Friday, October 25, 2013

What IS a Disney Fan??

What is a Disney Fan?

Why are YOU a Disney Fan? Ask one thousand Disney Fans this question and you will receive one thousand different answers. What is it about the Walt Disney Company that makes ordinary people become tremendously dedicated Disney fans? No other company in the world has fans like Disney enjoys. There are movie stars, singers, bands, movies such as Star Wars or Star Trek but no company compares remotely to the “Magic” Disney possesses.

What makes a Disney Fan in the first place? Could it be an animated feature, a specific character, a theme park, an attraction, a live action film, a song or Uncle Walt himself? The legend goes that “It all started with a Mouse”. I believe it all started with Walt Disney.  

What makes a Disney Fan? Whether your reason for being a fan is because you love Stitch or Dopey, Pirates of the Caribbean the movie or Pirates of the Caribbean the attraction, Disneyland or Walt Disney World, Feed the Birds or When You Wish Upon a Star, a Disney Cruise or the Mickey Mouse Club, Beauty and the Beast or Toy Story, it all comes down to these traits: Quality, story, detail, emotion, immersion and magic.

No matter what brings you into the Disney world it is these six traits that bring you to a relationship, a friendship if you will, with the Walt Disney Company. If I say Pirates of the Caribbean, what is the first thing that pops into your mind? The Bayou, fireflies, waterfalls, buried treasure, a banjo, cannon fire, “dead men tell no tales…”, that dog with the key in his mouth… does the attraction immediately pop into your mind? Do you close your eyes and find yourself in that boat? Do you start humming that song… Yo ho yo ho a Pirate’s life for me… You can feel the immersion… you can smell the smells… it is magic!

We all have an emotional attachment to Disney and there are things that we can ONLY do while with Disney or at a Disney theme park. For example, my daughter Sydni, she loves the Nestle Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches they sell at the carts all over the park. She will eat 20 of them while we are there and that is just the first day. But when we see them in the local grocery store, she has no interest at all. I asked her about this one day and her reply was, “They just don’t taste the same as when we are at Disneyland.” Now, does Nestle sprinkle some magic flavoring into the ice cream cookie sandwiches sold in Disney Parks? I doubt it. Is the notion that while she is eating that ice cream cookie sandwich and I my giant turkey leg that there is an amazing thing that occurs? The subtle background music of turn of the century America filling the air while we sit on a bench, twinkling lights in the trees all around us, the bell from a Main Street Trolley ringing in the distance, the growl of the Yeti, a Cast Member sweeping up popcorn and stops to say hello, Snow White wishing at her well or that amazing Castle… that wonderful magical castle gleaming before us like a dream come true… Yes, that is it.  Those are all IT. Seven Eleven has no castle that is for sure.

That is what sets Disney apart and that is why I am a fan. You can experience dreams come true, a magic moment just around the corner, you can experience another world, time or place, get a song stuck in your head… It IS A Small World After All…  or go for an incredible journey with an old man, a young boy scout and a talking dog named Dug in a remodeled Victorian house lifted into the air by thousands of vibrantly colored balloons to an adventure in far off lands only to find a small tear in your eye and new found friends along the way. Pure emotion. Pure Magic. Pure Disney Fan.
Do you agree? Disagree? Other ideas about this topic?
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