This is a bit of a departure today from our usual hard-hitting news and breathtaking secrets, but today I would like to spend a few moments talking about a serious disorder that affects 9 out of every 10 parkeologists. It’s called GAS, which doctors inform me stands for Giveit Away Syndrome.
In one sense, it’s very much like OCD. Going to the parks a lot, you tend to develop your own little ticks and rituals. This is because you know everything so well. Rather than being surprised by every little Carnotaurus encounter or remote control stunt car, you can recite entire spiels right down to an exact mimic of the Ghost Host’s laugh.
I mean seriously, are ANY of Jungle Cruise jokes funny to us anymore? We have not only heard them all, but we can catalog a dozen variations of the joke for each scene in the ride. The fun for us is not in hearing the joke, but in our ability to guess whether we’ll get the rare “TGIFridays” reference or the more standard “Head Salesman” joke (and since you know exactly what I’m referring to, I diagnose you with a severe case of GAS).
|It’s okay to stare, they’ll all get the point in the backside of water. Or something.|
This is clearly a problem. Even I annoy myself when I find my arms waving as if I’m conducting tonight’s performance of Illuminations: Reflections of Earth (and if while reading the italics, you added a puff of air at the end as if blowing out a candle, then you have GAS). Yet sometimes I can’t help it. I not only know the music, I know which fireworks match which music cues, and doggone it, it looks like magic when I can wave my arms and set off those loud hissing ones!
The parks have become sort of our own little Rocky Horror Picture show. That’s probably why we get so obsessed over the latest news, even if it’s just moving the plastic tree from one side of the Fantasyland sidewalk to the other. It’s new, darnit! Something different than hearing “Caution! You are approaching the unloading area” for the umpteenth time, or mimicking the hiss of the parking lot tram brakes every time you put your car in Drive (yes, I do this).
|The beam is clean! The beam is clean! How can you normal everyday guests not be thrilled by this?!|
At least for the most part, we’re polite about it. I think WDW fans are a little more reluctant to spoil the show for everyone. We may be mouthing “Welcome, foolish mortals…” but we’re not yelling it out for everyone in the room. Disneylanders don’t seem to have the same respect. A couple years ago, I rode Pirates out there several times during my trip and not a single time did I not have some AP-er yapping through the entire ride.
Furthermore, WDW fans actually will go out of their way to make sure people aren’t missing things. For instance, there’s a neat little surprise that happens at the end of Mickey’s Philharmagic, where Donald Duck actually gets shot through the back wall. And if you are bright enough to turn around, you will see his animatronic hindquarters sticking out for a brief moment before he falls into the wall and squawks “Ah, Phooey!”
Raise your hand if you turn around and look at it every time — not because you necessarily enjoy watching, but because you want to alert the newbies around you that there’s something back there that they don’t want to miss. Uh huh, that’s what I thought.
|Bonus points if you reach out for Donald when he calls “Help me, help me, help me!” Yeah, you’ve done it.|
Ditto the Swedish Chef in MuppetVision. And how many of us like to innocently pull that rope outside Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, but only if there’s other guests around? I’m guilty of it.
It’s kind of funny when you think about it, maybe even a little concerning. I mean, how many times do we really need to see Canada in Circlevision? But we keep going back. It’s in our blood. And besides, if it weren’t for us to cue them, how would guests know to drink from that one particular water fountain?