Meeting Reality Stars from “Survivor” and “Amazing Race” in Celebration, FL

Now I knew before moving here to FL that I would experience the cool, the awesome, and the wow. I had no idea that I would ever be able to meet some of my favorite Reality stars- not only once, but TWICE!  Before I head off to my next venture today, I thought I would try to blog about my yesterday since it was SO incredible- enjoy!

It was about 4 weeks ago that I was sitting at a household and a new friend of mine, Dan, mentioned that he heard the Survivors were coming to Celebration for a Charity Event.  I was so excited as I paged through the endless pictures of those coming, and I knew that I wouldn’t miss it for the world. I had mentioned in an earlier blog that I got to meet Tina Wesson on Friday while walking around town- that was exciting in itself. I was not prepared for Saturday AT ALL.

Saturday began at 1:45 entering the line for the autograph session at the local Tavern in Celebration. The signing was to be from 3-6 p.m. with a party following at 10.  Being in the position in line we were in, I thought for sure we would get in with not much wait- yeah, I misthought that one.  Their busses showed up a little after 3, and the VIP’s and Sponsors showed up out of nowhere- they got to go in first. So of course the line that was only 15 people deep became about 70 plus after all of them- bummer.  It wouldn’t have been such a pain to wait, but the kids were with me to meet them, and the heat index was well over 100 degrees.  I was trying to keep it together since I had the kids, their drawings they made for specific stars, my Amazing Race Mat, and a backpack with water bottles so the kids didn’t drop like flies. So imagine me carrying most of this, it’s hot, I’m sweating, and my excitement level just kept building.

By the time we finally got to our first Star, which was coincidentally Tina Wesson, it would be 4:45- 3 hours in line. Again, had you seen where we got in line at, you would have NEVER thought I would have waited that long.  The kids stayed in the shade and got smoothies to help the wait, so they were ready to go once we got in.

They had it set up as an assembly line- you paid $15 to get in, or $10 if you had a scavenger map to turn in, which I did.  They gave us each a free poster with all of the Reality stars pics on it- nice to have for the autographs.   Here is where the first problem lied with how they set this up- the stars were hot, as it was outside in the tavern, so they had their drinks and such on the same table you needed them to sign your poster on.  Add drips, condensation from drinks etc, and you can get where I am going with this. On top of the fact that everyone had the same poster, so one of the Survivors actually wrote my name on the back- the girls too- so we didn’t lose ours with everyone else. Thanks Francesca!!

We met each Star, one by one, as they were defined in their categories of the Season they were on.  The event is for charity, Give Kids the World, which Emily almost qualified for when she had her Cancer years ago.  I told several Stars her story and how excited she was to meet them, of course Kyra too, and they were so sweet to both kids.  The girls gave out their drawings to a couple of them, which they seemed to eat up! Kyra drew “Foghorn Leghorn” for Big Tom and “Esmerelda” for the Queen of Survivor, Sandra.  Emily drew Mickey in a Survivor buff for Russell, while Kyra drew him the whiny lion from Robin Hood who is the King in the movie. The kids really loved Philip, as he seemed to be most gracious and thankful for his drawings, as well as JT and Natalie.  Star after star, it got to be a bit overwhelming after awhile, but so exciting.

We met these Reality Stars:

  1. Aras Baskaukas- Winner of Survivor Panama
  2. Bob Crowley- Winner of Survivor Gabon
  3. Earl Cole- Winner of Survivor Fiji
  4. Chris Daughtery- Winner of Survivor Vanuatu
  5. Hayden Moss- Winner of Big Brother 12
  6. Natalie White- Winner of Survivor Samoa
  7. Jordan Pious- Winner of Amazing Race 16
  8. James Thomas “JT”- Winner of Survivor Tocantins
  9. LeKisha Hoffman- Winner of Amazing Race 18
  10. Sandra Diaz-Twine- Queen of Survivor Winner of Pearl Island and Heroes vs Villains
  11. Todd Herzog- Winner of Survivor China
  12. Tina Wesson- Winner of Survivor Australian Outback
  13. James Clement- Survivor China, Micronesia, and Heroes vs Villains
  14. Eric Sanchez- Winner of Amazing Race All-Stars
  15. AJ Gibson- Expedition Impossible
  16. Ryan Allen Carrillo- Expedition Impossible
  17. Kari Gibson- Expedition Impossible
  18. Philip Sheppard- Survivor Redemption Island
  19. Natalie Tenerelli- Survivor Redemption Island
  20. Russell Hantz- Survivor Samoa, Heroes vs Villains, and Redemption Island
  21. David Murphy- Survivor Redemption Island
  22. Ashley Underwood- Survivor Redemption Island
  23. Chase Rice- Survivor Nicaragua
  24. Andrea Boehlke- Survivor Redemption Island
  25. Holly Hoffman- Survivor Nicaragua
  26. Matthew Lenahan “Sash”- Survivor Nicaragua
  27. Monica Padilla- Survivor Samoa
  28. Ben Henry “Benry”- Survivor Nicaragua
  29. Yve Rojas- Survivor Nicaragua
  30. Jane Bright- Survivor Nicaragua
  31. Wendy Jo DeSmidt-Kohloff- Survivor Nicaragua
  32. Stephanie Valencia- Survivor Redemption Island
  33. Tanya Vane- Survivor Thailand
  34. Lane Elenburg- Big Brother 12
  35. Eliza Orlins- Survivor Vanuatu, Micronesia
  36. Bobby Mason- Survivor Panama
  37. Eric Stein- Big Brother 8
  38. Stephen Fishbach- Survivor Tocantins
  39. Courtney Yates- Survivor China, Heroes vs Villains
  40. Bruce Kanegai- Survivor Panama
  41. Mark Long- First Road Rules- MTV Host
  42. Terry Deitz- Survivor Panama
  43. Angie Swindell- Big Brother 10
  44. Cristina Coria- Survivor Cook Islands
  45. Billy Garcia- Survivor Cook Islands
  46. Gillian Larson- Survivor Gabon
  47. Denise Martin- Survivor China
  48. Jessie Godderz- Big Brother 10 & 11
  49. Teri and Ian- Amazing Race 3 and All-Stars
  50. Cao Boi- Survivor Cook Islands
  51. Spencer Duhm- Survivor Tocantins
  52. Dr. Carl Bilancione- Survivor Africa
  53. Lea Masters “Sarge”- Survivor Vanuatu
  54. Eric Reichenbach- Survivor Micronesia
  55. Cara  Rosenthal- Amazing Race 14 and 18
  56. Leslie Nease- Survivor China
  57. Bobby Jon Drinkard- Survivor Palau and Guatemala
  58. Big Tom- Survivor Africa and All-Stars
  59. Ace Gordon- Survivor Gabon
  60. Mindy Hall- Rock of Love and I Love Money
  61. Jodi Wincheski- The Amazing Race 14
  62. Ashley Trainer- Survivor Samoa
  63. Julie Berry- Survivor Vanuatu
  64. Ken and Tina Greene- The Amazing Race 13
  65. Brian Corridan- Survivor Guatemala
  66. Carolina Eastwood- Survivor Tocantins
  67. Chris Nordhorn “The Phantom”- The Bacherlorette 6
  68. Catie Upton- The Amazing Race 16
  69. Krista Klumpp- Survivor Redemption Island
  70. Michael Bortone- Survivor Micronesia
  71. Travis “Bubba” Sampson- Survivor Vanuatu
  72. David and Mary Conley- The Amazing Race 10 and All-Stars
  73. Jessie Camacho- Survivor Africa
  74. Francesca Hogi- Survivor Redemption Island
  75. Nick Peterson- Current on the Bachelor
  76. Marissa May- The Bachelor 16
  77. Trent Garrett- All My Children
  78. Jareb Dauplaise- Entourage, My Life in Ruins
  79. Liz Lee- My Life as Liz on MTV
  80. Kyle Kaplan- 10 Things I Hate About You, Hannah Montana, Drilbit Taylor
  81. Maiara Walsh- Mean Girls 2, Desperate Housewives, Corey in the House

The reason I listed them was for my sake as much as yours- I like to remember who I met and who was there. They did this event last year as well, so hopefully they will again next and I will know who I met so I can look forward to meeting new ones.

After the Meet, which we left well after 6 p.m, we headed home for much RNR until the rest of our evening was to start.  Craig took the kids out to dinner and I got ready to go to the Survivor Party.  For $25 you got 2 drink tickets, finger food, and basically the chance to really get to talk to the stars.  I went alone thinking “What the heck, why not?” You have to take those life opportunities that God gives you and enjoy them- and I have learned that he will reward you ten-fold with an experience you never dreamed possible.

I entered the party, dressed up and ready to go, but they hadn’t arrived yet. I was forced to sit alone with my drink while I waited for the crew to show up. I had a moment of “What was I thinking coming here alone- will I be able to talk to them alone?” Well they came moments later and I was excited again.

I went from star to star, introducing myself- which to my surprise they all remembered me from the signing that day, along with my girls.  I had meaningful conversations of faith with Leslie, Sash, Benry, Holly, and JT.  I talked to Eric about his Amazing Race win and about how the game is played. I got hugs from Big Tom and Russell. I ate up hearing about the behind-the-scenes stuff for Survivor and Amazing Race- they were kind enough to answers countless questions I had about the shows. From one to another, I got pic after pic, and felt satisfied that I got to really know some of them.  You all know this already, but they are people just like us- they just have done some pretty amazing things in the public eye.  I found most of them incredibly kind, generous, and easy to talk to. I actually made some real friends that swapped info with me, I mean, how cool is that?

I hope you all had an amazing weekend- after such a fun and crazy day yesterday, I still managed to get my tired butt out of bed to open Blizzard Beach this morning. I will be blogging on that adventure this week, so look for that if you are interested in the water parks. Have a wonderful Sunday night, and enjoy the plethora of Reality Star pics!

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16 thoughts on “Meeting Reality Stars from “Survivor” and “Amazing Race” in Celebration, FL

  • Soo cool you got to meet Kisha!! Small world…I went to HS with her….you are a great Disney friend I havent met yet but soon will!! 🙂

  • Amy,
    This is awesome..I’m so happy you got to meet all the reality stars & get pics taken too..way too cool!! Once I read how many VIP etc there were in front of you I was hoping you got in especially after being in the heat that long & with kids. Overall it seems like the wait was well worth it. I am glad you went to the party & had an awesome time. Thanks for posting the pics.

  • This is WAY too cool! I actually have a Disney connection to Survivor. The first season it was on, I really didn’t pay a lot of attention to it, despite the fact that we had a local player (Gretchen Cordy) on board. The night of the first “final tribal council”, I was staying at Disney for a convention. My wife wasn’t feeling well and went to sleep and I turned on the two hour special. I was hooked and haven’t missed an episode since! (Actually went back and watched the first season as well later.)
    On one other trip, I watched the final episode on a 3 inch pocket TV while I was in the Fantasmic theater.
    Also glad to see David & Mary Conley from Kentucky at the event. They were great ambassadors for UK when they were on Amazing Race.

    • I’d love to! If life ever settles down, maybe so!
      BTW, I have a picture on my FB page under ‘celebs’ of me and “Kentucky Joe” (Roger Bingham) from Survivor Outback. He was on an interview show I hosted.

  • When you said you headed home for some RNR, I read it as ‘Rock ‘N Rollercoaster’! I couldn’t imagine that was right so I read it two more times before I figured out it meant ‘rest and relaxation’!

  • Amy, I’m so impressed that you went to that party by yourself, and mingled and interacted with all the Reality Stars. Good for you! I also didn’t know about your daughter’s cancer. No wonder GKTW is such a special place for you. Thanks for sharing the article. Dave