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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Park Trivia -- Magic Kingdom

The Disneyland (CA) Magic Kingdom could fit in the parking lot of Disney World's Magic Kingdom, and still leave room for 500 cars.

Clinical Manifistations :)

Disneyholism, like any other addiction, progresses through several stages. Here is a typical example:

  • A healthy person visits a Disney theme park (children not required)

  • Upon returning home, the person is heard to rave about the visit, and mention how it would be fun to go again.

  • As the time approaches to plan the next vacation, said person reasons that since he or she had so much fun last year, a repeat performance is in order.

  • Person comes back from vacation and says they can’t wait to go again. There’s this business trip to Orlando coming up, and why not extend it by a few days to visit “The World” (note the beginning of language abnormalities)

  • While on the extended business trip, our patient purchases an Annual Pass to the parks, and takes a tour of the Disney Vacation Club (“I’m just curious”)

  • It’s all downhill from there…

Symptoms of my type of Disneyholism include frequent visits to a Disney theme park and/or frequent cruises on DCL (Disney Cruise Line). When not visiting the parks or cruising DCL, Disneyholics like me develop twitches and engage in obsessive planning of their next Disney vacation.

Language abnormalities are common among Disneyholics. A typical conversation may include the following exchange:

“When do you go next?”

“Week after my birthday. We’re staying at POR with the free DDP, and doing the PPP the night of the 3rd.”

“You’re going on M:S first thing again?”

“Always! Except this time I don’t think I’ll need an FP. I’m pretty upset, though, because BTMRR is down for refurbishment.”

Amazingly enough, this dialog makes perfect sense to a Disneyholics, since their brain structures have been modified to understand and accept this new language.

For the uninitiated, a quick glossary:

POR = Port Orleans, one of the moderate Disney Resorts

DDP = Disney Dining Plan. More on the DDP in an upcoming post.

PPP = Pirates and Princesses Party. An AWESOME event!

M:S = Mission:Space, an EPCOT ride. Originally one of Disney's more spectacular miscalculations, it now features a version suitable for almost everyone. M:S was built in collaboration with NASA, by the way.

BTMRR = Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, a pretty tame roller coaster, except for people like me, who can't take any flavor of roller coasters because of the sideways motion. I don't do roller coasters. But I digress...

Closed for refurbishment = Closed for maintenance. When attractions at Disney parks close for maintenance, they usually close from several days to several months.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

OK, So What is A Disneyholic?

In short, it's someone who's totally obsessed with Disney. There is a long answer of course.

Disneyholics come in various flavors. There are those whose entire houses are Disney-themed. Those who collect Disneyana and can tell you the complete history of each artifact at the drop of a hat. There are those who know everything that's going on in the company and can fairly reliably tell you what's coming up.

Then there are people, like me, who know a respectable amount of Disney minuteae (e.g. what was Mickey Mouse's original name? What's Donald Duck's Middle name?), but what makes us Disneyholics is our complete inability to stay away from the parks (in my case, Disney World in FL), and the fact we won't shut up about it. We also know a disgusting amount of park trivia. In fact, one of my best days was when, spending time in EPCOT with a friend and filling her head with completely useless information about the park, she said it was cool -- she felt like she had a private tour guide with her. Score!

Speaking of trivia, in case you're wondering:
1) Mickey's original name was to be Mortimer Mouse, until Lilian Disney nixed that idea and got Walt to call him Mickey. Smart woman!!
2) Donald's middle name is Fauntleroy.
3) My favorite characters are Donald and Eeyore. I mean, OK, Eeyore isn't originally a Disney character, but I really like his Disney-created personality.

There are other characteristics of my Disneyholism. For example, me and my fellow park Disneyholics tend to waste spend an enormous amount of time on places like the Disboards, a community that merits its own upcoming blog post. I promise. And we have our own language. Really! Wait for the next installment and I'll prove it :)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Begining of the Story Or: How I Fell in Love with Figment

Two tiny wings
Eyes big and yellow
Horns of a steer
What a lovable fellow!
(from the Journey Into the Imagination ride [R.I.P.] -- EPCOT)

I have always been fascinated with the idea of Disney World. As a child, I knew several lucky kids who went there on their birthday. I always wanted to go too, but my love affair with Disney really started when I saw Figment for the first time.

I was a volunteer EMT in a small town in Connecticut, and a fellow EMT named Jeff found out about my Disney fascination. He invited me over one evening and he and his wife, both Disney fans, showed me their Disney photo albums. They had made several trips to Disney World, and had great photos.

“Hey, what’s that?” I asked. It was a very cool-looking critter, purple, little wings, very cute. (It’s hard to believe now there was a time I knew next to nothing about Disney aside from the movies and cartoons.)

“That’s a figment of your imagination,” Jeff smirked.

I looked at him, trying to decide if he was pulling my leg, and he took pity on me and told me about the Journey into the Imagination ride, starring Figment.

I was in love with a purple dragon-like creature. I had to go see Figment in person. And a Disneyholic was born.

About Me

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When not planning my next Walt Disney World vacation, I write about medicine and science for various publications. I'm a bookworm and have recently fallen in love with knitting. I am owned by 2 dogs, 1 cat, and a 12 year old son who loves Disney as much as I do.