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Disneyland Article
Disney Know It All's
Steven Orsinelli
As a Disney "know it all" and contributing writer here at DLDHistory.com I have to admit there are times when I am quite annoyed when listening to another fan talk about material concerning the history of Walt, his Family and the Disney Theme parks. I often have examined (in my head) my rational for having such feelings and why I get so bothered about. They usually range from the following thoughts

#1 I must be jealous that he or she knows more than I do?
#2 Everyone knows that, please tell me something I don't know!
#3 Oh my Gawd where do they get this misinformation!
#4 Who cares!
#5 Holly smoke I was wrong about that one!
#6 Man, we really are (all) Disney Freaks!

Now as a film teacher I do instruct my students all about the Disney Legacy. From Family to Film, and Theme Parks to Television we do it all. So it is my job to teach them the correct history and facts. Do I embellish at times? Of course I do! Hey it's my class so there!

I love it, and as I give my lectures I find myself in the moment and steal a look at myself now and again. Most of the time I am proud that I can teach them things that most teachers do not know about or care to instruct their students in. Most of the young lads and ladies soak it all in however there are those hard cases that look at me as if to say "Really Mr.O? Who really cares about this stuff anyway!

I back up my lessons with some really great video I have collected over the years. The kids watch the various biographies of Walt's life as well as vintage footage of "Disney After Dark" the Mickey Mouse club, footage of the opening day of Disneyland and more. I then follow it up with various facts about the park, like guests that have died there, secret places that the public does not know about, and fun facts from the various books that are available on the subject. Most importantly are my personal experiences, I know it's bias, but hey I have had some cool times as a Disneylander!

We then view a live action feature film from Disney, this year it was Darby O' Gill and the Little People. They loved it, and had never even herd about it. Then I followed it up with a Disney animation "Snow White", a Quiz, and finally the instructions for them to create a "Disney themed" Fairytale short film production.

I have some students and TA's (hi Jake) that love Disney as much as I do and it is always fun to talk to them about our passions. However when I am out and about and meet people that I do not know very well, like one time when I meet some folks from another Disney web site, that I will not mention, they came off a bit snobbish and not very friendly as they were spouting off their "Know it all information". I quickly found myself tuning out of the conversation as they talked about things that I am usually really into. I started to think that maybe some people perceive me that way. If you do, please don't, and let me know about it so I can fix it. I admit I do find myself a bit of a snob when I am at the park listening to a guest tell his family things about Walt that are not even remotely true.

Last time I overheard one of these tall tales was when I was standing over the entrance to the Pirates ride on the bridge above. There I was chewing the ice from my soda and resting my fat body for a well deserved break, as a young family man came by with his four children in tow and his wife who was sporting one of those oversized backpacks full of water and sandwiches. He stopped in front of the Disney Dream Suite then turned to his little army and said this is where Walt grew up and raised his family, all his kids were born here in that room up there and they played each day in the park". As I listened, my hair (what is left of it) started to bristle, and as I inhaled the air into my lungs for my professional response, I thought, hey it's not my place to correct the young father and his tall tale, so I just smiled as the kids stood there looking up at the door with their mouths open.

Just like the guy that told his kids that there was a real actor playing the part of Mr. Lincoln and that he was only allowed to do 3 shows a day, then after 3 shows, another (sub) Mr. Lincoln took over for him. I have to admit, I did lean over my chair to tell that person it was an animatronic. He just looked at me with a blank stare and said nothing. It was kind of a weird, long, silent moment until his daughter broke the silence and said in her all knowing gotya voice "I told you Dad".

I have realized that maybe it is none of my business to correct people that I do not know, maybe not even people I do know, with the exception of my students. Maybe that is part of the whole thing man, to just tell it as you see it. Parents are so eager to share their fond memories of the park and story's of Disney lore, who am I to tell them different. It not like I'm the go to guy when you want to know something about Disney, or am I?

In closing I say to all you Disney "know it all's" that really (do) know the facts, enjoy your knowledge, relish it, heck go ahead and even embellish now and again, but most of all have fun and don't take any of it too serous. That's why we go to Disneyland to begin with right? Be cool when your spouting off your facts. Most all us Disney freaks on-line and visiting Disney sites already know most of the facts and history anyhow. Last but not least I was having dinner at Steak House 55 last week at the Disney Hotel, and I was seated next to four young gents in their early 20's that were very engaged talking about their young sons and daughters. It was great ease dropping and listening about how excited they were telling stories about their kids hitting a baseball for the first time, and how one of their little ones put a bucket over his head and smashed into the wall. They were very proud of their family's and it made me feel good to hear that.

As they laid down their credit cards to pay for the bill I heard the waitress ask them for their special numbers. I thought to myself special numbers? Then one of them said that their Imagineering cards were old and did not have the number on it like the new ones. I thought wow I was seated next to four Disney Imagineering guys and they spent their whole time talking about their kids. At first I was a bit disappointed, I mean I wanted to hear about new rides, design challenges, and conflicts within the ranks and, and, and .but all in all they were more excited about telling each other stories about their kids and family's. I stopped my thought process and started to think that Disney had made the right choice in hiring these young fellows. Well that's it for this article, see you in the park!

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