Revisiting Disney Fanaticism

A few months back, I wrote about some of the world of Disney fanaticism. I had kind of forgotten about it for a while, but was reminded of the world when I not only saw lots of people from back home posting about going to Disneyland (all this weekend, mind you), but also stumbled upon Youtube channels dedicated to analyzing different things about Disney, namely DisneyDan.

I decided to watch some of these videos, particularly the evolution of different character portrayals in Disney parks, and felt very strange. Maybe it’s because of the level of detailed analysis that these people go into (these videos could be 30 minutes or longer). Or perhaps it’s from the fact that almost every time, these people will mention seeing all the performances that the character participates in that they could, plus going to multiple meet-and-greets for that character.

The videos surprised me, and spurred me into researching more Disney fanaticism, namely through looking at fan merchandising. It wasn’t hard to stumble upon a treasure trove. Mickey Mouse ears were everywhere, with so many different themes that it was impossible to find an end. There were also limited edition plushies, clothes, posters, art, just about anything that wasn’t a Disney park itself.

I was surprised by the creativity put into making some of the products (namely the Mickey ears-someone made Dolewhip themed ones), but not at all surprised by the quantity of items to get. I know how far fanaticism can go, although even now it’s still hard to comprehend. I’m fine with getting the occasional plush, and going to Disneyland about once a year; when I see these people go all-in I wonder where their supply of spending money comes from. Disney is expensive.

But let’s revisit the videos I watched, for a second. They’re tied to the money thing, as these Disney analysts almost always mention going out to Disney on Ice, or seeing all the different shows within the Disney park-all that adds up. The amount of personal research (plus, all the Disney history they go into to get a fully fleshed-out story line, is honestly quite impressive. I mean, it’s an interesting topic, but I’m not quite sure I’d be willing to go as much into detail as some of these people. It got me wondering what kind of people they were, centered around their intense attachment to Disney. How much merch did they have, did they have annual passes, do they work for Disney. So many questions run through my mind, ones that I don’t really know if I want to find the answer to. For me, it’s better to appreciate from afar in this kind of situation

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