Hi, my name is Snowy and I live in Disneyland. Well, not exactly… Over the last two years, I have spent more time on Disney property than off of it: at Walt Disney World, The Disney Animation Studios, El Capitan Theater, The D23 Expo, and of course the entire Disneyland Resort! I have hundreds of park tickets stacked on top of each other at home to tangibly prove this time spent. I am also proud to boast I have watched The Paint The Night Parade over 300 times. What to most people is a vacation, I am lucky enough to call my “real” life. And why not? It truly is The Happiest Place On Earth.
I guess you could say I’ve always been a Disney bear. My pal, Brookie and her family always loved visiting Walt Disney World long before we met. The first trip I can recall was Spring Break of ’05, and standing under the now extinct M.G.M. (Hollywood Studios) sorcerer hat in the pouring rain, with sopping wet fur. It wasn’t until 2007 that I first visited the park that started it all. I went a handful of times to Disneyland in the following 7 years, on family vacations, a Sweet 16, marching band trip, and high school graduation. Even braving an insane 24-Hour Event. Like many “normal” people, my daily dose of Disney consisted of of eagerly watching park updates from popular Annual Passholders and Cast Members in the community through their online content. It wouldn’t be until I packed up “A Suitcase And A Dream” and moved to California in the Fall of 2015 that I would truly learn what being a part of the “Disney Community” is all about.
A day in Disney as a resident, I’ve come to discover, is much different from a tourist. This is pretty funny to think about, as Disneyland is ranked the 9th most visited tourist destination in the world (according to Huffington Post). But it didn’t take very long to figure out that one cannot spend every day like a vacation in Disney, as it does take a toll on your energy, your sanity, and your wallet. A single 8-hour day of walking in the park is appproximately 10,000 steps, or even more for little bear feet! Sometimes, you can’t buy that big yummy meal you saw at Plaza Inn and grab fastpasses for Mission: Breakout. Sometimes, you come in for an hour or so, go on one ride, or maybe just sit on a bench and watch a parade go by. It’s great to just run into friends by chance and spend a moment or two with them, because of course, the rest of the Disney community tends to do the same. They are amateur photographers, Cosplayers and DisneyBounders, pin traders and collectors, YouTubers, of course lots of kids! Many people who come to Disneyland on vacation notice the residents when we are expertly navigating the parks and all dressed up for a special occasion, out-of-place compared to the matching shirts, fanny paks, and park maps. It’s easy to tell us apart, but that’s because to us, every day is one to celebrate in the parks!
Sharing such a magical home with notoriety such as Minnie and Mickey Mouse is truly a dream come true, and I never want to wake up. I have a lot of fans tell me that they wish they could spend every day in Disney, too. Although most might not have enough Pixie dust to make that dream come true yet, it’s important to remember that magic is made of simply two things: human kindness and a passion for what you do. By creating this magic for others, you can carry a little bit of Disneyland wherever you go!
I can’t wait to see you all there one day!