Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Magical Blogorail: Sorcerer Radio's Natalie

Welcome to those of you joining me from Your Highway in the Sky and those of you who have just hopped aboard.  I am the 6th stop on our Magical Blogorail.

Natalie Henley is one of the hosts of Sorcerer Radio's Castaway Midday.  I had the pleasure of hanging out with Natalie and her son at Walt Disney World several times on our trip in October/November of 2010.  She's got a quick wit and a huge love of all things Disney.  It's my honor to help you get to know her better.  

~Tell us a little about yourself and how you became a Disney fan.

I have long been a theme park fan. When I was a child, I would go nearly every weekend in the summer to our local park, Opryland USA. My family did go to Disney World when I was 2, 6 and 17. We always knew that going to Disney was a savored treat.

When Opryland USA closed in 1997, I quickly realized how much I was used to having fun in a theme park. To fill the void, I began a search for one locally. When I found the local parks to be unsatisfying, I began my travels to Orlando. At first, I went only once a year. However with a background of weekly travels to a theme park, I soon began to "need" more and more Disney.

I love Disney because the parks are ever-changing, with new festivals and rides always on the horizon. They offer plenty for everyone. I have traveled to the parks with my Grandmother (89), my son (5) and my sisters. All of us found attractions that made us excited and highly entertained.

~How did the blogging come about and how does it fit into your busy schedule?

After each vacation to Disney, I am always planning my next vacation. With vacation after vacation to plan, I began to make friends and family a bit nuts with do much Disney talk. To help all of us, I began writing a blog (meetthemagic.com). At first I created it to discuss past visits to the parks. Then, I was asked over and over how it was that I afford so many vacations to Disney. To help these people to reach their Disney goals, I began discussing strategies I use to help me pay for the trips. Being a Certified Public Accountant, money is often a topic I think about in detail. Now every Tuesday, I feature the articles "Strategies for Paying for Disney".

As for when I am able to fit blogging in my schedule, I will say that I have more energy than sense. I work all day, do tweets all day on the website to announce the new articles, and blog late at night. I blog to keep me connected to friends and Disney. It is like a mini-vacation!

The Castaway Midday Team
~Please tell us about Castaway Midday and why we should listen to your show.

Castaway Midday is a fun show that airs weekly on Thursdays at 1pm ET and encores on Saturdays at 5pm ET. The show features the music from the Disney Cruise Line and Disney water parks.

In addition to great music, my co-host Kristen from cookingwithmickey.info and I discuss travel news giving all of the latest details on great deals and vacation packages. We also discuss the Disney Dish. In this feature we discuss a food related topic. Past Disney Dish topics have been a discussion of our favorite dessert items in the Magic Kingdom and a game of who can out cheap the other for the best Disney World meal. Of course, we always discuss other Disney topics and laugh a lot! We love to hear from fans for music requests and suggestions.

~What is your favorite part about being on the SR team? Your favorite aspect of your own show?

Working with Sorcerer Radio is great! It allows me to make more friends in the Disney community in a whole new way. I am new, so I am still learning how to relax. I am not good at hearing myself and thinking about others hearing me sound southern or a bit nutty! But, I know that will change too as time goes by and I will (hopefully) not be as judgmental of myself!

I had been friends with Kristen for quite some time before beginning on Castaway Midday. We had frequently spoke about Disney and spent a great deal more time laughing and having a fun conversation. The show really is an extension of our friendship. We talk and cut up together as we had previously done on the phone in our weekly show. Who could ask for a better situation!

~So you have this really funny kiddo. What's your favorite WDW story featuring him? What's the biggest lesson you've learned since the two of you travel alone from time to time?

Natalie and her very funny son
Kiddo. Yes. He is, as you know, a very present being. Loud and in charge in his own mind.  :) He knows the parks very well and even knows where particular attractions are located. He often enjoys giving others facts about the attractions while in line.

One of my very favorite experiences with my son was during dinner at the Hoop De Doo Revue. He had been waving at the dancers on stage during the first portion of the show. Being only the table below the stage, he got several waves back from the performers. If you have been to this dinner show, you know that they choose people to go onstage for the last song. My son was chosen by Dolly, one of the performers. He excitedly headed onstage with no fear. He was great onstage and was a big hit with the audience. I have the photo of him onstage at home on a table in the den. The experience made me so proud that he did not panic once onstage!

As mentioned, my son and I travel quite a bit without my husband. My husband does like Disney and traveling but not at the same need-to-go level as my son and I. What I quickly found was that when traveling alone with my son, there were many attractions I would need to forgo. At first this was hard on me as the thrill rides are my favorite. But now that he is getting older, he is starting to ride more and more rides. I have more fun riding and experiencing the rides with him.

~You are fortunate to be able to travel to WDW pretty frequently. When's the next trip? What's your favorite time of year at WDW?

Funny you ask when I am to be in Disney World again. This afternoon I will be in the Magic Kingdom. Then I will return again this weekend after having a few days at the beach! I plan to return in August during another Disney/beach vacation and again in October with the Sorcerer Radio trip. This trip will be a great time including many meets and a scavenger hunt with other Disney fans! I also will be traveling to the D23 Expo this year held out in California. Kristen and I will surely record the details we experience together during the October trip as well as the D23 Expo.

As far as my favorite time of year to visit WDW, I would definitely say October. That is my birthday month, the parks are decorated for Halloween and the temperatures are manageable. My next favorite is every other month! With so many festivals, events and parties, I can easily find something exciting to do year-round!

~What's something new you've learned about the World since you began radio/blogging?

When I began blogging, I was unsure if other Disney fans existed like myself. I actually had a bit of trouble finding other fans. As I did find a website, I would add it to a listing I created at Meet the Magic so I could help myself and others find Disney sites and friends.

Now, I have quite a few Disney friends and love it! I have many I can meet up with at the parks. This became one of my favorite things to do when traveling only with my son. He liked meeting new people and I enjoyed having some time with other adults!

I learned that it is all about getting out there. Write an article. Meet people. Talk with them online. Talk on the radio The most important thing is to move forward. Find a goal and go for it!

~Thanks, Natalie!

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is A Disney Mom's Thoughts.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ Disney Go To Girl
2nd Stop ~ Disney Babies Blog
3rd Stop ~ Return to Disney
4th Stop ~ Reviews & Reflections
5th Stop ~ Your Highway in the Sky
6th Stop ~ Growing Up Disney
Final Stop ~ A Disney Mom’s Thoughts


  1. How nice for you and your son to travel and make special memories together. I too love the September/October time of year at Disney!

  2. Great interview! Natalie's son sounds a lot like the one I have - always the entertainer. :)

  3. Great interview! I'm with Heidi - sons can be SO entertaining... even if at the time just a bit embarrassing. :)

  4. I absolutely adore Natalie's son! He is so cute. I'm glad to have her as my co-host on Castaway Midday. We have a blast and I'm sure at times we sound crazy.

  5. One of these days I'll have to drag Kristen to the Hoop De Doo Revue. It's on her list. Perhaps we can do it in the fall! Great post!


Thanks so much for visiting us and reading this post. Please leave us a message because we love to hear your Disney stories and tips too!