Finding Disney in Welcoming the New

Extraordinary Magic in Everyday Life


Festival of Fantasy FrozenWhether movies or park attractions, there is a certain fun at home that comes with looking forward to the new magic Disney has waiting in the wings. What excitement will it bring? How will it fit in with the existing landscape of Disney history? What new memories will it make for my friends and family?

There are three primary stages to every tantalizing new property Disney delivers:

Stage One: Anticipation. First comes the announcement. “Oh my goodness! Disney is making THAT! Woah! I can’t wait!” Then the actual wait. “I caaaaaaaaan’t waaaaaaaaaiiiiiiit. #whenwillmylifebegin” In the days, weeks, and months leading up to the debut of something new from Disney that we’re looking forward to, there comes the inevitable decision: How much do I let myself see beforehand? Do I stay away from everything: no pictures, video clips, interviews, concept art, nothing? A few of those? All of them? Personally, I’ll watch the first few trailers, and then hide like Elsa in a storm and get as far away from anything relating to it as possible. Example: I watched the TV commercial for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (you know, the rockin’ one with the rapping dwarfs), but stayed clear of any firsthand reports (and made sure I was off of Twitter on opening day!) to keep most of the attraction a surprise.

Stage Two: The first experience. The big day has arrived! It’s time to finally experience what we’ve been excited about for so long. Especially with big “event” films and attractions, the first time experiencing it is pretty much a blur. There is so much to soak in that all you can really do is be wowed by everything happening around you. Example: I, like many, was truly taken aback by Frozen. Wow. As the credits rolled, I had to collect my jaw from the ground before I could process what I just witnessed.

Stage Three: The repeat experience. If the new item blows you away, you’re going to want to experience it again and again, and that’s where the real fun begins. Now that you know what to expect, you can step back from being fully immersed in the new property so that you can examine it from a broader perspective. Intricate details and so much storytelling enrichment you never even noticed the first time become clear here, and you can fully appreciate the work of art in front of you. Example: My first viewing of Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade was on Main Street, U.S.A.® to get the full “signature parade” moment, and needless to say, I was floored. For my second viewing, I watched in front of the Harmony Barber Shop, and paid closer attention to the artistry of the floats and the patterns in the music.

I have to pinch myself before I experience anything big and new from Disney, as there’s always that excitement of how someday it could become just as definitive for the company as its most revered classics. It’s just cool to be part of that history and live through something for the first time.

(Image ©Disney)

How have you experienced these three stages? How do you look forward to a new Disney film or attraction?

Blake studies Electronic Media and Film at Appalachian State University. He enjoys making his family of six watch the parade in Frontierland and then sprint to Main Street in time to see it again. You can find him on Twitter @olddirtyblake or at