/ Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Extraordinary Magic in Everyday Life

Dreams. We all have them, even if we never sit down and pinpoint exactly what they are. But they still inhabit our thoughts and motivate our actions: those aspirations that propel us, that keep us moving forward. The “why” part of what we do. And whatever those ambitions entail, they have inspiration—from somewhere, sometime, or someone. There is always that moment in time when the seed is planted—when the dream begins.

This discovery of our dream, whether we’re cognizant of its presence or not, is extremely powerful. If you’re on this webpage, then you need not be given a lesson in the magic that permeates a passionate dream, or how special it is once that dream comes true. I’d also be willing to bet that, in some way, every Disney fan’s goals (and the way they achieve them) are surely influenced in some way by the examples set in Disney stories.

Today we’re going to find out what kind of dreamer each of us is, based on the case studies of some of our Disney friends. We’ll unearth that moment for you when a fickle goal tipped over the edge to become a (yep, I’m gonna say it again) dream.


The Doer

Example: Tiana from The Princess and the Frog

I feel like Princess Tiana and Walt Disney have a lot in common. From a young age, Tiana finds a hobby she enjoys, something that makes people happy: cooking. When she 01_princess_and_the_frog_blurayrealizes she can shape her career out of this vocation—of bringing others together in the name of delicious food—she stops at nothing to open her own restaurant. She knows what she wants to do and works hard until she gets there. She dreams it and then does it.

If you identify yourself as a doer, a passionate work ethic permeates nearly everything you do. You know your strengths, and utilize them well to bring others happiness. Task completion is not an expectation, but a requirement, of your projects and you can’t wait to share the finished product with everyone.


The Discoverer

Example: Carl Fredricksen from Up

            The Discoverer and the Doer are much alike, but one important difference sets them apart: the reality of their initial dream coming true. Carl Fredricksen and his wife, Ellie, have dreamed since they were children to travel to Paradise Falls, just like their hero, Charles Muntz. They seek adventure more than anything else, and have big plans to find it. Simply put, though, life gets in the way. Unexpected expenses and the realities of everyday functioning prolong Carl and Ellie’s dreams, but that doesn’t put a damper Carl and Ellie at the Zooon their spirit. If they can’t get to their favorite place, they’ll find a way to bring it to them. (They’d fit right in at WDW Radio, wouldn’t they?) They both work at the zoo, Ellie as an animal guide and Carl as a balloon salesman. It may not be Paradise Falls, but it embodies the essence of what the place means to both of them, and they’re able to share it together.

If you’re a Discoverer, then perhaps your greatest, grandest dream is just a tiny bit out of reach. But, never to fear! That doesn’t mean it’s lost, it just means it might not pan out in the way you expected it to. With a little creativity and teamwork, you know how to make the most of what is available to maximize the magic inside of it—you pull the potential out and make the ordinary something special!


The Delighter

Example: Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Inc. and Monsters University

No one sets out to be a Delighter. It’s something that they realize as they go along. Case in point: Mike Wazowski. If Mike read this post on his first day of college, he’d probably tell you he’s a Doer. After all, he’s wanted to be a Scarer his entire life. His “motivation moment,” as we’ll call it, was during his class field trip to Monsters, Incorporated. You can see the enthusiasm, fascination, and sheer enthrallment in Mike’s adorable little elementary-school eye. He wants this dream so bad, and by studying MONSTERS UNIVERSITYhard at college, he’ll get it… right? Well, not exactly, and Mike soon finds what we’ve known all along: he’s not going to be a Scarer! Egad! What he is good at, though, is coaching other Scarers and encouraging them in their work. Without him, they can’t do their job. He sets out after one thing, but finds out he’s even better at something else.

If you’re a Delighter, you shine behind the scenes in making others’ dreams a reality, and in doing so you live out the dream of your own. Your greatest pleasure comes in assisting in someone else’s accomplishment, knowing you had a hand in their success, even if your involvement isn’t at the forefront of the public eye. In short, you delight in others. It may not have always been this way, and in fact it might have come as a shock—it was probably something you noticed you were good at as you struggled to find your own Doer or Discoverer path—but it’s what you’re best at now that you’ve identified it as a strength.


The Defender

Example: Marlin from Finding Nemo

Like Delighters, Defenders also focus their efforts toward others, but in a more forward, rather than backstage, way. They protect, guide, and, well, defend. We see this instantly in Marlin. After the horrible barracuda accident that loses him his wife and most of his children, he has one sole family member left, Nemo. And in that moment, Nemo and Marlinwhen Marlin lovingly holds Nemo’s egg in his fin, we see the spark of the motivation that will propel Marlin’s entire being from that point forward: the dedication to protect his son.

Defenders make the world go ‘round. If you’re a Defender, thank you! You keep us safe, caution us of harm, and do a swell job at upholding qualities that embody everything noble. You’re loyal and trusted, and can always be counted on for advice or inspiration. Your dreams come true as you see others succeed.


So, how do you stack up? What’s your motivation moment? Personally, I identify much with the Delighter, and especially with Mike Wazowski. I definitely wouldn’t have noticed the similarities between myself and him in just Monsters, Inc., but Monsters University shows the audience a much deeper level to his character that sheds light on a whole different side to him, the side we’ve been emphasizing this entire post: his inspiration.

I don’t really like being the center of attention, but I do like being part of other people’s magic. My motivation moment came shortly after a WDW trip. Sadly, I had lost my autograph book that I had been keeping for years. I was devastated! My grandmother called Disney to see if the book was in the lost & found, but it never came up. So we figured that was that, and moved on with our lives. Well, low and behold, a few weeks later a package arrived, and it was addressed to me. Inside was a hand-written letter from Mickey Mouse apologizing for the incident, and attached was a new autograph book filled cover to cover with personalized signatures from Disney characters! It was so special then, but I appreciate it even more now because I realize the lengths that must have gone into doing that—Cast Member going above and beyond for no other reason but to put a smile on someone’s face. That’s what drives me to be a Delighter, maneuvering in the background with a subtle (but, I hope, impacting) presence.

Now it’s your turn! Which of the four dreamer types are you? Are you a Doer, Discoverer, Delighter, or Defender?

Share your dreamer type and motivation moment in the comments for the chance to win a WDW Radio Mystery Ticket!


Movie stills copyright Disney.

Blake is a college student focusing on Film and Creative Writing. He enjoys making his family of six watch the parade on Main Street and then sprint to Frontierland in time to see it again. You can follow Blake’s random Disney ramblings on Twitter at @olddirtyblake, or at BlakeOnline.com.



11 thoughts on “Finding Disney – What Type of Disney Dreamer Are You?”

  1. Sharon St Clair says:

    My magical journey to Walt Disney World began in 1974 our senior class trip from a small high school in Oley, Pennsylvania. We sold apple cider and cakes at the fair as a senior class affording the trip of 1 day to the Magic Kingdom for a total of 35.00 which included air fare. The day was so magical I walked around the magic kingdom in aw all day. After the Main Street parade I was so excited and never wanted to leave I fell onto main street because I missed the curb. Many disney employees came to my aid. I was fine I didn’t want to miss one moment because it was a day trip only and when the park closes we were flying back home. Since I fell following the parade I vowed someday I will walk down Main Street in a Disney parade. I returned in 1979 with my 4 year old son to show him the magic that Walt had in his heart and to get him hooked lol it worked . For several years family and school obligations did not allow me to return with family after graduating nursing school in 1995 the first thing on my to do list. We had a wonderful return trip with many new things to explore and discover. We decided in 2003 it was time to take our 4 year old granddaughter to enjoy some of the magic . We drove our camper to Fort Wilderness a magical place to go back in time to your childhood. We went to the Magic Kingdom via the boat enjoying the delight on my granddaughters face in anticipation of what we will see and do on arrival. We got to the gate early waiting for the park to be officially opened by the characters. My granddaughter had an anxiety problem in that she would not speak to people as well as her family. The music sounded the train pulled up and Mickey came to the front welcoming everyone … My granddaughter began to scream Mickey Mickey Mickey .. I burst into tears of joy it was wonderful seeing the excitement in her blue eyes as she was yelling and waving to Mickey.. We have returned every year for 2 weeks since adding a few more grandchildren for the magical journey discovering many new things over the years. Sadly I still have not been successful in getting into a Main Street parade over the years.. I will keep trying as my health allows me.. As I am a delighter, doer, and discoverer…:)

  2. Tammy Miller says:

    I am a delighter, I loved Disney movies since I was little, but I really discovered Disney the year before my husband and I were to marry, my soon to be father in law took 10 of us to Disneyworld for 3 days, I was hooked, everything was so magical…..so perfect…..the next year we honeymooned there and when our children came along every 2 years we packed them up and took them. My hubby and I have gone 2 times just by ourselves in fact in about a week we will be going again just the two of us. I can’t wait. This is most definitely my most favorite place on earth!!

  3. Felicia says:

    I knew there was a reason why Mike Wazowski is my favorite Disney Character. I am 100% a delighter. I teach on the side and love that moment when a bewildered look turns into one of ‘Aha! I got it! Then I know my job is done. I’m also working on starting my own business which is solely focused on helping people make their dreams come true! Gotta love it! 🙂

  4. Mitchell says:

    That was one of the greatest articles I’ve read here on WDW Radio, let alone most Disney fan websites. Keep these kinds of articles coming!
    Kudos to Blake Taylor for this post.

    I think I might have different elements of each of the listed ones. But, most of all, I’m probably a doer and a delighter.
    I usually find myself pursuing a dream, and finding a very different one and going along with that one, much like Mike from MU.

  5. Ana Kurland says:

    I wish I was a doer, but I think I’m more of a delighter. I’ve had my dream 3 times in my life (to live near Disney) and every time something has come along and made me move away. Still, I hope to move back there someday.

  6. Kelly Sas says:

    My dream of becoming a nurse was born during my first hospitalization experience. I broke both my arms. In the 5 days I spent in the hospital nurses fed me, brushed my teeth, dressed me and help make me feel better when I was bored, sad or lonely. I realized then that I wanted to be a person who helped others succeed in their goals and make them feel good. When Mike Wazowski was born he my new favorite Disney Character. Now I know why. I relate to his kind heart and his Delighter Dreamer personality. I am now an RN and a Delighter with the best of them. When I was 7 my parents drove across the midwest to California to take me to Disney Land. As an adult I went to either Disney Land or WDW almost every year. We took our children and now we take our grandkids. I Delight with each magical moment they experience.

  7. Angela says:

    I’m a Defender! I don’t think I set out to be, but after 44 years, I think I’ve become a pretty good Defender kind of dreamer. I’m a labor and delivery nurse and I work every single Friday and Saturday, which allows me to be a “stay-at-home” mom for my two boys. Because of my schedule, I chose to homeschool them, so that I could spend these precious young years with them. I think people would say that I was a cheerleader for others, maybe even to a fault. Defender may not sound as glamorous as the other kind of dreamers, but I’m totally ok with that!

  8. Paul Saint says:

    I seem to be a Defender, in that I do all I can to help out everyone achieving their goal. It gives me a sense of accomplishment that I was able to aid someone I know get what he/she/they want. I never really thought about it until reading about the Disney Dreamers.

  9. Jesse Brush says:

    Definitely a doer. I am high school teacher of at risk students who give up on their dreams too easily. Boy, I wish I could impart in them some the “doer” attitude I have. The doer in me says everyone can achieve and be successful, to meet their challenges head on and overcome them…Walt did.

  10. Melissa Rauchmiller says:

    I am a defender..at least since I have had children and watched them grow into amazing young adults.. I always support their dreams and help them to reach for what ever goal that dream brings. And with that my dreams of them being successful adults is reached..

  11. emily hartzog says:

    Tiana is my girl all the way. I fell in love when I saw that Disney created a woman who wasn’t going to wait around to be rescued. Every moment of every day is busy for me. Resting is the enemy. I always felt that if i’m not actively pursuing my goal I’m wasting my time. Who needs to be social on the weekends when you could be learning something new, drawing, cooking, or creating something no one has ever seen. Even when I try to relax, I do it by running marathons. I am always reaching for the next goal, the next achievement, and am not afraid of some very hard work to get it!