I read an article this morning about being a Disney Expert. The article is hilarious and you can find it on the WDWRadio Blog HERE, so I do suggest reading it, but it got me thinking.
What experiences in the parks make us Disney Experts, or Disney Geeks or anything of the sort? What are the qualifications to know everything there is about the parks and the company, and is it ok to miss a few things? The article talked about a middle school class asking their teacher (the author) about her lack of Turkey Leg eating...and luckily I'm not in the same boat...sort of.
Turkey legs are, in my opinion, delicious...until you get towards the bottom and you just become sick of it. But my brother and I often share one a trip, and that's more than enough for me! But I didn't try a turkey leg until just a few years ago myself, and I honestly don't remember what caused me to try it on that trip! It's not something you HAVE to have eaten to be a Disney expert, but it does help. Not that I can talk much since I've never actually had a Dole Whip...and I can no longer eat the delicious ice cream since I'm lactose intolerant (well...I can...but it's just annoying). But I have been trying my hardest to get things done I've never actually done before, and I even created a bucket list for my last trip, which held over 30 things on it. I got all but a couple done, but I'm still happy with what I accomplished! I've already talked about my challenges for the next trip (and I've decided on which one I shall be doing...but I'm not going to talk about it until I get closer!), but for instance, some of my challenges included meeting a character I've never met before (MARY POPPINS!!!), Getting New Mickey Ears and Taking a Tour of the Stars, along with some silly ones like finding a Blue Dinosaur and eating Chicken with Ketchup (it's a long story).
But, now that I've thought about it for a while, here's my top 5 list of must-do things at Disney if you consider yourself a Disney Expert:
1. Spaceship Earth: Ok, I might be a bit bias here, but I do feel that it's something every Disney lover should experience. The attraction is great, and it holds a lot of Disney history in it, especially from the creation of Epcot itself. Plus it's air conditioned, and who doesn't love that?
2. Illuminations: Reflections of Earth: We're still in Epcot, but it's funny because I'm actually currently listening to the soundtrack from Illuminations. Either way, this is a must see, as it's honestly one of the best fireworks shows in the world...and it's my personal favorite. The way World Showcase lights up with the fireworks in the sky and the way the music completely surrounds you...that's something you have to experience.
3. One Man's Dream: If you're going to call yourself a Disney Expert, you'd better have gone through One Man's Dream over at Disney's Hollywood Studios. You can't be an expert on the parks if you don't know about the man behind it all. It's a wonderful presentation of the Walt Disney story, complete with plenty of artifacts from Disney archives. And again...it's air conditioned!
4. The Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover: I think this one is completely on my list as well. You have to go on the TTAP at some point. It's a great way to people watch, which is another thing I think every good Disney fan should do at some point and time (as creepy and stalker-like as it sounds). That I think every Disney Fan should know Tom Morrow...even if you do know the newer, less-funny version of his mention. I never will forget (and still repeat while riding) "Calling Mr. Morrow. Mr. Tom Morrow. Your party from Saturn has arrived. Please give them a ring." Much more fun that "Calling Mr. Morrow. Mr. Tom Morrow. Please contact Mr. Johnson in the control tower to confirm your flight to the moon."
5. The Rose Gardens: I talked about this a little bit the other day I believe, stopping and smelling the roses that is, or maybe I just talked about it in my memoir, but either way, every good Disney expert has to take a stroll through one of the many rose gardens in the parks. They're a tribute to Lillian Disney and it slows you down a little bit. Each is a quiet spot and also a great place to people watch...meaning that it's something every Disney fan must do.
Of course, there are tons of different things that each Disney fan must do. A few that come to my mind as runners up include The Haunted Mansion, Hoo-Dee-Doo Revue at Fort Wilderness, Taking a ride on all three mountains at Magic Kingdom (and of course, the Matterhorn at Disneyland and Everest at Animal Kingdom), and asking about George before riding Pirates of the Caribbean. But everyone is different, and no Disney expert is alike. That's why I'm the Epcot Expert. I could tell you a lot of stuff about Epcot, not everything, but a lot, and yet I can't tell you nearly as much about the Hollywood Studios!
So what's your top five? Think about it!
Here's today's Disney History: 2012: The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World unveils the first phase of the new Storybook Circus area of Fantasyland with a "soft" opening. The Storybook Circus area pays tribute to the traveling circuses of the 1950's and 1960's and features the first part of "Dumbo, The Flying Elephant" (with Dumbo spinning clockwise for the first time in Magic Kingdom history), "The Barnstormer, Starring the Great Goofini" and "The Fantasyland Train Station."