Be a Disney Nerd at Any Age
by Marianne Paluso (@Marianne_P81)
For me, and I am sure countless others, being a Disney Nerd is as easy as breathing. Growing up during Disney’s second renaissance in animation (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, etc.) and taking yearly (sometimes monthly) trips to Disneyland, my Dis-nerdiness has pretty much been ingrained in me since birth. Fellow nerds no doubt share the same mindset—that being a fully-fledged Disney Nerd is about encapsulating that special Disney magic into our lives whenever possible, from what we watch, to what we wear, and even our philosophy on life. Being Disney nerd is easy. I grew up one, but you are never too young or too old to become one. Here are some ways to create or increase your Disney nerdiness:
Remember the Past
No one can deny there have been some amazing films and attractions added to the Disney Parks in recent years. But before Ariel swam into our hearts or Storm troopers invaded Tommorowland, Disney produced a cavalcade of delightful films and shows. Classics like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Pinocchio are staples for any Disney fan, but do not forget the second tier titles which are just as good, such as Lady and the Tramp and Robin Hood. I also have always had a soft spot for the musical short compilations from the 1940s: Make Mine Music and Melody Time. Speaking of shorts, Disney’s seemingly endless list of animated shorts should be at the top of any Disney’s nerd watch list. Many can be found on YouTube, and you can purchase a great many on the Walt Disney Treasures series. These a little hard to find today, but it’s not impossible. Some of my favorites are the Goofy sports cartoons, especially “Hockey Homicide” and “How to Play Baseball,” the Mickey, Goofy and Donald classic “Lonesome Ghosts,” and just about anything with Chip and Dale.
Remember there is more to Disney than animation
Most people automatically associate Disney with animation, but do not forget their live-action films. Although they are not all created equally, many, especially some of the lesser known ones are definitely worth a look. No doubt most Disney nerds know and love the Pirates of the Caribbean films and Mary Poppins. Let us not forget The Parent Trap (the original and superior one), That Darn Cat, Swiss Family Robinson, Wild Hearts can’t be Broken, Shipwrecked, and many more.
Brush up on your Disney trivia
Fun facts are out there and easily obtained. Read a few books, watch few episodes of the classic Disneyland television show and you’ll be able to impress your friends with your vast Disney knowledge. A cool little tidbit I always like to share is about the New Orleans Square Train Station in Disneyland. If you listen closely you can hear the taps from a telegraph. The message you’re hearing is actually Walt Disney’s opening day speech from July 17, 1955. Even the biggest Disney Nerds many not know that.
Visit a Disney Park
I know we all cannot be so lucky to live in close proximity or have the means to visit a Disney Park. But if you can, the experience is priceless. Whether it is the park in Anaheim, Orlando, Tokyo, Paris, or Hong Kong, the memories you make and that special kind of Disney magic are irreplaceable. And when you do make that trip, do not forget to bring along a camera. Disney Parks showcase by far some of the most beautiful and eclectic visuals in the world. Where else can you see a street reminiscent of the turn of the last century, a fairy tale castle, and African jungle in the same place?
Show off your Disney love
Whether it is a t-shirt, a hat, a snow globe, or a Christmas ornament, there is no shortage of ways to display you love for all things Disney, both in your wardrobe and your home. And there is no one way to do so. Do whatever makes you happy. I adore some of the more subtle touches, such as a Disney figurine. My favorites are from artist Jim Shore. They are beautiful and affordable.
Embrace Your Inner Child
There will always be naysayers that tell you that Disney is just for kids. I say, ignore them. Or better yet, prove them wrong. Remember there is a difference between being childish and childlike. The truest Disney nerd matures, but never loses their inner child. We still proudly wear that Mickey Mouse sweatshirt, sing along with the music, and spin in a giant sizes pastel-colored teacup with as much glee as ever.
Walt Disney never lost sight of the fact that many of us long for the simplicity of happy films, happy places, and happy times. If you love Disney, embrace it whole heartedly, and show it off. When you do, you will be a true Dis-Nerd.
Photo Credit: Disney Grandpa on Flickr