Things I Learned from a Week at Disney World

It IS a small world, after all!

We visited Disney World in early December with family. Not our first time, but we always learn something.

Is she cute, or what? And it’s one of the few hats without ears. (all photos by author or Deb Herlocker)
  • There are a lot of personal bubble machines that people can buy. They’re cute.
  • People dress up for Disney. In different ways. From cosplay to Disney™ outfits to character makeup to going-out-to-fancy-dinner makeup (at breakfast) to I-don’t-care-I’m-on-vacation-dammit non-dress-up dressing up.
  • From casual observations by a straight cisgender male, Disney seems to be LGBTQ friendly. Or else they just freakin’ love rainbows.
Thought of you, James Finn!
  • It’s a Small World seems to be as White Euro-centric as when it opened (or as when I saw it last, twenty-five years ago). Did you know there are wide ranges of cultures and customs in Europe? And then there’s Africa! It has jungle! Wild animals! And Black people, here and there!
  • There are an awful lot of personal bubble machines people are buying. Sometimes there are huge clouds of bubbles wafting along a lane as two or three kids use their bubble generators at the same time. Kind of annoying to walk through, especially if you don’t see them coming.
  • The new Star Wars area is like nerd heaven. Seriously.
So you’re wandering around the bazaar, and there’s a Corellian YT-1300f light freighter parked, with a Wookie inspecting it.
  • The tech of the different attractions varies from 60s-era animatronic, to what looks like a classically-drawn animation only it reacts to the audience in real time, to holy-crap-how-do-they-DO-that stuff that makes me want to sign up for a behind-the-scenes tour next time.
  • Ears on head clips were very popular. I mean, very popular. All sorts of styles, colors, variations. Worn mostly by females, ages: happy-in-stroller to gentlemen-don’t-ask.
  • Seriously, people, ENOUGH WITH THE STUPID BUBBLE MACHINES! Let the kids play with them for maybe ten minutes, then put them in the bag to take home to torment people there. Sheesh!
  • If you wear a button celebrating something, almost every cast member will congratulate you. Also a lot of guests.
  • There are an awful lot of cool things in small details. Often in unexpected places.
Found in Animal Kingdom.
  • Given enough time, budget, and (obviously) loads of gingerbread, a multi-story 60% scale gingerbread house is possible.
Not allowed to get close enough to sample, you’ll notice.
  • You can be sitting at dinner, trying to decide on whether to get seconds from the buffet, and characters wander by your table.
We got Mickey, Minnie, Daisy, and Goofy. No Donald. Sorry, Clay!
  • If I never see another idiot personal bubble machine, I will be very, very happy.
  • On proofing this story, my wife revealed that she thought the bubble machines were really cute, and she wishes she’d gotten one. So for my next things-I-have-learned article…



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Jack Herlocker

Jack Herlocker

Husband & retiree. Developer, tech writer, & IT geek. I fill what’s empty, empty what’s full, and scratch where it itches. Occasionally do weird & goofy things.