I left my law practice and moved my family to Florida to pursue a dream of sharing my passion for Disney with others. This is my story.
Lou Mongello was among the first to experience Walt Disney World during its grand opening month in October 1971. Since then, Lou has returned to the parks hundreds of times and today makes a career as a Disney author, publisher, historian and trusted Disney source. Lou shares the latest Disney news and offers advice, interviews and unique content via multiple outlets, including weekly radio and video shows, audio travel guides, magazine, private family and group tours, social networking sites, and much more.
Lou holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Villanova University and a Juris Doctor from Seton Hall University School of Law. He served as law clerk to the Presiding Judge of the largest vicinage in the nation, and practiced law actively for nine years. In 1995, he formed Imagine Enterprises, a computer consulting and web development firm, and was formerly the Chief Technology Officer for a multi-modality medical imaging company in Edison, New Jersey. By 2008, he had left the practice of law and his IT consulting company to move with his family to Florida, pursue his passion, and follow a dream of sharing his love for Walt Disney World with others.
Beginning in 2003, Lou launched his first Disney web site, and had his first two Walt Disney World Trivia Books published. Having been a reference source for friends and family planning trips to Walt Disney World for a number of years, he thought he should do something with all of the “useless knowledge” he had accumulated about his favorite vacation destination. So, the idea for the book was formulated out of personal interest in some of the lesser-known facts about the parks, general Walt Disney World trivia, and the “magic” that drives tens of millions adults and children on recurring pilgrimages to the resort.
Lou started podcasting in early 2005 and has been awarded Best Travel Podcast for 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. He has expanded his offerings to include a continuing series of Audio Guides to Walt Disney World CDs, as well as videos and live broadcasts for WDWRadio.com. He founded the Dream Team Project to help grant the wishes children with serious illnesses to visit Walt Disney World through the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America, and has raised more than $250,000.00 to date. In 2008, he co-founded Celebrations Magazine (he has since sold his interest in 2012) and in 2011 expanded his offerings to include private tours of Walt Disney World.
A social media pioneer and influencer, Lou connects with his loyal audiences via Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn. He also hosts monthly meet-ups in and around Disney World. As one of the leading authorities on Disney, Lou is frequently interviewed by the media for expert perspective and analysis. He has been seen on/in Fox35 Orlando, the Orlando Sentinel, Southern Living Magazine, Fodors, The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, StarWars.com, Robert Scoble and countless others. As a professional speaker, Lou is often invited to speak at fan gatherings, tradeshows, educational seminars and corporate events around the country, including being a featured speaker at BlogWorld Expo 2011 – the world’s largest social media event. Click here to book Lou for your next event.
- Nationally recognized expert and historian about the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. A fan of the Walt Disney World Resort since it first opened in 1971, he’s since transformed himself into one of the world’s leading experts on WDW history and lore.
- Featured speaker at numerous events in the U.S., including fan gatherings and corporate events with 550+ attendees.
- For more than 30 years, Mongello has shared his love of the park with thousands through storytelling, trivia books, radio broadcasts and his website (WDWRadio.com), boasting more than 38,000 registered subscribers, and is one of the top three active communities of Disney fans anywhere in the world.
- Host of the weekly WDW Radio Show Disney Podcast (WDWRadio.com), awarded Best Travel Podcast 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011
- Author of the Walt Disney World Trivia Books (Volumes I and II), the definitive resource for Walt Disney World trivia, history, secrets and fun facts.
- Host, narrator and producer of the Audio Guide to Walt Disney World – a virtual audio tour of WDW
- Founder of the Dream Team Project – fundraising project devoted to raising money to help send seriously ill children to Walt Disney World. Annual events and other activities have raised more than $250,000.00 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America.
- Co-Founder of Celebrations Magazine, a print magazine for Disney fans.
- Lou Mongello is a graduate of the College of Disney Knowledge.
- Attorney licensed in the State of New Jersey, having practiced there since 1994
- Former IT Director for multi-modality medial imaging facilities and owner of IT consulting firm
- Julie Andrews – Academy Award-winning actress and star of Disney’s Mary Poppins
- Samantha Brown – Travel Channel host
- Chef Cat Cora – Iron Chef and restaurateur behind Kouzzina on Disney’s Boardwalk at the Walt Disney World Resort
- Gary Vaynerchuk – Bestselling author and public speaker on the subjects of social media, brand building and e-commerce.
- Alan Menken – Academy Award, Golden Globe and Grammy-winning composer of The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Enchanted, Beauty and the Beast and Tangled
- Don Hahn – Director, producer and animator of such films as Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and Who Framed Roger Rabbit
- Al Weiss – President, Worldwide Operations, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
- Meg Crofton – President of the Walt Disney World Resort
- Peter Schneider – Former President of the Walt Disney Studios
- Lee Cockerell, Former executive VP of operations for Walt Disney World
- Eric Jacobson, Senior VP of Creative Development at Walt Disney Imagineering
- Steven Miller, Merchandise Manager for the Disney parks
- Jim PacPhee, Vice President of Epcot ® at the Walt Disney World Resort
- Joe Rohde – Senior Vice President, Creative, Walt Disney Imagineering
- Steve Kirk – Former Senior Vice President of Tokyo DisneySea & Imagineer
- Marty Sklar – Former head of Walt Disney Imagineering
Creative – Disney Artists, Composers, Imagineers & other Disney Legends
- Richard M. Sherman – legendary composer of hundreds of songs from the Disney parks and films
- Ridley Pearson – New York Times Bestselling author of Disney’s Kingdom Keepers series of books
- Alice Davis – Disney Imagineering Legend for her work on classic films such as Sleeping Beauty, and attractions such as it’s a small world and Pirates of the Caribbean
- Bob Gurr –Designed the Monorail, OmniMover, Audio-Animatronics, Main Street vehicles and countless others for Walt Disney Imagineering
- Randy Noble – Disney Design Group Artist and creator of Vinylmation
- George McGinnis, Disney Legend and former Imagineer
- Dave Smith – Disney Legend and founder of the Walt Disney archives
- Charles Ridgway, Disney Legend and former head of Disney press and publicity
- Mark Seppala, Senior Design Manager for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts
- Ralph Kent, Disney Legend and former Director of Walt Disney Imagineering East
- Jason Surrell, Disney Imagineer, author of numerous books on Disney parks & movies
- Bill Sullivan, Disney Legend; worked with Walt Disney; former director of Epcot, and Vice President of the Magic Kingdom
- Captain Tom Forberg, Captain of the Disney Dream cruise ship
- Numerous Disney authors, Cast Members, Imagineers and artists
Fox 35 Orlando – Appearances as resident Disney expert
- Lou Mongello on Fox35 Orlando TV Discusses Hyperion Wharf and Pleasure Island Changes
- FOX 35 Good Day talked to Lou Mongello, a Disney expert and the creator of WDW Radio
- Interviewed at BlogWorldExpo 2011, where Lou was a Featured Speaker on Podcasting
- Voices of New Media – BlogWorld Expo 2011
From a Lawyer to a Podcaster: How and Why It Works - 2011 BlogWorld Expo
Interviewed by Robert Scoble
Other Notable Press
Fox 35 Orlando – Lou Mongello is a credible, trusted and resident Disney expert, and makes monthly appearances on Fox 35 television
Readers Digest – “WDWRadio.com, where host Lou Mongello holds court on his weekly WDW Radio show podcast. There are plenty of people who do podcasts on Disney subjects; Lou’s is one of the best. He talks about Walt Disney World from a travel perspective, but also from a fan perspective (“Top Ten Smells at WDW” or “Top Ten Water Attractions” might be the themes for a given show, for instance) and a historical perspective, interviewing legendary figures from the Disney corporation or the future legends who are building what we’re going to see tomorrow in the parks. The podcast runs about an hour or so, and is well worth putting on your iPod.”
Robert Scoble – “Lou Mongello has built a media network around Walt Disney World. He has books, CDs, podcasts, web sites, and now social networks — all built around information about visiting Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Hear how he did it, and more.”
Southern Living Magazine – Lou Mongello featured as Disney Expert in June, 2011 and provided travel advice, tips and history
Parenting Magazine – #1 recommended Disney resource October, 2011
The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World – Recommended Disney World resource, including the podcast, web site, trivia books, and live broadcasts
Stitcher Radio – Top Pick: “If you’re getting ready to head to Disney World or are just a big fan of Disney, make sure to check out WDW Radio.”
Other Press Mentions and Recommendations Include: Cookie Magazine, StarWars.com, Budget Travel Magazine, Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World With Kids, Fodor’s Walt Disney World, the Orlando Sentinel and countless other newspapers, magazines, web sites, podcasts and books
Speaking Appearances by Lou Mongello
- BlogWorld Expo 2011 Featured Speaker
- PodCamp Orlando 2011
- Buena Vista University 2011
- Holy Family School 2011
- MouseFest- 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
- MagicMeets – 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
- NFFC – 2005, 2006, 2007
- NAFPA – 2008
- SHUSAA – 2009
- WDW Celebrations – 2007, 2008
- People’s Choice Podcast Awards – Best Travel Podcast 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 – PodcastAwards.com/
- Nominated for best travel content producer on Twitter (Shorty Awards) 2010
- Best long-format podcast WDW Daily News