One lazy weekend afternoon just about a year ago I was wondering how many residents of
Orlando or had moved there just to be near Disney. It lead me to also wonder about those lucky people who also purchased annual passes to the Disney Parks and how often they take advantage of them. Friends have told me that if I lived close enough to Disney, it would get very old, very fast. But I never agreed. I certainly don’t think that I would go every day, but I know how much I love the parks, and how many times I had taken 10 minutes to sit on a bench and just people- and park-watch, really longing for the chance to “get to know” the park like an old friend that I see just once or twice a year. I want to familiarize myself with its operations, the architecture, the landscaping, the hidden area not meant for my eyes as a “guest”, and I want to find all of the tiny, artful details that the Disney Artists and Imagineers have left hidden for me to find like so many Easter Eggs. Florida
I don’t think that I would ever grow tired of going back because after a 3-day park-hopping vacation I am longing to go back within a week after leaving
Disneyland each time. We had just visited Disneyland (in California) over the Valentine’s Day weekend (in 2011) and just a few weeks later it felt like a year had passed and it was time to get busy planning the next visit. Its the same way every time.
Another "hobby" of mine is finding the differences in the park from the last time that I was there, or from previous visits in the years' past. Design, decoration, even slight adjustments entertain me to no end. When I am at home with no Disney visit in my immediate future, I try to fill some of the void by collecting digital photographs from various web sites. A few are dedicated to compiling vintage photos of the California park that show how it was designed in the early years through the 1960’s, 1970’s, and even the 1980’s. It is a rare treat indeed to look back at photos taken before the internet existed; photos that are not just snapped and uploaded within seconds.
No, I will never grow tired of visiting the park if I lived near Disney.
My online search into finding outspoken Disney Annual Pass Holders led me to a Discussion Board on the site WDWmagic.com in which the question posed was essentially the same as mine; “Do people who live close to the parks get tired of it? What is it like to be able to just say, ‘I want to go eat dinner at Epcot tonight’ or ‘I’m bored, I’ve got a couple of hours to kill, let’s go to one of the parks for a little while’ and be just a short drive away...
There were some really great replies:
· “(I go to the parks) every couple of days”
· “I can tell you that the parks do get old after a while, and it is mainly because it becomes routine.” (This was posted by a person who identified himself as a former cast member who worked there 5 days a week, then would go to the park on his days off for 10 months!)
· “Going to the parks for a local is different than going to the parks for people on vacation. People on vacation go right around park opening and may stay all day. Locals go whenever they feel like it, and may only go for an hour or so. That's what I do, and I think that helps keep the magic for me. I don't like spending all day in the parks, too much heat and people on a weekly basis would wear out really quick. You have to change it up.”
· “I've lived in Orlando all my life, and I can say that after almost two decades I am still not tired of the Disney parks.”
It seems that for some people, Disney has been infused into their DNA as a way of life; a virtual need, like sunlight, hugs, or eye glasses; all things we can live without, but really should not . On the continuum of Disney Fans it seems like the majority of them reside in the middle; visiting Disneyland is a nice prospect, but not a priority. I think I live on the right end of the scale-the spot where all things Disney are unequivocally a mental and physical obsession. You might recognize the scale I have appropriated and adapted here to illustrate my point:
0 Exclusively apathetic to Disney
1 Predominantly apathetic to Disney, only an incidental Disney Fan
2 Predominantly apathetic to Disney, but more than an incidental Disney Fan
3 Equally apathetic and Fan of Disney
4 Predominantly a Disney Fan, but more than incidentally apathetic to Disney
5 Predominantly a Disney Fan, only incidentally apathetic to Disney
6 Exclusive Disney Fan(atic)
................to be continued in Part 2
Comments are welcome. Positive feedback encouraged!
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