The love is strong with us Disney Parks fans, and for many of us, the Disney experience is no longer a vacation, but a lifestyle. We absorb Disney knowledge and anecdotes in sponge-like quantities and believe that the magic of Disney can spill over into your everyday life – if you let it.
After all of your travels, research, and YouTube viewing, here are ten signs that you’ve reached Disney Pro Level.
You haven’t touched a map in years
With the exception of the Star Wars: Galaxys Edge novelty, it’s likely that you have not held a map in many, many years. You’ve memorized the ins and outs of the parks like the back of your proverbial hand, and your friends and family now consider you to be the map; able to embody all the same information, with the personal touches of a private tour guide.
A cast member recognizes you
Cast members at Disney come into close contact with millions of people every year, so it would be reasonably extraordinary to have one know you as a return guest on a regular occasion. Do you have that one acquaintance that you always look for in the boutique? Perhaps someone from the musical group that has greeted guests in the lobby for years that gives you that all-knowing look of, ‘you’re back!’. If a cast member remembers you from a previous occasion, that is undoubtedly a sign that you are a Disney Pro. Let’s just hope they remember you for a positive reason!
You know all the words
While we wait to board some of our favorite classic attractions, there is often a short monologue or quote that you’ve come to know and love. From Hollywood Studios’ Tower of Terror to Magic Kingdom’s Haunted Mansion, every word is ingrained into your recollection and can be called upon at any time with 100% accuracy. You have gone through all of the phases of reciting them at the same time as the recording, realizing how annoying it is for other people, and you’ve subsequently stopped doing it. Your process has come full circle, and you now appreciate the familiarity in silence.
You don’t need online planning tools
Either you’ve perfected the art of self-planning, or no longer crave the full control of managing your trip, instead handing over the reins to the likes of a Dreams Unlimited Travel agent. One way or another, you don’t need a calculator to tell you when your reservations and FastPasses are available. The Disney Math is ingrained into your being, and you can work out what happens when without thinking twice.
You know that you don’t have to stay together to have fun
Once you have been around the Disney block a few times, you might find that a new way of doing things has its advantages. If you are splitting up to cover your chosen attractions faster or ditching the regular line to fly solo in the single rider line, you know you’ve reached Disney Pro level. While there might be a few rides that are better together, you don’t need to be holding hands to enjoy your must-do’s of Disney.
You’ve learned not to eat in the line for a thrill ride
Have you ever noticed the family ahead of you consuming their rich, indulgent ice cream in the line for the Incredicoaster, only to see them again at the other end looking a little green? Sure, it’s a great way to pass the time, but generally, a yummy treat in the queuing area for a rollercoaster or thrill ride can be a mistake.
You’ve got a preferred room
I’m not talking about a preferred room as in the building closer to the lobby, I’m talking about when you’ve been to Disney and stayed in the resorts so many times that you have a resort room that you personally prefer to stay in, and you request that specific room number upon booking.
You struggle to find any merchandise you don’t already own
Have you ever come home with a keychain or a t-shirt only to realize you also picked that up on your last trip? Other than an annual ornament that is marked with the new year, it might be hard for you to find anything to bring home that you don’t already have.
Oven mitts, check. Cookie cutters, check. Darth Vader voice changer, check. Looking for next-level professional status? You have trouble finding anything to buy your friends and family as gifts that you didn’t already get them, too.
You know your table placement
When making dining reservations, most of us don’t think about where we will be sitting in the restaurant, but Disney Pro Level means you are always thinking a few steps ahead. If you have ever made a table request knowing exactly which one has the perfect view or flawlessly accommodates your family, you might be headed for Pro status.
You know what you want, and aren’t afraid to ask for it.
You’re fluent in Disney Spanish
If you’ve been on the rides so many times that you have learned all the warnings in English, that is impressive. But, if you want to hit Pro Level, up your game by learning all of the Spanish translations as well. I’m not just talking about the standard ‘Un momento, por favor’ on the monorail, but the actual ‘please keep your hands, arms, and legs inside the vehicle at all times’ individual safety notices of each attraction. It is much harder than you think.
Now, this one doesn’t count if you are already clever enough to speak Spanish as your second language; however, if you aren’t fluent in the world’s fourth most spoken language, then it definitely applies. If Spanish is your first language, and you have learned all of the English translations, you earn this badge as well!
You know your history
If most of your Disney education has been absorbed through experiencing the parks, you may not qualify for this next one. Park knowledge that you can see and feel is one thing, but going home and researching the history of the place you love so much is quite another.
If your love of the parks extends back into your home life, you may find yourself watching Imagineering documentaries and reading Walt Disney biographies. Eventually, you will know everything from which fruit trees once grew where Disneyland sits today to what year each park began construction. A real Disney Pro knows their roots, and loves all facets of the place and its history.
If a few of those sound familiar, there is a good chance that you’re a seasoned Disney professional. Are you still working on your Pro credits? No worries at all, the training is all part of the fun.
Oh, and those trees? They were orange and walnut.
Zoë Wood is a travel writer from Sydney, Australia. Since her first visit to Disneyland at the age of 6, she has spent her years frequently visiting Disney Parks and traveling around the world.
Join Zoë as she lets you in on all the tips, tricks, anecdotes, and embarrassments that arise from her family adventures.