There are a number of bloggers on this website who cover a variety of topics. There are posts about photos, bringing Disney magic home, and becoming Imagineers just to name a few. Most of the bloggers are also regular box people. I decided that these special people deserve their moment in the spotlight for a special edition of “Meet The Box People”. For those of you who don’t know, “the box” is the chatroom that Lou talks to every Wednesday night at [7:30]. It has grown into a huge community. Meet four of the box people that live double lives as bloggers: Fran (FranCEpcot in the box and writes Practically Perfect DISNEY Crafting), Caitlin (GiantNFL in the box and writes Disney From a Twenty Something), Angie (HeyItsAngieYo in the box and writes for Fish are Friends, Not Food)and Kendall (MoreToTheWorld and writes for More To The World).
Fran Cassano (Practically Perfect DISNEY Crafting): My name is Fran and I live in New York. (But please don’t hold that against me, LOL). I am a librarian and researcher. I have SO many fond Disney memories. But overall, it is without question, my Disney’s Fairy Tale Wedding in Epcot. My favorite attractions are The Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean. My favorite Disney restaurant is Remy on the Disney Dream. Remy was actually THE best meal of my entire life. My favorite resorts on property are Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Discovering Lou started with the early stages of planning my wedding. I saw an interview he did with Korri McFann. But when I listened to the Live Restaurant Review where Lou, Scott and Glenn were tasting the meatballs at the Portobello Meatball Bar, that was the beginning. I became a regular podcast listener after that. I have been to 3 Meets of the Month: NYC, one at Epcot and New Jersey just a few weeks ago. My favorite thing that happened at last year’s NYC Meet was when Christy asked me to write for the Blog. The On The On the Road New Jersey Meet was also pretty phenomenal because the full day, friends, Harold’s Deli and seeing Monsters University at the AMC Drive-In Theatre felt very much like a Disney Parks-style experience to me. I plan to attend Meets wherever I can. Hmm. I think Lou should go to Disneyland Paris and/or Tokyo Disney next. My favorite Live Show was the one on the WDW Radio Cruise 2.0. The NJ Meet Live Show was fun, too! As far as favorite podcasts…pretty much anything with Richard Sherman. Then seeing him (and meeting him) on the Cruise 2.0 was just perfection. But I also love all the Disney history and Parks lore podcasts, the Live Restaurant Reviews and now Disney in a Minute. I’ve been in The Box since August 2011 (but I didn’t join in the chat until the following June). I got to meet Lou (and Beci) at the 2011 D23 Expo in the WDW Radio booth. He walked me over to The Box and we spoke a bit there. So, I “Escaped The Box” before I was technically “In” it, LOL. It took me almost a year to join in The Box chat even though I watched the show and listened to the podcasts. Why did I wait so long? Everyone is so welcoming and really funny. The Live Show, The Box and the Blog have a lot of heart. Try The Box once and you will wish Wednesdays came around sooner than they do.
Caitlin Corsello (Disney From The Twenty Something): Hello everyone! My name is Caitlin, otherwise known as giantnfl in the box. I also can be found on the blog every Monday with my Disney From The Twenty-Something posts and with Self-Shot Tuesdays! I’m a twenty-something living in New York with a background in Mental Health Counseling. During my spare time I enjoy exploring Manhattan, reading, and traveling with my boyfriend. I can also be found most days by my computer planning my next Disney trip! Growing up, my family would visit Disney World every summer and we have continued visiting at least once a year. However, we’ve now switched to those cooler fall months where we can enjoy both the Halloween festivities and the Food & Wine Festival. My favorite Disney memory is a combination of two different photo opportunities. When I was a toddler, my father and I posed in those bright yellow rain ponchos in front of the tikis by the entrance to the Jungle Cruise. Years later as a teenager, we recreated that same photo, ponchos and all. I have both pictures framed and hanging next to each other in my house, and they remind me daily of both my dad and a great Disney memory.
Growing up, my favorite attraction was Peter Pan’s Flight, however as I’ve gotten older I have grown to love the Haunted Mansion for its history and endless small details. My favorite restaurant on property is Kona Café at the Polynesian Resort. It’s become a tradition in recent years to eat there on the first night of our vacation, and the Lapu Lapu is hands down my favorite drink on property. Nothing says vacation like drinking out of a pineapple! While the Polynesian is also my favorite resort, it’s pretty far out of my price range so I usually stay at the Port Orleans French Quarter Resort.
I first became aware of Lou through his podcasts several years back and slowly started becoming a regular reader of the blog. Last summer, I emailed Lou expressing my twenty-something view and was soon introduced to the wonderful Christy. Thus, my blog writing began. I would also occasionally be in the box on Wednesday nights for a few years, but while still in school my class schedule always seemed to conflict. So it was only last summer that I really started becoming a regular in the box. It’s such a great place to not only catch up on all things Disney, but to interact with your friends. Unfortunately, I’ve never been able to attend a meet of the month as I seem to always just miss them when at WDW on vacation. However I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the recent New Jersey meet and it was a blast! I can’t wait to be able to attend another meet in the future, and I can’t wait to see everyone in the box this Wednesday night!
Angie Carriero (Fish Are Friends, Not Food): I’m Angie and I live in Southeastern Massachusetts. I’m a dog trainer, artist – mostly pastel paintings and Disney-themed-projects (ask me about my website where you can see my work). I have 4 dogs in my “pack” Flip the Westie, Josie the Cairn, Hildy the Corgi-mix, and Jed the Treeing Walker Coonhound. I write the Fish Are Friends, Not Food bi-weekly blog on WDWRadio and I also write for 2 other blogs. I have an outdoorsy side and a city-girl side. I love the mix of culture and hustle-and-bustle of the city, but also find myself hiking through the woods every chance I get! I love getting tattoos and have a few piercings and I live for each day when wearing a dress is appropriate! I often think about the time I went to Disney with my parents and cousin, Alyssa. We were caught off guard by a sudden rain shower at night in Hollywood Studios (still MGM at the time). Everyone ran for cover, but we decided to stay and dance in the rain! It was truly magical, and afterwards, we walked by 2 teenage boys and overheard their conversation about how devastated they were that they missed Hannah Montana being in the parks the previous week! My favorite attraction is the Haunted Mansion, no questions asked. My favorite counter service restaurant is Columbia Harbor House and for table service it’s Jiko at AK Lodge. It’s always been a dream of mine to stay in Animal Kingdom Lodge. I thought maybe one day I could afford it when I became an adult, but I’ve been an adult for a few years now and it hasn’t quite happened yet… haha
How did I hear about Lou? Good question… I think I was on WDWMagic forums around March 2011 planning for my upcoming trip and someone mentioned him in a post, so I looked up the podcast, listened to a couple episodes and was hooked!!! I’ve never been to a Meet of the Month, but was on the WDWRadio Dream Cruise 2.0! I would love to go to one and hope it’s at Babycakes, it should always be at Babycakes… The 5 year/5 hour show was AMAZING! So many laughs and I felt like I was there! A Whole New WOOOOORLD! Favorite podcast is a toughie for me – any of the Top 10 lists really…. I’ve been in the box a little over a year! For some reason I didn’t catch on to it when I was still a big fan of the podcasts! The community of Disney lovers is such an accepting, fun, lively community! Anyone who is as big of a fan of Disney as we all are, you automatically “click” with the rest of us. Instant family, really! It’s an upbeat, judgment-free zone that everyone will be gladly accepted into with open arms!
When I found WDWRadio, I really felt like I found my place. I was welcomed into the community right away. Christy and Lou were/are so great with the blog team and I really wanted to be a part of it, and have now written for the WDWRadio blog since August 17, 2012… wow, it’s almost been a year!!!! WDWRadio has really become a vessel for feeding my Disney cravings and has become a virtual home! (And I also found my special-someone through our little group, as he’s a former WDWRadio blogger as well!)
Kendall Foreman (More to the World): My name is Kendall and I live in Indiana with my husband. When I am not writing for the WDWRadio blog or spending time in The Box, I am a part-time administrative assistant for a high school athletic department as well as for the local church I attend. My free time is devoted to practicing my faith, my family, working on art projects, playing my DS, running or doing yoga fitness, or searching the internet for all of the latest WDW news, of course. My fondest Disney memory is from childhood. My younger sister and I had made awesome cars out of cardboard boxes to play with in our room, and we thought it would be fun to go to the “drive-in”. So, we asked our mom to make us pizza to eat during the movie. .. I guess Mom was working the concession stand that night. Anyway, this childhood spark of imagination just happened to take place the year The Fox and The Hound was released to video; so, of course, it was the feature film that night. We pulled our “cars” up right in front of the living room TV because the one in our room was much too small to be a “drive-in”. There, parked next to each other, we ate our “concession stand” pizza, and met Copper and Todd for the first time.
My favorite WDW attraction is Splash Mountain. This ride has so many wonderful memories attached to it. As anyone who has read my blog tagline knows, it was a favorite challenge of my family to see how many times we could ride it during the fireworks and SpectroMagic. Fond memories aside, I believe Splash Mountain is one of the best all-around rides at WDW. Its length is a great payoff for the wait time. The music is fantastic, and who hasn’t caught themselves humming or singing Pretty Good Sure as You’re Born or Everybody’s Got a Laughing Place. Despite the fact that most park-goers have never seen Song of the South, everyone steps off the ride knowing Brer Rabbit’s Story. My favorite resort is my home-away-from-home, the Polynesian Resort, which also happens to be the location of my favorite restaurant, Captain Cook’s. Like Splash Mountain, my partiality is driven by memories made there at the resort. The Polynesian has been my family’s favorite vacation destination since our first visit in 1993. It also happens to be where my husband and I spent our honeymoon. In my opinion, no other resort compares! I believe Captain Cook’s deserves to be honored as my favorite restaurant because I find it to be very affordable, I have eaten more meals there than at any other restaurant on property, and I have tried almost everything offered on the menu. There are some very important reasons why it tops my list… I can have Tonga Toast for breakfast, and I can make my own Pineapple Dole Whip as big as I want!
Speaking of Pineapple Dole Whip and getting a great food value, I found out about Lou Mongello purely by accident. When I was in high school, I chose to write a research paper on the importance of mathematics in various Walt Disney attractions. While searching the internet for information on the subject, I stumbled across Lou’s first website. This discovery quickly resulted in my abandonment of my research. I found myself clicking through page after page of information and forum after forum of conversations. Finally, after having spent so much time being distracted, I was forced to return my work; so, I saved the site in my favorites. (Note: I received an “A+” on the paper… must have been all that “research”.) Whenever I had free time, I visited the website. I cannot tell you how thrilled I was to discover that there were others out there like me; people who—regardless of their age—are thoroughly excited about and charmed by Walt Disney World. After several visits to the website, I began to notice that someone named “Lou” was frequently commenting in the forums. I also noticed that other people seemed to look to him for information. I did not make the connection until after I read his second book’s bio page. I guess I don’t catch on very quickly, duh. I started listening to podcasts when I purchased my first iPod (late to the game, as usual); nevertheless, I quickly caught up on what I had missed. I love to listen to old shows while I do artwork. My favorite podcast series are the Top 10s and Restaurant Reviews. If I were forced to choose just one podcast and one live show, I would choose Show #269 – Top 10 WOW Moments in Walt Disney World and the 40 Hour Live Show. I have been to one Meet of the Month, which took place this past May. It was wonderful to meet people I had seen on the Live Show and/or spoken with in The Box. I would love to see a WDWRadio Event in the Midwest. There are a lot of Box People who live in the Midwest, and I am sure there would be no arm twisting necessary to persuade my fellow Midwesterners to host the WDWRadio Family… right everybody?
I have been a Box observer since its beginning, and I finally joined in when I began blogging for the website. I would recommend that others join The Box because when Lou says that “we are friends whether we have met yet or not”, he means it, and it isn’t just true of him. Everyone in The Box is welcoming and glad to visit with each other on Wednesday night. It is a great way to connect with people who share one, very big, common interest.
I hope you guys ejoyed learning more about some of your favorite bloggers. I sure did! These four girls are super nice, so don’t be afraid to ask them questions or just simply talk to them in the box. While you’re at it, you should go check out their latest blogs RIGHT HERE on the website! At the time of writing this, Fran has written about what you can do with leftover Disney packaging, Caitlin wrote about Living with The Land , Angie chose to construct a piece about a vegan Columbia Harbor House chili recipe and Kendall informs us where to find frozen drinks. These people are amazing writers, and I believe you will think so too.
See ya REAL soon!
Quote of the Week: “Reach for the sky!” ~Woody, Toy Story
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.