I’ve been a self-professed Disney Geek for as long as I can remember. I’ve been pretty confident in my ability to out-geek a solid 90% of the people in any room in any situation. I mean, yes. I give myself that 10% window in case I encounter a super mega Disney Geek. I’m not one of those. Yet after this week I’m suddenly calling my geekiness into question. There was first time after first time for some pretty basic things. I’m not the Disney Geek I thought I was…
First, let me give you a handful of my Disney credentials. I visited Disney World for the first time when I was four or five. Forgive my ambiguity here. It was a long time ago, so the first trip details are a little fuzzy. I’ve been back so many times since then that I’ve actually lost count. My most recent trip was in January and I’m planning my next trip in the fall. I’ve been to the parks in Paris and Tokyo. I’ve never been to Disneyland in Anaheim, but it is on my bucket list. I know that seems a little odd, but I’ve always considered that one of my cool little bits of personal trivia. “Meet Amy. She’s visited Disney parks on three continents, but she’s never been to Anaheim…” I can quote far too many parts of every animated Disney classic. If I ever hear anyone say, “I’ve been thinking…” I will follow up with, “A terrible pastime!” I was an extra in a scene from “Boy Meets World” filmed in Tomorrowland. I never actually saw myself on screen, but I still think it counts. I once applied for the Disney College Program. I didn’t get in. I’m not sure why, but I think it was related to the look of horror on the recruiter’s face when I went overboard discussing my love of It’s A Small World. I could go on, but I think you get my point.
This week I road-tripped it to Pennsylvania from North Carolina, breaking my self-impossed “if it takes more than five hours in a car I’m getting on a plane” rule, to attend Disney Social Media Moms On The Road. I saw some old friends, made some new friends and listened to some great speakers. It was also a day of Disney firsts for me. Those same darn Disney firsts that caused me to question myself…
The first first? My first DisneyBound. I heard about DisneyBound on Facebook, from friends who fall into that 10% who could geek me under the table. For the uninitiated, DisneyBound is using everyday clothing to capture the spirit of a Disney character. I even thought about doing it during my last trip to Florida, but I was far more concerned with making sure my nieces had multiple princess options for every day we were there. Even though I skipped DisneyBounding myself on that trip, I had a lot of fun pointing out everyone I spotted in the parks. “Look, there’s an Ariel!” I think spying the more esoteric DisneyBounders is the new finding Hidden Mickeys when you visit Disney World.
I’ve decided I bear an uncanny resemblance to Snow White. Not the Snow White from the film. I mean the round-faced Snow White from the Little People play set. So with that, an idea was hatched to DisneyBound as Snow White. An apple necklace ordered from eBay. A bow glued on a red headband. A blue dress I already had with a yellow cardigan. And…done.
Another first? My first pin trade. It’s not that I am new to the idea of pin-trading. It’s just that I get sort of like Dug in Up. “That’s a cute pin…oh, I like that one…and that…squirrel!” I have bought pins as gifts. I have looked at pins for myself. I’m just always overwhelmed by the number of pins you can pick. I want all the pins. At the event, though, that had to change.
The team brought around pins for everyone, then gave us two minutes to mingle and trade. I started with Stitch on Space Mountain and ended with Duffy as Sulley. I was pretty happy with my final trade. Although I do miss that Stitch… That means I have to find one on my next trip, right?
Vinylmation. Oh, how I managed to resist you for this long I’ll never know. At heart I’m a collector. When I first spied the little mystery boxes in the shops, promising me a piece of Disney fun shaped like Mickey Mouse? I wanted in. But I resisted. Not unlike the pins, I knew it would lead to nothing but trouble. I would become obsessed with collecting. Thanks to Disney On The Road I have my first Vinylmation. Emphasis on first. I’m going to need a bigger house, aren’t I?
And finally, I received my first ears. I know, you’re thinking, “Who could actually profess to be a Disney Geek without owning a single pair of ears?” I get that, I do. I’ve been >this close< to getting my ears more times than I could tell you. I’ve had them in my hands and then went for a different souvenir at the last minute. I still remember my first ear substitute-a small plush Winnie The Pooh wearing a little red bib instead of a t-shirt. Repeat that a few dozen times on every subsequent trip. “I want these ears…oh wait, look, it’s a rose music box from Beauty and the Beast…”
Thanks to the aforementioned Snow White inspired fashion, I was gifted a pair of ears from Garry Buchanan, the Social Media Managing Editor at Walt Disney World. And when I say ears, I mean ears. An epic set of ears. Yes, this is definitely the craziest set of ears ever created. And I kind of feel some Disney craft inspiration kicking in…
Disney On The Road was every bit as magical as I could have wished. Thank you to the team at BSM Media, Walt Disney World and the sponsors of Disney On The Road Philly for the fantastic morning of firsts.