I can honestly say I have officially lost count of how many times I have visited Disney World. No, that’s not me bragging, just the plain ol’ truth. Prior to packing my bags and making myself scarce from the frozen tundra that is the great Northeast, I had only been to the World once. Since then, it’s been an all out Mousefest. If it wasn’t for the fact the hubby is of the non-Disney Dork persuasion, I’m sure I’d be spending a whole lot more time (and money!) doing all things magical.
However, as a side-effect of all the hours spent in the Happiest Place on Earth, (which may at times be quite debatable), I have become an expert in the art of people watching. Honestly. I even have a certificate somewhere. Plopping down on a random bench with a Mickey ice cream or a libation from the Rose and Crown, can lead to observations of some of the funniest sights you can imagine. So I am going to take my little corner of the world-wide-web, and impart upon you some of my hard-earned knowledge of all things Disney. Well, not really, but it does sound impressive.
1. The Fearless Leader: often seen armed with a battery of park maps and sporting a white splotch of zinc oxide on his nose, the Fearless Leader has spent hours prior to arriving, pouring over travel blogs, park maps, and the Disney World website, in a wholehearted attempt of maximizing every precious second while on scene. Any deviation from the minute-to-minute schedule not only results in a complete and utter meltdown, but oftentimes requires a pixie dust intervention. Said person may also be seen wearing a khaki booney hat, water bottle clipped to a belt, and screaming something unintelligible into a battery-powered, two-way radio.
2. The Blooming Mousketeer: You can spot these guys a mile away. Typically sporting the latest in Mouse World fashion including ears, 2-3 cameras hanging around the neck, and a plethora of Disney pins adorning every spare inch of available lanyard space, these visitors are typically the most entertaining to keep within earshot. Always willing to go on yet ANOTHER round of Toy Story Mania, proudly showing off their “1st Visit” pin to every Cast Member and visitor around, and leaving a trail of spilled popcorn in their wake for very happy Disney flocks, the Blooming Mousketeer is one of the jolliest and entertaining Joes in the parks. Can oftentimes be seen wearing one of a dozen matching neon colored family reunion shirts. Unlike this guy…
Then, there’s these guys…
The Pros: Having spent the majority of their waking moments on a leisurely stroll through Tomorrowland, Dinoland, and the bars of World Showcase, this type can tell you without a moment’s hesitation where the nearest bar, bathroom, or satisfying snack can be found. They can tell you where any number of hidden Mickey’s can be seen, but only because they happened to notice them while hanging out in line for Soarin’, (snowy landscape on the interactive game screen). Pros never rush to anything in order to more easily take in the drama unfolding around every corner. The top pros are able to easily navigate a throng of sugar-crazed pre-teens while carrying earlier noted libations, and spill nary a drop. Often found kicked back in the shade of a British Revolution show, or taking in the scene while stretched out in the poolside hot tub of the Boardwalk Inn, these guys know there is always another day.
I think when it comes right down to it, I’m a combination of the Blooming Mousketeer and a Pro – it just depends on the day. I dare say I can also venture slightly into the arena of the Fearless Leader, depending on how many strollers have been rammed into my ankles and how many screaming babies I’ve been exposed to. However, after a quick side trip into a little joint I know tucked between the 50’s Prime Time Cafe and Hollywood and Vine, all is quickly right in the World. How can you not relax in a spot where you can see a mother nursing her kid while drinking a margarita? (I kid you not – bet that kid slept like a champ…)
So the next time you pay a visit to Mickey, Simba, Woody, or men in kilts, just stop. Take a look around. Then come back and tell me what you see. I guarantee you’ll have a whole new appreciation for your new found powers of observation. That and a well-made, well-timed, margarita.
Enjoy the ride.
Are you one of these Disney types? Which one?