Close Encounters of the Celebrity Kind at Disneyland


If you hang out at Disneyland on multiple days of the year, there’s a really good chance you’ve had a close encounter with a celebrity. They’re relatively easily spotted, just look for the famous plaid of Disneyland’s guest relations tour escorts and there is bound to be someone important nearby. The escort is there because the risk of a disruption without the plaid to run interference is too great. If they back door an occasional attraction, that’s in the name of safety too.

Here’s a short list of some of the celebrity encounters I had during my time hanging out at Disneyland:

I was followed around Disneyland by Marie Osmond on two different visits (every attraction we went on, she was either debarking from or riding right after us). Saw Michael Jackson in the park at least four times (one day he rode Matterhorn in a car behind me (an empty car was between us)). I saw tons of celebs on Indiana Jones Adventure media day. That day, I was waiting on the curb for the parade when Superman (the Dean Cain incarnation) stepped on my leg as he left the street.

Later, I saw Carrie Fisher (whom my wife pointed at and said “that looks like Princess Leia’s Mom” (she did)) and Meg Ryan dining with their families at Club 33. Poor Meg looked like a drowned rat after getting soaked on some attraction. Lorenzo Lamas came with his son a lot. John Stamos, who famously bought the Disneyland letters from the 80s era marquee (we owned the Castle from the top of the Marquee for a while), is a big lover of the park. I’ve also seen him at Give Kids The World where he volunteers to make magic for some of the guests from time to time.

Disneyland itself often distributes pictures of celebrities in the parks (see Chris Colfer from Glee above), usually for some sort of cross-promotion. My standing policy is that if the celebrity is there for an event as an invited guest, then it’s okay to take photos even ask for an autograph. But if they’re just there to enjoy the park, then I leave them alone, no photos. Although if I get the opportunity, I will tell them how much I enjoy their work. That’s if the plaids let me get close enough.

While I don’t write about any of these particular encounters in my new book Dispatch from Disneyland, there are many stories that will make you laugh or cry, maybe will teach you a thing or two, but mostly it will make you wish you were at Disneyland. Order today from I thank you for your support.

2 thoughts on “Close Encounters of the Celebrity Kind at Disneyland”

  1. I’ve had an opportunity to come across several different celebrities at Disneyland. I generally will not stop a celebrity who is on the move, but, I have asked if I could get a picture with a few celebrities who I’ve seen just standing there or who seem to be appreciative of fans coming up to them. For example, there was one time I happened to pass very closely by Tom and Suri Cruise. They had lots of cast members and security people around them, so I wasn’t about to approach them.

    But, there are many others where I happened to be in the right place at the right time. One time, I was coming off of Big Thunder Mountain and as I exited, people were taking pictures with Rob Reiner. So, I asked to get a photo as well and he was very nice about it. I also happened to be standing next to Teri Hatcher who was waiting for her guide to get something. I asked her if I could take a picture with her and she kindly obliged. Also, one time, my friends and I were walking and we could have sworn this guy was Casper Van Dien. Finally, after constantly running into him, I decided to just ask so we could stop wondering. And, it was him. He was very appreciative that we recognized him. The same went for Ken Jeong who was, perhaps, the nicest of the celebrities I met at Disneyland. You could tell he really appreciated his fans. And, back when “GLEE” was in its first season, I happened across Chris Colfer, Jenna Ushkowitz and Kevin McHale standing at the valet at the Grand Californian. They were nice enough to let me get a photo.

    I also happened to be in the right place and right time where I got a photo with Alyson Stoner (voice of Isabella on “Phineas & Ferb”) with Mickey Mouse. And, finally, while waiting for Candlelight one year when Jon Voight was narrator, he came out to greet people waiting. I happened to be wearing a Minnie Santa Hat and he said he liked my hat and called me “one dangerous man.” LOL!

    Anyway, I find if you’re nice and respectful and try not to take up too much of their time, all the celebrities I’ve met have been very nice. But, you can usually tell who don’t want to get their photos taken. There was one time that I was taking a picture of my nephews coming off of Autopia and this guy started screaming at me, telling me I was rude for taking pictures of his girlfriend. Well, it turned out my nephews were right behind Heidi Klum and I had no idea she was there. I showed him my photos of my nephew to show I wasn’t trying to be the Paparazzi. Although, truth be told, after that, I lost respect for Heidi Klum. I think that the privacy of celebrities should be respected, especially for those who want to be private, but if you’re coming to such a public institution, it would behoove a celebrity not to jump the gun and start attacking anybody with a camera pointing in their direction because they are likely standing by somebody who’s memories you want to capture in photos.

  2. Pingback: Kaley Cuoco and Ryan Sweeting Spend Valentine’s Day at Disneyland | The Disney Blog

Comments are closed.