What’s not to love about Disney (and yes, that’s the way I start EVERY conversation)?
You’ve read and probably experienced the amazing attractions, the delicious food, the friendly Cast Members and maybe even the spectacular resorts. If you’re like me, you’ve read endless blogs, articles, and websites that go on and on about all of these wonderful aspects. And you couldn’t agree more. But for me, there are some things that I just love about Disney that I really don’t read too much about. So, I’m putting them out here, either just to show you how weird I am or maybe to get an “Amen, Sista!” on a couple of them.
1 – Disney Ducks and other local critters!
Did you know there’s a whole Instagram account dedicated to the ducks that walk around Disney? It’s called DucksofDisneyWorld and it has 11.6k followers. So, I don’t feel so weird that there is just a part of me that always has to interact with the wandering birds and critters that make up the Disney Parks. Whether it’s chasing lizards, trying to kiss a frog to make him my prince or eating breakfast with an assortment of bird friends, I’m thrilled that they’re part of my interactive experience.
2 – Hidden Mickeys
We all know Disney is in the details. And one of the details they love is to hide Mickey’s in plain sight. Many people are aware of hidden mickeys but it took me several visits to really become in tune with them. For awhile, we bought books and hunted for them everywhere. Now, I’ve rediscovered the joy of finding them organically and I confess, pretending like I’m the only one who knows they’re there.
3 – “The Backside of Water!” and other great quotable Disney sayings
Oh my gosh, yes! I have gotten to be that person that says the “lines” of Disney at the same time as either the Cast Member is saying it or the recording is playing it. Isn’t that annoying? But I just can’t help myself. It’s like running into a high school friend and singing your fight song together. It shows your history and your passion for similar things. So, as we all shout “The Backside of Water” when the skipper shows us the 8th wonder of the world, please just be patient with us. We really can’t help it.
4 – Random acts of Disney Magic
I love how Disney Cast Members like to randomly treat people to special touches. Sometimes it’s as big as upgrading you from a value resort to a Deluxe Resort (it’s never happened to me but I’ve heard of it), but most the time, it’s the small things. Making sure your child gets an extra sticker…Treating you to a complimentary birthday dessert…Or maybe giving you an extra FastPass. Those random acts of magic can really brighten your day!
5 – Everywhere you go there’s music and sometimes even bubbles!
I really think life should be like this. We should have themed music that follows us on life’s journeys. Music reminds us to live in the moment, to appreciate all of world around us. Disney is the best at piping in music that makes every stroll and every line we wait in, a bit more pleasant. And speaking of strolling through the parks, it seems like anytime I’m walking in the parks, I always get behind one of those bubble peddlers and I’m surrounding by dozens of glorious little floating rainbows. I can’t help but think how less stressful traffic would be at home if there were bubbles floating all over the freeway.
6 – Can you smell that?
While we’re on the topic of being totally submerged in the moment, Disney does this with smells, too. Smell the cookies baking along Main Street or smell of Rome burning in Spaceship Earth. My daughter says she could be completely blind and dumped into the Pirates Of The Caribbean ride and would immediately know she is there because of the smell. Again, I’m grateful for the way Disney says “take all of me in and leave everything else behind.”
7 – Monorail
“Please stand clear of the doors…Por favor mantengase alejado de las puertas.” When I hear these words, I know I’m in one of my happy places. We treat the monorail like a ride that you never need a fastpass for. We will often ride it just for the “fun” of it. We absolutely love riding it out to Epcot. It has some of the most beautiful scenery out its windows as you glide effortlessly through Walt Disney World.
8 – Finding Disney “stars”
No, I’m not referring to Zac Efron or even Ariana Grande. No, the “stars” we love to find are the Cast Members who star in Disney promo videos (yes, we are Disney nerds to the max!). There’s something about seeing that bus driver (in person!) who you listen to every time on the Magical Express bus welcome video. Or having the Cast Member from the Test Track part of the home video actually check you into the ride. Yes, it’s possible, I may have asked him for his autograph.
9 – Flora and Fauna
Disney horticulturalists are brilliant. They take into consideration every plant that should be in any given area. I love taking photos of the flowers and plants that give that extra beautiful touch to every landscape. For a true experience of how Disney make the flora reflect its surroundings, take a stroll through the Art of Animation Resort and watch how each “land” gets a total floral makeover to match its origins.
10 – Looking up and looking down
Once more, the joy is in the details. I make a point in every building to look at the ceiling. Disney does a wonderful job with beautiful lights and chandeliers. And then I also make a point to look where I’m walking, to see the stories that are woven into the pavement. On our last trip to Magic Kingdom, I spotted a broken necklace in the pavement right outside Aladdin’s Magic Carpet ride, and I couldn’t help but wonder whose it was. Thought-provoking details like that add magic to my experience every time.