WDW Radio Show
February 3, 2009 by Beatweek
Lou Mongello talks about the origins of his Disney-related podcast and more.
Have you always been a Disney fan growing up?
Yes! Beyond the movies, etc., I first went to Walt Disney World at age 3, just a month after the Magic Kingdom opened in 1971. Since then, I have been fortunate in that my parents took me at least once a year. As I grew older, I became more fascinated with it, began going on my own with friends and family, and that love of Disney has quickly turned into a passion. I was always fascinated by what it was that not only brought me and my family back year after year, but the millions of other families as well. I learned all I could about what went on “backstage” to make the magic happen, and instead of spoiling the illusion for me, instead it gave me a greater appreciation of what goes on in what really is a working city. Over time, I continued to learn all I could not only by reading, but by speaking to the people both “onstage” and “backstage,” which only served to fuel my interest and enjoyment of the parks.
What led you to start the WDW Radio Show podcast two years ago?
I actually started podcasting in mid-2005 on my first Disney show called MouseTunes. My co-host and I ended the show in February, 2007, and the next week, I had my first episode of The WDW Radio Show done and live. For me, the ability to share my passion with so many other Disney enthusiasts is simply wonderful. There is something special about a places that draws tens of millions of visitors every year, whether they be families, honeymooners, spring breakers or even singles to the parks. Podcasting allows me to share information in a way that simply cannot be conveyed through the written word on a blog or magazine. To hear the people who worked with Walt Disney talk about the man, or an Imagineer who helped create a classic attraction is so much more powerful to to simply read about it. Podcasting is an extremely powerful medium, and one that I believe is still growing. Shows are now so much more accessible than they were back in 2005, with so many more benefits than terrestrial radio. No longer to you have to wait for, and work around when you want to hear content that appeals to you – the listener now controls how, when and where they get their information. And while when I first started the show, I was amazed (and still am to a certain degree) that people would listen each week to me talking about Walt Disney World, as the show has grown I realize that when we can’t get to the parks as often as we like, it’s great to be able to get a little bit of that “Disney magic” at home.
You recently released your 100th episode. What are some of the biggest changes since back when you were releasing your first episode?
I’ve always been a bit of a perfectionist and taken great pride in the production quality of my show, but I have to say that with each show, I think I learn a little more, and hopefully continue to refine and improve upon what I’m doing. Beyond that, certainly I hope that I’ve grown personally in how I present the show, as well as continued to diversify the content and segments. I’ve also been able to have incredible access to guests that I never would have imagined being able to speak with. From well-known personalities like the Travel Channel’s Samantha Brown, to songwriting legend Richard Sherman of the Sherman Brothers, to Disney artists, animators, Imagineers and executives, I’ve been able to interview people whose work I personally admire and appreciate, but hope my listeners do as well.
As an independent show, what kind of relationship do you have with Disney itself?
Disney has always been wonderful to me. While I am, of course, completely unofficial and not endorsed or sponsored by the Company in any way, they have always been very gracious and given me access and ability to cover events and speak with individuals in order to present information timely and accurately. And on a personal level, there’s something even more exciting and rewarding for me when a Disney Cast Member tells me that they listen to my show or enjoys my books.
What else do we need to know about your show?
My show is meant to appeal to Disney fans of any age or interest level. The segments I produce each week are meant to inform, educate and entertain my listeners in a 100% family-friendly, very positive environment. Whether you are a first-time visitor, or think you’ve seen and done it all in Walt Disney World, each week I hope to introduce people to some of Walt Disney World hidden treasures, overlooked experiences, tips, news, trivia, history, contests, interviews and so much more to help bring a little bit of the Disney magic to you at home. And other than the news, because most of my segments are not time-specific, you can always go back and listen to older episodes and find things that I think would interest you. Most of all, I take great pride in doing my show each and every week (often on very little sleep), simply because I am so passionate about Walt Disney World.
Learn more and listen or subscribe at WDWRadio.com
Click here to subscribe to iProng Magazine through iTunes for free and receive every issue automatically!