/ Thursday, August 15th, 2013

by Billy Latta

Mini-Meet at Menlo (2)Highly anticipating my next Disney adventure, I’ve been packing, prepping, and listening to an abnormal amount of Disney-related podcasts (WDW Radio being #1 of course). I’ve also been connecting with many friends who I’ve met over the years via Disney vacationing, the College Program, and WDW Radio. Before I’m head over heels and diving into my College Program, I recently found the opportunity to meet up with some of New Jersey’s finest WDW Radio Box People.

In memory of the WDW Radio NJ Meet-up earlier this summer (full recap by Makena here—thanks Mak!), four other WDW Radio listeners and I reunited at Menlo Park Mall’s Rainforest Café for a night of good conversation, food, and fun. We entered our excursion with appetites ready and an arsenal of topics to discuss.

We ordered an appetizer to kick us off and then jumped right into it as if we were in the Box on Wednesday evenings. We shared stories about most recent travels, reminisced about previous meet-ups, and talked about what’s coming next. When’s the next trip for each of us to the World? What might we see happen with Downtown Disney/Disney Springs in the near future? Which park do we think has room for the most growth at this point?

I suppose it had been an hour and a half and we could have left after finishing our dinners (which naturally included the classic Volcano dessert), but one conversation kept leading to another and we found ourselves hanging around for another hour after paying the check. Time flies when you’re with other Disney enthusiasts!Mini-Meet at Menlo (3)

A visit to the Disney Store topped off the evening. We couldn’t help say, “I wish they had this when we were little kids” (who’re we kidding though? We would still enjoy it just as much today). Here’s a photo of us with some of absolutely awesome plush pals. We’re all excited about the new CDs that will be released on August 20th and although you won’t find this in the Disney Store, a great CD I’d recommend now to anyone in our WDW Radio family is Tom Ameen’s “Piano and Pixie Dust”—a beautiful compilation of instrumental tracks from the Disney Parks.

Mini-Meet at Menlo (6)Oh, and who is this Mission Marvel Agent P character? I like it!

After bringing the evening to a close and saying goodbyes a few thoughts came to mind. Anthony, Ian, Andre, Dave, and I are all from different parts of the New Jersey area. None of us knew each other a few years ago, but we have a passion for Disney and through several meet-ups we’ve come to build lasting friendships. I suppose that’s the best part about Disney—the connectivity, relationships, and memories that blossom from every new experience. So keep plugging into the Box, check your schedules for available dates to meet-up, and know you are part of a grand family of Disney fans.

I can’t wait to be in Florida. I’ll be sharing more about my past and brand new Disney College Program experience real soon!




Tom Ameen’s “Piano and Pixie Dust”:



Billy is a recent graduate of Malone University in Canton, OH. He participated in the Fall 2012 Disney College Program as a lifeguard at Disney’s Old Key West and Saratoga Springs resorts and will be returning as a lifeguard for the Fall 2013 Disney College Program. When not spending time at WDW, Billy is home in Metuchen, NJ with his parents and brother (who is also participating in the Fall 2013 DCP). Billy enjoys running, traveling, listening to podcasts, and keeping up-to-date on the latest Disney and entertainment news.



3 thoughts on ““Billy Outside the Box” – The NJ Mini Meet at Menlo 2.0”

  1. EdisonDave says:

    It was great sharing some quality time with you guys. It is so nice to get together with other folks who “get it” about Disney.

  2. Ian Martin says:

    It is always great to find fellow Disney fans. As much as I like the show, the best part of WDW Radio for me is all the people I have met and the friends I have made. Had a blast with everybody that night, hope to do this again soon.

  3. Kathy Kelly says:

    I love that the Box People are now getting together on their own! Last night we (Christy, Fran, Richie & our families) had a mini-meet at the same place — Menlo Park Mall — but we got together to watch Planes at the AMC theater!!

    The Box Community is the best!