The Disney fan community is well represented in the podcast medium with a varied collection of voices covering a multitude of topics in every way imaginable. But quality Disney-related video podcasts (also known as vidcasts or vodcasts) are a little bit harder to find. One of the best ones though is the Bringing Disneyland Home vidcast by www.Oakfan.com. Oakfan, or known by his proper name Brad, releases his videos sporadically but they are well filmed and edited, with scattered narration by Brad himself.
Typically lasting in length between 8-30 minutes, the videos are clearly a work of a passionate enthusiast and deftly combine history and trivia with a simple ride-through concept. However, Brad clearly imbues his passion for Disneyland into his videos which helps these rise above the typical videos you might find in forums and Bit Torrent, which sometimes forget about the subtext of the moments they intend to capture.
Oakfan doesn’t overdo it with the narration, but his pleasant demeanor is a nice Disney-esque touch in a world full of dry podcasts. It also helps bookend his vidcasts, thus making them a more complete presentation, another reason why his videos are more accessible than what's typically available.
Highlights include Vidcast #41 featuring the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. The is a difficult ride to film as you're fighting a number of non-film-friendly elements, including sun-glare, darkness, filming through a porthole, and, well, filming in a submarine. Oakfan does a great job fighting these elements to provide a great snapshot of the popular ride. And Vidcast #30's New Orleans Square tour which not only strolls the streets of perhaps Disneyland's most famous land, but also gives us ride-throughs of both Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion!
Some of the best videos on Bringing Disneyland Home are the ones that don't necessarily focus on a specific ride, but wander through a land like Main Street, U.S.A. or the aforementioned New Orleans Square. Brad has a very astute awareness of the type of Disneyland that viewers want to bring home. It's not always the flashes and thrills, but also the ambience and vibe of the sights and sounds of a stroll through the park.
Unlike a lot of ride-through videos, Brad often starts the film rolling as he encounters the outside of the attraction and doesn’t stop rolling until he leaves. For example, a recent Haunted Mansion vidcast shows the journey through the grounds and into the entrance, and ends as the camera emerges from the dark and back into New Orleans Square. This helps enhance the feeling of actually being there while also showcasing respect for the architecture and outside pavilion presentation as an equal part of the entertainment as the rides themselves.
Bringing Disneyland Home vidcasts are available on iTunes and through the website at www.Oakfan.com. On the carousel of podcasts, this is one that's absolutely a must-see, er, must-ride! (NOTE: Oakfan's videos have improved in quality over time. I would still suggest going back through his archives, even if you'll notice the best quality videos are the more recent ones.)