Do you know these Box People? One of my favorite things about the Box is the sense of community and family that beckons us every Wednesday night. If you’re unsure what “The Box” is, it is the chatbox that Lou Mongello talks to every Wednesday night at 7:30pm. We talk rumors, share news, goof around and chat just like you would around the dinner table. We are one big family that really doesn’t know too much about each other. In my “Meet The Box People” series, I am attempting to change that. In this 7th installment, I would like to introduce you to five more members of our Box family: JimmyKenney (Jimmy), CrystalTink1017 (Jennifer), Pigwing76 (Jeremy), Disneyfan506 (Timothy) and Lightnin_McVince (Vince).
JimmyKenney: My name is Jimmy (a little obvious, I know) and I live in Massachusetts, near Cape Cod. Anyone in the Box can probably guess what company I work for, but I never make it obvious, so as not to start an argument for or against my company. I set time aside each week specifically for the WDW Radio live show, but it isn’t always easy when my family knows I am not at work. My fondest Disney memory was in about 1984 when my whole family, Mom, Dad, grandma, grandpa, three sisters, and little brother took a trip from Illinois to Boca Raton, FL, using a cereal box top ‘buy one get one free’ airline ticket offer. The five kids had no idea how far Boca Raton was from Orlando. We only knew Boca Raton was in the same state as Walt Disney World, and we had to go. Mom and Dad piled us all in the car and drove us up to Disney World and back to Boca Raton in one day, but it didn’t matter, we finally got to go to Walt Disney World, and at that age we didn’t know that people stayed at Disney more than one day. On my first visit I faked being sick to my stomach to avoid going into the Haunted Mansion. I look back at that and shake my head because it is now my favorite attraction, and I think about what I missed out on earlier. I tend to hit the Parks “Commando Style,” jumping from one attraction to the next because I have very limited time, so eating in the Parks has never been a priority to me. Even though Lou has shown me the error of my ways, I still have not experienced many restaurants, but I am making a point to try more of them. The one restaurant I probably like the best for theming is Columbia Harbor House. It reminds me of a restaurant I used to go to as a kid, down in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Until my 40th Birthday, I had never stayed on property. I had always stayed at my sister’s home in Winter Park. I stayed at the Beach Club, but I did not take the time to take in Storm-Along Bay, which I should have. Each visit I try to visit one or two hotels to check them out and take photos. I would like to stay at The Polynesian Resort next.
I started listening to WDW Today when their episodes were still in the double-digits. They used to say “Lou. Oh, Lou!” And he might have been on a few of those early episodes. From there I also listened to Lou’s previous podcast, so I’ve been listening to WDW Radio since its inception. My 40th Birthday coincided with Reunion a few years ago. I actually met Lou and Beci, and the WDW Today guys on my 40th Birthday. Lou had a Meet of the Month the next day. That’s the only one I’ve been to. My next visit is a few days after the Great Movie Ride E-Ticket Event, so I will probably miss that month’s Meet. The Boston Box People would really like to see Lou make a visit up here. I have even tried to bribe Lou with Lobster and Fried Clams to get him to come to Massachusetts. My co-workers think I am nuts when I turn on the live events during breaks. Most of them don’t get it, but some of them do, and they are into Disney as much as I am. My favorite podcast is either the Samantha Brown interview or any of the Jim Korkis DSI episodes. I was in the Box very early. It was not during the premiere of the Box at PNW Mouse Meet, but it was definitely one of the very first ones. Lou had been talking about doing it for a few weeks, I had just flown into Orlando and remembered he was doing this “experiment” so I turned it on and listened for a few hours. There wasn’t even a chat room at that point. Why should people join in the Box fun? Why not?
I have been thinking about relocating to Orlando for years. My ultimate retirement job is to drive the Friendship boat between the Magic Kingdom and Wilderness Lodge. I love shooting photos around the Parks, especially the Magic Kingdom.
CrystalTink1017: My name is Jennifer, and I live in Connecticut. I have worked as a wholesale travel consultant for the last 2 years. I am a DVC owner at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort, and hope to move to the Magic next summer. My fondest Disney memory is experiencing the Magic for the first time for my 1st wedding Anniversary in 2010. My favorite ride is Living with the Land, my two favorite restaurants are Boma (for breakfast) and Narcoossee’s (for dinner) and my favorite hotel on property is Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village.
I found Lou’s podcast while searching “Disney” in iTunes. I went to the meet of the month in NYC in Bryant Park and also one at Storybook Circus. It was great to meet people in person, I even saw someone I went to school with!! When I move to the Magic I am hoping to be able to go to most, if not all of them. I need more podcasts with AJ from Disney Food Blog. I’ve been in the Box a little under a year. People should join the Box because it is a great way to meet like-minded people and learn things you may have never known.
I want to thank the Box family for the welcoming and acceptance, it is a great feeling to log in on Wednesday night and be greeted with such warmth.
Pigwing76: My name is Jeremy and I live in Massachusetts. I have a full time day job working as a laborer for the city. I have a small graphic design business on the side as well. The rest of the week is taken up by two other endeavors, a music group and a paranormal investigation team (sounds very random, I know). My music group is named “of Kings and Sirens”. We have just begun to play out live around the Massachusetts area. In the group I play lead guitar and sing backup vocals. We’ve been together for just over a year now. My other hobby is being the technical department manager and senior investigator of Agawam Paranormal, a local paranormal research team founded by my uncle. Twice a month, for the last three years, we go out on ghost hunts in the surrounding areas, hoping to find some grim, grinning ghosts. We have investigated numerous historical locations in the area, having been invited by the local historic societies to do so. Any other spare time that is left (is there any?) is spent with my beautiful wife of three years, Sarah. We love all things Disney and should probably find some kind of support group about our Disney addiction. Oh wait, we have one here at WDW Radio!
My fondest Disney memory was on our honeymoon in WDW in 2010. We got in line for pictures in front of Cinderella’s carriage during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. When it came time for the picture, I had the idea to get down on one knee for a proposal picture (even though we were already married). The picture came out great as the entire line of people behind us went “ahhhhhhhh” (you know, the sound people make when they see a little puppy) in unison. It was really special. That and when Pete called us out and congratulated us on our marriage from the back of his dragon during the Main Street Electrical Parade. The Haunted Mansion is my favorite attraction. I could ride it over and over, and I certainly have! The best time to see the Haunted Mansion is during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. The extra lighting and characters add so much to the experience. My favorite restaurant is La Hacienda in Epcot. The Del Mar platter is amazing! We’ve only had the opportunity to stay at Pop Century so I don’t have much hotel experience. I will say that you have to love a hotel that has a 50 foot tall Mickey Mouse Telephone on property. We plan on visiting as many of the hotels as possible on our trip coming up in a few weeks.
On a search through iTunes in search of Disney podcasts a few years ago I came across the WDW Radio Show. I instantly fell in love. I’ve been a loyal listener ever since. I have not been to a meet of the month yet but I’m really hoping to change that next month. Hopefully Lou’s schedule is in line with ours. If I don’t get a handshake and a hug from Lou during our trip, I’m going to be very upset. As far as the location, I would love to have a meet somewhere in Tomorrowland. As far as the live show goes, I loved all of the live coverage from the recent D23 Expo. It really brought everyone that couldn’t make it into the event. My favorite podcasts are always the DSI episodes. I love to hear all of the details about the attractions. Plus anytime Jim Korkis is on the show. He is a vast wealth of information and always entertaining to hear with Lou. I have been a Box Person for about the last two and half years. I can’t always make it on Wednesdays but whenever I’m free you can always find me in the Box with my Box family. The Box is such a great community of wonderful people. They are always super friendly and supportive. We all share the same fanatical love for Disney. They really are like family. Whenever someone shows up in the Box it’s like walking into the bar Cheers, a place where everybody knows your name.
I’m so grateful for all of the wonderful people I’ve met because of WDW Radio. From everyone in the Box on Wednesday nights to everyone who contributes to the blogs and podcasts. And not to forget the person who brought us all together, Lou. He has such a great outlook on life and his enthusiasm is infectious.
Disneyfan506: My first name is Timothy, and I live in Indiana. On Wednesday nights you can find me in the Box, but during the rest of the week, you can find me working and going to college. I work at Winery doing many different positions such as Host and Kitchen Help. I also attend a community college, which I’m majoring in Drafting & Design. Once I have received 60 college credits, my goal is to transfer to University of Central Florida. After college, my career goal is to work for Walt Disney Imagineering. It has always been a dream of mine to work for the Walt Disney Company. When I have some down time, I like to spend time with the family. My fondest Disney memory has to be the first time I went to Walt Disney World in the mid 90’s. My parents took me to the parks at a young age and I immediately fell in love with Disney. One of the things that I became obsessed with as a young kid, was the monorails. Every time I would see a monorail pass by, I would get all excited and when we rode the monorail, I had to sit up front in the cab. I thought that was the coolest thing ever. Over the many years that I’ve been to the Disney Parks, I have created so many memories with my family that I’ll never forget.
I love all Disney attractions, but my all-time favorite has to be Splash Mountain at the Magic Kingdom. The whole attraction is well themed and I can’t stop myself from singing along to the music. My favorite restaurant is Via Napoli at Epcot. The food is amazing and I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone! My favorite hotel is the Boardwalk Villas. This is our number one favorite Disney Vacation Club Resort. One of the best benefits the resort has to offer is that you are in walking distance to two theme parks: Epcot and Hollywood Studios. The resort also offers several dining and shopping areas that are located along the boardwalk. At night the resort feels completely different, it comes alive with live entertainment and the carnival games open to the public. It’s truly a spectacular resort!
I first heard about Lou back in 2011 during the D23 Expo. I saw a post on one of several Disney social media sites I follow and I quickly signed up to be a member of the WDW Radio site. I’ve now been a member of the site for two years. I haven’t been to any of the meet of the months, however; I did bump into Lou in Downtown Disney at Earl of Sandwich on our last day in the world. I’m hoping one day I will get the opportunity to make it down during one of the meet of the months. One of my favorite podcasts is episode # 289. In that episode Lou interviews Walt Disney Imagineer Tony Baxter, who has played a major role in the company. Tony was the master behind my favorite attraction, Splash Mountain. My favorite live show has to be the WDW Radio 6 Year Anniversary Show. Who can forget the time when Scott screamed loudly in the Norway pavilion? That was just one of many highlights during the live show.
To anyone who is thinking about the joining the Box, you should! Lou does live shows on Wednesday nights, where you can interact with him and other Disney fans around the world. Everyone in the community is like a large family that comes together once a week to share the Disney magic with each other. Everyone is welcome and I’ll see you in the box!
Lightnin_McVince: My name is Vince and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. My usual short answer to questions about my job or hobbies is “I make stuff”, which is true. I own a machine shop and manufacture parts, fixtures and prototypes for a variety of companies, many of which you have probably heard of. I function as an “Imagineer” for the inventors and artists of the Silicon Valley doing everything from Mechanical engineering and product design using 3D CAD technology, to programming and operating the CNC machinery. We have a few different product lines that we manufacture and sell under our own branding in addition to the contract work we do for other companies. It’s a new challenge every day, and we create items such as motorcycle accessories, DNA synthesis equipment, consumer electronics, fine art and robotics. Hey WD Imagineering, we need to talk. When I’m not “making stuff”, my significant other, Karen, and I visit Disneyland (annual pass holders) or one of the many museums that we belong to, including the Walt Disney Family Museum here in San Francisco.
As far as fondest Disney memories, the obvious firsts come to mind; first fireworks over Sleeping Beauty Castle with Tinker Bell flying overhead, first time entering CarsLand, first time at WDW Magic Kingdom, our super spectacular Safari adventure at the Animal Kingdom. However, I think my fondest Disney memory was a day I spent alone at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. The parks were packed, with super long lines for all the attractions and Karen couldn’t make it, so I decided to ask Mickey and friends to send her a postcard. I spent the whole day cruising around the parks looking for characters to sign a postcard “wish you were here” and at the end of the day mailed it home with a Disneyland postmark. I didn’t ride any attractions that day, just did character meets and had the best time.
Really, just one favorite attraction?!? DL Haunted Mansion during the holidays with the Nightmare Before Christmas makeover and Storybook canal boats at DL. This attraction was such an unexpected pleasure – the miniature scenes are just wonderful and, like the Jungle Cruise, the right guide can make this attraction even better with their clever banter and jokes. Oh, there are just so many great restaurants, and for different reasons. California Grill was incredible, especially since we were lucky enough to get a window table during Wishes!! Artist Point was amazing, as was Sanaa. We have never done any character dining at Disneyland (where we have annual passports) but attended several character meals at Walt Disney World and had SO MUCH FUN. We were the only adults there without kids and we still had a blast – good food, lots of laughs and great photos with all the characters. We love the Contemporary – super comfortable and stylish rooms, gorgeous views of the lake and Magic Kingdom fireworks, delicious onsite cafe and restaurants, and the monorail at your front door, I mean inside your front door – what could be better?
Honestly I don’t remember how I heard about Lou. Probably just stumbled into the podcast doing random Disney searches. I have not been to a Meet of the Month yet. I really hope it works out on one of our trips to Walt Disney World. It’s tough since we book our vacation so far in advance, and we don’t know when the MOTMs will be. For sure we will be there when Lou plans another trek out to the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco. My favorite podcast is just impossible to answer. I love the shows with Jim Korkis, and the top tens are always fun with lots of unexpected surprises. The D23 coverage was incredible. I have been in the Box about a year, but mostly just lurking. I started getting more involved in the conversation a few months ago. People should join the Box fun cuz the Box is awesome! Seriously, it’s easy to start feeling a bit self-conscious about our Disney obsessions. Joining the rest of the Disney fanatics in the Box makes us feel that there are others out there who are even more crazy about this stuff that we are. It’s always fun to find people of like mind, and the Box is full of those peeps.
Answering these questions has reminded me what I find so special about the Disney Company. Disney has a way of always exceeding our expectations and let me say that the expectations are pretty high already. Somehow they always manage to surprise us, whether it’s cast members going out of their way to make the experience special, or an attraction that just blows you away (everything in CarsLand), adding and improving on our all-time favorites, like the addition of Glow with the Show ears at Fantasmic and World of Color, the list goes on and on. It’s the unexpected surprises and exceptional levels of detail everywhere you look that create the most magical memories.
These five Box People have many differences, but one thing in common: their love for Disney and WDW Radio. I believe that every Disney fan should join the WDW Radio community because we understand each other. No more explaining why you love Disney! Want to give the Box a try? Tune in every single Wednesday night at 7:30pm and get a taste of the fun!
See ya REAL soon!
Quote of the Week: “What makes someone special? I suppose it all depends. It’s what’s unique in each of us.” – Ariel, The Little Mermaid
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.