#9 — You can bump into someone you know
This seems silly when you look at it, but it’s completely true! On all but one of our Disneyland trips we have bumped into someone we know. We have seen at last count: friends from home, former church members, The Princess’s grade school principal, and other family members. Most of that before the days of Facebook. Seriously! On our last trip Mr. Mouse’s cousin was there with her family. We were even staying in the same off site hotel. We didn’t plan the vacation together, but spent two days hanging out. On our next trip I have already found out that a friend I haven’t seen since seventh grade will be there at the same time.
Our experiences are not unusual. It is a joke around here that if you want to spend Spring Break with your friends and neighbors, just go to Disneyland. One week this year my Facebook feed had stories from five different families at the Park at the same time. They didn’t all know each other, but some of them did and they met up, delighted to find people they knew. It is quite usual to see a photo of people in front of the castle with a caption that reads, “Look who we bumped into!”
I’m not sure why this is true, but it is. Friends have talked about it with me. Maybe it’s because the park are relatively small. If someone you know is in the Park, the odds of seeing them are greater if they’re not six miles away at the Animal Kingdom. Maybe it’s a Northwest thing. If you’re going to travel, Southern California is a natural destination. It is a very reasonable distance for a road trip or fairly inexpensive plane ride. It’s far enough away to feel like you’ve left home, but still in the same time zone (this is a bigger deal for the west coast than you might imagine). Maybe Disney people simply attract one another and think alike. They find themselves at the same place at the same time.
This phenomenon is unique to the West Coast. On the East Coast we meet new people and have conversations with people we don’t know. Someday I will tell the story of the student service group and Mr. Mouse’s birthday. But over here we meet people from home. It is exciting and (dare I say it) magical. It adds just that little something extra to an experience that is already special.