“Here you leave today and enter a world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy.” These are the words engraved on the placard before the entrance to Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. The idea of immersion is a heavily focused element in the overall Disney experience, but many fans are so dazzled and beguiled by the enchanting environment they find themselves in that they remain completely unaware of how detached from the outside world they really are.
There’s something in the Disney Parks, particularly Walt Disney World, that Guests and Cast Members call the “Disney Bubble” that seems to separate Disney’s territory from the rest of the outside world. We’re not talking about just the large tract of land Disney has purchased and cut off from the rest of Orlando or Anaheim alone, but something of a strange environmental phenomenon that clearly has multiple visitors under its spell. It’s almost like Disney has perfected their art of immersion so well that those who enter truly do leave their worlds behind. Once the spell is broken, however, they start to realize just how mesmerized they’ve been by Disney’s magic.
A recent Reddit post began the discussion about the Disney Bubble, and several fans came forward with how it affected them on their trips. While some instantly noticed the separation between Disney and the rest of Orlando, many were so enchanted that it didn’t affect them till they were well in or well out of their trips.
Disney goes to great lengths to keep Guests present in the Parks, and u/usethe4th writes how the separation from the rest of the outside world benefitted their experience.
We were there for most of last week, and my 10 year old made a point to mention that we didn’t turn on the TV the entire week. I also realized that I really only used my phone for the My Disney Experience app. I wasn’t on Reddit, or even my email at any point. It wasn’t a conscious decision going in, it just felt natural to focused and present. I liked that.
Similarly, u/Mrs_TikiPupuCheeks adds their experience when they write,
“I noticed it the first time I went to WDW. We stayed at [Port Orleans Resort] and during that entire duration of our week long vacation, I didn’t check emails, didn’t open my laptop (didn’t even take it out of the bag), didn’t watch tv, and didn’t read/watch any news. There could be a nuclear war raging outside and I wouldn’t care a bit…”
Disney’s dedication to immersion truly sucks us all in, and it’s no wonder that we find ourselves forgetting that we are in fact in a theme park/resort. From visuals to structures to even smells, Disney has gone above and beyond the call of duty to keep Guests in their world. That’s all well and good, but what about the Cast Members who make all the magic happen?
One user identifies themselves as a CM and writes that while the Disney Bubble is used highly to the benefit of the Guests, the staff might have contradictory opinions. Disney can sometimes be a gilded cage for some, as u/AirborneLiWen writes about their experience as an international CM under Disney’s Cultural Representative Program, and how they felt under Disney’s territory.
“It’s not a surprise given the amount of fun things Disney offers and the vastness of Orlando territory (as an European used to reach the four largest towns in my area within max 45 minutes of driving, Florida huge distances feel like an obstacle), but it’s not totally fine IMO. For a guest it may be wonderful, but as a CM, from time to time I thought I was being persuaded, in a way, not to leave Disney… But when you leave the bubble, even for a short time, you realize how Disney is a different reality in every way.”
“There could be wars and catastrophes outside and we wouldn’t care, and I don’t think that’s a good thing, more so if you stay in the Disney bubble for months (more than a year in my case).”
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For better or for worse, stepping into Disney truly feels like stepping into another realm. Not only have they physically separated themselves from a large portion of Florida, but the atmosphere and environments are created in such a way that those who walk through its gates easily forget about the outside world. Sometimes that’s a good thing, other times it can be somewhat isolating. Either way, the fact Disney is able to do this on such a large scale is nothing short of remarkable.
Have you experienced the “Disney Bubble?” Tell us at Inside the Magic in the comments below!