/ Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

by Daniel Vickers

My children often tease about how weird I am when I get in the Parks. I tend to gravitate to those people in line who have never experienced a certain ride or event. I always want to ease those fears about how intense a ride may be, or discuss the best places to hang out for fireworks. My children tell me that it’s quite strange to approach random people and begin a conversation; but, to me, this is where part of the Magic lives.

Walt believed in doing everything possible to “plus” the Magic, why shouldn’t I?  Can you imagine a world where everyone tried to “plus” the lives and experiences of others? tiggerMany of the world’s problems would be solved if we all put just a bit more effort into the well-being of others.

I recently had a conversation with my mother regarding her one trip to Walt Disney World in 1978 for her senior trip in high school. I asked her what her most memorable experience was when visiting the Kingdom. She couldn’t seem to recall many of the Park Attractions; but, one specific event seemed to stick with her…Tigger had one of her classmates bent over backwards trying to give her a kiss! This resonates with my memories of the first trip to WDW with my friend E.B. I couldn’t recall how many times we rode Splash Mountain, and I had little recollection of walking down Main Street for the first time; however, I could vividly remember breakfast at Chef Mickey’s, and the characters being so involved with everyone while they were dining.

These memories of my first trip to the Kingdom are some of my most cherished memories. My friend E.B. has since passed on. I often wish that I could have another romp through the Kingdom with him. He was a free, kind spirit and he embodied everything that Disney means to me. I have since been blessed to have the opportunity to hang out with other members of E.B.’s family, and we have had our own romps through the Kingdom! I look forward to many more!

Perhaps that is what we should be sharing with others when we meet them–to focus on the quality of experiences and not the number of rides.  That is the surest way to experience the magic.

I have two questions for our readers this week:

1)       Do you find yourself trying to “plus” the magic for others?

2)      What part of your visit(s) to the Parks are the most memorable?

As always, I would like to remind our readers that I can be reached via Facebook: facebook.com/Daniel.vickers2 OR Twitter: twitter.com/dvickers7982


Remember, you’re a firework! Ignite the Light!



9 thoughts on “Never Grow Up: “Plussing” the Magic”

  1. Whatever line I am in for a ride or food, or when I am sitting on the monorail, a train, or bus, I start up conversations with the other people around me. It typically starts with a simple hello, but if they are willing to talk more with me, I’m willing to do they same with them. The first time I went to Walt Disney World with my wife (then fiancee), I think she was a bit embarrassed by me!

    On one occasion, we were riding on the monorail, and a group of women were talking about what they might do for lunch. They were all wearing “1st time” pins, so I offered to help them come up with some ideas. I had a park map with me from a few days earlier, and asked what they wanted to eat, how much they wanted to spend, etc. We spent the next few minutes talking about the Liberty Tree Tavern and good places to stand for the parades and fireworks.

    To me, one of the most memorable part of the parks is watching the other guests. I absolutely love to look at the audience during Fantasmic! and see their faces as the music starts, the lights come up and as the show progresses.

    Seeing and helping other people have a great time makes my trips to Walt Disney World all the more magical.

  2. Steamboat Eddie says:

    Very cool to hear about your friend Daniel and so long as he is in your thoughts there is no question that he is still romping around the parks with you.

    Not sure if this counts for plussing, but when I’m at the parks I tend to pick up stray trash off the ground that has been left behind. It’s my little contribution and it always tends to be paper trash like guidemaps or maybe a plastic bottle or two. I know eventually a cast member will get to it, but in that time folks will see it. I always brag to my family and friends of how clean the parks are and when I’m there I try to do my part to help keep it that way.

    As for what’s most memorable, anytime my family is with me at the parks is what I remember most.

    Great write up and have a fantasmic day!!

  3. Tony E (BacksideOfWater) says:

    I “plus” people vacations quite a bit. If I’m walking alone and see a group of people standing there taking pictures with a landmark I’ll stop and offer to take the picture so the person with the camera can be in the shot too. I know I did that at least 50 times in a single day on my last trip to WDW.

    I’ve even plussed people’s days unintentionally. I have a Sorcerer’s hat with Mickey ears on it I wear to any and all Disney functions including at the airport heading to Disney. I’ve been stopped on at least a half dozen occasions so people could get a picture with me. 🙂

    I’ve even plussed the day for a couple Cast members namely the Jungle Cruise skippers by wearing my custom made Backside Of Water shirt. Skipper Kaylee even asked for a picture with me and me and my shirt. I like to think that down in the Utilidor in a CM break room is a framed picture of me lol.

    The most memorable parts of my trips are character meet and greets. Ariel handing me my very own Dingle hopper and waltzing with Cinderella are 2 memories I will never forget.

  4. sheila says:

    I find the bus ride to and from the parks are when I tend to plus, someone. It usually starts with a hello then if I here ???’s I try to help them out. Most families love any new suggestions. We’ve have calmed many a young people nerves before they ride Haunted Mansion.

    My favorite time is anytime at WDW with my family, forgetting for time our everyday life and just laughing and enjoying ALL that WDW has to offer and each other 🙂

  5. Kendall Foreman (MoretotheWorld) says:

    I had a “plus” moment on our last trip to WDW. As I was buckling into my seat on Soarin’ there were two older women in the seats to my left. They obviously were riding for the first time and were commenting on the impressive ride structure. One looked at the other and said, “I wonder how they figured out how to make this work.” I turned to her and shared the story of how Marc Sumner built the prototype with his Erector Set. Afterwards, they told me how glad they were that I had shared the story. I’m kind of a timid person, so I don’t usually engage in conversation with new people, but Disney World brings out my confidence, and my desire to help others better enjoy their experience wins out.

  6. Dan V. says:

    Thank you all for sharing your thoughts on “plussing” the magic. You have all given me even more ideas on how to initiate contact with people, and further embarrass my kids 😛

    Wes – I am also guilty of being on the lookout for those 1st Visit Pins! I also agree on the crowd reactions to the shows. I love the thunderous applause after Wishes is over..there is really nothing like it.

    Eddie – Thank you for the kind words, they were needed today! I have picked up trash here and there, but for the most part the Cast Members do a great job of keeping the Parks clean. It is definitely something to witness them scrubbing the trash cans for the first time 🙂

    Tony – Do I sense an excursion into the world of the Utilidor one day soon? I’m up for an adventure anytime 🙂 You must show us a photo of the Dinglehopper!

    Sheila – Many parents thank you I’m sure! I had to point out to my kids how most of the pictures in the haunted mansion – most of the happy haunts are smiling in some fashion. This seemed to ease their nerves a bit.

    Kendall – Awesome! I saw a special which included this story about Soarin’ and it just goes to show you what can be accomplished with a little perseverance and ingenuity.

  7. Elaine says:

    Traditionally, we decorate our hotel rooms with Mickey balloons from Magic Kingdom on our first day. When it’s time for us to head for home, we tie a balloon to the door knob of the rooms we think have children staying. When those guests get back from a long day at the parks, there is a surprise waiting for them. 🙂

    About 12 years ago our oldest daughter (22 yrs old at the time) and I challenged ourselves to figure out the most economical 10 day trip to WDW ever. We decided to tent it at Ft Wilderness. We got a fantastic deal on air fare and because we were allowed to check 2 bags each, I checked in my suitcase and the canvas bag that held our tent and our daughter checked her suitcase and the bag of tent poles. Going on off season, we got a special rate of $35 per night for a really nice campsite. This was one of the first years of the Magical Express so transportation from the airport was free. Since we are light eaters, we ate a late breakfast and delicious dinner at wonderful restaurants with just a snack in between. We had so much money left over that we signed up for 3 WDW tours plus the Headless Horseman Hay Ride at Ft Wilderness. We also went to the Mickey’s Not So Scarey Halloween Party! What a blast! Although all our trip are memorable for different reasons, this is most memorable trip because of meeting our challenge.:)

  8. Caitlin Corsello (giantnfl) says:

    I tend to strike up conversations with other guests while on line for an attraction or often times on the bus. It’s great just to be able to share opinions about what things you have to see or do on your vacation. I also love to “plus” someone’s day by either wishing them a happy birthday, happy anniversary, or congratulations based on the celebrating pin they are wearing.

  9. Tony E (BacksideOfWater) says:

    Dan: I have pictures of the Dinglehopper and every other picture I took at Disney on Flickr under the screen name thetony45. Not sure how to (or even if I can) post them here