I remember the first time I ever heard of WEDWay Radio. Three friends of mine were sitting with me outside a Starbucks in Nashville in January of 2011. We were talking about the Disney community and the subject of podcasts was mentioned. They told me about this great podcast that they all listened to and said I should check it out. The production quality of the show was great and it was produced by two brothers, but they warned me I wouldn’t know they were brothers until several episodes in to the podcast.
Those brothers, Nate and Matt Parrish, started the WEDWay Radio podcast back in February of 2009, releasing episode 5 (the first they’ve decided is good enough for public listening despite my protestations and begging and pleading for episodes 1-4). On their website, Nate explains why they started the podcast: First, we felt that that there were not enough resources available on Disney theme park history. Though we own a lot of books and have lots of memorabilia, there are a lot of stories out there that need to be told about how different attractions came to be and maybe some ideas that never were built.
Honestly, I kind of forgot about that conversation until a few months later when I saw another friend tweet about a new episode of WEDWay Radio about Disney and the Tiki culture of the 1950s (ep 75 from 6/19/11). If I was ever going to check out an episode, this would be it as I love tikis and tropical decorations. I downloaded and listened to the episode and loved it. Shortly after I listened to that episode I started a new job and things were in a bit of flux for a while for me. In January of 2012 I picked it back up at the most recent episode 105, then decided in February to start at the beginning with episode 5 to listen all the way through to the present at over 100 episodes in. It took me about five months and with each subsequent episode, I fell more in love with this podcast.
What makes me appreciate WEDWay Radio so much is that Matt and Nate really do seem to love what they do. It is a labor of love and the effort they put into each show is very evident, from the production quality with clips and background music to the research involved in some of the subjects. As they mention in the intro to most of the episodes, this is a podcast “about exploring the Disney parks, Disney history and the Walt Disney Company.” This can cover such a wide variety of topics like theme park attractions or lands that were never built, to the history of getting the first animated feature film released, to resort reviews and experiences the guys had growing up on family trips.
As time progressed, I spent so much time listening to Matt and Nate, they seemed to become like brothers to me as I often heard their voices more often than that of my own brother. We interact on a pretty regular basis on twitter and/or facebook and seem to have common interests. These are nice, normal guys from Missouri who put out a fantastic show for the most part weekly. Nate and I tried to meet up on one of his trips here to Walt Disney World, but a family illness curtailed that meeting. Matt and I were lucky enough to hang out for a few hours this spring in Epcot while he and his family were here on vacation.
The sister podcast to WEDWay Radio is WEDWay Now, which had a reboot of sorts last summer. Previously, the Now show existed in the same iTunes feed as the regular WEDWay Radio shows. In June of 2012 it was put into its own place and became a show to talk more about current news and as a forum to invite on guests from the Disney community. Some shows don’t have guests, but will feature things more like announcements of upcoming changes to the parks or the guys will often talk about new movies in development or recently released. I enjoy this show as well as it is a bit more off the cuff and conversational with Nate and Matt’s opinions more so than the more informational episodes of WEDWay Radio.
On average a WEDWay Radio episode tends to run about an hour to an hour and a half and the Now shows are usually a bit shorter at 30 – 45 minutes on average. I thoroughly enjoy both of these podcasts and highly recommend them to anyone who is interested in learning about the history of the Disney parks or the history of the Company. They often split the topics pretty evenly between Disneyland and Walt Disney World, with occasional episodes covering even the international Disney parks. The guys have just started their latest series which is about Fantasyland and three dimensional reality. If this is anything like any of their previous series (40 Years of Magic at Walt Disney World, Epcot’s 30th Anniversary or Snow White), then we are all in for a treat. I cannot wait to see what else Matt and Nate have in store in the future. WEDWay Radio has deservingly been nominated the last two years consecutively for the Best Travel Podcast by the Podcast Awards.
These are two of the podcasts that I most look forward to each week. Both WEDWay Radio and WEDWay Now can be found on iTunes. Currently they are selling t-shirts with two limited time only designs available at the WEDWay Radio online store here. If you are looking for a new podcast about Disney history of all kinds from the man himself, to how the company has grown over the years, to the movie schedule slated for 2015, check out both WEDWay Radio and WEDWay Now. If you really like what you find, support the guys by buying one of their really cool shirt designs or by checking out some of the books they’ve talked about by clicking through to Amazon from their site. Any way you can, take the time to check out the great offerings produced by the Parrish brothers and share the love if you have already.Follow us for more updates: