It starts out innocently enough. Someone pops in the Mary Poppins DVD, or gives you their duplicate Vinylmation. Before you know you it, your pin collection has taken over your closet and you can name all of Ariel’s sisters in under thirty seconds. It’s okay, we understand. You’ve become a Disney superfan. Here’s how it happened…
Stage 1: The Glamour
Maybe it’s the first time you walk through the gates of a Disney park, or the moment you hear “When You Wish Upon a Star” for the first time. You are now introduced to Disney, there’s a glimmer in your eye, a bounce in your step. The world is happier. You could get used to this.
Stage 2: The Shallow Step
You begin casually following Disney on Facebook, you glance at a book about Walt. You watch at least one Princess movie and probably Pirates of the Caribbean. You get your fist vinyl. You’re testing the Disney waters.
Stage 3: The Decider
It’s make it or break it time. You have to find out if this Disney fandom thing is really for you. (Spoiler alert: it is.) The test? You go on it’s a small world three times in a row and then go home and have a Disney movie marathon while making, and subsequently eating, a giant Mickey rice krispie treat. It’s a smashing success.
Stage 4: The Deep Dive
You buy an annual pass to the park, start collecting pins, vinylmation, and everything Mickey. You know where your favorite character is going to be, and what time they’re going to be there. You have identical poses. You’ve reached the point of no return. Just embrace it.
Stage 5: The Aficionado
You’re no longer a casual fan. Your love of Disney runs deep. We mean like, pretty much all-the- way-to-your-soul deep. You have made it your mission to become an expert on all things Disney. What year was Walt born? (1901) What was the first feature-length animated movie? (Snow White) You get a dog because the dog has a hidden mickey in its fur. That pretty much says it all.
Stage 6: The Converter
Merely being a Disney fan is no longer enough. You feel an overwhelming need to share your love of all things Disney with everyone and anyone, be they close friends or total strangers. You wear Disney couture jewelry, you search the internet for GIFs from your favorite movie moments while you should be working. You love Disney and you need everyone around you to love it too. (This isn’t too hard, cause let’s face it, Disney is pretty awesome.)
Stage 7: The Unabashed Geek
This is the stage where you really declare to the world that you’re a Disney superfan. You start wearing Disney couture clothing (that you totally bought in the Park or Downtown Disney). You coordinate your outfits with your favorite characters. The license plate on your car is most likely Disney-related, and you definitely have a Mickey antenna ball. You’re loud, you’re proud, you love Disney, everyone else can get used to it.
Stage 8: The Superfan
The journey is now complete. Not only can you recite most of the animated movies by heart, from start to finish, you also have a favorite Disney animator, a favorite Disney composer, even a favorite Disney producer (like say, living legend Don Hahn). You know the Parks like the back of your hand. You believe you and Walt would’ve totally been friends. Your collections are taking over your house. You dream of being a member of Club 33. You are a member of D23. You, friend, are a Disney superfan. Welcome to the club.