Over the last three months, we have gotten to know 13 remarkable Box People. For those of you who don’t know, “Box People” refer to individuals who participate in Lou’s live chats every Wednesday night at 7:30 right here on the website. This series features fans (Box People) who invite us to get to know them a little more in depth. It is time for us to meet 4 more amazing box people! So for this installment, please welcome Robin (RobinFromFortMyers), Chad (vypeman), Jimmy (Disneyjim24), and Marissa (krisbee2000).
RobinFromFortMyers: My first name is Robin and, well, my box name says it all, I am from Fort Myers, FL. I’m a stay-at- home Mom of one 11-year-old boy (my 3 older step sons are grown and gone) and I Virtual School my son as well as book appointments for my husband’s home-based business. I have so many fond Disney memories but if I had to choose, I guess my fondest was when my son was 6 and REALLY into Peter Pan movies. We stood where Peter Pan and Wendy do their Meet and Greet outside of the Pirates Ride for about a half an hour. We were first in line. Now, my son knew these were just characters –not the real deal. He figured that out on his own. But after he met with them and we got pictures, he turned to me as we were walking away and said this precious thing. “Mom, I know they aren’t really Peter Pan and Wendy. But wasn’t Wendy just beautiful?” He said it like he had just met the woman he was going to marry! I started to cry right there and still do now when I think about that day! My favorite attraction always has been and will be Horizons. My favorite restaurant, wow, that’s a hard one. I’m a major foodie and yes, I’m one of those people who cook and tweet out pics of it to my friends. I guess the Coral Reef has my fondest memories as a child eating there with my parents and brother. I also like Le Cellier but haven’t been in a long, long time to either one. By far the Cabins and Campground at Fort Wilderness is my favorite resort on Disney property! There is just no way you can have a bad experience in Fort Wilderness, it is so beautiful!
I heard about Lou when I was surfing YouTube for Disney related videos about 4 years ago and saw a few he had made and just really fell in love with the Disney Community he has created! They are like a second family to me. I have only been able to get to one Meet of the Month and it was almost 3 years ago at the Contempo Cafe. What I thought was so cute that day was when Lou took a picture with myself and my son (who was 9 at the time and very tall for his age), Lou actually stepped up on his tip toes in the picture. A couple of people in the line behind us were watching him do it and it was adorable! My son is now almost as tall as me, scarey! I appreciate anything Lou does with Jim Korkis but I have to say that the live interview on the Disney Cruise with Richard Sherman was really my favorite. I have been in The Box for about 4 years now. People should join The Box because you’re instantly accepted and respected for your love of Disney and people are so kind and non-judgmental in The Box. You feel safe and secure from any criticism about your life of being a Disney Geek.
I sincerely appreciate what Lou’s family has sacrificed to make his dream come true. I hope that his wonderful wife Deanna realizes how much we appreciate the time she gives us with Lou via the videos, podcasts, Meet of the Months, and the weekly Newscast which takes him away from “family-time” to give us this safe refuge we call the “Box”.
Vypeman: My first name is Chad and I live in Missouri. When I’m not watching Lou or videos of Disney, I’m either at work installing telephone cable in the ground, or at the model train club we have here playing. I am also a video game player, so yes I really still am a big kid. My fondest Disney memory would have to be from just 2009. That was my first trip back to the World since I was 4 years old. Just seeing the Magic Kingdom again was awesome. Now, even being from Missouri, I have an annual pass and try to make as many trips as possible to Florida. My favorite attraction is easy for me. It’s the Haunted Mansion. I’m a late October baby and I love Halloween and the Haunted Mansion just fell in line with everything else. My last trip down there, I rode it about 30 times. My favorite restaurant is The Coral Reef. I just love being able to watch the fish while I eat. I really don’t have a favorite hotel yet. I’m trying to stay at a different one every time I go down. This upcoming trip in June I will be staying at the Art of Animation.
I first found out about Lou from videos I found on YouTube and been hooked ever since. I haven’t been to any Meets of the Month yet. I’m always there on the wrong weekends. I’d have to say my favorite live shows are any that has us at the parks with him. I love being able to see the parks live with Lou when I can’t be there myself. I’ve been in The Box almost 4 years now and I love every minute I get to share with the rest of the Box People. I really hope I get to meet some in June. People should join The Box because it’s really enjoyable and you can have any question answered in there. Plus, all the members of The Box are super nice people.
I would just like to say, I hope everybody always enjoy their visits at the parks and in The Box.
Disneyjim24: My name is Jimmy and I’m originally from New York but just moved to Orlando, FL with my wonderful girlfriend, Chelsie! When I‘m not in The Box, I work for The Cheesecake Factory restaurants as a server, bartender and corporate trainer. I also do New Restaurant openings for the company. I’ve done 12 total in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio and was lucky enough to be chosen to open our first international location in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Now that I’m in Orlando, you will find me at the WDW theme parks and resorts, hanging out and living it up! In my other free time, I’m a huge sports fan. My teams are the New York Yankees, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Rangers and Brooklyn Nets. A couple of guilty pleasures of mine are reality television and WWE wrestling. I never miss an episode of American Idol or Survivor. Also, on Monday nights, you’ll find me watching Monday Night Raw. My fondest Disney memory?? So many to choose from! One definitely has to be the first trip my girlfriend, Chelsie, and I took together. That was an amazing trip! We stayed at Port Orleans Riverside for 5 days. The whole trip we went commando style. We were at parks for rope drop every morning. We had some incredible dining reservations that trip. The highlight was probably when we ate at California Grill. We had an amazing, romantic dinner together and our reservations were while Wishes was going on in the Magic Kingdom, so we got to go out on the balcony and watch! It was fantastic! And, I have to give you one more memory because it sticks out in my mind. I was able to participate in the WDW College Program while I was in college. I did it twice, once in 2001 then again in 2003! My major in college was hotel and restaurant management, so I worked in some great WDW restaurants. I worked in the Plaza Restaurant and Liberty Tree Tavern in the Magic Kingdom. But my favorite place to work was 50’s Prime Time Cafe in Hollywood Studios. That was such a fun and amazing experience! I made such great friends and had so much fun playing the role of Cousin Jimmy! My favorite attraction is Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. During my College Program I rode it, probably about 100 times. And my second favorite, just because I feel like telling you, is Test Track. I haven’t had a chance to ride Test Track 2.0 yet, but if it’s anything like the first version was, I’m sure I’ll love it. My favorite restaurant in WDW is California Grill. Going back to the trip I mentioned earlier, it is still the best meal I have ever eaten anywhere. There is a total three way tie for my favorite hotel on property. I love the Contemporary, Animal Kingdom Lodge, and Port Orleans French Quarter. I love the Contemporary for the kind of futuristic feel of the hotel and I think it has the best character dining in WDW (see how I worked food in there?). And, I still think it’s pretty darn cool that the monorail runs through it. I love the Animal Kingdom Lodge because from the second you drive up to the hotel, you feel like you are transported to Africa. And I think once you walk out the back of Jambo House and see the savannah, you have a surreal feeling of being in Africa surrounded by all the animals. I could spend hours just sitting there watching the animals. Finally, Port Orleans French Quarter, is another favorite because I love the feeling of being in New Orleans. Great food, fun atmosphere and a great pool!
I first heard about Lou during the D23 Expo in 2011. I was unable to attend and many people I follow on Twitter were tweeting that the Parks and Resorts presentation was starting and I wanted to see it so bad! So I started googling different people and randomly found Lou! And boy, am I glad I did! Since that night, I’ve been a devoted “Box Person”. Thank goodness I found Lou. Anytime I tried to talk about WDW with my coworkers, they would just roll their eyes and say WDW is for kids. Are they crazy??? Once I found WDW Radio and the Box People, I found a sense of belonging. I’m thankful for it everyday! I’ve been to two of the WDW meets so far. The first was last summer in NYC when we met in Bryant Park and went to the Disney Store in Times Square. The second was just last week in WDW at Katsura Grill in Epcot. It was a blast to see Lou again and meet other Box People. My favorite live show was the 40 hour live show, which I stayed awake for about 37 hours of. It was the ultimate WDW fix when I was living in New York. My favorite podcasts are any of the ones when Lou and guests would talk about the 7 Wonders of WDW. And, of course, I love the first one when Lou interviewed Richard Sherman. I’ve been in The Box for a little less than 2 years now. I’ve only missed Wednesday nights occasionally and when I was in Dubai for work for 5 weeks, and even then I popped in for a few minutes at 3am Dubai time, lol. People should join in The Box fun because you can make some incredible friends there. Because of Box Wednesdays, I’ve begun to speak regularly with Tony (BacksideofWater), Pete (petealtemese), and, of course, Makena (makattack98). It’s just a fun time talking Disney with so many devoted fans.
The only other things I’d like to share are feel free to friend me on Facebook, follow me on twitter and follow me on Instagram. Now that I’m living in Orlando, I will be tweeting and taking lots and lots of pictures in the parks so as an additional way to get your WDW fix, gimme a follow.
Krisbee2000: My name is Marissa, and I live in North Carolina. I’m a native New Yorker, specifically a Long Islander, who moved down to North Carolina 10 years ago to do something that Lou himself encourages us to do every day…to follow a lifelong dream. I gave up a lucrative and successful career as a television news photographer in New York to become a full-time horse trainer and riding instructor. Pretty radical change, eh? So my husband and I packed up our lives and bought a farm in the middle of North Carolina, where we now board and train 26 horses, and I teach students from 8-80 how to ride. I also coach both our local Special Olympic equestrian team as well as having coached Team USA equestrian at the last two Special Olympics World Summer Games in Shanghai in 2007 and Athens in 2011. My husband, Kris (the one who created the username I go by in the box, krisbee2000), and I have been married for almost 8 years. We don’t have kids…or rather, all of our “kids” have 4 legs and are covered in fur! Kris is an avid collector of vinyl records and a licensed ham radio operator. I LOVE all things horsey, watching movies (I prefer ones with lots of explosions, lasers, aliens and ninjas…lots of ninjas) and hunting down the best BBQ in all of NC. But our most obsessive hobby is DISNEY WORLD. Honestly, we can’t get enough of it. If you cut me open I would bleed pixie dust! We don’t get to Disney as often as we would like…ya know…every day…but we try to get there at least every other year. One of my fondest Disney memories was the first trip I took to WDW with my husband while we were still dating. I was nervous about going with him, as I was a HUGE uber-fan who had been 15+ times in 22 years and he had only been one time when he was a little kid. I was worried he wouldn’t get it. Wouldn’t appreciate it. Wouldn’t understand why I was so giddy about WDW and obsessed with the place. On our last day of the trip (which he really enjoyed) we were exiting Hollywood Studios, getting ready to head to the airport, and I looked at him. He was all teary eyed. I asked him what was wrong and he looked at me with the most adorably sad look and said, “what if we don’t get a chance to come back??” I knew then that we’d be married someday…and I made us both swear that we’d come back. We still make that promise to each other at the end of every trip…complete with teary eyes! My favorite attraction is, hands down, Splash Mountain. I love the fact that it tells a complete story from beginning to end. It’s a long attraction, and it combines the best of a dark ride with the stomach dropping awesomeness of a thrill ride. That ride is my laughin’ place! My favorite restaurant? Oooh, that’s a tough one! There are so many fabulous restaurants at Disney World, but I’d have to say the one that keeps pulling me back in with its siren song is Boma. That chicken corn chowder…I just want to stick my head in the pot! And zebra domes…cue Homer Simpson-style moan. There are so many unique and wonderful dishes there and the atmosphere is just so cool! There’s the added bonus of being able to explore Animal Kingdom Lodge before or after your meal, too. My favorite resort is the Contemporary with Animal Kingdom Lodge a close 2nd. We LOVE staying at the Contemporary because we spend most of our time at either MK or Epcot and the close proximity to MK can’t be beat. That quick 5 minute walk back to our room after a long day is priceless. And being able to hop a monorail to Epcot is awesome. Who doesn’t love getting to hear “Por Favor mantengase alejado de las puertas” as often as possible? The rooms are big and there is nothing like the view of the park from a room in the tower. There’s something about the nostalgia factor too…staying in one of the original Disney hotels. And frankly I can’t help but smile and stare wide eyed like kid every single time a monorail glides through the concourse. I give the Animal Kingdom Lodge a CLOSE second. FANTASTIC atmosphere. I couldn’t get enough of standing on our balcony watching the animals. Sure it’s a bit further away from the parks but we drive to WDW every trip so we have a car to get around with.
I have been a fan of Lou since way back in his Mousetunes days. Shortly after we moved to North Carolina I was feeling particularly blue. It seemed like we would NEVER get back to Disney as our business was struggling to get off the ground. My husband went online and found Lou’s Mousetunes podcast for me in an attempt to give me some way to stay close to the Disney magic. I felt an instant kinship with Lou. He was so positive and bubbly and his love of all things Disney was clear as a bell. I’ve been following him since that first show and now couldn’t imagine a week without WDW Radio and the live show. I haven’t been to a meet of the month…YET. However my husband and I did make it “out of The Box” last September to one of the Wednesday night live shows. It was a thrill and an honor to meet Lou in person, yet it also felt like I knew him already! Like meeting up with an old friend. We would love to get to one of the meets in the future. Trying to pick a favorite podcast or live show is like trying to pick which of your kids you like best! I love the top 10 shows, I love the trip planning shows with Beci, but I think my very favorite show was the interview Lou did with Legend Alice Davis. I was hanging on her every word! What a fascinating life she’s had! Lou has also had some EPIC live broadcasts…I’m not sure if my favorite was the 5th anniversary show with all of the suggestions people had sent in from the box, or if the recent anniversary show with the gang answering the phones in the UK pavilion in Epcot. My husband says he loves the Top 10 Smells show Lou did and his favorite moment was one of Lou’s first live broadcasts after he moved to Florida, where The Box folks dared Lou to jump in his pool and promised to donate to the Dream team Project if he did…and Lou jumped right in that pool fully clothed! I’ve been in The Box since day one! People should join The Box because it’s more than just a fan community…we’re friends. Dare I say even family. We are a diverse group of strangers from all walks of life brought together by our love of all things Disney and the hard work and dedication of Lou. The Box is a safe haven for all of us Disney nerds to geek out over all things Disney.
People ask what would Walt say if he were alive…but I say he IS alive. In each of us in The Box. And especially in Lou…a man who embodies the spirit of Walt Disney. Follow your dreams, be water, find your puzzle piece…those little Lou-isms remind me every day to continue to follow my dreams wherever they may take me!
These Box People all had great stories to tell that were all different in their own ways but very similar in their love for Disney. If you are in The Box and see these usernames, don’t be afraid to say hello! They are all VERY friendly and would love to talk to you. If you aren’t in the box, WHY NOT? There may not be 999 of us…but there is always room for one more (Sorry! I can’t resist a corny joke). If you are new to The Box and have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below or in the chat room itself. I hope to “see” you all on Wednesday nights at 7:30!
See ya REAL soon!
Quote of the Week: “This is my family. I found it, all on my own. Is little and broken, but still good. Yeah, still good.” ~Stitch, Lilo and Stitch
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.