Disney fans are unique, they are far from your average theme park fanatic and a million miles from your frequent holiday-goer. They live, breathe, eat and drink everything the Disney franchise offers. Equal to that, they don’t just go to Walt Disney World, Disneyland California or Disneyland Paris, they strategize beforehand how to get the best possible experience, from coordinating Park Hops and Fast Passes, to learning all there is to know about the My Disney Experience App.
However, not right now, though. With every theme park in Florida closed through to the end of March due to the coronavirus outbreak, fans are having to find new ways to keep the Happiest Place on Earth alive during self-isolation. Right now, those families are more important than ever, because they are the ones flying the Disney flag.
Last week, the Thornock family of Monroe, Utah, turned their home into Walt Disney World’s Pirates of the Caribbean ride and posted their efforts on Facebook. Each member of the family – including Mom, Dad and five children – took part in the performance, which oozed wit and creativity.
Their efforts didn’t go unnoticed. A couple of days after the video was uploaded, it had been viewed more than 3.5 million times on Facebook and had received more than 250,000 views on YouTube. Twitter saw a surge in Disney-themed hashtags trending too, and since then, fans from around the world have been re-creating their favourite rides from the comfort of their own home. The results range from hilarious and cute to downright impressive.
If you’ve missed out on all of this, don’t worry. To help you get your Disney fix, we’ve compiled some our favourite homemade Disney experiences, but we’ve also thrown in our favourite POV ride videos and virtual theme park experiences.
Our favourite #HomemadeDisney videos
Throughout this week, social media has been inundated with hundreds of videos whereby Disney fans re-create their favourite moments from their best-loved theme park rides. It started with the Thornock family, and this excellent re-creation of the legendary Pirates of the Caribbean:
But many others followed, including Twitter User Jess Siswik who, using her computer and office chair, re-created Soarin’ Over California from Disney’s California Adventure.
— Jess Siswick (@tinymallet) March 18, 2020
Which was followed by Disneyland California’s The Haunted Mansion from Youtuber Jenny Lorenzo and her husband, David Gallegos.
Touching on the rides iconic, chilling soundtrack, DIY pre-show elevator and Doom Buggy ride vehicles, the Homemade Haunted Mansion grips you from start to finish – and isn’t for the faint-hearted.
And how good is this Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run attempt from Rob Yeo!
Smugglers Run is without a doubt one of the rides at Star Wars Land pic.twitter.com/68WMOyaHS5
— Rob Yeo (@robjyeo) March 22, 2020
Or how about this adorable illustration of The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh by Rachel on Twitter:
— rachael (@theyjustlikeus) March 21, 2020
Or the epic Frozen Ever After:
— Brent Walker (@_bwalker) March 22, 2020
And last but certainly not least, this Fantasyland ‘mash-up’ by @jaydeeraymee is simply genius – especially Part 2 and the Teacups from Mad Tea Party!
— Jordan Dordan (@jaydeeraymee) March 25, 2020
POV Ride Videos
Thanks to the park-goers and their commitment to their mobile phones, you can pretty much experience all the rides at Disney’s theme parks from your sofa. What’s more, thanks to the ever-growing demand for greater digital technology, these videos are absolutely wonderful to watch!
If you haven’t been to Disney, there’s enough to get you excited. Likewise, if you’ve just returned and want to revisit your best moments. POV (Point of View) ride videos are the best and most exciting way to see the best and most exciting rides, often from the front row. If you’ve ever been to a theme park, Disney or not, you’ll know that bagging a place on the front row isn’t always possible. POV ride videos are your saving grace here!
Our top POV ride-throughs
Scare yourself silly on Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain. Or revel in the suspense of Hyper Space Mountain, get dizzy on the Teacups at Mad Tea Cups, or scurry through the streets of Paris on Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.
This kind of tour is a great way to see what only exists at one location, and isn’t split between parks, like Expedition Everest in Animal Kingdom. In Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida, that’s attractions like Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and its highly popular Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run ride. Also in Hollywood Studios, you can explore Toy Story Land and ride Slinky Dog Dash. At Disneyland California, it’s rides like Radiator Springs Racers and Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Statement that lead the line of immersive POV videos.
What’s amazing about watching POV ride-throughs at home is that you can compare versions of the same rides at contrasting theme parks. Walt Disney World’s version of Big Thunder Mountain is faster, longer, has more exciting drops and features more interactive queue elements than the California version. The Jungle Cruise is very similar at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland, though the Florida version is longer with more animatronic figures. At Disneyland California, Pirates of the Caribbean has a restaurant and two drops instead of one, but the Walt Disney World ride has a longer, more immersive indoor queue.
On YouTube, you can also watch ride-throughs of difficult-to-ride attractions. There’s the new, immersive and extremely popular Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, and Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Walt Disney World in Florida. The queues to both rides fill up for the entire day as soon as the parks open, so having the opportunity to watch them on YouTube is great, especially if you’re not lucky enough to get Fast Passes when you’re there.
Park tours are fun, but also useful
Complete park walk-throughs are a different experience entirely. With most of them lasting more than an hour, this kind of tour is a great way to see the full breadth and depth of Disney’s theme parks.
As well as being great for passing time and killing boredom, watching a full walk-through of the Magic Kingdom is also great research for your next trip. Chances are you’ll learn a lot more than you think, even if it’s just about the scale, and that you’ll need to pack comfy shoes when you go.
Another great thing about these walk-throughs – aside from that it’s always sunny – is that you can feel the vibe and atmosphere. Take this walk-through of Epcot during the Flower and Garden Festival for example, or this 40-minute tour of Disneyland Paris.
For now, you might only be able to watch them from your front room, but think: when things are back to normal and the parks reopen, you’ll be really well equipped for your next trip!
Hopefully we’ve lightened the mood and taken care of any Disney withdrawal. But if you want more fan-made Disney content, check out the hashtags #HomemadeDisney, #DisneyatHome and #DisneyMagicIndoors on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
You should now be armed with enough Disney content to keep yourselves occupied when self-isolating. If you feel like getting creative with your homemade Disney videos, make sure you tag us (@floridatix) so that we can re-post our favourites!