The Disney Parks are truly worlds all their own, completely separated from that which we call reality. So much energy and detail go into immersing guests in the realms of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy, but none do it quite so well as the Disney characters.
By little exaggeration, the Cast Members and character performers are the lifeblood of places like Walt Disney World. Seeing the likes of Mickey, Donald, and Goofy running around truly makes fans feel like they’ve become part of their world, but could the characters be getting too good at their jobs?
Side-Effects of Disney Characters
At risk of spoiling the illusion of Disney’s Park characters, it could honestly be said that we are all guilty of playing into the fantasy that the costumed performers create. Everyone, regardless of age, who gets a hug and a selfie with Mickey can suspend their belief for just a few minutes to make some memories. However, Disney doesn’t just encourage the activity, but possibly has us conditioned to it.
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A Disney Park Guest shared on r/WaltDisneyWorld their experience with this conditioned response during their last trip. u/scarredbs tells their account titled “Disney Hipnosis” when the write.
“I’m a 46-year old man. I’m bald, I have crow’s feet, my back hurts, I have two small children, and I worry constantly about the world they’re going to inherit from us. Why was I pinky promising Daisy Duck yesterday, swearing to her very sincerely that we’d make another trip back to WDW as soon we could?”
As humorous as the post above is, it’s not the only account of adult Guests being sucked into the illusion created by Disney’s Meet and Greets.
u/skywalker3880 comments a similar account with their family when they add,
“I’m a happily married, 35 year old man who met Minnie Mouse last weekend at EPCOT. She hugged my wife and gave me audible kiss goodbye. My wife and I giggled like idiots for too long after it.”
There are several more comments and stories that share similar reports of costumed characters pulling adults into Disney’s magical world, and many range from odd to endearing. While it might sound like these adults are being strangely suckered in by performers at a theme park, this might actually be a good thing for Guests.
Many Disney Park Guests have pointed out the power of the “Disney Bubble” and how it’s responsible for this sort of behavior. However, others believe that it might have something to do with the liberating feeling of adults being allowed to be kids again.
u/stitchlover aptly describes this when they write,
“Disney definitely lets our inner child come out and have fun. I enjoy it every time I go and when I leave I start thinking about my next trip. So you’re not alone.”
Whether it’s an environmental factor, a desire to embrace that nearly-forgotten childish side, or Disney being completely set apart from the drama of everyday life, it’s so easy to fall under the spell of the Parks. The characters only serve to help make the magic that much more real.
Have you been hypnotized by the Disney characters? Tell us at Inside the Magic in the comments below!