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How We Disney

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The first time we went to Disney World, I had to be dragged there, kicking and screaming. I did not want to go, and I have almost no memory of how we got there. Clearly, somehow, reservations were made, hotels rooms were booked, airplane tickets were purchased, park passes were bought; but how and when that all occurred remains a mystery. I was too busy worrying that Disney World would be loud, crowded, chaotic, poorly designed, and messy.

I was wrong.

Disney World is, in fact, delightful. Clean, organized, well designed, with just enough spots to purchase Dole Whip, it’s the antithesis of messy and chaotic. It doesn’t matter if your kids are yelling, because everyone else’s kids are yelling, too. When people say it’s “too organized,” to my mind, that’s kind of like saying your dentist has too many degrees–that’s not a thing.

It’s also just plain fun. When was the last time you just had fun?

With the advent of social media, it’s interesting to see how many little worlds are out there, and how much people want to connect, Disney aficionados included. Social media has given them a forum: They want to be part of a group, to compare notes, to find their tribe.

Not to sound self-serving, but at e.t.c. , we let you find your tribe, or maybe discover a new one. Because, sadly, you can’t always be at Disney World, we give you a way to be involved even when you’re not there, and to meet other people who feel the same way you do. Our “Fan/Fairs” programs look at the intersection of popular culture and history or art, music or literature. In other words, we let you be a fan girl and a scholar, or a history nerd and a pin trader, at the same time.

Find out what we’re talking about–check out our spring “Disney in New York” programs with the wonderful Jim Hill–his excellent website is www.jimhillmedia.com, and he’s @jimhillmedia.

Check our “walks” page for more info on these and other programs, and follow us on Facebook, twitter and instagram for updates.

And to keep the fun going, we’re also doing a big Disney scavenger hunt in New York (yes, you read that right–New York) this coming fall—keep checking back for updates. Because why should Florida and California have all the fun? Or, to put it another way, why should you only get to have Disney fun in Florida and California?

Stick with us and we’ll show you how we Disney–and how you can, too.

Disney in My Living Room

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Apartments with south-facing windows are always the most covetable because of the amount of light they get throughout the day. But we have something better in our living room all morning: We have Florida light.

Florida light is that light that hits your eyes while you’re just waking up, preferably in a nice room at Disney World. It’s the light that’s soft and a little misty but with the promise of beautiful weather later on. It’s the light that says, “Toy Story Mania is waiting to be played! Dole Whips are waiting to be eaten! Pirates of the Caribbean is waiting to be shrieked over! Someone else is waiting to make your breakfast!”

In our living room, the light is more likely to be saying, “Hurry up and make your first cup of coffee because you have laundry to do and you misplaced your daughter’s snow boot and what will you do tomorrow if it snows those seven inches they’re promising? And by the way, you’re out of milk and you haven’t even started the work that was supposed to be done yesterday.”

But still, the light is very pleasant as it floods the room, and it’s better to contemplate the day’s to-do list in there than somewhere like the laundry room.

Florida light is also great, as you may have surmised, because it’s a reminder of Disney World. We figured other people might occasionally have Disney hankerings too, so we’re especially pleased to be offering two “Disney in New York” programs this spring, with Disney historian and all-around good guy Jim Hill. Check out his website: jimhillmedia.com

Jim will be in New York on April 26 and May 17, talking about Disney’s footprint in New York, both at the World’s Fair and on Broadway. He has great stories and anecdotes and is enormously knowledgeable about Disney and other entrainment organizations.

Email us for more info and check our “walks” page.

And–fun fact–e.t.c. is so fond of Disney that there’s actually a connection between Disney and the font on our website.

Any guesses? Email us—something special (beyond our admiration and devotion) for everyone with the right answer.

First Blog

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flowersA couple of weeks ago I bought a bunch of flowers. Peonies had taken over an aisle of the local market; they were jockeying for space in a profusion of colors, crowding out everything around them. I selected a bunch with tightly furled buds in a deep fuchsia color, plopped them in a vase when I got home, and proceeded to go about my daily business.

In a day or so the flowers started to open, and in another day it was as if an alien life form had taken over the table. The flowers were suddenly so insistently there that they couldn’t be ignored—the color was brighter than everything around them, and the circumference of the flowers was approximately the size of a dinner plate, or a small spaceship. They made you stop, those flowers, and stare at them. It was as if a court jester had suddenly taken up residence on the table, or a pile of racing silks, or a tree of tropical birds. Rather than walking past the table, suddenly, you had to gaze at the flowers as if they might get up and fly away, or transform right then and there into something even more unearthly. They provided a new kind of entertainment: flora-as-dinner-theater.

We found excuses to walk past the table and stare at the peonies; it was as if we’d never really properly seen flowers before. In another day or so the color started to leach out of them—the flowers changed from fuchsia to hot pink to the pale pink of the inside of a seashell, and that was pretty wild, too. If someone yelled across the house, ”Hey, can you get me the broom?” the answer was likely to be, “Yeah, in a minute, I’m staring at the flowers.”

Those flowers were exciting; they were full of possibility. They demanded attention; they changed you. They made you redefine the word ”flower.”

e.tc. is kind of like those peonies. We want to make you look at things differently; to wonder at the possibilities. We want you to get a new perspective on museums and neighborhoods; bookstores and historic houses. We want you to take a fashion illustration workshop that makes you say “Wow,” and listen to a lecture by a dancer and an art historian that will forever change the way you see both a ballet and a Degas exhibit. We want you to learn to make shrimp paella, understand what goes into writing a children’s book, visit a candy store off the beaten track that’s been around for more than 70 years…etcetera. Mix and match. Have fun.

We want you to experience the city, not just live in it, to try new things, to rediscover old ones.

A lot to ask? Not really. After all, look at what some peonies did.

Remember–It’s your world: e.t.c. it.

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