Somewhere around 2005 when I first discovered podcasts, one of the first ones I discovered was Mousetunes. One of the hosts, Lou Mongello, also happened to be the author of Disney World Trivia and of it’s supporting website. After listening for some time to Lou’s show and checking out his newsletter, I sent him an email to see if he was looking for freelance writers. Just my luck, he was! I spent the next few years on his staff as a freelance writer and could tell you that when this guy walks by, he leaves a trail of pixie dust! Not only is Lou the most knowledgeable Disney person I’ve ever met, but he’s a nice guy too!
|Lou with Samatha Brown!|
Lou, a fellow New Jerseyan, started out as a lawyer, before realizing the Mouse was calling to him to do something greater, and more magical! Since I’ve known him, he’s left his career in law and the state of NJ, to be at the center of it all. Lou and his family now live in Orlando, where he can see Wishes! from his house! Lou continues to do what he loves. In addition to TWO Disney World Trivia books, he is also the host/producer of WDWRadio.com, the author/narrator of Audio Tours of Walt Disney World, and founder of the Dream Team Project, which sends children with life-threatening illnesses to Walt Disney World. In addition, Lou is often featured as a speaker on Disney on the news, radio, in print, and other podcasts, and much more.
I caught up recently with my old pal and snagged an interview for WDW Hints with the busy Mouseketeer. Lou was gracious enough to answer some Disney-related questions and give us some of his top “hints!”
- We asked Lou what do you think of the new Fast Pass System? He had very positive things to say, he likes it and believes it’s just the tip of the iceberg involving more interactive personalized experiences. He says that theme park guests will go through an adjustment phase, but once you get used to it, it’s easy to use!
- Has he tried out the new Seven Dwarves Mine Ride? Thoughts? At the preview, he went on the attraction EIGHT times in one day! He loved it and said it’s a different experience from day to night. He described it as a three act play – part one is the unique movement of the ride vehicle and beautiful views; part two is the classic Disney dark ride; and part three is the thrill ride – Big Thunder Mountain Railroad meets Expedition Everest with the final scene as the payoff!
- What do you think of the new Avatarland coming to Animal Kingdom? Lou is a fan of the idea and super excited; he believes it’s a great story and it will help with the shift of Animal Kingdom to a half day park to a full day and night park. Disney has earned enough of his trust for him to know it’s going to be awesome.
- Who are your greatest Disney role models – animated or human? Right behind his own dad as his hero, Walt Disney takes the next spot for his never-quit attitude, entrepreneurial spirit, his philosophies, and surrounding himself by a great team of people. Peter Pan is his favorite character- his legal argument – he can fly; he never has to grow up; he lives on a beautiful, private island; has a group of friends he can hang out with all the time; battles pirates and wins; has a magical pixie sidekick; women fawn over him like Wendy, Tiger Lily, and the mermaids; and he is a snappy dresser.
- What do you see in the future for WDW Resort? Lou sees normal growth, more Star Wars presence in the park, a shift in guest experience as a whole, i.e. less passive and more interactive and personal where you will help direct the story, your vacation.
In addition, WDW Hints asked Lou for his “Top Hints!” A new segment, I’ll be asking each and every one of my interviewees!
- Favorite attractions: Peter Pan’s Flight, Haunted Mansion, the TTA (Tomorrowland Transit Authority) and Radiator Springs in Disneyland
- Favorite show: Finding Nemo
- Favorite parade/nighttime spectacular: Wishes
- Favorite Restaurant: Todd English’s Blue Zoo at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel
- Favorite Snack: popcorn on Main Street in Magic Kingdom
- Favorite resort: Disney’s Beach Club
- What attraction/parade/show do you miss that no longer exists? – 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
- Best “hint” for WDW? Take the time to plan ahead and do your research, and get there early!
On behalf of WDW Hints, I’d like to thank Lou for taking the time to talk some Disney with us! Check out Lou’s podcast – WDW Radio as well as their website, WDWRadio.com. He’s also on Facebook and has a new book you can get – 102 Ways to Save Money For and At Walt Disney World in print or as an e-copy! To learn more about Lou, visit his website: www.LouMongello.com.
Editor’s Note: Thanks to Danielle for providing such a fun interview! An affiliate link is provided above. Purchasing through affiliate links does not increase the price for the buyer, but does provide us with a few extra cents to continue bringing our readers great hints!