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Meet the Box People

BoxPeople_Final If you’re anything like me, Wednesday morning you smile because “It’s Box Day”.  The hours tick by and finally it’s time to sign into The Box and catch up with other Box People to see what’s going on.  We look for familiar names and are so excited when we see our “box friends.”  But did you ever wonder who your Box friends really are?  I did, and I thought it would be a great idea to Meet Some Box People.  I asked a few regulars questions about themselves, Disney, and WDW Radio.  This week we will get to know more about CriesDuringWishes (Theresa), SammieKay (Samantha), KathyRN137 (Kathy) and BacksideOfWater (Tony).

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CriesDuringWishes:  My name is Theresa and I live in Massachusetts.  I’m a wife to a wonderful man who is very tolerant of my WDW addiction; I’m a momma to two awesome little boys who both have special needs; and I’m a special education teacher, too.  I have so many fond Disney memories; after all, one reason I love WDW so much is because of the many special moments with my family that build lasting memories. Recently, my favorite memories involve watching my sons light up with the magic of new Disney experiences – their first Main Street Electrical Parade, their first Wishes, their first time meeting Mickey, etc.  My favorite attraction….. Duh, it’s Wishes, of course!  And also Splash Mountain.  My favorite restaurant changes with each new trip to whichever new one I tried (I’m committed to trying several new restaurants each trip).  So my favorite for right now is Via Napoli (white pizza, red sangria, don’t miss the tiramisu).  And I fully expect that after my trip this summer, my favorite will be Be Our Guest.  Yacht and Beach club is my dream hotel.  I haven’t stayed there yet, so I guess it can’t be my favorite.  So again, for now, my favorite resort is Wilderness Lodge.

My husband says I shouldn’t let you guys know how crazy I am, but I have to tell you this story anyway because I know you’ll understand.  Before going to bed every night, I cajole my husband into playing a few rounds of “Disney Trivia” or our 20 questions game “What could it be- Disney Edition”.  He’s terrible at this game.  So he searches the web for trivia, blog posts, basically anything WDW-related that he can read aloud to me to appease me to sleep.  And THAT’S how I found Lou and WDW Radio (at last, I have found my people!)  I have never met Lou in person yet, but I know I will next year when I (gulp) jog the WDW half marathon with the Running Team.  I have a huge hug and a lot of thanks to give Lou when I meet him.  And there’s a hole in my wallet where only a Mystery Ticket will fit.  It’s hard to pick a favorite podcast, but one that jumps to mind is actually the one with AJ from the Disney Food Blog.  I remember being so pumped listening to those two talk so passionately about something that they clearly love (FOOD) – their energy together was great.  I’ve been in The Box for about 3 years now!  I love welcoming new friends to The Box!  If you haven’t chatted with us live during the newscast, what are you waiting for?!  Join this warm, welcoming community – We understand you!  We speak the same WDW language!  We have tons of virtual fun!  And we’re great huggers!

Finally, I would like to share a few things that are on my personal WDW Bucket List:  Take a cruise (scheduled for Aug ’13), run through the castle at night (scheduled for Jan ’14), stay at Yacht & Beach, go to Food & Wine, take the Segway tour, and be the Family of the Day to open the MK.  I’m forcing myself to stop before this goes on forever…. Bye Peeps!  See ya next Wednesday!


sammiekay photoSammieKay:  My name is Samantha, and I am a Floridian, born and raised.  I like to make jewelry and hope to one day have a jewelry line for Disney.  My fondest Disney memory would be my very first trip to Magic Kingdom; I remember watching it snow on Main Street.  My favorite restaurant is the Rain Forest Cafe over at Downtown Disney. I am so looking forward to see it get a working volcano!  It is so hard to pick one favorite attraction, so I will say it is between the TTA and the Jungle Cruise.  I have only stayed on property a handful of times.  My favorite was when I got to stay at the Animal Kingdom Villas!

I heard about Lou when I was first getting in to this wonderful Disney community around 2010 and some of the other podcasts were talking about Lou and how wonderful he was, so I just had to check out his show!  I haven’t gone to any meets but hopefully soon I will be a regular. I love the idea of the passports Lou is doing now.  My favorite live show Lou has done is a toss-up between the last D23 expo and the 5th anniversary show.  The kind of random live shows (like when he cheers for the runners) are a favorite too because then I get to meet new Box People who can’t always make the Wednesday night shows.  I have been a fellow Box Person for about 4 years or so now, time does fly by!  I remember when I first joined and everyone was talking about being in The Box for the first D23 Expo and being in Lou’s basement and I was like, “What are they talking about!” Lol! Anyone and Everyone should join The Box.  It is a wonderful place not only to talk Disney but find a good time.  There is never a dull moment in The Box.


KathyRN137:  My name is Kathy Kelly and I was born in Brooklyn, NY but have lived in New Jersey for most of my life.  I’m a Registered Nurse, a wife and a mom.  I have 2 children,KathyRN pic ages 14 and 16.  My fondest Disney memory:  My son with autism spoke his first full sentence at WDW while playing with Eeyore!  He was six years old — it was truly magical for me!  My favorite attraction: Such a tough question! I guess it’s a tie between Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion. (You can’t beat the classics!)  My favorite restaurant: Counter Service would be Pecos Bill’s for the variety; Table Service would be 50’s Prime Time Cafe for the fun! (Okay, the pot roast, too!)  My favorite resort: Another tough one!  We enjoy staying at different resorts every trip, especially since we joined the Disney Vacation Club in 2005.  It seems as though every time we try someplace new I declare that it is my new favorite!  I really love Kidani Village at Animal Kingdom Lodge.  Between the exotic decorative theme, animal-watching on the savannas and the amazing pool complex, Samawati Springs, it is always a fun and exciting place to stay.

I honestly can’t remember how I first heard about Lou and WDW Radio!  I do recall purchasing his trivia books before becoming a listener.  I haven’t been fortunate enough to be at WDW during Lou’s meets, but I made special solo trips to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Magic Kingdom and the 30th anniversary of Epcot with WDW Radio!  I spent a lot of time tagging along with Lou & the gang; he is just as friendly and approachable in person as he is on the show.  He really does consider us listeners to be his friends!  One of my fondest memories was meeting Ron Schneider, the original Dreamfinder, and riding Journey to Imagination with him and the WDW Radio crew.  Last June I made a trip across the river to join the Box People for Lou’s NYC meet in Bryant Park and will do so again this year.  I think that the “on the road” meets are a fabulous idea!  It was such fun meeting many of my “virtual” Box friends in real life… including you, Makena!  The WDW Radio Cruise is definitely on my Bucket List.  I thought the 5th Anniversary Show was a blast, with the D23 Expo Show a close second!  Again, I’m not sure how long I’ve been in the Box.  I think it was shortly after Lou moved to Tampa from New Jersey.  The WDW Radio Box is not simply a collection of fans; we are a community — a true Disney family. I’ve become real-life friends with several of my Box friends!

Other stuff:  Lou inspired me to start my own Disney Podcast where we discuss Disney Parks and Travel for people with special needs and I also have a blog.


Backside picBacksideOfWater:  My first name is actually Anthony but to me it sounds too formal, so I go by Tony, and I live in Southern Illinois, 934 Miles North-West of Walt Disney World.  I work as an HVAC Service Tech, which means that I show up to people’s houses and repair their furnaces and Air Conditioners when they break down, as well as do routine maintenance and help with installation if needed.  I’m also a big fan of pro wrestling.  I write a pro wrestling column on Tuesdays and Fridays.  I’m also an avid football fan.  I back the Dallas Cowboys.  I know they are horrible but they are still my team.  When I’m not doing something Disney-related I like to read, write short stories and listen to music (if not Disney or Muppet songs I’m listening to Country mostly Taylor Swift).  I have a TON of fond Disney memories but I’ll try to limit it to only a couple.  Growing up my mom tried to keep me away from any and all things Disney.  Over the years, I convinced myself I never wanted to go to Disney as a way of justifying never getting to go.  Then on February 28, 2009 my life was changed forever.  I was visiting friends in Orlando and they were going to go spend a day at Epcot and the Magic Kingdom.  They kept asking me if I wanted to join in.  I kept saying no but finally after a couple years and a speech about how everyone should get to go to Disney at least once I agreed.  I was bound and determined to not enjoy myself. One of my friends is a smoker so he was in a smoking area. The rest of the group was waiting for him. That’s when a Cast Member who was working in Epcot as a custodian named Roger walked up.  Roger spotted the 1st Visit Button I was forced by my friends to wear.  He shook my hand and talked about his first visit to Disney, wanting to work for Disney, and how great it is to be a Cast Member.  Listening to him got me to drop the wall I built around myself and started having fun.  I didn’t fully get hooked until we hopped on the Monorail and went to the Magic Kingdom. It was then I first saw my #1 favorite thing about Disney, Cinderella Castle.  I stood there in the middle of Main Street USA staring up at the castle with my jaw wide open.  The only word I could say was “WOW!”  I probably would have just stood there all day if my friends didn’t force me to get moving.  Another memory happened this past September when I was celebrating my birthday (which is actually in August. Shhhh!) in Magic Kingdom.  Outside of the Adventureland Veranda, Princess Ariel (anyone who has talked to me for more than 30 seconds knows she’s my favorite character) and Prince Eric were out for meet and greets.  Without a second thought I got in line.  I was wearing my lanyard full of Ariel pins.  As soon as it was my turn to meet Ariel and Eric, Ariel instantly spotted all the pins of herself on my lanyard. I told her she was my favorite Princess and that she and Eric were my favorite Disney couple.  Ariel complemented my collection of pins and talked about her collection she had in her grotto.  She asked how many Dinglehoppers I had.  I said I had about 20.  Then she turned around and presented me with a plastic Dinglehopper.  She said “Now you have 21.  Happy Birthday!”  I was in shock. When I got home I bought a display case for the Dinglehopper and have it sitting on a pillow.  It’s the best birthday gift I ever received.

I honestly can’t pick just one attraction for the whole of WDW so I’ll go park by park.  Let’s start off at the Animal Kingdom.  The major draw for me here is Festival of the Lion King.  I’ve always loved the music from The Lion King movie.  The costuming is just amazing and the audience participation before the show starts puts it over the top.  Next let’s get our inner movie star on at Hollywood Studios.  My favorite attraction at the Studios is the Rock N’ Roller Coaster staring Aerosmith.  Now I’m not a big fan of Aerosmith but I do love roller coasters.  For me the highlight is after you board the limo you and are sitting at the red light.  It’s the suspense building that gets me.  Now let’s hop on a Friendship Boat and enter Epcot.  I can NOT have a day at Epcot and NOT ride Mission Space (Orange Team all the way!)  I love how every person has a job to do that’s vital to the mission and the intense G forces on liftoff gets me every time.  Plus it comes with air sick bags.  How cool is that?  Finally we board the Monorail and visit the Magic Kingdom.  My favorite attraction here may come as a surprise to…well no one actually.  I love the Jungle Cruise.  Yes the jokes are corny but I love it – especially the Backside Of Water joke.  I even have a custom-made Backside of Water shirt.

I feel everyone should eat at Cinderella’s Royal Table at least once.  You’re dining INSIDE the castle.  The World Showcase has some of the best food on property also.  When in Downtown Disney I MUST stop and get a sandwich from Earl Of Sandwich.  I HIGHLY recommend the cheesecake.  I’m not much of a sit-down meal kinda guy.  I usually just grab something from a Quick Service and go.  But after Lou’s review of The Plaza Restaurant in Magic Kingdom, I made an ADR there.  I have VERY high standards on cheesecake.  The Plaza exceeded all the expectations.  I’ve only stayed at 2 places on property: All Star Music and All Star Movies.  Of the two, I like All Star Movies better.  I love the giant Buzz and Woody, Pongo and Purdie, Goalie masks, Herbie and sorcerer’s hats in front of each building.  The food court has a few options as well.  I would like to stay at Port Orleans Riverside and The Contemporary sometime though.

Prior to my trip to WDW in February of 2011, I was on You Tube looking for on-ride videos of the attractions to satisfy my Disney fix until I actually got there.  In the Recommend Videos list was Lou’s Wednesday newscast.  I watched on Youtube a couple weeks before deciding to go to Ustream and sit in on it live.  I didn’t actually listen to the audio podcasts until Lou’s interview with Stacey J. Aswad.  Sadly I have not been to a meet in person, but I was in The Box for the meet during the 40 hour show, the 5th anniversary show, the New York meet, and the meet after the 6th anniversary show.  I would LOVE to go to a meet in person.  I would like to see Lou come to St. Louis.  It’s only a couple hours away from where I am and WELL worth the drive.  My favorite live show is hands down the 40 hour show.  My favorite podcast is the interview with Stacey J. Aswad.  She is a big ball of energy and seems like she’d be a hoot to spend a day in the parks with. I’ve been a Box Person for a little over 2 years now.  I started out as Disneyfan316 and loved the newscast – especially the free for all chatting afterward.  After about a year I decided to go with a screen name a little less generic.  Channeling my love of the Jungle Cruise I picked my favorite joke, BacksideOfWater.  It’s a ton of fun being in the box.  Not only watching Lou and crew in the parks, but just talking to people who love Disney as much as (and some even more than) me.  I’ve met several of people I consider very good friends. Box People show a sense of loyalty I’ve never seen anywhere else.  Not even in the Navy.   Even on the rare occasions that Lou didn’t broadcast we’ve still had a large group come to The Box for a nice chat.

Growing up, my only exposure to Disney was one day a year my Grandma would take me to St. Louis to see Disney on Ice.  I looked forward to that day more than my birthday or even Christmas.  Though I have no children of my own, I’m continuing the tradition by taking my now 10-year-old niece, Sydney, every year.  The first Disney movie I saw was The Little Mermaid.  I was in the 2nd grade and someone brought it in for show and tell.  So that’s why it holds a special spot in my heart.  As a writer, I love hearing stories as well as telling them.  That is what I love most about Disney.  Everything, no matter how small, was a story, a reason for being there.  Even more important than that is the friends I have made through Disney. Their friendship means more to me than I can ever say.


I had a lot of fun talking to and learning about people with whom I discuss Disney things with every week.  I hope that this taught you things you never knew about these 4 amazing people or maybe someone has convinced you to join The Box.  It’s an experience unlike any other and if you haven’t already been in the Box, try to make it Wednesdays at [7:30].  I will be there (my name is MakAttack98) and don’t be afraid to ask any questions.

Are you in The Box?  Who would YOU like to see featured in the next segment of “Meet the Box People”?  Leave a comment below!

There will be no ‘Where in the World?” this week because this blog is already lengthy and filled with pictures.

See ya REAL soon!

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Quote of the Week: “I don’t want to get married, I want to stay single and let my hair flow in the wind as I ride through the glen firing arrows into the sunset.” ~King Fergus, Brave.

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.