony. Familiar Sin IS getting down to the business of Jamming and Preaching the 
Gospel of celebrating good old fashioned “Sinning”. This band lives its name and plays from experience. Managed by Mind’s i Entertainment, look for big things in the future from Familiar Sin. And ask yourself, “Am I a Sinner”? See you at the next show.... Familiar Sin. 

Direct download: AMN_TTBMS_042.mp3
Category:TTBMS -- posted at: 9:31pm CST



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