Our Disney Bubble is bursting. We always talk about the Disney Bubble, the fantastic fantasy of being within Disney walls and escaping the outer world around us. But lately, I am feeling this bubble has popped, or perhaps for some of you, deflating. Are you feeling it too?
Now, this may not necessarily be bad; it may just mean I am more’ eyes wide open’ as a guest at Disney Parks & Resorts. Let’s explore that ‘bubble’ and where it’s floating for you and me lately. Is it soaring or deflating?
I always felt that I was in a floating bubble when I vacationed at a Disney destination. I felt safe, loved, and happy. After all, it’s my happy place, and I drank the kool-aid. I would vacation and forget the world outside, coining the “Disney Bubble” term because it feels like the guest is enveloped in community, a shared free, falling, soulful experience.
Fun, happiness, connections, and memories are being made within the bubble of pure joy and life. It filled my family’s essence, spirit, and warmth. It re-energized my family’s heartbeat.
Bubbles are fragile. They are affected by anything that can puncture it. For me, the bubble started to create tension from the outside world; it began a few years back, before the pandemic. Stories about fights within the Disney parks grew. Online shaming, violent brawls, and Cast Member bullying began the deterioration of the smoke and mirrors imagery of the Disney bubble that I relied on. Maybe it even started before 9/11, the emergence of tight security.
Being within Disney parks and seeing these instances here or there. The decades of stricter security measures reminded me that the hate in the world was seeping into Disney ‘land’ and ‘world’ and infiltrating that euphoric utopia.
And so it goes. Fast forward. I am listening to recent reports about politics affecting the Cast Members and Disney leadership relationship, the effects of Bob Chapek’s leadership affecting all Parks and Resorts, and money, always money shaping the experience. How will this affect my vacation in the parks as a guest?
We see this now, slowly eroding the guest experience, the bubble hissing. Will business and divisiveness create rancor on Main Street, U.S.A.? I still see the good, but I am much more realistic about the outer world affecting my vacation, and I am questioning where my place is in it.
I can say the bubble imagery has burst; I can’t be in denial. Perhaps my bubble is deflating, and it can be repaired, reinflated, and thrive. I will go to Disney, I love Disney, but I won’t feel protected as if they are a mother defending their cub. It was smoke and mirrors that I probably bought into or created in my fantasy world, my vacation mode mentality.
Right now, there is no mother protecting her cub, escapism, or fantasy thinking, because that’s just not possible anymore. Perhaps there are fleeting moments of it. We are in a new world.
I will be happy at Disney, I will enjoy my vacation, and I will make memories, but I will no longer view it as a Disney bubble because maybe….it just never was.
Shari Kessler loves the Disunplugged and all things Disney. She has imparted her passion for the parks along with her husband of more than 25 years to their three young adult children. Their family vacations have included Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line and Aulani but their home base is Walt Disney World as she resides from New Jersey. Shari also loves her cats Ricky and Lucy(RIP Lucy 2021). As a former early childhood educator she is now assisting at an animal hospital in NYC. She enjoys the Disunplugged community and hopes her articles connect with the Dis family.
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Thanks for reading!