by Brian Vasil
A little while ago, I mentioned a series of interviews with those who are married to the Disney-obsessed. Â There is no one better to start with than the first lady of WDWRadio herself… Deanna Mongello! Â You’ll laugh… you’ll cry… and most importantly, you’ll understand what living with Lou does to a person (and it’s all good)…
1) On a scale of 1 to 10, where would you rank Lou’s obsession with Disney?
Lou is a 10. But he is more in the history and collectibles than anything else. He also has an incredible amount of respect for the Imagineers and others who have developed so may wonderful things at at the Disney Parks.
2) Was he a Disney fanatic before you met him? When did the obsession start?
Yes, his family would visit at least 2 times a year, and his first visit was at age 3 in November, 1971, less than a month after the park opened. The obsession started as a child, and continued over the years, as building memories with his family was an important part of the experience for him.
3) What would you say is the reason for his Disney obsession?
For Lou, he enjoys how Walt simply wanted to make people happy.Â Lou is much like that as well. He strives to bring a little bit of that magic in to people’s homes daily.Â He is particularly moved when hearing from people who are in the armed forces and stationed overseas, who tell him that they are able to feel like they are back at home and take them out of where they are at that moment.
4) How much of your house is dedicated to Disney? Do you have places in your home that are off limits to Disney?
I would say Disney in our home is actually very subtle. It’s not present in every room, but Lou’s office is a different story – it’s covered in all things Disney!
5) Do you share your husband’s enthusiasm for Disney? If so, is it at the same level?
Yes, but it’s somewhat different than Lou’s. However, we both share and enjoy being able to go to Disney and make great memories with your family. And of course, my kids think their dad is the coolest father ever.
6) If Lou were to run into the room with a big smile on his face yelling “I bought a Peter Pan ride vehicle!” what would you tell him?
It’s fine but it’s going in your office.
7) Are your children into Disney as much as your husband? Any stories of your kids and Disney-obsession?
Marion is so much like her father.Â She takes pictures of the same odd artifacts and details my husband does – she is obsessed with that!Â When Lou and I started our family I would have to sort through thousands of pictures before finding one that was of me and the kids…Â So I ended up buying my own camera.
8) What do you tell your friends/family about the Disney influence in your home/life?
I am so blessed with this Disney influence.Â I have met so many wonderful people and friends, that I know will be part of our lives forever.
9) What techniques have you developed through the years to help you better understand (tolerate?) your husband’s love of Disney?
I would not call it tolerate, I would say embracing the love of Disney.Â My husband and I are a team. Â You need to do what you love, and if not you need to change it.Â My husband lives by this and so do I.Â He is very passionate about what he does and it shows in all his aspects of his life, as a husband, father and friend.
10) What advice would you give to spouses living with Disney-fanatics?
Embrace the experience because you and your family can make such great memories together by just spending time together.
Special thanks to Deanna Mongello for the great answers! Â Well, WDWRadio blog fans… what do you think? Â Agree with Deanna? Â See things differently? Let us know in the comments below!
Keep watching the blog for interviews with spouses of other well-known WDWRadio Podcast personalities! Â Any requests?
Brian Vasil has been Disney-obsessed since his first visit to WDW in 1971 (he was only 3 months oldâ€¦and has visited 100+ times since then). Heâ€™s been known for leaving hidden Mickeys in the place settings at his wedding, always choosing the â€œDesertâ€ ending at Horizons, and weeping at the end of â€œWishesâ€ (it gets dustyâ€¦). He lives in Ft. Lauderdale with his wife Mindy and daughter Brianna.