Disney Addiction: Too Much | Disney World

  • When dedicated dads, ministers and even grade school teachers get into the subject, you have to wonder: enough already?

    Too much?

    We are referring here to Disney Addiction.

    It’s real.

    Check the Internet term "Disney Addiction" and you might get 2,010,000 results (0.46 seconds, via Google).

    Millions of them: addicts

    Millions more are on the Walt Disney World Resort Facebook page.

    Disney does not release attendance or demographic figures, but some books such as the Disney’s Institute’s Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service says more than two thirds of visitors are return guests.

    Not that all are addicts…but that’s a subject itself.

    One self-admitted addict writes:

    “My husband once caught me checking ride wait times using a smartphone app – from our home in Ohio. But my fandom is nothing compared with couples who marry on the monorail or visitors who attempt to spread ashes of loved ones on Disney rides.”

    Says Susan Veness, an Orlando-based author:

    “People get fanatical about Disney. I don’t think ‘obsession’ is too strong a word.”

    They know the best months to visit the parks. They may be on a phone at midnight making dinner reservations 365 days in advance. They wear Mickey Mouse ears around the house. They can recite entire ride descriptions. They look for Hidden Mickeys in their own backyard.

    Are you a Disney addict?

    There are many posted Disney lists of why you may be an addict:

    “You check attraction wait times -- from your house. . . Driving away from Disney feels like the worst day of your life -- every time you do it…Your coffee tastes better when you drink it from a Tinkerbell mug…You want to talk about Disney to anyone at any time.”

    But let’s get even more specific.

    Take a look at an internet site by Carl Trent. He’s a dedicated father-parent.

    He does “Dad’sGuidetoWDW.com.”

    He readily admits he is “seriously in need of a fix” when he thinks his minister on a recent Sunday was talking directly to him. The sermon was about addictions. “I’ve admitted it publicly and don’t try to hide it,” he says.

    His addiction is to Disney.

    His motto might be a slogan at his site: “Being a Disney Addict is not a problem as long as I get MY FIX.”

    Since “Dad” has not had a fix for over a year, he has “serious withdrawal problems.” His hands are shaking. He needs help.

    Teacher Christy Viszoki also admits to addiction. However, if you are reading her thoughts, you must also be one.

    The only difference is that she’s also an expert.

    She wears Minnie Mouse sneakers. She decorates her classroom with Disney pins on the bulletin board.

    If you have a question about Disney, she can answer it.

    So she was embarrassed and ashamed when the middle schoolers in her classroom brought up the subject of whether the ancient Romans ate…turkey legs?

    keep calm and eat a turkey leg t shirtDid turkey legs really cause Roman downfall?

    And more important: Was that the reason for the downfall of Rome?

    She had to admit to never never ever not even once having a turkey leg.

    A transgression. Not cool.

    But she was the expert, wasn’t she?

    The result was an air of disappointment…sadness…madness, even.

    She had to promise on the spring break to eat her first-ever Frontierland turkey leg.

    But that’s hardly all.

    Eddie Shapiro in “Confessions of a Disney Cruise Line Addict” speculates that the open seas might actually be the happiest place on earth.”

    He is a cruise line addict.

    He writes:

    “Plenty of gay people frequent the Disney parks -- with or without kids in tow -- so why is cruising with Walt such a leap? It shouldn't be. You won't find, say, a toga party on a Disney cruise, but you will find a great deal of other fantastic diversions that consistently surpass expectations.”

    What did he find so addictive?

    The nightlife. The entertainment. The private island. The fireworks.

    “Unparalelled, super friendly service.”

    And rum concoctions of the day

    “Terribly addictive…see you in rehab,” he concludes.

    Then, there’s the blogger on the Black Dog site. He admits to freely and proudly being an addict.

    He can’t get enough of Disney.

    When he can’t be there, the family tradition is that he gets periodic video updates from others throughout the day. All day.

    “So you can imagine how much my phone (has been) blowing up,” he writes.

    This addiction also applies to gifts. Some suggestions:

    Disney flatware?

    Why? Shows off your addiction, which almost everyone is proud of, according to one blogger.

    Disney Dooney & Bourke purse. Shows off addiction with Mickey Mouse.

    Any Disney clothing item. Can you ever have enough Goofy hoodies?

    Anything at all on Ebay, which has all this and just about everything else available.

    Addictions also apply to runners. Yes, people who actually run marathons.

    One female runner confesses:

    “You got me, Mickey. You got me.”

    After finishing up one Princess Half-Marathon, she signed up for another.


    “I also enjoyed the energy of the other runners and the sights and sounds were so magical.  Who wouldn’t love running through Cinderella’s Castle with 19,000 other princesses who also enjoy a nice run?  

    Not only her, however, but also her husband.

    Mickey got both of them

    “Mickey got him too.”

    Even food addicts. Writes one:

    “For some it's about the characters and attractions, for others it's the resorts and recreation... for you, it's all about the food!”

    She details how you may also be one.

    Sure signs:

    • Your only vague recollection of rides in between favorite snacks such as popcorn, Mickey bars, turkey legs and anything on a stick.
    • You consider the four seasons to be “winter, spring, summer, and Food & Wine”  
    • The order of the countries around World Showcase Lagoon is: “churros, school bread, egg rolls, caramel corn, gelato, funnel cakes, sake, lamb sliders, Napoleans, fish & chips, and pretzel.”
    • When you go out to dinner back home, you find yourself saying "well it was good, but just not Disney good" 
    • You always pack clothes one size bigger for a Disney vacation to allow for "food expansion"

    Then, there’s a custom t-shirt for addicts.

    Choice of black and white, women’s scoop neck or short sleeves, various images and your own personalized message.

    Marriage is often supposed to be a sort of sacred institution. So no surprise that it is listed as reasons why you may be an addict:

    “I got married in WDW, traveled 27,564 miles last yr to & from WDW, spent 112 days in last 8 yrs there…We didn't [get] married at WDW but had our honeymoon & go back every year for our anniversary to celebrate.”

    One site has 50…count them, 50…reasons why you may be a Disney addict (Maybe by now you see what we mean when we say too much).

    These include planning an unborn child’s wedding at Disney world with a reception at the Grand Floridian and a horse drawn princess carriage. And asking someone going there to bring you back a Dole Whip or Turkey Leg. Dual Christmas trees

    And you have at least one and maybe two Christmas trees that have nothing but Disney Christmas tree ornaments.”

    There’s even a blog about “Surviving the Disney-Addicted Spouse.”

    She writes her spouse, Ryan, has been there 100 times. She describes him as a “walking, talking encyclopedia” of Disney history. His obsession began before he was even born.  He is originally from Florida and his family began going as soon as it opened in 1971. 

    He also had an Aunt that worked in security at Walt Disney World, so it is as if a love of all things Disney was bred into him from the beginning. Their entire house is Disney decorated.

    “Basically our guest room and the half bath are Disney approved areas in our house.  There are a few things that have made it to our living room (a framed drawing of the Hilton Head Island DVC Resort and a giraffe mask from Disney’s Animal Kingdom) but everything else is framed on the wall, organized into containers or binders, or on a book shelf in the guest room.”

    So what’s behind this husband’s obsession?

    She cites two reasons

    1. Family.  Everything about the parks reminds him of his family and the strong bond we all share.  For him, visiting these parks represents all of the wonderful times he has had with the people he loves. 

    2. Ryan loves to learn and to collect.  Disney provides both of those things.  When Ryan decides he is interested in something, he wants to learn everything he can about it and that is a never ending pursuit when it comes to the Di

    Friends are not upset by all this dedication.

    A newspaper in London called the Telegraph visited the subject of Disney obsession a few years ago "There are no tears, death, catastrophes, wars or negativity about this place. As soon as you enter, you leave real life behind," the newspaper said.

    Many fanatics take their children with them, but openly admit they gain just as much, if not more, enjoyment themselves. “In an increasingly unsafe world, they revel in the perceived safety of the parks, which offer a clean, friendly environment where they can escape the often grim realities of life,” the story added.

    The thing that sets the casual visitor apart from the fanatic is that the fanatic talks about going for the first time and being bitten by `the bug'' - an almost inexplicable desire to return again and again, regardless of the cost, the story added.

    What else is behind the obsession?

    One man identified only as gunfighter told why he went to Disney World in Orlando every year since 1966. . He also described himself as a “Hardcore” Disney addict.

    “What did it for me? Why the transformation? I'll tell you: It was/is the texture of the place. There isn't just a thin veneer of happiness and cheer... there is a depth that has to be experienced to be understood….To see the incredible thought processes that went into not only the designs, but also the engineering of the roads, the resorts, the efficiency of hiding all the restrooms, the cleanliness of the parks, the locations of the trash receptacles, the water features, the use of infectious music... the tangibility of the place. It was overwhelming. As I said, I am detail oriented, and I really love seeing anything done particularly well. Well, my friends, Disney did it for me... the place was/is efficiently run. Clean, bright, and loads of fun. Fun for all, not just for children. “

    Various other reasons sons cited include “leaving troubles at home,” naturally enough. And that it’s a different world here. And you are here just to have fun. Your mind is at ease.

    But none of this is to say Disney is cheap. It is not.

    Disney cheaper than Paris

    “Disney is expensive,” concedes one blogger. “But traveling to Paris is more expensive.”

    So what can you do about it?

    No cure, but some bloggers suggest therapy or learning to live with it. And enjoy the new identity.


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    Or, you can opt to stay in Disney and enjoy your new identity.

    That’s was not possible before but it is now.

    An ad explains this is for serious fans:

    “If you've always dreamed of living in Cinderella's Castle, we can't help you . . . but here's something that's almost as good. Fans can now call Walt Disney World home.”

    Golden Oak, named after Walt’s Golden Oak Ranch in California, is now offering single-family, custom homes at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World.

    All you need is $1 to $8 million (the home prices include an annual pass).

    But what’s money when it comes to a Disney addiction? ###