“Box People.” Quite a funny term, isn’t it? These are people who actively participate in Lou Mongello’s live shows on Wednesdays. We only know these people by screen name, nothing else. “Meet The Box People” is a series where we get to know what some of our box friends are like when they are “outside of the box”. Here are Elbug10 (Lisa), Petealtemese (Pete), Smallworld1 (Liz), BeatriceFeeney (Beatrice) and Mainstreet1997 (Katie) telling their stories and giving us an opportunity to learn a little about them.
Elbug10: My name is Lisa and I live in Central New York State. I’d say Upstate NY, but people think that’s the Catskills; I’m about 4.5 hours away from New York City. I’m legally blind and work at an Association for the Blind in a call center. Most of my co-workers are also visually impaired or completely blind. I don’t let that stop me from traveling, enjoying Disney, reading, seeing Broadway shows, watching my soaps, etc. My fondest Disney memory was on the Dream Cruise, singing It’s a Small World with Richard Sherman. My Mom passed away about 12 years ago. She took me on It’s a Small World as a kid and I loved it so much that she bought a Disney Storybook about the ride that came with a record that told the story and played the song. The idea that I was singing the song I’d always loved WITH the man who wrote it was SO emotional for me. My favorite attraction is It’s a Small World. It was one of the only rides I wasn’t terrified of as a 5 year old on my first trip. It wasn’t dark like the other “dark” rides and I could see what was happening and it was cheery and not “scary” like Pirates of The Caribbean or Haunted Mansion. I loved it and still do. My favorite restaurant is Crystal Palace (I love Eeyore!), but I have so many left to try! Kona Café, Prime Time, Whispering Canyon, Cinderella’s Royal Table… I usually eat Counter Service. My favorite hotel is Port Orleans French Quarter, although I have many left to try. I’ve only stayed at the Values other than that, so I’d like to try Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Beach Club, Animal Kingdom Lodge…
I remember Lou coming to Sunday Night Trivia on Passporter.Com message boards and chat (I’m elbug10 there, too). I remember him talking about his first Trivia book being released and the launch of his site, although I didn’t “discover” the podcast until years later. I think I started listening around episode 50 or so, but then went back and listened to all the episodes. Other than the Dream Cruise, the only Meet of the Month I went to was in December 2011 at Sleepy Hollow at Magic Kingdom. That’s where I first met Lou and Beci in person. I went down for WDW Today’s Reunion Meet which MEI & Mousefan Travel was also sponsoring, and I introduced myself to Beci and she introduced me to Lou! That is also where I discovered the joy that is the Nutella Waffle. I’d attend more Meets of The Month if they were closer to me or if I were in Naples, FL visiting my Dad when Lou is down there. His family’s restaurant is about 5 minutes away from Dad. FYI: their meatballs are EXCELLENT! All of the live shows and podcasts are so much fun, but the 24 hour show and the Olga stories, the 40 hour show and Mr. Lou’s Wild Ride singing YMCA and the most recent 6 year Anniversary show with the Norway Incident are highlights. I can barely remember NOT being in the Box! I know I came along just around the time Lou was planning on moving to Florida. People shouldn’t join the box. I want The Box all to myself! Just kidding. We’re a fun and welcoming group. It’s neat to get to talk to people who share our same interest (Walt Disney World) from various ages and backgrounds from all over the world.
Elbug10 came from my Grandma’s nickname for me, Lisabug, because as a small child I liked to climb on things. I used to pull drawers out and make “steps” and climb up on the kitchen counter, climb up on the dresser in my room, etc. Grandma said I climbed “like a bug”. Ironic now, since I HATE bugs! Anyway, the “10” comes from my birthday, April 6, 4/6, 4+6= 10. 10 was also my favorite NASCAR driver, Johnny Benson’s number (for a brief moment). Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of him. He wasn’t around very long. I use elbug10 as my chat name on many of the Disney sites, so if you see me other places, speak up and say “hi!”
Petealtemese: My name is Pete and I live in the northern suburbs of Chicago. I am self-employed. My business is APH Vending Inc. and I have been doing this since 1980. I have been married to my wife, Gina, for 22 years. We have two daughters, Ashley, 20 and Hayley, 17. We are a family that loves Disney World, but I’m the fanatic. My hobbies include collecting anything to do with Godzilla. Any spare time I have, I love spending it with my crazy Australian Shepherd, Comet. My fondest Disney memory was in November of 2001, walking through Frontierland at night around 12:30am, being the only four people left. I took a great picture of the girls walking with no one else around. I love being in the parks from open to close and, if the parks close early, head out to Downtown Disney. My favorite attraction in the Magic Kingdom is Haunted Mansion, Hollywood Studios is the Tower Of Terror, Animal Kingdom is Expedition Everest and Epcot is Test Track. I love the fish and chips at Columbia Harbour House and my favorite sit down restaurant is Kouzzina by Cat Cora. I’ve only stayed at Pop Century. We usually stay at our time share, which usually is Hilton Cypress. I do want to stay at the Polynesian on our next trip.
After our trip in 2006, I came home and was searching Disney-related stuff and just stumbled upon Lou’s podcast. Then I was hooked. I have never been to a Meet of the Month. I missed the New York City meet by a day last spring. Someday I will make it to a meet. Lou, come to Chicago. There are a lot of Box People from the Midwest and the food here is awesome. My favorite podcast is the Top Ten Smells and my favorite live show was the 6th Anniversary Show. I loved when everyone could call in at World Showcase. I got to talk to Tony Caggiano and Scott Otis. That was a blast! I’ve been in The Box from the beginning of 2012. People should join The Box because everyone is friendly. You can make a lot of new friends. Actually, backside, jimmy stiles and I are usually in The Box way early and we have nicknamed ourselves the Three Caballeros. I have really met some great people there.
I love going to the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween. That is my all-time favorite thing to do at Disney World. Oh, and have plenty of Dole Whips. I had 5 in one day! Won’t be doing that again anytime soon!
Smallworld1: My name is Liz, and I live in Chicago. I teach first grade! In my spare time, I’ve been running. I just finished my first Half Marathon, the Disney Princess Half! I have too many “fondest Disney memories” to choose one, so I’ll go with the most recent. Running through EPCOT Future World with Illuminations playing in my ears, running to the finish line of my first half marathon! My favorite attraction is Carousel of Peoplemover Space Pan Mansion Thunder Splash of the Caribbean! (Do you get it?) My favorite restaurant is Crystal Palace, first reservation of the morning, with a group, before park opening and my favorite hotel is The Polynesian.
WDW Radio is in the Unofficial Guide so I decided to listen! I have been lucky enough to have trips that have fallen during Meets of The Month. The 40 hour show was the best Meet of the Month ever! I alter plans to get to the Meets of the Month … lol. Lou needs to come to Chicago! My favorite live show was the 40 hour because I was there watching it happen. I think I’ve been in The Box since the first or second late night chat. What people who don’t join in The Box miss out on is the camaraderie, the family of people who ‘get it’.
I would like to thank each and every box person for coming into the box and making it the family community it is each and every Wednesday!
BeatriceFeeney: My name is Beatrice, and I moved to Florida to follow my Disney obsession and be within an hour of the parks. I met my hubby in Gold’s Gym … and we are both very much into our workouts. My usual “gym schedule” was 2 hours a day / 6 days a week – but since moving to Florida, I have shorter workouts and sometimes miss TWO days a week in the gym, due to my Disney activities! On my birthday in 2004, after eating breakfast in Cinderella Castle, the Fairy Godmother told me to go to City Hall and get my birthday button. When I got to City Hall, the Cast Member asked me if I would like to be the Grand Marshall of the parade in the Magic Kingdom and ride in Walt Disney’s personal vehicle. It was a car that he personally used to drive around dignitaries in Disneyland … and they even monogrammed Mouse Ears with my name on it! I got to hang out with the Main Street Philharmonic before the parade … then hearing my name over the loudspeaker was a dream come true! My favorite attraction … Wow … tough one, depending on how you classify things: My favorite “attraction” in my book is: IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth followed by “Festival of the Lion King” show in Animal Kingdom. My favorite rides are Journey into Imagination with Figment & The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. I love Biergarten in the Germany Pavilion at World Showcase. I was born in Germany and my mother was German, met my Dad (an Army Officer), got married and earned her United States citizenship. I was actually a dual citizen of the United States and Germany until I was 18 because at the time of my birth, Mom was German and Dad was American. My favorite hotel is the Boardwalk – the location, the beauty and everything about it just feels perfect in every way … plus it’s a Disney Vacation Club resort and I am still a member (even after moving to the area).
I will never forget meeting Lou at “Mousefest” in 2005. At my FIRST “Disney Meet” Lou and I were both trying to work our way around and meet other Disney fans and make new friends. He introduced himself and told me about how he just wrote his FIRST Walt Disney World Trivia Book. I went home, bought it and have followed what he has done ever since. He started podcasting, wrote his 2nd Walt Disney World Trivia Book … and the rest, as they say, is history. Lou is truly a Disney fan first and his family is so amazingly supportive of his dreams – they truly feel like our “family” and I am thankful for them! They have made so many DREAMS COME TRUE for people in need and I try to support them as much as I can. I LOVE attending ALL or as many Meets of the Month as possible! I love to meet Box People and always enjoy the FUN that our group has together! Whether you’re a first-timer or regular, those Meets of the Month are always FUN! Favorite live show or podcast? Again, such a tough question! Richard Sherman, Marty Sklar and all of the Jim Korkis shows … the list goes on and on … (does this sound like a Lou Mongello Top Ten of Number Ones? – lol) I would have to say the Marathon Round Table shows inspire me the most. Last year when I signed up to do the Princess and had NEVER done a long-distance run in my life, I had such support and motivation that I worked hard to prepare and was very happy with my accomplishment, thanks to the help of my WDW Radio Teammates. The Round Table shows of personal moments of the team inspire me to want to be a part of such a worthy cause and help to make a difference. I have been in The Box since before “The Box” was a BOX. This is a very important part of my week and I truly look forward to basically my Box Family Time … Disney news but most of all my friends and new Disney fans coming together to have some laughs! It’s amazing that people who share the common interest of Disney can have such fun. It’s great to hear the upcoming Disney happenings among friends who always have opinions. Even my hubby (who was not a Disney fan before meeting me) has gotten into the Wednesday night Newscasts and looks forward to not only what’s happening but also what Lou and the Box People have to say about it.
I am proud to be a “Box Person” most of all because I believe that Lou Mongello is a true Disney fan who keeps in mind the principles that Walt created for his company. Lou always has his finger on the pulse of what is happening in the Disney Company with news, great interviews, lots of laughs and fun … plus great people to share it with.
Mainstreet1997: My name is Katie, and I live in Florida. I live with my parents and the best cat in the whole world, Bailey. My hobbies include photography, classic movies and being a part of the WDW Radio Running Team. I’ve finished a 10 miler and 2 half marathons and plan on signing up for more half marathons….even though some of my teammates seem to have it in their heads I’m going to do a full marathon! I don’t know if I could choose just one “fondest Disney memory” so I’ll choose a few. In high school I went to Disney with my marching band and we were in the Spectromagic parade, finishing my first 5k, finishing my first half marathon and, of course, so many great days in the parks with friends and families. Both favorite attraction and my favorite hotel is the Boardwalk and my favorite restaurant is Katsura Grill.
I’ve been to 4 Meets of the Month and a cruise! I don’t have a specific moment that stands out but I have met some awesome new friends at each one! Of course I plan to attend more in the future. I think Lou’s next destination should be a Western Caribbean Cruise since I’ve already done the Eastern twice! Favorite live show….can you beat the 40 hour show??? I love the marathon weekend podcasts and, of course, the top 10′s with Tim! I’ve been in The Box since the D23 Expo. People should join The Box for the same reason I tell people to join the running team – “Good people getting together for a good cause”.
I hope you enjoyed this journey into other box people’s lives. I sure had a lot of fun! If you are not in The Box, why not? Join us Wednesdays at 7:30pm. It’s a ton of fun and you should try to participate every chance you get. We discuss the Disney news that has occurred over the past week and crack jokes (WARNING: PLEASE EAT BEFORE LOGGING INTO THE BOX!) I assure you that you will love it!
See ya REAL soon!
Quote of the Week: “You hit a guy, with glasses. That’s… that’s… Well played.” ~King Candy, Wreck It Ralph
Makena is a 14 year old high school student who spends much of her free time researching Disney. She enjoys sharing Disney facts and even plans Walt Disney World vacations (including searches for secrets and Hidden Mickeys) for friends and family. Makena began blogging for WDW Radio in December 2011.