What is up with Disney World and its following?

For the serious Mickey hunter.

I have a two different sets of married friends who do this with Disney World and Disney Land respectively. I like to visit either. But I wouldn’t do it anywhere near as often as they do. It is clean and every aspect of every view is considered, so it is visually quite pleasing. It is fun. My only complaint is that most of the food stands serve food that is only serviceable, and the good restaurants are hard to get into. The exception being Epcot, which has many good restaurants.

To me the funny thing is that Disney is so inexpensive. Sure, if you walk up and buy a ticket, you pay too much, but even that’s a bargain compared to other theme parks once you realize how much there is to see and do in even one park! Plus, they offer piles of discounts, bonus options, and combos which can really bring the price down, especially in the fall and winter. Even with prices what they are, I suspect they could charge more if they wanted.

Second, Disney World is never really dated. They come out with new attractions and renovations every year.

Interestingly, I was just having a conversation with my husband last night trying to figure out what to do with two tickets we have that will expire on December 15th. Members of my family have been “cast members” for years and so I haven’t had to pay for a ticket ever. I don’t know if I would be so inclined to pay the amount of money they charge for more than one family vacation in a lifetime if I lived out of the area. Even being able to go for nothing, I don’t manage to get there more than once every couple of years although I do have a great time when there.

However, the reason for my post is to comment on the fanatics. And they are one serious bunch. A year or so back, my son had a yard sale and asked his family and friends for donations to get his motorcycle repaired after it was stolen and recovered. His grandfather had recently retired as a manager of one of the hotels and donated boxes and boxes of disney collectibles. We advertised the sale on Craigslist and mentioned the Disney items. HUNDREDS of people showed up and a fight or two broke out during the sale. These folks are serious about getting that tigger pin, special lanyard or snowglobe. One guy tried to buy someone’s purchase in the driveway for double the amount. (She wouldn’t sell). It was a real eye opener. (After that incident, my son doubled all his prices and sold every single Disney item).

Is it a female thing? I went to Disney in CA a few times during my childhood and all I really took from it was long lines, expensive hotdogs and Star Tours and Space Mountain were pretty decent.

My wife is going to a bachelorette party (at Disneyland) with 8 or so friends she had in high school and they seem positively giddy with excitement. I can’t imagine a group of 8 men doing the same for a bachelor party, and it would seem almost creepy or seedy in some way. I could never see myself going year after year and still having a good time, but my wife’s family and most of the girls invited to the party apparently do, despite none of them having disney-aged children.

I can’t buy the cost hand-waving or the level of service argument too much. I’ve literally spent weeks lounging on beaches in the Caribbean being waited on hand and foot for a fraction of the cost those 8 girls are paying for one weekend. It is expensive, and if you have to alter your schedule to avoid the rampaging hordes, how good is the service on average?

Strangest part of the story above? Bride-to-be is equally excited for her honeymoon-

You guessed it:

back to Disneyland 3 weeks later…

I don’t think so. I grew up watching the Disney movies, and I still like a lot of the old songs, but I’ve been reading this thread with a horrified look on my face (I’m barely exaggerating). I went to Disney World in Florida once, as a 14 year old on a band trip. And once was enough for me. It wasn’t a bad experience overall (except for the sunburn, that was pretty bad). I encountered nothing infinitely-repeatable about it, though.

To want to keep going back in adulthood, over and over again, without kids in tow? I truly can’t imagine the appeal.

Bear in mind that DW is actually a fun place, and they generally go out of their way to make it a low-stress experience. So that’s a part of the Disney-love you can’t ignore.

But I’ve also observed that the hard-core Disneyists are similar to extreme couponers: they’ll comb the internets, network with the other DVC members, and do anything else necessary to get a deal. Furthermore, they love collecting pins, spotting those hidden Mickeys, or knowing where the rarer characters show up (we went last year, and some woman we met on the tram was all excited we’d found Pocahontas). So there’s a certain obsessive, insider aspect as well.

Sorry, I meant it the other way around, I know not every woman is enamored with disneyland, but I have to imagine most of these super fans have to be women, correct? My view is that Disney is childhood personified, and for a man to be so child-focused and obsessed is pretty much Michael Jackson creepy to me.

Are these Disney yearly or more people most often women, or is there something I’m not understanding? I was initially taken aback when I heard of a Disney bachelorette party, amazed when I learned my wife was the only one who hadn’t been in the last 6 months anyways and stunned to hear the bride and groom were going back for almost a week within a month of her being there last. Every woman going is between 25 and 30 years, none of them have children yet, what’s the appeal?

Is it simply a return to idyllic childhood under the watchful eye of the mouse or what? My wife can’t explain why she likes going so much but she’s otherwise normal and fairly rational in most other ways.

That’s more than a little judgemental. My brother loves Disney, but I’d hardly say he’s child-centered focused. He loves the little secrets, the technical aspects, the history, and yes, every last ride.

Plus, Disney isn’t really that child-centered, either. Once you look past the encouragement to return to youth, there’s a lot of mature adventurism, too, from sampling wines from around the world to some pretty hard-core coasters, to nightclubs and one of the world’s most complete colelctions of cuisine.

My take on Disney:

I am a big fan of animation - not just the old Disney stuff, but Looney Tunes as well. The technical abilities, the story-line planning, etc. What I like is imagination and the excution of ideas, and the whole park is remniscent of the same spirit. It’s just sad that except for the brief revival with Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, they seem to be losing the originality and liveliness that got things started in the first place.

I knew someone who worked with the Disney people as a contract computer programmer; from what he said, the “experience” carries on behind the scenes even into the office. It can be a bit creepy, like when they packed up his “competitor’s” Looney Tunes mug within a few days, but then they also gave him a free mug of one of their characters.

The staff I saw genuinely seem to be having fun and trying to do their best; we contrasted the organized, “step here to load please” smiling crews with the Buschgardens employees who looked bored and did nothing, and let the roller coasters load in a shoving match free-or-all. I think that’s part of the appeal.

Perhaps, like any other “fanatic” behaviour, what you are seeing is people who let their hair down because it IS “ok” to act like a kid at 40 in their park. It’s like ComicCon for people who don’t have taped-up glasses.

I guess I hadn’t ever really realized the adult attractions were such a big pull. My understanding was that only one restaurant at Disneyland even served alcohol and I’d never heard about nightclubs in the park.

I think it has to be conceded that ‘Disney’ is nearly synonymous with ‘children’ however. I know they have holdings in lots of more adult companies, but almost anytime you see something labeled Disney, it is created, designed, and marketed to appeal directly to children. Is there any example of something branded Disney that is marketed towards adults?

Disney World had an area of nightclubs but I just found out it closed in 2008. It’s now going to be mainly a shopping area.


The only person I know with an annual pass to Disney is a guy I went to high school with in Florida who goes every few weeks. Just a data point.

As someone mentioned above, annual passes are so cheap they are worth buying if you just want to stay there for 2 weeks.

Also there is another type of annual pass just for residents of Florida but it has some restrictions like not going on weekends in the summer.

smiling bandit - how many times have you been to Disney?

If you do visit, see if you can take a backstage tour.

It’s even more impressive than out front, in different ways.

Not sure. I know I went several times as a kid, but only once since college.

Not Disneyland so much. Disney WOrld is a whole 'nother ball of wax. Magic Kingdom is indeed more kid-oriented, though not completely. But Epcot, and much of MGM, is not really just kiddies. Teens, to some extent, but definitely not kids. The backstage tours of all kinds are absolutely fascinating.

Sadly, they are closing Pleasure Island, but it will reopen and no doubt have some new attractions of the same stripe - Downtown Disney as a whole is mostly adult-oriented. The LEGO store is the major exception, and I have to say even the grumpiest old man finds that place pretty damn cool.

I’m pretty sure the Richard Petty Driving Experience at Disney Speedway is targeted at adults. You can ride along at age 14, but must be 18 for the main deal.

I went for the first time when I was 24. I went again for my 30th birthday. I’d love to go again. Actually, I’d love to go every year for my birthday (crowds weren’t as bad and the temp in January is much better).

I was never a huge Disney movie fan and I really don’t like Mickey but the parks are perfect and I can’t quite explain why. My boyfriend is the same way. He loves going there. It makes us happy. I think the atmosphere of the place just grabs certain people. In my case, I know one reason I love it is because I love to watch everyone working, from the characters to the dancers, the guy who does silhouette pictures and the guy who does the glass work. I love that they put all that stuff out in the open and I can spend hours just watching people do their things, without ever getting on a ride.

Isn’t there some kind of Disney housing development down there where you can live the Disney experience all the time? Seems like I read about it years ago but never heard anything else. If I’m recalling correctly it had stores where you bought groceries and stuff and the staff were all “in character” all the time. Sounded weird.