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  • When does a Disney hobby become an addiction?

    At least once a year, I see a post or a forum of people that say that either Disney has been going in a direction they don't like or have been priced out as the reason they want to stop being an annual passholders. I can see their point both ways, but I never see a decrease in numbers. If anything, Disneyland and WDW seem to have gotten more crowded even in the off season. Don't get me wrong, I happen to be a person whose willing to deal with the crowds to continue going and embracing the ambiance.

    Like a lot of people however, I kept finding myself disillusioned with what I was given by Disney from movies to new attractions. I had talked about stopping my AP, but I kept coming back. I didn't know why, but I held on for a while, still nostalgic for the classic days of the parks where things were not overrun with IP attractions dominationg and the parks more as a niche hobby then what it is now. Perhaps I was living in a dreamland or refusing to accept the passage of time, but its strange to be angry at something and still kept doing it.

    Now that the park has been closed since March, i noticed a couple of things. First I kept looking at the news and social media hoping for news that the parks would reopen soon. When that didn't happen, I kept watching attractions and shows via Youtube. The longer I went without going, the more disgruntled and irritated I was becoming.

    Now that we're in the September timeframe, once the anger had passed through, I suddenly found more time for other activities like gaming and writing. I also found that I'm not listening or watching as much Disney stuff as I did before. Yes I have a Disney+ subscription and might even play an attraction audio in the care, I don't have the hankering that I did earlier this year.

    I realized that I needed this quarantine to make me realize that I couldn't leave was because I had an addiction... an addiction to Disney. I had been filling part of my emptiness with Disney almost like how one fills their emptiness with religion or politics. Regardless, I do find myself happier that I'm not as stressed to continuously go to the parks. I don't plan on renewing my pass and may only go once during the Christmas time season when the parks do open.

    I don't know what line needs be drawn when a hobby becomes an addiction, but I do feel like a lot of people cannot leave the parks because its something of an addiction they can't break. If you personally like whats going on and want to continue, then I'm not going to stop one from indulging in their passion.

    Does anyone else think a lot of reason we have a ton of pass holders is because it's an addiction?

  • #2
    Great post, RforFilm.

    Not to get all psych-geek, but I suspect that what grabs us as hardcore Disneyland fans, connoisseurs and critics isn't a behavioral addiction in the DSM-5 sense, rather varying forms (and extremes) of love, which we manifest in response to the story archetypes that are at the core of Disneyland (i.e., "The Magic").

    Quite simply, we get smitten. Bowled over. Gob-stopped. We fall in love.

    The emotional relationship with the place that proceeds from our First Infatuation can parallel a love relationship with a person. It can be a brief affair or last a lifetime -- with all its highs and lows, euphoria and disappointments, sappiness and sophistication, gratification and rejection, enmeshment and estrangement, divorce and remarriage.

    Regardless of how many boneheaded moves modern management makes, they can't disguise the original core of Disneyland: An immersive environment created by a gifted, skilled, well-coordinated team of filmmakers -- master mythologists -- whose passionate work tells us stories about our hopes, dreams and fears, and kindles our passion in return.
    "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
    it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
    together with every variety of recreation and fun,
    designed to appeal to everyone."

    - Walt Disney

    "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
    - Michael Eisner

    "It's very symbiotic."
    - Bob Chapek

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
      Great post, RforFilm.

      Not to get all psych-geek, but I suspect that what grabs us as hardcore Disneyland fans, connoisseurs and critics isn't a behavioral addiction in the DSM-5 sense, rather varying forms (and extremes) of love, which we manifest in response to the story archetypes that are at the core of Disneyland (i.e., "The Magic").

      Quite simply, we get smitten. Bowled over. Gob-stopped. We fall in love.

      The emotional relationship with the place that proceeds from our First Infatuation can parallel a love relationship with a person. It can be a brief affair or last a lifetime -- with all its highs and lows, euphoria and disappointments, sappiness and sophistication, gratification and rejection, enmeshment and estrangement, divorce and remarriage.

      Regardless of how many boneheaded moves modern management makes, they can't disguise the original core of Disneyland: An immersive environment created by a gifted, skilled, well-coordinated team of filmmakers -- master mythologists -- whose passionate work tells us stories about our hopes, dreams and fears, and kindles our passion in return.
      Geeeee
      That was Great how to express a Disney Fan .......
      That a BINGO!
      Soaring like an EAGLE !

      Comment


      • #4
        Well glad you got that hobby and that of in the trying to get that of in the Disney fan. As really nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all.

        Comment


        • #5
          As with anything, the difference between healthy and unhealthy is really all about how it impacts the individual.

          Are Disney park trips causing somebody to go seriously into debt? Are they having issues with personal relationships that in one way or another conflict with park visits/priorities? If the answer to any of those is yes, then it’s probably unhealthy. Otherwise, I’d say it’s a perfectly healthy thing to enjoy.

          I for one believe that there is nothing inherently wrong with enjoying/loving the Disney park experience and making it a priority (one of the many) in my life. For those of us that don’t live relatively close to the park, it falls into a slightly different category than those of you that live in the LA metro area. Vacations and trips away from a Home are for many a chance to recharge and experience a little different flavor in life compared to the normal day to day experience. Some people go camping, some people go to casinos, we go to Disneyland. A trip to the parks recharges me. It allows me to drop the usual adult priorities and just enjoy having fun. It’s a joyful experience and I see no harm in my life because of it.

          I grew up with Disneyland vacations, and my kids have grown up with trips too. It’s more than just nostalgia, it’s a family tradition that has passed from my parents, to me and then my kids. I suspect they will someday bring their kids as well (if not, future Grandpa most certainly will. Lol).

          I also have other interests separate from the parks which I regularly engage in. For me, I think that’s how I accept that my love for the parks is not crossing any lines.
          Last edited by Mike_M; 09-20-2020, 09:48 AM.
          Mike_M

          Disneyland Trips
          Walt Disney World
          Disneyland Paris

          1980, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1989
          1990, 1992, 1993

          2000, 2001, 2006, 2007, 2009
          2010, 2011, 2014, 2016, 2016, 2017, 2/2019, 11/2019
          2020

          Comment


          • #6
            I use be a AP's holder with Disneyland-Knott's-Universal
            It just got to the point.......doing same thing and seeing same old.....
            and as well I slow down a lot because my age.
            Also I waited see more place's and do other things .........
            I learn now and feel there more to life than Disney.
            IMO
            Note : There still special place in my heart ,for Disneyland and Knott's
            for I grew up with those place's
            Last edited by Eagleman; 09-18-2020, 09:33 PM.
            Soaring like an EAGLE !

            Comment


            • #7
              So much has already been said by the previous posters...I'm a Disneyland person too...I feel the same that Disneyland is a part of my life, and I am rather grateful it has been around my whole life...I have many other interests in life as well, each one as important to me as Disneyland is...
              I am old. But still love Disneyland.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by RforFilm View Post
                At least once a year, I see a post or a forum of people that say that either Disney has been going in a direction they don't like or have been priced out as the reason they want to stop being an annual passholders. I can see their point both ways, but I never see a decrease in numbers. If anything, Disneyland and WDW seem to have gotten more crowded even in the off season. Don't get me wrong, I happen to be a person whose willing to deal with the crowds to continue going and embracing the ambiance.

                Like a lot of people however, I kept finding myself disillusioned with what I was given by Disney from movies to new attractions. I had talked about stopping my AP, but I kept coming back. I didn't know why, but I held on for a while, still nostalgic for the classic days of the parks where things were not overrun with IP attractions dominationg and the parks more as a niche hobby then what it is now. Perhaps I was living in a dreamland or refusing to accept the passage of time, but its strange to be angry at something and still kept doing it.

                Now that the park has been closed since March, i noticed a couple of things. First I kept looking at the news and social media hoping for news that the parks would reopen soon. When that didn't happen, I kept watching attractions and shows via Youtube. The longer I went without going, the more disgruntled and irritated I was becoming.

                Now that we're in the September timeframe, once the anger had passed through, I suddenly found more time for other activities like gaming and writing. I also found that I'm not listening or watching as much Disney stuff as I did before. Yes I have a Disney+ subscription and might even play an attraction audio in the care, I don't have the hankering that I did earlier this year.

                I realized that I needed this quarantine to make me realize that I couldn't leave was because I had an addiction... an addiction to Disney. I had been filling part of my emptiness with Disney almost like how one fills their emptiness with religion or politics. Regardless, I do find myself happier that I'm not as stressed to continuously go to the parks. I don't plan on renewing my pass and may only go once during the Christmas time season when the parks do open.

                I don't know what line needs be drawn when a hobby becomes an addiction, but I do feel like a lot of people cannot leave the parks because its something of an addiction they can't break. If you personally like whats going on and want to continue, then I'm not going to stop one from indulging in their passion.

                Does anyone else think a lot of reason we have a ton of pass holders is because it's an addiction?
                It’s an interesting question to ask about any endeavor—including one’s job. I had an all-consuming job that others in my life didn’t understand. I would cancel things they knew I wanted to do to prepare for it. I’m not sure it was healthy or not, but I eventually took a step back and approached it more calmly. It wasn’t quite as satisfying that way, but my life had more balance. Some jobs and some hobbies require more work, and I think that makes them seem more valuable. The less time you put into something, the less invested you are. It’s like Freud supposedly saying that he charged a lot of money for his services because otherwise people wouldn’t take his advice.
                As an adult, I always found Disney to be a fantastic stress reliever. It helped me cope with a stressful job and a lot of other things without drug use or anything else that was destructive. I don’t find anything wrong with that. If you’ve switched your addiction to gaming and wrting that’s good too. I honestly don’t believe that anything good, that doesn’t alter your life in a bad way, is wrong. They may be “addictions” in the sense that you start to rely on them and miss them when they’re gone, but that doesn’t mean they’re bad for you. It’s ok to rely on things—as you said you found other activities—you didn’t just give up on everything and stare into space.
                I don’t go so much for the rides anymore, although they still are fun. I like the grounds, the landscaping, using my other addiction—photograpghy—while I’m there. I like all the entertainment—just makes me feel better. The food is about as good as I get anywhere (ok, that may be a sad statement), and I really look forward to the holiday treats. Who can explain what we really like—it’s very subjective. I like sitting outside the Rose Tavern Inn, watching Casey Junior Train go round and round while looking at the people and the flowers all around that corner. And there’s dozens of more special places I’ve actually been thinking a lot about in the quarantine. They feed my imagination and sense of well-being—even if I can’t get to them now. I feel like DLR is my place. I also like Museums, Zoos, and Yellowstone but Disneyland is closer to me—20 minutes without traffic—and therefore cheaper, believe it or not than the fights, hotels and rentals to visit other places. I guess if I didn’t live nearby, I would go once or twice a year myself. But I haven’t had to make that decision.
                I also have problems with the direction the parks have been going in for the last 10 years. I still think they make some good decisions—but there’s a lot of annoying bad ones too. The crowds have created so many bad situations. I agree with all that, but when I’m there I try not to think about it, because the park itself is still mostly good, and I can still find enough to enjoy. I always come home happy, even if there was a moment there I was very angry with a person or situation.
                I have had a hard time with the quarantine in many ways, but I think I can wait for the park to open again—even if it’s next year. Maybe I don’t have an addiction, although how often I used to go, and how often I think of it now might mean otherwise. I’m just kind of a patient person. And I haven’t found anything else to do except watch TV and talk to people on the phone that I used to see in person. I think Disneyland is my one true “hobby”, and I will probably stick to it as long as I can.

                Comment


                • #10
                  Here's how Ray Bradbury felt about his visits to Disneyland in its first three years:

                  I think it goes without saying that I am as critical as you people are of many facets of American life. Lord knows I’ve raised my voice often enough. But when someone like Julian Halevy equates Disneyland and Las Vegas (The Nation, June 7), I begin to doubt his or my sanity.

                  Not that I haven’t met his type before. The world is full of people who, for intellectual reasons, steadfastly refuse to let go and enjoy themselves. Mr. Halevy damns himself immediately when he states he is glad he didn’t take a child with him to Disneyland. I did better than take a child; my first visit, I accompanied one of the great theatrical and creative minds of our time, Charles Laughton. I’ve never had such a day full of zest and good humor. Mr. Laughton is no easy mark; he has a gimlet eye and a searching mind. Yet he saw, and I found, vast reserves of imagination before untapped in our country.

                  I admit I approached Disneyland with many intellectual reservations, myself, but these have been banished in my seven visits. Disney makes mistakes; what artist doesn’t? But when he flies, he really flies. I shall be indebted to him for a lifetime for his ability to let me fly over midnight London looking down on that fabulous city, in his Peter Pan ride. The Jungle Boat ride, too, is an experience of true delight and wonder. I could go on, but why bother?

                  I have a sneaking suspicion, after all is said and done, that Mr. Halevy truly loved Disneyland but is not man enough, or child enough, to admit it. I feel sorry for him. He will never travel in space, he will never touch the stars.


                  Ray Bradbury
                  Letters to the Editor, The Nation
                  June 28, 1958



                  Bradbury's love for Disneyland was no brief affair, as this 1974 letter shows:

                  Dear Brian Sibley:

                  This will have to be short. Sorry. But I am deep into my screenplay on SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES and have no secretary, never have had one..so must write all my own letters..200 a week!!!

                  Disney was a dreamer and a doer...while the rest of us were talking about the future, he built it. The things he taught us at Disneyland about street planning, crowd movement, comfort, humanity, etc, will influence builders, architects, urban planners for the next century. Because of him we will humanize our cities, plan small towns again where we can get in touch with one another again and make democracy work creatively because we will KNOW the people we vote for. He was so far ahead of his time it will take us the next 50 years to catch up. You MUST come to Disneyland and eat your words, swallow your doubts. Most of the other architects of the modern world were fools who talked against Big Brother and then built prisons to put us all in our modern environments which stifle and destroy us. Disney the so-called conservative turns out to be Disney the great man of foresight and construction.

                  Enough. Come here soon. I'll toss you in the Jungle Ride River and ride you on the train into tomorrow, yesterday, and beyond.

                  Good luck, and stop judging at such a great distance. You are simply not qualified. Disney was full of errors, paradoxes, mistakes. He was also full of life, beauty, insight. Which speaks for all of us, eh? We are all mysteries of light and dark. There are no true conservatives, liberals, etc, in the world. Only people.

                  Best,
                  Ray B.

                  P.S. I can't find that issue of THE NATION, or the NEW REPUBLIC, which ever it was, with my letter in it on Disney. Mainly I said that if Disneyland was good enough for Captain Bligh it was good enough for me. Charles Laughton and his wife took me to Disneyland for my very first visit and our first ride was the Jungle Boat Ride, which Laughton immediately commandeered, jeering at customers going by in other boats! A fantastic romp for me and a hilarious day. What a way to start my association with Disneyland! R.B.


                  "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
                  it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
                  together with every variety of recreation and fun,
                  designed to appeal to everyone."

                  - Walt Disney

                  "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
                  - Michael Eisner

                  "It's very symbiotic."
                  - Bob Chapek

                  Comment

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