"Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things...and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."
---Walter Elias Disney

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Refuting The 13 (now apparently 14) Reasons Not To Go To Disney, Part 6

So I'm happily looking at my Facebook newsfeed the other day and one of those "Sponsored" things is up there. It's from a site called Viral Travel (which sounds like a bad idea on the face of it) and is entitled 13 Reasons Not To Go To Disney. Of course I bite. Sue me. So its about what I expect, the same things we Disney fans expect from you non-Disney fans-- crowds, expense, capitalism, yadda yadda yadda. The thing is, many of these criticisms are true to a large extent, but avoidable. I hate to see people get spoiled on the Disney I love because they go about the whole experience unprepared logistically or mentally for the realities of the place. I figured just for kicks to take the 13 reasons one by one (or two by two) and try to explain why they don't keep ME from the Magic. This part four, part one is here, two here, three here, four here and five here.

5. The Mouse Ears And Other Hats Are Embarrassing

Even though it’s a tradition, the little mouse ears sold at the park are embarrassing, not only to wear but to also see others wearing. If you have not been to a Disney resort in a while, you will be amazed at how many different kinds of mouse ears are available to buy.

There are pirate mouse ears, ears that are themed for weddings, glow-in-the-dark ears, light-up ears, and even Jack Skellington mouse ears. Pretty much any tacky design you can think of that has anything to do with Disney has been used to make a special set of mouse ears.

Even worse, people wear the ears in the park like they are a badge of honor, just like that story about the emperor’s snazzy new clothes everyone obviously could see. Of course, if you don’t want to wear a set of ridiculous mouse ears, you can put on a Goofy or Peter Pan hat like you’re a hyperactive five year-old instead of a respectable adult.

The worst part is if you are unfortunate to have your picture taken while wearing the mouse ears, that picture might make its way onto social media for all of your friends to ridicule.

This one is personal. I like hats. I like funny hats, odd hats, unusual hats. I am a very responsible adult, I dare say possibly more responsible than a guy writing for a fly-by-night travel blog for a living. Just perhaps. I wear funny hats at Disney. I don't wear Mouse Ears because they tend to fall off my head, but I have a plaid Santa hat with mouse ears on it. I have a ridiculous safari hat. One of the things I was looking forward to on our last trip was buying a safari hat with mouse ears on it, but I was unable to find one. I was sad.

Safari Hat, sadly no Ears

If you are embarrassed at seeing other adults in funny hats, you need to forgo your Disney vacation and spend that money on therapy. Really, you'll thank me later.

As for being embarrassed to wear a silly hat in the parks yourself, that's a little  bit of a different matter. We are socialized to be safe, socially, to fit in and not do anything to stand out. We are taught to be Team Players in the best sense and drones in the collective in the worst. Certainly we need to conform to basic norms for society to function and for groups within that society to efficiently do what they need to do. Wearing Mickey Ears to your job might be a bad idea. But Disney isn't work, it's a fantasy land, a play world, a stage for showing off parts of yourself that wouldn't be easy or safe to display in the real world. That's what all those people in the Mickey Ears get that this writer misses. They (we) are having FUN, we are being silly in a place where silliness is celebrated.If that offends you, I feel really sorry for you.
Mouse Ears Santa Hat

But I'm a firm believer in carrying that freedom to be silly sometimes outside the parks. Disney has turned it into a marketing campaign with their whole Show Your Disney Side thing, but I have been a proponent of sometimes not running with the crowd for years. I wear my Mickey Ears Santa hat around a lot, to parties, parades, even work. I have a Goofy shirt that is just plain goofy. I'll dress up in odd cloths with the smallest of excuses. It's liberating, really, to simply not care what people say about you on social media or anywhere else. It's not your friends making fun, anyone who is isn't a friend and why should his or her opinion matter? Worried your boss might see? Ever stop to think that your boss may be your boss and not a drone him or herself because maybe he or she isn't an in-the-box thinker? Successful people break molds, they go outside the normal. Live a little. If it starts with a Mickey Ear hat on vacation, all the better. You might just bring some of that silliness home with you and find out that often silliness is simply another word for creativity and imagination. And those are the things that open doors.

I wore this get-up to a birthday party for our friends' son. It was Renaissance themed, so why not? The mom and dad were also dressed up and also my lovely wife.  I got the stink-eye the whole time from the Cool Kids, but really, who cares?  Life's just too short :-)

1 comment:

  1. For me it's all about being a Princess, so of course I wear a tiara. I was always one of those in-the-box kind of people but life with Jeffrey is bringing me out of that little by little. I even wear my tiara all the way down to DIsney, gas stations in Georgia and all.