In all aspects of life, there are certain milestones, or rites of passage. Being a fan and frequent visitor of Walt Disney World is no different.
These are things that all (or most) longtime fans have done at least once. These aren’t necessarily things that you would have to do on each pilgrimage to the motherland, but these are things that you haven’t earned your “fan card” until you have done.
Not everyone’s list is going to be the same, but it is a fair bet that a good number of the ones below are on a majority of people’s lists.
There are some rides and attractions at the parks that are so iconic that you really can’t call yourself a fan until you have ridden them. Some for the history, others for the technology, some others, just because.
Two of these were opening day attractions, with the third added shortly after opening due to popular demand. For me, it isn’t isn’t a trip to the Magic Kingdom unless I have been on all three rides.
Other rites (or rides) of passage include Dumbo and the three mountains.
I’ll start with the obvious, can you really say you went to Walt Disney World if you don’t eat something Mickey shaped? Be it ice cream (either bar or my preference, the sandwich), pretzel or waffle.
Other honorable mentions go to the Dole Whip, turkey legs, and popcorn (preferably out of a refillable bucket).
Ride the Monorail Likely, this is one of the first things that many visitors will do. Before you do, you will be reminded to “Por favor, mantengase alejado de las puertas.”
Stay on property What says “Disney vacation” more than staying on property? I know going to Disney isn’t cheap and many families can’t afford to spend a week in the Grand Floridian or have an theme park view from the Contemporary, but letting yourself get immersed in the “Disney Bubble” can make it a trip you and your family will never forget. Let our friends at Dreams Unlimited Travel show you how you can do it.
Start a collection Every Disney fan has a collection of something. It could be pins, spirit jerseys, ears, coffee mugs, popcorn buckets, dated merchandise, or any number of things.
Watch a parade or fireworks show. Of course, this one may or may not ever be a thing again, but we can always hope.
Saving the best for last. Of course the most important rite of passage for a Disney fan has to be meeting Mickey Mouse. It could be in his formal attire “backstage” at the Town Square Theater, or in his safari get-up at the Adventurers Outpost or as a sorcerer at Red Carpet Dreams. Or it could be in any of his other outfits at any of the character dining experiences. Given the state of the World today, this could be different going forward.
Did I miss any? What are things that have to be done before you can call yourself a true Disney Parks fan?