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Is addiction to Disney theme parks an actual thing? If so, I have it.

My name is John and I am addicted to Disney theme parks.

I imagine many of the people reading this blog could type that sentence and it would be true. Those who love to visit Disney’s theme parks often drop thousands of dollars a year on our passion, money those who don’t get Disney think we could be spending on other things.

Is being a big Disney fan healthy? That’s the question one columnist, and fellow Disney fan, tries to answer in the LA Times. Reading his column, we share many of the same behaviors and motivations.

The author interviews Disney Imagineering legend Marty Sklar who offers the theory of his fellow Imagineer John Hench.

“John Hench used to say that Disneyland was reassuring,” Sklar said. “You could speak to a stranger. You feel safe. You know you’re going to be respected. Everything is clean. It’s an example that you take back to your own community. ‘Why can’t it be like this? Why can’t we treat people like we get treated at the Disney parks? Why can’t our streets be as clean as it is at Disney?’

It’s reassuring because you know things work.”

I think that comes close to why I go, but it’s not it exactly. It definitely has something to do with how the world is created down to the finest detail to tell a story. I think that taps into something in me that craves not just a good story, but my desire to be a part of one.

It’s the same reason I like big screen movies that suck you in or stage entertainment that transports you to another place. Disney theme park fans who try the Disney Cruise Line often report that it’s like the theme parks, but better. Could that be because you’re literally transported away from the world?

What explains your love of Disney’s parks? Can you sum it up in a couple sentences?

10 thoughts on “Is addiction to Disney theme parks an actual thing? If so, I have it.”

  1. I love the smell of POTC, the smells of Main Street, childrens faces when they see Mickey/Minnie, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Disneyland, California Adventures – EVERYTHING!

  2. We go to WDW three times a year (would go all the time if we lived there). We feel safe and away from the world’s problems. That, and our autistic son (he’s 21 now) relates the parks to the Disney shows and movies he watches over and over.

  3. I definitely do…and more so now than when I was younger. I am 53 and have my first season pass and can’t wait till my next visit. I smile from the moment I arrive and my cheeks hurt from smiling all day. I chat with the little tykes in line and love every minute of their joy and mine. I think I am happier now than I ever was in my marriage and Disneyland still is the happiest place on earth!

  4. Being from the UK we’re a lot further away than some, but it almost makes it even better to return whenever I can. Last year I took my partner for the first time (and by her own admission, she wasn’t quite looking forward to it as much as I was!)

    But by the very first night, she ‘got it’. She loved our resort – Port Orleans Riverside – she felt at “home”, she appreciated the cast members, their friendliness and willingness to help. The cleanliness of every aspect of the resort, even down to the Mousekeeping. Of course, I knew all of this, but it’s difficult to relay how special Disney makes you feel.

    You feel included, a part of something bigger (that isn’t a necessarily a corporate machine at all times) – there’s something here that you don’t get where we come from. All this before we’ve even entered a park!

    I could wax lyrical into the wee hours about Disneyworld. But maybe I’ll leave that until after our next trip, which is currently planned for next year! The magic is real.

  5. Jamie Christensen

    For me Disney World is an escape from reality and the stress of life. My husband and I vacation at Disney World annually.

  6. There’s so many things in life that people can obsess over. Some are good, some are bad. Being a Disney Parks addict certainly isn’t bad (except for maybe your wallet).
    But it’s just money.
    Life’s short, do things that make you happy.

  7. Our life is not an easy one with a lot of family drama…but for 5 days every year when my husband and I go to Disney World I am happy. Truly care-free happy unlike the rest of the year. I don’t have to plan, cook or clean-up a meal…I eat wonderful foods I don’t get all year (and bring on the Mickey pops!!!!!) someone else makes my bed and cleans the bathroom…I get to do things that are full of joy. We don’t have to listen to news about politics, murders, ISIS or other sadness. The cast members make you feel welcomed and happy. And then there are the Christmas decorations….we spend the holidays alone so this is our Christmas celebration…..early in December. So, yes…if that is being an addict…I am. We plan…look forward to and enjoy this trip all year. I dread the day when we can no longer afford to fly there.

  8. I too let go and become my inner child. Leaving drama, medical issues problems at the entrance. Disney allows us do this. If that’s addiction then I’m in the club and proud of it. We go three a year as well.

  9. My family is pretty addicted. It started with my parents taking us about once or twice a month when I was a teen. When I moved in with my husband and got married we lived in Winter Park and he was a maintenance supervisor at AMC. So we were there a lot. Currently we live about 2 hours away now and the grandparents go a few times a year and my husband and our kids go 4-6 times a year. Its an emotional addiction for us bringing up past family memories as we keep making more. I would like to say its a hobby however when we go about a month or two we start to get cranky, listen to Disney music constantly and basically start to feel like you’re going through a withdrawl. So yes I think it can be an addiction _ a_ costly addiction even when you stay only 1 or 2 nights at a time_ still_ pricey. haha

  10. I have been addicted since the 60’s watching the wonderful world of color at 7pm every Sunday night. tinkerbell would come on and spread fairy dust in color. color tv was a big thing in the 60’s. my first color show was disney. now I can afford the DVC and go two to three times a year. people think I am nuts but it is soooo relaxing to get away from the real world and be 10 years old again. the minute I get home from a trip I start planning the next one.

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