Attention Non-Disney Fans, by Herb Leibacher

Like a boat sailing past hundreds of singing children, Disney Obsession Week keeps moving!

Today we feature a post by Herb Leibacher. Herb is the “founder, author, webmaster, chief executive, and chief bottle washer” for fan site World of Walt. The site features articles about the Disney parks and more, and has a robust forum where Disney fans can interact.

I’m an active member of the forums at World of Walt, so when I was planning this week of guest posts I reached out to Herb and asked him why he was Disney obsessed.

This is Why I Am Going to Disney World, Yet Again

As a Disney fan, I occasionally get questions from those who are not Disney fans: What is it about Disney that you find so interesting? Why are you going back to Disney World – again? Weren’t you just there? Isn’t Disney just for kids? That last question usually involves a raised eyebrow indicating a not-so-subtle implication that I, as a middle aged man, haven’t properly grown up.

Based on questions like these, I’ve come to realize there are two kinds of people in this world: Those who are Disney fans, and those who are not.

If you are a fellow Disney fan, you probably just “get it.” You understand the attraction to Disney. We have a common bond and shared understanding. We don’t really need to exchange words on the topic. We both implicitly understand that Disney is just plain cool. Period. We can get right to debating whether or not Disney should remove the huge Mickey sorcerer’s hat from Disney’s Hollywood Studios (they should), or whether the Main Street Electrical Parade is superior to SpectroMagic (it is).
If you are not a fellow Disney fan, all this talk of Disney may seem, well, just a bit strange. That’s why I’m going to put together a little list for you. The list isn’t intended to convince you to become a Disney fan. Rather, the list is intended to give you a little insight into those of us who are Disney fans.

With that, let’s take a look at three things a non-Disney fan needs to understand about those of us who are Disney fans.

1 – Clean & Orderly. The real world is very often just a little too disorganized and a little too dirty. Annoying neighbors don’t cut their grass. The bathroom in the restaurant needs attention – serious attention. The silly light on the dashboard of the car keeps coming on. Yes, those things happen in the real world, but they are not very fun.

At Disney World, those of us who are Disney fans can enjoy a clean and orderly environment. Everything works and works well. The movement of people is orderly, the serving of food is efficient, and the bathrooms are clean. Disney fans don’t just enjoy these things, they treasure them. They are an enjoyable escape from the real world. They represent a chance to enjoy a different world, a well-run world – a Disney World!

2 – Fun Guaranteed. So many of the things we have to do every day aren’t fun. Again, that’s part of the package when it come to the real world. Between taking the garbage out and paying the bills, sometimes fun gets squeezed out. That’s too bad.
At Disney World, those of us who are Disney fans can enjoy non-stop entertainment that is built into every nook and cranny of Disney World.

From the smiles of the folks who greet you at the resort hotel check-in counter to the humor in the attractions, from the presentation of a Mickey-shaped waffle at breakfast to the catchy song the performers are singing from the trolley on Main Street USA, there is entertainment and fun everywhere.

3 – Emotional Connection. The real world can be a cold place. The lady at the checkout counter asks how you are doing, but probably doesn’t really care what answer you give.

At Disney World, those of us who are Disney fans can relive and reinforce an emotional connection to the Disney company and the service it provides. Perhaps we got a Mickey Mouse toy as a kid that was a special source of joy and fun. Maybe we saw a child in a wheelchair have the time of his life while playing a part in the Festival of the Lion King show at Animal Kingdom. Or maybe, like me, we visited Disney World as a kid with our parents. We had fun, left behind the stresses of the real world, and just enjoyed being a family together.

APCO Insight is a media relations firm. They recently surveyed 70,000 people to determine the most beloved global brand. The winner? Disney, of course.

We Disney fans have an emotional connection that goes beyond simply liking a cartoon character or enjoying a vacation. Disney holds a place in our heart, and often has since childhood. That smile, that giggle, that shared moment create a very special bond. We Disney fans want to, and get to, experience it time and time again.

Here are my closing words to you, non-Disney fans: In the end, no amount of data, evidence, or debate will really help you understand Disney fans. You have to experience Disney for yourself. Give it a try. Stop by Disney World for a few days. If you do, you will better understand those of us who are Disney fans. You might even find yourself becoming a Disney fan yourself.

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